Blue Skies & Sunshine

Blue Skies & Sunshine in SW Merino

SKEIN I
Ply | Three
Yardage | 236.22 m
WPI | NA (Fingering)

SKEIN II
Ply | Three
Yardage | 167.64 m
WPI | NA (Fingering – slightly thicker than Skein I)

Fibre | Superwash merino in Two Tone Down Under from JulieSpins
Tool | Serenity Wheel [10:1]

My entry for the Tour de Fleece – I had plans to spin another two braids but considering that I had to pack for the move, finish up my knitting…maybe three braids was overdoing things. Still, I’m glad to have finished working on this fiber – a day AFTER the end of the TdF. The colours were a joy to spin up, transitioning from golden to deep yellow and royal to deep and very dark blue as well as a mix of both (a resulting emerald to deep green). But what I love about it was the feel of the resulting handspun; very springy and soft.

Am currently knitting up a pair of toe-up socks using this yarn and I’m loving the feel of it! With any luck, I should have pics of the sock in progress; it’s currently on DPNs – I know, Second Sock Syndrome but I have a plan for it which is to cast on the second pair on another set of DPNs! Kekekeke.

So yes…w00t to handspun yarn goodness! In the meantime, it’s back to packing up Eva’s cloth diapers and finishing up my assignment on adult diapers (and no, you’d be surprised at how many people use them and why – absolutely nothing to be ashamed of!).

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Custardy Egg Tarts

Custard Egg Tarts

Over the weekend, I bought some fresh rhubarb with the intention of making a tart but never got around to it until yesterday night. It would appear that I had forgotten my wedding anniversary…and so did Nil. In fact, he was the one who reminded me. Blame it on the hoohah with the move, packing, work and assignments like college flags.

Unlike the previous tarts I made before where I would blind bake the pastry before pouring in the filling, this time I skipped the blind bake and just baked everything together. I had always had problems with having too little filling as was the case when I made a lemon tart for Nil the last time so I prepared more…a whole lot more. After one 8 inch substantially-looking rhubarb tart, I still had enough pastry and filling for some egg tarts so out came my muffin pans from IKEA and in popped some egg tarts for the oven. About 30 minutes later, I got some really yummy egg tarts – not too sweet, custardy enough and just delish. The added mascarpone gave it a smooth, silky and very creamy touch.

One great thing – these tarts are awesome when served and eaten warm or fresh from the oven!

Custardy Egg Tarts

Ingredients

(A) Pastry
About 1.5 cups of all purpose white flour (adjust according to amount of butter used – crumbs should be pale yellow; the shade of butter when ready)
Less than 150 gms of butter
Some demerera/brown sugar (about 1 heaped tablespoon)
Some iced water

(B) Filling
1-2 tbsp demerera/brown sugar
100 gms mascarpone
Approx 500 ml whipped cream
4 medium-large eggs

Method

  1. Prepare the pastry by mixing (A). Preheat the oven to 190 C and butter a muffin pan. Roll out the pastry to the appropriate size and place in the fridge to rest.
  2. Mix (B) in a bowl until smooth.
  3. Sprinkle some brown sugar onto each respective pastry mould before pouring in the filling.
  4. Bake for about 30 minutes or until golden brown and allow the tarts to cool in the pan. Serve warm as is.
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Quilt #4: Log Cabin

Quilt #4: Fresh from the oven

Quilt #4: Log Cabin
Width | Approx 200 cm
Length | Approx 150 cm
Pattern details | Cotton strips from fabric from Cotton & Colour & Spotlight
Batting | None
Backing | 100% broadwidth cotton fabric from Spotlight
Binding | None

My project from when I was pregnant with Eva is finally done and as predicted, it is a lovely single sized quilt. Yes, they are definitely getting bigger although I might go back to making baby or children-sized blankets for Noah and Eva (she loves her Red & Pink Cuddly and will roll around on it, in it, etc) since we’re heading back to Europe and just in time for winter too!

Initially, I had planned for the quilt to have a “lighter” look to it with a pale border instead of the royal blue which Nil insisted that we try. He also pointed out that white or anything pale wasn’t exactly great since it would get dirty more easily that dark colours. So I decided to go for blue…again. (I will definitely opt for a green-blue-white blanket next time around – am getting tired of the whole dark-colourful combo!) For the back, I chose a printed fabric instead of plain because I wanted to give it some variety; a big plain piece on its own, I figured, didn’t really look nice at all.

Quilt #4: A close-up look of the backing fabric and the topstitching

For the finishing, I decided to do a pillow-case styled edge by sewing both right sides facing each other and turning it inside out before topstitching around the edge for reinforcement. Initially I toyed with the idea of a zigzag around the edge but after inspecting my machine, I thought I’d play around with some of the untested stitch designs. It turned out to be quite pretty but ate up a lot of thread and I ran out halfway around the edge only to find myself carefully positioning my needle in order to start on the right spot. It took about 30 minutes to finish the topstitching.

The result is a simple, not-too-fancy quilt which we’ll probably use as a sofa cover-blanket. I’m still not very convinced about the colour combination and would have preferred to see it in something other than blue like cream-beige or a very pale latte colour. O’well…next time, *I* must have dibs on the colours for the border and backing! In the meantime, it’s back to more packing and trucker gps software assignments.

Quilt #4: Doubling as a sofa cover

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Almost there.

My yarn, fiber and fabric stash is done and in boxes already – five of them. Sometimes it feels like I’m packing stuff like steel drums, etc – it’s neverending! Only thing left are small bits here and there, my sewing machine, spinning wheel, books and DVDs. I’m looking forward to finishing my quilt top and packing it up. Hopefully will have pictures of it by this weekend.

A tenant has been found for our home and it looks to be a good tenant profile; I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the handover and transition will be smooth not to mention that they’ll be of little trouble as we’ll be far away. Our agent has been wonderful and very helpful. There is the matter of taxes and what not to settle but at least the big things are over already. The handover is scheduled for 15 August which is great since our tickets back to Paris has been settled already as well – for the same date. It looks like by then, Eva would have been sleeping in the same bed as us and playing with little to zero toys as her things would have been packed up.

Looking at our timeline, I don’t think we’ll have time to entertain friends or family – both our last days at work will be 3 August and after that, it’s all steam ahead for the packing and cleaning. Sometimes it feels like I’m preparing for the move from Switzerland to Singapore all over again…as if it was just yesterday.

This will be a tough and stressful period for all of us – lots of changes for Eva especially – so am keeping my fingers crossed!

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Dole, Jura.

I’ll elaborate more when I’m not swamped with personal projects and packing…

That’s our next stop come mid-August.

Yes, we’re moving again and it looks to be a permanent move – we are both getting tired of the cross-continental-time-zone shifting, especially Nil. He has been moving every two to three years since early 2001/2 and has become, what we term affectionately, as the cross-continental moving expert in the house.

Both of us have tendered our resignations and I’ve started packing up my stash. Shop supplies are off to a good home and with any luck, I should be done with most of my stash – yarn, fiber and fabric – and even gadgets by end of this week. Will need to stop working on research for things like Cherokee scrubs.

We contacted our agent to help us out with the rental arrangements so that’s one bit that is settled. Otherwise, Bub No 2 will be born on French soil and Eva will be experiencing her ENTIRE winter season soon!

^____^

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