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Spy Cake

It was fun making all of the different elements to go on Eli’s spy cake for his seventh birthday, wish I had half the energy those kids did on the day!

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It’s nearly time for a special little grandson to go into a big bed and a great reason to make a little boy’s quilt. Nutex has some awesome fabrics out at the moment and the ‘Nordic Garden’ patchwork block by Gudrun Erla was perfect to make the most of the graphics on the fabric by fussy cutting.

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Nordic Garden patchwork block by Gudrun Erla

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A friend passed me on a box of cotton fabric curtain samples, which were perfect to make catheter bag covers out of. I couldn’t find any patterns so I roughed one up out of a sheet of newspaper. It worked so well that I didn’t want to redraw it, so please excuse the original newspaper pattern below! The lining is unbleached calico. All catheter bags are different shapes and sizes so I basically drew around one for size and shape and went from there.

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Layer the cover fabric and lining fabric, then pattern and cut out.

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Mark where the openings will go for tubes and elastic ties onto the right side of the cover fabric.

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Fold the cover in half, stitch front and back together with a turn down for the open edge. Repeat for lining.

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Put the two right sides together of cover and lining and stitch halfway around top opening. Trim corners, clip inside corners.

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Turn everything to right sides out , push lining to the inside and stitch around the top opening.

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Tricky but hold the layers together with safety pins and make large buttonholes where you have marked your openings then cut the openings.

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Sew on your buttons and voila, a catheter bag cover!

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I decided to use my trusty old pattern from August 2012 to make a pair of booties for a small newborn baby and by using a size smaller needles was able to make some very little booties. The sole also needed to be cut a bit smaller.

I’ve rewritten the pattern below so the main stitch is a garter stitch to make it look more modern, but have kept the moss stitch along the top of the foot. The hat I knitted is called “Newborn Cozy Cap” by Cathy Payson.

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Sheepskin Soled Bootie Pattern Sizes: 0–3 (3–6, 6–12) months

Materials: 1x 50gm ball of double knit wool, 3.25 mm and 4 mm straight needles, 2 twisted cords or ribbon (30 cm) long, a pair of sheepskin soles.

Bootie Upper: (Make 2 the same)
Using larger needles 4mm, Cast on 43 (49, 55) sts.

Starting with a knit row, garter stitch 9 (11, 13) rows.

Then, Row 1: k 24 (28, 30), k2tog tbl, turn.
Row 2: (K1, p1) 2 (3, 3) times, k1, p2tog, turn.
Row 3: (P1, k1) 2 (3, 3) times, p1, k2tog tbl, turn.
Row 4: (K1, p1) 2 (3, 3) times, k1, p2tog, turn.
Repeat Rows 3–4 until 31 (33, 37) sts rem.
Next row: (P1, k1) 2 (3, 3) times, p1, k2tog tbl, knit to end—30 (32, 36) sts.
Change to smaller 3.25 mm needles.
rib k1, p1, for 2 rows.
Next row (eyelet row): K1, p1 *yo, p2tog; rep from * to end.
Rib 17 (19, 19) rows.
Cast off on next row.

Finishing: Join the back seam. Pin and sew the knitted upper on to a prepared sheepskin sole. Thread a twisted cord or ribbon through the eyelets of each bootee.

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Sheepskin sole:

On a piece of paper, mark the length you want your sole to be, about 9.5cm (11.5cm, 13.5cm). Draw in a sole shape like a kidney and there is your pattern. Trace around it on to sheepskin making sure you have a right and left foot. Cut out with scissors and trim the wool to about a cm thick. Use a hole punch to evenly space sewing or crochet holes around the edge.

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I’m feeling pretty happy with my other half today. After work he brought up from the shed the two bedside tables he’s been making from recycled rimu. He’s done a cracking job and I love the finish the three coats of Danish oil has given them. They’re now in the guest room awaiting visitors…

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What a difference some fine weather and hard mahi makes. Thanks to Stan and Ivan we now have a leveled section and grass seed sown. First a pallet dragged behind the ride on lawn mower to smooth out the major ruts. Then a borrowed hand driven rotary hoe with Stan holding on as it bucked and fought it’s way around and around the house. Ivan spent hours on a rake to take out the hundreds of pine cones and sticks. Grass seed on and … DONE! Next day both were feeling sore to the bone but hey, it looks great out there. Today Stan, Cody and John brought the greenhouse up from the last farm and put some posts in so it won’t blow away. Woo-hoo, now it’s been washed and all ready for the frosts to finish and planting to begin. From this …

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To this!

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Getting it just right

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Washed and ready to go!

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My poor thumbs were getting sore from trying to loosen up tight muscles following knee surgery. Luckily for me, Stan was able to turn some very cool massage tools out of ‘Blackwood’ that he’d dried and stored years ago. The smaller one is getting nicely burnished from all the rubbing but the handle was a bit small. The new and bigger one has a better shaped grip which is really comfy in the hand. Thanks Stan!

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