Roland-designs , Virginie's blog.

"Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God's handwriting." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Ramona cardigan by Elizabeth Smith. Part 1

It’s that time of year, when the days grow shorter, the air gets nippy and you look forward to spending more time indoors, sitting by the fire or watching TV with a warm blanket over your knees and a knitting project in your hands.

After a summer spent practicing tatting, I felt ready to start on a new knitting project – but which one ? I quit knitting for my kids years ago, I’m a slow knitter and they grow too fast. I also don’t need too many more hats, or scarves. But a cardigan or sweater, not too complicated, and not too easy either sounded like the perfect autumn project. So after many, many hours looking online and in my collection of magazines and books I settled on this cardigan pattern by Elisabeth Smith. It had good reviews and looked like something I would actually use, beside my old favorite cardi is looking rather worst for wear and needs replacing.

So now I’m inviting you to follow along as I knit, and I’ll let you know what I think of the pattern, my choice of wool and  any tips or tricks I pick up along the way.

The pattern is available here on Ravelry:

The wool suggested is hard to find in Norway, so I settled for Drops Nepal (wool and alpaca mix) in beige 0300, I bought 10 of them, and figured if I didn’t need all then I could always use the rest to knit a hat.

I’m knitting the pattern in size Medium

I was a little eager to start, but then after a couple rows took off everything and started again with a long tail casting, it gives a much neater edge.

Soon after I made a little counting mistake, and had to restart another time. Best tip: don’t start a new project while watching TV… you’ll make most mistakes at the beginning, and need to concentrate a little until you feel familiar with the pattern and how it’s written. 

For those of my readers who live in Norway I will recommend this online shop for buying supplies, the package arrived really fast and the service was excellent:

Almost all the supplies needed, except a set of DPN ( double pointed needles) I had already had in my stash

Already well started.... the pattern is designed for XS -3XL, the orange marks the stitche count I will follow for size M

Here are some helpful youtube videos for the techniques used:

m1-R :

m1-L :

Knitted-on/purled-on CO technique :

Longtail cast on :


PS: All recommendations are my own preference; I am not sponsored by the designer, websites, manufacturers.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Tropical aroma cake

Here is the recipe for a 'vintage' Norwegian favourite, I call it vintage as it seems to have been very popular in the 60's. 
As I always do, I reduced the recommended sugar amount and would  recommend using a level, or small  teaspoon of the nutmeg and cinnamon if you do not want a heavily spiced cake.

Tropical aroma cake

( 8 portions )

-           125 g butter (room temperature)

-           250 g sugar

-           2 eggs

-           250 g flour

-           2 teaspoons baking powder

-           1 teaspoon nutmeg

-           1 teaspoon cinnamon

-           2 ½ dl milk

-           3 tablespoons cacao powder

- Cream butter and sugar, then add eggs one at a time.
- Sift in dry ingredients, except cocoa powder
- Separate the batter in two separate bowls, then add the cocoa powder to one of them.
- Butter and flour (or line with baking paper) a 24 cm diameter cake pan. To make the marbled affect, pour half of the clear batter first, then drop with a spoon half of the chocolate batter. Repeat.
-  Bake in an 180 degrees oven for 35-40 mns.
- Let cake cool completely before icing.


-           50 g butter (room temperature)

-           300 g powder sugar

-           3 tablespoons cacao powder

-           5 tablespoons coffee

Tropical aroma cake

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Victorian canvas work. Book review

I recently finished reading a very interesting book all about Victorian embroidery, to be exact Berlin wool work.

Victorian canvas work, by Molly G Proctor was originally written in 1972 and is as far as I know the most complete history of the rise and fall of the Berlin wool work craze which lasted for the better part of the 1800’s.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, and found the information and historic details very interesting. The only drawback is that the style of writing can seem a little dull in parts, there are few colour photos most being in black and white, and all the suppliers list is outdated. But then, the book is from the 70’s and now with the internet it is much easier to find antique patterns, and the materials to re-create Victorian era embroideries.

For those who are interested, the book is easily available on Ebay (that is where I got my copy), and other second hand book stores. 
Victorian Canvas work. Molly G Proctor ISBN 0 7134 2647 0
PS. The books I recommend are my own preference, I  am not sponsored by the publishers nor authors.

Victorian canvas work, and some original handpainted Berlin woolwork patterns. Private collection

Berlin woolwork plush work

Lot's of interesting and informative photos, sadly few in colours

Here is a photo of the latest addition to my little collection of Berlin wool work patterns. The person I bought it from posted it in a regular envelope, which was fine except that the envelope got torn somewhere in transit….my heart skipped a beat when I saw the rip, but thankfully the pattern had not gotten damaged.

What a relief !

Look at that torn envelop.... Mailmen and mail ladies please, please treat the post carefully !

And interesting detail where you can see how the pattern was printed. The colours would have been added later by hand with a tiny square paintbrush.