Sunday, 23 February 2014

Designing, and overthinking

I find I have a tendency to overthink things when I design. Sometimes it helps refine a design - things like working out exactly which type of increase or decrease gives the best result. And sometimes it just delays things while I think up more and more options to investigate.

I have just had a lesson in spontaneity by starting on a new shawl. I spent a while trialling all sorts of things that weren't right, and then gave in and charted up something simpler that turned out to be pretty much exactly what I was going for anyway. (Some of the other options would have worked too, but it would have taken a lot longer to finalise it.)

And my next lesson in not overthinking will be putting together a couple of shawl patterns for a submission. That is, I'd like to do two, but I definitely plan to get one done - the second one will take a bit more messing around and may not come to fruition by the deadline. (I hope I can do it, I love the concept.) The first design is basically drawn up, just need to work out a few details and swatch. I'm actually a little surprised at how quickly it has come together!

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Belated Stocking post

I finished this at the beginning of the year, and forgot to post about it!

It hasn't turned into a stocking, I am planning to make this up when I have the next one to do too. This is how far the next one has got so far.

With any luck they will both be usable by Christmas this year!

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Fabric Acquisition

Yesterday I took advantage of the current Fabric Vision sale to sort out my sewing to-do list.

There is some cotton knit for making more underpants for Mr 2 (and to stockpile), a new skirt for me, 4 shirts and new togs for Mr 2.

I think that pretty much fills the necessary sewing gaps for the next little while, at least until I think of something else I've forgotten about!

Today I cut out a dress to try the pattern for (got a few tweaks to make to it), and made the togs. They're rather terrifyingly green, and there isn't much room to grow in them, but that's okay.

The pattern is Boys underpants, from Little Olly in size 2, I put wider leg bands on. I think I will do the next size up as well, for when he grows a bit.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Microwave Muesli

I have been meaning to document this for a while! After trialling a bunch of different methods of making toasted muesli, I stumbled across this method (I can't remember the website), and have been tweaking the recipe ever since. This is about what I've settled on for now.

1/4 C honey (whichever variety I have at the time, currently clover)
1/4 C sunflower oil
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
pinch cloves

3 C wholegrain rolled oats
1/2 C cashew pieces
1/2 C sliced almonds
1/2 C sunflower seeds
1/2 C pumpkin seeds

1/2 C coconut chips/flakes
1/2 C raisins
1/2 C sultanas
1/2 C diced apricots
1/2 C dried cranberries

Stir the first set of ingredients (honey through cloves) in a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave until bubbly - (60s + 30s in our microwave).

Stir in the oats, nuts and seeds, mix thoroughly. Microwave for 3 minutes, stir. Continue to cook in 1 or 2 minute bursts until toasted. Our microwave takes 6-7 minutes total cooking time. I use the pumpkin seeds as an indicator of toastedness, they puff nicely when they're cooked.

Stir in the coconut and fruit, allow to cool, eat. Enjoy!

*There is plenty of room for variation, I've found the proportions that I like best are 3 C oats, 2 C nuts/seeds, and 2 C fruit. (The coconut is just a bonus, and I sometimes put it in partway through the toasting process).

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Huh. I think I completely failed to mention that this one

is well and truly mobile. He has been having fun exploring the house - the pantry and his big brother's bedroom seem to be the two most exciting places to be.

I finished this last week, it is beautifully squishy. It may turn into a hat eventually, but I'm not sure. Fibre is from Heavenly Wools, colour is Salamander over dark grey halfbred. I managed to get 230m/100g, which I'm pretty happy with, as I was hoping for around 200m.

I have about 6 rows left to go on the blanket (plus edging), they're very long rows now though!