resolution time: get organised


today i started on a big task: organising the stash. i have way too much stuff. it's crazy. most of it tucks away in the bay window seat, which looks innocent enough when closed...

but when opened, reveals a horrible mess!

i have a bad habit of starting projects and not finishing them. i cut and pin fabric, and then put it away. mostly this is because it is difficult to find the space & time to work with fabric and pins and scissors and machines with a 6-year-old boy in the house. i get as much done as i can, and then get interrupted and put it all away. because of this, i tend to cut out multiples, say, four shirts at once, and then get one sewn if i'm lucky. but with extras cut out, i am theoretically read to go at any time! theoretically. here we have four shirts, three or four skirts, and cushion covers.

ideally, by the end of this endeavour, all the uncut fabric will be measured, packed, and labelled like this:

instead of giant bags of mixed-up misery, like this yarn:

i got my "projects on the go" down to one bag from two. and i did manage to fill a whole bag of scraps and leftovers to get rid of. embarrasing, really.

and, i managed to cram it all back in - plus all my sewing patterns as well. i have another box of sewing notions that need sorting, and knitting patterns that need to get in there, too.

it all looks remarkably civilised when the lid is closed!


ringing in a sweet new year: honey cake + shelburne cowl

it's new year's day, and we decided to kick off the new year in the best way possible: with cake!

we were invited out to a new year's day brunch, and thought it would be a good occasion to try smitten kitchen's honey cake. it's a bit of a huge recipe but absolutely simple technique-wise, and i was looking forward to having three loaf cakes - one to take, one for home, and one to save for a rainy day (tomorrow, maybe?). and honey cake to guarantee a sweet new year is a lovely tradition.

i soon realised however that i only have two loaf pans! so i went with the two layer cakes opetion instead.

i read the notes, especially observing the update on leavening to solve the problem of the fallen middle. however:


i salvaged it by gamely chopping the fallen center out of the cake, slicing the remaining edge pieces into neat rectangles, and arranging them on a plate. i felt bad bringing it, but the reaction was overwhelmingly, "is that honey cake? yay!" so i guess it was all right.

next up was finishing my cable rib cowl.

i decided to go with the drawstring hat option, because why not?

then i tried to take a picture of what it looks like as a hat, indoors in poor light, with my own shaky hands holding the camera, with varying degrees of failure.

ah well.

shelburne cowl (inspired by shelburne mitts)

need: 2 skeins rowan big wool, and a 5mm circ

gauge: 14 sts = 4 inches in cable rib pattern, unstretched

cast on 60 sts using long tail technique, or other stretchy cast on of your choice. join to work in round.

row 1: (k2; p1) repeat till end of round.

row 2: (k into second stitch, then k into first stitch, then slide both off needle together; p1) repeat till end of round.

repeat these two rows until work measures 8 1/2" ending with row 2.

drawstring row: (k2; yo k2tog; k1; p1) repeat till end of round.

next row: as for row 2.

work 5 more rows in pattern, ending with row 1. bind off in pattern using stretchy bind off of your choice, such as yo; k1; slip first stitch and yo over last stitch. weave in ends.

cast on three sts for i-cord. k3, slip 3 purlwise to left needle, hold yarn behind. repeat till measures 34". weave in ends. thread through holes in cowl.