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Monday, April 30, 2012

autumn.


It's lovely, beautiful, amazing weather in Sydney at the moment. That good autumn weather when it's cold enough to wear jeans and a light jumper but warm enough to go outside. I celebrated by spending my lunch hour in the park overlooking the water with my kindle and my knitting.


Autumn is my favourite season of all. I never really got one living in Alice Springs, the weather just went from hot to cold. I fell in love with autumn in Canberra - when all of the leaves changed colour and the air was fresh and crisp. Perfect. Both times that I have been to America the weather has been perfectly autumnal and Ben and I have a trip to Japan planned in October this year which would land us in the Japanese autumn as well. I've decided it's my favourite time to travel. It's cold enough to get you outside and moving but not so cold that you can't think of anything worse than getting out of bed.


This will be my first whole Sydney winter and to be honest, I'm a bit sad that I'm missing out on the real cold of Canberra. My knitting and crochet doesn't seem to be such a priority in what will surely by a more mild winter than I've ever been used to. In the meantime, I have beautiful autumn to keep me happy.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Burro e Salvia


This time last year I was on a plane with Mum on our way to Italy. 


Here is me pretty much one year ago - modeling our very stylish security handbags that I would never normally be seen dead in but gave us a good piece of mind in a country known to get a bit handsy (in more than one sense of the word.)






One of the dishes on my Italy 'must try' list was Butter and Sage Pasta. 
I did have it - only once - but it was one of the most simple and delicious dishes I've ever eaten. Silly and little, it's really one of those things that you just remember. Below is a picture taken of me in Bologna, just after I had ordered my Tortellini de Burro e Salvia waiting for it to arrive at the table. Clearly, I am giddy with excitement. 



I didn't actually try to make it myself at home until this year and it's become one of our go to meals, particularly when I'm craving some comfort eating. Even Ben, who isn't a huge fan of such simple dishes, loves it. 




Sometimes we add some cubes of fried pancetta and Ben, of Ben and Dana taught me to put in cherry toms for a fresh bite.


Spaghetti de Burro e Salvia

Spaghetti
60g Butter
6 good sized sage leaves, chopped roughly
Juice of 1/2 Lemon 
Parmesan Cheese

Optional:
Pancetta, cubed
Cherry toms, halved or whole (I like to roast mine with salt and butter in a HOT oven while waiting for water to boil and pasta to cook)

1. Cook pasta in pot as usual.
2. While pasta is cooking melt butter in small saucepan. When the butter is melted and begins to form a foam, put in sage leaves and lemon juice. You only want to keep the butter on the heat for a few seconds after putting in the sage and lemon, just enough to mix it around a bit. Take off heat.
3. When pasta is cooked, pour butter and sage mix over.
4. Mix in pancetta and/or toms if you want to put them in.
5. Shave parmesan over to serve.
6. Eat and enjoy!


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Finished slippers = warm toes!

Finished my second Grouse Slipper last night and promptly put it on to keep my other foot warm!
This one I was a bit more careful about finishing and didn't need to rush it at the end. You can see in the picture that I've ended up with two different looking toes. Well don't look that close! That, in turn, has made the overall fit much better and I found the first slipper finished to be a little bigger. But nevermind that now, they're done! My first sock like knitted pair that I have ever finished! I'd really love to find something to put on the bottom to make it more durable for walking in. Shop slippers without a proper sole often have those clear plastic bumps. Anyone know if you can buy the liquid and make those bumps yourself?! That would make these slippers puuuurfect.


Quick, easy and comfortable (especially with all this rainy weather Sydney is seeing at the moment) this pattern is really lovely. Go get started on a pair of your own today!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

the cat's pajamas

This weekend involved a huge amount of craft. The Bens had gone down to the coast to have a boys weekend so Dana and I (and Poppy, can't forget that girl!) were free to do as much knitting, sewing and Game of Thrones watching as we could get away with (8 hours if you are interested.)


Friday night saw us at a Brown Owls meeting, where I continued on with a grey moss stitch scarf. Unfortunately the amount of chatting and wine drinking I was doing caused me to knit three rows in rib stitch instead of moss and so half the time was spend ripping that back. Such a lovely way to spend a friday - surrounded by great gals doing great things!

Saturday was pie eating (two) and fabric shopping. Dana and I had a freaky friday moment and for a change, I showed great restraint. I only bought a metre of beautiful fabric that really could only be used for something baby oriented. Is it weird to not have a baby or any friends with babies and still want to make baby clothes? It's not, right? I'm not sure.


Sunday was trash and treasure markets, scone baking with Sophie and Dana, a bit more knitting of my second grouse slipper and some sewing.

I finished off this pair of comfy pants al la Pip (taken from her Sew La Tea Do book) for my brother.
This was a bit of a collaboration project for us - Sam decided on the pattern (and matching beanbag, might I add.) And as though a pair of comfy pants and a beanbag weren't a good enough pair we decided to kick up the comfort level a notch by making these in flannelette. Sam couldn't pick between the stripes and the spaceships so we decided to do both. Then I got real clever by making alternating pockets. Too bad I sewed them in far too low and the opening will be closer to his knees!
Still, they were really simple to make and have turned out really nicely.
Here's Ben playing model ---








Thursday, April 12, 2012

An awaited package!

It arrived! The Malabrigo yarn arrived! 


As I've currently got 7 projects on the go at the moment (that doesn't mean I have a problem, right? Is that too many?) I'm saving casting on the Featherweight Cardigan until I have some out of the way. And anyway, I have to wait for my recently ebay purchased ball winder to make it's way over from China before I can even think of beginning. 

So far the wool feels amazing, so beautifully soft. I can't hardly wait! 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Grouse Slippers


Mum found the Grouse Slippers on Ravelry that I thought I would give a go. One completed (and my first ever knitted sock/slipper) and one left. 

I learnt that to stockinette stitch in the round is just to knit from the wrong side (or purl on the right!) So simple. Unfortunately, I learnt this after knitting the back of the heel in not in-the-round-stockinette. Even more unfortunate was the brain fart I had when I thought that stockinette was knit one purl one. And I'm not talking about rows. Of course I know that this is a rib stitch and I'm still not sure how I managed to convince myself that it wasn't. But actually I'm not too disappointed by that because the thick ribbing makes for quite a nice detail down the back of the foot. 


Pattern was simple really and only took me about two working days and one night off to complete but there were a few points in the pattern where I wished Lusianne had gone into more detail.

As an inexperienced sock knitter I really didn't have much of an idea on how to construct one. I needed a good deal of help from Dana but together we worked it out. I knitted the main length of the foot a bit long so I had to rush the final decrease. Instead of knitting a row in between the decreasing rows I just decreased on all. This left me with a slightly more angular toe than I would have liked but by turning it the right way round it smoothed out some. I'm not too bothered by it though and I've learnt my lesson!


I'm wearing the one slipper now and it's really quite toasty! These would make such a fantastic knitted gift.