Monday, September 5, 2011

Sewing and Knitting

A breakthrough has occurred between knitting and my brain this week. Somehow everything has just kind of 'clicked into place'. Yay!! Suddenly patterns make sense and I can now cable. Oh the possibilities.
Sheets ripped into 1 inch strips for knitting
I have been working on a pattern from Coco knits. The rag bath mat is a free pattern that uses ripped up strips of old bed sheets. A few years ago I crocheted strips of old sheets into bath mats and they turned out great. They are in almost weekly use and show no signs of wear and tear. They are super absorbent too. Knitting up the rags is much easier and quicker for me. The perfect first project for cabling. Gosh it is magic how the twist just appears with a simple step.
First cable project! 
When the knitting needles are taking a breather I have been finishing my shirt that I started ages ago. I have finally completed it. It is certainly not perfect but it satisfying to wear something that I have made. The shirt has ended up being a great fit and really comfortable to boot. Really happy to have this project crossed off the list. The pattern is  McCall's M5929. I used a VOGUE SEWING book for the parts I found tricky.
Finished shirt
There are a couple of other projects from the trusty machine but will have to photograph them. In the meantime I have cleaned the bathroom and kitchen with the cleaning paste I blogged about yesterday. Wow it is fabulous. I didn't have peppermint essential oil so added tea tree and lavender instead. Smells fresh and brings out the shine in stainless steel, tiles and porcelain. Making cleaning products is so going back now!

Making and Baking

During my time away from Thrifty Fox blogging there has been a whole lot of making going on. Baking, sewing, making cosmetics, knitting, holidaying, thrifting, job hunting, concert going and more have kept this fox busy.
Ma Fox and I have been bitten by the cosmetic making bug....Oooo so much fun.  Ma Fox visited for blissful holiday and we had such a fun week together. Inspired by this website and the book " A Home Companion" by Wendyl Nissen we made some homemade deodorant, shampoo and moisturiser (which works great as a cleanser too).
The deodorant recipe came from this post on the 'Angry Chicken' blog. We did modify it a little. Mine was a little hard despite adding some vegetable glycerin. Mum added a little beeswax and a larger dollop of glycerin and came out softer. I used rose, tea tree and  lavender essential oils for fragrance and it smells lovely.
Lotions and potions inspiration
The shampoo recipe was an experimental combination out of a few first it was really runny but over the next couple of days it formed a lovely gel. I have been using it every few days and my hair is really soft. Have been doing a once a week rinse with apple cider vinegar to prevent a dull build up. My scalp has been less itchy and I will definitely be making another batch.
The moisturiser has not emulsified but it still lovely and my skin just drinks it up. With a little more research and some more practice I think that the perfect homemade moisturiser won't be too far away. Gosh it is such a thrill adding and melting exciting ingredients all together and the house smells so divine after a session at the cauldron too!!
The week before Ma Fox arrived I made the Laundry Detergent from A Home Companion and it works great. My clothes are faintly perfumed with rose essential oil and come out perfectly clean. Today I am going to whip up a batch of Peppermint Cleaning Paste (also from Wendyl Nissen) and I can't wait to see the results. This Fox does tend to worry about nasties that lurk in our foods and around the home so knowing exactly what is going into my homemade products is really comforting. Finding some of the ingredients was tricky but I did stumble across a wonderful Devonport (Auckland, New Zealand) company that are fabulous. Go Native New Zealand stock just about everything that you need to make your own cosmetics. Great service and lovely products.

On the baking front I have been enjoying making my own bread. I have used a few recipes but have found that the bread in The Edmonds Cookery Book, a kiwi staple to be the easiest and most delicious. Kneading the bread has been just what my busy mind has required over the past few weeks. I love that the house smells so yummy while it cooks and when it's fresh out oven there is nothing tastier.

Breadmaking mess!