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Welcome Back, Potter!!!

Nooooooooo!! The computer and Typepad ate my post!! Oh no. I hate that.

It went something like this:

"Your dreams were your ticket out..." I picture Harry as the bright and determined in the face of evil Mr Kotter, Hermione as the reliable and sensible Julie and maybe Ron as Arnold Horshack. Mr Woodman?? You-know-who!! Harry Potter VII is done and dusted, thanks MrsDrWho, and I am very satisfied with the ending and the epilogue, though we have been supposing what may have happened in the intervening years!!

Me_in_haute_tricot_3 Knittingly, my bicycle has hit a Labrador or two and so there are no socks to be seen, and no other knitting either. Here is a picture of me wearing the Haute Tricot, I have tried to dress in a similar way to the model in the pattern book. I think the strange Alien lump in the middle of the rib is the button of my jeans, that, or a very strange and unnatural fat deposit. Because the weather has been unseasonally balmy, 15*C the other day, it has been too warm to properly enjoy the cosy delights of The HT. Here I Cozy_vneck_stylin_2 am wishing for cooler weather!!!

Harki has mild FlippyFloppy Ear and is slightly pink all over. She went to the Hospital and Dr Tim gave her an injection and some ear ointment. Peri stayed at home with a bone and sulked and cried. I have had the Lurgy that has been floating about and so I have spent some time in bed. The Labradors spent about 18 hours straight asleep, looking after me. How very Lassie or Skippy of them!!! They missed their Monday walk, but made up for it today. They ran through all the muddy puddles, leaving footprints that will be discovered millions of years from now as fossils, and of course they jumped in the creek.

MrsDrWho has a near cat-astrophe at her house with Naughty But Clever Cleo. My heart was in my mouth several times, but everything should be apples now!!!

Muddy_puppy_feet_2 I had one of those people-are-really-OK moments on my way to the Hospital with Harki this afternoon. The Fire Engine was rushing up the main road and every single car slowed, pulled over or stopped, even though their light was green, to let the 2 engines speed past. I could tell we were all thinking "That could be my family or friends they're off to rescue" and to a person, with  great community spirit, we all gave way. Aussies are like that: when the chips are down we generally come through.

Unless the AFP are copying from your interview transcript to your charge sheet.....

Oh and there has been a little bit of good news healthwise. My numbers are up a tiny bit all by Harkis_on_a_mission_3 themselves, so we are being quietly and secretly a bit happy!! I am also quite possible participating in a new drug trial and so The Labradors will be having a Girls' Own Enid Blyton Adventure at The Dog Park. Dr Tim and The Madcages have both recommended the same place and Dr Tim's Hospital is the Vet they use so I feel quite happy. I reckon they will be better having a GOA together rather than being at home, and pining. Harki has been known to pine and, shock-horror- not eat!! Peri eyeing off her food will be a guaranteed inducement to eat!! I will have to fly on the aeroplane to the mainland. It will be a big Peri_loves_the_puddles_and_the_smel Adventure for me too!!!

OK, that's the best I can do to remember what I wrote. The original was far more polished, displayed rapier-like wit and could possibly have won the Booker Prize for Blogging, if there was one!!!

I have just remembered the missing part: The Delicious Magazine invited me to renew my subscription early and receive a free cook book. When I rang, they had run out of books and that being the last in a medium line of straws I contacted them to un-renew my subscription. I have to say that they read my email, and acted upon it. They found me a copy of the cook book and declared that 3 bonus months would be added to my subscription. I must compliment them on their quick and very appropriate action: they lured back a loyal and previously happy customer. Thank you Delicious Magazine, the recipes are excellent and now I can say the customer service is too!!!

I'm Gonna Wash Those Dogs Right Outta My Hair....

The Labradors, according to my mother, have 'Dog Germs' and ergo my entire house is infected with squirmy evil dog bacteria. Consequently when my mum and aunt come to visit, as they have this week, they don't stay with me but in a dog germ free environment. My mother did deign to pat them, but Mr Monk-like, she whipped out her Wet Ones and wiped those devilish germs right off!! We rode in her new car, played Scrabble (I won!!) ate out a lot and generally did unexciting and quite mundane things, but my mum is happy to see me and I her!!! I sewed her Five Furry cushions. They were originally going to be two small and one large cushion stuffed with filling. They transformed into five cushions, with 5_furry_cushions_piped piping, a zip in the back and all made from fake fur. (I should not complain, as they are green, but the tiny fibres get up my nose literally, and the carpet is covered in a bazillion green furry bits) They 'wended' their weary way to the other end of the island this afternoon. We are all recovering. I am off to bed very soon!!!

I have thus ended my rest days from the Tour de France and I am about to hop on the bicycle again, avoiding all Labradors, and I aim to complete the three pairs of socks languishing still:

  1. Greenery Snicket - the upside down Baudelaires,
  2. The Turing socks which only need a Toe and
  3. The Sinatra socks which need about 20 more rows and a toe.

First_xmas_sighting_of_2007 So from tomorrow, I'm back in the race!!!!

I have spotted the First Sign of Christmas for 2007: material at The Black Spot of Doomlight (TM) Can you believe it??? Only 5 months till Christmas.

I bought a dress. It has a dark blue background and then dark green leaveGiant_winter_ices. It was $9-95 instead of $60. I wore it for an hour last night a la Trinny, with my jeans still on!!!

The weather has been very cold, -2*C overnight and the puddles on our walk were well and truly frozen. The puddle in the picture is about a metre across and the ice is quite thick. The Labradors love to run on the icy grass. They love the feel Ice_ice_peri_and_harki_baby of the blades crunching under their paddypaws and the also love the chilling cold water of the creek.

MrsDrWho, Wee Jock's mum and I have been along to see Harry Potter and The Order of The Phoenix. It was fantastic. We judge films by how often we feel the need to look at our watches or wonder when the film will be over: no looking or wondering!! It is not a film for children and it is dark and angsty but that's not to say it isn't funny or clever. It is!! At over 2 hours that's a wondrous feat!!! The last Harry Potter book is out tomorrow. I reckon Harry goes to the Hallows,they are deadly and he dies!!!! (Not really!!)

That's it, apart from the 497 Bloglines posts I have to read. Honestly, I don't turn on my computer, more or less, for 3 days and look what happens. Actually I have no idea what happens, so please be patient with me!! Everyone has been extraspecially kind with their compliments about Haute Tricot and I thank you very much!! I will ask MrsDrWho to take a picture this weekend.

Next time I hope to have some socks completed and maybe some sewing too!!!! I expect there will be a recipe for something French as well.....

Tour de France KAL: La Lecon Finale

The Final Lesson: In which Haute Tricot is complete!!

Haute_tricot_fin Haute Tricot: from Fitted Knits. Knitted on 5.5 and 4.5mm needles, top down raglan jumper using 4 200g balls of Bendigo Rustic in Green Tweed. Started Sunday, 8th of July and completed Monday 16th of July.

This was my first top down raglan and I would happily knit one again. I love the colour and it is very warm. I modified the neckline to make it deeper and did fewer rows for the neckband than the pattern suggested. I am jolly glad I have finished this jumper as now I have to make 5 cushions with  zippered openings and piping by Thursday morning!! I shall have to get the pedal powered sewing machine out!!!!

I expect there might be a better photo of me actually wearing Haute Tricot, but after the 27 terrible pictures I took using the Self Timer on my camera, I bow down to MrsDrWho's expertise and hope she might take another portrait of me soon!!!

So it is with heavy heart I say a fond farewell to Jack Ravel, his woollen scarf and his wife with no name,to their anti-tea, coffee addicted children Robert and Nicole, and to Robert's ambitions of being a great cyclist one day himself. 

Au Revoir mes amis et bonne chance!!!

Tour de France KAL - Lecon 4: Un Accident d'automobile

Lesson 4: A Car Accident

Home_straight_damn_straight In the illustration for this chapter there is a motorbike and a policeman: things you see quite often in the Tour de France. The Haute Tricot jumper has had 'un accident' itself. Just as I had finished all the knitting, I saw an errant purl stitch: sirens sounded, triple '0's were rung, mad excursions on motor bikes were thought about, and arms waved wildly about as if an officer of the law was directing ill-placed stitches. I marked the stitch, which is of course right in the front, with some 'Ming' coloured wool. I am going to unRavel the cast off, drop the stitch down, change the Purl to a Knit and then pick the stitch up again and cast off once more. Then, just the sleeves to be sewn up and the neckband to knit and the Jumper: She is finished!!! Lundi is the day then!!!

Tour de France KAL - Lecon 3: Le Gouter

Lesson 3: Afternoon Tea

And what could be nicer than that?? A lovely cup of tea, an orange and fruit bread with jam is de rigueur according to Jack Ravel's wife, and their two children Nicole and Robert. They are slightly ungrateful brats, turning their noses up at a cup of tea because: 'Je suis Francaise, moi!!'  Well, right back at you, Ravel children: 'Your mother was a hamster and your father smelled of elderberries', I much prefer a cup of tea as I can't have coffee. This is a tea-ist text indeed!!!

The only saving grace is that Robert 'espere devenir un jour un bon cycliste, va fair une promenade a bicyclette dans un grand parc', so off he goes, hoping to be a good cyclist one day, for a ride in the park. Perhaps he is doing laps and wearing a Green Jersey?? You think??

Sleeveless_in_seattle Yesterday we had a rest day and knitted not one stitch. We cooked ( pasties and golden syrup dumplings for MrsDrWho) and slept. Today The Labradors and I went for an icy walk, they had an icy dip and then I knitted. The body of Haute Tricot is complete. All done. Done and dusted. A fait accompli so to speak!! I have started The Left Sleeve and I am just about up to the ribbing. I had to do maths calculations to make sure that I knitted the stocking stitch to the correct length as I knit too many rows to 10cm (23 instead of 20). I have knitted 84g of wool, so I have another 16g to knit tonight to make 1/2 a ball. I think I might manage that and more, n'est ce pas?????

Tour de France KAL - Lecon 2: Dans L'autobus

Lesson 2: On the Bus.

Well, could there be a chapter more redolent with knitting themes?? People are on the bus, where knitters knit all the time. They are wearing 'des vetements chaud' - cold weather clothes which would of course be knitted!!! And to top it all off, Jack Ravel, the well known knitting aficionado of my French text, is wearing a woollen scarf: 'une escharpe de laine'!!! Quelle coincidencique!!!! There I have also accidentally shown you my patented way of making any Australian words French: add 'ique' to the end. 'Fantastique!!!' 'Terrifique!!"" See how it works very well!! I am still amazed that there are knitting clues in my French book: cryptique, non???

I should also admit that I am participating in the TdF KAL: drug assisted!! Yes, I am taking 2 kinds of drugs, so I am not sure if I shall be disqualified or not. I will be having a blood test in 2 1/2 weeks, I have the form already and my Doctor knows, so I think I'm covered!!

PS The French Lesson also mentions the word 'meme' quite a lot, 5 times on one page. Surely the publisher had a glimpse of the future where memes, blogging and knitting would meet up and coalesce!!!

The_barenakedlady_gets_her_own_back In today's update, The BareNakedLady is modelling Haute Tricot. As you can see, I have finished the second of the 200g balls of Bendigo Rustic, Green Tweed. I am keeping to my schedule of a ball knitted up every 2 days. I think I am obsessed. I sit and knit and urge myself to 'knit faster' as if there will be an apocalyptique catastrophique if I don't!!!!! Must. Knit. Must. Knit.

Tour de France KAL - Lecon 1: Un Metier Interessant

Lesson 1: An interesting job.

There are 20 Lessons in my C class French book, so here's hoping we don't need them all!!! This chapter is all about Jack Ravel and his career as a journalist: 'Ravel', geddit?? Who knew there were knitting clues in my French text??

OK, Gardez les yeux: (mouse over the picture for a warning!!!)


That's me, wearing as much of Haute Tricot as I have knitted, about 1 1/2 of the 200g balls. I was very worried it wouldn't fit, but it does!! MrsDrWho kindly took a photo for me. It is the Cozy V-neck Sweater from Fitted Knits.

Another Tour de France Update as soon as there is some updatedness happening!!!

Sunny and Chair: I Got You Babe!!

Haute_tricot_and_the_tour_de_fran_2 Yes, it is sunny and I have been sitting in the chair all yesterday and today knitting away at my Tour de France project: Haute Tricot!! I have just about knitted a 200g ball, so at this rate I could finish in 8 days!! (NB I am living in a little dream world) I have ventured into the world of Top Downedness and I am going reasonably well I think. I am using stitch markers and I have managed not to make them knitted in embellishments!!! I even did a tension square, where upon I had far too many stitches and rows, but I was not deterred, I washed and dried it and then I only had 1 extra stitch but still 3 extra rows, so I used the needles recommended (5.5mm, so big...) and I did maths to convert my row gauge to fit the pattern. Such mathematical fun!!! So, we will see how I go with my Green Jumper, sprinting to the finish line: Sacre Verte!!! I am going to try to post more regularly as I cycle to Victory!!!

I was much comforted by comments that my non-matching Sinatra socks' stripes, from my last post, will be OK. I am reassured but still, I wonder how I will wear them. I practised on Saturday by wearing odd socks!!! OK, my next to last post because I tried to make a 'page' that would just be in the ether somewhere that I could save as a file and then upload to my Eating Typelist, but as you cDown_the_front_socksan see, I failed. I have made a new Typelist on the left hand side that has made me very amused for the last few days : Apples of My Isle!!! Yes, these are Bloggers who live on our very own little island: Hi everyone!!!! If I have missed you, LMK. Back to socks nowCarrying_on. I have made a pair called 'Down the Front'. Did you watch House of Eliott?? One of the clients, whom I imagine as Carole from The Brittas Empire, swept her hand down her magnificent frontage and declared it required some "Buttons, down the front..."

Down The Front: The wool used is Buttons from New Zealand, it has excellent meterage and knits up nicely with a spiral pattern happening. It is 8ply and these fit a size 8 man's foot. The pattern is just a K2 P2 rib and I made one whole sock whilst attached to the drip&pump for hours!! Everyone was amazed that I coul10q_10q_10q_very_much_2d knit a sock in a day. These were for Uncle Dutch's birthday.

Carrying On: my second version of Fetching from Knitty. I lengthened it by 10 rows again and cast on 48 stitches. Every 10 rows I did a K2together, Knit the first stitch again, to make a twist. I used more of the Bendigo 8ply in Ming. These Presents_for_mewere for Mrs GardyGardener.

Thank you for my lovely Get Well soon gifts. Here is a photo so you can drool. I know I have. How lucky I am: 10Q 10Q 10Q!!! Here are some more presents from MrsDrWho upon her return from China: my own Terracotta warrior made from the actual clay they used, a jade pendant, a teeny tiny puppy with a rug and a heater, an embroidered stole, biscuit cutters, 4 kinds of green mascara,  a silk tissue box cover, a bracelet and earrings too. Harkis_on_a_mission_fromI have another pair of earrings too I must remember to photograph. Thank you MrsDrWho, her father The TimeLord and her brother, whom I shall dub Harry Sullivan!!!!

Harki and Peri are both well and have been, respectively, running about a lot  and rolling in the unmentionable again!! The weather has been sunny and crisp and theyPeri_has_fun_fun_fun have been able to dip in the creek every time we go for a walk. They are asleep on the couch at the moment, not snoring yet, but soon I think.

I have made another little bag from a snack packet: The Put a Sparkle in your Day bag. I vaguely remember this was their ad campaign at one stage. I only like Cheese Twisties, so that's what the birthday girl received!!Put_a_sparkle_in_your_day_bag She loved it.

Penultimately: Torchwood?? Loved it. Dark, grown up and gritty. And Welsh. I loved all the sideways references to Doctor Who, and the new characters and premise? Lots of potential. The Shakespeare Code, Doctor Who proper this week, was wonderful!!!

Finally, how happy was I? I sang in my mind:

Zing, zing, zing went my heartstings.Zing_zing_zing_went_my_heartstrings

'Not go round' went the wheel,

Woolworths has all green trolleys

Oh I smiled , Oh how happy I feel!!!!

Lemon Meringue Pie

  • 20-24 cm removable base flan tin, or a shallow pie dish
  • 1 sheet shortcrust pastry
  • 80g cornflour
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs and 4 extra yolks* - keep the whites...for the meringue!!
  • juice and zest of 4-6 lemons, as you like
  • 125ml waterLemon_meringue_pie
  • 60g unsalted butter, cubed
  • *the 4 egg whites
  • 220g caster sugar

Preheat the oven to 220*C(200 ff) and line the flan tin, you may need to roll the pastry a little to make it fit, and prick the base all over with a fork. Line with foil or baking paper and fill with rice/beans or whatever you use to blind bake. Place on a tray and bake for about 15 minutes. Then remove the rice and paper and bake for a further 5 minutes. Cool.

Meanwhile, in a large microwave proof glass bowl, mix the cornflour and sugar and gradually whisk in the 4 eggs and extra egg yolks, the lemon juice and zest and the water. Then microwave on medium, beating well after every minute for 10-15 minutes. I cheated. No matter what I did, my filling was lumpy so I whizzed it with my stick blender at the end when it was perfectly thick!! Then whisk in the cubed butter, cover with plastic wrap and cool.

To make the meringue, beat the 4 egg whites until soft peaks form and then add the sugar a spoonful at a time and then beat until  it is thick and glossy and you can't feel any gritty sugar when you rub the mixture between your thumb and forefinger.

To assemble, spoon the filling into the pastry shell, smooth it off, then pile on the meringue making sure that it covers all of the filling and overlaps the edge of the pastry. Bake for 10-15 minutes until the top is golden and then stand for 5 minutes or so before cutting and serving.

We're So Socky, Uncle Albert, We're So Socky If We Caused You Any Pain, Oh Yeah.

Whats_wrong_with_this_picture It is socky here. Yes, on Friday there were socks and they were, well not quite good!! Do you notice anything wrong with these socks? We are ignoring the dog hair BTW!! I started knitting these in the waiting room, I found the right place in the wool and off I went. When I wear these socks I will certainly remember their genesis!!! After this second sock I have the foot of a Greenery Snicket and the toe of the Turing and I have finished all my second socks and I can start Carryinga new pair!!! I finished the Carryings and Milly's sister loved them. I have started a new pair - Carrying On.

I also sewed my Apron Swap apron on Friday. No picture as it is winging its way across the water, but here is a picture of my lovely apron from Emma. See the fabulous green pocket material?? That's from her mum's stash from the 70s. I have yet to wear Thank_you_apron_swapper_emma the apron in case I sully it. Thanks Emma, it's beautiful and it has swirly lining too!!!

On Thursday night I went to MrsDrWho's and we watched The Runaway Bride. Loved it. It's not 'real' Doctor Who, being The Christmas Special, but as such it was fantastic!! MrsDrWho and I made little pies. They were inspired by Donna Hay: boneless lamb roast, pork fillet and chicken breasts cut into 125g pieces, browned in a pan and then encased in puff pastry with, respectively: cranberry sauce, apple sauce and English mustard, and cheese and Dijon. MrsDrWho made the fabulous pastry identifiers for the top of the pies. They were delicious. We Pies_before have thought of other combinations too:

  • chicken and blue cheese
  • beef, pate and bacon
  • turkey, cranberry and camembertPies_after
  • chicken, banana and bacon
  • beef, chilli salsa and avocado

We are also pondering a sweet version. I think there will be some modification of the pastry encasing: it needs to be more efficient. Can you tell I am enthused by the little pies??? Doctor Who Season 3 Chicken_pie began last night. It was very good indeed: we like Martha, she is well written and though not Rose, we like her. Who is Mr Saxon??? Now we must watch the first episode of Torchwood and then alternate through the seasons!!!

Harki and Peri have been enjoying their sub-zero walks through the icy bush. On the Wednesday walk Peri escaped through a hole in the fence and ran onto thHarki_and_peri_still_cominge road and near a jogging man. Wonder of Wonders!! She came back when I called her. There was rejoicing such as never has been seen before!! Peri is coming quite a lot now, which is a big relief. Harki always comes when I call, though every now and then she slips around the back and runs to the dam overflow viewing area, from whence she runs towards us in John:Marcia fashion. The Sun goes over the yardarm quite early, it disappears over the top of the house before lunch and so the verandah is dark. If we want to sit there and havThe_winter_sun_has_gonee a cup of tea it really has to be by Elevenses. I vacillate between calling the part outside my bedroom window The Balcony and The Verandah. I am never quite sure what it is. Yes I am!! A balcony protrudes from the wall of a building, whilst a verandah is sheltered under the roof line. It is officially The Verandah!!!

I have joined the Tour de France KAL, see the button on the right?? Yes, I have chosen to wear the Green Jumper and I am attempting to knit a top down jumper. I found 4 x 200g balls of Bendigo Rustic in Green Tweed that I had bought to be another Bolshoi Wrap Cardi, but now it will be the Cosy V-neck Jumper. Wish me luck. I shall have to sing a cycling song: The Pushbike Song is one I know. I knitted The Bolshoi in 14 days I think so there may be some reasonable hope for a completed jumper: all other factors permitting, and my not going gaga from knitting top down!!!

I have some more pictures of lovely things (how very Edina of me!!) to show you next time, all very beautiful and wonderful. Today I am having a Sunday: Day of Rest. I am lolling about on the couch, drinking tea and catching up on some TV and generally doing nothing much. I am making myself rest. When I feel even a little bit like I am able to do something I tend to overdo it and then pay the price: except with alcohol. I only ever have one glass of wine. I have failed to make a Lemon Meringue Pie page too. I shall endeavour to do that soon. (Don't hold your collective breath though!!!)