Monday, February 21, 2011

My surprising but lovely winnings in recent times

There's a post that has needed to be written for about two months now.
This post is ... that post.

I don't know about you, but I really love competitions in internet and blogland. I don't always enter, but when I do, I definately don't expect to win anything.

I'm not sure what was going on in December last year, but for some reason the odds tipped in my favour and I won not one, but TWO giveaways! I was a very very happy and squeal-ey little blogger indeed.

The first competition I won was on the facebook page of Red Riding Hood Yarns. I've posted before about these amazing, one-off, hand-dyed yarns in everything from laceweight to worsted on gorgeous bases. Hannah (the uber-talented dyer herself) ran a KnitAlong (KAL) in November on Ravelry for those knitting projects with her yarns, and my laceweight Zeusbel was picked as one of the lucky winning projects.
The yarn I won was one of the balls shown in the previous post that I hand-wound, but here it is in skein form (along with the yummy chocolates that I won, and the yarn and chocolates won by another knitter).
Mine is 200g of 8ply Luxury yarn in the Fern colourway.
Arent they both amazing, and isn't Hannah talented! Her yarns are selling out really fast on Facebook at the moment, take a look ... I dare you not to be tempted!

The second competition I won was at a gorgeous blog called mumtoddlerbabe. Virginia is actually a good friend of mine in real life but I think even if we weren't friends, I would still be reading her blog. It's full of pretty things, lovely photos, and real life stuff about being a mum and all that goes with that. Virginia ran a giveaway to win some very cool Christmas decorations, the entry was simply a comment on one particular post, and then winners were picked randomly. I won these wall decals - being red, they're right up my alley!
As we werent spending Christmas at home last year, I decided we'd save them to put up in 2011.

I've been thinking about different ways I can give back since being the lucky recipient of both of these giveaways ... if you too are thinking about sharing the love then why not pay it forward with me?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Finished objects and the start of something new.

Well the stars aligned enough this week for me to finish not one, but TWO gorgeous Benji hats for my two children. We had two attempts at a photo shoot for them, one pre-dinner and one post dinner (hence the lasagne on their chins in the final photos). Miss4yo has proclaimed hers (which is Child Size) as 'the best thing [I've] ever made for anyone' and mr2yo (whose is Toddler size and is a little tight on his quite large head, but will still do this winter) said 'wow, you knitted it me mummy?'.

 It's important to wear a Barbie Princess dress for photos sometimes ...
 And also to drink water from a Baby Born water bottle ... just cause you can.

I know I'm biased, but they're a little bit cute really!
More details for both projects can be found on my ravelry page if you're interested.

In terms of new beginnings, last night was spent hand-winding 8ply yummy yarn and watching tv. The yarn I was winding will be used in a yet-unannounced new venture I'm working on, and just winding it made me feel like I was really starting to walk down a new path, an exciting and slightly scary but definately a path I'm looking forward to taking.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Cheesy biscuits

Amidst all the hat knitting, and due to financial constraints, there's been a lot of thought going into cooking, meal planning and generally trying to use what ingredients we have instead of visiting the supermarket at least every few days.

The family is hungry, and they must be fed!

Yesterday was a bit of a cooking marathon. I made lunches for preschool, omelette, banana bread, rice bubble slice, yoghurt in our Easiyo maker, and the usual breakfast lunch and dinner!

Today's effort were these Cheesy Biscuits, of which half have been eaten already so I know they're a hit.

We had used this recipe the other night to make yeast-free pizza bases, and while it was okay, it was a bit too biscuity for our tastes.
I thought, therefore, it'd be a good one to try for cheesy biscuits.
I'll copy the recipe here with the modifications we did.

Cheesy Biscuits
1¾ cups self-raising flour
½ cup Parmesan cheese
¼ cup vegetable oil
⅔ cup boiling water

1. Preheat oven to 200'C
2. Place flour and cheese in a bowl. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add oil and boiling water.
3. Stir with a fork to combine. Knead just to combine. Divide dough into two portions. (I did this as it was easier to handle half the dough at a time).
Roll out to 0.5cm thick. Cut into shapes, bake in the oven for 5 minutes.

Makes 30 (depending on your cutters!)

Was a great one for the kids to help with the cutting out too.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Don't you just hate it ...

When you decide to stash bust, and you take a leap of faith at the start of a project, thinking you'll probably have enough yarn, better to try than not at all, and all that? And then things like this happen...

See that weeny ball of yarn? That's all the baby pink I have left in my stash. And not enough for this project.

Miss4yo picked pink as the main colour for her first Benji hat, and decided she wanted some purple and green variegated for the contrast (which really is much nicer in real life!). So I began last night a hat for my girl, with good intentions, and fighting against all of my anti- baby-pink urges, to see that smile on her 4yo face when I would present her with her finished Benji hat.

Sigh. Off to frog ... And start again with a different yarn.

P.S. I haven't forgotten the FO post I promised! Just blocking now :)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

From little things...

Big things grow.

I started knitting a hat last night. It's the very cool Benji hat by the also very cool Sheryl Greenfield of Shortly Stitches. I'm loving the pattern so far, very logically written and great value considering it is sized from
newborn to XL Mens size!

This was taken at 2am (eek!) ... Hence the really bad lighting!

And this just now.

Hopefully a finished object post will be here shortly! ;)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Ebb and Flow of the almost-start

It's been another strange week here in our house. We seem to be flipping from big events (like miss4yo starting preschool!)

to times of relaxation, like watching summer cricket and drinking good coffee.

I feel a bit like I've lost my mojo somehow. We're not in holiday mode anymore, yet the 'normal' activities (like playgroup and bible study for me) haven't started yet so I feel at a bit of a loose end.

Craft-wise, I'm trying my hardest to crawl back to normal levels of creativity but the Aussie summer heat seems to be contributing to a lack of energy generally.
This was the last time I knitted:

Melbourne Airport, January 12th. 2nd sock, above the heel-turn, no further knitting done.

I did get my overlocker out and whip up some baby shower presents, but that was unfortunately due to financial pressure rather than an inspirational spark.

Sigh. Mojo... Mojo ... Where are you?

Anyone else know the feeling?
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