Category Archives: good food

Sewing FOs

Standard

I only just got around to taking photos of these PJ pants, but they were finished before Christmas. I made them for Mr Fixit and didn’t want him to know I’d made them.

I used this pattern which I’ve had for a long time…

The blue tie dye ones are French Terry so he’s been wearing those to sleep in. The thin fleece ones with a Christmassy vibe are more for lounging in. I was surprised that the inside leg on the pattern piece was only 30 inches so extended them a couple of inches. I didn’t want them to be too short, as that was his main gripe about the shop-bought ones.

This isn’t a great shot but it was evening and I forgot to get a daytime picture before taking this coat to work. The colour is a deep magenta.

This fabric is called Nubby Boucle and is 100% polyester. It’s retailing for $50 a metre so the only way I was going to sew with it was to do a display project for work. I get to bring it home after a month.

Sewing with this fabric was mostly straightforward though I did break a needle when it had to get through four layers. And if I made it again I’d only interface the part of the front bands that’s hidden inside. I ended up having to trim back some unsightly white interfacing that was showing when the front of the coat flipped open.

I was also surprised by how narrow the sleeves were. My arms are pretty average and yet there wasn’t much room, especially if I wanted to wear a sweater underneath. Note to self: if I make this again, make the seam allowances smaller.

The instructions include three buttons and buttonholes. I thought I’d stick with just one button because I wanted it to drape nicely if I was moving around and sitting/standing. As the button I chose is huge I opted for a piece of cord to make a button loop. Much easier than sewing a buttonhole.

I fully intended to play in my sewing room again today but life got in the way. I stayed up late last night so slept in late this morning. Then I spent an hour taking down the Christmas decorations, tossing out the poor dried out tree, and vacuuming up ten tonnes of pine needles. And then I had to make a meal plan for the week and go out for groceries. And then it was time to make dinner. I had some help. We made sushi and miso soup and tested out a recipe from the VegNews magazine – Spiced Gingerbread Brioche Cinnamon Buns – which were as awesome as they sound and have about eleventy billion calories in them. Divine!

I think the rest of my evening is going to involve reading a Dean Koontz book from the library.

Beautiful day

Standard
Beautiful day

Mr Fixit and I have been out walking the last couple of days. Today was gorgeous. Two degrees above freezing, and the sun was brilliant, and we didn’t even need full coats, just puffer vests.

There’s still a lot of snow and ice about so you have to be careful not to slip.

It felt good to burn off some of the heavy lunch though.

We had a lentil and chestnut loaf, roast potatoes and veg with gravy, and I also baked an apple mincemeat pie to finish off the mincemeat in the fridge. There was enough food for lunch AND dinner! Which was great, as I needed to finish sewing a coat and I appreciated not having to stop in the middle of things to cook a meal.

No man’s land

Standard

Yes, we’re in the no man’s land that is the period between Christmas and New Year, when many people are off work and the rest of us wish we were!

Christmas Eve dinner worked out great. We had the Vegan Wellington recipe from The Happy Pear, but with homemade shortcrust rather than commercial puff pastry, accompanied by roast potatoes, roasted parsnips, carrots and Brussels sprouts, gravy and broccoli.

I finished opening my yarn Advent, and officially gave myself the Hobbii yarn that I bought a month ago!

The sparkly cake is Hobbii Universe Christmas, and the other two are massive 200 gram cakes of Järbo Cookie.

Christmas Day was easy and relaxing. I cut out the pieces to sew a new coat. And we all went to the movies to see Avatar in the evening.

We’ve had milder temperatures so there has been some melting on the roads, but at around 4pm today it started snowing again!

My view from the sewing room downstairs is semi-obscured by snow now.

The Elevation Cardigan (from Make & Do Crew) is coming along nicely. I’m up to the upper body sections, so have split for the armholes. It looks like I may have enough yarn after all. I have a lighter shade of orange still to use, plus a yellow. Once the shoulders are seamed, it’ll just be sleeves, front bands, and pockets left to do.

I hope you all are having a good end to 2022 and I’d like to wish you a happy and healthy 2023.

Winter Solstice

Standard

We are having a cold snap! Minus 20C today and expected to get even colder tonight. I am so grateful for a warm house!

Yesterday it snowed all day and in addition to the roads being hairy scary we had to deal with whiteout conditions on the highway. The visibility was down to 50 metres at best. I ventured out to see a friend for a short visit then went back home. There was a lot of snow shovelling and some soup-making.

I made some awesome ‘cheesy’ vegan scones without a recipe. Best scones ever! (I used a snowman-shaped cutter.)

Here’s one of my fruit cakes complete with pecans, dried apricots and apricot glaze.

Some days that’s all I’ve eaten for lunch! What? It’s OK, it has fruit in it 😉

We’ve also been indulging in a few vegan marshmallows with our evening hot chocolate. And some mornings I have made a pot of tea, rather than a single mug, just because it feels good.

In yarny news, I have fallen behind with opening my little yarn bags.

And I’m adding to my Elevation cardigan tonight.

I’m up to the third colour (of six). I still think I may need to get more.

So it’s the 21st and I still haven’t decided on the menu for our Christmas Eve dinner. I’ve done my last pre-Christmas Costco shop but I do need to go back to the regular supermarket for a few more things. I’m working the next couple of days so it looks like it’s all going to get done at the last minute.

It’ll probably be some sort of loaf, roast vegetables, gravy, something green, some mince pies and a secondary dessert for the weirdo in the family who doesn’t eat dried fruit 🙂

Vegan poutine!

Standard

We drove from home base to a bigger town yesterday that has a few vegan/plant-based dining options.

We chose The Angry Vegan for lunch and for the first time ever I had poutine, a Canadian tradition that is made with fries, cheese curds (or in this case vegan cashew cheese) and gravy.

It was all right but I don’t think I’d have it again. I’ve been eating rather more of the richer fattier foods this week, like Violife cheese and Beyond Sausages, that have been irritating my acid reflux. I can go long periods without it but every now and then it flares up. It’s usually mild but occasionally feels like it’s burning a hole through my sternum.

We had light snow this morning and the horse in the barn was looking out like he was thinking WTF! If you can see that tiny strip of white in the barn doorway on the left, that’s the horse’s face.

Two more Advent yarns. Such pretty colours!

Thought you’d like this too. I saved it from Facebook yesterday. No idea of the source.

This is so me!

Bowl cosies are not for me!

Standard

After my first bowl cosy turned out to be a big disappointment, I went on to make another with two solid pieces of fabric.

Hmph, sadly my topstitching was crap and any ideas I may have had for making a bunch of these were dashed on the rocks. Bowl cosies and I have broken up!

Mt Fixit and I are using them, though, as they are handy when you want to have a hot bowl in your lap.

We had a bit of a flood in the kitchen over the weekend. The Berkey countertop water filter was overfilled (son #1 filled it then Mr Fixit topped it up without realizing it) so by the morning water had leaked across the counter and onto the floor and had, rather unfortunately, soaked two bags of flour.

What do you do in that situation? Use the damp flour to make bread, of course. I ended up with five fresh loaves from the wet flour bags which I think could be considered a win!

A more successful sewing project was this pair of PJs made with some fleece-backed knit fabric from the store I work at. Super-easy to make and they will be perfect for winter nights.

I have enough left for a cowl too.

And this is my current crochet project. It’s a rainbow zebra! The pattern is one I found on Ravelry – Zeb the Zebra. https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/zeb-the-zebra

I’m using stash yarn, DK weight, and a 3.5mm hook, and so far I’ve completed the head, ears and neck, and made a start on the body.

I’m off to make hot chocolate now. Some Dandies vegan marshmallows are calling my name!

Falling into winter

Standard
Falling into winter

What a difference a day makes! Top photo, the large walnut was still glowing yellow. Today, with a dip in the temperature below freezing, the leaves went Whoomp! Yes, that is a technical term.

I had a good long walk around the neighbourhood yesterday and couldn’t resist whipping out my phone for some photos.

Loving the fall colours.

Tonight Mr Fixit and I went to the gym for a class. There were a few snowflakes blowing around when we arrived but by the time we came out it was a blizzard. It’ll be interesting to see if it sticks overnight.

I am pleased that I remembered to make my Christmas mincemeat already. This lovely mixture of dried fruit and spices is an annual essential for me and the recipe I use calls for you to make it 6 weeks ahead.

So that’s what I did!

Now that I have a good supply of dried fruit in the pantry, I wonder if it’s too early to make a fruit cake 🤔

Small finishes

Standard

I had a day off today and it’s been very enjoyable. It started slow with a pot of tea and my usual routine, checking emails, Ravelry, playing my word games.

My daily yoga was, as usual, led by Mady Morrison on YouTube. I chose a spicier session today to get myself stretched out and warmed up.

I had a good workout at the gym. An hour on the treadmill with some “hills” followed by leg machines and some back and chest work. That felt good. I’ve been eating less the last few weeks with the goal of feeling more comfortable in my jeans. I’m genetically a pear shape so when my tummy started to expand, exacerbated by menopause, it felt very uncomfortable. Time to shrink the spare tires!

The photo at the top is my finished cowl. I finished the third colour left over from the beanie and the cowl was 24 inches around, which is a perfect size, so the remaining two balls of yarn have been returned to the stash for now.

This little pouch is from a video tutorial by Tendersmile Handmade. The body is slightly gathered to fit the round base which is actually nice because any tucks and pleats in the fabric are intentional! This caravan fabric has been in the stash for ages and there’s still a large chunk left.

Dinner was a simple affair: what I like to call “refrigerator soup”! You get to use up lots of vegetables and even some leftovers (in this case, kidney bean dal and cooked rice) to make a meal. Add in some wholegrain bread and leafy greens and you’re set.

And tonight I’m vegging out on the couch.

Easter weekend

Standard

Easter to me means chocolate. My family wasn’t religious so when I was a child it was all about the chocolate eggs. Preferably the kind filled with other chocolate like Smarties or something. But it had to be Cadbury’s, not the cheap and nasty stuff that didn’t really taste of anything!

We never did egg hunts like people do now. It’s probably a North American thing that has been adopted in recent years by the British.

This year, we bought some bars of chocolate for the five of us. The bonus was that Superstore was selling their own brand of dark chocolate bars for only $1.79.

I was fortunate to have Saturday and Sunday off. Good Friday I worked but it was a short day due to the stat. Saturday we had a potluck with friends which is always fun and we leave full of good vegan food. And today Mr Fixit and I went out for breakfast. I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times we’ve done that! But we drove up to a vegan cafe on the lake and had a “bacon and egger” sandwich and a cinnamon bun followed by a stroll in the sunshine along the beach.

It’s been a cold April so we’re still wearing puffer vests when we’re out (what we Brits used to call bodywarmers or gilets).

I have been doing a bit o’ knittin’ this week, adding to the Freesia shawl. I am about halfway done.

And I have been refreshing my cross stitching skills, having fun with a bit of embroidery with, shall we say, mature content!

I used the alphabet out of that book in the photo which I have owned for about 40 years.

The bird and leaf designs are from a knitting colourwork book that I also own.

And today I made a prototype crossback apron out of cheap canvas based on the pattern in the photo. A friend lent it to me but she had already cut out the small size so I had to adjust things to where I figured the large lines would have been before she cut into the pattern.

It frays like mad, this canvas, so I just zigzagged it before hemming. I have the most gorgeous sewing-themed tapestry fabric for the ‘good’ version. I’m glad I made a practice one first.

I have had less than stellar news from the family on the other side of the pond this week. My mum has had a lot of pain in her hip that has left her barely able to walk so she is in hospital right now, and my sister has the dreaded covid! Hoping for better news by the end of the week, when hopefully my sister will test negative and mum can go home (they live in the same house).

More WIP witterings

Standard

My Freesia shawl by Annie Baker has grown quite a lot in the last two weeks. There are at least two mistakes in it. Last week I was knitting away happily during a Zoom call with my friends in the Vegan Knitters and Crocheters group on Ravelry and noticed a yarnover hole where there wasn’t supposed to be one.

I know what I did. On the 11th row of the repeat there is a change in the instructions- after 13 K2tog/YO combos, instead of just knitting the rest of the row, you do K2tog, K1, K2tog, K1, K2tog. Well, the muscle memory kicked in and I YO’d when I should have K1’d.

Never mind. I dropped down to the hole, hooked it back up and it looks all right.

The second mistake was tonight on the 12th row of the repeat which is the only one without an increase on the plain edge. I did the increase automatically. Again, no one will ever notice.

Not much else has happened in the Craft Department in the last week or two. I added a little bit of stitching to the sashiko vest project. Barely did any crochet.

I have read a couple of novels which possibly explains the lack of productivity.

And I have been experimenting with bread. A couple of weeks ago I attempted hot cross buns but they came out like dense doughballs. They barely rose.

The following week I tried again, using an enhanced version of my usual bread recipe. Rather than individual buns I made two loaves. They were better but still dense and even though they were in the oven for 45 minutes they still seemed underdone in the middle.

Today I tried again. Less salt and oil, and I changed out a third of the whole wheat flour for white.

Nailed it! Slightly sweet and spicy, these loaves were a great texture and well-browned on the crust. (Recipe may follow when I am more awake!)

Ds3 has also been experimenting with making bread. I came home from work the other day to find some very professional looking bread on the kitchen counter. It was white bread but very flavourful. It didn’t last long! (He had bought the white flour that day – we don’t usually have any in the house – which is why I was able to steal a couple of cups of it for my bread today.)

The house got a good airing today. While I was cleaning I opened windows on the south side. It’s been pretty cold for spring (apart from one day when it hit 18°C) but I love to get some fresh air in. As long as I’m keeping active with cleaning bathrooms etc I don’t mind the coolness.

I even hung my towels outside to dry for the first time this year.

Hope your week is going well. I have the chiropractor tomorrow and a knit night with friends in the evening so I’m looking forward to that. And then it’s a few days of work (with a short shift on Friday because it’s Good Friday) and then a weekend off.

Talk to you soon!