Monday, December 14, 2009

Quick thoughts from a tired mummy

Very tired. But have some things to share...

A new WIP - an ishbel shawl for a good friend. The photo is completely inaccurate colour-wise, the wool is BWM luxury 4ply in Purple Storm.

Some additions to last night's dinner from my garden. Little cherry tomatoes and some lovely mint. So glad my gardening is bearing real tangible benefits!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Tuesdays are for sewing

I seem to want to sew on Tuesday nights. So tonight I did :)
I traced a pattern for these pajama shorts for my 18month old from a pair of pants that fit him well. I used a white and green poly-cotton fabric gifted to me from a family members fabric stash that was passed along to me. If they fit well then I'll make some more - I can never find any pajamas for him so he goes to bed in boardshorts or his sister's pjs! All therapy fodder for later I'm sure.

No idea how to turn the image around on this mini-version of iPhone blogger, sorry.

And to practice some quilting techniques, I created this ...

And other side...

The top and bottom are 100% cotton quilting fabric, the binding is a polycotton tomato print that I LOVE, and internally I just sewed 4 layers of polar fleece together. My pattern for all layers was an A4 piece of paper! I used my usual sewing foot and cheated by quilting along the lines of the stripey fabric. My little girl will think this is a quilt for her Barbie, but I made it as a heat pad for my wooden table to put hit things on. I used the binding tutorial from, which was really helpful.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Experimenting with Bread

Here's tonight's cooking efforts. I made the dough for these in my breadmaker, and on the advice of a knowledgeable bread-maker (person!) on a forum I'm on, I first put the dough through it's usual kneading cycle, then reset the cycle, started the process again as usual this time. Giving it all an extra knead apparently makes the bread really fluffy- they definately look it but the proof will be in the eating.

In the foreground, spinach and cream cheese scrolls, in the background some boring plain rolls. Can't wait to try one!
Am now sitting down to knit some of my second sock...

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Things I have done this evening

Tonight was a very productive evening. Number one - my little boy had his first haircut and his hair went from being this long:

To this long:

My little boy looks so grown up!

Now in creative endeavours:
I turned the heel, did the gusset and now am on the boring straight bit before the toe-shaping on my second sock:

And if that wasn't enough, I made pizza for dinner and these yummy cheese and vegemite scrolls (and some random rolls on the side). They went from this:

To this:

Mmm. Deliciousness for brekky tomorrow!
All in all a very successful evening.

Friday, December 4, 2009

My day yesterday

I have the best husband in the world. Yesterday I had the WHOLE day to myself, so this is what I did ...

Made this Dora tunic for my little girl.

Drove to the beach and sat in my car with the windows open knitting a sock (the 2nd sock!) for a Christmas present...

And sat in a cafe drinking a banana smoothie and reading a very challenging book.
And then got my hair cut- but no pics of that sorry!
All in all an amazing me-time day.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Some packages sent across the ditch

Here they are ...

And here's something else I've been playing with. Am a little bit scared about doing the sashing on my little girl's quilt so instead I started another one (of course!). But I think it'll be good to do a smaller, practice one first before doing the other, bigger, much more emotionally invested in one.

Am still figuring out the block placement, and if I want to do sashing or borders in this one.
Am on the search for a darning foot also because my 25 year old (two years younger than me!) Elna machine does not have one. I really want to try free-motion quilting. We'll see what the search turns up.

Monday, November 23, 2009

A bit of fun

A Wordle of my blog. Who knew I'd said caramel so many times?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The simple things.

So I'm knitting a blanket square to be a part of a blanket made for someone who needs some love right now.
In my brain, the effort put into the square should be proportionate to my knitting skill level, and to the level of love and support I'm wanting this person to feel. So I picked the wool, and trawled ravelry for the perfect blanket square/dishcloth pattern. The only requirements are that it is made from 100% wool and is 20cm square. I couldn't find anything that was coming close to my self-imposed standards, and I was beginning to get a bit flustered.
And then I stopped.
And realised the reality of the situation- the point is the love that it's made with, not how intricate it is. And not only that, but the joy of creating it, just simply creating, was far from my state of mind at that point, because I was trying to make it so perfect and impressive and wonderful.
So I stopped looking.
And then did this:

And breathed. And just let myself knit.
I even did this to check out my guage (because I do need it to be 20cm square for the sake of the person who'll have to sew them all up!)

And then undid it after checking guage. I cast on 44 stitches in lovely apple green 8ply wool and am doing a very very simple pattern.
And I'm loving it. And am hoping it lifts the spirits if it's recipient when it's done and sewn in along all the other squares knitted with love.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Tonight's Work

I made some real progress on my little girl's quilt tonight. A friend told me about chain piecing- let me tell you it has already revolutionized my quilting life. Tonight I made 15 blocks - I can't quite believe it!
And here they all are ... With the rest of the blocks already done.

They don't look like much, but here are 35 9" squares, all sewn, ironed, trimmed and ready to be pieced together to make my first quilt top. I'm very pleased with my progress tonight.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Two creations, both delicious!

Two more important things in my life to share with you all.

Number one gets me through the day, and my palette has forever been altered so I cannot consume any bad or poorly created versions.

Mmm. Coffee.

And number two is more of a group of creativity than a singular creation- desserts! In this case I'll share a picture of an attempt to make a caramel tart. I'd boiled a tin of sweetened condensed milk (still in the tin, in a saucepan, the tin covered with water) to make caramel but I don't think I boiled it for long enough, the caramel turned out very light. I then blindbaked a circle of shortcrust pastry in a muffin tin, poured the caramel in ... Mmm. Very yum.

And yes, it is in my daughter's Winnie the Pooh Royal Doulton cereal bowl :)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Some things to catch up on (since the camera cord is now found!)

Some fingerless gloves to wear on the train while going to work. In winter. Which is when I made these .... about 4 months ago. Knitted from Bendigo Woolen Mills Classic 100% wool.
And I did make two even :)

A lovely swirly dressup skirt made for my little girl while she had rest time one day. The whole skirt is made of fabric strips (from stash, of course) looped onto a black piece of denim type material. Not made for wearing outside the home, but for dressing up and spinning around in (as three year olds love to do).

And finally, just some vegies while I was cooking them. Why? I just love the purple and green yumminess that spanish onion, zucchini and green capsicum create.

Another confession to make

What's this then??

That can't be .... QUILTING ... can it??

But this little blogger isn't a quilter .... is she?


Apparently I didn't have enough crafts to not have time to do.

And, not only am I piecing, cutting, buying fabric (even though I started out wanting to use the fabric in my stash ... I was going to be so virtuous!), and buying BATTING of all things. Mmm. Batting. I don't think I knew what that was a few months ago.

Not only that ... but I can't start with something normal and simple like a doll quilt, or a baby quilt, or even a lap quilt ... it has to be a single bed quilt for my little girl. So she'll use it for a long time.


But enough melodrama! I've been cruising blogland and come across some things that really just inspired me to take my love of fabric in another direction - a very addictive, lovely, and in this case, red with touches of yellow, direction :)

One of my new favourite blogs is Amanda Jean. I've been so inspired by her creativity, the amount of WIP's she has and the amount of quilts she's finished, the fact she's doing it all with kids as well ... let me encourage you, it's well worth the read (and the ongoing web-stalking for new posts!)
And it was this quilt with this tutorial that signed the deal for me.

So there you go. A knitter, a sewer, a wool dyer (dye-er?), a cook, a domestic engineer, a worker, and now a quilter. As if there wasn't enough to try to find the time to do! But I am really enjoying it.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Don't tell my mother...

But I really like gardening. Yup. So much that I lost an hour of my life tonight while weeding, pruning, and watering - but it wasn't a loss, it was totally a gain. I was by myself, the sun was setting, a bird came and sat on the fence and watched me sitting quietly in front of a big patch of weeds that soon became a lovely clear patch of soil.
Perhaps I'll grow some carrots there, or maybe some cucumber, or maybe a watermelon plant. Maybe I'll take down a patch of the white climbing flowery thing that hangs across a piece of lattice on the fence and plant some climbing beans. Maybe I should get a more established Rosemary plant because the cutting really didn't take. Should get into the front garden at some point too.
I love being outside. I love the fix-it high I get when you see a big patch of weeds, and pull them out and reveal the lovely brown underneath. I love seeing the rewards of your labour in such a tangible way. I love things I never realized I would like.
And that's why you can't tell my mother. She might think I'm becoming like her :)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Spring growth in Gardenland

My garden has been growing and here's some photos to prove it. Firstly, a tomato plant that started it's life in my garden at 30cm high...

And some lovely little tomatoes on it ... With some weeds in the background too!

And finally, some basil. The background plant has been eaten by a hungry snail or two, the foreground plant somehow managed to escape that gastronomic attack.

I love my garden. Don't really know what I'm doing but I muddle on anyway.

Monday, November 2, 2009

What once was lost is now found.

Tonight has been an exciting night for this little blogger. I shall present to you in no particular order the reasons why.

1. My children went to sleep at a reasonable hour.

2. I worked out an acceptable outfit to wear to work tomorrow for Melbourne Cup Day (which for those potential non-Aussie readers, is the horse race that stops the nation!).

3. I found a very significant piece of jewelery which I havent seen for the last 2 months. There had been much searching and gnashing of teeth and I was beginning to give up on finding it.

4. I found my camera cord to download my photos onto my computer!!! This is not more exciting than finding my jewelery but is still right up there. 607 photos later (since April of this year) I am now up to date.

5. I downloaded this application for my (new!) iPhone, in which I am currently communicating with you. I forsee alot more blogging in my future as the continuing wonders of modern technology bring my thoughts to the blogosphere. I can almost hear the gasp of excitement from you all :)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

knitting and tv

A short post about what I do while I'm knitting - watch tv! Bear in mind that I'm from Australia so the show names might not mean anything, but I'll do my best to explain the gist.

I find that depending on what I'm knitting, the choice of tv to watch is either very important (for mindless circular knitting) or not at all (my feeble attempts at lace or perhaps a sock with dpn's). I find it rather soothing to knit while watching a reality show called MasterChef (cooks trying to beat each other while cooking delicious food!) - somehow the combination of a cook creating cuisine on tv and my creation of various knitted objects seems to sit really well with me. 

But I realised something was strange last night - I was watching the show Underbelly (a crime show about the criminal underworld in Melbourne in the late 90's-2004ish) while knitting a little green sock for my little girl - it just didnt match! I'm not entirely sure what I thought I should have been doing while watching Underbelly ... but knitting a child's sock in a happy green just didn't match up. Maybe if it was black? Had skulls on it? Who knows.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

*cough, cough ... it's dusty around here!*

Hold onto your hats ... I'm back in blogland! Here's a cute pair of socks I just finished for a friend's baby - in Cleckheaton Merino Bambino which is so soft and warm. Knitted from One-Skein Wonders ... love this book!
Really should block them but I want to give them to her tomorrow morning so they'll hopefully go straight onto her little toes.
Have been enjoying knitting on the train lately, I knitted these magic loop (actually taught myself magic loop during this project) and I think i might have converted from dpn's, even after just one project). I like that there's less needles to slip out of the stitches while my knitting is in my bag ;)
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