Craftysticks November update

November is nearly over, so it must be time for an update!

Sewing:

This has been a month of quite dull but very useful sewing. I had a sudden paranoid thought that if a winter vomiting bug hit I wouldn’t have enough spare bedding for Daisy’s bed. She used to be in a double bed (long story) but is now in a single, and I only had one set of bedding for it. I’ve been saying for ages that I’d cut down her old favourite duvet cover to make a single, and this month I finally did it. I also made a fitted sheet out of another old duvet cover that had a few random stains from fabric paint (absolutely impossible to remove, but I managed to avoid them by careful cutting) and I cut down her mattress protector too. I’m particularly proud of the way I utilised the print on the duvet cover to do this on the side of her mattress:

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And as if all that wasn’t enough, I bought Gabriel his first proper duvet. It was a cotbed size with a dinky little pillow to match, and rather than buy readymade covers I decided to economise and again cut down an old duvet cover, carefully avoiding some random tears and bleach stains. He now has the cutest little bedding set!

The thought of the winter vomiting bug season also had me work on some repairs to Gabriel’s pyjamas, and I got a couple of pairs back into circulation with a few minutes of stitching. I don’t know why I don’t just do mending straight away. It never really takes all that long and I always feel so satisfied when it’s done.

All this was just in the nick of time as the winter vomiting bug did indeed hit our household a couple of weeks ago. Those spare sheets and pyjamas were very handy indeed (as was the stack of towels and little buckets I had ready). Preparation is everything when you’re up all night with vomiting children :-/

Working out a winter capsule wardrobe also inspired me to get going on some repairs to our favourite winter clothing. This week I’ve so far darned holes in jumpers for Andy and Gabriel and a cardigan for me, as well as sewing a leather patch to reinforce the back seam of an old me-made corduroy skirt. Yay for depleting the mending basket, although there’s plenty more to keep me going. People will keep wearing holes in their clothing…

However, after all that boring practical sewing I’ve had a bit of time to devote to sewing clothes for myself. I have literally just finished a grey ponte knit dress. I’m wearing it as I type. Post to follow at some point, but here’s a sneak peek:

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Crochet:

My slow progress continues on the Rebel Lace Cardie. I’m now working the first picot row of the scaly edging (which I realise won’t mean anything to anyone who hasn’t made the pattern themselves, but humour me as this is a bloody complex project). You can see how far I’ve got in the picture:

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Yeah, it doesn’t really look any different to last month, although I swear I have been working on it! I think I’ll be putting this one down until after Christmas, though. I have the bug for present making. Cue lots of instant (or at least, instant compared to the Rebel Lace Cardie) gratification crochet. Scarves and hats aplenty!

Knitting:

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As the cardie project is getting too bulky and complex to easily cart around, I’ve started on a pair of socks. They might be for me or they might be a Christmas present for my sister. I’m guessing their final designation will depend on when I get them finished. I’m following the First Time Magic Loop pattern again, and plan to work a Fish Lips Kiss heel this time. Always good to try something new when working the same old sock pattern 🙂

Incidentally, despite all my current crafting being extremely frugal and stashbusting, I did fork out a few quid for a new circular needle for these babies. It’s a KnitPro Nova and after years of sticking to wood/bamboo needles I’m actually really enjoying the slickness of the metal. Definitely faster to work with and pleasantly shiny and festive. Gotta get all the bling I can to brighten up these short, dark November days.

Cooking:

The colder mornings prompted me to look into paleo alternatives to porridge. Noatmeal sounded like it might do the trick, but it’s really nothing like porridge. Well, it’s a bowl of warm, pale and slightly lumpy looking stuff I suppose, but the comparisons end there. Really it tastes exactly like what it is: a bowl of pureed nuts. Way too filling and really not all that nice. I prefer my nuts roasted and salted. Or chopped up on top of Greek yoghurt and honey. Yum.

I’ve also been experimenting with curry. Andy set me a challenge to make a curry that tastes just like an “authentic” curry, by which he meant a takeaway. These are very much formulated for British tastebuds and I don’t know how much they’re like a proper Indian curry, but since I love a good takeaway I rose to the challenge. A bit of research led me to Mr Huda’s Universal Curry Paste, and I’ve since used it to create several of the recipes on the site. My Korma left a little to be desired (more coconut, possibly? Or maybe just more salt and sugar!) but the Dhansak and Dupiaza have been absolutely amazing. The recipes are a little time consuming, but I thoroughly recommend them to anyone looking to recreate an Indian takeaway at home. Fair warning, though: you might be shocked at the amount of oil that goes into making a proper curry. I think that, along with the salt and the sugar they add go a long way to making restaurant curries taste amazing.

In the works:

I still have a pile of repairs to work through, and after that I’m going to work on Christmas presents, and if I have time, some simple knit tops and cardies to round out my winter capsule wardrobe. I have the Grainline Hemlock pattern ready traced out and just need to decide on my fabric. Possibly the same stripy Hacci knit I used for the Kimono I shared recently.

I’m also determined to finish my Christmas apron in this delightfully kitsch Alexander Henry print. I can’t remember how many years ago I cut the main pieces, but somehow I’ve never found the time to get it finished. Fuck it. I’m going to make it and wear it all year round, not just for December. Fabric like that is too good to be wasted!

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Right, I need to get going on a Sharknado hat. I know just the man who’ll appreciate one of these for Christmas!

What have you all been up to? Anyone else busy making presents?🙂

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