All posts by CurlsnSkirls

... a rusty sewer of some years, working to better those skills.

awwww, beans !

Uhhh … mmm … so long as you soak them overnight and don’t re-use the water you soaked ’em in you’ll remove some of the etceteras that make them… er, let’s just say, hard to digest, okay? 😉

I’m chiming in with Deb and Donna’s INAUGURAL What’s On Your Plate Blog Challenge, and looking forward to collecting some exciting new recipes!

My sis#2, J, mentioned making another pot of bean soup during a cold spell this winter, and I asked for deets. I vaguely remembered some kind of bean soup being available, and had tried various over the years, but hadn’t connected with the above munificent collection of 15. Nor had I read a recipe, or had anyone telling me the soup was good for using up leftovers.

Wonder of wonders! The 15 bean soup mix is available at several grocers in my area, so I immediately started experimenting. Mind you, I did read their recipe off the back of the packet first. (Here it is on online.) My versions can vary considerably.

Basic bean soup, leftover veggie beef, & a hunk of bread.

I’ve recently been cutting up a bit of Canadian bacon and tossing into the basic soup, for when I don’t add the last of a chicken or beef dish. I’ll ladle out half a serving of soup and add in the last of whatever else, knowing the beans will make a full meal. A couple minutes in the microwave and I’m eating.

With J’s advice, I don’t use the included flavour packet, mostly because I use about ½ cup of the beans at a time, not the whole bag. (Makes more sense as I’m cooking for one.) There are plenty of online variations, and I’ve a hunch the crock pot’s coming out for summer versions. You can check out some variations here.

Basic bean soup, Canadian bacon, & scrambled egg.

My Basic: Soak about ½ cup of beans overnight. Next day, drain the beans. I’ve always got chicken broth around for the base, along with no- or low-sodium canned tomatoes. Sometimes I’ve some onion or garlic to throw in, and I really love the slightly sweet tang of balsamic vinegar, so a good dollop of that goes in, and lots of ground black pepper. Oh, and a bay leaf!

This is the sort of soup that can include anything but the kitchen sink, and I can honestly say I haven’t made a bad batch yet.

So go forth and bean away!

Easter, a not-so-silent Sunday

I almost never use a feature image, but as this is a hol that I had a photo for, and the rest of this is about my LB Pullover test wearing, it seemed appropriate. Not getting fancy, mind, just making do.

Back story: Back last winter, when I was waiting for a load of fleece from Vogue Fabrics to arrive, I downloaded a copy of the Talvikki Sweater pattern by Named. But when the fleece arrived and I had it in hand, I realised there might be some problems with that neckline and my thick fleece. (There’s fleece and there’s thick fleece – I had the latter, which is great for damp, cold weather.) So I messaged someone I knew had made several Talvikki’s: Anne, of Compulsive Seamstress.

Anne suggested the LB Pullover instead, noting it could also be used with woven fabrics. After doing a bit more reading up on it, I was taping the pages together. (Incidentally, she makes the case for making multiples of any pattern you like – so why do we feel guilty when we do?!)

Here’s the front . . .

Friday was a chilly day so I test wore this second iteration to see how it worked in real life. As usual when I’m test wearing a make, I did not finish the sleeves or the hem. In addition, I’d left one side open about 4 inches for a vent. (I forgot when sewing the first side seam, and didn’t want to get out the seam ripper. 🙄 There will be a single vent in this version. )

I’d wanted to try cutting the sleeves with the most stretch going around the arm rather than running the length of the arm, but as this was a relatively small remnant I didn’t have that option. Rest assured, there’s a third version in the planning stage, and that one has enough fabric. Maybe I’d better make a little note . . . . . . .

My other question was using two different weight knit fabrics (the orange being slightly weightier). Would they play nicely together, or start fighting from the get-go? Seaming the sides, from wrist through under-arm and down to the waist was a good test. So far, both are doing okay, with not much detectable – as in wavy seams, missing stitches, and so forth. (Will be back with a single fabric for the next version.)

I did notice, when looking in the bathroom mirror, the sizing on this version – although the same as the first fleece version – looks about 2 sizes too big on both sides. While wearing I didn’t notice any problems. Except I got the dreaded purpley side facing wrong way round when I first pulled it on. 🙈

And the back – where I don’t have to see it – hehehee!

My non-stretchy-for-the-washing-up wrist problem with the first fleece version continues with this, but I’m not beating m’self up over it. Needs must, or not enough fabric in this case.

This is a quick pattern to cut and sew up, provided you don’t misread directions, as I did with this version.

Attaching the neck facing is done a bit differently than I’m used to and I managed to make it a multi-step process, with many trimmings necessary, as well as a real fudgey bit. BIG note on the PDF instructions page to remind myself not to do that again.

But really, we can finish off necks and arms and waists any d##* way we choose these days. It’s called freedom. And we sewists, or people who sew, are free to do it any way we choose!

One facet of this pattern is you can also use woven fabric for it. And that’s something I’m also going to be trying. We’ve already had days in the 80’s, and it’s only a matter of time before those higher numbers become “normal.”

And I run screaming into the AC and dig out all my cotton lawn and light-weight challis . . . . . 🥵

LB Pullover #2

1st Try – Front & back from orange? Nope.
2nd try – Front & sleeves? YES, they fit!

Enter a second knit fabric, purchased three or four years ago specifically to be used with this leftover piece of medium weight cotton knit from Vogue Fabrics almost 10 years ago (yikes 🙈).

Normally I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing purple, but this has the perfect orange match for the cotton knit.

Ta-dah! Another LB Pullover ready for a test wear — just in time for our two frosty days right before Easter!

Here’s the front . . .
And the back – where I don’t have to see it – hehehee!

bridges . . .

Was reminded of this just now over at bushboys world, written by Brian, who lives in Australia. It led me back to another time, not necessarily calmer, but seemingly safer.

The above isn’t the song that Brian chose, but after listening to the story behind how this one came to be written and recorded, it just seemed appropriate.

Thank you, Brian!

Printer Probs

Just your basic, no frills pullover.

On the left is my first version of the LB Pullover, A Paper Theory pattern. However, I don’t mean to single out Paper Theory, as this applies to most PDF patterns.

My printer automatically cuts off tops and bottoms of pages and I cannot discover any way to reduce the unwanted almost-inch on each end that won’t print. I’ve tried. For years. 🥵

There’d be no problem if every pattern company left margins on all four sides of every page, but they don’t. (Even better if the margins were standardized.) Looking at Paper Theory’s extremely complete Instructions, they appear to print to the edges of pages. I’m worried that’s not going to bode well for fit.

When a pattern is less than 30 pages (as this is) I hate to have to send it off to PDFPlotting (although they do a super good job and I can adjust shipping to UPS-Ground to get them quickly).

As with all PDF patterns I print at home I then spend inordinate amounts of time with a glue stick. But I find that no matter how much glue I apply there’s always something that won’t stick. Frequently there are several. Often I just give up and get out the tape.

Then I swear (a lot) and vow never to put myself through the agony again because it winds up costing me too much time, it kills my creative urge, and I wind up tossing everything into the Corner of Doom.

Which means days/weeks/seasons can go by before a highly anticipated project sees light of day again.

In this specific case, I tried hard not to let “the paralysis of analysis” (as Dr. King wrote in one of his books) overtake me. The Vogue Fabric fleece is green, my fav colour. So I bit the bullet, took some educated guesses, measured lengths, and specifically checked the neckline piece.

Surprisingly, the sleeves didn’t need shortening, and the front/back are okay. I did have to add to the length of the neckline piece, which might have been a factor of the lower fabric stretch. Next time I’ll try cutting on the bias.

But I did manage to finish the green version. I’ve worn it several times now, and it seems to be okay, except for the sleeves, which won’t stay out of the washing up. Elastic. Eventually . . .

I’m giving myself a medal.

And possibly another version of the pattern in a stretchier knit.

March’s Virtual Tea Party ☕️

Welcome!

So glad you could join us today – help yourselves to a tea of your choice, and some soda bread. Here’s the toaster & spread in case you want to try a warm slice.

I posted the recipe here in case you’d like to make your own. 😉

This sweet bread has a different consistency partly because it uses almost 2 cups of buttermilk. I’ve still got about 2 cups of b’milk left! Anybody have or know of a scone recipe using buttermilk? I’d like to try one, if it exists.

Please feel free to introduce yourselves.  How was your journey? Hope the day’s going well for you. Yes, today is unusually warm for March, even down here.

What do you think about this herbal tea assortment? It’s the first time I’ve tried it. I’d like to be growing my own, if a window box in a sunny window would work.

Any gardeners here? What do you think? I’ve one south-facing window, but later afternoon sun gets blocked. Do you think I could grow some herbs?

Your invitation
Please feel free to celebrate with Su of Zimmerbitch and me  with a post of your own, a recipe, or a piccie of your own cuppa.

I’ll update this post with a ping back to your post. If you’re an IG person, we’re at  #virtualteaparty2021.

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Margaret (From Pyrenees to Pennines) has invited us over for a sit down in her lovely garden and a slice of her delicious Lemon Drizzle Cake.

Deb (The Widow Badass) has brought some delightful muffins… well, minus the one I grabbed as soon as she came in the door. I can reliably report they are well worth a taste!

🍀   Thank you for coming!    🍀

Monday

Click to enlarge

Thought I’d post my traditional recipe today instead of on ☘️The Day☘️, in case any of you’d like to give this a go yourselves.

Wednesday is St. Patrick’s Day in the U.S., and I’m combining my part of Su’s tea party with St. Patrick’s Day. *

My post will be up on Wednesday at 3 P.M., United States’ East Coast Summer Time. *

Su is posting hers at 3.00 pm on Thursday the 18th, New Zealand time. *

Sadly, it’ll be our second St. Patrick’s Day of hunkering down &  staying masked up here in the U.S.  The good news is we can get our shots now! But remember . . .

…  virtually, the bread’s always exactly as you like it, tea’s always hot, and we can all natter till forever without a calorie in sight. 🤣

Please join Su of Zimmerbitch in New Zealand and my poor self as we nibble & natter with you here, at Su’s, or on IG at #virtualteaparty2021.

☘️       ☘️       ☘️

PS/Just in case you’d rather have a PDF version, it’s here: Irish Buttermilk Soda Bread

*Edited