Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Knitting: Baby Surprise Jacket

So there was this famous knitter called Elizabeth Zimmerman and she didn't like doing purl stitch and she wasn't that keen on seaming either and she wrote books, newsletters and made videos etc. She's pretty much knitting royalty. She made this pattern which is like origami, you knit it and then you fold it and the only seams you have to do are the tops of the sleeves. It's quite amazing.

I brought the pattern and yarn in my four day jaunt to the U.S. and when I got home the lady from the store had given me the wrong pattern and the yarn was absolutely no where near enough. The lovely ladies from the Richmond SnB helped me out with moral support as I went and cast on with many of them who were doing this project as well. As far as the yarn goes I used Mirasol Hacho in beautiful purples and reds, and striped with an Sublime extra fine merino.

It was interesting to knit, and I feel it was somewhat a rite of passage, but I'll never knit another one... hell I like purl :)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Max the Cat

Nawwwwwww cute kitten in bed asleep

Pieces of Fleeces

This year I volunteered at the Lilydale Show to demonstrate spinning. I love the opportunity to plant the seed of interest in anyone but especially kids. The wall that we were sitting in front of was full of fleeces that had been judged in the show and it was great to explain the process from beginning to end for people. The next time that I saw Lesley the lovely organiser, she had a fleece for me all of my own to clean and process and spin enough yarn to make something really substantial.

This was my fleece in it's natural state.

This is the fleece after a significant number of hot hot hot water washes with shampoo and 2 rinses. It still has a bit of vegetable matter and the ends that were out in the sun and got dirty. I think I missed something in the processing, maybe I should have flicked out the ends before I started washing it. Anyway I'm going to start going through it bit by bit and working on getting out the dirty bits and the vm.

Any suggestions welcome.

Crochet: Best Bunny

Cute as bunny. This pattern was free from Lion Brand and crocheted in Anchor Magicline which is 100% cotton. This is the first thing I've crocheted that wasn't a scarf.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Max the Cat

Reading: Top 100 books as voted by the Australian public in 2004

This year I started reading books from the Top 100 books as voted by the Australian public on the ABC in 2004. You can read about it on my post here and find the list here. I have been keeping track of it on The Last Sunday Book Group blog that was started by my old 'in real life' book group after it broke up because a few of us moved away. Today I blogged about Magician by Raymond E Feist.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Cooking: Oh Christmas Tree Oh Christmas Tree (and puddings)

The Christmas cooking vibe has hit me for the first time and although I'm not really a cake baker I got inspired by my cousin Audie's Crabapple Bakery cupcake cookbook and whipped up these christmas tree cupcakes. It's a WHOLE LOTTA FROSTING to eat in one sitting and to tell you the honest truth those cachous are kinda crunchy but they're super cute. The cake part of the cupcake was really good and I think a recipe I will use again with more subdued frosting, it has brandy and fruit mince in the mixture and a liberal dose of nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves, which makes it Christmassy but still really light.

As I was inspired I found a recipe for those little balls that you make by breaking down a fruit cake and mixing it with delicious rummy goodness so I made these mini plum puddings as well :) They're dipped in white chocolate (which is a travesty when eaten along but ok for decoration) and I used my new found icing skills to add some holly to the top.