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September 2007
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November 2007

We All Pat The Jeez!!!

So, The Farmer Wants a Wife does he?? I cannot believe that women participate in this: I am not going to use the words I am thinking but I would never let a man 'choose' me from a field of 5, 10 or even 100. It just seems wrong. I watched this show for about 3 excruciating minutes and then I just wanted to hide my eyes and stick my fingers in my ears and go La la la la la. I don't have enough hands so I just turned the channel off. Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid.

We have our Council elections here on The Apple Isle, so if you don't believe the Pulp Mill Process was open and transparent, these are some of the Northern Capital candidates to vote for: Ball, Armitage, Van Zettan, Nott and Sands. Just saying. Would you believe that The Council would not give me information about how Councillors voted?? It is in the public domain, it was in the newspaper, but I forgot to cut it out and save it. They were VERY unhelpful to say the least. In the end a candidate sent me the information. Thanks Jeremy!!!

I have been really tired the last week or so, I caught some kind of virus thingy and it has sapped my strength. I haveShadows_in_the_bush_2 been sleeping in the afternoons and not very motivated at all. I have chosen winners in my Bloggiversary competition, but as I haven't finished the prize organisation, it would be unfair to stand and not deliver, so I will wait till a bit later on, ie, next time.

The Labradors have been very well, they have had more swims in the river and more walks. They have had new squeaky toys and lots of treats. Peri has knocked the iron off the ironing board in the Drops-in-Harki's-ears-so-she's-getting-a-treat-and-I'm-not debacle!!! It is OK and so is she as she had quite a hard head. Both of them lie outside in the Sun, get really hot, and then come inside and drink copious amounts of water and flop on the cold tiles till they cool down. They have also beNarnia_girl_socksen napping like champions, keeping me company as I sleep. Oh and then there was the time I was reading in bed, and eating some toffees, individually wrapped, and I went out and forgot to close the hall door: Labradors 20, Toffees?? Nil!!!!!

The Narnia Girl socks are complete and have been given to The Narnia Girl herself. They were knitted  from Opal Acapulco 1306 using 2.75mm and 64 stitches. I made the back of the leg in K2 P2 rib and then I did the same rib pattern but with slipped stitches for the heel. Opal may be a little less soft than other wools, but it does knit up so nice and evenly and I had forgotten how much I like using striped wool, because the stripes seem to make it grow faster. I The_hungry_socks_2imagine stripes of red would be the fastest to knit!!

I have started The Hungry Socks for me, made from Opal Caterpillar in a rib pattern: K2 P2 all around and then every 16 rows I knitted across 2 lots of P2 starting at the centre back and finally ending with plain knitting for the last 20 rows or so before the toe decreases. I have one very Doris Day picture, I don't know why it looks as if my camera was smeared with Vaseline, but there you go. I am just about up to the heel on the other sock.

Aunty Dutch also received a Wonky Bag named HotLips for her birthday. I couldn't Wonky_bag_unplugged resist this material. The Pattern is from BH&G, but I have named it generally The Wonky Bag. It is not too big or too small. I think I need a few. I have added a picture of the bag as it is carried in my photos at the right. I hope!! Aunty and Uncle Dutch's dog Fifi died a few months ago, I made a quilt for her brother Tommy. Tommy had a difficult time after Fifi died, but now he has a new sister, better than all the drugs and counselling a dog can have: a new puppy called Poppy. She is so tiny and Baby_poppy_the_puppy absolutely cute and wicked!!

I have some new wool, some gorgeous green KnitPicks and lovely fine soft green from someone who was cleaning out her stash. Thank you so much, I love it!!! Also some TreeTops sock wool I bought from Katt at The Knitting Coven last week. The Coven is in search of a new home, we don't ask for much, free parking, nice food and somewhere that won't mind us knitting there for 3 hours. You'd think it would be easy, but you would be wrong.

I went on School excursion with MrsDrWho to The Imaginarium. My group was very weNew_woolll behaved, of course, and the actual trip was only 90 minutes, and a ride of about an hour each way in the Principal's car, but still, I slept for 17 hours when I got home!!! I did get up to feed The Labradors and have drugs and drinks etc, but still I had a very nice time. I miss school. Despite this sacrifice and also making her Dalek Kiss Biscuits (Vinny from the Sci-Fi KAL and I did a possum wool for Dalek biscuit cutter swap!!) she is still holding my Choc-Mint wool hostage. She is talking about floating it on the fish pond now. She is going to be away for a few days soon. I could possibly dye Cleo: Green!!! No, I would never do that. It would be wrong. Instead I will spend my time catching up on Life and waiting for MrsDrWho to watch Alias so we can watch the last 2 episodes!! I only have my mum's The Word socks to finish and then I have knitted all the birthday socks for the year. It is a big relief but I feel I have done a good job too.

I am off to make tea now:  Bacon, Pea and Cheesy Pasta from the new Delicious magazine book. I ate it last night too and it was so easy and so yummy, The Labradors had some for breakfast. I'll write up a recipe for next post!!!

Dog-tor Evil

A_duck_in_mud The Labradors have been swimming at the Tailrace in the rain. Harki has also been mudlarking about. Peri has not, she stayed nice and clean and well away from the gluggy mud!!! She was actually on a mission to get a pelican and a ducky, but failed miserably on both counts. The water seems toThere_is_a_ducky attract the birds, it is fast flowing as it has just been through the hydro power station. I think they must like its swirliness.  We saw a Mother Duck with her ducklings swimming behind her in a flotilla. Harki and Peri turned instantly into real dogs and they wanted to 'get' the duckies: they were all I_want_the_duckyalert and pulled on their leads and really wanted to run into the marsh and chase the ducks. Of course there is no chance of that, and they quickly revert to Un-dog-tors Evil, or Dog-tors Good!!!

Mother_duck_and_ducklings_2 MrsDrWho is behaving very inappropriately: she is holding my special ChocMint sock wool, from The Knittery, hostage. She has even started cutting off little pieces. And now she is letting Cleo 'play' with my wool, it will be all covered in cat spit :-(  I really wanted to just knit a pair of plain socks with it, but instead I have had to break out the pink and green Opal Acapulco and start The Narnia Girl socks. These are faiStarted_narnia_girl_socksrly plain, but I am ribbing half the stitches, the back of the sock. The Narnia Girl herself has slim ankles and legs and I think the ribbing will shape the socks nicely, without having to increase or decrease. I should have these finished by October 19th. I shall have to see how I go with that. I do like stripy wool though. There is something very satisfying and speedy about seeing the sock grow when there is a self stripe.

The Henry Henry_viii_socks_complete_2VIII Socks are finished. I am very pleased with the pattern and they look very nice on an actual foot too!! I made them from Katt's Moss hand-dyed wool and used 2.75mm needles and 64 stitches.

Daylight Saving has caught up with me and I have been feeling really tired. I can't get to sleep of a night and then we all wake up when Peri wakes up, however early that is. So I have been lounging on the couch reading books. I have read 10 books this week, I just finished the latest Alex Rider, Snakehead, this afternoon. The Alex Rider series spans the year he is 14, and at the moment we are at mid-November, so I'm thinking there might only be one more book. I do like that there will be an end to it though, and we won't be left in literary limbo. MrsDrWho is hoping his parents will magically appear alive. I am not holding out any such hope. It has also finally cDark_side_yarn_prizeome to my turn for the Amy Butler book, In Stitches, from the Library. Craft people must be very nice as the paper patterns are in pristine condition and even the little sticker inside is not torn. I am looking forward to sewing some things from the book.

I have won a prize from YARN Magazine. It is a spindle and some unspun wool. Though I am exceeding excited, I have no idea what to do with them, at the moment they are a decorative addition to my house, but I know I am meant to do twirling and stuff!! The wool must have a lot of smells in it, because The Labradors really, really want it so badly!!! Thanks YARN Magazine, I love my prize, and one day I might even do spindling, though I fear it will take me to the Dark Side!!

I can see that lots of people would like to win a prize for my Bloggiversary, and I still have to make/buy/do anything about it, but rest assured I work best under pressure!! There are such lovely and happy comments and even one from Harki's godmother, so I am very chuffed!!!

The recipe today is inspired by BH&G Magazine. I made these for supper on Thursday at Sewing. Friends and I went for lunch at a Vegetarian cafe, and though the roasted vegetables with garlic aioli and beetroot relish and the stuffed mushrooms were delicious, I still can't come at a lentil burger!!!

Mini Pizzas

  • 2 sheets of butter puff pastry, thawedMini_pizzas
  • tomato paste, I had one with extra herbs and garlic OR
  • basil, and garlic etc extra if you have plain tomato paste
  • a little grated cheese, cheddar, parmesan or some Camembert
  • punnet of cherry or tiny Roma tomatoes, halved
  • thinly sliced deli meat, I used hot salami, but whatever you like, or you can be vegetarian.

Preheat oven to 180*C (350 F) and line 2 trays with baking paper. Cut the puff pastry into 12 or 16 even pieces, depending if you want one or two bite-size pizzas. Spread on a little tomato paste, then add a little meat and be very sparing with the cheese. I think the trick is less, rather than more here. Finally add 1/2 a tomato, salt and pepper and then bake for 12-15 minutes. If you are adding fresh herbs, you add them now, right as they come out of the oven. Serve piping hot, but these are just as tasty cold the next day. I also made a few with a Fetta type cheese topped with Cabernet paste and I think smoked salmon and Brie would be delicious too.


23 Hour Party People

Yes, as a Go Ahead Island State we have begun Daylight Saving 3 weeks before everyone else, and so we all missed one hour's sleep yesterday.  And why might we be Party People?? Well today is our Third Bloggiversary. It was three years ago that I first ventured into the blogging world. Who knew I had such dedication aAqua_slingbacks_2nd such stickability???  Leave me a comment on this post and The Labradors will choose (not eat) 3 winning names. What will you win?? I have no idea because my subconscious thought of this and forgot to tell my conscious brain. I will think upon it. I will close the 'draw' a week from now, one entry per person etc etc....

I know it isn't Shoes day, but I do have new shoes. These are aqua slingbaWind_was_wild_2cks. Slingbacks were all the go when I was a teenager, but they were apparently the footwear of wanton women as I was not allowed to have a pair until I was 16!!!  The shop in town didn't have any in my size but they very kindly sent to the Capital and snapped up the very last pair on the island in my size!! I have been wearing them and they are very comfortable.

The weather has been wild and windy, stormy, power blackouty and also telephone wire blowy-downy. I looked up when I was at the letter box, and the telephone line attachment thingy had blown off the house and the cable was hanging right down about a metre from the ground in a big curve. You have to look carefully, but just at the bottom of the window you can see the top of the cable attachment. I have to say that amazingly, Telstra come the very same day I rang and fixed it!!! A miracle indeed.

Harkis_audition_for_sale_of_the_cen The wind blew over more trees in the bush. Harki is doing her Sale of the Century model gesturing pose to show you how wild the wind really was. Peri is doing her roly-poly best to smear smells on herself to show you just how boogelly she is!!! After a morning of rain yesterday, the weather cleared up and it was very sunny, so I decided to take The Labradors for an extra walk. We walked down by the river, and in the reedy marshes we saw duckies!! Peri is a highly attuned duck seeker. Apparently. Luckily she was on her lead and ducks can fly. After the ducks had flown far way The Labradors bounded through the very watery reeds and played at beRollypolly_periing Labrador Retrievers!! I think that now the afternoons are longer they might get an extra walk every now and then. Lucky Ducks.

DisconnectionThere has been knitting, and there has been unravelling. The Connection socks have been DisConnected. They were different, unusual and noice, but when I tried the sock on, the Knit 2 loops together part of the short rows made the sock feel knobbly. I couldn't bear it. I know I wear lacy socks, but my foot and my brain expected smooth fabric. It was, after all, stocking stitch.  I can recommend this pattern if you do not have The Princess and The Pea feet!!! It is very original and I did love the whole concept. Instead, the ChocMint will be a plain sock. Later on. Instead I started Henry VIII socks. I have finished sock #1. I just used a simple lace (K2tog, yfwd, K1, yfwd, K2tog tbl) down the centre of each nHenry_viii_sock_1_almost_completeeedle for the leg, and then I did 5 panels down the foot, reducing to one at the toe. It is Katt's wool, and it is called Moss. Beautiful colours and lovely to knit!!!

I am watching TV as fast as I can. Heroes Season 2 has started and I was only up to episode 11 of Season 1. As soon as I started watching I remembered why I like it so much. I also quite like Bionic Woman and Life with Damien Lewis. MrsDrWho poohpoohs Damien Lewis, but he was an excellent Soames. I do find it strange listening to him speak with an American accent.

Katia_tweed I cannot talk about the Pulp Mill Decision. It is far too upsetting. This is not the end, it is just the beginning. There will be no healing, no coming together, while the Pulp Mill goes ahead. We are polarised and likely to remain so whilst hypocrisy reigns supreme. Obviously I can talk about it a bit then...

Next time, a recipe for biscuits and some sewing. Definitely some sewing!!!! Oh and I bought new wool, on sale. On a whim. Kati Scotch Tweed, in aqua and lime. 15 lovely balls. A cardigan I think!!!!

The Love That We Came To Know, They Call It Scanner-du!!

Printer_see_scanner_do Now I have the roller skating Gene and Olivia's song in my head. I also have a new printer/scanner/copier. Thankfully that is not in my head!!! I suppose if I were one of the Literati I would have been thinking 'Coleridge', but I'm not, and I'm not. I was idly shopping, actually I was shopping for sewing needles, when MrsDrWho rang me to say that there was a printer in the shop for $24-95. How cheap is that?? There was a 'Spend $45 first' rule, but she had already done tOpal_caterpillar_3hat!!! It is not a Blue Ribbon printer etc, but it is fantastic because I had no printer. My old printer just printed: this scans and copies. As well. 

The sewing needles accidentally became some Opal Caterpillar that I plan to use for the short row Rainbow socks from this month's Magknits. I am part of The Southern Summer of Socks KALThe_mauritius_socks_2. I don't have any real goals other than to knit up my sock wool as birthday socks and socks for me. I have finished The Mauritius Socks. I knitted them in Lion Brand in Blues and Browns using 2.75mm needles and 64 stitches. These are a 5ply I think and they were very quick to knit, but there was only a few metres of wool left at the end. Perhaps these took a little longer as a certain Kitten 'helped'  me.

I have started new socks, The Word socks, for my mum.  I have Kitten_knittin_a_sock_too_faradapted the  Diagonal Fern lace pattern from Barbara Walker. I made a chart and I think I will reverse it for the other sock. The wool is Blues Cashmere/Merino from The Knittery of course!!! Yesterday The Knitting Coven met at a food-and-drinkless place and we had to retreat to a place of cups of tea etc. We were all a little out of sorts away from our comfort zone I think, and we will have to try out a few new places.

The weather has been very Crowded House and we had a blackout on our side of the rThe_word_sock_1iver on Thursday night. The rain was intermittently torrential and we has a small (30cm), but real, tsunami after an earthquake off NZ. You would think that the rain would wash away all the interesting smells in the bush, but not so. The Labradors walked in the rain and then found a plethora of fantastic smells. There were smells to the leftSmells_to_the_left_of_them  of them and smells to the right of them!! Harki's ears are pretty much OK now, though she must have drops in them twice a week. Harki always gets a treat for being medically good. Peri is not medically good, yet she asks with all of her 13 paws simultaneously for a treat too. She doesn't see why she should miss out, so she has to do an perfect 'Drop' and lie down as her job. She has 'Come' back when I whistled for her on our walks when there were other people or dogs we didn't know on the track. Truly there are still miracles being performed amongst us!!!Rainy_day_smells You can teach an old dog new tricks.

I have been doing quite a lot of reading lately and I am waiting for a few books to arrive: the new Alex Rider which is set in Australia and the new Fiona McIntosh book, Goddess. My blood pressure has gone back down again, though I still have to go to the doctor on Friday. The Nurse-in-training took my BP and did my blood test on Tuesday. She was very good!!!

It's a long way to the shop if you want a sausage roll. OK, I know the world of popular song parody demands 'Chiko Roll', but I can't cook them. Here, instead, is a delicious sausage roll recipe. Even if I do say so myself.

Sausage Rolls

  • 500g (1 lb) mince, I used 100% preservative and fat free beef
  • 1-2 tspn ordinary curry powder
  • 3-4 tbspn mango chutney
  • 1 grated brown onion
  • 1 grated Granny Smith or cooking appleDelicious_sausage_rolls
  • 2 slices of bread made into breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 egg extra, mixed with a little water
  • 4 sheets puff pastry

Preheat the oven to 200-220*C.  Line two trays with baking paper. Place the first 8 ingredients in a bowl and then mix well with your hand for about 4 minutes. This helps the ingredients to emulsify and stick together well.  Cut each sheet of pastry in half. I put the mince in a piping bag and then piped the mince along each of the long sides of the pastry. Then brush the opposite edge with eggwash, roll up the pastry and make sure the join is on the bottom. Brush with extra eggwash, cut into 4 equal pieces, prick the top with a fork and then refrigerate for 15 minutes. Cook for 25-30 minutes and eat hot or cold. I like mine with tomato sauce, but MrsDrWho preferred Sweet Chilli. You can change the flavouring to suit what you have. I am thinking of chicken mince, spring onion, parsley and red curry paste next time. These also freeze well, if there are any left over!!!