02 February 2010

Birthdays with Yarn

Just over a week ago, I hosted a very belated birthday tea for my dear friend K - with various elderly mothers and young friends coming along. There was a wonderful spread, including Bells' astonishing Jewish Orange and Almond Cake! This was the first social event I've held since surgery, and it was seriously enjoyable.

K's partner C - who not only bakes and cooks extremely well, but also knits (yes, he even comes to Stitch'n Bitch!) - made this stunning cake for her.

The balls of wool are separate pieces of cake, iced very cleverly to look like yarn! A lot of fondant icing – C even pressed the tan-coloured icing sheets into a real basket to get the texture – and the cake was very good (a rich fruit cake). The red knitting needles are real (ie you can knit with them, but not eat them – hmmm, edible knitting needles, you reckon there's a market ... ?!).

I've not been feeling like knitting much lately - still working on getting off the oxycontin, and having withdrawal symptoms, plus I've got a mild virus of some sort, all of which affects my knitting mojo and general coping-ness – besides, it's just too damn hot.

So I've been sewing instead. This fabric is from a doona cover I got from Salvos for $6.00 (queen sized doona cover, plus 2 pillow cases - bargain!). I've turned some of the cover into curtains for the kitchen :

I cut them over the side seams, so half of each curtain has stripes (the back of the cover), and half has dots (the front of the cover). Since this photo was taken I've also added sun-reflective backing.

And this is a wrapper for my Greensacks, to keep them together in my bag when I'm grocery shopping ... it's just a rectangle of fabric, with a buttonhole at one end, and a button sewed on in the appropriate spot. I put the bags together at the far end of the wrapper, roll them up like sushi, and button it closed.

And also on my 'repurposing' kick, I got this really nice handknit vest from Salvos for $7. Interesting slip stitch pattern, actually ... was a bit sad to undo all that work, but there were a few holes.

I thought it was wool, but wasn't entirely sure - and was vindicated by The Jar of Truth (a small glass jar with a bit of bleach in it) - yes, pure wool! Animal fibres will completely dissolve in bleach.

I unravelled the vest, skeined it, washed it ...

... and wound it into balls again. Producing 300g (6 balls) of what I think is probably Paton's Bluebell (it's wool crepe 5ply) in a great colour, for $7.00. Aaah, such smug satisfaction ;)

Another birthday party, this time for my sister, at Weston Park last weekend. Dotter enjoyed some cuddles with her newest cousin Tom ... what a cute pair! She made the dreadfalls herself (hand-dyed and felted strands of wool) – very cool, although a little too hot for summer wear!

And here's your Petal photo for today ... snuggled up in a towel bed, on Daddy's legs, getting the pampering she deserves. Aaaaaaaaaaw ...


  1. What a lovely birthday spread!

    And great bargain hunting and repurposing with the curtains and vest!

  2. Jejune, you are such a Gem & so clever. I love the dread falls. I've been wanting to make some in pink & lavender. Hope you are feeling better. ~Ina

  3. I havent been to a morning tea for ages, thatll be the Toodyay Retreat hopefully
    Yep Im very pleased with my lawns,though one had to be hand watered today,some So an So stole a retic control box right off the wall!!!
    I do feel sorry you cant have lawn,is it still that dry!Bad here but luckily we ve scored some storms!!
    Awesome recyling too!!

  4. You are just rocking, babe! Throwing parties, very cleverly sewing curtains, salvaging yarn, and taking photos of darling, darling babies! Petal is soooo pleased!

  5. What a chock-full of interesting goings on post! Love the cake, the dreadlocks, the repurposed wool from vest, the curtains, the puppy shot, not exactly in the right order - did I cover it all? Oh, yes - nice kitchen, pretty tea spread ... lovely stuff. And bright and cheery after dreary surgery. Awesome good stuff. Thanks for sharing.

  6. I love the yarn cake!!!!

  7. The salvaged purple yarn is so pretty. What a good find. Our Goodwill stores so rarely have anything worth unravelling.

    And what a beautiful woolen birthday cake! I used to make cakes for birthdays. The girls' favorite was a panda bear.

  8. What a fantastic looking cake! The bargains seemed to work out well, and the Patons Bluebell is nice to knit with too. Hope you feel up to knitting soon, although I agree that the weather has been very hot.

  9. Are you sure that you recently had surgery??? Birthday spread X2, curtain sewing, unraveling and who knows what else you're getting into. Slow down you're making the rest of us look bad.

  10. I'm confused. No knitting mojo but can SEW! hmmmm. Dunno.


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