Wednesday, March 30, 2011


My all-talking, all-walking, all-singing-and-dancing youngest gal has a new cardigan. This one is called In Threes and was such a quick knit. The yoke is similar to Lola's Buttercream, only hers needed the stitch count to double for each of the gathered ridges, which was a true time-taker. This one was just garter stitch to stocking stitch and back again a few times, with a few increases as it went along. Most of it was completed last weekend on our "minibreak" down the coast with a group of lovely friends - such easy, mindless knitting that could happen while the conversation, and wine, flowed. I've used one of my favourite yarns, Cascade 220, in the colour Persimmon. And those beautiful buttons again!

By my count, that's a new mama-made knit for each of my girls in the space of less than three weeks. Not too shabby.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Five things

Five things about this kid, aged 3 1/2, that make me smile:

1) Having decorated her paper dragon to within an inch of its life, she declares, "We  need to craft him more";
2) She addresses her sisters, several of her toys and even a few friends with 'darling';
3) Faced with the entire array on display in an ice-cream freezer, she still always chooses a lemonade icy pole;
4) She asks, very earnestly, "Didn't I swim beautifully today, Mummy?";
5) She always, always, must depart anywhere and anything with "a cuddle and a kiss."

Thursday, March 24, 2011


The big sister got a new dress for her sisters' christening on the weekend. More on that soon. Given it had rained all week in the lead-up, I thought it might be cool enough to warrant a little cardi. This one was on the needles but still had a way to go. I persisted, and at 1am the night before the big day, I was weaving in the ends and sewing on the beautiful buttons.

Of course, next afternoon, the sun came out, and what with all that chasing after her big boy cousins, there wasn't a chance she needed a second layer. So it was all for nought.

Well, not entirely. These autumn days are cooling down. Perfect weather for a little cap-sleeve cardigan in a wool/cotton blend - colour: Buttercream.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The After Shots

You saw the before shots. After the getting nude and oil smearing and water dunking and screaming part was over, out came the pretty white dresses and everyone was all smiles again.

Sweet organic cotton dresses from here.

Bonnets, shoes, jewellery and other christening paraphernalia from the two loving aunties/godmothers - my sisters-in-law.

Doting grandparents from here, thus the whole reason for this extravaganza.

Friday, March 18, 2011


We're off to a baby shower tomorrow, me and my three girls. My lovely friend Kate is expecting her first bub, and it's a very special occasion. 

There was some yarn left over from the vest, so I thought I'd have a go at these bootees.

Entirely frivolous, I know. Experience tells me that bootees are kind of useless for a baby. Doesn't matter how clever or unique the construction, they always fall off. They're for decorative purposes only.

But for new babies, especially first babies, decorative is just fine. Soft organic cotton in a sweet pale blue, and beautiful wooden buttons from here.

Frivolous indeed. And just a little bit cute.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Oh, Mum, not another sweet baby dress made from someone's old discarded bed linen!

Monday, March 14, 2011


A pair of giraffes ready to go in a pair of baby gift boxes. These were fun to make, and very easy. They jingle-jingle when you shake them. From this book.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Vegetable Gods

When my friend came to stay this week, she brought with her a big bag of home-grown goodness from her dad's vegie patch. We don't have our own vegetable garden (yet) so it was nice to pretend for a while. The tomatoes and basil, along with some two-day-old crusts of Bourke Street Bakery olive oil loaf got turned into a scrummy bread salad. And the eggplants and zucchini became a tonight's dinner of chargrilled veg lasagne.

The vegetable gods are smiling down on our house tonight.

Tomato and Bread Salad
Cut some slightly stale good bread (not white sliced) into small chunks. Dice some good tomatoes. Combine in a bowl with torn basil and generous sloshings of extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Eat.

Chargrilled Vegetable Lasagne
Using whatever you have available (zucchini, eggplant, mushrooms, squash, capsicum), slice into lengths, brush with olive oil and grill on a barbecue or in a chargrill pan until just cooked. I like to char the capsicum separately directly over the flame on the gas stove, then seal in a plastic bag for about 15 minutes, and rub off the skin. Cut into large flat pieces.

In a saucepan, saute a diced onion and a couple of cloves of garlic in some olive oil. When onion is soft, add a tin or two of tomatoes and a bottle of passata. Add a few sprigs of thyme or oregano or bay leaves or whatever's lying around. Simmer for about 30 minutes, allowing it to reduce slightly. Add water if it gets too thick. Season. The tomato sauce has to taste good because it is in every layer of the lasagne and the vegetables finish their cooking in it, so make sure it tastes delicious.

In another saucepan, make a basic bechamel (melted butter, flour, milk). When it is the right consistency, add a small tub of ricotta and whisk in. Much nicer than grated tasty cheese any day.

In a lasagne dish, cover the base with a few spoons of the tomato sauce. Layer with lasagne sheets, vegetables, tomato sauce, lasagne sheets, vegetables, tomato sauce. I like to dot each layer with a few fresh oregano or marjoram leaves, or torn basil if you have it. End with a final layer of lasagne sheets and then pour over the bechamel. Top with grated parmesan and bake in a 180 degree oven for about 40 minutes until lovely and brown and bubbly and delicious.

Serve. Eat.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

A Pearl for my Pearl

When I first saw the Pearl Shrug in this book of lovely vintage baby patterns, I wasn't very taken by it. Perhaps it was the pale pink in the picture, but it seemed a bit flowery and fluffy and not really my cuppa. Last week, though, thinking I'd like to knit my girls a mama-made cardigan each for their impending christening, I revisited the book and decided to try it out. With a name like the Pearl Shrug, really, how could I resist?

It is actually a very cool pattern with really unique construction. First you knit the pedestal shaped thingy for the back. Then you go all circular, knitting donut-shaped arm holes onto the back. Then there's a big openwork band that runs all the way around. The sleeves are meant to be more of that openwork, but I decided to cheat a bit and picked up stitches around each armhole and made simple little garter stitch bands instead.

The yarn is some lovely Evoke hand-dyed sock wool I purchased on a whim last year. It's been languishing in the stash, and, as expected, it was never meant to become a pair of socks. I'm scared of socks. Or, at least, I'm scared of starting to knit socks in case it becomes an obsession. I've heard it's a common disease.

Ravelry notes here.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Click Click





Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Fish and Chips

A glorious sunny day. A trip to the Sydney Fish Markets on the tram, followed by a picnic in the park. Loading up on vitamin D and omega 3. 

The seagulls were circling. Two little girls went walking.


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