Tuesday, March 22, 2011

staying at home and baking

The rational part of me says it's a common sense way of making food when we are short of it and we don't want to or can't get to the shops.
The romantic side says it's one of the cool things about being at home with my young kids while I can. Baking. Cooking. Making...

We make these biscuits together. Hugo crushes the weet bix and adds the other ingredients. He's also a great little sous-chef when I make the bread mixture. Usually these days Georgia is at Kindy and misses out on the making. She still loves the eating though!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

sleeping bag from repurposed materials

This item of baby cuteness has been on my to-do list for ages now.

All my babies have slept in a sleeping bag from about  6 months old until they are old enough to wake from bed in the morning and need to walk to our room, about 2 years.
They do several things: comfort (once they are strong enough to wriggle free from a swaddling blanket); stop them kicking their blankets off and getting cold; signal bedtime. I swear by them and have so far been using a cotton go go bag by merinokids.co.nz
Heading into winter here, I wanted a lined wool one for Adelaide. The outer layer was a really ugly wool skirt made of the softest merino wool knit fabric, wrap-around style with two panels crossing at the front. I just kept two panels to make the bottom of the sleeping bag and used a simple bodice pattern to create the top. Lining it was a problem only because I had it all wrong in my head and forgot to sew it as an open garment, instead I fiddled around with a closed neck and only one side opening, which closes with a zip.
It's lined with an old merino wool top and some flannel I had planned to make pyjamas with. Very warm and will easily fit until 2 years old.
The vintage button just tidies up the top of the zip a little bit. You don't really need one there, but it looks pretty I think.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Having had my hands busy spinning yarn for the last few weeks and spending part of that time thinking about the merits of knitting, I stopped to watch this spider spinning its web on our shed. Isn't it marvellous how it knows instinctively how to balance the sticky threads for strength and support, using all its limbs to feel its way. It makes my attempts at knitting look amateur.

Although, progress is looking good so far on the Aidez cardigan. The wool arrived and so far I've used three balls. I really can't wait to wear this!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

pasta pasta machine

These can be made in advance and stored in the freezer for up to two (2) weeks.

Filling up to you.
We use whatever's fresh. Tomatoes, spinach, fetta, capsicum, onions etc. the trick with spinach is it must be wilted first or air pockets form.

Homemade pasta: enjoy fresh or frozen, any day. Make it in advance for a party, go on, it will be so special.

sewing for the sick

I'm sorta finished this outfit for my aunty. It's been a hard time photographing it as my husband's not here to take pictures. Apologies, it's not getting the best light or modeling etc, but you get the general idea.

and this is a truer colour representation:

The fabric is a very very light cotton knit, and it's been difficult to work with in some ways. It gets small holes from the needle pricks and any unpicking can cause a bigger hole. It stretches and needs a slight zig-zag stitch, but because it's so fine the fabric tends to pucker, making seams too rigid for the stretch/knit. Needless to say the armholes and shoulder seams have been a bit of a bugger and I've redone them twice.

Pity then, that the next time I sew this pattern, I have more of the same fabric, just a different colour (yes, denim blue, my trend for winter). I also have some red merino knit to make one for a great aunt in Christchurch (she could do with some cheering up after the earthquake), so I hope that'll be easier to work with.

I have overlocked everything, even the raw edges. It has made a big difference to it looking slightly professional (for my standards).

Love the pattern. It's Simplicity 2603. It can be worn about 15 different ways. Some I have modeled for you. Badly, but...

The undertop is also included in the pattern. Only thing is, I used silk (unstretchy) for a pattern that called for a stretch knit. To make up for the lack of stretch I used a M size (to go with a S for the cardy) and added some width and length when cutting out. It has no zip closure, just a pullover style. Hope it fits!

To 'top' it off (gosh I'm funny) I made another chemo turban. The knit fabric was wonderful here, so light, yet warm and stretchy.

I intend to make more of those and drop them off to the hospital or Cancer Society.
Which brings me to these:

Hats for men, well, chemo caps for men. Because men get cancer too. These are easy to make from soft light merino knit and can be personalised as I have done with a message stamped around the rim (hard to see in this crappy photo) or a small piece of fabric sewn on. Whatever you fancy.

The one Hugo is modeling was made for a child and is slightly smaller (exactly to the pattern actually). For adult sizes I have treated the pattern as if it needs seam allowances added. That has given it enough room for the adult head. Hugo's head is 19", Georgia's is 20" and mine is 23" to give you some idea. I fit the adult one snuggly. It should be a snug fit. But perhaps for chemo caps, given the patient may have had head surgery (as my aunty has done) a looser fit would be nicer.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

baby bolero

Another Hadley Fierlinger pattern from Vintage Knits for Modern Babies.

This one is for summer, though knit in wool to offer some real warmth when needed to the Adelaide's core. It's really cute and cuddly and goes with everything. I also love that it has no front so spills and food stains aren't a problem.

  This knit really changed with blocking. At first I had a puckered mess that wouldn't sit flat. After washing and blocking it now has a nice look. And she's gorgeous in it.

As if we needed a reason to love her any more...

My notes are on Ravelry here