November Rain

We can really feel the effects of global warming here… It is almost mid-November and though it is grey and dark, we have yet to see any snow! In fact, it is drizzling right now… It is usually quite slushy now, snowing and slushing. (November October is called “slush month” in the native language, afterall) Not that I miss the slush, but it is inevitable so I’d rather it be now than Christmas time!

Snow or not, my birthday is coming, so I ordered some birthday yarn… And because its MY birthday yarn…

I can get really feminine colours! And of course in my favourite lace mohair. 
So far I have these colours (and at least 2 other from a purchase I made before this year) in Debbie Bliss’ Party Angel, which is a ‘party’ version of the plain Angel. “Party’ because these have a shiny thread spun into the core for a glitter effect. At first I was worried because glitter often go hand in hand with gaudiness, which I’m not the least bit fond of! But as you can see, the glitter is barely visible! Debbie Bliss Party Angel is even more subtle than Rowan’s Kidsilk Night (which was discontinued eons ago) and I like both much more than Rowan’s Eclipse. I have a few balls of Kidsilk Night in Ballerina Pink in my stash, that I’ve been afraid to use because it is discontinued and I like it SO much. But now I have the pink Party Angel, maybe the Kidsilk Night can come out to play… (The pinks are a little different. The Party Angel is more of a dusty rose and the Kidsilk Night is more of a very light foamy pink.)

We had a snowflake-along session again last tuesday and this is what we had at the end of the session. We used the 6-Point Century Snowflake pattern, which is a slightly more complicated snowflake than our first snowflake-along one. We didn’t manage to finish our snowflake – only got to one side of the last round. But it was a very interesting pattern because of the way the heart was constructed.

I made some peanut butter and chocolate cupcakes 2 weekends ago because I was planning a surprise baby shower for HK. It turned out that the baby arrived on the day of the surprise baby shower! Surprise was for us afterall, and baby shower canceled. So I brought these cupcakes to cell group meeting the next day instead.

I saw LA wearing a most fabulous looking (store-bought, but still really fabulous) ski-sweater at the cell group and while admiring the sweater, I found that it has a little hole at the elbow. Since he doesn’t knit, I offered to fix it for him.

I picked up the stitches at the nearest stable row.

Then I knitted it back up, in pattern, with yarn in the closest colour I have in my stash. Then I grafted it onto the next stable row, in pattern, using a tapestry needle.

I left a long tail and used it to reinforce, by duplicate stitching, other weakening stitches around the area. It was then that I realised I made a boo-boo when I was knitting the patch – I knitted 3 blue stitches rather than the 2 in the actual pattern! Oy vey! By then, the tail is so well woven in I couldn’t find it anymore.

It isn’t so terribly visible, right? Right?… Well, anyway, you can see how this awesome sweater looks. I believe it is designed with some elements from the traditional Sami costume. The Sami tribe is indigenous to Northern Europe and they still exist up in the north in Lapland.

I recently had a sourdough-along with a few friends and the starter we grew was finally ready to use this past weekend! I followed the recipe by VP (who is leading us in this sourdough-along). Mine is 1/3 rye with 2/3 wheat flour.

It was pretty exciting to see happy gluten strands in the dough!

By the way, gluten is not bad for you (unless you have celiac disease). Unless you have celiac disease (which is serious), following a gluten-free diet is as pointless as bringing a fur coat to Singapore.

We ended up taking an impromptu trip to the countryside so I ended up baking my dough a day late. (Those holes are cherry tomatoes that I’ve pushed into the dough).

The crust turned out a bit too thick but it is soft and holey inside! The taste is tangy and flavourful. I’m looking forward to baking my next sourdough bread with the starter and I hope this time I won’t have to risk over-proofing the dough due to delays!

On saturday, I baked a peanut-butter/chocolate marbled cake for M, TK and TH. (“Isät” is “fathers”.) The cake cracked in the oven (expanded too much on the top) so the buttercream was there mostly to cover the cracks. :D

Here is a random pic of L enjoying being rocked by TH, in the rocking chair with MK!

The woolsuit for L is still unfinished… But I’m on the second leg! After that, I will make a collar and add the closure… It is amazing how much time and attention a baby take! In the past, a small project like this would’ve taken 2 weeks tops!

Something else I’ve been meaning to share for a while (but kept forgetting!).. Sometime in the summer, I posted (all the way at the bottom of that post) about knitting for a baby photographer in town.  I have received some pics of the knitted props in action! (Pictures posted with permission from the baby’s mother.)

What a sweet looking baby girl, don’t you think? It is also very special to see the knitted items in action.

I have to dash now as I have errands to run before L wakes from his nap. Till next time, keep cozy and craft on!

Into the Dark

We are entering the darkest part of the year up here in the North and it is in these dark days that days and weeks seem to slip right through my fingers. There always seem so much to do, but so little to show for it or talk about.

I made this (sort of) macrame pot hanger because its cold enough that I want to bring the few surviving selected plants indoors but surfaces are very few now that L is mobile and actively grabbing everything within his reach… On pointed toes and streeeeetching his arms out as far as he could! He is a persistent one for sure! We have taken to putting our laptops on the back of the sofa (against the wall) and sitting backwards on the sofa to keep the laptops out of his reach. I have absolutely no idea what we are going to do once he figures out how to climb onto the sofa!

I have finished this wool diaper cover quite a while ago, but I have yet to get around to felting it… I may be delaying it subconsiously because I’m worried that the shape might not be quite right… The waist should be longer but knitting do tend to shrink more sideways when felted… Decisions decisions!

This is L’s wool suit.. Coming along slowly but nicely. It is actually a bit further along on one leg now.

Have you noticed – I’ve been playing around with the frames in photoscape today. :D

I recently bought a small ball of perle cotton thread. The original plan was to (finally) make a lace doily for my own home. But then Winter came. Snowflakes before doily!

In fact, I had a small snowflake-along session with a couple of my crocheting friends here… I initially thought we would be making snowflakes together but it turns out they have never done this kind of crocheted lacework before. So I ended up sort-of teaching them… With a very curious L hanging around us and our dangly threads! It turned out well enough, though. Although I somehow managed not to notice one of them accidentally made a star rather than a flake! We had quite a laugh when she finished it and we took a proper look at it, only to realise it was missing a leg!

I managed to finish this totoro shirt I was sewing for my nephew AN. I gave up on my machine when it started breaking threads and needles, after finishing the applique and finishing the armholes and neck… Ended up bringing it to HK’s and borrowing her machine to finish hemming it! I just hope it fits AN after all that trouble!

But last week I finally sent my sewing machine to be serviced and they did it rather quickly! Last night I managed to sew up a nursing cover for my sis (who is expecting a girl now!). After my trip to Singapore with L, I found out how difficult it is to breastfeed in public in Singapore because people are just not used to it. So a nursing cover should come in very handy for my sis. I’m so glad that when I do need to feed L in public here, nobody blinks an eye.

In case anyone is interested, I followed this tutorial for this nursing cover… I made some modifications… I did a 4x fold strap (fold in half, press, fold in halves again towards the center, press) and topstitched around rather than sew a tube, turn it out and then topstitch anyway.  I hate turning tubes out and my D-rings are smaller so the straps fit better if folded 4 times.

The fabric is a printed cotton. I had to go to the fabric store for this because I did not have any suitable print/type of fabric for this project. I love the paisley designs with the pink and mint. But not overly girly because of the grey! My sis is more of the Hello Kitty type but I hope this is cute enough for her!

While I was at the fabric store, I managed to pick up some printed cotton-silk that is super light and soft but not opaque. I am pretty excited to find some suitable blouse/dress pattern for it. Any suggestions? ^_^

Another crafty-ish thing… I got M to cut a few willow branches when we went for a walk last time we were in the countryside, and twisted the willow branches into a wreath when we got home. It is looking a little bare and scrawny at the moment but I hope to add things on to it and make a Christmas wreath out of it.. If I can find the time for it!

Speaking of time and pumpkins… I recently tried this excellent pumpkin soup recipe, which took almost no time or effort for plenty of really really yummy soup! No pics (that was how little time I had!) but it is really delicious! Modifications: Sauteed an onion instead of the garlic/ginger. Added some chicken (blended in) because I love how chicken tastes in soups! No seasoning apart from salt (only because M is having a cold and even pepper sets his throat off). Also, served the hot soup with some cheese shavings on top of it.

Alright, that is all for now. Hopefully L\s wool suit will be finished by the next post? In anycase, have a great weekend and Happy Halloween/All Saints’ Day!

Back Again

With so much to talk about/show, too!

Sorry about the abrupt disappearance – my laptop kinda broke (it was on the side of the sofa when M sat down and accidentally knocked it down with his elbow!) so I had to get a new one and then get it to work (actually I waited and M got it to work!). The new laptop came with Windows 8, which if you haven’t heard much about before, is terrible with things that pop up and slide around unnecessarily. M did his amazing work replacing this new laptop with a Windows 7 system, which I’m more familiar with. And then there was the search for a photo-editing program which almost didn’t work out until V recommended photoscape, which is perfect for the simple photo-editing I do (cropping, rotating, colour/brightness adjustment). Highly recommended if you’re looking for a good and free basic photo-editing program!

Anyway, it was otherwise rather typical Autumn days…

Except that I bought some yarn!

Some ‘fluff’ yarn. I had worked with one ball (more like a wheel though) of these unspun Estonian wool, which apparently is fantastic as reusable diaper covers. The first time I worked with it, I hated it because you have to be insanely gentle with it. The second time I worked with it, I kinda got the hang of it. This time round I bought 2 from the LYS, and then 2 more from a street fair that same weekend. The orange/green one is for little MJK and I have actually finished the knitting – just have to felt it a bit. I’m planning to make one for L and give this woolen reusable diaper a go.

My favourite online yarn shop recently had a sale so of course I bought more yarn… There is this offer where you can pick the shades you like and 10 balls of Debbie Bliss Party Angel goes for only $35. (And if you’re not fond of glittery mohair, the normal kidsilk mohair has the same offer too.) Oh, and did I mention free worldwide delivery?
(In case you are wondering, this is not a sponsored post!)

Anyway, of course I bought some grey ones… I have a grey mohair cardigan that I am wearing to death and I would love to have more grey mohair cardigans in the wardrobe. Well, to be exact, I would like to have many more handknitted lightweight cardigans in the wardrobe… They are just so versatile and useful! Anyway, I also bought some bright teal and light green ones so it isn’t so terribly drab. :D

Since she had some Bergere de France yarn on sale too, I decided to grab some. The Sonora reminds me of Rowan’s All Season’s Cotton… It has a dry velvety touch and I love the mild green. Perhaps a Spring sweater for L? The little khaki coloured one at the back is French merino, which I’ve been wanting to try out for a while. It feels nice, smooth and sproingy on the ball. Looking forward to knitting with that one!

There was also some Norvege in white, moss and dark brown. Nice fluffy yarn with more body than a lace mohair.

If you are wondering about the drab colours this time round, well, I’m trying to ‘man’ up my stash. Earlier on, I found myself having a hard time trying to find some yarn from my stash to knit something for M or L… I have so many pretty beiges, pinks, and other girly coloured yarn. Now that I’m not just knitting for myself, I suppose any new additions to the stash should help balance it out a bit!

Moving on, I mentioned showing some garments I’ve sewn.. Well, I finally managed to get some pictures! The pictures are decent, but oh so gritty (Finnish winters are not going to get brighter any time soon so I guess I simply have to get a better camera!)..

A blouse.

I have a Zara blouse that I quite like. But because it is so translucent, it is a constant struggle to find something to wear under it. I really like the cut of it, even though the armholes are a bit too big (as usual) and it had this elastic band at the hem that creates a pouf-y look. So I decided to make my own blouse based on that Zara blouse. I found a light fabric that isn’t translucent, traced a pattern out of my Zara blouse with adjustment to make the armhole smaller, of course, and also changed the hem to a hi-lo instead of the pouf-y one. I have yet to add the ruffled sleeves but I hope to have time for that soon, after sending my machine to be serviced (it kept breaking my needle or thread)..

I LOVE this blouse so much! I love the print, the fit and how comfortable it is to wear. I intend to make more of this blouse! (But first I have to trace the pattern out again, because L got his hands on it and ate part of it. :S)

Here is how it looks on me:




I tried it out with a belt, too, since the blousey look almost always makes someone look pregnant…



What do you think? Is it better with or without the belt?

And the next garment…

Last September, I bought and wrote about the Stylish Dress book. In Spring I finally got about sewing one of the designs in the book. I even brought this dress to Singapore on my trip… In fact, I sewed this dress so long ago, I don’t even remember most of the modifications I’ve made!

I used a lace fabric, which meant it had to be lined. For the collar I used a different lace fabric, which had to be lined as well.

For the hem, I cut the lace fabric longer so I could sew it to the lining and not have to worry that I didn’t cut very straight, because the lace fabric folds under.

The finished look is…. Rather maternal looking, if you get what I mean! When I cut the fabric I had chosen the size that is recommended for my size. As I sewed and tried it on, I had to ‘shave’ off the sides because it was simply turning out so big, I was swimming in it! I read that the sizes on Japanese patterns tend to run small, so I made sure to check for my size carefully. But I guess the style is just so very loose fitting!

The original design has elbow-length sleeves, but I changed mine to a short sleeve and sewed the sleeve hem together to make a slight pouf.

I look pregnant, don’t I? I assure you I’m not!



I wear it with a belt. Looks so much better with a belt, don’t you think?




The belt saved the dress. Now I’m not sure if I will sew anything else from that book. Well, at least not without plenty of modification unless I get pregnant again!

Something else crafty! I recently tried my hand at making some marbled trinket bowls using polymer clay and guess what? I’m hooked!

It is so easy to make, too! Take a few colours, mix together to create a marbled look, roll it out flat and drape it in an oven-safe bowl, bake it and then finish it, gilded edges optional! (Though won’t you agree that the gilded edge just gives it a nice updated look?)

I also gave the bowls a thin coating of varnish, which I always feel helps the colours in polymer clay pop and gives it a nicer finish than the plastic looking finish.

After a coat of varnish.

Just black and white creates a very natural marbled look.

I made this for my sis, who likes the Little Mermaid.

The dreamy look of the very delicate pink with blue and green swirls with the gilded edge looks so Little Mermaid-esq, don’t you agree?

A bit of an update on L… He is growing a lot and has begun expressing more interest in his mommy’s fascination with yarn…

As well as interest in getting into everything…

Putting anything in his mouth…

All in all, having a nice chidhood (at least that is what I hope)!

Winter is fast approaching Finland. The last leaves are falling and the temperature dipping. Christmas goodies are already in the supermarkets and….. I haven’t got ANY Christmas knitting done!


But I thought just as much (too busy with a boisterous baby) and decided to sew or do something apart from knitting this year. (Apart from M’s present because he had lost the Danish Poro hat, which he really likes! He asked me to knit another one for him and he is currently using his old Blue Wonder hat. I’m planning to knit him another Poro hat and matching mittens!)

And while I’m sending my sewing machine to be serviced, maybe (finally) a cardigan for me?… But first I need to finish L’s wool suit. One day, I will begin knitting for myself again… At least that is what I hope!

And that is all for now. I hope you have enjoyed this post. Till next time, stay cozy and craft on!

Mid-Autumn’s Eve

First up, the knit I started and finished last weekend:

Little T’s Poro
Pattern: Poro by me
Yarn: DROPS Karisma in brown and grey, approximately 0.5 ball of each.
Modifications: Added a pompom to the top.
Afterthoughts: I knitted the smaller size for T, who just turned 2 last weekend. It is a little big on L, who is (big for his age but only) less than 1 year old… Very quick knit, took me only about a day to knit, and that is with looking after an active baby!

Before blocking…

After blocking. The fabric is more uniform with less puckering after blocking.

A little big on L, who is playing with his new toy here…

… A rocking horse! I’ve always wanted a rocking horse for L. I think I was more excited than L about his rocking horse! He still needs help getting on/off and rocking but I think he will be able t play with it himself soon.

Another look of Poro on L.

Though most of the time I was struggling with this! L had recently learnt to remove his clothing. Which is at times funny and at times frustrating. :D I hope he won’t do that anymore when it gets colder, because it will be really difficult if we have to struggle to keep his hat/mittens on when it is -20C outside!

I like the combination of the brown and grey for colourwork so much that I’ve started another wool suit for L with it. I think it is such a handsome combination that reminds me of rocks and forests. L is currently still wearing the previous wool suit I had knitted for him last winter, but I doubt it will fit him much longer as it is already stretching a bit. (Another thing to love about knits… It accommodates a bigger range of sizes!)

Tomorrow (Sunday) is Mid-Autumn festival. I had just found out on Thursday, upon which I immediately began making some mooncakes.Thankfully, I had bought some paste for the filling when I was in Singapore in May/June so the process was much quicker and easier.

The mooncakes I made for this year. Clockwise from top left – Traditional (baked) green tea flavoured green bean paste, traditional lotus seed paste, Snowskin green tea flavoured green bean paste and snowskin lotus seed paste.

The ‘snowskin’s, which is kinda like mochi. I like these more than the traditional ones.

The traditional baked ones. These are more popular with my friends here, M, HH and TH.

Today I managed to go to the forest again. And I remembered my camera!

The leaves on (I think is) a blueberry bush turning “ruska”.

A mossy (somewhat mature) forest.

There wasn’t much mushrooms again, which is really strange because I see it everywhere in the city but somehow, there is none in the forest here this year. I did manage to take some pics of the few I came across.

This was actually a really small mushrom and I had to lean in to take this pic using macro.

A small toadstool. These are the easiest to spot in the forest, with their bright colour. Unfortunately, very poisonous.

The most interesting bracket fungus I came across today.

Lichen-covered fallen tree.

Another lichen covered branch.

I did not find a single bolete on this (albeit short) trip. :(

A wooly milkcap.

The wooly milkcap. Probably the prettiest mushroom I manage to spot this time round. It is edible after parboiling but I didn’t bother because there was only one.

Mushroom or not, it was nice to come to the countryside among the autumn coloured forests.

That is it for today. I hope that I will be able to take some pics of some clothes I had sewn for myself recently, in the next week. Till next time, happy Mid-Autumn!

Diving in to Autumn

We spent this past weekend in the countryside with TH and HH. Usually, I will take loads of pictures for the blog. But this time I actually forgot my camera! I had it charged and ready but forgot to pack it in my bag… These days my memory had been deteriorating, not that it was anything fantastic to begin with.

Anyway, I ended up taking pictures with my camera phone, which tends to have a blue tinge, but I went mushroom hunting (more on that later) and the scenery was too good to be left to my (terrible) memory.

Seriously, how pretty is it?

Well, to be honest, 90% of the time I was stumbling through really thick forest, but then it sporadically opens out to a mossy clearing and my jaw drops. Oh, yes, and there was also bugs a plenty… The kind that likes to crash into your hair and dig their way into your scalp! But I went prepared this time and had my head all wrapped up with the scarf tucked into my (actually, M’s) sweatshirt.

All that said, it was quite a disappointing trip, mushroom-wise. I hardly saw any mushrooms (apart from the ones I show here) and even less were the edible ones. Very different from my mushroom picking excursion last autumn.

Does this look like a poisonous mushroom to you? I typically steer clear of white mushrooms in the forest, because of this. But I was curious about this mushroom. So I took a peek under the cap (without touching it):

It is a Bolete/Leccinum! (It is white, but it looks green in this picture because of the reflection of the flash off the grass/moss.)

Boletes here are generally quite safe, but even then, I only pick those that I recognise! After a quick check on the mushroom book I’ve borrowed from the library (which is unfortunately in Finnish. But it has the pictures of common local mushrooms and their latin names!) I’ve identified the white mushroom as the “white birch bolete“. I did not pick this particular mushroom though, as I did not have these information when I was in the forest. Next time I probably will pick it, if I come across it again.

Some bracket fungus I came across. I love how varied the colours of bracket fungus are. This one is a plain one, but I think the green ones and the brilliant orange ones are the prettiest.

There was also plenty of lingonberries and even blueberries left, this late in the season. I guess Autumn came a bit late to the North this year.

On Saturday, M and I picked some lingonberries and blueberries from the forest because I want to make lingonberry jam to go with meatballs.

A sprig of lingonberries. They are typically quite tart and sharp tasting so they are not my favourite.

Blueberry. The leaves of the blueberry bushes are turning brown and red now. Very pretty landscape. There is a Finnish word for when the leaves are changing colours – ruska. I wish there is an equivalent in English, but the closest is probably “fall colours”, which doesn’t do it justice!

Although it was a disappointing mushroom picking session, I did manage to find 2 orange birch boletes… No points for guessing what kind of forest I was in!

They were young mushrooms and therefore in very good condition. Not a single bug, which is rare! I guess the mushrooms are just getting started in the forest there when I went to pick. There should be more popping up this week.

These mushrooms stains blue/green after being cut. But that is quite typical of the orange birch boletes here. They actually turn black when cooked! These orange birch boletes have since been made into very yummy soup and consumed. I’m hoping to have a chance to have another mushroom picking excursion this weekend. My stash of dried mushrooms from last year’s excursion are dwindling and need to be replenished! (And this time I’ll try to remember to bring along my camera.)

Apart from mushroom and berry picking, I’ve also started and finished a knit project this weekend. No pictures of it just yet, but I have also finished sewing something yesterday, which I had taken pics of before sending it off to its recipient!

Baby suspender pants with a bow tie!

Do you feel like you’re seeing baby stuff here reeeeally often? I have no idea how, but it seems like babies had been (and still are) popping up all around me like flowers in Spring!

As usual, I tested it out on L, who is also around the same size/age as the recipient, ZL. I was not happy with the bow-tie, which as you can see, was hanging loosely from the tiny baby neck, despite being pretty tight stretch over the head. So I made some adjustment…

Added some hardware to enable tightening…


The bow-tie makes a cute look with the puffy pants. :D I find that puffy pants are really practical for babies. It helps keep the baby from tripping over their pants

This one also has real side pockets… Though I wonder why I bother since they probably won’t use it, right? It is still cute nonetheless.

This outfit is now winging its way over to Singapore now, to ZL who is turning 1 year old next week! I didn’t manage to take a pic of L standing in it because he can’t stand without support yet.

And in case this picture makes you think L is a very cooperative model, he isn’t. ;)

I have a bunch of funny poses like this and with him leaning all over the chair in all sorts of positions!

And that is it for now. L is taking his nap and I must dash and do a bit of sewing before he wakes up!

Back from the Summer

First of all, sorry for the sudden disappearance for the whole summer! Life just ran off with me and the days passed by so quickly I hardly had time to even catch up with my Ravelry feed, much less blog. But I had been crafting a lot in the pockets of time, which are rare now that L is mobile. Before I run off with my natterings, I’ll try to catch up with whatever I managed to catch on camera. Here we go!

This was a cooler-than-usual summer. But it didn’t stop us from having fun! (As you could probably tell from my absence..)

Summer was beautiful nonetheless.

The berries were a little late too but the blueberries in the forest did so much better than last year.

Our Midsummer celebration was a quiet one with me, M, L and HH.

But further down South from where we were, there was a bigger celebration!

AP celebrated her union with her husband in Sicily, Italy. In this pic above, you can see the Mediterranean Sea and the Aeolian Islands behind them. Just typing it feels romantic!

But why am I sharing this?… Well, if you look closely at her dress, you will notice that it is…. Knitted!

Yes! It is a knitted lace overlay knitted by me.

I love how it looks on her. It really helped that the blue dress underneath is tailored to fit her perfectly… And, can you believe it, she sewed it herself! This was a collaboration of a scale I had never (and probably will never) attempted before. I’ve always wanted to knit a wedding dress, but it seems like such an insane amount of work. (Plus I do not have the sewing skills anywhere near that of AP!) But my chance came when AP was planning a celebration for her wedding.

And truly, who better to knit it for? Although there were times when I was working on the last rounds of the skirt that I was rolling around the sofa groaning, but still constantly knitting (was rushing to finish it before AP left this city) Thankfully, M was able to take over L for a couple of days so I could work exclusively on this project of a lifetime. But you know what? AP looked so stunningly glamorous in it, it was worth every stitch!

For the dress, I designed the lace using the main lace stitch from Jenny Johnson Johnen’s Echo Flowers for the bust, which flowed seamlessly into the lace with nupps, also from Echo Flowers (edging) for the hips. After that, I merged in the peacock motif from MMario’s Snowflake Peacock, continued into simple feather lace from Renate Haeckler’s Freya’s Shawl for the skirt, then finished off with another round of peacock motif from the Snowflake Peacock. The yarn used was a 50/50 silk/linen cobweb thread from Colourmart in an ecru colour. I believe the blue dress was sewn from a silk fabric (will add in more information about that when I remember to ask AP!) Because of the sheer lace and fiber (silk and linen), I didn’t want to knit it to the finished length as the lace will stretch out quite much when blocked, and the silk/linen (typically) continues to stretch under its own weight.

Hot off the needles, unblocked. I kinda had to improvise for the feather, and subsequently, the peacock motifs at the bottom because the mermaid shaping style of the dress. The feather part was quite straightforward to shape, but the peacock motifs were a little more tricky (read, I winged it and kept my fingers crossed).

Right out from the blocking bucket… The lace had very obviously benefited from the quick soak already! It opened up and draped beautifully even on the sofa. Later, I brought it over to AP’s and we started attaching it onto the dress. We managed the armholes and neckline and then AP later finished it off and added the pearl trims in Madrid and Sicily. When we started working on the skirt, it was only maybe 3/4 of the way down the length. But with a blast of steam from her iron, the lace opened up even further.

And there it was, my project of a lifetime. Hopefully it also brings them a lifetime of bliss!

Continuing with the old news up north…


We went to pick strawberries at a farm one weekend with ML. I’ve always wanted to go pick strawberries at a strawberry farm. Perhaps I have a romanticized idea of strawberry-picking, but I was not disappointed! Freshly picked strawberries are the best, indeed! It was so sweet, juicy and somehow tastes so much better! This picture don’t do the actual strawberries we picked justice… I got too carried away with the picking (with sticky fingers too!) to take proper pics but they were really big,juicy and ripe.

We picked a lot of berries, most of which had been made into jam or frozen.

We intend to go again next summer!

After the strawberries, came the blueberries! I made blueberry pies only once or twice this summer.

And then one day, I decided to make some fluffy pancakes on a whim. We had them with some homemade lemon curd. I made the moose-shaped pancake by placing a cookie cutter on the pan, then pouring the batter in. Apart from this time, we usually have Finnish style pancakes, which are more like crepes (and M is really good at making those!)

These scones, however, had been re-visted countless times this summer! And I’m sure for the future seasons as well. They are my friend VP’s Filmjölk (Buttermilk*) Scones. This recipe is very highly recommended. It is very quick to make and so versatile, being a basic scone recipe. You can make them savoury or sweet. I personally prefer them savoury – with cheeses and herbs for example! I like to make them when we have curry.

*VP had advised that Swedish Filmjölk/Finnish Piimä is fattier/creamier than buttermilk. If you cannot find Filmjölk or Piimä where you are, you can replace it with buttermilk plus a spoon of sour cream added in.

Mmmm! You have to try this recipe. I’m pretty sure you won’t regret it!

I’ve also made fudge recently. We decided that since we had so many cake occasions this August, I will make fudge instead of cake for our 2nd wedding anniversary. There were marshmallows, salted peanuts and liquorice in there. So bad, but so good!!

I have done another patchwork quilt this summer. This time using the FreeSpirit pack I bought along with the Persimmon one last Autumn. I paired the FreeSpirit pack with some plain white cotton and made simple 8-point stars plus a flying geese border for the top and bottom using the leftover fabric.

The finished quilt. This time round, I tried out the quilt sandwich method and used the backing fabric to make the binding (the edge that joins the back and front). Quilting method was the classic stitch-in-the-ditch.

Back view. A bit scrunchy but this side won’t be seen much anyway. :P

It was my first time with 8-point stars and also the flying geese shown. I really like the flying geese look. I like how simple but graceful it looks. Mine are a bit wonky but its good enough for me!

This patchwork quilt is L’s bedcover and had been in use for the past couple of months already. The width is wide enough to be tucked in and the length is long enough to cover the parts I want covered.

Patchwork quilting had been fun. But I think I’ve done enough quilting for the year. :D Also, quilting eats up thread really quickly. I’ve actually finished a few spools of thread already! For the first time in my life!

I also did some other quick sewing recently, making a project bag for a crafting friend.

It has a drawstring closure.

I stuffed the bag with some yarn from the stash. She crochets and I thought maybe this can make a little lap blanket.

This one is very recently sewn up, just this past week! A cute little overall for AP’s little LL, who celebrated his 1st year just this past weekend.

Back view.

I tested the fit on L yesterday, after finishing the overall, since L and LL are quite similar in size. LL was super adorable in the overalls though, with the wide and pouffy pants. :D

I’m not 100% sure but I believe the fabric I’ve used is a light viscose one. It drapes really softly and lightly. I’ve bought enough of this fabric to make 1 or 2 more overalls that I intend to make for some baby boys in Singapore. The fabric is excellent for hot/humid weather!

I had ordered these (ultra)suede labels a couple of years and really love them. Very soft, outstanding and classy.

I used golden buttons to add a bit of a pirate style to these overalls.

The overalls have little REAL side pockets. How cute is that? ^_^

I had also made a matching pacifier clip but forgot to take a pic of it. :( But the clip is a wooden one with a pirate ship printed on it. Black and white as well, to match the overall.

Funny thing about the overall, though. It is a very good thing that the print is so busy because otherwise my stitching will be really obvious and it will look pretty terrible! I probably should’ve used a black thread so that my newbie stitching won’t be so obvious, but I felt that a red contrast will match the pirate theme. If you could see my stitching, you will think I’ve been sewing drunk!

Another funny thing – it was my first time making sewn buttonholes and when I tried to cut open the first one, the seam-ripper was stuck so I gave it a stronger tug, upon which the entire piece ripped right through to the top! I freaked out a little and tried to patch it up using a wide zigzag stitch over the torn parts. Thankfully it seems to have worked. But then I had to do the same zigzag stitching on the other buttonhole as well so it won’t look as weird as it already is!

Knitting-wise, I have done quite a bit as well. I’m knitting in a knitalong with VP for this lace-mohair cardigan. It is based on an existing pattern but we decided to modify it and knit it according to our own measurements. I’m done with the body now and have since moved on to the sleeves, which of course is now going slowly. At the top of the pic, the body is unblocked and at the bottom is the body after a quick soak. I have now seamed up the shoulders and am working the sleeves top down.

I have recently been knitting some things for a baby photographer in town. This is one of the sets I’ve knitted. There is a white set too, which I’ve (unbelievably) forgotten to take a pic of! I’m pretty sure I remember taking pics of it but there wasn’t any.

I also made some baby basket for the photographer. This one turned out too small but I’ve since made a bigger one to replace it (and sent it off without taking pics of it, of course.)

Same goes for this pouch. I made this at the same time as the basket above and have made a bigger replacement at the same time as the replacement basket.

And that is all the pics from my camera for catching up! Phew!

That is pretty much my summer. How have your summer been?

Hello! Sorry for the disappearance, but the past weeks had been sort of a roller coaster ride! Not quite a leisurely boat ride with a barcarolle in the background, but more like a roller coaster ride, “Amazing Race” style, with a baby in tow!

I had been to Singapore and back, just me and little L! 12-hour plane rides are typically tiring enough without a 5-6 month old baby in tow, but I’m proud to say that L was an amazingly easy baby in flight! He slept most of the time and didn’t cry (except when he was hungry). I even managed to knit on the plane (while L slept)!

Here is a look at the little angel:

Before the trip, when TH and HH visited.

Since it had been such a long time since I last posted here, I’ll just show some of the crafty things I’ve done in the meantime rather than try to catch up with all the stuff that had happened in the meantime!

I have made 3 little quilts for some friends/sibling who had a little one recently. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to take proper pics before these hastily taken ones in Singapore… Apparently, I have forgotten how to work with the lighting in Singapore, which tends to be more yellowish! So the quality of the pics are not all that good. :(
This is the first of the 3 quilts I made… The patchwork was made out of strips of fabric. The theme I chose for this was ‘safari’ and this went to a little boy.For the quilting, I tried a free-hand doodling. I’m still not quite sure if I like the effect of this, though M and the recipient both seem to think it looks perfectly fine.
Back view… Not very straight stitching but hey, I’m still quite a newbie! ;) The backing and border for the patchwork was 1 big piece so, like my first quilt for L, this is not the traditional way quilts are made. No quilt sandwich or binding. I find that even though this method requires a bit more precision, there is much less waste and actually easier/faster.

The second quilt I made in this round… This went to my sis’ little boy. The fabric was actually from M’s godmother and I was saving it for something for L. But in the end I decided to make a quilt for A instead, since L already has a quilt. I played with optical illusion for this patchwork and it was actually quite a lot of fun making it! Can you tell what the illusion is?

It is supposed to look like cupboards/boxes/window panes!

The quilting for this was very simple, because I don’t want to distract from the lovely backing – teddy bears and strawberries! I did the same for this as the previous quilt – border and backing all in one piece. In fact, I did the same for all 3 quilts.

This 3rd quilt was a little more special. it is for a friend’s little girl so I chose very dainty floral prints for this quilt. This time round, I worked with hexagons! First I cut the fabric into strips, sewed the strips into very long strips according to the design, then cut out half-hexagons out of all of it. Then I paired up the half-hexagons and chain-pieced them to make hexagons as you see in the pic above.

I should note that for all the cutting for these quilts, I used a big cutting board I had borrowed from AP. There are markings for 30, 45 and 60 degrees on the cutting board, which I found immensely useful. Also, I am thinking on getting a cutting board myself too, after trying out AP’s. it is just so much easier to do patchwork with a cutting board and rotary cutter!
Here are my pieces of hexagons, ironed out.

Piecing it together before sewing it up..

Sewed and ironed. It was a little tricking sewing hexagon patchwork, because often there will be up to 6 pieces of fabric meeting at the same point. In any case, this also has an optical illusion! Can you guess what the illusion is?

It is supposed to look like 3D boxes stacked against each other! And I have arranged it so that the red/pink/orange faces are in the direction that looks like hearts.

Set in the border, which is the same fabric as the backing. M helped me choose this fabric and I think this fabric is indeed perfect for this patchwork!
For the quilting, I went the in-the-ditch way again, like I did for L’s quilt.

Quilted… It looks skewed because of the angle the picture is taken… The quilt is a very boring rectangle. ;)

On the back.

For this quilt, I decided to try out one of the pretty embroidery stitch on my Husqvarna sewing machine… The hearts are all different shapes and sizes, but I like to think that looks like doodling and adds to the handmade charm!

On this trip, I managed to pop in the local knitout briefly to catch up with old friends with L. I didn’t stay long because L was in need of action pretty soon after we settled down. But one of my oldest knitting buddy LL gave me a braid of Pigeonroof Studio’s Superwash Merino spinning fibre in the colourway Magical! Such pretty colours, magical indeed! I really must spin up that merino on the wheel so I can spin this up as well! If you’re reading this, thanks again LL!

On this trip, amidst the packed days, we managed to make a trip to the beach. L and I enjoyed the sea breeze and getting sand between our toes.

And that is all for now! More catch up next post, when hopefully I have managed to take (somewhat) decent pictures of the new dress I had made.

Juhannus (Midsummer) is this coming weekend! It is one of the bigger celebrations up here in the north. This year I’m planning the menu and there are some asian favourites in there! I’ll try to keep my camera on standby and take more pics than I did on this trip back to Singapore… It is a lot more possible now because M is around to take care of L when needed. :P

If I do not post again before then, have a great Juhannus!


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