Monday, March 16, 2015

Monthly menu plan - March/April

Cherry Tomatoes

I love this time of year so much! It really feels like you get the best of both worlds - gloriously sunny afternoons that you can stretch right into and relax in tempered by a chill that descends and makes you plan your next casserole/knitting project/movie to watch whilst snuggled under a blanket. Autumn, you make me appreciate being alive.

As does a good meal. This month is full of 'em!

Week One:
Monday - Chicken soup (I have a cold!)
Tuesday - Beef, spinach and date tagine with carroty couscous
Wednesday - Creamy pumpkin soup
Thursday - Spaghetti with rocket pesto and roasted cherry tomatoes, plus a garden salad
Friday - Dinner out with friends
Saturday - Quinoa, zucchini and feta salad
Sunday - Ratatouille with creamed spinach polenta

Week Two:
Monday - Salmon and pea pasta bake with garden salad
Tuesday - Chicken, lentil and vegetable curry on brown rice
Wednesday - Roasted tomato and capsicum soup with garlic naan
Thursday - Cauliflower and lentil pilaf with minted yoghurt
Friday - Knitting night - to be decided
Saturday - Vegetable curry omelette rolls
Sunday - Spicy black bean soup

Week Three:
Monday - Broccoli and leek soup with roasted vegetable couscous salad
Tuesday - Beef tagine (from freezer, see week 1)
Wednesday - Silverbeet, broad bean and rice soup
Thursday - Spaghetti with lentil bolognaise, and a garden salad
Friday - Tofu burgers with Indian spiced cauliflower and broccoli salad
Saturday - Fondue style macaroni cheese with rocket salad
Sunday - Easter! Roast chicken with maple roasted carrots, mash and lemony peas

Week Four:
Monday - Cinnamon braised chicken with couscous
Tuesday - Creamy vegetable and almond korma on brown rice
Wednesday - Chickpea and leek soup with garlic bread
Thursday - Ricotta and vegetable cannelloni with green salad
Friday - Red wine risotto with spiced chicken drumsticks
Saturday - Pizza! Roasted vegetable and mushroom, salmon, crème fraiche and chilli
Sunday - Chickpea, brown rice and spinach pilaf with grilled haloumi

Week Five:
Monday - White minestrone with rye bread toasts
Tuesday - Beef and red wine stew with sweet potato mash
Wednesday - Creamy silverbeet and potato soup
Thursday - Fettuccini with mushroom bolognaise
Friday - Lentil cottage pies with sweet potato mash and sides of buttered corn cobs

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Chunky Moss Stitch Cowl

Do you know that feeling of knitting-induced guilt that you get when you've promised somebody a knit, but life keeps getting in the way and you keep putting the project off? And then every time you see them, you have that awkward "Dude, I'm so going to get started on your knit" conversation and they nod their head kindly but slightly unbelievingly at you, and you scuttle away cursing your lack of decent knitting time, and go home to wallow in a big fat swamp of knitting shame?

Well, I ain't got none of that bad ass feeling no more, because this knitted gift is DONE, DUDES!


This is a knit for my gorgeous friend Kate, who modelled the original pattern for Woolarium last year. Sorry it took so long, Kate - hope you think it's worth the wait!

This version has been knitted up in Rowan Alpaca Chunky, which is the smooshiest, most huggable yarn you could ever lay your hands on. It's made with a chain construction, which is not only easy to knit but adds a wonderful layer of texture to the design.

And since it's so quick to make on 10mm needles (well, once you get started - oops!) there's no excuse for not making one for yourself, too!

Project Details
Pattern: Chunky Moss Stitch Cowl by Woolarium
Yarn: 2 balls of Rowan Alpaca Chunky
Needles: 10mm

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Meet the Fabric Stash

Hi! Come on in, sit down, help yourself to tea, and have a look at my fabric stash (and what could possibly be the dullest photo to ever feature on this blog):

Stash #1

Hmm. I've seen worse, but I've also seen far better. As part of our Year Of Green Frugality, I have put myself on a fabric buying ban. A while ago I had a big fabric sort out, donated what I knew I wouldn't use to Handmaker's Factory, and only kept the fabric that had been assigned a pattern. So now the goal is to only sew from the stash this year - I'll be using what I have, saving money and finally be able to see what an empty shelf in the sewing buffet looks like!

The majority of the fabric in the buffet is for projects for me. Tyger, however, does need quite a few new things made for this year. Seriously, the kid is growing like we douse her porridge with fertiliser each morning! So once I have used up the small pile of stash that is assigned to her, I shall allow fabric purchases made with only her projects in mind. Plus she might kill me if she misses out on any sewing action. Hee, hee!

I was worried, when I first came up with this idea, that I would feel restricted by the lack of new materials, but having sorted through the stash properly I've realised that every piece of fabric is in there because I love it. In a way it was quite lovely to do - seeing some of the fabrics again was like meeting old friends once more. I'm glad I did the de-stash when nobody was home, though, because I'm pretty sure I was babbling to myself, exclaiming at far-too-regular intervals witticisms like "Hey you! Looking good! Let me sew you up and we can look good together, baby!"

Speaking of looking good, how's this for a cute first cab off the rank project in the year of great money saving?  Fingers crossed Melbourne actually gets some summer sunshine this year, so me and this fine looking frock can do that look-good-together thing!

Stash #2

Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Year of Green Frugality


Summer's over, school is back, and it's time to get back to work. And, in my case, to put my new year's resolutions up on the blog!

This year is all about saving. Saving money, and knocking that mortgage down, down, down, and saving the earth by being as environmentally friendly as we possibly can.

We've always been a pretty green-minded family, but the last couple of years have almost had me in a panic regarding the state of our earth. It is so disappointing to see our elected leaders sit on their hands whilst Rome, and everywhere else, burns.

However, there is plenty that I can do as an individual to reduce my impact. Not coincidentally, a lot of green ways are also very frugal ways, so I'm going to bring the two together and make this our Year of Green Frugality!

The rules are as follows:

 - Abide by the 3 R's (reduce, reuse, recycle) as much as humanly possible.

 - Think very long and hard before making a purchase. Nothing is to be bought unless it is truly needed. Ask the following questions: Do I really need this? Will it serve more than one purpose? Can it be passed on to others in good condition when we no longer require it?

 - If the answer to any of those is yes, then the purchase can be made. It should be, however, at least one of the following: ethically made, second-hand and/or from an indie producer.

- Make as much as possible in the home. This will range from jam to clothes to laundry liquids. Not only will I be saving money, but I will value the things I have produced from high quality materials and will also be able to avoid environmentally destructive ingredients such as palm oil. This means that you'll probably be getting a hand-made or edible gift for your birthday. Hope you like it!

It all sounds a bit full-on, doesn't it? But truly, a lot of this is just about being more organised with my time. Mondays are going to be devoted to cleaning and cooking, so when I come home tired and stressed later in the week I can grab that pre-cooked meal from the freezer, rather than resorting to take-away and squillions of plastic containers. Which I will eat whilst admiring my mostly clean apartment. Win win!

Speaking of plastic, we are trying to avoid it as much as possible as well (like that time we went plastic-free). I'll be hitting up our local health food store and buying lots of our food from their bulk bins. It's going to be great - cooking as much as possible with fresh, non-packaged produce is going to be good for landfill AND good for my tummy!

I'm also on a mission to use up the craft supplies that I have here before even thinking about getting more. I have enough fabric for my wardrobe needs to last me a while, so I really want to work through that before I even think about justifying any new purchases. I had a major clean out last year of my fabrics and yarn, so the only things I have left have already been allocated to particular projects. Tyger will need some new things, though, so I'll have to just get my fabric kicks making things for her! I am banned from buying any new patterns, though - I have enough to sink a ship, and should really what I have. It's going to be tough, but I am determined not to crack!

We have also decided as a family to continue with some big hitting carbon reductions, such as remaining car free (using bikes, feet or public transport to get where we need to go) and to restrict meat to two meals a week, max, being veggie or vegan the rest of the time. The Galumph and I have also decided that rather than buying things for each other (things! things! the last thing we need is more things!) we will give experiences instead. Rather than a gift which we will have to find a home for and never end up using, we're going to go to concerts or exhibitions instead. My house will remain uncluttered, and I'll get a romantic night out with my husband. Ahhh, I'm liking the sound of this already!

So watch this space and see how we fare with our Year of Green Frugality. It's officially starting today - I'll keep you up to date here and on Instagram with our progress. If you have any tips or advice for me, please share - I'd love to hear your thoughts on ways we can reduce our impact!

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Baked Cinnamon Donuts Recipe

Donuts #1

I have been mucking around with this recipe for the last few weeks, and I have finally cracked it. The challenge, you see, was to create the perfect donut recipe using items that I would already have in my kitchen pantry. I didn't want to be rushing down to the supermarket trying to buy yoghurts or buttermilk, or essentially anything that came in a plastic container, because we are once again trying to be as plastic free as possible here in the Jorth household this year.

We're also living a year of frugality, trying to both boost our bank account *and* be as green as possible. Everything - even donut recipes - now need to meet our green frugality standards!

So you can imagine how excited I was when I created a lovely green donut recipe, with all ingredients coming in either recyclable glass or paper. But the best thing is the donuts have that essential stick-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth-ness that only a really good cup of tea or coffee can dislodge. It's the number one thing I look for in a donut, and now the perfect recipe is mine, all mine! Cue evil laugh, and get baking, kids!

Baked Cinnamon Donuts
60 grams butter, melted
1/2 cup raw caster sugar
1 1/2 cups plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 tsp nutmeg, or more to taste
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup milk

Cinnamon Topping:
20 grams butter, melted
1/2 cup raw caster sugar
1 tbsp. ground cinnamon

1 - Preheat oven to 180 C. Generously coat a donut pan with some of the melted butter.

2 - Combine the caster sugar, plain flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg in a bowl and mix well.

3 - Mix the egg, milk and butter together in a small jug. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture, and pour in the egg mixture. Stir well to combine.

4 - Carefully, using both a spoon and a knife, add the mixture to the donut pans, making sure you don't overfill them. Bake for 15 - 18 minutes, or until golden brown.

5 - Meanwhile, add the raw caster sugar and cinnamon together in a shallow bowl, and mix well. When the donuts are fresh out of the oven, dip each donut top in the melted butter, then press into the cinnamon sugar mixture. Place on a rack to cool, then eat - that's if you can wait that long!

Makes 8 donuts.

Donuts #2

Monday, January 05, 2015

Pattern Review: Simplicity 1876

Helllloooooo, 2015! Boy, am I glad to see you! 2014 was one of the most eventful years I've had in a while, and I'm kinda glad to see the end of it. There were some amazing things that happened - we went to Europe, and I started a new job at Woolarium, which I LOVE - but my father-in-law became quite ill, there were job upheavals for my husband, and I've had a few rather unpleasant medical issues which have been ongoing for some time but really decided to bite towards at the end of the year. 10 years down the track from Tyger's birth, and I'm still dealing with medical issues from the complications. Gah! No fun, I tells ya, no fun at all! No wonder I totally lost my sewing mojo, eh?

But here we are, in a fresh new year, and things are looking much rosier. I'm feeling in a much better place to meet challenges head on, and have even got a few sewing projects finished. I KNOW! Hold the presses, folks - Jorth has actually finished a sewing project. Woo hoo!

This little baby is Simplicity 1876, made up in a gorgeous fresh cotton print that I knew had to be mine as soon as I clapped eyes on it. The bodice is fully lined and interfaced, and was meant to have boning as well, but I felt that the interfaced layer would provided enough support. And besides, I like to breathe. So like the sewing rebel that I am, I left it out.

I also decided to make the halter straps into shoulder straps, as I really dislike the feeling of something being tied around my neck. I'll leave the weight-bearing yoke feelings to the oxen in ye olde fields, and go with shoulder security instead. Thankfully the halter strap was plenty long enough to accommodate this whim of mine, so no alterations were required.

The dress itself was pretty easy to sew. The only tricky part was sewing the interfacing layer to the bodice without catching the gap left to thread the halter through. There may have been some unpicking before I scored, but triumphant I did emerge, and it all sits quite nicely.

So there it is. With an invisible hand-sewn hem, to boot! I think it's a winner.  Judge for yourselves - and happiest of new years to you all!

Halter #1

Halter #2

Halter #3

Project Details
Pattern: Simplicity 1876, view A
Fabric: 1.9m cotton fabric from GJ's Discount Fabrics
Notions: 35cm invisible zipper, interfacing

PS: Big thanks to Tyger for the pics!

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Vitamin D Cardigan

I have wanted to make this cardigan ever since I first clapped eye on it, and let me tell you right now, folks - it did not disappoint! Fun to knit, easy to wear and in the most perfect green ever spun, this is a cardigan that is going to be worn and worn until it falls to pieces!

Vitamin D #1

Vitamin D #2

Vitamin D #3

Project Details:
Pattern - Vitamin D cardigan by Heidi Kirrmaier
Yarn - 5 x Jo Sharp Mulberry Silk Georgette in Woodland from Woolarium.
Needles - 3.25 and 3.5mm circular needles.

I really couldn't have picked a better yarn for this project - the Jo Sharp MSG drapes beautifully due to the silk content, and is light yet warm, making it idea for warmer weather. So tempted to make this up in other colours. Control yourself, Jorthy, and get cracking on those other projects languishing about!

Ravelried here.

Friday, November 07, 2014

Pattern review: Simplicity 4224


I made this dress for myself last summer, and have only gotten around to blogging it now - oops!

However, let me tell you this: when it's baking hot outside, and the last thing you want is something tight and uncomfortable on, this dress is the one you turn to every.single.time!

It's so light and comfortable to wear, and the gathered skirt really helps to keep me feeling cool. Made out of Liberty Lifestyle cotton, it's got a funky print that is equally good paired with heels and a necklace or simply thrown on over bathers for a ride down to the pool. The pattern might be an oldie (I've had it in my stash for 10 years, I think!), but it's a goodie!

I probably could have made it down a size (I made a size 8) as it's quite roomy, but I don't mind that in the heat of summer. And since the forcast is for a long hot summer with above average temperatures, I can see this girl getting quite a lot of wear!


Project Details
Pattern: Simplicity 4224, view D (OOP)
Fabric: 2.3m Liberty Lifestyle cotton from L'uccello (not sure if they still stock this, I purchased mine a year ago)
Notions: 40cm invisible zipper

Monday, October 27, 2014

Pattern Review: Simplicity 1651

So the first summer dress of the season is finished! I've wanted to make up this pattern for absolute yonks, and when I saw the Kaffe Fassett Lotus print in GJ's I knew that the perfect fabric had finally come my way!

Lotus Dress #1

There are a few things that I quite like about this dress - it feels very sun smart, with the mostly covered bodice, and high back neckline. It's also got a 1940s vibe that I am really digging at the moment, especially with the cute double cap sleeves and bodice detailing. And it has a skirt that is perfect for swirling in. Not that I get many opportunities to swirl, but I like to be prepared in case a good, grade A swirl is suddenly called for. And you never know when that might occur!

The design features a side zipper, which I'd never actually done before. I approached the zip with some little trepidation, but it went in as easy as pie - phew! My secret is to always baste in my zips these days, and it really does make a different. The old stitch in time saves nine certainly rings true in that regard.

The only quibble I have is that the dress has turned out a tad more demure than I wanted. The cover illustrations make it look rather sassy, but my version seems determined to be well behaved and not bring any shame upon the family etc etc. Which is nice enough in it's way, but sometimes when you have your heart set on sass, you want SASS, BABY!

Not to worry - there's plenty more summer dresses with a pretty high sass factor coming along! Oh, and I've just noticed on the back of the pattern envelope that light weight double knits are amongst the recommended fabrics. Could be a winter version with long sleeves in the pipeline for winter, methinks!

Lotus Dress #2

Project Details
Pattern - Simplicity 1651, Bodice Front View B, Bodice Back View C, Flared Skirt
Fabric - 3.5m of Kaffe Fasset Lotus print from GJ's Discount Fabrics
Notions - 35cm invisible zipper

Friday, October 24, 2014

Chunky Cable Cowl

It's an exciting day here at the Jorth household. So exciting that Galumph might have woken up to find me shaking him, squealing "TODAY'S THE DAY! TODAY'S THE DAY!"

And then Tyger might have sleepily opened one eye only to discover her mother's face stationed mere millimetres from her own, waiting for that eye to open up so she could excitedly yelp "Wake up, Tyger. TODAY IS HERE!"

And then while everybody was trying to eat their vegemite on toast in peace and get over their rude introduction to the world of the awake, they might have had to put up with somebody tapping on the table with both hands, excitedly chanting "TODAY MY DESTINY IS FULFILLED! TODAY I RULE THE WOOOOOOOORLD!!!!"

Because you know what today is, don't you? I know you've all had it marked in your calendars for ages. That's right - today is the day my first knitting pattern is released. HOORAY!

Introducing the Chunky Cable Cowl. Designed exclusively for Woolarium, this quick knit cowl is the perfect project for beginners wanting to embark upon an easy cable design.


Knit up in Spud & Chloe Outer (wool and organic cotton) this cowl is so super snuggly soft that you won't ever want to take it off.

The pattern is available free with any purchase of Spud & Chloe Outer from Woolarium. The cowl has been designed to be a quick and satisfying knit - on 10mm needles it knits up in no time at all, making it perfect for Christmas gifts (or just multiple versions for yourself!)


We have a few more exclusive patterns up our sleeves, so keep an eye on the Woolarium blog for more fabulous quick knit designs. And while I'm at it, a big thank you to Sharron at Woolarium for this awesome collaboration. This knit design business is so much fun! Especially with a big chunky plaited cable!

If you have any questions, leave a comment and I'll try and get back to you asap.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Monthly menu plan - October/November


It's hot in the city, hot in the city tonight... well, it soon will be with summer practically upon us, and all the delicious spiced-up food I plan I cooking. I'm drooling just thinking about those delectable, tongue-sizzling flavours!

Week One
Monday - Creamy chicken and rocket pasta
Tuesday - Potato, pea and pumpkin samosas with salad
Wednesday - Spinach and ricotta cannelloni with salad
Thursday - Lentil and sweet potato salad with feta croutons
Friday - Red coconut curry salmon with Asian coleslaw
Saturday - Quinoa burgers with beet and feta relish
Sunday - Brown walnut butter and brie pasta with rocket salad

Week Two
Monday - Baked gnocchi spanakopita with steamed greens
Tuesday - Indian spiced red lentil soup
Wednesday - Asparagus and pea risotto with smoked salmon and rocket
Thursday - Spaghetti and meatballs with garden salad
Friday - Chilli chicken with creamed corn, with lemony broccoli
Saturday - Pea, broad bean and haloumi fritters with salad
Sunday - Rice paper rolls

Week Three
Monday - Broccoli pesto pasta with garden salad
Tuesday - Spicy rice and sweet potato biryani with baked eggs
Wednesday - Moroccan lentil and chickpea soup with garlic bread
Thursday - Beef and vegetable meatloaf with mash and gravy
Friday - Buckwheat crespelles with spinach and ricotta
Saturday - Green curry with crispy salmon and peas
Sunday - Roasted vegetable, cheese and cranberry filo pie with salad

Week Four
Monday - Greek bean and silverbeet stew
Tuesday - Red chicken curry with quinoa (with added vegetables)
Wednesday - Roasted tomato and lentil soup with croutons and garden salad on the side
Thursday - Salmon dauphinois with steamed vegetables
Friday - Chops with potato and asparagus salad

Friday, October 17, 2014

If it ain't broke...


And now for something really different, I'm making a dress made out of red and pink! I know - crazy, huh?

Thursday, October 09, 2014



Sabrina the (occasionally grumpy) dressmaker's model had been in surprisingly good spirits for weeks, but those happy feelings were beginning to ebb somewhat. "For", she thought as Jorth dashed past her, "who couldn't be full of felicitous bliss when wearing a dress as floral as this? However, would it be too much to ask for the darn skirt to be attached? Hmm, Ms I'm-so-busy-with-the-knitting-Jorth?"

Just then, much to her surprise, Jorth came over and lifted her a meter or so from her original position. "What the...?" Sabrina began to mutter, but then swallowed her words when she saw the sewing machine being lugged from its cupboard, which she had previously been standing in front of. Not daring to believe her eyes, she watched with growing rapture as Jorth gathered up the skirt pieces which had been lying neatly overlocked for some weeks past, and put them beside the now set-up sewing machine.

So thrilled was she with this turn of events that she didn't even flinch when Jorth stripped the completed bodice off her, for she knew that before the day was over, she would be resplendent in the full dress. Quietly, so quietly that the spools of cotton in the haberdashery buffet could barely hear her, let alone Jorth with her sub-standard human ears, she began to hum "Kiss From A Rose", and settled in to watch Jorth finish her new favourite dress.

Monday, October 06, 2014


Green Yarn

It's been a bit quiet around these parts, my friends, and to you all I must apologise, but life decided to throw a few curves balls our way, and when I am busy try to catch curve balls (anybody who has seen my feeble sporting attempts will know the catching isn't in my top 10 - or even maybe top 100 - skill set) I find that the old blog tends to get neglected.

Neglecting, however, makes me sad. I like my blog. I like being able to chat and interact with you all. So I've decided to give you a quick roundup on what's been going on, and hopefully now things have settled down somewhat I'll be back to my blogging best soon. So, in a nutshell:

- My father-in-law has been quite ill with an acute leukaemia. He's currently undergoing chemo, and is responding well to the treatment, thank goodness. So as a family we have been spending a LOT of time at the cancer hospital, which I can't praise highly enough for the brilliant job they are doing.

 - Just in case you thought we might be sick of hospitals, poor old Tyger came down with a vomiting bug so severe that we ended up with her at the Royal Children's Hospital. It turned out to be a nasty viral gastro, but for a while there was concern that it might be appendicitis. That was fun!

 - Then of course, just as Tyger was on the mend Galumph came down with the bug.

 - And, never one to be left out, I picked it up too. We went through a LOT of Pine-O-Cleen that week!

 - Whilst overtired and recovering from all this, I stubbed my toe so badly that I think I fractured it. So there was hobbling, too. Yay!

 - I changed jobs. It's actually been quite a stress-free process, and I love where I work now, but that was another life-changing unit thrown into the mix!

- I found out my bestie is moving to Darwin. I have gotten so used to seeing her beautiful face everyday as we take our children to school that I pretty much bawled when she told me the news. I am already feeling quite bereft at the thought that she won't be around. I think a holiday to Darwin might have to be on the cards for next year, because she is truly one of those people who lights up your day with her smile, and soothes every concern with her wise words, and I need my fix! Especially when trying to catch curve balls.

- Galumph has been crazy busy at work, and has pretty much worked through 5 weeks straight, with only the odd day off here and there. However we did just have a weekend together, which was lovely. Two days off in a row - felt like a novelty!

So that is about the sum of things. Still, fear not - there has been knitting and even a bit of sewing going on, so keep on eye on this space, and hopefully there will be some new projects featured here soon.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Monthly menu plan - August/September


So many things I love about this time of year. Salads are starting to make themselves known again. The jasmine is out. And asparagus is finally back! Woo hoo!

Week One:
Monday - Macaroni and cheese with broccoli, cauliflower, peas and corn, with a garden salad
Tuesday - Lemon, lentil and spinach soup
Wednesday - North African beef, barley and bean stew with sweet potato mash
Thursday - Huevos rancheros
Friday - Sweet potato and salmon cakes with dill yoghurt and salad
Saturday - Roast chicken
Sunday - Chicken and pea risoni (using left over roast chicken)

Week Two:
Monday - Cauliflower and lentil pilaf
Tuesday - Creamy potato and silverbeet soup with salad
Wednesday - Italian sausage and red wine risotto
Thursday - Spanish tuna pasta bake with salad
Friday - Chickpea pilaf with haloumi
Saturday - Pancetta wrapped salmon with potato salad and rocket salad
Sunday - Tuscan peasant soup

Week Three:
Monday - Silverbeet and chicken barley risotto with peas
Tuesday - Spinach and ricotta cannelloni with chunky lentil sauce, with garden salad
Wednesday - Creamy sweet potato, onion and pumpkin soup with garlic croutons
Thursday - Vegetable, bacon and risoni soup
Friday - Spinach and corn pasties with salad
Saturday - Rack of lamb roast
Sunday - Beef and red wine stew with mash

Week Four:
Monday - Pastitsio with salad
Tuesday - Spinach impossible pie with green salad
Wednesday - Tomato and basil soup with croutons and salad
Thursday - Sweet and sour pork
Friday - Baked potatoes with the works
Saturday - Zucchini pasta with rocket
Sunday - Ratatouille with polenta

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Baby booties


How adorable are these baby booties, eh? So teeny! And tiny! The perfect gift for Tyger's favourite teacher, who is calling her soon-to-be born little one 'Peanut'. So much cuter than 'Bump', which is what poor Tyger got stuck with. Sorry about that, Tygs.

Welcome soon to the world, Peanut!

Project Details
Pattern: Saartje's Booties by Saartje de Bruijn (free pattern on Ravelry!)
Yarn: Left-over partial ball of Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino
Needles: 2.75mm
Notions: 4 buttons

This is a great, quick and easy knit - in fact, I think I spent more time sewing them together than I did actually knitting. I made the newborn size in a gender neutral colour, with cute red buttons to brighten things up.

Ravelried here.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Calling on Mr Abbott: More bicycle infrastructure funds, please!


Dear Prime Minister Tony Abbott,

As an Australian family who are committed to leaving a safer, better, greener world for our daughter, I was rather dismayed to discover that funding for bicycle paths was not included in the 2014/15 Infrastructure budget. We need more people on bikes now! Reasons for this include:

1 -  63% of Australians are inactive.

2 -  Inactivity costs us a staggering 13.8 billion every year (in health and associated costs).

3 -  59% of Australians want to ride a bike but they're concerned about cars and trucks.

4 -  Separated lanes will overcome that concern.

5 -  If 59% of people take up riding we'll save at least $8.1 billion - every single year.

6 -  $7.5 billion will buy 7500 kilometres of separated bike lanes and paths.

7 -  It will transform Australia into the most bike friendly and physically active country in the world!

8 - Once word gets around that Australia is the most bike friendly country in the world, the tourists will flock like crazy. Everybody loves a country full of cute bike riders. Just ask the Danish and the Dutch!

So on behalf of bike riders everywhere, I humbly ask that you reconsider the Infrastructure budget, and find some money for bikes. $7.5 billion should do the trick in not only making us the envy of the world, but will do wonders for reducing obesity, pollution and a huge range of lifestyle cancers (how much do we spend on that each year, huh?)

Yours sincerely,

PS Imagine that you did spend the money on creating safe bicycle lanes for one and all. Every time a cute bike rider pedalled past, you could think "Hey! I did that!". I'll leave you with that thought, Tony.

You can follow the Bicycle Network's Please Tony campaign here.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Leafy Greens Blanket

The stork carefully stored the package that Jorth handed to him, carefully wrapped in brown paper and string, and as he flew off into the sunset he had one simple, grateful thought: that delivering presents for soon-to-arrive babies was sure as heck a lot easier than delivering the bubs themselves.

Leafy Greens #1

Leafy Greens #2

Leafy Greens #3

Project Details
Pattern: Leafy Baby Blanket by Leyla Alieva (free pattern!)
Yarn: 7 balls of Zara by Filatura Di Crosa, yarn held double throughout
Needles: 5mm needles

I really, REALLY enjoyed knitting this sweet baby blanket up. Since the yarn was held double, it went by pretty quick, and I would have gotten it finished sooner except I ran one ball short, so had to dash off to the yarn store before I could finish it. D'oh!

The blanket itself isn't huge, but is the perfect size for tucking into a pram or over a car seat to keep their precious occupant snug and warm. This is a definite knitting win to chalk up on the board!

Ravelried here.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Monthly Menu Plan - July/August


Slow braises, pasta bakes, lasagne sheets made from scratch... this is truly not the winter of my discontent. And since it's a dual birthday month at our place, there's plenty of cake as well. Yippee!

Week One
Monday - Salmon, pea and potato cakes with garden salad
Tuesday - Lemon, lentil and spinach soup
Wednesday - Tomato, pea, bacon and spinach risotto with rocket salad
Thursday - Broccoli and pecorino pasta with garden salad
Friday - Lemon pepper pilaf
Saturday - Farro, butternut pumpkin and romesco salad
Sunday - Macaroni with peas, with a green salad

Week Two
Monday - Roasted vegetable 'speltotto' with kale
Tuesday - Tofu and noodle stirfry
Wednesday - Pumpkin and haloumi burgers with coleslaw
Thursday - Spanish tuna pasta bake with salad
Friday - Creamy potato and silverbeet soup with cheese toasties
Saturday - Beef stew with sweet potato mash
Sunday - Roast chicken

Week Three
Monday - Creamy chicken pasta with rocket
Tuesday - Ratatouille pies with garden salad
Wednesday - Roast tomato and basil soup with garlic bread
Thursday - Chicken pesto lasagne with rocket salad
Friday - Birthday dinner!
Saturday - Baked potatoes with all the trimmings
Sunday - Lentil cottage pies with corn cobs

Week Four
Monday - Spaghetti and meatballs with salad
Tuesday - Cauliflower, silverbeet and chickpea wraps with tahini
Wednesday - Minestrone a la Jill Dupleix
Thursday - Ham, tomato and ricotta calzones with salad
Friday - Homemade fish and chips

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Party dress!

It's tempting to think that you can't deck yourself in an awesome, home-made party dress when your birthday falls in the middle of winter. Shivering and party poppers don't generally tend to go hand in hand. However, with this incredible pink/red/black brocade, and a little help from Vogue 8902, I have a feeling that I'll be looking pretty snazzy this Saturday night, no matter how darn cold it is outside!

Party Dress