Holidays Well Spent (Killing Acrylic)

So back in February I told myself that I was going to learn how to do three things; cabling, fair isle, and lace. And so I did! approximately 9 months later, haha. Here are my two most wear-able projects to date. A cabled sweater with a tiny bit of lace knitted in the round ( first time, yay!) and a fair isled mini skirt.

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I made the skirt first. It was about 90% done in March but then stuff got in the way so I didn’t get the chance to finish it until a few weeks ago. What a shame. Charting the fair isle patterns was a pleasure, there’s just so much possibilities! Flowers, skulls, animals, spirals . . . . . I now have a small notebook for charting that I bring along everywhere. You never know when creativity may strike.

I used acrylic yarn that was sorta mohair-ish and cheap (from Daiso ). I know what you’re thinking, acrylic bleh! but I live on the equator and its just not that practical to use fancy schmancy wool. Anyways, the end result felt heavenly! It’s like, a comfy, warm, and fuzzy sock for your butt. Due to the fact that it was fair isled, I risk no chance of  having my undies showing through those tiny knitting holes. Bonus!

The whole process of knitting this skirt was quite easy. I hadn’t bought any round needles yet so I knitted a rectangle that would wrap around my butt, a little of my abdomen, and half-way down my thighs. Then, I sewed in the sides with a sewing machine, and finally, ribbed the top bit. Well, I thought I was done but, to my dismay, the bottom parts was curling. Then I brought out my iron and killed that little acrylic bitch of a skirt! Killing acrylic is fun. Learnt it from here.

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The sweater was my first project in round. I was too lazy to look up and actual pattern so I made it up as I went. The lace-y bits on the sleeves were there to help me keep track of how long each sleeve should be. Nobody wants a sleeve longer than the other. I’m a tad bit disappointed with the top part though, towards the neck. Should have cabled it all the way but I told myself that I was decreasing so it doesn’t matter. Wrong! Might put some embellishments to hide that part later on.

When it was finished it looked terrible! I didn’t take any pictures guys. It was too tight, the cables were all bunched up together, and  the stockinette stitch parts were itchy. I knitted this with acrylic as well. Oh acrylic. . . . But then I brought out my Iron again! You can either block, or kill your acrylic knitting. So I strategically killed bits of the sweater (stockinette part and lace-y bits) while blocking the cabled parts. The result, satisfactory. It still had its elasticity, itchiness gone, cabled parts looked decent, and I could easily slip it on now.

Killing (and blocking but mostly killing ) acrylic turned out to be the most useful thing I’ve learnt this year, not cabling, or fair isle knitting, or lace. Simply put, it miraculously elevates your previously shitty acrylic garments onto a whole new level ~ decent acrylic garments.

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A close-up

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What to do when your electric mixer craps out on you. . .

There’s simply no other way to put it, mine broke :( I had actually planned to make some peach cupcakes so I was a tad bit disappointed the other night. A year ago, I was going through this phase where I just wouldn’t use the electric mixer because it was too much of a hassle. These were pretty much the things that I would make. Well. . . . back to those times I go.

Now to address the title:

1) Pie!

Specifically apple pie. Because I can’t really get the ingredients for other pies. Pies aren’t as hard as you think they are. I mean, sure it takes a few times to get the crust right but it’s definitely worth it. Besides, I LOVE APPLE PIE.

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Stole this one off the internet, but seriously guys, check that golden crust out! And those sugar crystals. Mmmmmmmmmm

2) Muffins!

Now muffins. Muffins are a bit tricky. I’m the type of person who would beat the hell out of the batter when mixing so the whole don’t over-beat your muffin batter thing is a challenge. So far, my two attempts at muffin baking have been unsuccessful but I guess I’m forced to give it another shot now, haha.

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So I googled ‘muffin man’, not sure what to make of it yet

3) Brownies!

Chocolate is awesome, brownies are awesome. Why are they even called brownies? ‘Cause they’re brown? Anyways, I’d still love them even if they were called greenies.

Greenies! haha, cuz they're mint! get it? Joyofbaking is a pretty good site

Greenies! haha, cuz they’re mint! get it? Joyofbaking is a pretty good site

Malaysia Day is Far Behind Us

Which makes it a pretty inappropriate time to blog about that one time I worked in a political party. Was gonna post this ages ago but, eh. . . school got in the way. I mean, it’s not like it isn’t in the way now but I want to procrastinate so there you have it :D So about mid February this year I received a job offer to do some graphic designing for a local political party called SAPP.

It was a wonderful learning experience and I learned all sorts of things. Stuff like how to design your posters and billboards properly and the importance of communicating with your printer because you can’t just email your designs over and expect everything to be fine. Ugh, we had so so so so many issues with the printers from the lack of communication just thinking about it hurts my head! Learned tons of things about my state and the election process. Turns out that Sabah has a really controversial past. Something else that really surprised me was that there were so many rules that you had to follow while campaigning and how other parties would constantly try to sabotage each other’s efforts (pretty amusing when this happens). Oh and there was this one time that we forgot to put the publisher notice thingy on one of the flyers and they printed like 200 of them. The campaign manager got really mad and we had to shred all of them because if someone else got a hold of them we would have been eliminated. Almost got my head chopped off that day, so glad I survived.

Contrary to popular belief, SAPP is not as shitty of a party as everyone thinks. The president was pretty cool and my colleagues were super nice :D At least. . . that’s what I think.

And guess what guys? Even with all that experience, I still manage to barely pass my Pengajian Am :S Pengajian Am is like Malaysian studies btw. And as Jack White would have put it.  . . . . oh well, oh well, oh well

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You know it wouldn’t hurt to recycle paper more often now would it? Making your own recycled paper is awesome because you can personalize every aspect of how you want your paper to look, feel or even smell like! It takes a while and a little more effort but it’s worth it! Either that or we could all just go digital :D

Strawberries Are Nice

Brace yourselves, cause I’m posting yet another instagram picture!

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I baked this quite a while ago and I wanted to post it on here because why not? It was supposed to be a black forest cake but I couldn’t find any cherries so I used strawberries instead. Mmmmmm strawberries and cream. Here’s the recipe that I used:


Cake

  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup melted butter

Filling and Topping

  • 450 ml whipping cream
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • as much icing sugar as you want! I used about 1/3 cup
  • as much strawberries as you want. Not too much though

So you crank up your oven to 180° C and you grease your 7.5 inch cake tins. Plural for ‘tins’ because you need to split your batter into a few parts. 2 or 3 should be good. Dump your eggs, castor sugar and vanilla essence in a bowl and whisk till it becomes meringue-ish. Don’t really have a picture for how it should look like but you could YouTube how to make a gâteau. I couldn’t get this part right the first time, which is the one in the picture shown above but it looked nice so I didn’t really mind. The cake will end up denser if you don’t get it right.

Sift your flour and cocoa powder over your egg mixture, fold it in, then stir your melted butter in. Split the batter into your tins and bake for, well, mine took almost twenty minutes but it’s because my oven’s retarded. Maybe your baking time will be different. Use skewers to check. When it’s done, cooled and out of the pan whip your cream, prep your strawberries and you know, assemble it.

Next, I will make either a white chocolate or banana parfait! Or both!