BigMiss' Baking

3:11 AM , 0 Comments

BigMiss was invited to a surprise birthday party and was asked to make the birthday cake as her present.

After looking through the birthday cake books and not really choosing anything, I suggested making a number cake (the birthday girl was turning 10, which I figured was an easy number-shape to work with).

We made a chocolate cake, which she mixed up by herself - the recipe I always use is a 'put it all in the bowl and turn the mixer on' type which is really easy for kids!

The '1' got lollies put on randomly, but I suggested more of a pattern for the '0'

I let her choose a bag full of lollies from the 'pick-n-mix' at the supermarket to decorate it with and she wanted five different icing colours.  She mixed the food colouring into the icing while I iced the cakes (she found it a little tricky to not mix the colours when putting it on).


She had great fun, and the birthday girl was impressed she had made it herself!


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Embellishing

5:30 PM 0 Comments

If you look close enough at the photos of LittleMiss' jersey, you might be able to see the picture stitched on the pocket.


It's a unicorn done in duplicate and chain stitch.

The talented Tanja from Watermellish designed this chart specially for the Red Riding Hood Yarn's Winter Yarn Club that I took part in.  It was the first time I'd done a duplicate design like this and I'm really pleased with it (so was LittleMiss).

Make sure you check out her website for more designs (including free ones!) and lots of tutorials to help you out.  If you're a knitter and never tried duplicate stitch before - it's a lot easier than you think!




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Ain't He Cute?

5:00 PM , 0 Comments

I noticed that I hadn't posted any photos on here of my nephew wearing the vest I mentioned yesterday.


And he's too cute not to.


More cute pictures on my Ravelry project page.


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One for LittleMiss

You might have noticed in my photoshoot post that there wasn't just the new Sweet As Cardi and Amphitrite vest being worn.


I've been working on a very cool simple jersey/sweater design.  This one is along the same construction idea of the Elisaac, in that you start with the collar and then work down from there.  But it's a proper fold-over, ribbed collar (like a polo shirt).


You might also remember the vest I made for my newest little nephew.  It's basically the same base pattern but done with full-length sleeves (and not button-through).


I've included a kangaroo pocket too, which LittleMiss was excited about.  I'm expecting the pocket to get very stretched out of shape over time!



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Kiwi Crisps

10:11 PM , 0 Comments

Saturdays I usually do baking.  Today it was biscuits (cookies).

This is one of my favourite recipes.


Kiwi Crisps

Ingredients:
1/2 of a 400g tin sweetened condensed milk
225g butter (softened)
1/2c sugar
2c flour
2tsp baking powder
200g chocolate

Preheat oven to 180deg C.
Cream condensed milk, butter and sugar together.
Mix in sifted flour and baking powder and then mix in chocolate.
Shape spoonfuls, place onto baking tray and cook until lightly browned (about 10-15mins).
Cool on a rack and enjoy!

 
If you're like me and prefer soft biscuits, take them out just as they start colouring.  When cooked to golden brown they're crisp and crunchy when cooled.

You can use any form of chocolate in these biscuits - chocolate chips, buttons, a chocolate block broken in chunks, mixed white and dark, mini M&M's (as pictured above), and you can even add 1/2c of nuts to the mix also (roasted cashews are yum!)


And because it uses half a tin of condensed milk, I usually make a double batch so I don't have the other half a tin sitting in the fridge waiting to be used!  (They freeze well.)




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Curls and Plaits

8:22 PM 1 Comments

 I still have to work even in the school holidays, but that means the girls get to go to Nana's!

Yesterday I picked them up looking like this:


Their fantastic Aunty T had done their hair in fancy curls and butterfly clips.


And even Nana had a turn with LittleMiss getting a head full of little plaits!


I'm very lucky that my MIL can look after the girls for me when I still have to work in the holidays.



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More Sweetness

If you're a regular reader, you might have noticed that I've been working on a cardigan version of the Sweet As... t-shirt.  MiddleMiss was wearing it for our photoshoot in the park.


It has the same heart motif down the side and puff sleeves, but also features a shaped body, pockets and sleeves done to full length.


The pattern's in the testing* phase at the moment so should be ready for release mid-November.  Just in time to whip one up for those heading into Winter in the Northern Hemisphere!


For more craftiness look over here.

*I'm still in need of testers for sizes 9yrs and 10yrs.  Let me know if you're interested through the thread on Ravelry.



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And Summer's just round the corner

1:34 AM 0 Comments

I wore shorts for the first time today.

And it hasn't even been sunny!

Looking forward to the Summer holidays up North already.

Taken on our last Summer holiday to Northland, that's J in the water with LittleMiss.



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Spring is so good...

5:35 PM 3 Comments

...even the flowers are smiling!


No, I didn't use photoshop.


I was mowing the lawns so had to pick it to show J.



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Photoshoot Fun

6:26 PM , 0 Comments

A couple of finished tops needed photos taken.  Normally I just find a good spot in the backyard, but this time I thought it might be more fun to take them at the park.


And of course that meant they got to play also!


It didn't take long before they'd had enough of the sensible photos.
(I needed some better photos of my Amphitrite vest on LittleMiss, but BigMiss didn't bring a jersey so she got cold and put it on)


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Yes, I DO Knit Other People's Patterns!

4:20 PM 0 Comments

I get so caught up with my own design work that I don't seem to knit many other patterns.

But the other day there was a callout for testers of a new shawl pattern that looked simple and quick.  Though I commented that I didn't have quite the right yarn for it and wasn't too sure about the time to commit.

Then I got a message saying that the designer's yarn supplier was willing to give the yarn for free to the testers and I decided that, yes, I did actually have time to knit it after all!

This is the yarn I got:


A beautiful silk-merino 2ply/laceweight by Spinning a Yarn in a gorgeous pink colourway (it had no tag so I don't know the name).

It was such beautiful yarn to work with and so soft!

Here is the finished shawl, modelled by BigMiss:


It's called Beach Shawl by Charlisa Anderson.


I love the zig-zag detailling that decreases in length.  You can see how at the end it's only a small zig-zag here:


I'm not much of a shawl person myself and when my Mum saw it last weekend she thought it might be just right for her!

I did mean to give it to her to take home, but forgot so it might have to be sent up for her birthday in a couple of weeks instead.


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A Year Ago

5:03 PM , 0 Comments

This time last year we had just started our (major) renovations.  It seems that after Blogtober I slacked off in talking about it all.

Maybe it was because it was so busy, maybe I didn't think anyone was interested, who knows?

But now, a year later, you might be wondering what it's all like (and if it's finished!)

We went from this:


to this:

It appears we're rather useless at taking before and after pictures and this was the only one I could find that showed the same end of the house.

And are we finished?

Almost.
The only things missing are curtains.  And there is all the outside/landscaping we want to do, but that's another story!





Yeah, I know, the pictures don't show you much.  We did a lot of internal rearrangements also, but the full extent of it all is a bit hard to show in photos.  If you really want to see, let me know in the comments and I can show the before and after plans to give a better idea.

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Yet More Yarn

4:36 PM , 1 Comments


Isn't it gorgeous?

It's Cascade Heritage Silk and, wow, is it soft!

This is from Tangled Yarns, dyed by Kelly in 'Wasabi'.  Destined to become (yet another) new design.

Make sure you check out the other crafty ones!




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Just Once Isn't Good Enough

4:08 PM , 0 Comments

This is my latest design:


A cute little girl's cardigan.
(Worked bottom-up for a change)

Now, you might be wondering why I have the needle threaded through the middle of the chest?

It's because this is what I did next:


I ripped back an entire evening's work.

Yep, knitting something once isn't good enough - I have to knit the exact same object twice.

(Incase you're wondering what was wrong with it - the buttonholes were spaced too far apart for what I wanted.)

I'm just pleased I left my waste yarn in place on the sleeves, it would've been a bit tricky otherwise.  I think I've learnt not to underestimate my fussy-ness!


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Check It Out!

8:52 PM , 0 Comments

Do you see my new header?

I now have an 'official' logo!


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Blogtober Fest!

2:47 AM 0 Comments

It's that time of year again.

October.

For us that means that work is slowing down, school holidays are here (or, thanks to RWC, here after this week) and it's time to start thinking about MiddleMiss' birthday.

But it also means it's Blogtober!  That time of year where you challenge yourself to post every day for a whole month.  (Though don't expect me to do it every day and I'll admit now that I fully intend to cheat and make good use of the scheduled posts feature!)

Tinniegirl Blogtoberfest 2011

I may be a few days late joining the game, but as there aren't really any rules, except to have fun, I'm sure no one will mind!

Make sure you click the picture to link to the page showing all the participants.  It's a great way to find blogs you wouldn't otherwise!


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