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June 2005
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August 2005

Stick it in your fam-lee album

Today I am awash with photos!! There are 7 new photos: 3 of the jumper and 4 of the cushions. I am yet to perfect my ability to name them. They keep having the file name, but, whatever. I downloaded them from my memory stick – which we all know is more powerful than my old computer and could probably have sent humans to the Moon single-handedly, whilst playing chess with Deep Blue!!! Memory sticks are wondrous, they just work all by themselves. An idiot could do it – and I did!! I decided I needed a new Photo Album, so I have one for Knitting and one for Sewing thus far. I am cloning now.  I am all Dr Who, The Leisure Hive!!! OK I think, by George, I have done it…And I have done the cushions too...




                         Fibonacci_jumper_elizaeth_ballet_cushion_3  I have finished reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. I so enjoyed it I had to prop my eyelids open to finish it last night. It is much better than the last one, by a mile. This one was reminiscent of the first two, even though the characters have matured and the happenings more dangerous, everyone is likeable and the story lopes along at a cracking pace. I can’t say more and I don’t want to spoil it for anyone.

Yesterday we went to Aunty Cathy’s and the Labradors had a lovely time. Peri stood on the outdoor table and harki ran about inside.  They went for a little walk with Georgia, stole plastic bottles from the recycling, were fed all of their treats and menaced by the trampoline. When we got home they immediately went to sleep on the couch and snored!!! I am making a knitted Ipod cover for Alex’s Mini-Ipod. It is from issue #2 of Simply Knitting from the UK. Of course the cover is too big, but I have traced the size and I will work out how many stitches from the tension given. Cathy has lots of wool scraps and it won’t take much to whip up.

I whipped up an apricot cake though…

Apricot Cake

  • 180 g butter

  • 265 g brown sugar

  • 3 eggs

  • 1 tspn orange water or vanilla extract

  • 350 g plain flour

  • 2 tspn baking powder

  • 70 ml orange juice

  • a tin of apricot halves ( they’re out of season now)

Preheat oven to 180 C ( 160 ff) and grease and line a 20 cm tin. Cream the butter and sugar and add the eggs. Sift in the flour and add the juice and mix well. Fill tin and then push apricot halves into the top in a pattern. Cook for 45-50 minutes. Serve dredged with icing sugar and drizzled with custard. Sorry, but I needed dredge and drizzle!!!!

Bang, flash, wallop, what a picture, what a photograph!!

Fibonacci_jumper Tommy Steele has nothing on me!!! Aunty Captain Mrs Archer emailed me a photo and I have managed to make a photo album. I have even written something about the photo. I have given the photo album the name : "I made this" after the end of the X-Files. I wanted to call it "Things what I have made" after the style of Morecambe and Wise, but I was afraid I would be bombarded with Grammar Police. I love Morecambe and Wise. Once, at school, I labelled things in the room in Bahasa Indonesia, the LOTE school was promoting, and just about everyone in the city popped in to tell me I had spelled 'pensil' incorrectly. Only if it wasn't in another language!!!

Anyway, have a look at the photo in the album , just because you can!!!

Avocado Baby - Maybe.....

No, not the excellent book I used when I was teaching Grade 1s, but the real deal. After 2 weeks in a brown paper bag with a banana, the avocado has finally ripened and I have just eaten avocado and grapefruit salad for whatever meal it is you have at 4-51 pm. I am making some chilli and tomato meatballs for tea. I will have them with the thinnest vermicelli I could find : Yum.

Today I bought the sticky-onny Velcro to make the closure on the Techno-cosy. So that is the only knitting related news. I made a cardboard mobile with a clip art picture on the front to give an amusing presentation. Poor Aunty Captain Mrs Archer – or should I say Aunty captain Mrs Sharpe. There has been so much watching and sighing over Sean Bean of late…

The Labradors are insisting they want to drink the rest of the dressing from the salad. I have put it in their dish and Harki has decided it is too much like lemon, but Peri is struggling dogfully on : it is food after all, grapefruit juice and olive oil.

Today I have struggled womanfully on and finished the Library cushions. I wish I had a digital camera now, as your eyes would be assaulted with the sheer “joy” of a shark, an elephant, a skateboard and a surfboard.  I made an insert for each cushion, stuffed with stuffing, so that the actual covers could be removed and washed. I sewed up a portion of a seam by hand , it’s not pretty, but it will be more serviceable for a school Library.

ACMA has finished Harry Potter 6 ( Is it 6??) so now it is my turn. I can start reading a bit later on.  I am reading about 6 books at once, rather like my knitting, I need a book to suit every occasion.  The day has turned dull and cool, and it is time to close all the curtains, turn the lights and heating on, and settle down for the night!!!

Warm Caramel Sauce

  • 60 g butter

  • 140 g brown sugar

  • 125 ml thickened cream

Melt the butter over a low heat in a small pan and then add the sugar, stirring till dissolved.  Add the cream, bring to the boil and then turn the heat down and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Cool the serve drizzled over ice-cream, bananas and waffles!!!


Let the tooth be told....

The socks are finished. I have finished everything !! Ends are sewn in, toes are grafted, all they need is a gentle hand wash and then I will dry them in the sun. It is a sunny day today. 

Yesterday I hit the knitting wall so I made a mobile phone Techno-cosy from the S’n’B book. It is on 2 needles and they are 8s, new fashioned 4mm.It is in stripes of orange, black and dark blue, with tiny stripes of green, lemon, light blue and mauve. It is not meant to be subtle. It is for ACMA whether she likes it or not!! I am the opposite of an Indian Giver, not sure what that might be. Is it unkind to inflict knitted items on people???

Now I have NO KNITTING. I meant to go to the Wool shop yesterday after brunch, but brunch was delayed and then we bought every ballerina thing in town and a music box with a twirling ballerina and suddenly it was too late. This means I will have to take up my jeans and make the cushions.

Harki has a football and she only wants to play with it, nothing else, it is her one and only passion of late. Is she obsessed? Quite likely, an inherited trait!!! I am the poorest thrower of a slippery half inflated football. She is, thankfully, and excellent marker!!!

I bought a new book to read, Dragonsight, the third in Paul Collins’s Jelindel trilogy. I wanted the new unauthorised Dr Who book, but I am making myself wait – I don’t know why. I think I will succumb later on and buy it. I can’t help myself. I haven’t watched Dr Who from last night yet, I still have that pleasure to look forward to!!!

Oh and I bought dental floss. I am all smug and clean-toothed and I am cleaning my teeth every time I think of it. The floss is called 'tape' and it is waxed and flavoured spearmint. It is about 3mm wide. That is quite wide. I now floss with the same frequency as I brush.....

This is a try at making yellow acceptable to the eyes - I might have to change it!!!

Rice-y Spicy Burgers


  • 400 g lamb mince

  • ½ cup cooked rice

  • ½ red onion, chopped finely

  • chilli – to taste

  • ½ tspn ground cumin

  • chopped parsley

  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed

To serve

  • mini pita pockets

  • baby spinach

  • ½ red onion, sliced

  • ¾ cup good mayonnaise ( I make my own with egg yolk and olive oil)

  • 1 tspn grated lemon zest

  • 1 tbspn lemon juice

Mix the burger ingredients for about 5 minutes and season to taste. Divide into portions and flatten and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile mix the mayonnaise, lemon zest and juice. Cut the pita pockets in half and make sure they are not stuck together!!

Heat the grill plate or BBQ and cook the burgers for 5 minutes on each side – more or less as you like.  Heat the pita pockets for a minute each side on the grill too, then put some onion and spinach inside, a good dollop of mayonnaise and then the burger. These are very delicious and seem to herald Summer!!!

Sleep, slap, I was taking a nap!!!

Warning - Science Fiction boogelly retelling follows!!!

Last night I dreamed of Mandibleys. I don’t know why, but maybe it was the 14 hours of sleep, from 6-30 pm till 8-30 am !!! I remember reading a book of Sci-Fi short stories when I was about 12/13? and in this particular one, a spaceship was on its way to Mars or whatever and something went wrong. They would be trapped in a slingshot orbit (whatever) till the next spaceship could rescue them in 9 months (whatever) but there was only food for 2 months ( whatever).  They decided to draw straws to see who they would eat in order to survive until rescued. One woman was pregnant so she said as she was 2 people they couldn’t eat her, and so the first draw was made…….Cut to 9 months later ; the rescue spaceship has arrived and as they open the air lock a human femur floats past and there is a skeletal woman and a baby. She points a weapon at them and says, “Look, baby, Food!!!!”  Eeeewwwww

But this story has stayed with me, and not in a good way. Rest assured there is no eating of people going on here at all, even though ACMA thought I might be all Bridget Jones last night – being incommunicado, I must, ergo, be being eaten by Alsatians (German Shepherds).  Vundy the German Shepherd would never have eaten a person, alive or dead, she was far too picky about her food and had to be tempted, with lovely trifles, to eat.

I am up to the heel on the sock and I have a tutu, feathered headband and armbands to sew, and 3 pairs of jeans to take up too. I saw that Suzi ( I would make this a clicky link to her blog, but in my own Luddite way, this seems totally undo-able!!!) has a link to a hot water bottle pattern. My Nan knitted me the most lovely two-tone green one, but it has long since been eaten by one of the dogs in their puppyhood. I am frightened by electric blankets. I am afraid that they will either cook me in the night or electrocute me, even if they are turned off. It is just another of my irrational thoughts. A hot water bottle is much better and the Labradors don’t like them so I get to have all the warmth. I think that as I will have finished the socks tomorrow I might buy some nice soft but sturdy green wool and knit myself a new cover. Ah, I can see it now!!!

On the aforementioned Labrador front we have been for a walk and no-one ran away. I did keep Harki’s lead on in the bush, and Peri loves her so much she barely moved from her side even though she was free to run about. Peri was confused and had a quizzical look on her little face as it is usually  Peri who has to be on the lead, and Harki who is never naughty!!  Role reversal then……

You might have noticed that I am reverting to my old habit of making recipes rainbow colours in their order : ROYGBIV ( Richard Of York Gained Battles In Vain) except , perhaps, for yellow. We will see – I am sure you are riveted by this!!!

I present, for your pleasure, the Dirt Bike Cake . I gave this to Barry at the Glasses shop. I always take them a cake when I get new glasses, except when I went to pick them up, they were clear instead of being 35% Autumn!!! So I will have to wait a little, I don't mind.

Dirt Bike Cake

  • 125 g butter

  • 220 g brown sugar

  • 1 tbspn instant coffee

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 tspn vanilla extract

  • 200 g plain flour

  • 1 tspn baking powder

  • 1 tspn bicarb soda

  • ½ cup cocoa

  • 180 ml buttermilk or sour cream

200 g ( or more!!) dark choc chips

Grease and line a 24 cm tin and preheat oven to 180 C ( 160 ff). Cream butter, sugar and vanilla, add coffee and eggs. Add ½ sifted dry ingredients, then ½ the buttermilk, fold in and repeat. Mix in choc chips. Bake for 50-60 minutes. Cool in tin for 30 minutes then place on a rack.

Lassie, come home!!!!

Yesterday we had a trauma, we thought we had lost Harki!! We went for out usual walk and on the way back to the main area the Labradors went off towards the bottom of the slope through all the trees. Only Peri came back. We waited at the gate and called and whistled  but she didn’t come. We walked back in and looked for about 20 minutes and then I thought she might have gone ahead to the car. Peri and I walked there, but no Harki. We drove back and looked again, then drove up the road in case she had started going home. In the end I had just about decided that she had fallen into the Gorge and there was nothing I could do about it, but we went to the car park one last time – and there she was!! Running in circles where the car is usually parked, all puffed out and so happy to see us. I has a cry them but didn’t smack her. I gave her a big cuddle and Peri jumped all about with joy!!! Our 20 minute walk stretched into about an hour….Oh and I aggravated my knee so I have to do my exercises again.

Yesterday I was just recovering from the shock really, although I took Sticky Date Pudding and Toffee Sauce for 16 to Aunty Captain Mrs Archer’s for tea. Cooking is therapy. Today we didn’t arise till 10 pm and I have undone and reknitted the second sock from the mistake I made last night.

Elizabeth likes her ballet outfit and I will sew her a Swan lake long tutu with a feathery headband and puffy arm bands tomorrow. Next she would like a mermaid outfit!!!!

Now, finally, S’n’B, which I must call the Knitting Coven because ACMA is sick of me saying the Stitch’n “Rude word” group. So, informally, the Knitting Coven it is for me. Now, I am in no way saying that I, or any of the people there have an innate ‘coven-ness’ , but Knitting Circle sounds naff!!! It was such fun at the Knitting Coven. Everyone was so friendly, and they were all interested in knitting and people called tension ‘tension’ and not ‘gauge’, and we all knitted away and chatted and shared what we were doing, and what we aspired to do!!!

I met the people behind the blogs!!!

Cathy won’t be there next time, but she was a crocheting as well as knitting and we looked at a LeapStar which is a kind of Ipod version of the LeapFrog computer.

Katt really does have lovely teal green in her hair. Despite my love for green, I have never had green hair – too much Anne of Green Gables as a child and the infamous Raven hair dyeing incident!!! Katt had a  bargain Debbie Bliss book which had some lovely patterns. I’m not a knitter for children so I don’t think I appreciate their true magic!!!

Sharon was there too, knitting some beautiful green wool and she had a green scarf too – she knew what tension was!!! I think she is knitting a pattern from White Lies Designs…

And Suzi was there wearing her excellent Devil Hat from the S’n’B book. It was excellent!!! She had bought some of the recycled Sari wool from Ebay. I looked, but none of it is green enough for me!! Suzi, my sock is made from Opal Sock wool  - Lollipop #1011. I bought it at Knits, Needles and Wool last year, early last year!! I started a sock then, but hated the pattern. I like my new pattern best!!!

There were lots of other people there to, but I was too overwhelmed to remember all their names. I will be more prepared next time!! I had to leave to help someone with her + and – numbers, which was also fun!!!

So after all my anguish and torment, I now look back and wonder what I was worried about!! It is true, though, that I am the kind of person who worries about something intently and endlessly to the point of exhaustion before it happens, but once it is over I am quite content.

Now there must be a recipe of Happiness!!!

Celebration Dog Biscuits

  • 180 ml of stock

  • 125 ml olive oil

  • ½ cup milk powder

  • 1 egg

  • 300 g plain flour – I use wholemeal

  • 100 g oats

  • You can add some sultanas, chopped dates or currant – a small handful

Preheat oven to 160 C ( 140 ff) Grease and line trays.

Mix  dry ingredients and wet separately, then make a well in the dry mixture, and pour in the wet. Combine well, roll out and cut into star shapes – to celebrate Harki’s return. ( I know the Prodigal son got a fatted calf etc, but Harki is on a diet and these are bad enough!!) Bake for 50 – 60 minutes. Cool then eat!!

I also like to add some crushed garlic and parsley instead of the fruit.

Veni, Vedi, Knitti

Dentist Visit : $152 but no fillings, a descale, a polish and a check up. I thought I needed a filling but it is just my ‘sensitive’ teeth!!!

Shoes: new suede shoes in green are so comfortable and gorgeous!!!

Clothes: Returned 2 pairs of too big jeans and with my refund bought 6 tops and a smaller pair of green jeans for $71. That’s about $10-14 each. I think their actual value is over $220 so I made a clothes profit. I love sales!!

Knitting: I have completed the first sock and I am about to cast on for the rib at the top of the second. No wonder people are always whipping up socks. I could get addicted to them. I want a lot of green socks now, I shall have to search for some wool for me.

Maths: I have organised my thoughts on directed numbers, all ready to go. Labradors: Yesterday Peri dropped Harki’s DingleDangle toy out the window. There was much ado until it was retrieved. Harki wasn’t well last night and her stomach was ‘rungling’ as we say here. She went outside 4 times. By the fourth time at 4-30 am I just opened the dog door and hoped she would go in and out as she pleased. I was a bit cross. I don’t do well with interrupted sleep.

There, I have been to the local S’n’B meeting and it was lovely. Everyone was really friendly and they are all knitting and crocheting great things. I am a bit inspired!!! Thanks to Suzi and Katt and Sharon and Cathy!!! When I can work out how to put a link to their sites, I will!!!! Right, I am just home and making Greek style lamb for tea, as I had no lunch, I must eat quickly!!! More on S’n’B tomorrow, and now, of course, I can’t wait for the next meeting!!!!!!

It's all Greek to me......

Theseus and Ariadne have nothing on Harki and I. How do I tangle thee? Let me count the ways. Harki dances and prances about saying “Stop that knitting and netting and pay attention to Me!!” and her legs and tail are wound with sock wool. Luckily it all ends in laughter, not tears!!!!!

I love knitting socks, well, technically ‘sock’. If I had started in the morning instead of at 4pm I could have finished the whole sock. I have just started knitting again and I am up to the decreases on the gusset/instep and only have the length of the foot to do, and Suzanne’s feet are small, smaller than mine.

Size 5 ½ I think or maybe the same as mine, a size 6.

I bought new needles made of milk. I was knitting on 12s, 2.75 mm,  because that was the smallest set of double pointed needles I had. The lady in the wool shop said I should be using 14s, or 2.25 mm, for socks but as I knit so tightly (she charitably said –firmly) I needed 12s and that is the smallest size of casein needles. So it is serendipitous…..

So today we have been for a walk, I have bought needles and picked up the free double pass to The Upside of Anger from the ABC and dropped them off to a friend as I can’t go, had a tiny supermarket shop and now I am planning a nap I think. I have three things to do tomorrow.

Oh, North & South just came in the mail – there can never be too much Miss Margaret and Mr Thornton. I think there might be DVD watching in 2 weekends!!!!

Choc-Fruit Slice

  • 300 g  chopped nuts

  • 120 g coconut

  • 300 g dried fruit of your choice, chopped

  • 35 g plain flour

  • 200 g melted chocolate ( white or milk)

  • 150 g jam – apricot or your favourite

  • 150 g honey

Heat oven to 170 C ( 150 ff) and grease and line a slice tin. Combine chocolate, jam and honey. Warm the jam and honey a little if it is very cold. In a big bowl mix the nuts, fruit, flour and coconut. Gradually stir I the wet ingredients and mix well. Press firmly into the tin and bake for about 45 minutes.  Cool in the pan and slice when cold.

It may be rice wine to you, but it's saki-to-me!!


I found my sock wool, so I can knit some socks : no hard decisions about wool or cotton for the Lucky!! I can just knit socks. I have Opal Lollipop wool and I am    knitting some short socks without the lacy


pattern I think. The wool I have is the far right on the top row #1011. I have cast on in rib and, apparently, I have always done a cable cast on without knowing!!!  I could get quite a lot of a sock knitted today, as we have been for a walk and I am not going out all day today. I am knitting on 2.75 mm, not sure if this is right, but I have 4 of them and that’s enough to start as far as I’m concerned.

I think I want to knit the Lucky Clover wrap around cardigan in green ( surprise, surprise), maybe light lime?? I will have to see what the wool shop has I suppose........

Lucky_clover_cardigan Aunty Captain Mrs Archer really likes her jumper and there has been much prancing about in the aforementioned garment!! Photos have been taken and I will post them as soon as she emails them to me – this is not a hurry up, just she has to download from the camera, upload and email to me.

I made a very lemony tart and raspberry and white chocolate cheesecake.  I also made some small lemon tartlets, topped them with cream and a circle of strawberry and a generous dusting of icing sugar. Very yummy indeed.

I will take the Labradors for a walk tomorrow as I am going to the Dentist at 10 am on Tuesday and then maybe to meet the knitting people and then to help Alex with positive and negative numbers: the algorithm rules for the four basic operations, you know how when you subtract a negative number you add it on, and multiplying a positive and a negative always gives a negative??? Well it does!!!

Very Lemony Tartlets

  • Shortcrust pastry

  • 1 egg

  • 50 g caster sugar

  • grated zest and juice of a medium lemon

  • 50 ml cream

  • 3 or 4 strawberries

  • icing sugar

  • extra cream

You need to cut out 12 circles of pastry to fit a 12 hole greased patty pan tin. Prick them all over with a fork, ease into holes and bake for 15-20 minutes at

200 C ( 180 ff) Cool slightly, lower oven temperature to 160 C ( 140 ff).

Whisk egg and sugar and then add lemon zest and juice and cream.  Spoon carefully into pastry cases and bake for about 15 minutes more. The filling should be just set.  Cool in tin.

To decorate, top with a teaspoon full of cream, a circular cross-section of strawberry and a generous dredging of icing sugar. These are so delicious I could have eaten two after lunch!!!

Do,do,do the funky Trevalla!!

Funky Trevalla?? The Goodies would be turning in their graves if they were dead. The Trevalla I had last night was no Gibbon, tasty, but not funky!!!

OK, you would think I would know the Labradors' blog address, but NO apparently not, so anyone who wants to read their exploits ie, Suzanne, Matthew and Alisha whose name I can't spell, here is the proper address!!!:

Alisha, you were right, someone did already have a dogblog, but I have 2 dogs so I didn't care!!! Don't know what I will do when I have 3!!!