Friday, 26 November 2010

Cold cold cold brrr

I started working from home in January 2006, and I've been at home with babies since August 2008, and it's only this week that I finally remembered to ask Mark to change the settings on the central heating so that the heating will be on all day during the week (he knows how to do it, and I could probably figure it out, but I've been meaning to ask him because it'll be quicker. Hmm). For nearly five years I've had a warm house in the morning, then by lunchtime the heating has been off for a couple of hours and it gets pretty cold, so I turn it on manually, then it takes an hour or two to warm up again. Yesterday the house was warm ALL DAY LONG. It was amazing.

The other day, quite by coincidence, I had to do three sewing/mending jobs. A button came off my coat, and a pair of my hand-knitted socks sprang a hole so I darned them, and the zip seam on the armchair cushion had come away a bit. I like to think of these things as being more like DIY than anything else. I also patched a pair of Laura's jeans (with dark pink hearts) and they turned out pretty cute, maybe at some point I will remember to take a picture. Or more likely not.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Baking with Laura

Laura and I made some fairy cakes (which I realise now I completely neglected to take a photo of - next time). Laura chose red icing and after putting on some of that, we decorated them with dolly mixtures - and I clearly have a fantastically well-behaved child, because after being told the sweeties were for the cakes and not to eat, she didn't try to sneak even one! Or maybe she was ramming them in her mouth every time I turned my back. But I don't think so.

I followed my friend Sarah's tip for baking with small children - when you measure out the ingredients, put a quarter or so in a separate bowl, and let the child have at that while you mix up the rest properly. Then even if they do dump theirs all over the floor (or sneeze in it) you know there'll still be cake. On this occasion I was able to mix all of Laura's mixture in with mine, but it felt good to have the contingency plan.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Button Bookmarks - now knittable!

I finally got off my bum and worked out how to knit my crochet button bookmarks. Then I lost the pattern, then I found it again, then I asked my mother to look at it and she polished it up to a beautiful shine, and then it was finally ready for public consumption.

Like the crochet pattern, it uses small amounts of 4-ply/fingering-weight yarn (leftover sock yarn is ideal) and is designed to button securely round the spine of the book so you don't lose your place.

The pattern is currently available both in my Etsy shop ($2.50) and on Ravelry (£1.50).

Friday, 12 November 2010


I don't know what was over there, either, but if getting one child to sit still for a photo is difficult then getting them both to do it was nearly impossible. Maybe I will share the outtakes later.

I had some chunky wool (the blue left over from the Laura's owlet jumper, the pink was some leftovers my mother-in-law gave me) and my darlings needed hats for the winter. I made up the pattern as I went along but I jotted it down so here it is. No idea on gauge, sorry, but I used chunky wool and 6.5mm needles.

Easy Ribbed Bug Hats

K = knit
P = purl
P2tog = purl two together
K2tog = knit two together

Cast on 48 (baby) or 60 (toddler) stitches and join to work in the round.
Work in K2P2 rib for 6"/15cm (baby) or 7.5"/19cm (toddler).

Work crown as follows:
1. K2, P2tog round
2. K2, P1 round
3. K2tog, P1 round
4. K1, P1 round until one stitch remains
5. K2tog round, 12 (baby)/15 (toddler) stitches on needle

Cut yarn leaving a short length, draw it through the stitches using a darning needle, pull tight and sew in firmly. Sew in other end.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Owlet Jumper

While I was away from the blog I made many a thing, and I intend to share as many of them as I can remember. But here's a fairly recent one - I made the Owlet (Ravelry link) jumper for Laura. It's a knit jumper with a yoke of cabled owls, with button eyes. I used James C. Brett Marble Chunky in blue and it came out very cute and very snuggly. And then I had the Toddler Photograph Difficulty.

But I think you can get the idea.

Friday, 5 November 2010

Remember, Remember etc

My father was a Lewes man and while I was growing up, every 5th of November we would go there for the Bonfire Night celebrations, which are the largest in the world. I haven't been able to make it the last few years, since I live further away now and have babies and things, but at least I can still make bonfire toffee to mark the occasion.

Bonfire Toffee

4oz butter
8oz sugar
8oz golden syrup

Put it all in a saucepan

and boil for about ten minutes.

Test by dropping a bit into a cup of cold water - when it sets hard, it's done. Pour into a lined tin and leave to set

then break up into mouth-sized pieces and share with friends, family, people you wish would stop talking, etc.

(be careful as the mixture does get VERY hot - and don't get it on a ceramic hob as I understand Bad Things will happen)

Another introduction

Emily Megan, born on the 26th July 2010...

...and already a little smiler like her big sister!