Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy end of blogtoberfest

And Halloween if you celebrate it.
My  most popular blogtoberfest post was
The chore I dislike the most.  Although my most popular post this month was actually my Making underwear tutorial.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


My bread is baked (well almost, I still have to handstitch some of them closed).
Although the original instructions suggested stuffing the bread, I put 4 layers of cotton batting in mine instead. I like that its not too poofy with the batting in it, and hopefully it won't get too lumpy.

I can't wait to see what felt food I'll be getting back.

Sunday, October 28, 2012


That's my project this week.  Something that is easy to pick up and put down while waiting.  And for the first time in about 4 years, I am knitting something for myself! The grown up version of the Pipitea shrug.  Its tentatively called Moana, and I need to get onto it, otherwise I'll finish in the middle of summer and not be able to wear it.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Speed wobbles

P requires surgery next week, and while its not unexpected (its her fourth), I am still really anxious about it.  So since I do not need any further stress in my life at the moment, I am unlikely to finish blogtoberfest.  I will still try to blog as much as possible, but I can't make any guarantees.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

A present for my Mum

or dyeing wool, with pictures.

Food colouring (mine is from the supermarket)
Slow cooker
White vinegar

My base wool.  I bought a whole bag of mystery ply wool from the Hospice Shop a little while ago.  As you can see from the kinks in the wool, it was obviously from another project that has been frogged.  I had about 150g of it left, and it is most likely 4 ply.

First I skeined it around two chairs.  It pays to make this a bit bigger than you want a finished skein of wool to be, I'll explain why later.  Of course if you have some kind of fancy wool windery thing you could use that.  You can just see J's hands in the top of the photo threatening to cut things with scissors.

 I soaked the wool in a bucket of water with about 1/2 a cup of vinegar added.  I like to soak overnight, but a couple of hours will also do.

Then I dumped it into the slow cooker with some of the soaking water, some warm water, and another 3/4C of vinegar.  If you're mixing dyes, it pays to go easy on the vinegar, as more than 3/4C can make the dyes split, and you can get some unintended variegations.

Leave it in the slow cooker (with the lid on) until the water starts to steam - its a good idea to start with fairly warm water, otherwise this takes forever.  Don't use boiling water though, it might felt the wool.

Because my base was grey (and I knew from past experience with the yarn that it didn't take up dye all that well), I decided to go with a greyish blueish colour.

I mixed my dye together in a little container.

I then dumped all the dye into the slow cooker and poked it around so that all the wool got some.  I turned it down to low, and then turned it off and left the wool in the slow cooker overnight - you don't have to leave it this long, just until the water is clear.  But I knew that my wool may take a long time to soak up all the dye, and I didn't need the slow cooker for anything else.

I rinsed and then hung the wool up to dry.

Notice the interesting purple I got from my food colouring.  If you're looking for a really specific colour or combination with your dyeing, this method is not for you, its all a bit random.

Remember I said to make your skein a little big initially? Sometimes when the yarn comes out of the slow cooker, it looks blotchy - all the colour on a few patches.

It will always look better if you reskein it once its dry.  It just distributes the variegations better in the yarn.
 And there you have it.  Beautiful hand dyed yarn.

My Mum loved it, and I can't wait to see what she knits out of it.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Bread in progress

 I've cut out my felt, now to sew it all together.  I have 14 slices of bread to make.

I hope every one likes brown bread.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Felt food

Image credit
A little while ago, a swap came up on the Nappy Network for felt food that I jumped headfirst into.  I want to make the girls some more food for their kitchen play bucket, so this was perfect timing.  So my project this week is to make some felt bread for my part of the swap.  But the possibilities are endless.  Check out some of the ideas here, and here, and here.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Homemade muesli

Do you make muesli? I love it.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

8) Share the chore you dislike the most around the house

Oh dishes, how I loathe thee.  Let me count the ways*:

 *this isn't going to end all 10 things I hate about you, I really really dislike doing dishes.

  • I hate the way you clog up my tiny bench space, making it hard to do anything in my kitchen.
  • I hate that I have to clean you several times a day, and that the moment there are dirty dishes on the bench my kitchen looks untidy. 
  • I hate that its such thankless work, no sooner are you washed and in the cupboard then you're being used again.
  • I hate the contact dermatitis I get from dishwashing liquid, even when wearing gloves.
  • I hate that you are the by product of cooking, which I really enjoy.

I basically just hate doing the dishes.  Our next house had better have a dishwasher.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

2) Show yourself as you are right now

For more 12 in 2012 posts click here.

This is me.  I'm a pretty minimalistic kind of girl when it comes to clothes and makeup.  It used to be that I was young and attractive enough to get away with it.  Now, I just don't really consider my appearance all that important.  Its nice to look good, but I'd rather look at my kids.

Friday, October 19, 2012

5) Document a success

- Something that worked out exactly as it should have (or even better)
For more 12 in 2012 posts click here

 J's sunhat
 P's sunhat.
There have been some other things that the girls have really liked, but the sunhats especially have been a roaring success.  P wore her sunhat at kindy every day last summer (hats are compulsory, and she chose this one to wear).  I even got compliments and inquiries about where I got it from the teachers.  It makes me feel good every time I see her wearing it, knowing that I made something she enjoys so much.

Other honourable mentions include the shrug I made P, and several of their tops.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

A little secret

I'll let you in on a secret - I'm not really here.  I am in fact swanning around on the other side of the island to catch up with my brother and family.  I've set my posts to automatically publish, and since its blogtober I've been tackling that pesky 12 in 2012 list I started at the beginning of the year.  Who's silly idea was that?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Present progress

I'm dyeing some wool for my Mum's birthday, its going to look great.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Present for C

A belated but very welcome present for C arrived a couple of days ago.

I love hand knitted goodness.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Birthday presents

My project this week was going to be presents for J's birthday, but I have completed them (insert happy dance here).  So instead I want to finish a few presents for some other people.  Its my Mum's birthday coming up, and I want to do a goodie basket for my Sister in law who has just had a baby.  I think most of these presents will come via the supermarket.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Horsey top

Clearly, this is not the skirt I promised.  But I don't think J will mind, and actually she said the other day that she was going to get a Diego cake, and a horse top for her birthday, so its bound to please.

I'm too lazy to post words to go with this post - but I'm sure J will love it.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Blogtoberfest take 2

So I know I said I wouldn't be taking part this year, but I just couldn't resist.  So here I am.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

...One to go

My project this week is to make J a skirt for her birthday.  I was going to make her a smock, but she loves skirts so I thought I would give one a whirl.  I'm hoping to embellish it with a horse of some description - possibly using a bleach technique, so watch this space.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

One project down...

I've finished my Pipitea shrug for J's birthday.  Pattern to follow, probably once I have a picture of it actually on someone, its a bit mean to publish without a finished look.  So I just need one more birthday present for J.
 The body of the shrug

 The pattern detail.

How it will look on (well if your child has a rolled up towel for arms, but you get the idea).
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