I've moved the blog over to Wordpress and will be publishing there from now on.
It's still a work in progress, but I hope to be on a regular blogging schedule soon.
I hope you'll join me :)
Yarn Wreath Tutorial.
Who would've thought?
A simple, yet luxurious gift. Don't forget to make one for yourself!
I’ve always wanted an ice cream maker. I’ve stayed away from them because 1) I don’t have a lot of room in my freezer and 2) my hips don’t need an ice cream maker in the house.
I love to cook, and cook a lot from scratch. I’m happy to take shortcuts here and there, but the majority of my meals are cooked from scratch. I like the idea of knowing what’s in my food and having control over it (Type A personality right here).
Recently, I started hunting for coconut ice cream. A friend and I had eaten lunch at a Thai place we go to often, but I never realized (or had room) for dessert; I never realized they had coconut ice cream! It was so creamy and delicious, and perfect after a spicy meal. I still think about that ice cream, hence the beginning of the hunt.
The closest I could find to coconut ice cream was ice cream made with coconut milk at some local health food stores. I won’t drop names because while it`s delicious, I think it’s overpriced. I understand it’s a small business, and the stores selling it also need to make money, but at $9.00 per pint it’s not going to be in my budget on a regular basis.
So while grocery shopping last week…I walked by this:
President’s Choice chill and stir ice cream maker. It’s small, compact, and super cute!
And on sale.
At a regular price of $30, it wouldn’t blow the budget, but at $25, it jumped into my cart.
I did think about putting it back, remembering point #2 as previously expressed, but then realized that I could make my own coconut milk ice cream and it would only take a few batches to pay for itself. I thought about all the fresh ingredients I could use to make frozen treats and happily walked to the checkout.
I put the bowl in the freezer as soon as I got home and started researching recipes. I had some coconut milk in the pantry, so I started with coconut milk ice cream recipes.
I settled on this mint chip recipe from The Nourishing Gourmet (I know, you’d think I’d make coconut ice cream first, right? but I didn’t have any shredded coconut and had just! come back from the grocery store).
I let the base sit in the fridge overnight, as I had to wait for the ice cream bowl to freeze.
I’m so happy with the way the coconut ice cream turned out. It was really rich and creamy, you’d never know it was “good for you” ice cream. I brought it to a friend’s place- she is quite the connoisseur of ice cream and she loved it too.
I’ve been collecting ice cream recipes all week, and there are some healthy and some really indulgent ice creams out there, but now I’ve got a whole summer to experiment.
I tried making frozen yogurt yesterday, using Greek yogurt. The recipe got rave reviews on the site where I found it, but mine was rock hard. Even after leaving it out for 15 minutes, it was still rock hard and I actually broke the plastic container it was in when I tried to scoop it out. I’ll probably try again, but it may not be for a while.
Do you have an ice cream maker? (or make ice cream without one?)
What’s your favourite flavour?
If you remember, I brought back some amazing Cowichan yarn from BC, knit up some headbands and thought about dying the ivory yarn. I bought some icing dye (because it’s non-toxic and I don’t have to worry about acids and fresh air, and a gas mask and such) and dyed some yarn green and made one headband. I loved the process and seeing how the yarn absorbed the dye and then knitting it up.
If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen the process.
I wound up all the yarn I had into skeins and picked my colours. I decided not to dye anything more green and just to focus on the yellow and blue.
While still lovely, when I took the yarn out, I realized there was a lot of purple in the yarn, and not quite the blue I had wanted. After some research, I realized there are some red pigments in blue dye, and while the Cornflower Blue I picked up was beautiful, it’s not one of the ‘true blue’ that some other fibre artists have used. The mini skein had really lovely shades of purple, but the two larger skeins had too many light purple areas. I think this was because I didn’t have a large enough pot for all the yarn so the dye didn’t pick up on all the fibres. I had wanted to dye the large skeins together to give people enough yarn for a larger project, but I then had to dye them again, and did it separately.
too much light purple
I dyed them each again and am so much happier with the results. While each skein had the same amount of water and dye, one is slightly darker than the other. The blue and purple in the yarn reminded me of the deep ocean, so I called this lot Tidalwave.
You can see a slight progression in the darkest the the lightest lot (the mini skein is the lightest)
All the yarn is now up in the Knitley Road shop; the large skeins are 50 yards, and the mini skein is 25 yards. If you do need more than 50 yards, I’d recommend alternating rows of Tidalwave 001 and Tidalwave 002 to blend them in more naturally (the same way you may knit with variegated yarn to avoid colour bunching). This yarn is classified as super bulky, however when I bought it, I was told it could be further spun if you wanted worsted weight (or maybe even more…while I’d love to learn, the last thing I need is another hobby- so no spinning for me!…yet)
I’ve got another colour to share with you, but the weather hasn’t been cooperating and it’s been difficult to find time to take pictures.
This post is very delayed…mostly because the gift-giving was delayed so I couldn’t share it until the special little-ones received their gifts.
I had some fabric left over from each dress and designed to make each little girl a blanket for their First Birthdays.
Let me first say I have never quilted before.
I learned how to sew the seams so that the fabric lays flat, and how to make borders…thank goodness for You Tube! There are so many great resources on the interwebs; I’m a very visual learner so while reading a book with instructions is great, watching videos is much better for my learning style.
Here’s the quilt top to the blanket using Fabric no. 2)
The quilt tops take the most time, all the cutting, piecing, arranging and then sewing. For the backing I decided to use one large piece of flannel. I sandwiched some cotton batting (I used Warm and Natural) between the flannel and the quilt top and started to quilt the blanket.
I decided to keep the lines on a vertical/horizontal plane, and quilted in straight lines, at equidistance to each other. My sewing machine came with a quilting guide, I was very happy to have it as I can’t cut/sew a straight line on my own to save my life.
Let’s go back to Fabric no 1 (I didn’t take any finished pictures of Fabric no. 2 blanket).
Both blankets are lap-size, perfect for the car or stroller or little naps on the couch.
Overall, I`m pleased with how they turned out…I’m less intimidated by my sewing machine now, am very friendly with my seam-ripper and well…I vow to conquer the elusiveness b*tch that is binding. (I used this amazing tutorial…sewing the binding isn`t difficult, but you do have to go slow and learn to sew a straight line…hence my frustration)
These little blankets are basically warm up for my next quilting adventure…a quilt for my Queen size bed. I bought the fabric last summer on a birthday shopping trip to Michigan and bought the Alice Quilt Pattern by Red Pepper Quilts.
I don`t know when I’ll be starting, but I’ll be sure to post the process…maybe you can give me tips on sewing straight lines?
Happy Family Day! Here in Ontario it’s our first long weekend of the year, Family Day. I’m grateful for an extra day to get things done…sometimes the weekends are just not enough time to get everything done.
Last year I made some cards and invitations for a bakery in a small town outside of London. I kept the design simple, but I loved the impact the white space and the bright colours had.
I love this turqoise and pink card, the little scalloped edge, the patterns on the presents…love it!
I made another card to coordinate with the pink and turquoise and this time, I used the balloon stamp from the set.
I don’t often use bright colours, I tend to stick to the earthy colours, but I love how these looks and need to remember to branch out from my routine.
Both cards are available in the A Paper Buffet shop and I’ve got more to list and share with you.
Things have been quiet here in blog land…I’ve been busy with work, custom orders and Knitley Road and life outside of work, custom orders and Knitley Road.
I’ve a number of projects to share with you, so many I don’t really know where to start!
The first one I’ll share is a knit project I actually made for myself. Knit items for me are few and far between…I started this sweater last June, put it down for months and months and picked it back up over the Christmas holidays and finished it up a few weeks back.
I picked a Peruvian wool close to the yarn used in the original one and I love how it turned out.
The lighting in the living room is much better than in front of the mirror, so I’m having Twiggy model it for me.
For my first (adult) sweater, and first item I knit for me that’s not a scarf, I’m so happy and have completely caught the “knit-myself-a-sweater” bug. I have a few patterns earmarked for the next one, but I haven’t picked one just yet.
I’ve a few more projects to share with you, some paper, and some fibre, and a few others…
I brought back some beautiful wool from B.C., some big and bulky Cowichan yarn. I brought back ivory and dark grey; the yarn is virgin yarn, meaning it’s undyed. Depending on the sheep, there’s just a few colour variations: ivory, brown and 3 shades of grey.
The wool is very warm and it was perfect for these headbands I made for Knitley Road. Knit up on size US 15 needles, they are bulky but oh so warm!
I’m thinking about trying my hand at handpainting the ivory yarn and knitting up some hats with the coloured yarn…that’s pretty far down the “to-do” list, but I’m hoping I do find some time to try it.
I really love this yarn and can’t wait to work with it again; it’ll make great warm hats and cowls. I’d love to make some mittens, but I’ll have to do some test patterns because it’s so bulky I don’t know if the mittens will actually move.
I had been very envious of other shops who had a model or dress form for their product photography. I loved the idea of my scarves on a hanger on a bleached wood wall, but it was hard to show the details of the items and how they would lay on a person. After much searching, price comparing and lamenting over the ridiculously high number of American companies who would not ship to Canada (seriously? it’s 2013!)…I found her.
She looks good in any colour and doesn’t talk back- the perfect business partner!
I think it’s made a big difference in the photos in the shop and it’s much easier to show how a scarf can be tied, or how high a cowl really is.
I’m really looking forward to making some more cowls and being able to have them photograph more realistically for my customers.
Have a peek at Knitley Road and let me know what you think!
Can I still say “Happy New Year"?! I’m not sure what the statute of limitations are on that phrase…but since it’s still January, I’m saying it anyways. I’ve been quite busy since I returned from my Christmas holidays…not counting the 5 days I battled a bad cold and did nothing but watch Netflix, nap and fit in some knitting on my sweater.
I’ll be sharing some projects with you this week, and show you how Knitley Road got a bit of a make-over thanks to a new photo set-up.