“Why won’t this thing shut?!”

There has been a disaster on the Emergency Sock front.

If you’ve been reading my posts through October (Blogtober) then you’ll have read about my Emergency Sock which is Basic 4ply Sock that lives in my car (there’s a handy storage box with charging points between the front seats made just for this purpose 🙂 ) and means that if I get stuck in traffic or have to wait in a queue somewhere, I’ve always got some knitting close at hand to stop me getting cross about wasted time.

It’s actually been coming along quite well which says something about the amount of time I’ve been spending in the car waiting – not so much in queues lately but not so small daughter has been going to extra revision sessions after school and there’s no fixed time for them to finish so she gives me a vague time to be there and I go and wait until she puts in an appearance.

A partly-knitted sock sits on a cream project bag next to a car gear stick.

It’s looking good, isn’t it?  The yarn is from Burrow and Soar, it’s a hand-dyed skein in a shade called Bower.  I’m enjoying knitting it; it’s not taking much thought and is growing quite quickly.  Or at least, it was.

“Why won’t this thing shut?!” asked not so small daughter crossly, slamming the lid of the storage box after she had got into the car and plugged in her phone charger.  It had been a maths session and she was a tad grumpy.  She slammed it again.  And again.  “Ah, done it now.”

And so she had.  That ‘whatever it was’ that was in the way had been sorted.

A partly-knitted sock on a short circular needle resting on a black car seat. One of the needle tips is bent at nearly 90 degrees.

And sadly, so was my Emergency Sock knitting for the day.

Not so small daughter was very apologetic.

I have since been able to use it – I turned the needle around on the stitches so that the bent section is in my left hand but it’s not ideal.  Yes, you are right, I could have taken one of my WIPs off the needle that it is on and used that one, but that would have involved me looking at the WIPs (or perhaps the WIPs looking reproachfully at me) so I have soldiered on with the bent needle instead.  Such fortitude! 🙂

I’ve got an embarrassing number of 30cm sock needles in the house (not just with WIPs attached) so I could have swapped it, but of course I couldn’t find any of them so I have ordered yet another one which arrived the other day and I’m back on straight needles – hooray!  You can see just how bent the other needle was, it’s no wonder I was finding it difficult to knit!

A partly-knitted pastel-coloured sock on a short circular needle.  Both the needle tips are straight.  There is a short circular needle with one bent tip lying on the black car seat next to it, and there is a cream fabric project bag containing the yarn in the top left of the photo.

I mentioned the Emergency Sock on Instagram and had a fun conversation with lots of people saying that they also had an Emergency Project (not just socks, I do have to remember that other projects are allowed!) and lots of others saying that they hadn’t got one but they were going to start taking one around with them.  I think it’s essential kit along with your phone and your keys these days!  Oh, and the overriding thing that came out of the conversation is that every Emergency Sock (Project) bag needs an Emergency Snack in there as well.  Ooh, now that sounds like a good idea!  Helen from the JosieKitten blog said that she keeps one of those caramelised biscuits in hers that you get from coffee shops then it really is an Emergency Snack – they’re not my favourite biscuits and I usually give mine to not so small daughter but as Helen pointed out, anything that is more of a favourite wouldn’t last very long and might not actually be available in an emergency as it would have been eaten.  This is very true and Emergency Crumbs really wouldn’t hit the spot!

On the subject of things to eat, I have made some muesli.

I wrote about my muesli and yoghurt breakfast on Day 13 of Blogtober and Ingeborg was kind enough to leave me a comment telling me how to make muesli for myself with her recipe.  It was very timely as I was down to the dust in the bottom of the box so I had a rootle through the cupboards to see if we had everything that I would need.  This is when you realise how handy it is living with a mostly-vegan big daughter and there would be a few replacement ingredients but all I had to buy was apple sauce!

Although the recipe is in the Blogtober post comments so you could look it up there, I wanted to check with Ingeborg that she didn’t mind if I shared it here.  She told me that her version is an adaptation of an original recipe by Sieglinde Fischer from Noton Keramik which includes chocolate and hazelnuts so you might want to try that one out too!  That recipe is here.


Ingeborg’s Muesli

250 g oats + another 100 g to spread on the muesli during baking
150 g almonds, chopped
150 g walnuts, chopped
150 g cashews or other nuts, chopped
60 g linseeds
50 g muscovado sugar, or even less
Mix all dry ingredients, but leave out the extra 100 g oats.

180 g apple sauce, unsweetened
1 tbsp olive oil
50 g “runny” honey or maple syrup
1 pinch of salt

Mix the “wet” ingredients + salt until smooth and then pour into the dry mixture. Stir everything well until no dry spots are left.
Spread evenly on a large baking tray, it should have a flat, dense surface.

Bake for 20 minutes at ca. 160 C, stir & turn the mixture upside down, then sprinkle the additional 100 g oats on top.  Roast again for another 20 minutes. (If you like it even more roasted, stir again and leave it in the oven for another 10-20 minutes.)


It’s super-easy, isn’t it?  I don’t know why I had never thought of making my own muesli before!

I chopped the walnuts and almonds – I did try using big daughter’s super duper blitzy blender device but it pulverised everything within seconds so I decided to rescue what I could and chop it myself.  I am not a huge fan of nuts but I do eat them in my muesli and I actually quite like the big pieces.  If my Mum could only see me now after years of my picking nuts out of things! 🤣

I swapped the cashew nuts and linseeds in the recipe for pumpkin seeds, sultanas and pine nuts and mixed it all together.  So far so good!

A glass mixing bowl containing porridge oats, walnuts, almonds and pumpkin seeds. There is a wooden spoon in the bowl to stir the ingredients.

I buy our honey from the local farm shop where they keep bees as well as hens and ducks (our ducks have stopped laying eggs now, they must have decided that they’re on their Winter rest) and sell all kinds of fresh fruit and veg.  It’s where I buy our smokeless coal as well – they’ve got everything we need!

Christine is holding a jar of honey with "Warrington Honey" written on the label. In the background is a yellow dessert bowl, the glass bowl of nuts and seeds and a wooden spoon on the worktop.

Once the honey and apple sauce was mixed in (I forgot the oil!), it looked like this.  It was all sticking together at this point but I kept stirring to make sure that there was nothing dry in the bowl.  I couldn’t get unsweetened apple sauce so I decided to miss out the sugar as I figured that there would probably be enough sugar in the sauce that I had.

A glass bowl containing the muesli mixture, now a bit more clumpy as the apple sauce and honey have made everything stick together.

Then it went into the oven.  I think perhaps it should have been a bit flatter according to Ingeborg’s instructions but I pressed it all down and in it went.  Then, after the required time, I turned it all over and it went back in again.  I have a really bad habit of forgetting things that I put into the oven for a second time and it wasn’t until I wanted to know who was burning things in the kitchen that I realised that it was me, but luckily I had just singed a few sultanas and everything was OK.  Phew!

A baking tray is spread with the muesli mixture ready for the oven.

And here it is!  Ingeborg was right, it is a really delicious muesli and it was so much easier to make than I expected.  I think it’s unlikely I’ll ever buy muesli again!

A yellow dessert bowl containing muesli and natural yoghurt is sitting on a granite worktop. There is a stainless steel spoon in the bowl. Next to the bowl is an Easiyo yoghurt pot.

Thanks, Ingeborg!

I’ll have to give all those shortbread recipes you sent me over Blogtober a try next – now perhaps that could be my Emergency Snack … although they really would be Emergency Crumbs! 🙂


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36 Responses

  1. Jeanette Kettlewell says:

    I found a granola recipe by America’s Test Kitchen with similar ingredients. The oil is an important component. Their method of baking uses a baking sheet lined with parchment. Pack the mixture very firmly (I place a sheet of wax paper over the granola then put another same-size baking sheet on top and press down firmly all over). Next I use a spatula to form an open space an inch or so wide down the middle of the packed granola. Bake without stirring 45 minutes (depends on oven temp.). Remove from oven when golden. Allow to cool, then break into desired size pieces. That recipe mixes in dried fruit after baking.

    • winwickmum says:

      Oops, I’d better make sure I add the oil next time! It does take OK, though, so I’m glad you’ve told me otherwise I might have been tempted not to bother. This has opened up a whole new world for me, I can see myself disappearing down a muesli/granola rabbit hole! 🙂 xx

  2. Mary says:

    Ha! I tried making my own granola just once…burnt to a cinder😂 I might just try this recipe though, my mouth is watering. Very happy that I am not the only person who loses her circular needles! I have accumulated quite a stash over the years. Doesn’t make you a bad person!!xx

  3. Lindsay says:

    Hi Christine – you know how the brain sees things that sometimes are not there? My brain reads “shopfitters” as “shoplifters”, always has and as I was reading your blog, out of the corner of my eye/brain, I saw “leave out the 100 goats”!! What have goats got to do with muesli? I swiftly did a re-take and realised my mistake. You have made me smile this evening, thank you! Lindsay x

    • Denise Fordyce says:

      Lindsay, here was I thinking I am the only one in the world to muddle shopfitting with shoplifting! (Predictive text just did it too 😂).
      I’m a generally articulate and well read person who can spell, so I thought I must just have a weirdo brain. Glad there are two of us.

      • winwickmum says:

        I wonder if it’s because we read so quickly and our brains like to fit in the most appropriate word as it sees it – we have our own predictive text going on in our heads! 🙂 xx

    • winwickmum says:

      Oh that’s very funny and I can see that too! My first job was in office where we had to write to shopfitting contractors on a regular basis and I can’t tell you how many times I had to re-start my letters (always typed with carbon copies) because I addressed the company as “shoplifters” and not “shopfitters”! I’ve also been known to think that farms we pass on days out are selling goats’ eggs and not goose eggs … I am also glad that I’m in good company! 🙂 xx

  4. Eleanor says:

    I, too, have a “car sock” that is handy to pick up in long lineups. When I mentioned it to my knitting friends, they all thought it was a great idea and now do the same. Love your recipe for muesli and must try it!

    • winwickmum says:

      It IS a great idea! 🙂 It’s definitely one of those “why didn’t I do this sooner” ideas and I like to think of all of us knitters being calm and productive in queues everywhere! 🙂 xx

  5. Ruth Howard says:

    Looks good – well done
    Love Ruth x

  6. Laura Miller says:

    That muesli looks amazing! Your needle, not so much! What brand of needle did you order? I don’t recognise the cable and I thought I had at least one needle of every brand…. Thanks for the smile. xx

    • winwickmum says:

      The muesli is really lovely, I’m definitely going to make it again though this time with the addition of the oil. It’s an Addi 30cm needle – the first one was so well-used that the nickel plating had come off which is maybe why it looks different 🙂 xx

  7. Lucy Wynne, Netley Abbey says:

    Lyndsey and Denise my friend’s 3 year old proudly read “Shopfitters” as “Shirtlifters”. We had a hard time keeping a straight face.

  8. Bobbie Jean says:

    Goodness! What a lovely, entertaining read. I still cannot knit a sock heel. I have a bag of half finished socks I’m slowly reclaiming yarn from. Maybe someday.

    I like your muesli better than Bob’s Red Mill. Try to imagine me failing my first attempt to eat muesli. Swallowing unsoftened oatmeal was one of the hardest things I’d ever done. A friend from New Zealand spent a month with us and I felt the need to remind her she’d left her muesli on the table . . . How was I supposed to know you let it set for a spell before eating? 😀 Live and learn. The hard way. I heart muesli though. I will use your recipe to make my own for the first time ever. Thanks!

    • winwickmum says:

      The recipe worked really well for me so I hope you enjoy it! Have you had a look at the heel tutorial in my Sockalong tutorials? There’s also a video from my Easy Lace Socks which might help too – it’s a different pattern but is based on the same Basic 4ply Socks pattern so you can use it if you prefer to watch. It might be that you’ve said goodbye to the idea of knitting socks though, in which case reclaiming the yarn is an excellent idea! 🙂 xx

      • Bobbie Jean says:

        Thanks for the help. I really want to knit socks so will explore your offerings. I’m reclaiming the yarn because I don’t have a clue how to pick up and carry on. Starting over is best for a beginner like me. You are a shining star!

        • winwickmum says:

          Ah yes, sometimes it’s easier just to go again from the beginning – and there’s also that thing that the yarn chooses it’s own pattern too, so sometimes it just refuses to be what you think it should be 🙂 xx

      • Bobbie Jean says:

        Oops! My daughter and I plan to make the muesli. After Thanksgiving, of course. It’s something to look forward to. We enjoy learning new recipes.

  9. CJ says:

    Mmm, the muesli looks very good. I have emergency notebooks and pens (yes, more than one, because – emergency) and emergency books. I am VERY anxious to be out without them.

    • winwickmum says:

      I think that lots of people are far more anxious being out and about now, more so that ever before, and to know that we can do something to help ourselves is a powerful thing. I don’t even think about taking my sock out with my now; if it’s not in the car it’s in a bag or even stuffed in my pocket and I don’t have to take it out and work on it but I like that it’s there 🙂 xx

  10. Barbara says:

    Oh you had me laughing about the emergency sock story. I can visualise it all now and poor needle. I’m impressed you carried on knitting with it. Most times in the car I’m a passenger these days and the socks come too. I’m a much better passenger when I’m knitting lol!
    The muesli looks delicious, I’m off to see what ingredients I need to buy. Have a lovely weekend. B x

  11. Sarah Murray says:

    Woa.. your daughter must of really slammed the lid hard to bend your needle like that.

    • winwickmum says:

      Not really, unfortunately, I think that the needle was just caught between the lid and the body of the box at the right place. I’ve managed to bend longer-tipped needles just by sitting on them so it does happen, but this does seem very extreme! 🙂 xx

  12. Susan Rayner says:

    That Muesli recipe is lovely – we learned how to make Bircher Muesli in school inSwitzerland and would substitute a grated apple for the applesauce! I would add some almonds as they are supposed to be so good for you!
    So sad about the knititng needle!! I sorted my circulars out recently and cannot admit to how many small circulars that I have and that is after I have given a lot away!!
    Happy weekend.

    • winwickmum says:

      I would never have thought of using a grated apple but that would work really well and wouldn’t be as sweet as the bought sauce. I can remember my Mum have a book of Bircher recipes once – I’d forgotten all about that, so thanks for the memory! I’m glad to know I’m not the only one with a needle stash 🙂 xx

  13. Josephine says:

    I have 484 solid granny squares ready to sew into strips, to then assemble into an Elmer blanket. The squares for each strip are already bagged and ready to go. I just haven’t been motivated to work on them. Sounds like a great Emergency project to me! Thanks for the idea.

    • winwickmum says:

      Oh yes, that would be perfect, and by only taking one strip out with you at a time, you won’t feel overwhelmed by the whole task. It sounds like an ideal Emergency Project – and don’t forget your snack! 🙂 xx

  14. Christina says:

    That needle! I have neither emergency project nor emergency snack but I think I should organise both, even if I spend most of my time in the house. My husband makes muesli. I prefer flatbread with peanut butter and banana for my breakfast but I do love the smell of the toasting cereals and nuts in the oven.

    • winwickmum says:

      I agree, an Emergency Snack even in the house is an necessary part of life! 🤣 I am discovering that lots of people make muesli, I am clearly very late to the party! 🙂 xx

  15. Charlotte says:

    Have been looking for a recipe for muesli and I think that I have found it. Thanks. Teen girls and moods ! How I remember with 3 daughters. It is their turn now. Haha

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