Sunday, February 27, 2011

And it was called 'Yellow'

I think if there was to be a favourite garment that I have knit for Lily; this would be it.

It's my favourite pattern and it's in my favourite colour. A perfect perfect sunshine yellow.

This one has taken quite some time, it has been a labour of love that was not all that laborious. The difference with this knit as opposed to everything else I normally knit, was that this was just a knit for fun. A knit to savior and enjoy and take my time with. I don't get to do that with my knitting very often. i picked it up and put it down and knit it only when I felt like.

I started it way back in September, and when it was finished finally, it took me a whole month before I even weaved the ends in. Then it took another two weeks before I got around to sewing on buttons and blocking it.

I love this cardigan, I so very muchly do! And I am so proud that it is my design!!

Technical Details
Pattern: Olearia by me ;)
Yarn: Biggan Design First Cross Merino DK
Needles: Knitpicks 4mm and 3.25mm and Addi Turbo 30cm 4mm and 3.25mm
Yardage: just shy of 6 balls, 680.8 yards
Mods: An unintentional one that I did not notice until I was finished! I missed a garter bump at the bottom of the bodice, how embarrassment!! I stuffed up my own pattern.
Knit the size 2 pattern but knit the length to size 6 and sleeves to custom fit.

A quick yarn review
This is the first time I have knit with the Biggan Design yarn. The colours are gorgeous and bright. It is so hard to get a good commercial yellow, and this one is perfect. Trust me, I look all the time!! It was a lovely yarn to knit with, slid off the needles easily and did not tangle or catch. Most importantly in terms of being a superwash yarn, it is easy to wash and wear. While characteristically of a superwash, it did go all floppy while blocking, it didn't suffer the growing that is so common to many superwash yarns. It looks like it will wear very well and pill minimally.

This yarn doesn't have the softness of my favourite yarn, WOOLganics, but I think it's probably one of the best superwash yarns around.

Available from Tangled Yarns

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Sunday, February 20, 2011

more of the glut

Beetroot is one of those vegetables that I'm always at a bit of a loss as to what to do with; we roast them and also have a lovely beetroot risotto but apart from that I draw a bit of a zippity blank when it comes to beetroot ideas. But then a certain sister of mine introduced me to beetroot relish, of the store bought variety. So this week, when peering at all the beetroot in our fridge I decided to give the relish a go.

This was what remained after our dinner and this is how I made it.

Beetroot Relish

1/2 a medium onion, chopped
1 medium beetroot, peeled and grated
2tbs White Wine Vinegar (you could use Red Wine Vinegar or possible any other variety of that type of vinegar)
1/4 cup sugar
4 cloves (you could use a different herb flavour, I think I may also try fennel as I love beetroot and fennel together)
2tbs water

In a small saucepan (I just used a milk saucepan) combine all ingredients, cover and bring to a low simmer. Remove the lid and simmer for 25 minutes, or until fragrant and tender.... allow to cool and serve.

To grate the beetroot, I used a little kitchen gadget I've had forever. I think one of my sisters gave it to me for my birthday at least 10 years ago. It's a little electric thing that only grates and slices. It makes the grating vegetable job soooo easy. So if you've got some flash little (or even big) gadget that does that, I'd suggest use it. Does a Thermomix grate?

So there you go, beetroot relish! Oh so very yummy, and I'll be making this regularly. We had it with chicken, but I also like it in sandwiches and focacias!!

I also decided to try and make some cooked beetroot, to replace tinned beetroot. After all, it's pretty silly eating tinned beetroot when there's fresh in the fridge. I used a recipe Mum gave me from the CWA cookbook.

And some more of the peaches found a new life this weekend as they transformed into peach and berry smoothies. We also cooked up some peaches in a light syrup and made peach and orange sorbet which Lily is looking forward to for dessert tonight!

Tomorrow it's back to the zucchinis and peaches again.
What do you do with all your zucchinis, peaches and beetroot?
I'd love some ideas, preferably vegetarian.

There has been a bit of knitting going on too; this is a little jersey for Toby. I'm adopting the New Zealand term as it is a test knit for a New Zealand designer. I'm pretty stoked with how it's turning out!!! It's knit from Jo Sharp yarn. I love the way the blue specks in the green match the blue in the stranded work.

Hope you've had a lovely weekend!

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Friday, February 18, 2011

my cake and a morning of zucchinis

Do you have a cake that's your signature cake? A recipe you return to again and again, knowing that it never ever fails you. I'm sure those who bake regularly have many of them, but honestly I'm not a big baker. I like to bake with the kiddies and whip up the occasionally cake but I don't do it on a regular basis. I just don't seem to have the time. This year I'm going to try and make the time though.

This is my signature cake:
(sans icing)

I first made this cake in Home Eco at high school quite some time ago. And it was an instant success. I love this cake so much, I've baked it regularly ever since.

It's a zucchini carrot yoghurt cake.

I think what appeals to me is the sweet mix of cake and vegetables. It's not sickly or over sweet or even too savory. It's just perfect and oh-so moorish , as my sister Megsie from pint will attest to. She's been bugging me for the recipe lately, I guess it's that zucchini glut time of year.

Usually, this cake has some icing but in my typical caviler approach to baking, I ran out of margarine and won't be able to ice it until after I pick Lily up from school. Quite conveniently, we walk home past the supermarket.

So do you want to know the recipe? Or should I just tease Megsie by posting pics with no recipe??? Oh so cruel that would be!

Here goes: Be warned, this is terribly easy and extremely yummy!



250 grams butter/margarine
2 eggs
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 cup zucchini coarsely grated
1/2 cup carrot grated
1/3 cup plain natural yoghurt
2 cups SR flour (sifted)


Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Stir in zucchini, carrot and yoghurt; then sifted flour.

Spread mixture into a well greased 20cm ring tin. Bake in moderate oven (180*C) for 40 minutes or until cooked when tested.

Stand for a few minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool.

Ice with butter icing.

1/2 cup icing sugar
2 tbs butter/margarine
4 drops vanilla 2tsp liquid (if needed)

Sift icing sugar. Cream butter and add icing sugar gradually.
Add vanilla and mix thoroughly.
Add the liquid if a softer icing is required.

And because it is a zucchini glut time of year, Toby and I also made these mini carrot and zucchini muffins this morning.

Oh my gosh!!! They are soooo good. The secret ingredients that make these little babies so awesome are poppy seed and wholemeal flour. Oh so yum! I think these may become a regular for the school lunch box...if I can hide them from Toby.

and what would a morning of zucchinis be without some zucchini soup, made from my mum's recipe with a massive zucchini from her garden .

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Thursday, February 17, 2011

my creative space

Today my creative space has involved some finishing, something that I'm not so good at getting around to doing, which I guess is why I like seamless knits.
These three cardies were the object of my attention.

Blue cardie: This is Lily's school cardie. It got its ends weaved
in, buttons sewn on and a bit of blocking action. It's a little design I'm playing around with, not sure where I will go with it. It's knit from Bendigo Woollen Mills Luxury 8ply, which I chose as it's cheap and machine washable; perfect for a school cardigan. Hopefully, it will hold up to frequent washes.

Yellow cardie: I'm just a wee bit embarrassed to admit that this has been sitting here finished since early January waiting for the final touches. I weaved the ends in the other night and today sewed the buttons on and blocked it. This is knit from Biggans Designs First Cross Merino DK and is my Olearia pattern. I think this yellow one is my favourite; now I really want a yellow one too!!

Mauve cardie: I'm still finishing this one off, just have the second sleeve to go. I'm hoping to get this finished tonight. This is my February Elizabeth Zimmermann knit; the Baby Sweater on Two Needles (also known as the February Baby Jacket). You may notice it's not exactly baby size; a simple upsizing of yarn weight and needle size makes it into Lily's size. I've obviously also added more length. This is knit in a New Zealand Merino/Possum blend.

On my table, I'm admiring these gorgeous Oriental Lilies and sort of missing the little girl who creates little scenes like this throughout the house. It's a campfire! And she's at school.

more spaces to be found over at kootoyoo

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Monday, February 14, 2011

one of the most heartbreaking posts I've read

Last week while doing a little blog reading catch up, I read the saddest and most heartbreaking post on my friend Julia's blog, Just One WIP.
It's about a precious little girl in New Zealand and the desperate situation that faces her and her family. Little Hope had battled and beaten cancer, only to have it return in a more aggressive form. Julia was taking donations for a raffle to raise funds to help little Hope and her family.

Julia is part of a New Zealand Cloth Nappy forum. I know quite a few of the other girls from there through knitting, and just like Julia, they're all lovely, supportive and very caring ladies. And just like any family, the girls from the forum are throwing their support behind Hope and her family, offering what help they can.

If you visit Julia's blog post here you'll find a list of other raffles/auctions that you too can donate to to help out.

I also wanted to just mention a special one being run by one of my favourite test knitters, and a wonderful licence holder of mine, Krissie, over at Knit Not What. Krissie has joined up with Hannah from Red Ridinghood Yarns and is offering a custom knit Fratello or Sorello in yarn hand dyed in your colour choice.

Pop on over to Krissie's blog. to enter!

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Saturday, February 12, 2011

and so..

I'm not even sure really where to begin. I feel like I've been Missing In Action (and I'm totally not sure why that deserves the capitals that correspond with the abbreviation MIA) lately.

This week has been a big week here in our household. We've shuffled our eldest out the door and bid her on her way to primary school.

I swear, she seems to have grown up soo very much in the last weeks and definitely looks at least a year older than she did a week ago.

i love our little primary school so much. From the perfect developmental curriculum to the caring pastoral care approach to the small town country feel of the school; it really is pretty special really. And Lily is just THRIVING!! She so so loves it, and every day she is so full of such gorgeous stories; be it about her teacher Mr Chatterbox (no, not his real name would you believe) dancing to the music bell. Or what she's drawn in class. Or even about her new bestest school friend, whose name she is finding incredibly hard to remember; "what's her name again, Mum?" She asks me everyday after school. It does make me wonder what she calls her little friend at school and how she gets her attention when she doesn't remember her name, but watching them, they've got that little connection/bond thing happening. Her name is Angelica, in case you're wondering.

I do so love that she has a BEST friend, Tully; a best kindy friend, Sienna; and now a best school friend!

I've done the school walk a plenty this week; often with the pram completely overloaded with both kids perched on it. That means a good workout, so really I'm not complaining. I can feel all that Christmas and Summer extra hip padding slipping away already...bliss!! A couple of days this week I've done the walk/ride to and fro three times!! It's not that far really; 15-20 minutes pram walk so very doable and no way in hell I could allow myself to drive that short a distance. I am, however, looking forward to the full days next week instead of the 1:30 pickups this week.

I am missing my special big girl and I'm sure I'll feel even more lost this coming week. But you know, as long as she loves it and comes home so full of stories and chatter, I'm so happy for her.

and me and the little crazy boy get to spend some serious train track building time together. Over the Summer his language acquisition has exploded; he's now got these full sentences going on. so we have the most wonderful conversations and time together, super super special. Although I must admit he is very very stubborn and knows his own mind a bit too well! Possibly gets that from his father, do you think?

Ther has been some crafting going on,but just not much photographing of it so really not a lot to update here. Maybe on the weekend I'll get some time to get myself up to date. I so hope so!

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