a busy domestic blog of knitting, sewing and all kinds of needlecrafts, cooking my garden produce and preserving it

Thursday, 26 January 2012


Decided this week to try some of our own home-grown, home-dried beans for lunch in minestrone.

I was just a bit on the wary side as we've never dried beans before but soaked and boiled them as for shop-bought dried pulses- and we're still here to tell the tale!
Also into the pot went home grown (frozen) tomatoes and leaves from the early purple sprouting broccoli (which isn't sprouting yet) along with supermarket's own organic carrots. As I was chopping these, I wondered about the feasibility of replacing them with parnips - we have lots of these to use at the allotment but no carrots.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Trousers into Scarf project.

This is the third appearance of what was once a pair of orange velvet jeans. When the elder daughter was bored of them, they were cut into a pair of loose pull-on trousers for the younger one.

They've been worn and washed and eventually made their way to the 'charity bag' pile but I liked the material too much to let them go.
I've been wondering for a while what use I could make of orange velvet, then hit on the idea of a scarf - quick, easy, a couple of seams and done, hopefully.

The longest job was taking them apart and reducing them to 4 trouser shaped pieces. I carefully undid all the seams but needn't have bothered as I then cut all the edges off while turning into neat rectangles!
I was faced with two options at this point - either short, wide wrap or long thin scarf - and went for long and thin, sowing the short ends together....

...which made a long thin sausage to feed through the sewing machine.
Amazingly, even the turning right way round went easily

ta dah!!

finished scarf!

This definitely counts as upcycling as it's much more attractive than the trousers ever were!

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Cold cure?

I chopped up my last home-grown red cabbage for pickling this week. Cabbage layered with onions, a sprinkling of demerara sugar and covered with spiced vinegar.
It's a bit of a shame to hide the cabbage as I love the fractal-like patterns inside - ok, the same patterns are presumably there in green cabbage but not so visible.
I also love pickled cabbage on winter salads else I wouldn't be making it but while away at University my daughter and friends decided the vinegar from it made an excellent cold cure. Why it should, I have no idea - particularly as the same vinegar goes onto pickled onions and that apparently didn't have the same beneficial effects. Can cabbage really be that good for you?