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April 2005
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June 2005

The Answer my Friend is NOT TO KNIT IN DIM LIGHT

How many rows can a woman undo before you can call it all quits? Well I can undo at least twice, possibly three times. Do not knit with plummy-purple coloured wool and brown wool while watching TV and with dull light. Twice, thrice, not once, I can’t even learn from my mistakes, I knitted the wrong coloured stripe and then blithely kept on knitting way past it. THEN I pulled it undone, corrected the colour and missed an entire stripe. I have no excuse. I should have paid more attention. It’s not as if Lord Lynley is riveting, good, or even half way to being interesting. I was taping it for Aunty Captain Mrs Archer. In the end I pulled it all undone back to the first stripe and went to bed. I went all Scarlett O’Hara : Remember, tomorrow is another day… Hello Rosie - you know who you are. Lovely bullion stitches. I am so envious!!! Now I am typing with a Labrador on my arm. Harki wants a pat and so it trying to insert her head on, or preferably, under, my typing hand. She then wiggles and wags her tail and the whole thing transfers through like an earthquake. I gave them the end of the mixed pepper cheese . It is actually mixed capsicum, but it must be from America. Peri ate the foil. Dr Who is on tonight. Words are not enough to express my joy and happiness. It is almost as good as a Labrador!!!!! Almost, but not quite. Now Peri is eating an apple I threw outside for the birds. She is a gannet!!! Everywhere there are wool ( yarn) sales. I always say wool as in the olden days there was only wool. I am so old.. Now we should say yarn as it is more fibre politically correct. I can’t.. I will always say wool, in the same way I say The Hydro for Aurora, Jimmy’s for Coles in Charles St, Roelf Vos for Woolworths everywhere etc. At least I don’t say the PMG for the GPO, now known as Australia Post!!! I don’t do this deliberately, it is just like the Dark Side of the Force, I am being taken over by my mother. Mum does that all the time. Help me. I don’t want to be my mother and be blonde instead of grey at 68. I don’t want to own more shoes than Imelda, shoes I never wear as they don’t fit me. I don’t want to wear pantyhose with a parachute suit. I expect there is no turning back from the Dark Side of the Moth(er) It is an inexorable fate. Today I picked up Princess Leia, the last Star Wars pin. Huzzah!! And today’s Star Wars recipe is : Jedi Juice Pops 1 cup fresh or frozen berries ( or soft fruit of your choice) 300 –350 ml of fruit juice ( you can add lemonade or other flavours too) paddle pop sticks Place a piece of fruit into each little cube spot of an ice cube tray, Almost fill with juice and freeze for about 2 hours. Push a stick firmly into the centre and freeze till set. Pop out and eat!! I think you could use yoghurt too, to make a healthy “pop”. I spotted a typo and then had to edit twice as I fixed the time to am instead of pm. Now there are probably 3 more things I should have fixed!!!

Tell me Miss Kitten, what are you knittin'? A kerchief, a kite and a polka dot mitten

See how childhood TV rhymes inculcate themselves into your brain. Was this Sesame Street? I think it was. Play Schhol has the egg-shaped TV and the round window.It has not been a miserable day, but overcast. I have put Dr Who onto MT DVD so I can watch it. I am watching/listening to the first 8 episodes. I have made delicious soup full of legumes and macaroni and yummy vegetables. I have knitted all day and I have finished the pattern and I have decreased for the neck and I have 90 rows across the front to do ( sideways). I have also realised I will have to have mitred corners on the neck so I will be reading the knitting section of the Readers’ Digest tonight reacquainting myself with the procedure. See how certain I am that I will finished this before June 20 th??? I have 2 sleeves to knit and a bazillion ends to sew in. I will need more wool. I am thinking of doing the bands of the sleeves in stripes and then one sleeve black and one dark blue. It does mean I won’t have wool left over. When am I going to knit anything for me that isn’t green????? The Labradors have played all day. I did distract them momentarily with a bone. Now they are napping on the couch. Peri is on the Labrador cushion. Harki is looking at me sadly as she wants more food. Not until you lose another 3 kilos. I am Jenny Craig and Lisa Curry-Kenny rolled into one. Now there’s an image!!! Oh, the site is having conniptions and I can't make this writing green. Oh I am very sad.

Star Wars - Use the Fork Luke!!!

Been, seen, it’s a dream!! We waited in line last night for an hour. Actually we sat on the comfy seats until the line reached the stairs then we sat on them. We read SFX magazines and Aunty Captain Mrs Archer gave me a present – The Revenge of the Sith book!!!!!!! I gave her Bassett’s Liquorice Allsorts from the special shop. No comparison really!!! I took precautionary drugs as I felt slightly off : perhaps too much excitement, perhaps a cold? Then in we all went. And by all I mean mostly spotty anoraks, and then us!!! They made us sit through 15 minutes of promos and then it started. Believe you me, ( and isn’t that very Yoda?) this film deserves an M rating. But it is, indeed, the best of the 3 recent films. You MUST MUST MUST see it, even if you hates TPM and AOTC. This is iconic and it segues effortlessly into the next trilogy. I laughed, I cried, I was scared, cross, the whole gamut of emotions. There was love, hate, betrayal, stupidity, violence, death, bravery….we will see it again on Sunday. Of course now I must gird my loins for the new Dr Who. So many things, so little time… and the power has been going on and off but thankfully Stargate Atlantis taped and I watched it this morning before collecting the Colonel Grievous pin from the newsagency. There is only one left to collect: Princess Leia. See how my priorities are deep and meaningful??? Knitting? I am knitting as I speak ( well, I am doing rows in between internetting).

Death Star Popcorn Balls
75 g butter
100 g marshmallows ¼ cup light brown sugar
100 g popcorn ( already popped natural not coloured)
jubes for decoration
Melt butter in a pan over low heat and slowly stir to melt the added sugar and marshmallows. When combined, pour over the popcorn and mix very thoroughly. Use dampened hands to form a ball and add jubes to the exteriors to mimic lights etc. You can use other lollies too. Place on baking paper to cool and set. Makes 8 to 10 depending on the size.

Tonight's the night!!

Fear not : there is no Rod Stewart with gravelly tones, no slinky Brit Ekland, no song with, as the man on Shearers said – sexual connotations. I must digress, on the Shearers on the ABC this week ( reality shearing school set in Tasmania) the head shearer’s offsider said there should be no ‘sexual connotations’ !! We think he meant harassment as the entire show then proceeded to be full of single, double, even triple entendre and innuendo!! Most amusing. No! Tonight is the night for Star Wars. I am very excited. I am napping this afternoon. I gave up sewing. I gave up watching Enterprise and Tru Calling. I have gone all Oklahoma now : All or nuthin’-

I go and sow my last wild oat! I cut out all shenanigans.
I save my money, don't gamble or drink In the back room down at Flannigans!
I give up lotsa other things A gentleman never mentions,
But before I give up anymore, I wanta know your intentions!

My intentions are to go to the Library and return the Handmade magazines. I have spent a desultory hour looking for them and they were already found and sitting on the top of the couch. I have another in the car. The actual Handmade people assured me it was a missing Christmas issue. It was, in fact, an Easter issue and I already have it. The man at the newsagency has ordered Interweave Knitting, Vogue Knitting and Rowan. I think Rowan 37 is gone, but I will be all ready for Rowan 38. It is about $50 but there are over 40 patterns. I have found a 37 on the internet at a yarn shop. I may buy it. I can’t buy it until my tax return comes though. I am exceedingly poor until then. I look at my health insurance 30% refund as a kind of unChristmas club!!! I will buy a simple digital camera so I can put pictures on my blogs!!! Especially of the Labradors. They could be there every day, in triplicate!!!
I have undone my knitting AGAIN. The cables pulled the work in far too much. How did I not know this? I know that cables and rib both contract, yet I blithely went ahead regardless. I have done a travelling moss stitch. It is a diagonal pattern made by a purl . It is very nice and NOT PULLY INNY.
I enjoy words. Words are great. I like words that are not real in spite of my pedantry : see boogelly, accribitz, pully inny, percentagise, orphanry etc.
Obligatory Star Wars Recipe.
R2-D2 Treats
100 g white chocolate
¼ cup finely chopped nuts
1 or 2 bananas
1 KitKat ( 4 fingers)
Line a tray . place in the freezer. Melt and cool chocolate, peel the banana and cut into KitKat lengths. Dip banana into chocolate and then just the top portion into the nuts. Press a KitKat finger on each side. Repeat with as many bananas and KitKats as you have. Lay on the cold tray and place in the freezer till set. Serve from the freezer.
It does look cute if you round the top part to look like R2’s head!!!

Wookie Cookies!!!

No knitting or sewing or any craft in any way, shape or from. I went to Di’s for tea and then came home and went to sleep. This morning I went to the Museum to help with the dinosaur excursion. I talked for about 90 minutes and then had sandwiches and then watched orienteering and came home. No, I lie, I went to the supermarket and I had 4 things and the queues on the TWO, that’s right, TWO checkouts were so long I left the cheese and milk and juice and water cracker biscuits and went home shoppingless. I found I had left the door to the hall open but the Labradors have not created any fuss, mess or bother so that is all OK. I am not going to sewing tonight as I want to walk the Labradors tomorrow and then go to Star Wars tomorrow night. I am really excited now. I barely know what will happen – though in truth we all know as this is film 3 out of 6 – but nevertheless I have avoided spoilers if I can. I am quite tired and think I need more than a nap. I have found my very excellent timer so I can sleep happily in the knowledge that I won’t miss Dr Who at 6pm. I must put last night’s episode on the tape of things to be watched as it is almost the end of the Segments of Time miniseries. OK now the Celebratory Star Wars Recipe!!! Wookie Cookies 375 g plain flour 1 tspn baking powder 1 tspn cinnamon 250 g butter 220 g brown sugar 110 g caster sugar 3 eggs 1 ½ tspn vanilla extract 2 cups of chopped chocolate of your choice!!! Preheat oven to 180 C ( 160 ff) Grease AND LINE TRAYS Sift dry ingredients together. Cream butter and sugars with essence. Add eggs one at a time. Stir in dry ingredients and chocolate. Place rounded tablespoonfuls onto the tray. Bake for 10-12 minutes ( may take a bit longer??) Cool on a rack.

I am undone AND the start of a whole week of Star Wars recipes!!!

I am uncool. I do not subscribe to the newfangled 'frogging' of knitting, which apparently is related to the 'read it' library book and frog joke. In other countries frogs say 'rip-it' and knitters UNDO their work. I have undone the cables. I am resigned now to at least one purl between them. One purl will make them stand out and not show up too much. I will knit a bigger cable, I will have to do maths to make sure it is all even. I think I like knitting as it is mostly about maths. Thus, I am undone. The Bendigo Mills sent me a shade card. I had one of these when I still lived at home. There are 2 or 3 wools that will match my new jeans so I am going to order this week. There is a 10% discount and no postage for orders over $30. I just need a pattern to have an idea of the amount of wool. I also want to knit up the Feathers wool. I have the green/teal/peacock shade and I think it needs proper wool cuffs and bands. I can make a good cardigan I think. I have decided I am a cardigan person. It has the benefits of a jumper and then you can also wear it open or undone!! I am undone in many ways then. This morning the Labradors went to the Vet to find their mass ( I know we all say to be weighed, but weight and mass are two different things. You always have the same mass , the amount of water you would displace from a bath eg, but your weight changes. It is only 1/6 of Earth weight on the Moon approximately. I am a Maths pedant and I make no excuses) Harki has lost 3.1 kg , she is now 39.1,and Peri has lost 2.4 kg, she is now 36.2. Harki has to lose about 3 or 4 more kilos and Peri only 1. I am very happy that all the boiled cabbage and celery has paid off.!!! I have 3 new NEW Dr Who books put aside at Petrachs to be on lay-by and I must pay some more off my shoes. I want to see if there is material to match my jeans to make a skirt too, oh and material to make a skirt to match my chartreuse-khaki kind of coloured cardigan. Well, I have 'accidentally' bought another pair of lovely suede green shoes. Well, they are on lay-by and I bought a green top from the Red Cross shop for $10. It is a tad form fitting but it is very nice. The nice man at the Kmart newsagency has ordered for me three knitting magazines. He will put them in my drawer with the SFX - which have a lot of Dr Who and Ben Browder ( ex-Farscape, new to Stargate) I didn't go to Spotlight to look at material or the wool shop. Shoes and a top were enough. Aunty Captain Mrs Archer wanted a Light Saber and a Star Wars lanyard too. In honour of Star Wars we will now have a week of recipes from my Star Wars cook Book. Yes, you are reading that correctly : a Star Wars Cook Book. I wanted to do 'Hoth Chocolate' or 'Yoda Soda' but that's too easy. TIE Fighter Ties 4 chorizo sausages ( or any yummy good sausage cooked and cooled -skinned too??) sheets of puff pastry beaten egg mustard and/or sauces of your choice Preheat oven to 200 C (180 ff) Place one sheet of pastry down. Cut in half. Lay sausages down the middle of each ½. Brush egg close to the sausage and place another sheet of halved pastry on top. Press firmly to seal close to the sausage. Cut slices of about 2 or 3 cm. Lay them on a lined and greased tray so the cut side is facing up. Separate the 2 free sides of pastry and form an 'X' shape!!! Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden. Serve with dipping mustards and sauces!!! Makes a fleet of food. May the Force be with you!!!!

Cabled and unenabled

Someone else in the world apart from Aunty Captain Mrs Archer and Pauline and me likes Star Wars and Dr Who. I am in as much of a frenzy as it is possible for me to be!!! I had road to hell intentions of walking the Labradors and it is a lovely day but I am not feeling well . I am , however, multi-tasking, nonetheless: · I am transferring a friend’s wedding video onto a DVD for her. · I am knitting ACMA’s birthday jumper. · I am trying to read a book – the new Artemis Fowl. · I am playing with Harki and trying to encourage her to nap after an hour of throwing the squeaky toy. · I am doing washing. · I am listening to the radio. · I am checking blogs, email etc on the internet · I have rearranged my house & contents insurance. · I have rung the GardyGardeners re no morning tea on Wednesday as there is the dinosaur excursion!!! I ended up deleting all of the above and making into dot points as it looks much more impressive. I can’t imagine what I would do if I felt well. This is mostly passive stuff, all able to be completed with a slight headache etc. I think I will resort to drugs soon if it doesn’t go away. John Howard just commented on the news about the ‘hunchback’ whales being killed by the Japanese!! I’ll bet they were all called Quasimodo!!! I have 14 rows to go before I start the cabled portion of the Fibonacci jumper. In my house, even as a child, all cable needles are made from broken real knitting needles. Did you know that you can buy proper cable needles, which have an indentation, a dippy ‘V’ shape in the middle to hold your stitches and stop them from slipping off? Ah the wonders of new technology. I don’t have one of these. I have found a braided cable. I wonder if I can do it over 140 stitches? No, I think I will do one with no purls, and a cable Right, then Left on alternating rows. It makes a good pattern with no purls to affect the colour changes. I have managed to wedge my book between the slightly open draw and the top of the desk so I can knit and read at the same time!!!.

Would you like to wish on a star or a doctor? Carry moonbeams home in a jar or a Tardis?

I had a wish and I wasted it. Once, many years ago in the ‘Lounge’ of the Savage River pub I wished that the band would play the ‘Jeremiah was a bullfrog’ song, and lo and behold they did!! What a waste of a wish. I should have wished for world peace, or a Tattslotto win. Yesterday , on the phone to Aunty Captain Mrs Archer I wished that the Star Wars pins would have both Alec Guinness as ‘Old Ben Kenobi” AND Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi. And blow me down this morning if they aren’t both on the changey pin!! I have wasted a wish again!!! This week is a good week : dinosaur excursion on Wednesday, Star Wars film on Thursday and then Dr Who on Saturday. I hope I am well. I should wish it really!!! I am spending happy minutes humming the approprate songs, including Da daa, da da da daaaa daa, da da da daaaa daa , da da da daa, and Dr Who –o, Dr Who from Doctorin’ The Tardis. (See how I am truly a sad person?) I am knitting away very well. I have completed the underarm part and now I am onto the front. I have to think of a pattern for the patterned section (obviously!!) I think I will do cables, but with no purls behind them. The colour changes look boogelly with purl rows. I know I have already done it with the basket stitch, but no more!! I knitted my way through the doco about the Minotaur and then North and South. Peri is eating an apple and Harki has pulled the head of TeddyBunny teddy. He is all unstuffed now. The Labradors want to be fed. they are going to have the bones and skin of the salmon. They will love it. It will flavour the celery and cabbage!! Italian Ricotta Slice 250 g ricotta 50 g dark chocolate 100 g mixed glace fruit ( I like some dried as well) 100 g icing sugar frozen puff pastry 1 egg flaked almonds

Preheat oven to 180 C ( 160 ff) and grease and line a tray. In a processor or blender make the cheese smooth then add the chocolate, fruit and icing sugar. Pulse till just combined. If using pastry sheets, roll them thinner then line tray with pastry, spread ricotta mixture down the centre, leaving a 10 cm line the tray. Otherwise roll out the block of pastry to fit. Fold in the sides till they just touch the filling, press down, glaze with the beaten egg and sprinkle with almonds. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool slightly then dust with icing sugar.

Lying, not knitting

You can’t knit whilst reclining on a couch, lying longways, surrounded by cushions!!! Stargate:Atlantis was excellent. I love it. It is one of the best spin-offs in Sci-Fi and Fantasy TV. When will the DVDs be released?? Then we watched The Phantom Menace in preparation for Thursday’s epic trip to the pictures!!! I slept from around midnight till after 8 am and I felt relatively well so I took the Labradors for a walk!! An extra one. I tried to buy free range eggs at Coles but there were none. I should have gone to the Fruit and Veggie shop but the Labradors were in the car and they were waiting so I gave up. I have been knitting as I have been checking things on the internet: blogs I read every day, newspapers, recipes etc. I have completed 200 rows and I am on my next lot of the Fibonacci stripe pattern. I must take my new jeans to the wool shop and look for some matching wool. I have seen a few ballet style wrap around cardigans. It is what I want to knit. Not so tight ( obviously ) but a looser and longer one. I hope there might be a pattern. There is one in SnB Nation. I feel the need to knit all the time. It has overwhelmed my need to finish my quilt, embroidery and patchwork!!! And sewing?? What is that? I must look for a pattern for some shirts though. I will have to look in my culled collection of Burda books and find a few. Definitely need a recipe today… it was chilly again today – glove weather though there was no frost.

Olive Oil Cake ( don’t turn away, be brave!!)
5 eggs ( free range, remember the cages)
150 g golden caster sugar ( I can never get this, use ½ and ½ caster and brown sugars)
50 ml light olive oil
150 g plain flour
Preheat oven to 150 C ( 130 ff) Grease and line a 23 cm springform tin
Beat eggs for about 5 minutes until pale and thick, add sugar and beat until it triples in size. Keep mixer running and add the oil in a thin stream. Then by hand, sift and fold in the flour. Bake for 45-450 minutes. It will shrink away from the side of the tin. Cool in tin for 10 minutes and then on a rack. Serve dusted with icing sugar with poached fruit.

RDA rules, OK?

Brendan Nelson is at it again, interfering with the States’ education policies and practice without an excuse me or anything. He is also mooting paying teachers by their results. How would this work? Some children will not learn very much by virtue of their abilities. No-one will want to have these specific learning disability children in their class, or disruptive children, or autistic children and so on. You can’t do this. A far better policy would be to raise the score for Uni entrance above idiot level. In some Scandinavian countries you have to have the highest qualifications and it is at least a 5 year course. Also on the education front, two ‘ex-convicts’ are saying they are being discriminated against by the Education Department as they have been refused permission to work at schools, painting. After all the hooha there has been about keeping children safe, and duty of care, how can they expect their past to be ignored. I know that they have paid their debt to society, but children are too precious to risk for someone’s hurt feelings. On the knitting front, although I am actually doing the back, I have only 16 rows to go and I am up to the big cast off of 54 stitches for the underarm. 6 cm more and I am onto the actual front. It is very warm knitting and keeps the legs toasty in the evenings!!! I might take the socks with me tonight if I can find where I have put the pattern safely away!!! I bought the teeny tiny needles and I have to do 12 cm of rib so I don’t actually need the pattern as yet. I must go and look for some wool to match my new light green jeans. I have mostly lime and olive and khaki so I need a soft green colour to make a cardigan or jumper. I am undecided as to what I should knit. I should finish my other cardigan first and then I can make a shirt to match. Today is the first real nippy morning. I wore my gloves, there was ice on the car and a big frost at the dam : there was a white frost on all the grass and moss. The Labradors didn’t care and romped happily. I saw on the S&B site that someone had put a link to the Kath and Kim bonnet, and they noted a mistake. There are a couple of doozies and I emailed the ABC but the haven’t fixed them. I think it has you decreasing all one row, making the bonnet tiny. It is very cute., I have one pompom to make and it is finished too. I am off to ACMA’s and we are going to watch Stargate:Atlantis ( It is weird that we are seeing RDA and Daniel Jackson with their start of the last season haircuts!!!) and then we have The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones to watch before Thursday when we go to see Revenge of the Sith. What a long commitment this has been on my part : from start to finish I have been following these movies. The pins of the characters from the Mercury are so excellent. I have 7 now, with 8 to go!!! They are the sort of badge from your childhood where if you tilt it you see another image and they alternate. Right, since ACMA will be going straight home after school and I must have a nap if I am going to be able to go out, I must away!!