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Friday, 26 November 2010

Damn you boyfriend hat!

I am sure you are all familiar with the 'Curse of the Boyfriend Jumper'? Girl meets Boy, they fall in love. Girl happens to knit and wants to show her affection by knitting a jumper for Boy. Girl works tirelessly to create her masterpiece, foregoing social life and friends in order to reach her goal. Giddy with delight, she hands over her finished object to Boy. Boy says 'It itches. And it's lumpy. Oh and did you see the slight mistake in the seam here?' The relationship is now doomed.

It was therefore with some trepidation that I commenced work on a beanie for M. He is not really a huge fan of knitted clothing so really I'm not sure why I insist on trying to convert him to the joys of being fibre-clad. Anyway, it was all going to be fiiine.

After having sped through the pattern, and used nothing less than 100% cashmere, the hat was ready to be tried:

Huge problem: ladies and gentlemen, we have *earlobe*. It seems that in my rush to complete the project I had scrimped slightly on the length. I had already extended the ribbing, but obviously this was not enough.

Intent on not being beaten, I furiously frogged the decreases and added another couple of centimetres. Ta dah!

Finally all is well again in the household. Sadly this little hat didn't quite withstand the -22 degrees in Germany last weekend, but it will suffice for London's current cold snap.

Felting fun at Harvey Nicks

While accompanying M on his (unsuccessful) mission to find a tweed suit at Harvey Nichols last week, I happened upon some mannequins wearing interesting felted headgear. Please excuse the slight motion blur, I was a little concerned about being rugby tackled by staff.

Who says that felting isn't an art form?

Slightly reminds me of the animal masks from the Abattoir Pages Halloween event last year.

The headpieces are the creation of the slightly eccentric Barbara Keal of 'Kealworks'. The smaller ones with ears are £80, while the larger horned pieces are £150. Though apparently she is also selling 'Animal Hat promises' for Christmas, where recipients may choose their own design.

At last something to do with all that roving which is skulking around in my yarn stash. That'll be me getting an antler stuck in a Tube door then...

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Ishbel the Second

After spying my first Ishbel a few months back, my mum declared that she would like one just like that for her Birthday too. So what could I do if not oblige?

Last weekend it was finally handed over:

Next shawl is already on the go - an Icelandic creation apparently. Deciphering the Danish pattern is taking some time, but I would rather go slow and get it *right*!

Wednesday, 17 November 2010


Having perused one of my favourite feminist-inspired websites Bitch-Buzz yesterday, I happened upon a lovely recipe for courgette and gruyere tart. I decided then and there that it would be mine!

A quick shopping trip later and I was ready to go. Really, why don't I make tarts more often? It's so easy! Especially if you use pre-made puff pasty (or is that cheating?).

Pre cooking:

Post baking:


Monday, 8 November 2010

Cacophony of Cake

There has been a slight theme when it comes to the past couple of weeks: CAKE!

The first encounter was Miss Cakehead's 'Eat Your Heart Out & the PRETOX Potion' pop-up cake shop featuring rude and disgusting-looking cakes - the first over 18s only cake shop apparently. Of course there was a queue when we arrived..

First up, road-kill cake:

Mysterious-masked-lady-meets-a-bloody-end cake:

Who hasn't felt like this during a particularly boring lesson?

Various gross cakes, which were selling like er, hotcakes..


Next up: pumpkin cookies of my own making. These actually came about because of American/UK portion size discrepancies.. Having successfully scored some tinned pumpkin, I carefully followed on the on-tin pumpkin pie recipe, pre-made pastry case in hand. However, after having filled said pastry case I found that I had about 3/4 of the mixture still remaining..

Well, I wasn't going to waste some perfectly good pumpkin pie mixture. I therefore piled in some flour, butter and baking power until it began to resemble something akin to cake mix. After spooning and baking, the result was a cross between a cookie and cake:

Taking inspiration from Cookie Girl, I created some of her marshmallow-esque filling and got spreading. The result? Pumpkin and marshmallow sandwiches:

Not bad, although next time I might make them a little smaller. Also, the marshmallow mixture had a tendency to creep out of the sandwiches and ooze onto the grease-proof paper.


Lastly some bat-snacks made with my niece last weekend - ok they were from a mix, but I think we lent them some originality with our icing skills:

Cake, such a flexible medium.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Bustle hassle

For those unfamiliar with White Mischief events, let me just say: the costume's the thing. You can spend hours getting ready for these events, feel like a Christmas tree all the way there and then finally arrive, take a look around and suddenly feel under dressed.. Then again, I'm one of those people who gladly spends more time than is strictly necessary planning my outfit, checking that I have the right false eyelashes and make-up, perhaps crafting a couple of items for the event.. I even have a little costume rehearsal a day or two in advance to check that everything is in place. I can't explain it, I'm just a costume geek.

Therefore, when I spied a bustle tutorial on Cut Out and Keep I knew I would have a reason to wear one before long. After initially struggling with the metres of silky material, I decided to do myself a favour and not be too much of a perfectionist. Things went a lot better after that, although I did manage to snap two sewing machine needles. It was worth it in the end though.

Apologies for the slightly dubious photo quality. Shiny textiles and flash obviously do not go together too well..

The front:

The back:

The whole thing:

I don't have many pictures of it being worn, but hope this one will do:

The cabaret acts were a bit of a mixed bag this time around (the Irish rapper was one of my faves), but the people-watching was pretty amazing. Always good to be around like-minded costume freaks.