Monday, 31 August 2009

The Crafty Mother

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Sometime around mid-pregnancy my crafts-and-arts genes (which had been laying dormant for oh sooo long) suddenly flared up. Big time!! I remember a childhood filled with enthusiastically-started-somtimes-finished-always-thouroughly-enjoyed arts and crafts projects. I owned several old sewing machines inherited from my step-grandma, for a while I would create and sew small jackets made from scrap fabric for all my friends, I also had a line of rather creative-looking skirts, and I loved and used all my home-made trousers in various fabrics (one of my favourites were a pair made in a shiny curtain material – those were worn to an inch of their shiny lives). One christmas everyone in my family got home-made beanies which were recieved with various levels of enthusiasm. I could populate a small country with all the figurines I made from salt dough, lovingly created and tenderly painted. I filled boxes of boxes with drawings and paintings, both acrylic, oil, and aquarelle. I made bracelets from pearls and crocheted small hearts to hang on the christmas tree, I did paper cut-outs and origami, and made miles of friendship bracelets. I loved to make things!!! But then I grew up, and other activities became more interesting. Although I sporadically dawdled in crafty things, I didn’t really spend much time nor energy on it. Until now…

It all started quite innocently with a baby blanket. A knitted baby blanket. And then I had to make a wool jacket for Wanderbaby, and then a wool hat for Wanderbaby, and then Hubby wanted a wool beanie… and then I was hooked.

I have memberships at various craft forums, I have a folder in Favourites just for knitting, crocheting, and scrapping. I have recently bought loads of yarn on an internet auction, and then sitting on pins and needles for a week before the pack arrived and I could happily announce that I had not been scammed. If we need to give a present to someone, I instantly think of what I can make. Mum will babysit, hmm.. maybe I will make her a No-Knead Bread and Bolero as thanks. Someone is getting a new baby, hmm... some cute baby socks or a bonnet would be nice to give. A kid from Wanderbaby’s kindy has her first birthday, hmm… let’s crochet her a hat…

And it doesn’t stop there. I have now been known to churn my own butter (yes I know) and make my own cheese. The cheese was fun to make but will probably not be made again, but the butter was lovely. And so i do. I make my own bread, nice chewy No-Knead Bread for me and hubby and a bit not-so-chewy bread for Wanderbaby.

I am teased by friends and family. Recently, at a house-warming party thrown by one of my friends, I was duly introduced as The Wandering Lady, she churns her own butter! Among the mums at Wanderbaby’s kindy I am now known as That Mum, that kind of mum who will wake up early in the morning to cook lovely foodstuff for Wanderbaby to take as lunch, the mum who does not let Wanderbaby have chocolate or other sweet stuff, but instead load his snack box with dried apricots, raisins, and rice cakes… Suddenly, without noticing I turned into an alternative woman. Nothing wrong with that, but just so alien to the me I once thought I was. Next thing I know, I will have to get my own chickens and maybe a cow…

Come to think about it, i do have a cow or two lying around here somewhere…

Friday, 28 August 2009

A chair for Wanderbaby

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So, went to Ikea and got Wanderbaby his own small chair. Not so much because we needed a small chair, but more so because he looked so cuuuuute in it. But, as the chair didn’t come with any type of pillow or padding, and the rattan looked a bit uncomfy, I decided to also make a pillow for it.


Thus we also bought one of the comforters and we came across this blue fleece-like blanket on sale. So, with some needles, a pair of scissors, newspaper to make a pattern from, and some yarn, I was ready to go.


After using the newspaper to measure the size of the chair, cut the blanket into the right shape, I then stiched the edging with the yarn. I thought as the fabric was a bit like felt that it would look rather handsome with a visible rough type of stitch. I remember making a doll once at primary school where the teacher taught us this stitch. Not sure about the name for it, but sooo easy to do.


Then it was time to ripe the comforter apart, and use the filling inside to fill my pillow. A couple of stitches to mimic buttons (and to hold the filling in place), and tadaaaa, the pillow was all done!!!!

Monday, 24 August 2009

Bonnet for a newborn II

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The bonnet was dult wrapped and delivered to hubby’s friend, and then tried on. So, this mummy has obviously forgot how small newborn babies are, because the poor thing almost drowned in the bonnet. Oh well, she will grow into it though. Anyway, seeing that it was knitted from cotton it would be more appropiate in the spring.

Then a kiddy from Wanderbaby’s kindergarten had her first birthday, so this crafty mum decided to make her a present as well (yup, any excuse to make cute pink things for girls…).


After a bit of looking for something cute to make on the net, I decided to try to crochet a hat for her. I haven’t crocheted since childhood, and were a bit curious how it could be.



But, the end result turned out pretty darn good if I might say. And crocheting is so fast compared to knitting. This hat, flower and all, took me less than a day to finish up. Looking at it makes me long for a small girl for my own though…

The pattern were also from Drops, which has lots of great and free patterns for both knitting and crocheting (and no, I do not get paid for promoting the site (‘’,)).

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Oh, Handsome Sweater

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I am absolutely devoted to Pickles, which is a great blog. It provides free patterns for knitting, crocheting, and other fun craft projects, as well as yummy yummy recipes. The Bolero in a previous post was from Pickles and with the left-over yarn from that project I decided to knit Oh, Handsome Sweater for Wanderbaby.


We changed the pattern a tiny bit. First I used needles 5 instead of 4, which meant I had to adjust the number of stitches as well. I also wanted to have a raglan sleeve as I think raglan sleeves are sooooo nice-looking.


Friday, 21 August 2009

Tilapia fish a la The Wandering Lady

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Hubby has been oogling the Tilapia fish in our local Asia shop for weeks now, and finally he put his foot down and decided that this would be on the menu this weekend. I had never heard the name of it before, but could remember eating it in Asia on various occations. So, after having googled the name and had a look at recipes on the net I made up my mind how to cook it.

I made a stew from spinach and mushrooms, lots of garlic, pepper, and lemon, which I filled the fish with. Then I heated up more grated garlic, pepper, lemon, and oil in a frying pan, and then poured it over the fish. The fish was then placed in a hot oven for 40 minutes. When done (the skin on top was nice and crisp and the flesh firm and flaky) I poured over oil made with lemon, garlic, pepper, and spring onion.

Although it seemed like a lot of lemon and garlic, it was in fact too little. The amount of garlic was fine, but next time I will have to use more lemon. The fish was absolutely divine. Absolutely something which will be on our menu again!

Thursday, 20 August 2009

No Knead Bread and a Starter Which Wouldn’t Start…

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Well, turned out that making a starter for sourdough bread wasn’t as foolproof as they claimed (they being a nice man with a nice webpage). After having nurtured and cared for my starter for four days I had to throw in the towel and admit that the starter did not start. I fed it, I kept i warm, I even talked to it, but even so, it remained just a sloppy soup of water and flour. No bubbles in sight, no froth on top, no nothing.

So, I turned to my trusted No-knead Bread for comfort. And it delivered as it always does. Lovely chewy bread with a crunchy crust. Aaahhh. It takes forever to make, but besides being a lengthy project it does turn out perfect each and every time. And it looks so pretty!

No Knead Bread
  • 6,5 dl flour
  • 3,5 dl water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry yeast
  • Ovenprrof tray with lid (lid IS important)
Mix all the dry ingredients, add the water and combine. The dough should be quite wet and sticky. Cover with plastic (a plastic showercap is perfect) and put in a warm place. Leave for 12 hours. I usually do this in the evening and then I will bake it the next day.

After 12 hours your dough should have at least doubled in size. Stir it down and leave for another four hours. Again it should have doubled in size. You can keep on stiring it down and letting it rise, the longer you do this the more sourdough taste it will acquire.

Pour/scoop the dough into your tray, put on the lid, and place it in the middle of a cold oven. Turn the oven to 250 degrees celsius. After 40 minutes, remove the lid carefully (i will take the whole tray out, remove the lid, and then put the tray back in), and bake for another 15-20 minutes until the bread has turned brown and lovely. Take out of the oven, remove the bread from the tray and keep it on a cooling rack. Sit down and listen to your bread sing for you while enjoying the smell of fresh bread in the air.

Let the bread cool for at least 1 hour before cutting into it.

Monday, 17 August 2009

Bonnet for a newborn

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Today, hubby told me that on friday he is going to visit a girl from his school who gave birth to her first child just a couple of days ago. He also wondered what he was supposed to bring. Seeing that we are kind of on an extremely tight budget this month any gift would have to be on the cheap side. But, as I am currently in a racer-knitting-mode I decided that if one cannot buy one will make. And it doesn’t hurt that I am dyyyying to knit cuuuute girlie things. I mean, I love having a boybaby, but one cannot deny that there are more cutsy things for girls in the clothes department. So, after surfing a bit on the net looking for a knitting pattern for cute baby booties, I ended up with a really cute pattern for a baby bonnet from Drops. As the only girly colours I had left in my yarn pile were the beige and hot pink from Linnea’s top, those would have to do.


So, after a few (too many) false starts things are finally getting somewhere. I love the colour combination though!

Sunday, 16 August 2009

A Starter for Sourdough Bread

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I decided to be a good mum and make my own bread so that munchkin could have yummy homemade bread in his packed lunch for kindergarten. Last time I tried, the more chewy texture of my no-knead bread proved to be too chewy for muchkin’s limited chewing abilities and he ended up gagging on it a bit too much for my liking. So, we went back to store-bought bread. But as munchkin has now greatly improved his chewing skills and eating skills in general, and is now devouring dried apricots, hard rice, and everything else by the fistfull, I have now decided that the time has come to try again.

So, after having mixed all the dry ingredients I then discovered that we didn’t have more yeast. As it was a sunday there was thus no yeast to be had that day. But then I remembered, hadn’t I read something about a bread, sourdough was it?, that was made without yeast? Or with some kind of homemade yeast? So I fell on the laptop and 10 minutes later my first batch of starter was in a jar and ready to go.
And of course, into a cold oven with just the light on. According to the net this would create the perfect environment for my starter to grow and develop. Hubby did have a peek at it some 12 hours later and somewhat bemused noticed that whatever it was that I were baking, it didn’t look very good.

Now, don’t think about the starter needing about 4 days to get ready, and after it’s done and ready to create wonderful sourdough bread from, one will still need to use another 12 hours for the bread to rise and suchlike.

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Flowerbasket shawl

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DSCN4178 I am proving to be extremely efficient these days. Not only did I finish my bolero a couple of days ago, but my dreaded-never-to-be-finished shawl is also finished!!! Tadaaa!!! This one took me literally forever. As in for-eeeever!!! I first knitted it with size 3 needles, but seeing that the yarn is made from wool and more suited for socks than light breezy shawls, it ended up being very tight and compact. So, I unravelled the lot and started over, this time on size 8 needles (no, there are no such thing as in-between). Although it did look a bit scary in the beginning when the wholes were so big that the pattern disappeared and it all looked messy and holey, I stuck with it – and stuck with it. As I also knitted the shawl on yarn that had recently been unravelled, the kinks in the yarn made the shawl look even more crumbled up and messy. But, after a fair bit of unsureness and a boredom (it’s all fun in the beginning, but the end is a lesson in monotony with hundreds and hundreds og stiches on each row…) I finally were able to cast off and all hearts rejoiced. After having soaked it, and having done a rather poor job blocking it, I musst admit I was rather pleasently suprised by the shawl that emerged. The pattern looks lovely and the whole shawl has a lovely spindely quality to it, as well as beeing rather warm.

But, next shawl will be knitted in mohair.

Thursday, 13 August 2009


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DSCN4140After wanting to knit this bolero from Pickles for ages I accidentally walked in on a yarn sale at Oslo City. Yarn from Drops were discounted up to 40% and thus I couldn’t resist. Fortunately they only had a couple of types of yarn from Drops, and I ended up with a pile of cotton-viscose in different colours and a smaller pile of cotton-linen in beige. Some of the cotton-viscose ended up as a top for Linnea, the adorable and rather cheeky daughter of a friend of mine, and the cotton-linen ended up as a bolero. Now, I started optimistic as one do, but then it got slow. The gist of this bolero is that it is knitted as a circle which means that one ends up with lots (and I mean LOTS) of stiches on ones needles, and all those stiches have to be knitted – again and again and again. So, halfway through the first side I put the needles down, and it took me over a month to pick them back up again. Seeing that the bolero was meant to be a summer garment, something light and easy to throw over my summer dresses or suchlike, it soon became evident that there was sorely little summer left to use it i. And it would be even less if I didn’t get my act together and DID SOME KNITTING. However, after I started up again, it only took me three more days to finish the whole thing, including sewing the pieces together and sew in all the loose ends :-).