Friday, April 29, 2011

My merino Cardi

I know some people may argue I have too much merino, but really can there ever be too much. I am sitting here in my new cardi and a dress, wishing I had a pair of black leggings to go on as well...Maybe sew some up tomorrow?

Anyway, today being the last day of the school holidays I felt like indulging the children in the beloved t.v., after two weeks of "No play out side" I was a little worn down by it, so yeah, go for gold I told them. So it was quiet and I made this.

I just couldn't photograph it well, but it is a long cardi, with a scarf type drappy neck thing. I have used a grey merino with a nice patterned weave in the fabric. I really like the fabric, still thinking about the cardi. I every now and then buy the Burda pattern magazine. I think it comes out seasonally or maybe a little more. And I love the inspiration and the patterns. BUT it is so hard and confusing to trace and work them out. First they have no included seam allowance. So I usually just do the next size up, I know that isn't totally correct but it seems to work for me. Second there is hundreds of patterns on each piece of paper. Even though I drew around what I wanted in a darker colour to make it stand out, I had traced the wrong bit, so it was meant to be long the whole way round, like I had wanted, but since they didn't match up I had to cut a whole heap off the back to match the front, a little gutted there. I really wanted the length! And thirdly, the instructions can be a little hard to understand. I did what they said and it looked so wrong I had to un-pick overlocking stitching which is a complete nightmare! I guess I am mostly happy with it, but it could have been better. And the comments I have made are what I have read when I googled Burda magazine patterns. But anyway it should do the trick, and I am hoping it will look a bit better which jeans not a bulky dress. It is just frustrating, especially when some of the lesser know pattern designers do a much much better job of presenting their patterns.

Better luck next time, though I should just stop buying it, I always have some sort of issue.

This weekend I am off for a coffee group girls trip away for the night, a chance to catch up with no little people around. Very exciting, will pack my cardi and hope to develop a much more positive feel to it as I am sure the girls will boost my ego and tell me it is great. That's what friends are for right?


Friday, April 22, 2011

Check out my cheese

I must say I am quite excited that so far, touch wood, the cheese is looking exactly like the cheese we made on the course. I find sometimes you learn something new and cool, but recreating it at home, even with notes and books, still just doesn't turn out. Hence I am so pleased it is looking "right". The ricotta, well totally different story, that was, well, awful! Not sure what I did wrong there. I am going to e-mail and ask, I was a little guessing with my quantities, probably should have measured it all a little better.

So all day yesterday the bath was filled with sterile solution, the children had to have showers as I needed to be able to rinse tools and needed some where large enough to accommodate my large bins and the like. The house smelt very clean (though it wasn't, except the kitchen). I am a little paranoid about growing the wrong mould. Might make the cheese a bit gross. But here is hoping it all works out, darn the 5 week wait! As you can see from the photo it doesn't look all the inspiring at this stage, and to be fair it smells and feels about how it looks. My cheese from course is starting to look quite tasty, I find it crazy to think people thought of making this in the first place. Very strange indeed.

So that was my day yesterday, pretty much all day, tending to my cheese. This evening I have been cutting fabric, a cardy for myself, a pair of leggings for Etsy and hopefully a couple of those cool hooded tops I made Ryan, see how I feel. Trying to build up stock for my first market.

Oh and a happy Easter to all, so far managing to void most chocolate, haven't been doing as much running as I like, therefore chocolate has to be missed at all cost!


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Another new dress for me... A little spoilt

So back when I did my first merino shop (I have done a total of four now) I brought this purple for me! It is a blend, 52 ish% merino and the remainder poly prop. So I was a little hesitant because I don't usually use this low of a blend. But it was reasonable in price and I quite liked the colour. Well what can I say, it is fantastic, super super warm, comfortable and I really like it. So on my latest trip I was telling the shop assistant all about my dress and the fabric and saying how hot I got the other day, he was like "Yeah that's used to line ski jackets!" So that got me thinking about the Make it Perfect Jacket, I might make one up, but use this merino blend instead of another cotton and padding. I think I could be on to a winner. Need more children.

So anyway the dress, pretty much an over sized tee-shirt with a hood. Great for mucking around the house, well and doing all things mummy like. I used the New Look 6014 pattern, it said to use fold over braid for the hood front seem, but I used a contrasting piece of merino. I didn't have any, haven't heard of it before and I just wanted to finish it. I think it is o.k, makes it look more sporty. Not that you can see from the photo. Oh well :( Sorry the photo is really poor, but Blair is at work and the kids are far to involved in Batman to help mummy.

We have had a few days at the beach which was so lovely, it is so busy during the school term that it has been nice doing not much. And I think the kids are enjoying the down time too.

Making my first batch of cheese at home since the cheese course, so find out in three to six weeks if I took the instructions in correctly. I really hope so, I love cheese!

Right time to go turn some curds, and making a custom order charcoal grey merino dress, I think it will be quite cute.I always want to copy peoples orders for myself, but really how many tops, dresses and leggings do I need...oh yes MORE!!!!!


Sunday, April 17, 2011

My Make it Perfect Jacket

I am quite a fan of Toni Coward patterns. She works under the label "Make it Perfect". I have written about them in the past, they are funky, cool and super duper easy. I think that is because they are so well explained. So I made Adele the Little Uptown Girl jacket. It did take most of an evening and a little this morning, but I think that is mainly because you are basically making two jackets and sticking them together. I used this beautiful Micheal Miller fabric from, once again, Sew Addictive Fabrics. Hazel had run out of this colour scheme and still managed to get some in for me, so thanks so so much. I also brought the pattern from her. Don't you just love her face, I asked her to put her tongue away, so she did that one instead. It is quite a favourite of hers. We are starting to get quite a collection.

I have been busy of the baking front, making my usual. Chocolate cake, banana cake and that super simple ice-cream again. We had some friends come and stay as there was a huge car race on this weekend, so we tried to feed them as much as possible. You know be the perfect hosts!

So even though the weekend is just been we are all very tired and looking forward to having a rest, hmmmmmm I wonder when that will be??


Monday, April 11, 2011

Cheese, YUM!

Firstly I managed to take a photo of Ryan in his top, he wore it to kindy today, usually it is a battle to get him into anything warm, so the fact he put this on with no fuss means (I think) he likes it! Gosh he is a handsome young man! I tried to put the hood on though and pretty much got told to go away.

But anyway... I did a cheese course on Sunday. Run through the "Over the Moon" cheese brand. They work out of the Waikato and make the most amazing cheeses, because yes we got to eat a whole heap! I didn't eat anything else all day except my breakfast and cheese.

Making the cheese isn't that hard, follow the well explained recipe and any one who bakes will be fine, I think, well I hope. But what I couldn't get over was how clean you have to be. Always sanitizing hands and utensils. When they explained it make sense, after all you are trying to grow mould and making the perfect conditions for mould, so you only want the right moulds to grow. So yes I brought the kit and am going to have my first go at making Brie, by myself, on Thursday. I have my cheese we made on course growing nicely in my warm fridge, only three weeks till I can eat it. HURRY UP TIME!!!!!!! I really can't wait.

It was so nice to get away and doing something challenging. I was so excited about it and quite pleased when it did live up to my expectations. So Christmas this year I think every one will get cheese. Awesome.


Sunday, April 10, 2011

YES I DID!!!!!

PS, I had just enough to make another one. The fabrics are used slightly different, but it still looks awesome. And yes I know, no photo, but.... After going hard out all afternoon in between food, drinks and sorting out the aurgements, thinking how much this HAD to get done. I was so excited to show him, and "thanks, I will go put it in my room". Wouldn't even try it on. Gutted

The too small top

I was gutted. I had this lovely merino waiting for my son. He loved it, I loved it, there was a lot of love for this merino. So I finally found the time, Saturday morning was all rainy and cold, so I put a Dvd on and let the kids have a bit of special time and I got on to sewing, I had an hour and a 30 ish to get this done. So I carefully cut, sewed, even put on the double needle. And yes it fits, but it is so snug I can hardly get it over his head. O.k he does have a large head, but still and it was a size 5!! Which clearly it is not! I am crossing my fingers that I have enough left to make him the next, if not two sizes up. I want it to last the whole of winter. I love the design, just not the size. So I have listed it so sell, it will be sad to see it go. Especially if I can't make another one. I am very attached to it. It is Burda 9614 Easy...and it was quite easy. I did manage to get it done in my 1 hour 30.

I have cut out a jacket for Adele, which is also exciting, thanks to my lovely fabric from Sew Addictive fabrics. Will post about that tomorrow, hopefully I will get some more sewing towards that, I have cut it all out, but need some pellon to finish so cutting is where it is at.

I did a cheese course over the weekend too..Write about that soon, I am so excited to be having some really neat things going on. I have been busy but totally over my stressed out feeling. Oh and I have made that Raspberry cake THREE times, I haven't eaten all three cakes, but it seems to be a winner.


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Chocolate raspberry cake

Blair has been missing cake, he asked me the other day, "Now you are doing this sewing thing, don't you bake anymore"?

So I made him my standard banana cake and I put in a pottle of yogurt. And if I do say myself that was a great wee addition. And today while buttering the kids toast I found a chocolate cake recipe on the butter packet. Pretty standard, but with raspberry jam. Yum!!! So once I had drop the kids at their respective places, I raced back home and made it. Yeah about half is gone, it is meant to be dessert for friends who are coming for dinner, lets see if it makes it.

125 gram butter
3/4 cup of sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 cup of raspberry jam
1 and 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup milk
1/2 cup of chocolate chips (I used a cup)

Cream butter and sugar, add essences and eggs (one at a time) Add dry ingredients. Warm the milk, mix in baking soda. Add the chocolate, cook 180 for about 45 mins. It is meant to be iced but we haven't got that far yet. I don't know if I will.

I have swapped my shift on Saturday shift (I work Tuesdasy nights and every second Saturday) to another night. I have told Blair that all I want to achieve is making Ryan's jersey. So in a way I have changed my work so I can make my son a jersey. Sort of sad. Life is a little busy at the moment.

Right, I guess back to it all


Sunday, April 3, 2011

My bossy little girl

Bless my wee lass, she is personality plus plus plus! So when she wants something, she wont give up until she does. Great for being an adult, but very hard to parent at times... But we love her to pieces. So when she found this beautiful organic merino, she wanted it. She fits pretty much all her tops from last year so I thought I would make her some leggings. She pretty much stood beside me the whole time, I couldn't even hem or put the elastic in, she took them away and wore them for the afternoon. A little warm for merino leggings but she was happy. The even passed the trampoline test, fort test and the super tricky washing out all dirt test. So a winner in my book. Watching her side around on the tramp though was a little scary, I was so sure they would be full of holes!

Look butter wouldn't melt in her mouth! Oh and the messy top is ice cream, I guess it is a bit too much to ask a 2 year old not to spill it every where. But anyway the leggings are a firm favourite of mine. I am thinking maybe a couple of more pairs for the winter, just got to pick a couple of colours, the fun part/