Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Cinnamon Oat Bars

I've been making soap for my family for the past 12 months and thought it was high time I shared the recipe with you all....
My most favourite bar by far would have to be 'cinnamon oat'.... It makes for the perfect kitchen soap and washers up dirty garden hands a treat!!!!
It's also super soft on the kiddies hands, works up a lather really well,
and the heavenly smell it leaves always has me smelling my fingers for hours after every wash : : YUMM-O!!!!
So here's my super simple soap recipe.....

Grate up 3 cups of plain, unscented soap flakes (you could just as easily use lux flakes if you'd prefer to not grate your own). Put these flakes into a heavy based saucepan with 2/3 cups of milk and 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

Heat slowly... This is important as you don't want the milk to burn and trust me, if you rush it it will!!!!

When the soap flakes start to melt add 1/3 cups of milk powder. Stir until all of the lumps have dissolved and your mixture is smooth, almost melted wax like in consistency.

Now I like to add my flavours... Have fun with this!!!

I add 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon essential oil and 1/4 cup of mixed oats and bran for my cinnamon oat bars. (I also love adding lemon rind and lemon essential oil for an odour busting bar. These bars are perfect to use after handling garlic and onions)...

Once you're happy with the consistency of your mixture it's time to pour it into a mould.
I have an old aluminium ice tray that I use for my soap, it measures 6cm x 22cm and is about 5cm deep. Any container of similar size will do (plastic, glass, aluminium, etc), just make sure you grease it well with olive oil.

Allow the soap to set for at least 2 hours and then turn it out onto a chopping board and slice into 1.5cm wedges. I now like to cure my soap by sitting it on a wire rack for at least 24hours. Store your soap somewhere dry until you're ready to use it, I put mine in an old biscuit tin....
From each batch of soap I usually get about a dozen bars which lasts my family of 4 for 3 months, minimum... At a cost of approximately $2.50 a batch this really is a much more economical way to clean your family, don't you think???

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Favourite Fibre....

I have a gorgeous lady that often comes into my shop who's an amazing craft-er... She has been on the hunt for a super simple fingerless glove pattern that she can knit flat for the past couple of months now...
So with this in mind I set to work and drafted her up a little pattern.... (If you'd like a copy too just let me know in the comments and I'll forward it on to you)....
I've also been working on something quite special for another lady I know... She requested it to be silk-y, smooth and breathable....
An accessory to adorn her head in the warmer months.....
I was allowed to use whatever fibre I liked and you know what, the first one that came to mind was my new Debbie Bliss Silk....
What would be your perfect Spring/Summer fibre if you had to choose???? I'm loving this silk but it would be in heavy competition with my new favourite fibre, Debbie bliss' fair-trade cotton, Eco-baby....

Happy Knitting....... Jodie xx-xx

Sunday, September 19, 2010

I Heart Visitors!!!!!

I was lucky enough to have a few blog-y visitors happen upon my store Saturday....
It was so good to catch up, even if it was only briefly....
Here's some links to the pic's that they took....
Fiona, Peg and Gaizie.....
Thanks for popping in Ladies, I can't wait for you to come back again!!!!
Here's a sneak peak at the size 2-3 crochet dress pattern that I'm currently drafting....
(more details on my Ravelry page here)
With size 6-18 months and 2-3 years done I'm now working on size 3-4 years and am hoping to release the patten come next week, fingers crossed... Is there any other sizes that you might be interested in????
Happy Knitting............. Jodie xx-xx

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Little More Ruffle....

With ruffles on the brain this week I turned my hand to making this gorgeous knitted scarf (free pattern available here).... I've had my eye on this for quite some time now and when a new shade of Heirloom 8ply Alpaca happened upon my shop last week it was definitely a sign, time to start a knitting!!!

I'm thrilled to bits with how it's turned out but must admit, it wouldn't be finished today if it wasn't thanks to a visit from my Mum....
She knitted the bulk of this baby for me during her visit last week, leaving the daunting task of the 450st ruffle to me.....
Happy Knitting ....................................... Jodie xx-xx

Monday, September 13, 2010

Crochet Version....

After making the knitted dress for Connie I knew I just had to turn my hand at trying to make a little crochet one to match for my Millie (size 1). I used Debbie Bliss Ecobaby, again, in a gorgeous olive shade (available in my shop for $9.50 a ball)... I love how this one turned out even more so than the knitted version (is that possible).... The ruffle is just perfect and the slight flair on the sleeves divine!!!!
But my most favourite part of all is the handmade buttons on the back, they really do set the whole thing off don't you think???


So with all of this crochet excitement I'm now working on a size 3-4 and am hoping to have it finished today... What do you think??? Would you like me to post the pattern up here for both sizes when I'm done??? Maybe you have a size in mind that you'd like instead, measure the chest circumference and pop it into my comments... I'm no genius but I'll do my darnedest to create a crochet dress pattern to match...

Friday, September 10, 2010

1 Ball Projects.....

I've been looking for patterns to make for Spring that only use 1 x 50g ball of yarn in an effort to introduce some of the more 'boutique' yarns to my local girls... I love using nice yarn but when you're paying anywhere from $9.50+ per ball those projects that take more than 1/2 a dozen do seem a tad on the expensive side...
What do you think??? What kind of yarn do you like to purchase and is there a limit that you put on yourself when it comes to the price???
This dress was a great little '1 ball project' that I whipped up in only 2 evenings (free pattern available here).
I used some Debbie Bliss Ecobaby yarn which sells for $9.50 a ball. I would so totally use this yarn again!!!! It was silky smooth to the touch and a dream to knit with... The colour, almost teal, is divine and looks just gorgeous teamed up with the blue/black wool/linen blend that I used for the skirt of the dress...
I'm really loving cotton at the moment and have used it again to make this little pair of super cute baby booties for my shop....... It's Sierra and is another gorgeous yarn!!! The 80% cotton, 20% wool blend is just exquisite!!! It has a real texture to it that allows it to mould beautifully to a pattern....

There are so many gorgeous yarns available which really makes me excited to be a knitter/crocheter.... What's a great yarn that you've used lately, one that's really made your heart sing???


Hugs............. Jodie xx-xx

Monday, September 6, 2010

End of Lamb Marking.....

As we slowly etch towards the end of lamb marking 5 minutes has come my way bringing with it a chance to reflect a little....
Before long Miss Millie will be big enough to help out as well. Ever mindful of this I treasure the days watching my little baby on the other side of the fence....
I'm so grateful to be able to live this gloriously simple life that I do even if at times it feels as though we are forever chasing our tails... The memories that we are making, being a close knit family that is lucky enough to work and play together, makes it all worth while....
So as Millie watches the last of the lambs run off into the paddock, another long day on the farm is complete and as always, leaves us thirsty for more....

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Silk-y Goodness........ *winner*

When I first saw Debbie Bliss Pure Silk I knew it wouldn't be long before I'd have to have some of my very own..... Well, guess what??? I now do!!!!! *squeel*
So with all of this Silk-y goodness I just couldn't resist playing around a bit and came up with this little bookmark.... I just love this stuff!!! It's delicious to use and drapes so beautifully when crocheted up into lace... Have you ever used silk fibre/yarn before??? I'd love to hear what YOU thought of it...
Thanks to everyone who entered my give-away... There are so many great stories which makes it so hard to choose just 1 winner so I put my 6 favourite into a hat and Miss Connie drew out the winner..... So, Congratulations....... Knitter Sue!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Email me your snail mail and I'll pop your Noro in the post asap...