Saturday, March 14, 2015

Finished project - Flip style diaper

finished diaper I needed to increase our diaper stash and so made it a goal this week to finish at least one diaper. Although I have made a few different  diapers using both purchased patterns, those freely available online, and combinations thereof (I once made a Franken-diaper that pulled from as many sources as there were seams), I've come to settle on Arfy's freely available patterns and tutorials as top of the line.
close up of puppies on fabricThis diaper is sewn using her Flip style pattern and tutorial. I find this style of cloth diaper easy to diaper with (less washing), and easiest to sew. Sewing waterproof legs is a talent. The less fabrics to interfere with this process, the better.

I made this diaper with a velcro closure, even though the reviews say that snap closures are pretty much the way to go (they don't wear over washings, a big deal in cloth diapering). I have made a few diapers with snaps already, and the application process is quite time consuming - hence the velcro. I just wanted a diaper today!

The fabric is from Diaper Sewing Supplies. I was sucked in by the soulful eyes of the puppies. I probably wouldn't have sewn my own diapers at all if not for those eyes.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Completed project: simple - yet - effective shawl

I blocked another piece this week. I finished the simple - yet - effective shawl a couple of years ago, but finally got around to blocking it this week.

The idea of alternating two Noro Kureyon colourways was not mine, I saw it on Ravelry. This for me is variegation at its best: I keep knitting (and knitting) because I am always looking forward to seeing how the colours juxtapose.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Bircher muesli

I love bircher muesli.

I bumped into these Blueberry Pie Oats and learned that the process of soaking oats overnight is called bircher muesli. While the Blueberry Pie Oats recipe is a little divergent from the origins of bircher muesli, the basics are there: soak rolled oats in something overnight, with fruit involved somehow.

my blueberry-pie-ish oatsI first encountered this way of making oats in the What to Expect book. Their recipe calls for soaking half a cup oats with raisins and apricots in half a cup orange juice and half a cup vanilla yogurt. While I more or less stuck to that recipe, I switched to plain yogurt so it was less sweet.

This became the only thing I really wanted to eat for what seemed like weeks on end. In my first trimester I craved things in 5 minute bursts. Once the burst was over I was nauseous, sometimes just thinking about the food I had moments before craved. But these oats really did it for me (it didn't hurt that I could always eat first thing in the morning). I also liked the convenience of making it the night before, and that I could bring it to work in a handy Mason jar.

So the fact that there is whole world of bircher muesli out there for me to explore? Makes my day.

William Dam Seeds - Trip

While I read catalogues from several different seed companies, William Dam in Dundas is the only seed company I visit. Friday was seed day!

William Dam Seeds in DundasWilliam Dam is where I buy most of my vegetable and flower seeds. I like that they've maintained the family business feel, I appreciate their commitment to organic and heirloom gardening, and the fact they have a cat at their storefront. I also love their selection of green crops, which help with soil improvement. You grow the crop, you mow it if necessary, you turn it into the soil. Bam. Your soil is better. 

Although I needed to restrain myself from buying flowers and vegetables, green crops are a worthwhile investment. This fourth summer at the house, I am ready to do some serious renovation of the planting beds. Buckwheat is a fast growing cover that suppresses weeds, and the 50/50 peas oats mix is supposed to be a good nitrogen fixer. I have plans to use both in various sections of the garden throughout the season.

my seed stashAlthough calling a three-dollar packet of seeds a "splurge" I must impress that I have many, many seeds already, and almost ten types of tomato seeds. So my splurge was actually for my father's garden: a crossed heirloom tomato that keeps the great heirloom taste, while providing more disease resistance. William Dam has several new "heirloom marriages" this year, and while I will still grow traditional heirlooms I would like to give these a try as well.

While it is by no means exclusive to William Dam, I also picked up some diatomaceous earth for snail control. We have many, many snails. We will see how effective this treatment is.