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Dr Who-oo, Dr Who, Dr Who-oo, The Tardis, Dr Who-oo, Dr Who, Dr Who-oo, Doctor Who!!

Dr_who_zuc_the_front Who would have thought, way back on Thursday the 20th of October last year, that today the Dr Who ZippyUppy Cardigan would be complete?? Little did Katie, my Secret Pal 6, (buy her stitchmarkers) know that from one innocent email with some Dr Who knitting pattern links, would grow the behemoth that would become the Dr Who ZUC (I suggest you say this with a deep and reverberating voice). Yet, here is hangs, ready to be worn for its first public outing. It was completed at 12-45pm , after a trial wearing with just one sleeve at 11-55am. It is like a Tardis, in that it looks smaller on the inside than when you actually wear it!!Dr_who_zuc_back

I would like to thank Katie for sending me the pattern. I would like to thank MrsMacGyver and the Knitting Coven for all their encouragement and occasional pooh-poohing ( You're not really going to wear that to [insert any function here] are you???) I would like to thank my parents for letting me watch Dr Who every night. Thanks go to Mrs Boothroyd my maths teacher in high school and Ann Budd for her excellent Knitter's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns : without them I could not have designed the Dr Who ZUC pattern. Thanks to Bendigo Woollen Mill for their excellent wool, and to Harki and Peri for the endless and devoted donation of their own fur, whether I needed it or not. Thank you to Sarah Bradberry who made the logo patterns. Finally, thank you to everyone at Dr Who, you know who you are!!!!!!


They are X Men: they have ceased to be...

X-Men: The Last Stand is a film you won't understand unless you have seen the first 2 movies or read all the comics.  If you are up to Part III filmwise, than this is great, lots of action and FX and heaps of plot, death, battles etc etc. It nicely sets up a mooted Wolverine and Charles/Magneto film. Don't forget to stay till the end of the closing credits : there's a tiny teaser.

Mission: Impossible III can only be endured by a Cruise-ophile if you pretend he's not Him. This is like a long Alias episode, in fact you can spot Weiss in the first 10 minutes or so, and there's an homage to the Vaughan Drink Me episode too. Lots of fast, maybe too fast, action scenes, the 'mask making' machine makes a comeback, and there is a lot of running : running with hands like a train, all flats and making a locomotion motion when The Cruiser runs. The heroine is a cross between Katie and Meredith out of Grey's Snug_as_bugs_in_a_rug_1Anatomy.

Tired: we have all been tired and 'resting'!! I have been twice to the cinema, but it's rather like sleeping, all dark and quite warm, but obviously very noisy!!! The Labradors have been for their walks, of course, and they have been sleeping on the Affection Usurper : the new and very furry brown blanket. They love the blanket, they have to sleep on it in bed and on the couch. They have to be tipped off its luxurious furriness. They burrow in to it and don't want to come ouMoebius_scarf_twisted_sister_6t. Peri  loves it especially!!! It is a big hit with The Labradors.

The Moebius scarf  for Project Spectrum May is complete and I am in love with its mathematical glamour. I wore it at the weekend, and it is a medium weather scarf/collar.  I looked on the internet and people cheat : they do a provisional cast on, knit a scarf, give it a half twist and then graft the two ends together: I call for an Inquisition!!!!! This is terrible!!!

I have finished The Heart of the Mirage and it was fantastic. I am now waiting impatientely for the second book. Luckily I have 4 new books from the book shop. It  Ready_set_sew never rains, but it pours!!!

The Dr Who Zuc is ready to sew. I have stem stitched around the logo, made moss stitch band on the fronts and inserted a zip and blocked all the pieces. Now I am going to sew it up and do the collar, and then .... it will be finished!!!!!! The Dr_who_on_dr_whoMadcages brought me back a vintage Tom Baker Dr Who badge from their trip to the mainland. It is lovely. I think I need a K9 bag........

It is The Knitting Coven tomorrow. I must sleep well  and eat vegetable!!!. 


'Allo Sh'Allo

"Listen very carefully; I shall say this only once."  As Michelle from 'Allo 'Allo says, I shall say this only Little_icy_paw_prints wernce and then not mention it again : People who park in disabled car spaces, who aren't - these are people with ethical 'issues'.

This morning it was the princessly temperature of 0*C again. Harki and Peri went for a walk inHarkis_ready_for_take_off_with_peri_1 the freezing air at the dam. They ran about on the crisp grass so fast that their ears were all a-flap!! It was so icy the little footbridge showed their paddypaw prints when they ran across it.

I am knitting the Moebius scarf. I must be doing something wrong because, really, after thSomeday_peri_will_fly_awaye set up it is not difficult. That's right, it is very easy. In fact even the set up isn't that hard despite Simply Knitting UK's protestations. You cast on using a 6mm 80cm circular needle then start knitting, but into the base of the first stitch, the cast on part, using the flexible plastic cord part to make it easier. When you have done this the circular needle coils in on itself and you continue to knit in the round, joining there. You are simultaneously knitting above and below the cast on, so 80 stitches become 160. How cool is that?? Very mathematically cool!!! I really want to knit a probability cable next!!!!!Twist_and_stitch

Today Uncle Skywalker and Auntie Bacall popped in for a Forbidden Zone visit. The Labradors barked at first, then they recognised Uncle Skywalker, who I taught in Grade 1!!!! Harki was an angel as usual, but Peri Naughty was in lurve, deep, deep lurve with Auntie Bacall's fluffy faux fur sleeve cuffs. She performed circus like tricks in order to tickle her nose with the said faux fur!! They wore themselves out with joy and happiness and had to have a dip in the paddle pool!!

To cheer up MrsMacGyver, I designed some cupcakes. They were an experiment that was 66-67% successful, and I have adjusted the recipe, tweaked it, and now I think it's perfect!!!!! Most of the recipe is written in Advil blue!!! Never fear : I did discard the idea of a True No Headache Cupcake!!!!

No Headache Cupcakes

  • 185g softened butterNo_headache_cupcakes
  • 220g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 300g plain flour
  • 1 tbspn baking powder
  • 125ml milk
  • pink food colouring
  • 100g raspberries ( frozen is fine)
  • 1 1/2 tbspn cocoa
  • 100g good dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1 tspn vanilla extract
  • 100g nuts, chopped - whichever kind you like
  • For the icing, 60ml cream, 100g chocolate and marshmallows

Preheat the oven to 180*C (160ff) and line a 12 hole muffin tin with paper cases.

Beat the butter, eggs and sugar till light and fluffy. Fold in the flour, baking powder and milk. Divide the mixture evenly between 3 bowls. To the first add a few drops of pink food colouring and the raspberries, to the second add the cocoa and the chopped chocolate, and to the third add the vanilla extract and chopped nuts. Stir each mixture to combine and then place a spoonful of each into the paper cases. Squiggle with a skewer to make sure the paper case is full and there are no hidden spaces. Bake for about 20 minutes and cool on a wire rack.

Make the ganache icing by mixing the chopped chocolate into the cream which had been brought to the boil. Cool till at spreading consistency. Ice the cupcakes and then decorate with a marshmallow!!!!


Markers maketh the Woman

Katies_famous_stitch_markers I am too dog obsessed : when Katie urged me to look in the latest Creative Knitting for something exciting - I saw a dog knits book. Little did I realise that the Wonderful Katie , mother of new pup Penny, is in the new Creative Knitting with her fantastic stitch markers!!!! You can buy them from Katie here, or from the Wool Shack here!!! Go on, buy a lot!! I am hopeless with them really, I just knit them into the fabric of the garment, as an expensive embellishment!!!

The new Knitty Surprises are up. I would never wear this 80s Puffball skirt - if you know it, you'll hate it!!! Would a baby wear this??? I think I might wear this, even though it's a tea cosy, but where are the spout and handle openings so you can 'tip it over, pour it Harki_helping_me_cut_outout'????

Harki has been helping me cut out a pattern for a new top, in Project Spectrum colours of course. She helps by being on the fabric at all times, with and without accompaniments. Despite her 'help' I managed to adapt the pattern for my upper A_pattern curviness!! and cut it out.There are only 4 pieces, but I need that clear seam elastic or some ribbon to stay the seams. I am thinking of going out - or not. I did find my good scissors, hurray, so I cut out most of the top with them. I am making the top the real model is wearing. I will not look like that!! The top looks like a I_found_my_scissors pile of fabric and tissue paper at the moment.

If George Dubya says 'nukiller' one more time I will scream!!! Please, can someone tell him how it is pronounced?? Are they too afraid to??

Auntie and Uncle Dutch are off on their trip OS and thus far they have, in no particular order, ( via SMS) :

  • been to the airport at Paris accidentally, because of weather, but they had no visa so they had to stay in the building!!
  • been to see the Berlin Wall and Checkpoint Charlie
  • seen the fountains with music and light show in Prague
  • travelled from Warsaw to Krakow
  • played cards till late in Vienna
  • had an 'interesting' taxi ride in Budapest
  • seen Munich and flown from Frankfurt to rainy London
  • stayed in a baaaad hotel with baaaad weather and ridden the Tube to Westminster Abbey, which was goooood!!!

They will be back in time for Uncle Dutch's birthday on July 4th!! Yes, the same day as the film.

There is no knitting but I want to knit the Moebius scarf from the Simply Knitting UK. I want one because it is mathematical. I want one now, in green Country Silk!!! First, I need a circular needle, and first I need to go out to buy one. Maybe tomorrow.......


Cracker-toa!!!

Branching_out_scarf_1 Today I was kitted out in knitted accoutrements : panta ( not the sound an Italian dog makes MrsMacGyver, and if you persist I will send you Peri to live at your house!!!)  scarf, fingerless mittens and socks. Could my accessories be any more knitted?? It was icy cold, but I like it that way!!! I knitted away in a less then frenetic manner and I have, at last, completed the Branching Out Scarf from Knitty. I started last year on the 8th of September, but it fell by the wayside. It is very nice, it is Project Spectrum May, and I now have more scarves than I can poke a stick at : I love wearing them now!!!! I must finish the House of Elliott Sock #1. That will be tomorrow - another day.

The GardyGardeners came today and had caramel and pecan slice for morning tea. They brought The Labradors some bones and they brought me a whole bowl of passionfruit!! They will have to dry up and go all wrinkly before they are sweet and ripe enough, but I do love them in passionfruit curd, and melting moments and icing Harki_plays_peek_a_boo and semi-freddo!!! I am passionate about them!! We had a banana passionfruit vine at home but these are the best : Nelly Kelly!!!

Today I feel better, which for me means that I have stopped feeling like Death warmed up.  I am slow and pale, but I feel OK!! I must have made some red blood cells!!! The Labradors have been inordinately cute today : Harki looking quizzically down the steps and Peri with her FlippyFloppy Ear head shake!!!Peri_is_all_swirly

Tonight is Cracker Night in Tasmania. Until the early 1950s it was Empire Day, and then later on, Commonwealth Day. I know the Government sends out some naff media release to schools, but let's face it, we don't have much to celebrate at the moment. I will refrain from making a list (AWB, Kovco, IR regime, ID card, Solon, Rau....Oops!!) but really it is the day we all used to have a neighbourly bonfire and our dads let off crackers!!! Cracker Night is big again, with fireworks quite readily available. I hope no-one : human or canine is hurt. This isn't Guy Fawkes' Night, it's no relation, mind you, it could give people ideas......

I have Kool Aid. It smells so nice Harki and Peri just want to eat it. I am going to dye sock wool - really I am!! Truly ruly!! It's just a question of when!!! I have the new Simply Knitting UK, out only about 16 days after the last issue, oh the vagaries of international shipping!!! I also picked up a new Glenda Larke bFeelin_kool_kool_koolook : Heart of the Mirage. I liked her Tainted trilogy so I can't wait to start this!!!

Mark Inglis, a disabled NZ mountain climber and about 40 other climbers all ignored a critically ill climber on their way to the summit of Mt Everest. They just - went past him. They just left him to die. What price the summit???

Katie, what is in the Creative Knitting?? I had a quick flip through in the shop, but I bought the UK Simply Knitting!! I saw the Dog Knitting book!! Even though The Labradors will model for me I don't think they will wear a coat!! They swim when it is 2*C!!!!! The could be in Dogue and Barkity Fair!!!! Thank you, on behalf of The Labradors, for the lovely comments about their modelling!!! They did an excellent job, worth of any superdog model!!!! OK, I think I have overdosed on the exclamation marks today. I will try to restrain myself!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Panta-monium

Panta_1920s_flapper_harki I am not a hat person. At school I had to wear various styles of compulsory velvet and straw panama hats. I hated them. I do wear a functional hat in the Summer as we are under a hole in the ozone layer - Lucky us!! The Lovely Sharon is a hat aficionado of the hat in all its incarnations : the Muse hat and now the Panta. "Yes!!" they all said, "The hat looks fine", but I'm never sure. NeverthePanta_peri less my ears are cold, and Sharon has inspired me, so this morning I made a Panta for walking The Labradors. I looked in the mirror and decided that unless I can see my fringe, no-one else will see me in it, so Harki and Peri are kindly modelling the Panta, made from just one ball of Cleckheaton Country Silk.And it is green so it is part of Project Spectrum!!!

A_helpful_labrador_5 I also have photographic evidence that I am blocking the Dr Who ZUC. Peri is being helpful, she wants to be with me, the camera and the plastic bag she has in her mouth no matter what I say!! I have run out of pins and lost the 2 new roundy-roundy things I bought. Bah Humbug.

This photo is as much of the new Creative Knitting you are likely to seA_litany_of_errorse as their magazine is late : again. The poor company has experienced a litany of errors : broken binding machines, distribution troubles, editors coming and going willy nilly and pattern mistakes. They really need to get their act together.

On the other hand the new Delicious is right on time and full of delicious recipes. I feel the need to cook something now!! I can't, as I am off to help Milly's sister with her Grade 9 Maths. On my mobile, when I messaged her mum, the predictive text suggested 'Maths' should be 'oaths'!!! I love maths, but I can see a few people might agree with my mobile!!!


Lo-ok! Do you want to know a secret??? Ooh ooh ooh....

2_secret_projects_1 Yes, this is Top Secret Headquarters here, an almost total Cone of Silence and Cone of Not-seeing-ness!!! I am knitting Kermit, and I have been sewing C*ke-a-C*la and Mr Squiggle, bits of which can be seen here on the left!!! C*ke-a-C*la is finished and ready to be posted off, but I still have a little work to do lining Mr Squiggle. I loved Mr Squiggle, Miss Pat, Bill the Steam Shovel, Gus the Snail and Blackboard - "and a-hurry up!!!" I still know the song :Harki_coming_so_fast

Here's Mr Squiggle, with lots of fun for everyone,

Here's Mr Squiggle, sing a happy tune!

You can see we're as happy as can be,

Mr Squiggle, the man from the Moon!!!

Peri_coming_so_fast OK, enough reminiscing. There is a new Knit1 from Vogue. A few nice things I would make, some are green!!! Have you noticed I have a 'Button'?? It is green. It is boring and just says my name, but I don't know how to make paw prints on it, so I'm happy with its greenness. Please take my button if you like. (Not you MrsMacGyver. You are not allowed near any bloggy-techie things!!!)

Harki and Peri have been having a lovely time on their walk. Peri has been coming back when I call her, at a break neck speed. You have to use your 'Exorcist' or 'Goa'uld' voice to direct her though!! If you speak normally she thinks you could not possibly mean her!! She will 'come' and 'go' and 'wait' and 'stay' and will 'no' at a distance if it looks likeWhy_my_car_windows_are_dirty she might be rolling in you-don't-want-to-know-what!!! Harki is an angel, though today she went off exploring own her own, much to Peri's distress. When we got home they waited in the car, dribbling on the window, pressing their noses and wet fur everywhere, till I opened the gate!!!

Despite sleep and fruit and vegetables and soup I am still feeling wan.  There is no use dwelling on it, so I have been sedentary, but crafting!!! I have almost finished the Branching Out Scarf. It is very soft and warm but will need to be blocked into submission.

Better_colour_but_not_right I have been making Frou Frou cupcakes from my new cook book. You can see a picture of them here!!!

The recipe follows. I have made a few changes, because let's face it, you can't keep cupcakes piled high with frosting and frozen but thawed raspberries!! It's eat them all now, or just tweak the recipe!!!

Frou Frou Cupcakes

  • 125g butter, softened
  • 220g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 100g plain flour
  • ½ tspn baking powder
  • 40g desiccated coconut
  • 80g sour cream
  • 150g raspberries

Frosting

  • 30g butter, softened
  • 80g cream cheese, softened too!
  • 240g icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 tspn coconut essence – optional. Try lemon or orange zest/juice or vanilla

Preheat oven to 180*C(160 ff) and put 12 paper muffin cases into the muffin tray.

Beat the butter, sugar and eggs till light and fluffy, then fold in the sour cream, coconut, flour , baking powder and then the raspberries. Spoon into paper cases, and smooth the top. Bake for 35-40 minutes.  Cool on a rack, then ice with the frosting and top with a few raspberries and some toasted coconut if you like.

Frosting: Beat the butter and cream cheese till light and fluffy. Add the flavouring of your choice then add the icing sugar and beat till smooth.


She's got a Ticket to Bide.....

Bringin_down_the_house_1  I have not been happy with The House of Elliott sock. I have been looking at the decreases just above the heel, you can see where the rib kind of arrows in at the top of the sock. I have been worrying about how I don't like the way they look, and yet I kept on knitting : turned the heel, picked up the gusset stitches, decreased and went on with the foot. But suddenly, I reached a crisis point. I decided that it was far too boogelly and I am undoing it back to the decreases before the heel. Now it is a fait accompli I feel much better, as if the weight of the socks of the world has been lifted from my shoulders!!! Mrs Dollhouse's dad's foot is 7 cm longer and 7cm wider in the circumference than mine, so a paltry 8 stitches isn't going to cut it, especially when I decreased them!!! I plan to leave 80 stitches, and when I decrease for the gusset I will do the maths and make sure my tension gives me the correct circumference. Ho hum.

I have tried cheering myself up by knitting some of the Branching Out scarf that has been hibeA_twigs_worth_of_branching_outrnating  since before October last year!! The yarn is a khaki Zhivago that has been discontinued in the shops here, and photographs as a wishy washy blerk shade.It qualifies for the May Project Spectrum - really, it does. Luckily there will be enough length in 2 balls to make a decent scarf. I has forgotten all about it, then I saw the photo in my knitting journal of the one I knitted for my friend's birthday last year in a gorgeous rich chocolate colour. I remembered I had one waiting in the wings too, albeit only a twig's worth of the Branching Out!!!

Today I have been feeling unsettled. There was no walk this morning, I made grilled bacon and made some excellent scrambled eggs with sourdough toast for breakfast and I did picking up all the things The Labradors have played with/destroyed/chewed since yesterday afternoon, and then I have stewed over my sock. Very unproductive. I'm biding my time till some sort of enthusiasm returns. The day is dull and overcast and so am I.

I need a pattern for the Miss Knitabulous fabulous laceweight wool. I want to knit a rectangular stole thingy. I cannot scare the willies out of the World by making a shawl, but a wrap/stole that can drape about my shoulders is just the ticket!!! Someone must have a good idea, a creative suggestion, a fantastic insight : 'cause let's face it, we're not The Happiness Patrol at the moment!!! Or maybe we are???

Even The Labradors are sleeping on the couch as if under a kind of magic spell. Peri didn't even appear at the kitchen baby gate when I rattled some crinkly paper. Harki had played with a TeddyBunny, but not for long......There weren't even any exciting letters, just a generic plea to sign up for a credit card. Please.

I think I'll have a brisk cup of Lime Ginger Ginkgo Green tea and a shower and then I'm off to Milly's mum's for afternoon tea.  I will muster some enthusiasm by then I'm sure. My word I'll be surprised if no-one feels like topping themselves after this very dreary post!!!!! I'll go to the Black Spot of Doom Light before afternoon tea : things can only be on the up after a trip there!!!!


Live and Let Dye!!!!!

Lions_share You may have noticed the Our Tribe button, complete with a pride of lions, and Yes it is clicky!!! The Tribe are lovely knitting and craft women, and I am lucky enough to be part of the Tribe!!! Yesterday I received a wonderful gift from Miss Knitabulous. There was a green envelope and a card with shoes with green bows!! I love shoes!! And inside the parcel was some personally hand dyed yarn!!! Miss Knitabulous sees this as not one of her finest dyeing hours, but for me, it is perfection!!! On the right is some beautiful sock wool, and on the left some lace weight yarn, enough for a lacy shawl or wrap of some description. It is so beautiful and has all the colours I love : dark green, olive, lime, teal, sea green, light green, emerald, aqua !!!!!!! Thank you so much for my gorgeous present!!!!! It has been personally inspected and given tail wagging approval by The Labradors!!!!!!

When I was part of Secret Pal 6 the talented Katie sent Harki and Peri toys!!! Now Katie has cute puppy Harki_still_plays_with_katies_toy Penny living with her!! Today Harki was playing with one of the toys Katie sent way back then. It is no longer whole, or squeaky, but for Harki it is just the thing. It is also just the thing Peri wants and she has been stalking Harki all morn ing. Luckily the toy is compact and Peri hasn't been able to grab it and steal it away!!!!!

The Labradors have been very happy today : they had a great walk, longer than usual as I am pale and slow today so it took me longer to walk the same No_you_cant_have_my_toydistance!!!, they had the end of last night's chicken soup with their breakfast, and they have had a romp and a nap. They are hoping for a bone later on!!!!

I am up to the foot part of the House of Elliott socks and I expect to have one sock finished tomorrow. Only one to go, despite the insistence of Rolf that our land is peopled with the ilk of Jake-the-Peg!!! Happiness_is_labradors_5

Kim Hargreaves has her new collection ready : Scent of Summer. I usually like what she designs, I loved Spring, but there is not much here to tempt me!! Perhaps it is that we have a more Spanish climate and the UK patterns  designed for their weather just don't cater for us.

Congratulations Katt!! Well done!!! I want to you walk away from the Baby Cashmerino scraps NOW!!!!! Just put them down, stop smelling them and rubbing them on your face because they are so soft, and step away now, before it's too late. I think it's too late already!!!

MrsMacGyver has updated her blog with a cheerful post about, amongst other things, toilets and class excursions!!!! She needs MrMacGyver to use 3 corks, some chewing gum and a tin of shoe polish to stablise the online reporting software. If he did this he would be worth his weight in gold. It is just sad that he has a mass of exactly nothing!!!!!


De-Claire de Lune

Yesterday it was The Knitting Coven. We were all full of words that needed to get out at Mach 5!!! So much to say, so little time!! Everyone was busy with their projects, but as usual, not much knitting actually happened!!! We had a new visitor, and she knits left handed, so we of the right handed persuasion were no help!!!New_sock_wool

At about 3-30pm in came the Mini-Katts and their dad and the sock wool!! That was the end of any coherent thoughts or conversations as we all fondled ( and in Katt's case - smelled ) our new wool!!!

On the knitting front, there's not much to declare : Well, officer, I have knitted up to the heel of the House of Elliott Sock #1 and I have done half of the orange part of Kermit the Secret Project and I am blocking the Dr Who ZUC and making the last sleeve of the Mulberry Cardigan. So do I have anything finished to declare? Well, no!! I might as well be howling at the moon as knitting at the rate I am going. I'm bordering on the insecure!!!

Cupcakes I have finally managed to obtain Cupcakes!! I have been waiting for this book for a few weeks as I refused to buy it from the Tobacconist/Newsagency.  Cupcakes is, as its name suggests, full of delicious and divine cup cakes. There are too many to name as almost all of them could become a favourite!!

I also bought the new Spring Vogue. I must confess I rarely knit anything from the Vogue but I love to look at all the patterns, the ads and the articles, and dream!!!

The Heaven Chocolate people sent me a chocolate bar. I can't eat chocolate, so despite mentioning it to  MrsMacGyver (Hurry up and update your blog, you have fans!!![Sad,sad fans]) I gave it Heaven_chocolateto the GardyGardeners this morning.

Harki and Peri are recovering from the excitement of morning tea with the GardyGardeners.  Peri is asleep on the couch, breathing loudly in her deep sleep, and Harki is outside guarding the house!!! I plan to be having a nap any minute now : I am still recovering from the excursion on Monday!!!