Montag, Juli 25, 2016

Summertop with no name (yet)

Hi everybody,

I hope, you have a great summer! Ours was really wet so far, but the last week came around with nicer weather and my urge to knit a summertop resurfaced. A top, that I design myself, that is.

In 2008 I bought some 100% silk yarn at ArtFibres is San Francisco. Undyed silk yarn that is. A very unflattering colour on me. Why did I buy it? No idea, maybe it was the sheen.

So I overdyed it:
I used Procion MX cold reactive dyes to preserve the sheen. As you can see, that worked well.
Next step:

I used a croquis from Tracing Real Body Models, which helped a lot, but still I can't draw a bit. I think the box pleat isn't well drawn but mostly it's for me to remember what I had envisioned.

Now I'm swatching.

Samstag, Juni 25, 2016

Summerjackets of 2016

Just before we left for Mallorca I finished the girls jackets for this summer, after not beeing able to find lightweight cotton jackets in the store or at goodwill/fleamarket in the first place.
The pattern I used is Fee by Farbenmix and I'm really underwhelmed by this pattern.
There were so many issues, starting with the statement "add seamallowance" and not telling HOW much s.a. and when I used my standard 1,5 s.a. I didn't have enough fabric for the "coat" it was supposed to be, so I had to shorten the whole shebang.
Then no word on interfacing, not a single one.
The "coat" can be sewn reversible, so there's no back facing. So I drafted one myself (and interfaced that) and not a word on how to make a lining, so it doesn't rip when the jacket/coat is worn.

I'm so happy, that I learned to sew from a teacher, who taught us all those things, otherwise I would have been really disappointed with my final product.

I understand that companies do have to limit their wording in printed patterns but the company has a tutorial for this jacket on its website. There would have been so much digital space to put everthing in there, that I think is necessary to ensure a good product.

The jackets travelled with us to Mallorca, so that's why they are wrinkly in the pictures.
Fabric: From and Michas Stoffecke. The lining is from my stash.

Samstag, April 30, 2016

Homemade mustard

When going thru my freezercontent I remembered, that I still had some frozen cornel cherry puree from last autumn, when my friend harvested her cornel cherry tree and traded some of the puree for a homemade bread.
Cornelian cherry trees are pretty common as decorative trees in gardens here. The fruits are edible but the pits are pretty hard to get out. My friend has a technique using her kitchen mixer. I need to talk to a) her, how it is done and b) my neighbours next year, since they have a tree in their garden and don't use the fruits.

After making blackberry and cornel cherry jam I still had plenty puree left. The puree itself is pretty tart but has a really high Vitamin C content ( like a local superfood) and I ate some with applesauce adding a little sugar. Even the kids had some, since the puree is reaaaaaally pink.

So, what to do with the leftovers? After making quince mustard last autumn I decided to make cornel cherry mustard.

Making mustard is really easy. You need

a food processor or a coffeegrinder
a spoon for mixing
table and teaspoons
a scale
clean jam jars for storing the mustard

white/brown mustard seeds
cherry puree

I used this recipe

To make the mustard, you need to grind the mustard seed and the pimento really fine  using the blender. I admit, that I used finely ground aniseed and put the star aniseed into the picture because it looked so nice.

 Next  mix everything together and leave the mixture open overnight for fermentation.
Fill into the jars and let the mustard ripen for about 3 weeks before tasting. The mustard is realls strong at the beginning and gets mellower over time.

The colour will turn more brownish over time.

Samstag, April 16, 2016

Using up the older stash

Recently a fellow knitter on ravelry put up some fabric for sale and me beeing me, I just couldn't resist buying from her.
The fabric is on the way and somehow that urged me to use up older stash. I made 2 shirts for me using the Kirsten Kimono Tee but I haven't taken pictures of that (or of my new dress).
I got a remote control for my camera for my birthday, but I need to figure out how to use it.

My husband is more the point and shoot type of guy, when it comes to taking pictures and my own standards of how pictures SHOULD like isn't met by his way of taking pictures. So I will play with the remote control soon and will show you my new projects.

I can show you a shirt I made for the twins though. Using fabric they chose at the beginning of 2015. It's definitely not my taste but it was great for trying this new to me pattern (although I had it in the pattern stash for ages as well)

 Pattern: Jenny by Farbenmix

My current knitting project (one of three I have to admit) is a mash up from two patterns.
The sweater is "Blank canvas" by Ysolda Teague and the stripe pattern is from "Elfe" by Astrid Schramm. Both patterns are available thru ravelry.

I'm using a yarn by Schachenmayr called Extra Merino, that I bought at a storehouse sale in 2014, so that counts as older stash as well.

The pattern is straight forward and what you can see in the pictures was knitted within 2 weeks, so it's a fast knit, even in a DK weight yarn.

Sonntag, März 20, 2016

Me and bread

sorry, not Brad ;) but bread.

I love bread. I love eating bread (if it's still warm, just with butter). I love the crust and the smell and everything about freshly baked bread.
Ever since I got my sourdough (I tried to make my own sourdough starter but I failed at that a couple of times) I bake most of our own bread. I went down that slippery slope and now I do have about 20kg of different kinds of flour at home at most times (wheat, rye, spelt and some old varieties of grain).

Yesterday and Friday I baked the following things

Einkornwheatbread with Quinoapops

and last but not least an eggless blackberry cake (I collected the blackberries during the autumn and had them in my freezer) that was supposed to be a blueberry cake. I thought I still had blueberries in the freezer but it seems, that I didn't. My friends told me, that the blackberries were a good substitude though (I didn't try it, since this year for lent I don't eat sweets)

Montag, März 14, 2016

On making

Kate from the "a playful day" podcast has annoced 2016 to be "the makers year" and asked in one of her latest episode, what making means to us.

So, what does "making" means to me.

I think, making is a huge part of what I am. I work in a business enviroment. I'm surrounded by numbers and balance sheets the whole time, that I'm there. And while I really enjoy, what I'm doing and while my work really satisfies my need to use my brain and think in complex patterns of economy and how it affects my customers, in the end of the day, I simply can't see the results of my work.

I do come from a pretty frugal family. We lived in an old farmhouse and had chicken, ducks and pigs when I grew up as well as an orchard and 2 vegetable gardens. My grandfather and tons of generations before that where farmers. My grandma (who lived with us or better, we lived with her since she had interited the house from her grandmother) was a trained cook, who had to make do without her male relatives during both WWI and WWII, where two of her three brothers died.

(In comparison to people, like my maternal grandmother, who had to flee from her home during WWII and was held captured by the Russian army, they had a live in luxury with enough food not to starve. Both her family and the PIO, who had to work on their farm)

When my family decided to give up the farm and my father was unemployed for quiet a while, money was tight. So most things we had, where the things we grew. My maternal grandmother sewed (and mended all of our clothing, if something ripped), my mother knitted and my other grandmother crocheted. There was canning and we pickled a lot of vegetables.

I think, that's when I became a maker. I was surrounded by makers. Even as a child I enjoyed baking and making jam (and had to endure, that the other people in my class thought I was a little odd, when I wore my first handknit sweater to school at the end of 8th grade. That was when knitting was really uncool).

Seeing, that I can make something with my own two hands, gives me a huge amount of joy. Beeing able to see, what I made, to hold it in my hands, makes it so worthwhile.

I admit, that beeing able to mend my or my childrens clothing also brings me the joy, of knowing, that I reduced the landfill bit, also makes me happy. Plus, there might be another child, who will enjoy the garments, after my children have outgrown it.

When I make things, I concentrate on those things, and dark thoughts are more unlikely to appear. I sometimes joke, that I could feel, that the worst of my PPD was over, when I was able to knit again.

These days, I'm knitting and sewing and baking.

All these things connect me with people, I sometimes call "my people", people who get, that I make my own yarn, that I spend hours and hours knitting something and than giving it away, or that I order 20kg of flour from a mill, who grow and mill old varieties of grain.

I'm a maker and I'm so proud of it!

Sonntag, Februar 21, 2016

Another mending post

Somehow my mending pile is always there, no matter how often I mend. Lately it seems that a lot of trousers/jeans are getting holes at our house. And not just the kids jeans, my husband also is very capable to getting holes into his jeans.
As we try to limit the things we throw away I got back to putting patches onto the holes. But a) it's boring and b) tedious sometimes.
So I thought about how to make the patches more fun (at least for the kids. I don't think, my husband want's fun patches after putting the fabric I used for the kids jeans below on his.... I bought gray corduroy for the next pair my husband wears thru). And I remembered a fellow sewist making reverse appliqué when making a quilt. So I looked up reverse appliqué on jeans but I couldn't find a tutorial so I went with what I thought would be right and I think, the jeans came out cute, although my second daugther already told me, she wanted patches with unicorns on them....