Elizabeth A.S. Brooke

Crafting, traveling and everything in between.

Review of final 2009 crafting

Here is a quick review of the final projects I hammered out in the final few months of 2009.

For me, there was the A-line skirt that laid around for months. I finally finished it when there was snow on the ground, way to cold to wear it until summer 2010 rolls around.
I struggled over how to sew on some fabric to make the back part of the skirt as wide as it needed to be. I finally cut out some fabric and just sewed a simple seam. I can tell where the additional fabric is, but the pattern is busy so it shouldn’t matter much.
Since this was a remnant given to me by my grandmother, I shouldn’t have been too worried if I messed up or if someone noticed where I added on the additional fabric. But I did. So I kept putting of completing this relatively easy pattern.
Now I don’t know why it took my so long. This is made from Simplicity 2906.

I also made socks for myself from “I can’t believe I’m knitting Socks,” By Cindy Guggemos. I’ve spoken of this before and I love it. This pattern is the eyelet chevron.
It’s a difficult pattern, but I liked it so much, I made my mom a pair for Christmas. And I plan to make my sister a pair too. Hers will be made in variegated yarn in beige, blue and brown.
I also made Mom placemats out of quilting fabric and a wide piece of double bias tape.
Since Mom, Dad and my younger sister and brother went to Hawaii a few years ago and really enjoyed the vacation, I thought I’d try to capture that. I went in search of a pattern with palm trees. But instead I found this and fell in love with it.
It depicts all things Hawaiian, from the islands and their names, to hibiscus flowers and ukuleles.
I also made some of Chris’ family members how fiber treats.
For Anita, Chris’ sister-in-law, I made her a sleeveless hoodie.
The pattern is from “Crocheted Sweaters: Simple Stitches, Great Designs,” by Susan Huxley. I actually received that book from Anita and Richard, Chris’ brother, last year for Christmas. I thought it fitting to make a gift from it. 🙂
I made a size medium and it fit Anita pretty well. It was a little snug, but that’s what she liked about it. It wasn’t big and boxy as some crocheted sweaters tend to be. I also made the shirt longer than the pattern called for because it seemed to be pretty short.
For Chris’ dad I brushed up on my embroidery and picked out three designs to stitch onto handkerchiefs — a “B,” a snowflake and a mortar and pestle, since he’s a retired pharmacist.

I’m also finishing up a wool shawl for my mother-in-law. I didn’t get it or my sister’s socks finished in time for the holidays. But I’ll get their presents to them as soon as possible. They know they’re coming.
I also baked four zucchini, two sweet potato and two lemon poppy seed breads for
Christmas and gave them away with homemade peach honey. I’ve heard rave reviews all since Christmas. 🙂

Another go at baking bread

I’ve been attempting to make wheat bread for sandwiches, but haven’t had much luck. This time I took the bread out of the oven a few minutes sooner and I let it cool longer before slicing. This is what I got:

The bread turned out much better and made a great salami-cheddar sandwich for lunch today.

Once I started slicing the bread, I noticed it was still a little warm in the middle and some slices still crumbled some. Mom told me to think of it like cookies . . . the bread sets more the longer it cools. It just takes much longer than cookies because it’s so much thicker.

So next time I’ll try to be patient and find something else to occupy my time instead of hovering over the loaves, waiting to slice into them. I’m bad about that with cake, either removing it from the pan or waiting for the cake to totally cool before icing it. Just can’t make myself wait that long! I’m ready to eat it then! That’s why I love cookies. I eat them as soon as them come out of the oven, it all their mushy, warm goodness. 🙂

Pictured with the bread is some yummy pumpkin-chocolate chip muffins. My friend, Adria, loves these and we have lunch plans later this week. She’s also has a birthday coming up in a couple of weeks so I thought she’d enjoy some of these to celebrate. I won’t share her age as she may hurt me. She’s already said she’s not celebrating with big plans this year. I feel the same way with my birthday coming up in five months.

I also made my first batch of corn bread from scratch yesterday and it turned out really good. I made some honey butter to sweeten ’em up. Next time, I may add honey or more sugar to the recipe to make the bread taste better. I’m a big fan of Jiffy corn muffin mix, which is really sweet and delicious. Hope I can come close to Jiffy’s yumminess!

I also made chocolate pudding pie for my hubby. With some Vanilla Wafers, butter and sugar, I made a vanilla crust to went really well with the chocolate. I normally use graham crackes, since that’s what Chris’ mom uses, but we didn’t have any so I had to substitute.
And with another furlough day today, I was able to enjoy a three-day weekend that allowed me time to finish this project:

This is a crocheted shirt pattern from Debbie Stoller’s “Stitch ‘N Bitch Crochet: The Happy Hooker.” As I’ve said before, this is a great book for novice hookers and a great resource with cool patterns for even more mature hook welders.
I have some sweet tank tops and long sleeved shirts that’ll look great with this shirt. The pattern also suggests tying a ribbon along the neckline.