The toe sweater

Monday, 10 October 2016

So the second toe procedure is now done and dusted and was definitely more successful than the first. The biopsy came back clear and the recovery was much faster and less painful. I highly recommend skipping the first and going straight to the second, tee hee.

But the time I spent off my feet was definitely not wasted. If you follow me on Instagram you would've already seen this but for those who don't, here is the result!

Introducing the toe sweater! The pattern is actually the Ravello sweater from knitwear designer Isabell Kraemer but the new name seemed appropriate.  I seriously loved this pattern. It is knitted in one piece, perfect for a first time garment knitter like me and no seams to sew, yay!

It is knitted in fingering weight yarn (4ply to us Aussies) so you would think it was a slow piece to knit given how smaller the stitches are but it only took 4 weeks of somewhat casual knitting. Sure there were some days when I got through a lot, especially at the beginning and the end, but for the most part there was only a bit done each day.

If you want all the details, it's Ravelled here.



Friday, 23 September 2016

This is not exactly a recipe, just an assembly really. But they are ridiculously easy and sooooo yummy. And they take almost no time to make.

I'm sure they have some fancy name but as kids we knew them as Matchsticks. My kids now love them as much as I did when I was their age.

  • 2 sheets puff pastry
  • Cream
  • Jam
  • Icing sugar
To make:
  • Cut puff pastry into small strips; I cut mine in half and then each half into 6 strips
  • Whip cream
  • Make a sandwich with two strips of pastry using jam and cream as the filling.
  • Sprinkle icing sugar on top.

Make a cup of tea and enjoy!


The Tale of the Toe

Friday, 26 August 2016

Once upon a time there was a round spot, living quite happily on a big toe. It lived there harmlessly for many, many years until one day it slowly started changing. It changed so slowly it took a long time for the owner of the toe to notice it was changing until one day it was no longer round but an odd, uneven shape.

So the owner of the big toe took the toe to the doctor who said 'I don't think it's bad but we'll remove it anyway.' The owner made another appointment for when she had a week off work, knowing it would be a little uncomfortable for a few days.

A quick snap of the spot where it lived happily in spite of the bad nail polish

Two weeks passed and the owner returned to the doctor to say farewell to the little spot that had kept her toe decorated for many years. The nurse said 'This is going to hurt'. Thanks nurse. Then the doctor said 'This is going to be pretty bad'. Thanks Doc. The doctor then gave the owner a needle and said afterwards the owner did really well as she hadn't sworn at him. The owner replied that she had squealed quite a bit though because it bloody hurt.

So the spot was surgically cut out and two stitches were inserted where the spot had been. Unfortunately the big toe was about the only spot on the owner's body that didn't have any extra skin or fat so the hole couldn't be entirely closed and was instead left slightly open. Ugh.

The spotless toe last week

The spot made its way to the pathologist to find out what species of spot it was and when the results where in the owner was told the spot was definitely changing and would've one day grown into a big, bad melanoma and that although the spot had been removed the extra tissue around the spot hadn't been enough of a safety zone and the owner would need to return in 3 weeks to have the whole procedure done again.

The moral of this story? CHECK YOUR SPOTS!!!!!

The end.

Around the Block Cowl

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

I have finally finished this very late birthday present for one of my cousins, she has three boys so needs all the pink she can get!

The pattern and colour scheme is by Sandra over at the Cherry Heart blog, I know I have mentioned Sandra's podcast before but her blog is absolutely beautiful! If you love a craft blog you should definitely have a look.

This is the first time I have used DROPS yarn and it was not the last! I have already used one of their cottons for a baby blanket I have almost finished. I'll post on it when it's done.

Details on my scarf are Ravelled here.



Thursday, 21 April 2016

We are having some major changes around this little cottage as I will soon be moving Miss 17 up to the main house instead of the little building across the driveway. I am very excited to have her back under our roof, although she certainly isn't! I think she likes the feeling of independence having a separate place gives her. I, on the other hand, worry that she spends too much time by herself  especially as she is now in the final year of school and with all the added pressure the HSC brings.

But I am losing the room I call the library to accommodate her. Sob!

Miss 13 will be moving into that room and Miss 17 will be moving into Miss 13's room. The library is a strange L shaped room, but it should be plenty big enough for Miss 13, and it will mean a big clear out of her stuff. This mumma is pretty happy about that!

I am determined to complete the rooms before each move happens, this means painting, new skirting and architraves, and new flooring, blinds, the whole shebang. So I removed all the furniture from the former library and got started.

One of the previous owners had laid down a floating timber floor through most of the house and although I usually don't mind floating timber floors, these ones were very bad. Plus whoever laid them did a horrendous job of it leaving big gaps between the plank ends. These gaps are fantastic dirt traps.

This lovely little dirt catcher is right in the middle of the doorway between the lounge room and the dining room/kitchen.


So I removed all the skirting in the library and in the process of lifting the hideous flooring I hit the jackpot!

Real timber floorboards hiding under that crappy floor. Yippee!

Halfway through the sanding

You may have seen the sneak peek on a previous post where I had started restoring the floorboards instead of putting down the new floating floor I had originally planned. The floorboards aren't perfect with 40 odd years of dirt and paint to be removed but well worth the effort. Because this room is on the smallish side I had to use a belt sander instead of a big floor sander. This was a tough job, done on my hands and knees over a couple of weeks. The other rooms in the house are big enough to use a floor sander so will be a lot quicker.

The floor has come up a treat and I am so happy with it. Miss 13 is currently in the process of moving into her new room so I will soon be onto the next one.

So the big moves are taking a little longer than first anticipated but in the long run will be worth the wait. I hope...


April Alliums

Monday, 18 April 2016

Good grief, what a crazy autumn we are having! Just 2 days ago I took the girls to the cinema and when we left at 6.30 it was full dark but still 27 degrees! In the middle of autumn!!! Thankfully a cooler change moved in yesterday also bringing some much needed rain. Hopefully the cool temperatures are a sign that winter will actually get a look in this year.

I hear so many people say they would rather summer than winter but I'm not one of them. The cooler temps mean I might actually get out into the garden for a change. I find by the end of summer the veg patch is definitely looking worse for wear (picture the weeds taller than most of the veg plants) as spending time out there when the temps are high is the last thing I want to do. I swear with each passing year my tolerance for the heat decreases.

So every autumn I have to start the veg patch again, pretty much from scratch. Bummer.

But this self imposed exile also means that by the time autumn arrives I am really hanging to get out there.

Desperate? Possibly.

Extremely motivated? Most definitely.

Last year's garlic patch

So the next couple of weeks will find me weeding, adding compost to the veg beds and planting anything Allium. April = All things Allium. Onions, leeks, garlic and shallots are at the top of my list. I love each and every one of them. Last year's garlic was semi successful. I left it a few days late to harvest and by that time we had a lot of rain over the few days so some of the heads had started to rot. Some of them were also horribly small, edible, but a pest to peel all those tiny cloves to use when I'm cooking. So I have saved some of the larger heads for planting and hopefully I will have a slightly more successful harvest in spring.

Fingers crossed.


A crochet adventure

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

I am embarking on a bit of a crocheting adventure, attempting a pattern that is far more complex that anything I have tried before. And I'm a bit excited!

This is what I am making, an amazing afghan blanket I spotted on Pinterest a couple of months ago. I have made a good start on the centre mandala and have completed a few of the smaller circle blocks that border the mandala. I am not rushing it, it is too beautiful to mess up and for the amount of time I will have to give it there is no point doing a crappy job.

I am using the same colours used by Emma, because I think it is just perfection as it is.

You can follow my progress on instagram.

Wish me luck.

My new addiction

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Please forgive the horrendous quality of this photo, someone has misplaced the cord to upload my camera photos to my computer!!!

This time of the year invariably finds me dragging out the knitting needles and spending far too much time lurking around Ravelry, but this year there is an added source of yarny inspiration for me. It's called YouTube. You may have heard of it...perhaps....unless you live under a apparently I do...

So yes, obviously we have all heard of YouTube, but did you know about knitting podcasts???????? Oh my wordy Lordy, there are podcasts on knitting!!!!!!! And not only that, there are some amazing podcasts on knitting!!!!!

Which are my favourites I hear you ask? Here are a few I'm binge watching:

Legacy Knitz; yes, I'm a knerdz. Mother and daughter, Sue and Chelsea, who between them rack up an astonishing amount of knitted goodness. Every week.

Knitting Expat; Mina is a machine, and I mean that in the nicest possible way. She has only been knitting for a couple of years but has more finished objects than most knitters could amass in a lifetime. In January she completed an astonishing 35 pairs of socks. 35 pairs. In one month. She has a quick video on YouTube showing her knitting technique and it's no wonder she can fly through them all so quickly.

Cherry Heart: I blame my addiction to these podcasts on Sandra because hers was the first one I watched and she mentioned other podcasts that also led me to other podcasts that led me..... Sandra is not only a knitter though, she is also a crocheter and does a bit of sewing, just like me.

So all my spare time (of which I have very little) is spent with these goddesses of the yarny world, so much so that I have had to administer a new life rule, I must knit whilst watching podcasts. Otherwise I would not get anything done, ever.

Have you watched any good knitting podcast? Care to share your favourites?


Is it really March already?

Sunday, 13 March 2016

The little bit of renovating I've been working on

Hello again. I haven't been around for a while but I haven't really had much to say. I can't believe that March is here already!

I've been working on a little bit of renovating, and that combined with work and the Etsy shop hasn't left me with much time to spend on anything else. I did become a Great Aunt again a few weeks ago to the most divine baby boy so that was very exciting!

Right now though I am just looking forward to real Autumn weather to hit us, at the moment we are still experiencing 30 degree temperatures every day and it hasn't rained in over six weeks, I am looking forward to some serious gardening when the cool weather finally arrives.

I'll be back soon.