Tuesday, March 24, 2015

No Knot, No Tail

here's a nice little technique for handsewing to do away with knots

 1 double your length of thread/floss and thread the *tails* through the eye of the needle; this leaves a loop at the other end of your thread

 #2 starting from the back of your fabric, bring the needle up through the fabric to the front side but do not pull all the way through - leave the loop of your thread on the backside

 3 push the needle through to the backside, leaving a small space between your original stitch and this new one

#5 *this is a picture of the backside* now pull your thread firmly and you are ready to begin stitching!

No Tails!
One of my other pet peeves? Little thread tails poking up through your work ;) I use this technique on my softies/stuffies/stuffed toys.

okay, you've finished sewing up your seams and you've created a knot on the outside of your work

#2 with the tail still attached, reinsert your needle as close as possible to your last stitch and then bring your needle up as far as possible from that stitch (basically the length of the needle but you can scrunch your fabric up on the needle so it will go further)

#3 it should look something like this

#4 now pulling the thread taut, scrunch the fabric up against your last stitch, then snip the thread close to the fabric and let go

Thanks to Bella Dia for the tutorial

Sewing up knitting or crochet with an invisible stitch.

Here goes

Having lined up your middle squares of the first row ready to be sewn up, thread your needle with some yarn.  Use yarn that is thinner than the yarn used to make your square. I used DK yarn to make my square, so, to sew the squares together, I'm using 4-ply yarn.

 Although I have four squares in each row of my scarf, I am going to start by sewing up the centre of the middle two rows of squares.
 Make sure your squares are all lying with the right side, (the front), facing up. Then take up the right hand square of your first row.
1. Now I'd like you to put your needle  up and through the bar, on the edge of the BOTTOM LEFT hand side of that square, as I've done in the photo above.

 2. Now take hold of the next square in this row, the one to the left of your first square.
This time, you will be taking your needle up and through the bar, in the chain that is at bottom RIGHT hand side of your square.

 Now I'd like you to keep your squares flat on your work surface for the rest of your joining up.
3. Take your needle through and up the side of the chain, as before, on the edge of the next stitch, of your RIGHT hand square. The square you worked into first.
Sometimes it's difficult to find that 'bar' on the edge of your crochet, so as you can see in the photo above, I have just gone through and up, the outer edge of the next chain up, in that square.

 Above you can see how your stitch is starting to look. It won't be 'invisible' yet, that comes soon!

 4. Next I'd like you to take your yarn up and through the edge of the chain stitch, above the last one you went through, in your second square.

 5. Now carry on repeating the instructions I've just given you, all the way up the sides of your squares, till you reach the top of each side.
Now for the fun bit, making your stitches invisible!

 Take hold of the yarn hanging out the bottom of your 'ladder', running up the middle of your two squares. Hold that firmly.
Now you can start pulling gently on the yarn emerging from the top of your ladder.

I love this bit, when the stitch goes 'invisible'.
 Ta-da! That ladder has disappeared! Well, you can see a bit of the yarn I'm using to sew up, if you peer closely, but I think it's largely invisible.
I love this bit, when the stitch goes 'invisible'.

 Anyway, lets carry on joining squares shall we?!
I'd like you to repeat stages 1 to 5.

 Do exactly as you did with the first two squares.

 Now do your 'making the stitches invisible' bit, by pulling. Just make sure the bottom part of the yarn is held firmly in place.

 You can always hold your squares as above, so that when you pull the top stitches, you don't runkle up the stitches below.

 And there we have it, another row formed! Well done, you're doing brilliantly! You've mastered the 'invisible stitch'!

 For the purposes of this tutorial, I'm just going to demonstrate how to put together a small section of the 'Little Squares Scarf'.
So now we're going to do the outer two rows of the scarf.

 Basically, just follow stages 1 to 5, exactly as you did with the middle row.

this scarf consists of four squares wide. And in my scarf, all the outer squares are only sewn on one side, to allow them to be flappy.

 So when you come to sew up the horizontal lines, make sure you start and finish with the middle two squares only, otherwise your outer squares won't flap.

 As with the vertical rows, repeat stages 1 to 5, remembering to start at the edge of the second square in, as above.

 Carry on to the edge of the next square, and finish at the edge of that square.

 Do your pulling of the yarn thingamy-bob, where you make the stitches invisible.
And there you have it! One section of your scarf is complete! Well done.

 Thanks to Do you mind if I Knit for the tutorial

Sweet Potato ‘Pasta’ Noodles (poodles) lol

Peel sweet potato

cut lengthways about 1cm width
use a vegetable peeler to peel long thin strips

wipe the inside of your steamer with a little oil
load the sweet potato into the steamer
steam over boiling water for at least 5 minutes

Creamy Cauliflower Sauce

Creamy Cauliflower Sauce
Serves: makes about 5 cups
  • 8 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 5-6 cups cauliflower florets
  • 6-7 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 1 teaspoon salt (more to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon pepper (more to taste)
  • ½ cup milk (more to taste)
  1. Garlic: Saute the minced garlic with the butter in a large nonstick skillet over low heat. Cook for several minutes or until the garlic is soft and fragrant but not browned (browned or burnt garlic will taste bitter). Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Cauliflower: Bring the water or vegetable broth to a boil in a large pot. Add the cauliflower and cook, covered, for 7-10 minutes or until cauliflower is fork tender. Do not drain.
  3. Puree: Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cauliflower pieces to the blender. Add 1 cup vegetable broth or cooking liquid, sauteed garlic/butter, salt, pepper, and milk. Blend or puree for several minutes until the sauce is very smooth, adding more broth or milk depending on how thick you want the sauce. You may have to do this in batches depending on the size of your blender. Serve hot! If the sauce starts to look dry, add a few drops of water, milk, or olive oil.
I like to add a little bit of olive oil for the flavor and to help keep the sauce really smooth. Several other readers have mentioned that they really liked the addition of Parmesan cheese as well.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Pickled Avocados



Pickled Avocados

Makes 1 quart jar
3 medium avocados
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup water
1 tablespoon non-iodized sea salt, or kosher salt
1. Cut the avocados in half, and remove the pits, then carefully peel away the skin from the fruit. Cut the avocados into large chunks and gently pack them into a clean glass quart jar.
2. Combine the vinegar, water, and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.
3. Pour the brine over the avocados in the jar. Wipe any vinegar spills from the jar rim with a clean towel or paper towel and gently screw the lid onto the jar.
4. Let the jar sit until it has cooled down.  Once the jar is fairly cool, it should be put into the refrigerator for at least 24 hours before eating to give the flavors time to meld. The avocados will keep, tightly sealed in the refrigerator, for up to 2 weeks.

Pickled Garlic




Original recipe makes 1 pint Change Servings

    • PREP
      45 mins
    • COOK
      15 mins
    • READY IN
      21 days 1 hr




  • Place garlic cloves in a medium bowl, first cutting the large cloves in half. Mix in the red bell pepper.
  • In a large saucepan over medium high heat, place the distilled white vinegar and white sugar. Wrap ground dry mustard and celery seed in a spice bag, and place in the liquid mixture. Bring to a boil. Boil 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and pepper. Continue boiling 5 minutes. Remove from heat and discard spice bag.
  • Place garlic and peppers in sterile containers to within 1 inch of the top. Fill with remaining liquid to within 1/4 inch from the top. Seal and store in the refrigerator approximately three weeks before serving.

Stop the fruit bats

well here is a pretty useful tip for those with fruit trees in their yards recycle the containers strawberry's or take away food co...