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Money, Money, Money (Problems)

May 30, 2005

Have just done a big amazon order including loop d loop, get crafty, stitch it book/kit, new best recipe, plus two fiction and a trading book. And then I got three japanese craft books. After that it is cold turkey cos I've got more yarn on the way, for simply marilyn and a surprise gift, and my craft fund is already in $100 deficit (will get back to square next payday, then have another month to wait before it's got $100 in it). But M and I have talked about setting me up a book fund moving forward, and for these books I'm sacrificing two months of clothes and shoes fund - I'm stocked for winter anyway.. So if you see me blog about buying ANYTHING crafty or clothesy in the next two months, be VERY disappointed! I will be the woman of iron will. PS - Later I'll put in details of all the books I've ordered! yay.

By the way, I am not sure if I'm actually going to LIKE anything from loop d loop - but I have seen this hybrid of two different pattersn on crafster and I love it.

Posted by lee_taylor at 02:00 PM | Comments (38)

Onion Relish

May 29, 2005

Thanks to Matt and Kieran for this recipe which comes highly recommended. Perhaps one for next weekend???

Update: I made this. Glaring errors in recipe include suggesting it will make 500ml (more like 2L) and that you need to cook it for about 1h and 3/4 - more like five.

Still I'm just bitter cos it wasn't great. Not unpleasant either, my only alteration was to add a bit of chilli because it was so supersweet, but all it did was make it end up being really sweet with a spicy aftertaste, which could be great but in this instance wasn't..

Posted by lee_taylor at 07:06 PM | Comments (2262)

Bleach Pen Project to make and some new recipes

I would like to get a bleach pen and have a go at doing some designs on clothing or fabric after seeing this and not taking any notice but then sitting up and really noticing once I saw this!

But I've never seen a bleach pen and so did a google within australia and so far I have found this USA food store. I've often thought it would be great to have an american friend who I could have stuff shipped to and have her pass it on with american supplies that you can't get here, like koolaid - perhaps this is another solution. I haven't looked at it much yet but I imagine it's a store in australia where you can get US stuff. Like, a bleach pen.

Cooking for engineers Lemon bars
http://www.cookingforengineers.com/article.php?id=33


GRILLED ITALIAN SAUSAGE WITH WARM PEPPER AND ONION SALAD

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/recipe_views/views/232162

Posted by lee_taylor at 01:35 PM | Comments (2825)

Packet Jam Drops

Saturday arvo cooking project. Quick and easy from a packet and Michael helped me by putting the jam in.

jamdrops.jpg

Betty crocker mixes are usually really great but I'd just rate these "good". I'd probably want to try a jam drops recipe from scratch before making these again. (Does not stop me gutsing them down)

Posted by lee_taylor at 12:53 PM | Comments (2142)

New stuff, relish to make, and soup

On Friday I went to supply and demand in the city and for around $15 bought a huge maxwell williams white salad bowl, a small 250ml glass carafe, and six relish/storage jars. What a bargain. Here are the jars, they have got me thinking it's time to have another crack at relish or chutney, esp now I have my great new large stockpot (which I didn't blog about but should have - it was $35 from a junk store in footscray and is the best stock pot ever). In fact they are so cute, handy, lovely, and retro looking, with the six pack only abotu $2.60 I think I'll go back and pick up a few more. Especially as home made chutney and relish makes such a great gift (once I get the recipe right). On that note if anyone has any never fail excellent recipes please send them my way!

jars.jpg

Here is the bowl, housing about 8 serves of last winter's big hit, my part italian part mexican spicy low fat skinless sausage, veg, and a bit of everything soup stew. I will put the recipe up this week, it's one of those that are subject to many modifications and is quite different each time I make it, but the basic threads holding it together guarantee that it is always fabulous (which makes for a truly easy, successful dish). It isn't quick though - you can't have everything.

soup.jpg


I'ts also generally not that pretty, though when you serve it with some parmesan or mozarrella on top, that helps, and a sprinkle of fresh parsley would top it off nicely in that regard also. Luckily the smell is insanely seductive so anybody you're serving it too is going to be in an extremely positive frame of mind before they see it.

And it's cheap. I make it and freeze it so Michael and I can take it into work for lunches.

After making the soup I felt keen for some bikkies!

Posted by lee_taylor at 12:40 PM | Comments (2725)

Bloom Progress Update # 1

Gratuitous Progress shot:

bloom_progress_1.jpg

I estimate I'm about a quarter of the way through this piece. So 1/8 of the whole thing. The great thing about it being knit sideways is it will be extremely easy to tell how I am progressing with my yarn. It will be really easy to identify when I am halfway through the first piece and therefore 1/4 of the way through my yarn requirement. I am making the largest size that calls for four balls, but have lengthened by five stitches and will add 8 rows in the middle, so between that and the fact that most peeps seem to have used more yarn anyway, I'll need that fifth ball.

So far there's been a minor mistake with an increase made at the wrong end, I didn't fix this though and will just live with it. I am using knit front and back and purl front and back increases instead of Make one increases as I don't quite have the hang of them and sometimes leave a whole. Before my next project I'll swatch and learn it, but for this one I'm happy with my kfbs and pfbs that I know so well from clapotis 1 and clapotis 2.

But the most important thing is that this is my first time with wrap and turn (which is short row shaping I believe). I had no problems following the directions given, had my knitters book of finishing techniques out and ready but did not need it. It took me quite a while to do (this is the shouldery bit) and I watched the 2hr lost season finale while I did it.

Posted by lee_taylor at 12:31 PM | Comments (1215)

choc chip cookie Variation - smarties on top

May 27, 2005

Mgood friend Andrejs has just purchased me a lovely cookie with smarties arranged on top (so cute) and I am writing this note to remind myself to try this variation with my basic recipe.

Note: As I learnt last time, need to cut down the sugar a bit if using m&m s or smarties instead of choc chips.

Update: I have edited this recipe to reflect what I actually do rather than how I first received it.. You can find it here.

Oh you know what, I've got the recipe right here.. I'll put it in extended entry and can put some more comments later [Note I got this recipe from someone else and have nothing to do with the kitten part]

Just heard about shapelle! Upsetting. Not that I really have any reason to think I know the truth, but it certainly seemed there was a good chance she was innocent.

Biscuits for the masses:


Prep time: 20 mins
Cooking time: 1 hour
Makes: 80

Ingredienties: la la la:

500g butter
1 ¼ cups castor sugar
400g can nestle sweetened condensed milk
5 cups self-raising flour
1 kitten
250g packet nestle white choc bits
250g packet nestle milk choc bits
150g Blackwood rainbow choc chips

1. Preheat oven to 180. Grease and line 4 baking trays


2. In a very large bowl, cream butter, sugar, 1/2 kitten and nestle condensed milk together using an electric mixer until light and creamy in texture.


3. Add sifted flour, white choc bits, milk choc bits, remaining kitten, rainbow choc chips and mix well until combined. Using 1 tablespoon o mixture roll into balls. Place onto the prepared trays and flatten slightly with a fork, leaving plenty of room for spreading.


4. Bake 14-16 minutes or until light golden. Allow to stand on the trays for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.


5. Eat them profusely.


6. Oh, and you can get that ‘freshly cooked biscuit’ tasted by sticking them in the microwave for 10-20 seconds. CIAO.

Posted by lee_taylor at 01:58 PM | Comments (2576)

baby poncho

May 26, 2005

for a baby, and quick! http://www.save-on-crafts.com/babyponcho.html

Posted by lee_taylor at 10:05 PM | Comments (790)

Brunswick Stash Enhancement Excursion

Update: Added in the rest of the detail, and moved it all to the extended entry, cos it was such a long and picture intensive post.

Emporio fabrics closed down on the weekend and they were open today because a wholesaler was coming in to bid for what was left this arvo.

I happened to be in the area, for the first time, to go to spotlight.

I got all of this stuff at prices around 80 - 90% off. I spent $36 including 1 metre of silk, 1 of linen, 2 lots of 2 x 1.5m striped fabrics perfect for backing quilts, 2 lots of 2 x 1.5m brushed cotton check/ginghams fabrics perfect for quilts, and some other stuff besides.

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Then I went to spotlight where I spent another $60 and a bit, here are some pics.

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10 fat quarters in a pack for $8 - neutrals, browns, yellows. Some bits and bobs of fabric for use in quilting - two aged looking black and whites (the flowers and the stripes), bargains at only $2 a metre, and then some other stuff mainly for patchworks or bags - dots, cherries, stars, flowers.

Two wonderful patterns which speak for themselves, even if it takes me a while to get to them - maybe not till next winter for the jacket

And... a thimble, a pom pom maker, some white embroidery cotton, some charcoal and beige thread, some red bias binding (don't know how to bind things at all and want to learn and experiment), a new little rule thing that I can carry in my pencil case, some white velcro cause I keep misplacing all the white velcro I have, and a whizz bang disappearing pen for quilting etc.

Still want: pinking shears.

I have been spending so much on craft lately - luckily the craft fund has had a few topups from gifts I've made. When i make a gift with supplies I've purchased from my craft fund, I purchase it from craft fund with money from gift fund! Some may call this anal, but it works for me :)

I did a huge grocery shop after all this too, and then taxi'd it all home. I am quite exhausted!

Posted by lee_taylor at 01:04 PM | Comments (1437)

Simply Marilyn

I quite like simply marilyn free from interweave knits (scroll down just over halfway down this page) and here's some threads about it that I don't have time to read right now but would like to be able to find again.

http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=23262.0

http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=12349.0

Update: This is happening! I'm officially going to do this, in place of fairly easy fair aisle (which may still happen one day). I'm ordering nine skeins of lambs pride brown sheep bulky in deep charcoal. Less skeins needed, cos more metrage, but should be close enough for guage.

May not be a wearing out sweater, but should be a great around the house one, and if all works out then it will be a nice wearing out one too.

Posted by lee_taylor at 12:49 PM | Comments (1502)

mmm, yum, red velvet cake

MMM yum, look what bloglines has just shown me that I absolutely must make!

Found over at angry chicken which must be one of my favourite blogs! And the picture there looks even better. Yum!

Posted by lee_taylor at 12:39 PM | Comments (2795)

New quilting book

May 25, 2005

Oh yeah, last week before my few days of annual leave I bought a new quilting book, here it is.

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I bought it for further technique hints, it's the first i've seen shoing you how to roll up the section you're not working on to fit the damn thing in the sewing machine, but now I'm really glad I bought it. It has lots of whimsical, shabby chic like projects, things I woudn't normally think I'd be into but now I actually really like. Esp as you can really vary it so much with choice of fabric and individual style.

I think I am going to make this pillow for a gift, and to practice technique. It will be my first go at applique (the flower in the centre is all appliqued) and I don't want another large project right now after wrangling with the quilt last week. It should also be a good one for making me be very precise with cutting, pieceing, etc.

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Posted by lee_taylor at 03:05 PM | Comments (175)

Rowan Arrivals for Bloom

As blogged I did an order from janette's rare yarns (ebay store called 4 to 4) and here it is! I have just started to swatch for bloom so can't say If I'm on guage or not yet. The kidsilk haze's intentions are not 100% locked in yet.

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Posted by lee_taylor at 03:00 PM | Comments (556)

Martha Stewart Living

May 24, 2005

Was saying to M that if he wanted to surprise me with a magazine one day he should give the martha stewart living one a shot. I have never bought one - didn't think it worth the cash - but they look interesting.
Note to self: is there a cheap way to get a martha stewart living subscription? Like cheaper from the states or something?
Note, this is starting a new category I sorely need!

Posted by lee_taylor at 04:54 PM | Comments (370)

Easy Delicious Cheap Nasi Goreng

This uses indofood nasi goreng paste, it's about $1 in the asiany stir fry type section of a normal supermarket. I may take a photo of the packaging here and post it at some stage. It's a fab ingredient. I may put together a proper recipe for this at some time, but here are some notes I'd given to a friend.

nasi.

I cook about 1.5 - 2 cups raw basmati rice per seasoning sachet I use. Sometimes I make two sachets worth in my huge wok (that makes about 7 generously sized lunches for michael)..

So you cook the rice, but don't use it till the day after (or, I freeze cooked rice, and then defrost it when I need it).

You can put anything you like in and in fact i've even used it as a noodle sauce with hokkien and thin rice noodles. It is really strong and gross smelling when you just put the paste in, you only get the good flavour once it's "diluted" by the rice or noodles.

But this is how I do it

pan fry a little oil, diced onions and green capsicum for a couple of minutes.. Add heaps of chopped mushrooms..

Add sliced chicken breast and pan fry for another couple of minutes (don't let chicken cook through though or it will be dry at the end)

I sometimes add and egg or two at this stage and swoosh it around a bit.

Add the paste, it will come out solid so let it heat up and stir around.

then add your rice or noodles and stir it all in. give it another minute or two to fry, and voila!

Posted by lee_taylor at 02:17 PM | Comments (4440)

Bean bag for pint sized crawlers

I was just thinking a small square patchwork bean bag - like a floor cushion sized - would be a great gift for the six month to two year old set, something to sit on or crawl over and the noise of the beans etc and shaking it would provide mental stimulation. Would have to be a washable outer cover and an inner sleeve to hold the beans, to avoid excess mess.

A must do!

Posted by lee_taylor at 01:50 PM | Comments (1340)

Little boquet for a little girl

A friend just got a florist to put together a pint sized bunch of flowers for his four year old niece who has her name day today. It'd just gorgeous - a great idea to remember for a little girl who can't wait to be grownup (IE all of them)

Posted by lee_taylor at 01:49 PM | Comments (679)

Yum Yum Chicken

yum yum chicken
filling for sandwiches, french stick, jaffles, wraps.. or use as a topping for fingerfood etc..

Ingredients

* Chicken breast

* Optional for marinade: nandos sweet chilli and lime sauce, lemon juice, olive oil.. could also use some garlic, other sauces like teriyaki would be delicious, etc.. Any flavour you like will go with mayo ultimately!

* Real egg mayo (I use Praise reduced fat whole egg mayo, 5g fat per 20g instead of about 20g per 20g and still tastes like real whole egg mayo)

* fresh diced herbs if possible. I used coriander for that nice crisp asiany taste.

Method

Dice uncooked chicken breast into pieces, roughly 1.5cm x 3cm is the kinda size you are after.

marinade if desired! even just five minutes will do as the pieces are nice and small.

Pan fry quickly in a hot pan, lightly oiled, in small batches (eg 200g at a time). As long as it is in a thin layer it should only take two minutes on each side.. It may even still be slightly pink in the center of each piece, it will finish cooking while it rests.. this is how it stays tender. Make sure you let the pan reheat up between each batch, I actually rinse the pan in between each run so the marinade from the previous batch isn't still kicking around and burning.

Put all the cooked chicken onto a plate or chopping board and just leave to rest for at least ten minutes.. this will keep the juices in and it will stay tender..

Once it is cooled get your knife and chop the heck out of it.. teensy tiny pieces!

now stir in your mayo and fresh herbs.. be generous with the mayo and the whole mixture will go a long way.

Optional extra: pop some dried onion in a jar or herb and garlic salt in a jar in with the oil when you heat up the pan for a little extra flavour (or of cousre you could just stir in with marinade).

Posted by lee_taylor at 01:22 PM | Comments (1445)

Chilli Penne Version 3

chilli penne (v3) – serves about 3.. freezes and reheats well.


This is a recipe derived from what I had in the house one day, so feel free to experiment with this. If you don’t have some of the herbs or whatever it’s no big deal, but I find what I use in it is all stuff that’s good to have anyway because it’s useful in a lot of different stuff. You can certainly add more veg or different types of meat or leftovers or whatever for a different taste. The main plus with this is that if you want to do things quickly you can do the preparation and the cooking in the time it takes the pasta to cook, or in less than 20 minutes you can have a fairly relaxed cooking episode by doing a few mins of preparation, popping on the pasta, and then leisurely doing the sauce.


Ingredients that keep in the cupboard for ages
tin of armanada thick & Rich basil & garlic flavoured tomatoes (in the tinned tomatoes section of supermarket, about $1.30)

1 tablespoon parmesan cheese (the gross prepackaged kind, not fresh)

3 teaspoons dried oregano

salt and pepper to taste (usually about half a teaspoon of salt, and a good 20 grinds of freshly ground black pepper - you can buy a refillable grinder for about $6 from supermarket)

300g ish penne pasta (or other shells if you prefer)

Ingredients that keep in the fridge for ages
1.5 teaspoons minced chilli (adjust this to taste)

50 – 100g salami (use hot salami if you like.. you could also just use ham or whatever or leave this out for a vegetarian dish), diced

fresh ingredients

few handfuls of spinach, rinsed and chopped

1 large or 2 small/med tomatoes, chopped

100g feta cheese (buy it from the supermarket deli not the cheese section where it's more expensive. Greek is nicest, but don't add any extra salt to the recipe, or australian is ok but has a subtler flavour), crumbled

diced onion (optional)


method

Cook pasta however you like… Cooking the sauce takes about 7 – 10 minutes once everything is prepared so usually I do all my chopping and stuff first, then put on the pasta, then start the sauce.


Spray your pan with oil spray, or drop in a little olive oil. High heat is fine. Put in your minced chilli, if you’re using an onion add it now and brown it, otherwise just go straight to the tinned tomatoes. Lower heat to medium if it starts spitting at you.

When I prepare everything else (fresh tomatoes, spinach, feta cheese, oregano, parmesan, salt, pepper) I put it all together in a bowl so I can just bung it in once the tomatoes have been going about 2 minutes. Bring the heat back up to high and just keep stirring every minute or so for the next 5-ish minutes, the sauce will thicken and it will be done. Taste it for seasoning (salt, pepper, whatever) if you like. Stir in the salami.


Strain the pasta and mix it all together.

Posted by lee_taylor at 01:21 PM | Comments (688)

More green curry - lighter,sweeter - with noodles

This is not a hot curry, but sweet and delicious and quick. A sweet curry flavoured noodle stir fry basically.


for 4
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoon lime or lemon juice (i use lime)
2 tablespoons green curry paste (i use asia @ home brand)
300ml sour lite cream
1 brown onion, sliced
1 capsicum, sliced
100g snowpeas, sliced diagonally
1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander (i use the whole bunch)
500g diced chicken breast
4 serves hokkien or udon noodles

prepare noodles according to packet directions (usually they don't need cooking, just rinse with hot water and drain)

brown chicken in pan
add onion and capsicum, stir fry 2 minutes
add green curry paste, stir fry 2 minutes
add sour cream, fish sauce and lime/lemon juice, bring to boil, stir 2 minutes
sauce should be thick, thick enough to coat back of spoon
turn off heat and stir in coriander and snowpeas, then noodles.

voila. should be about 10 mins all up once all the chopping is done.

Posted by lee_taylor at 01:10 PM | Comments (377)

Thai green chicken curry

Quite a hot Thai green chicken curry. Goes a long way, great for freezing for work lunches.


Ingredients
500g - 750g chicken thigh fillet, visible fat trimmed as much as possible

heaps of veg:

6 - 7 cups worth of mixed veg. I used celery sticks, big diced chunks carrot and potato which i microwaved for three mins first, red capsicum, heaps of mushrooms, broccoli and spinach, but basically you can use anything hanging around!

trident green curry paste (comes in green single serve packet for about $1, i think the brand is trident)

1 tablespoon each of fish sauce, lime juice, brown sugar

400g or ml can of trident coconut cream

1 bunch fresh coriander (the smaller sized bunch you get from supermarket.. if using a big bunch from markets etc only use half a bunch)

1 cornflour slurry - 1 heaped teaspoon cornflour mixed with a small amount of water until smooth

Makes enough for about six done that way, but of course you can vary with less veg and more meat or vice versa.

Method

1. Get all your chicken and veg ready to go.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a hot pan (huge wok or saucepan recommended). When hot, add the curry paste and stir fry for one minute.

3. Add the chicken and let cook on each side for a minute or two just to seal.

4.Add all your veg [except your greens] and stir fry for a couple of minutes

5. Add the coconut cream, fish sauce, lime juice, brown sugar and stir. leave for a few minutes till it comes to the boil, then lower your heat to a simmer. Leave for 20 mins, stirring every couple of mins.

6. Add your green veg and your coriander and slurry and bring back to the boil, stirring frequently. In about 10 mins the sauce should have thickened a fair bit and you are ready to stir in the diced coriander and serve (don't worry the sauce shouldn't be super thick)

Posted by lee_taylor at 01:06 PM | Comments (506)

As good as take out garlic chicken

This is so good, extremely customizable, and super easy. And great for winter because of all the garlic (though it doesn't taste toooooo garlicy, even though you use heaps)

Garlic Chicken

To serve 3 hungry or 4 not so hungry - quantities easily increased to serve more ***

Ingredients (Some Corrections)

500g chicken thigh, diced, visible fat and yukiness removed where possible **
2 - 3 cups veg, sliced for stir fry *
peanut oil for frying (ok to use other oil if you don't have peanut oil)
2 Tablespoons dry sherry ****
5 garlic cloves finally chopped (yes five, don't skimp)
1/3 cup vegetable or chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil *****
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1.5 teaspoons cornflour

white rice to serve. basmati is excellent. Optional - adding cashews right at the end is fantastic.

Method

1. Put a little peanut oil into the pan. Heat wok, when nice and hot, cook the thigh in two batches. Don't stir it too much, let the fat melt etc. Two minutes on each side should be fine, then set aside in a bowl. Let the pan reheat before adding next batch.

2. Add all the chicken back into work, and the garlic. Stir fry for no more than a minute. Don't let the garlic burn. Remove from pan back into a bowl.

3. Stir fry the vegies for 2-3 mintues or as required, in same pan you were using. Remove into a bowl (can add to chicken if desired).

4. Make the sauce: Start with a thickening agent - blend the cornflour into a tablespoon of the stock until smooth (you can add a little extra stock if you need). Then, stir in the rest of the stock, soy sauce, sherry, and sesame oil.

5. Put the sauce into the wok, and bring to boil. Add some salt and pepper if you desire. You want this sauce to really thicken so it will coat the other ingredients, so let it boil a little longer and give it a bit of a stir. When you are happy with it ****** throw the veg and chicken back in and in about two mins you're ready to serve. Note - if adding cashews add them now.

Then, enjoy!

Footnotes

* I always use carrot cut on the diagonal, onion, and vary the other ingredients from a selection like capsicum, snowpeas, tinned champignon mushrooms or normal mushrooms, spring onions etc

** Look, you can use breast, but it's not going to be as great. If you do, make sure you don't cook it for too long - esp as it is going to cook, rest, and then go back in the pan - it needs much less cooking than you think. Now in terms of the visible fat you won't be able to remove from the thigh, a lot of that is going to melt off and add flavour when browned in the high heat of the pan (another reason to brown the chicken in batches)

*** If you increase qty, make sure that you brown the chicken thigh in extra batches

**** If you don't have sherry on hand it's worth buying a bottle. IT's about $6 for 750ml and keeps for ever and you can use instead of mirin in most asian dishes

***** Again worth buying if you don't have, but goes rancid easily so store in fridge

****** If you need to thicken your sauce further, you can make another slurry from a little more cornflour and hot water, stir that in, and boil it further. If you need to make more sauce or thin out, you can add a little more stock or hot water, and a splash more sherry and soy.

And by the way

This is a great base idea, with the garlic and the sauce. I have used it for a heavy veg little chicken low carb no rice type deal, and you could use it for garlic prawns, fish, etc (just don't cook those as much in step 1). Experiment ez vouz!

Posted by lee_taylor at 01:05 PM | Comments (984)

New Category - My Recipes

I'm putting in a new category, for recipes I have that are definitely worth reproducing. I have a place to put things I want to cook, or news and photos of something I've recently cooked, but nowhere to put the really great recipes I have that I type up when someone requests it, or the really handy ones etc. Until now.. ta da!

So far I'm just putting ones in that I've already typed out, like when people have asked for them (searched for 'recipe' in my email sent items folder!) but will make an effort to add lots in, for my reference as much as anyones!

Posted by lee_taylor at 01:03 PM | Comments (124)

New Bag!

May 23, 2005

Just bought this great new bad from ebay, handmade by Laura who I don't know but I found her blog when I visited Katy who I also don't know but is on my stitch n bitch list!

It looks great and a total bargain. You can visit her ebay store where she sells extremely fabulous hand made bags at barely even covering materials costs.

Will remember the store as excellent gift ideas and hopefully I can learn a few things for my own bag making too. Delicious!

Posted by lee_taylor at 01:11 PM | Comments (184)

Holiday Quilt - Plan B

Plan A totally fell over, but here's plan B of the holiday quilt. It still needs a few bits and pieces done to it (hopefully wed) and these aren't the best pics, but it's a start. I'll take some daytime pics when it's finished off.

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Posted by lee_taylor at 08:14 AM | Comments (89)

Holiday Necklaces

Put together very quickly with some shirring elastic and beads I had laying around.

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and here's another pic of one of them (my preferred one) on the patchwork from the quilt.

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Posted by lee_taylor at 08:09 AM | Comments (1679)

Baby Cardi started - bloom put off

Bloom has to be put off for a few weeks cos I started a new project over my holidays last week. This is a cute, sideways knit, 2 x 3 rib baby cardigan, the pattern was in the issue of family circle I bought last week. So far it's a terribly written pattern but it's soo cute.

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I also have another thing to make, related to that thing I couldn't blog about before. That thing isn't quite finished and didn't quite work out, but only because of the yarn choice which I have revisited.
But, shh, the walls have ears.

Anyway, I should be onto bloom in about three weeks.

Posted by lee_taylor at 08:06 AM | Comments (2473)

Ebony Birthday Cushion

Ebony Birthday Cushion - Not quite finished (still needs a mouth!)
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Posted by lee_taylor at 08:03 AM | Comments (1847)

stop presses - pick up sticks hats

May 16, 2005

How great are these patterns?

http://www.jimmybeanswool.com/secure-html/onlinegen/currgen/PickUpSticks/PickUpSticksPatterns.asp

http://www.pickupsticksonline.com/hats.html

This wuould be a much better idea to get some cascade 220 for than a big rug that will be awesome but take a long time to knit. Investigate - remember webs sale ends at the end of May.

Posted by lee_taylor at 08:11 AM | Comments (2499)

Blogs Found - Review Later

http://studio12punt3.web-log.nl/log/2412763http://londonsingaporefrankfurt.blogspot.com/

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y146/Craftycritter/emilysmonster.jpg
Not a blog but a picture. Was made by a 13 year old!

http://www.camillaengman.com/misc/softies.htm

Posted by lee_taylor at 08:04 AM | Comments (1087)

Sunday Night Surfing

May 15, 2005

Really nice colours with kool aid dying might like to do this one day. Remember scoffing when Lucy at work suggested it only a month or two ago.

Actually, that's all I have. I have surfed and surfed and surfed but that's all I want to keep.

oh, except maybe..

March is nearly over. I still want to do an order from yarn.com. I figured out how much the fairly easy fair isle cardi would cost today and it's a little more than I thought, do I really want it enough? But Stella wants some stuff from here and I'd really like to try the cascade 220 at $4.70 US per 100g ball, but what for? In my Erika Knight book there's a beautiful rug that would take me a couple of months to knit and I'd need 4 balls of 4 colours, so it wouldn't be cheap either, and I could probably do it in bendi mills instead, and do I really want to do it soon?? and how much is shipping? Oh it's all terribly difficult, bed seems like a good idea.

And I know the worsted merino is still out of stock and I don't need it for clapotis now I've made the brooks farm one but I still am in love with everything at handpaintedyarn and when will i do an order from them? and for what?

Oh, I wish I could post pics in progress of the knitting I've been doing this weekend, and comments on what is good and what was hard and what's been confusing, but it is earmarked as a potential gift, though I'm not quite sure for reasons I'd elaborate on if I could.. so, radio silence on what I've been knitting. for now.

Posted by lee_taylor at 10:19 PM | Comments (971)

Clapotis # 2

I subscribe to the yahoo groups clapotis knitalong on daily digest. Right as I was coming to the end of the first clapotis, a rave review of brooks farm yarn was posted. They have a product called four play which is half wool half silk, so similar in composition to the yarn recommended for clapotis, Lorna's Laces.

Actually now that I think of it, it was recommended JK by who had already made two at the time from brooks farm.

I ordered 3 skeins of picante. After currency conversion and shipping it came to $80 Australian, a significant investment but quite economical in comparison to the alternatives.

The yarn arrived in less than a week which was astonishing (they are in texas in the US) - I hadn't planned to get onto another one so soon but when the yarn arrived and was so lovely, I couldn't wait long.

Three and a bit weeks since I started, here she is.

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Click for more photos

Knitted on 6mm, she has come out quite large.

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There was hardly any enough yarn left. I did the standard amount of increases and repeats as per the patterns and could barely knit a finger puppet out of what remains.

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At this stage I won't block her and will keep her nice and scrunchy.

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My first clapotis in black alpaca needed to be blocked and stretched considerably to be long enough to wear around me, that was knitted on 5mm. Not sure which I like most yet, but I definitely love them both.

Posted by lee_taylor at 12:33 PM | Comments (394)

Mothers Day Bag

This bag was for the lovely Sylvia on mothers day. It was made with some upholstery fabric for the outside, some ultra lovely printed satin for the inside, and a contrasting top stitch, my first time using the twin needle on the sewing machine. Tina mentioned to me I can get a different foot for my machine that will help align the twin needle to the edge which was the problem I had. I need to get a walking foot for quilting also so must look into this (perhaps this week while I'm on holidays??)

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Click for more photos.

My favourite part, this beautiful satin lining..

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Close up of the tie - top

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Overall gist of the thing

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The pattern was in a get creative magazine, and intended to use a suede or denim fabric, self lined. But this works just as well (if not better).. Oh! this was also my first bag made with the benefit of the overlocker which was great. Being able to overlock the inside base (I'm always too lazy to bind, and just leave a messy edge) was fantastic.

Posted by lee_taylor at 12:19 PM | Comments (27)

Felt Beads and Kitty to Knit

May 13, 2005

How to

Seen made and worn as necklace at Mama Unravelled 2 Blog

Easy Kitty to Knit

Posted by lee_taylor at 07:51 AM | Comments (35)

Next Project Locked In - Rowan Bloom

May 12, 2005

Ordered five balls of this yarn in conker to make this and also ordered the pattern magazine and since i was going to be paying shipping anyway I also got this pattern book and two balls of kidsilk haze in liquer for a lacy scarf of some kind. What an investment. Although, ordered from Janette's Rare Yarns Ebay store 4 to 4, It was less than 2/3 of the price at thewoolshack.

I expect it'll be at least a week for delivery, so too late for my holidays, but that's ok! Exciting to know what I'm going to be doing next.

So thanks go out to Sally who I met on tuesday night, as I perused her Rowan 36 (which I never imagined I'd fork out for) and that's where I found the pattern.

Posted by lee_taylor at 01:49 PM | Comments (113)

How good is this skirt?

How great is this skirt, I'd love to make something similar. Not sure how to fathom the curves but I must learn.

Linking to the image straight from Angry Chicken's blog which could be poor form! Hopefully someone will let me know if it is.

See Picture Here

Posted by lee_taylor at 08:35 AM | Comments (31)

New Sites - Fete Cooking & Bath Milk Making

May 11, 2005

Fete Recipes

Bath Product making inc milk bath

Posted by lee_taylor at 04:06 PM | Comments (29)

Knitting Articles of Interest

May 10, 2005

About Frogging, at knitty

Posted by lee_taylor at 08:49 AM | Comments (15)

Possible Next WIP

May 09, 2005

After french market bag, this is looking very possible to be the next thing. I had quite a few things in the list, but I REALLY like this (just bought this older jo sharp contempary knitting last thurs night) wrap jacket I really like this yarn, and there are quite a few good things listed here

Posted by lee_taylor at 10:21 AM | Comments (476)

Things I must cook soon!

May 08, 2005

Just realised I can edit entries - so would make sense to keep long list of things I want to make, rather than post and post and post!

Sweet Stuff!
Mars bar slice for everyone at work
(Update: made this May 15. 3 60g mars bars microwaved with 75g butter and 1 tablespoon golden syrup till soft and stirred through, add three cups rice bubbles, press firmly into slice tin and add melted chocolate on top, refridgerate until firm). Was good but not great - would prefer to eat the mars bar on its own myself. Would consider skipping the golden syrup next time and was hard to get a thin enough layer of chocolate on top - check other recipes, I think some might use copha. Also, from tasting it I was thinking that adding some salt to it would really do the trick - just a pinch or two

Dinners!
Nikki's Symply Delicious 4 Chicken & Sweetcorn Soup

Posted by lee_taylor at 02:47 PM | Comments (825)

Trillians Awesome Uniform

saw hitchhikers yesterday, the highlights were the knitting bit and trillian's great uniform/costume.. Here is a link to a picture.. have been googling frantically but can't find much about it other than someone making comment here

I LOVE IT

Posted by lee_taylor at 01:31 PM | Comments (3030)

Dutch Almond Fingers

Michael and I had these great dutch almond fingery things from safeway this weekend. At first I wasn't sure if I liked them, but after a few more bites - YUM!

I'd like to make something similar. Haven't done a lot of research but so far have turned up this Women's weekly almond finger recipe

which could be useful.

Update: the women's weekly recipe was no good. The uncooked mixture tasted very nice but once cooked became ordinary. Also, my two piping bags were broken in the process! the physics of the thing was just, undeniably, flawed.

Posted by lee_taylor at 01:25 PM | Comments (3878)

My favourite clapotis

I don't think clapotis # 2 will be coming off the needles today - tis a shame, it was doable, but I have a few new books I am enjoying this weekend!

Anyway, here's a link to my favourite clapotis I've seen online.
http://gidget.typepad.com/gidget_casts_on/2005/02/just_my_capote.html
It's a rock star clapotis IMHO!

Posted by lee_taylor at 11:56 AM | Comments (1135)

Mr Kitty

May 06, 2005

mrkitty.jpg

This is Mr Kitty who I made last Saturday. He was a birthday present for my good friend and trading buddy Andrejs who loves kitties! but can't have one as it's too much commitment, and his lovely gal is allergic.

He is made with the inspirational kitties I posted a few posts ago in mind.. I didn't have a pattern or much idea of what I was doing so I just winged it, and learn blanket stitch from the internet along the way - the rest of the "embroidery" I just made up.

I have certainly learnt a lot from it - a lot of what not to do - so next time will be better - but I am proud of him anyway and was proud to give him away to my friend.

Perhaps I will participate in a loobylu month of softies down the track - the inspirations for this all came from the vintage catwalk entries of a few months back.

Posted by lee_taylor at 03:40 PM | Comments (378)

Cool Target Sox

I bought these today at target, aren't they great?? If I didn't have so many things I wanted to knit, I would have taken away the idea and knitted some myself, but intsead I took a quick fix. Also bought two scarves and a huge wrap type scarf (even bigger than clapotis, by quite a lot actually).. These ones have great little rubber balls on the bottom to make them non slip, too.

knittedsox.jpg

I'm just loving buttons at the moment. Hopefully I will take some time away from finishing clapotis # 2 to make the button necklace I have been dreaming about lately! I have purchased the supplies but progress stalled when my shirring elastic I was going to string them on would not go through the eye of the needle I had on hand.. All I had to do was go upstairs, but I didn't.. Anyway now I have a set of larger eye needles after getting some basic embroidery supplies to make mr kitty, so even if the ones I did have upstairs turn out not to be big enough, I'll be sorted. I just have to get to it!

Posted by lee_taylor at 03:34 PM | Comments (12)

Confused

May 03, 2005

I have overwhelming desires to buy more yarn, and some confusion over what to do next.

Immediately on the agenda is finishing clapotis # 2 which is currently on the needles, and french market bag # 2 (new and vastly improved) which is extremely fresh on the needles and I will likely not do more on until clapotis is done. All in all, It's likely that I will knit like a demon and have both of those completed by the time my four days annual leave starts on Tuesday May 17, by which time my craft fund will have had a small cash injection of $100. Bringing the balance to about $100.

Now I definitely want a big, beautiful, lacy, mohair wrap/scarf/or stole. I did think it was birch I was after after seeing Anne's, but perhaps I could start with the more realistic suggestion of the airy scarf from last minute knitted gifts but doing it in a 2 x width 2 x length type arrangement. Lots of more experienced knitters do seem to have a little headache from Birch and that is probably not the kind of stress I need right now when I am already overloaded with other stresses and millions of things I want to make! The airy scarf pattern makes 2 from each ball of kidsilk haze so I could buy 2 balls from the wonderful ebay seller 4 to 4 for $19 US including free shipping.

Have just seen a great scarf in a gift store that had eyelet holes running up it and a hand dyed yarn was fed through.. so vertical stripes, but in blotches, and varying colours. Terrible description but I'll know what I mean later on.

I've just been out at this store rather than finishing my post so I'll just drop down some notes for what I was trying to work out to finish later!

Have heaps of black mohair blend to do something with, maybe U neck vest, maybe some type of wrap top.. Definitely want to make some hats.. Have a 200g ball of alpaca in charcoal and blue/purple that I need to use and half a ball of black left. Wish to make a third clapotis in some cream acrylic I already have..

Also interested in getting some cascade 220 on sale for felting etc from webs.com plus supplies for fairly easy fair aisle.

Was also thinking about getting some felted tweed! Crazed. Perhaps just one ball for a hat. Will finish this post later! I haven't even touched on what stash I already have and what other things I want to do..

Then there's kyoto which I have almost half finished but have lost interest in, I'd love to do some kind of winter jacket [maybe the one from vogue knitting winter knitted on 12.75mm needles], more scarves and thingos, a great lacy wrap that I have the link for at home, legwarmers, definitely legwarmers actually, Toys and ornaments, want to do lots of those!!..

Posted by lee_taylor at 12:49 PM | Comments (18)