Babysitters Hat

Thursday, June 30, 2016
This hat was knit over the course of an evening, while I was babysitting a friends kids.

The pattern is by the yarn harlot and the chunky yarn was cheap crap from Lincraft. Perfect for a little girl who will probably loose it. 




Waining mojo

Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Something strange always happens to me in June, I lose the will to knit.

Why June? Well I think it's something to do with it being the middle of the Southern Hemispheres winter. I knit when I'm happy and I'm really not happy when I'm cold. 

Not knitting makes me feel very unproductive. The rest of the year if I'm sitting, I'm knitting but not June. In June, if I'm sitting, I'm sitting. 

I think I realised last year that June was a problem month and this May I devised a plan of attack I set myself the task of knitting a few small projects and it seems to have done the trick. Some of the projects were cast on in May but all were completed in June

Over the next few days I hope to show you what I have been up to. 

Today's project is the Wild West Cowl, modelled below by my wonderful Mother (she was horrified by this photo because she thinks she looks like her mother. She's right, but as I loved Nanna dearly I think it's kind of wonderful).


This was a test knit run through Ravelry. The designer was seeking experienced knitters who have never worked with brioche stitch and would be willing to give the pattern a go. I had been meaning to give brioche a go for a while but had never taken the leap. The pattern has now been released and can be found here Wild West Cowl.

My project is here  Loudoh'S Wild West Scowl.

It was a great scrap project as I used less than 50g of each of the two yarns and the cowl would make a great gift.

Failure is a good thing right?

Tuesday, June 28, 2016
Pompoms clearly TOO SHAGGY and LOOSE

This is the post I've been putting off writing. First, I'm not happy with my photos. Second, I just thought this project would turn out better than it did. I'm a bit unsure about the whole thing. I had visions of this being some totally awesome thing, I mean, pom poms AS A GARLAND! Sounds like a winner I thought! It could just be the execution, which I could work on.

They make the cord hang angularly.

It all started out because I have an obsession with pompoms. I started off just doing it old school, making cardboard templates and using up what scraps I had. But more on them later. I became inspired by this supposedly great POM POM GARLAND idea and ended up buying black acrylic for this project. I also bought a french knitting bee tool to make the cord, which turned out just lovely, although it did take at least two nights I think, so one where you twist the handle would be good. And the pom pom makers below. I know I could just cut more cardboard, but all I had access to was corrugated, which doesn't really hold up that well for repeat use, and I was wanting something that would work up more quickly. I don't know if I'm using them wrong, but as far as I can see, they make a pom. Not a pom pom. They end up too shaggy and loose, nowhere near enough yarn in each one to end up really thick, fluffy and spherical. Possibly I should make two halves and tie them together?


Clearly I should have watched this video first. If it wasn't for the fact I just watched him make them, I wouldn't believe they were made by hand. These tools aren't all that cheap here in Australia though.


So there you go, I'm not quite sure where to go with this idea now. Possibly try using the pom pom tools and making two halves? Maybe leaving the whole garland idea and moving on to other pom pom projects.

Op shop gold!

Monday, June 20, 2016
Originally available at Kmart for $2

Now exclusively available from your nearest op shop for the bargain price of $5 each!



(The green mark indicates that the price has been reduced. This was added after I told them how much they cost new.)

Stash busting

Friday, June 17, 2016
This is what 300 grams of impulse purchased yarn looks like in blanket form


And, in an unsurprising move, it has been claimed by Miss K. I am glad to have it off the needles but will miss it's warmth as I rests on my knees whilst I knit in the evenings. 

I've even dusted off the sewing machine and had a crack at making some Pajama bottoms for Mr F. 

Perhaps unsurprisingly I also have a fabric stash and these robots have been waiting 7 years to be transform from a baby wrap. 

Considering that my sewing skills are fairly basic, I'm really pleased with how these have turned out and I learned quite a bit whilst making them (and finally read the manual for my 10 year old sewing machine) 



Cornflake cookies

Tuesday, June 14, 2016


These cornflake cookies are NOT part of my healthy eating plan. They contain butter and sugar. Yum. They do fit in with my idea that it is probably a better idea to make things where you can rather than buy the ready made version. 


Jamie gave me the recipe for these, and would you believe I've lost it? They were so perfect. These ones are pretty darn good too though, and lasted two days. I was bad and got sick of trying to cream sugar and butter when the butter was too cold and melted it for 20 seconds in the microwave. So once the mix was done into the fridge it went, as it was too gooey to be taking spoonfuls and rolling in cornflakes.


Check it out, Jean Paul Gautier tea towel, a surprise from Flick, which arrived mere hours before a rental inspection and gave me a much needed boost on the day. This mix gave me 14 decent size cookies. They spread out when cooking, and were all just touching each other when I pulled them out of the oven. Maybe use two baking sheets?


Okay recipe time. Once again, based on another recipe found here with my own twist.

Cornflake Cookies

125 g butter
1/2 cup raw sugar 
1/2 cup sultanas 
1 egg 
1 pinch salt 
1 cup self-raising flour 
1 tbs milk 
1 cup of cornflakes, crushed
plus about 2 cup cornflakes, crushed to coat

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. My oven is not fan forced  and all the heat comes from an element in the base of the oven. Keep an eye on your cookies the first time you bake them. Prep a baking sheet or two with baking paper.

Cream the butter and sugar, or be a lazy sod and start creaming them, get bored, give it a 10-120 second zap in the microwave, and then basically add all other ingredients except the extra 2 cups of cornflakes. Possibly because I did the melt butter thing, I found my mix quite sloppy, which is why I added the cup of crushed cornflakes into the mix. I like the extra crunchy and texture in the cookie. I didn't measure out a cup exactly so much as add crushed handfuls, just crushing as I went, until I liked the look of the texture.

Refrigerate dough until firm enough to scoop spoonfuls and roughly shape into balls.

I used a soup spoon for my scoops, possibly tablespoon and a half of dough in each cookie. Size is really up to you. Scoop the dough, rough form into a squashed ball, push down into the crushed cornflakes, coat all sides. I added handfuls of cornflakes to the bowl as I went, crushing as needed. I hate having half a bowl of crushed cornflakes left over at the end. 

Bake for 15 minutes, check, bake no more than another 3-4 minutes. My lower tray were done in 15, then I left the top tray in for another 3-4 minutes. When I touched the cookies they were still soft, but were golden. Leave them on the tray until firm enough to move to wire rack to cool.

Excellent with a cup of tea.

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Gone crackers

Thursday, June 9, 2016

I've started making crackers now. This is all part of the drive to try and eat healthier. I like crackers and chips, but they are full of whack ingredients and buckets of salt, and often made overseas and imported. This sort of fixes that problem. They were a bit like heavy Ryvitas, so they can take tomato, cheese, tuna or avocado for toppings well. The kids ate them, which was pretty amazing really, and certainly makes things easier.

I first got the idea from I Quit Sugar on Facebook, here is the link to the recipe they posted, but whenever I see the words 'nutritional yeast' I get a bit twitchy so I decided to check out other recipes too, finally settling for a variation on this one.

Savoury Seed Cracker Recipe

1/4 cup chia seeds
1/2 cup flax seeds
1 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1tsp paprika
1tsp garlic powder
1/2tsp black pepper (not ground, fine)
1 cup of water

Preheat your oven to 175 Degrees Celsius.
Blend the pumpkin and sunflower seeds first, they will chop up better by themselves.
Add the remaining ingredients, including the water, and blend on slow for a few minutes. Let that sit while you prepare a cookie baking tray with baking paper and wet a spoon to help you spread the mix out. It will be sticky! You want the mix to be no more than 5mm thick, but don't go to thin either, they won't hold together. Once you have spread the mix out evenly, score gently by pressing the knife into the mix into the desired cracker size. Bake the for 30 minutes, at this stage they may break up well but will not be thoroughly dry and crunchy. Lower the temp right down to 100 degrees maximum, leaving the separated crackers out while the oven cools. Once the temp has lowered, pop them back in checking every 30min, until they are not bendy or moist looking. Test one for suitable crunchiness.

And that's it, put them in an airtight container and eat them over the next week.

We now have a dehydrator, so that's how I do these now sometimes, I set it on the highest setting though, 75 degrees, and just leave them in until the texture is right. The flavours weren't strong enough in my first batch so I would suggest experimenting there. Mmm crunchy...

I stumbled into a Op Shop

And I found this:

I can't decide if I'm more amused by the fact that you can make your own swimwear or that somebody bought it and then later realised it was a daft idea. 

Unfortunately no other treasures were found. 

Knitting and Welsh Cakes

Thursday, June 2, 2016
I am currently knitting a blanket I neither want, need or like.




My disdain for this project has nothing to do with the (free) pattern which is a fabulous mindless knit, easily memorised and can be put down for a week or two and then easily restarted, without having to consult the pattern. Nope, I can't stand the yarn, its soft enough and easy enough to knit with but that colour just doesn't do it for me.

Obviously, I bought the yarn in the first place and must have had some idea what I was going to do with it, possibly a cardigan for Miss K, who knows, by I do remember that it was on special...

Anyway two more balls to go and then I'll work out where its going to live.

As you know, I do not practice project monogamy and for every mindless knit there must be a slightly more complicated knit.




Although pink this one is for Mum and she will love it.

The other thing I have done recently is made Welsh Cakes. Welsh Cakes are a speciality from the region where my family come from in England/Wales and my Welsh grandmother always seemed to have a batch of them waiting for us whenever we turned up. I had always assumed that every bodies Grandmother made them and I was surprised to discover that people in different parts of the country hadn't heard of them.




I made a massive batch, gave some to a friend and froze all that I could before the kids scoffed them. My friends kids loved them and she asked for the recipe so I thought I would share it here too.

The original recipe made 48, which is enough to supply a church fete, so I've reduced it to 24. The original recipe also uses lard but I've changed that to vegetable shortening.

Nanna's Welsh Cakes
Makes 24

2 1/2 cups  (315g) Plain flour
2 tsp baking power
1/4 tsp salt
45g butter (softened)
45g vegetable shortening  (softened)
3/4 cup (160g) caster sugar
1 1/4 cup (190g) raisins or currants
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk

Sift Flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Add butter and shortening and rub together fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs.
Stir in sugar and raisins. Beat eggs lightly add to the flour with a splash of the milk. mix together to make a firm dough. If it needs more moisture, add a bit more milk. If its too sticky add a bit more flour.
Cover and chill for 1-2 hours
Roll to 5mm on a floured surface.
Cut with 6-8mm round cookie cutter.
Heat a greased frying pan over a low heat. Add a couple of the welsh cakes and cook until golden brown (I always burn the first batch so keep an eye on them and don't be tempted to crank the heat up)
Sprinkle with caster sugar.

EAT or FREEZE (they are great to chuck into lunch boxes)
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