Saturday, 30 June 2012

Busy doing not much

It feels like I've been so very busy, but when I think back I haven't really accomplished much but rather have been doing lots of planning and organising.

I finally received my copy of Bright Young Things, Modern Baby and Children's Knitting Patterns by Millamia of Sweden.  I swoon at each page as I flick through the fabulous designs.  After a great deal of contemplation I've finally decided on the Niklas Cardigan for Gus and have been searching high and low for the colours I'd like to make it in. Skeinz have some beautiful colours in their baby yarns range and I've decided on two of the colours - navy and leaf but just have to make my final decision between white or babycinno. Decisions, decisions!

After dropping Gus off at kindy yesterday Felix and I headed into town and took a wee stroll around Cuba Street.  I found a snuggly warm forest green merino to make some tracksuit pants for Gus and hopefully Felix too.  I've made these trackies for Gus before but foolishly made them in a pale grey fleece which inevitably end up with muddy knees.  A friend suggested that I put patches on the knees, sort of Minti style, which I think is a great idea and I also thought I'd put contrasting pocket inners too.

Update - homemade wipes.  I am loving these.  So easy to make and they make the job halfway pleasant which is especially nice considering the task they are performing.  I've also made up my own antibacterial spray, all purpose spray and bathroom spray - all of which have come from the same Mother's Little Helper Book by Wendyl Nissen.  I've made up little labels for each bottle listing the ingredients of each and what they can be used for.  Its nothing flash but just a little bit cute nonetheless.

I have just this week sorted our a new venue for our Pockets of Craft night - Petone Community House.  Its such a lovely house and our crafters seem to be pretty excited - mostly because of its convenient location.  I have designed a poster advertising our little craft group and have placed a couple of these around town in the hope of enticing a few more people along as its always nice to meet new people.  A couple of our crafters are pregnant and I am halfway through making some socks for one of the Mum's pepi.  This is my first attempt at socks/bootees as I find them so fiddly but my Mum gave me a really easy to follow pattern so I thought I'd give it a go and da-da-dah!  Here we have one iti sock (almost just have to sew it up)!  Next I'll have to learn how to knit them in the round so that I don't have to do the sewing up part.

Wandering around Petone on Tuesday I found the most gorgeous hat at Wanda Harland.  Mine is a rich ruby red and I have had so many comments from complete strangers admiring the hat.  It is perfect for what I was looking for - something to keep my head warm without squishing my hair.  Hilary makes the hats and she also makes some beautiful tamariki hats too.  I just love it! 


Thursday, 21 June 2012

Another rainy day in Wellington...

... what to do, oh what to do?  Bake and eat lots me thinks!  Its what the kids and I did yesterday so I think we'll do it again today.  Pikelets was on the baking menu yesterday as both the tama absolutely devour these whenever I make them.  The recipe is so simple (not sure where it originated) and it can easily (and just as deliciously) be adapted to dairy-free if need be. The tama also often help me in the preparation as it is a recipe that quantities don't make too much of a difference so a bit extra here and a bit less there isn't the end of the world.

3/4 C plain flour
3/4 C self raising flour
2/3 C white sugar
1 egg
Approximately 1 C milk or soy milk

Put the first four ingredients in a bowl and mix the milk in gradually until you reach the desired consistency. Sometimes we use more than a cup of milk, other times it is less - just depends on how accurately the dry ingredients have been measured. Heat a non-stick frypan (I find the non-stick frypan doesn't require butter) and spoon dessertspoonful amounts of batter (we make mini-pikelets as they are easier for Felix to manage). Pikelets are a great snack at any time so I usually try to freeze half of the batch - simply put them in a sealed plastic bag and in the freezer they go. 

Photo: Chalk and cheese by tama. Gus is such a tidy eater whereas Felix just wears it! Can't wait for the cake to be ready - chocolate too. Yummo!

... Well, cake we did.  I mean bake we did!  Two big chocolate cakes one of which is smothered in chocolate ganache.  It is seriously the best homemade chocolate that I have ever eaten and it is so easy to make as you simply put all the ingredients in the mixer and mix it! What could be easier?  The recipe is from Annabel Langbein's The Free Range Cook so if you're after a delicious chocolate cake recipe sneak a peak in her scrummy book. Wonder what's for dessert tonight? Xo

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Felix's fabulous fingerless gloves

After another cold day at playcentre on Monday, I decided that it was time Felix got some fingerless gloves too.  Gus adores the ones that Nanny made last year, despite the thumb causing a slight technical issue.  I used the pattern below for the moss stitch fingerless gloves but just changed it slightly so that the rib stitch for the fingers is shorter allowing the fingers to have more movement and I extended the wrist bit so that it can be tucked into the sleeves of his clothes.  He just loves them and because they don't have a thumb they are so easy to get on and off (which Felix repeatedly asked me to do this morning).  Gus of course demanded (yes truly demanded) a pair for himself in the gorgeous green colour.

I finally managed to catch Gus in a showy-offy mood where he was happy to have his photo taken and when he was wearing the vest.  It does fit him well but I do wish that I had made it a little longer.  Nevermind as Gus tells me all the time when things don't work out.


Saturday, 16 June 2012

Must get knitting

It is time for me to get a wriggle on with my knitting projects.  I've got three LARGE bags of yarn in the corner of the lounge waiting for me to get around to using.  The wool below is for me to knit the lovely Free caramel for you a beautiful cardigan that I have been wanting to get around to knitting for a while now.  Tash at Holland Road Yarn Company helped me select this gorgeous yarn as I couldn't decide which colours would contrast nicely.  I'm not usually a blue person but I am very much in love with this yellowy/mustardy colour and the two colours just go together so nicely.  They look quite bright in this photo but they're actually not quite so - a lot more subdued really.  I have cast on the initial 175 stitches and have knitted three rows.  It is slow going but I'm excited nevertheless.

I finally finished the T-shirt style vest for Gus.  Overall I am really pleased with how well it came out.  Despite my best calculations and attempts to make it on the larger size (never was very good at maths) it fits him perfectly now, so I'm not sure how long it will fit.  I'll try and get a photo of him in it tomorrow - not sure if he'll oblige though as he has been a bit camera shy lately.  I've also written down the pattern so will share.  I did realise though that I need to work on my yarn joining skills as you can see where I have tried to weave in the ends and its not neat and tidy like I would prefer it to be.  Will need to get on to You Tube and figure that out as the cardie pattern has lots of chopping and changing with the two colours.  

After three years of using disposable nappies I have recently switched to cloth nappies.  After using the old-fashioned cloth nappies while working at Swanston Street Children's Centre when we lived in Melbourne, I swore that I would never use cloth ever again.  Well, what is that saying about never say never?  I've been slowly gathering Honey Child nappies and am really happy with them and have been using them with both the boys (Gus only needs a nap at night time).  The washing isn't nearly as bad as I had imagined, any leakage has been user error, but.... I have one complaint and that is that nappy wipes aren't flushable and I have not been enjoying placing the dirty wipes in the rubbish bin.  However, after reading Wendyl Nissen's book Mother's Little Helper I stumbled upon her recipe of placing kitchen towels in an airtight container with 1/2 cup of water, 1 tablespoon each of witch hazel and rosewater.  So tonight I made up my little container of homemade nappy wipes (accompanied by a great deal of eye rolling from Grant!)  We'll see how they work tomorrow. 

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Perfect weather for warm winter woollens

Just finished these cute little hand warmers for a little someone's third birthday present. They were quick and easy to knit although I did change the pattern from rib to moss stitch just because I think it is such a beautiful stitch. I will share the amended pattern as this is a great little pattern for learning, a gift or for your tamariki!

Super Simple Mossy Hand Warmers
4 mm needles
8 ply yarn (only small amounts needed)

Cast on 31 stitches in brown
Row 1-10: k1 p1
Row 11: k all sts
Row 12: change to pink and knit all sts
Row 13: p all sts
Row 14-21: repeat rows 10 and 11
Row 22: change to brown and knit all sts
Row 23: k all sts
Row 24-28: k1 p1
Row 29: Cast off following pattern k1 p1

Sew up leaving a gap for the thumb in the pink section and sew in the ends.  Make a second one for the other hand and adorn as you please.