Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Knitting, Rain and Warm Food

Will start with the rain...after a whole week of none we've broken local records and even had hail one morning.
 I saw pink and grey galahs hanging upside down from power lines, wings out-stretched enjoyed a refreshing shower. I saw a huge black crow splashily bathing in a muddy puddle without a care in the world. Doves walked back and forth along the top of our fence looking like a Gary Larsen cartoon but my favourite was this little wood-duck. While I was knitting in the car and waiting for Joe at the dentist(he broke a tooth and needed a filling) I heard what sounded like a cat mewing loudly. When I opened the window it was this little chap/lady thoroughly enjoying the pop-up pond in the car park...what a funny noise they make...




It swam back and forth totally unconcerned about the cars coming and going...they actually nest in trees unlike other breeds of ducks.

Recent knitting includes this lovely free pattern for a diagonally knit washcloth , I've finished 3 in 8ply with 4mm needles and have ordered some 10ply(worsted weight) from Bendigo Woolen Mills to try it on the larger needles as per the pattern...


Then I read about a lady using up all her odds and ends of wool on very large needles so I found by 10mm needles and all my pink and white wool and made this in less than 2 days...all I've done is cast on 30 sts, knit around 10 rows in garter st, work a row of yarn fwd, K2tog to end to create a bit of a pattern, it's very loose and snuggly at the same time and cost nothing...




On to warm food...we've been enjoying lots of soups...this one is made from the left-over roast vegs and corned beef...I even found a stray sweet potato growing in the front garden, that beetroot gave it a beautiful colour and I added some frozen green beans for bulk...


Last night we had a sausage meat and pasta bake, I topped this the breadcrumbs I had in the freezer and only used the meat from 3 pork sausages with some chopped mushrooms so it was very thrifty.
I've just walked up to the letterbox and my neighbour, Vera, called me in to give me this enormous leek she'd bought on special yesterday...she'd like me to make Leek and Potato for my dear Dad who can't wear his dentures...easy to eat...aren't people wonderful? The prize leek...


I have some dianthus seedling to plant today, they are like small carnations and seem to last at 2 years...I like to have flowers in the back courtyard...



Now unfortunately it's not been all sweetness and light this week with the news that Joe's step-brother has been murdered in Canada, such a shock and we're still waiting to hear what the motive was as Pierre was a very easy going, likable man. RIP Capitaine...my mother-in-law has now out-lived her first 3 children...no-one should do that...


Joe has had surgery on his nose to remove a possibly dangerous basal cell carcinoma, he has sts inside and out and is very sore, let's hope they got it all this time as they missed some cells last time.

Priscilla isn't doing very well atm either. The Vit C infusions have come to an end and she is quite exhausted now. The doctors have found a bed in a respite facility to give her complete bed rest and hopefully stress and pain relief for the coming week. At the weekend she and Will had all three younger children baptised together with all their god parents attending too...this is my favourite photo...


So we all just muddle along as best we can don't we?
Hope things are going well for you,
Love from Sue
xox


PS was just sent this, these 2 guys were born 83 yrs apart but have such a deep connection...


Wednesday, 28 June 2017

My 'Beanie' Pattern

I thought I'd already this posted this pattern but I see I have variations of it so here is my most basic pattern.

I like to use double knit/8 ply 100% wool that I buy at Spotlight for around $3 for 50 grams....I weighed this green hat and it's under 60 gms so you will need to buy 2 balls for a plain hat or add some stripes to use up scraps...




So you'll need

approx 60 gms 8 ply yarn
a pair of 4mm/UK 8 needles
a 4mm/UK 8 circular needle or you could use the set of 4mm double pointed needles(DPNs)

Two sizes large and medium

Using straight needles cast on 90(80) stitches and work 14 rows in garter stitch(all knit sts)

Change to circular needle/DP needles and knit round and round until work measure around 6 inches or 15 cms.

Decrease
K8, K2tog for one whole round
Knit one round

K7, K2tog for one whole round
Knit one round

K6, K2tog for one round
Knit one round

If using a circ. needle you'll need to switch to DPNs now

Now, leaving out the straight rounds(the ones with no decreases) continue to work the decrease pattern until you have 2sts left , cast them off.

this photo shows the back of the hat where I have sewn up the garter stitch band, weave in the end at the top too...


2 finished hats plus one on the circular needle...


I hope this helps you Pauline at The Happy Retirees Kitchen Blog

For a child you could try 70 or even 60 stitches ...it gets very cool in them thar hills where your family are ;)

It Ain't Pretty But It's Done!

Although we're only a month into Winter the passionfruit vine is sending out lots of new shoots. It needs to be pruned each year as it's the new growth that produces the fruit and we want lots of that!

Before...this fence is 6ft high...


After...

our local council have just supplied green waste bins, I've filled 2 with all my pruning, the waste will be mulched and used on city gardens...the roses are next!


It is Winter and we I am trying not to use the gas heater as it gets rather costly. Joe feels the cold but is willing to rug up in hand knits...he couldn't find his scarf this morning so he's grabbed my newly made shawlette to wear at the computer...cutie!
I used a 'cake' of Lincraft yarn, 200gms, cast on 5 sts and increased at beginning of each alternate row until I had around 63 sts and then I decreased the same way to the last 5sts and cast off. On 5mm needles it was a quick and very easy knit...



I've also finished several hats this month, here are a couple,


Discovered a lovely new recipe of half a mashed cauliflower, a beaten egg, 2T brown flour or breadcrumbs and half a cup of grated cheese mixed together and shallow fried...they can be re-heated and are still delicious...we had them 3 days in a row lol...We also had our first taste of turnip leaves, quite bitter but quite delicious when well fried and crispy, a nice free meal.


Rhonda has got me well and truly hooked on Bear cam again this year...it's like a soap opera as we watch the families at work and play. There are web cams all over the world featuring a variety of wildlife.

I've been reading, knitting and watching lots of tennis on telly, looking forward to Wimbledon next week. One book I really enjoyed was The Rain Queen by Katherine Scholes I also have a couple of Amanda Hampson's books from the library to relish very soon. Yesterday I went to the op-shop and bought 4 near new pillow cases, 2 thick coffee mugs, 2 French glass plates and a set of double pointed needles all for $6.20, why shop any where else without trying the op-shops first?

So that's where I have been and some of what I've been up to, have enjoyed reading your blogs too, lots of lovely recipes for Winter food from Aussie blogging friends..I love the inspiration.

Hope you are keeping well,
Love from Sue
xx




Saturday, 6 May 2017

Hallo There!

Still here, just meandering through my days as I countdown to a wonderful holiday that I will tell you more about another day.

Priscilla has started thrice weekly Vitamin C infusions and is feeling a little brighter...the good news is that she has a 'gopher' now and can get out and about now the weather there is much milder...the girls ride their bikes along-side and Liam catches a lift with Mom...


I've been quietly crafting away and have finished an incline scarf made from a giant 200gm 'cake' of yarn...


made a bag from 3 samples of curtain fabric...


some 'subversive' embroidery...


some tasty meals...Singapore noodles...


Feta and spinach turnovers(the spinach was actually sweet potato leaves!) and stuffed capsicums with some chopped tomatoes and cucumber...


and some goodies for Dad, creamy soup, cooked pork sausages, vegetable 'quiche' and a dinner of silverside and vegetables...he grumbles when he sees so much food but it doesn't last long :)


Our little grandsons are continuing to thrive...Kullen is such a chubby chops now...


Cyclone Charlie is now walking and turns one year old next week...


...we're really looking forward to his Nanna Tracey coming over to join us for a week.

That's about all my news for now so I will wish you all a happy weekend,
Love from Sue
xxx

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

A Morning Walk

Hallo Every-one, Ihope you had a pleasant Easter holiday. Ours was very quiet and we stayed home reading and pottering.
Last week I met my my 80yr old neighbour coming back from her walk around the block and this pricked my conscience as I have become very inactive over the Summer. The block takes 17 minutes to walk and I started by going every second morning; the benefits of feeling stronger and more alive as well as happier are almost instant. I took some photos this morning, I left at 8am, the temp is about 20C....


are there bears in there...



an Australian post box complete with graffiti...


big bins waiting to be taken back in...


we have 5 pines, Inspector Gamache has only 3...



a variegated oleander seems to shine...


across to the Town Hall, courthouse and police station...


  our main regional shopping centre is through those trees...


I do like this 'tunnel'...


this bottlebrush tree is still flowering, the bees and little birds love it's nectar...


West Australian grass trees...


beautiful creamy roses catch the morning sun...


I really look forward to my walk now and am waiting for the day I can easily do much longer walks.

Yesterday we dined well on left-overs galore...that bean salad was so good with some black quinoa and lots of fresh herbs...there is roast pork in that zip-lock bag, curried lentil soup and some pretty pasta from Aldi...



Today we need milk and fresh vegetables and a library book I ordered is in. I plan to make creamy seafood pie and some potato, cabbage and knockwurst soup that Joe and Dad love...

Wishing you all a wonderful week
Love Sue

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

http://pearlzjourney.blogspot.com.au/2017/04/first-meeting-at-ottawa-integrative.html


Have just up-dated Priscilla's blog, check out the link if you'd like to see what's happening these days

Love Sue

Sunday, 2 April 2017

An Hour With David

How is it that when I take my grandsons out for 'an hour' it becomes a whole afternoon...we just keep finding new things to do and delight in.

Yesterday with both brothers out with friends David was feeling a little lonely so I offered to take him to the park for an hour. The park I drove to was almost empty so there was no-one to play with...see that little boy on the swing?


Then Davy thought he was hungry but understanding I am not  well off we went to Hungry Jack's and chose 2 junior burgers for $5, I refused him a sugary drink. Next we went to Spotlight to get Great grandad a new bath-mat.... we had to choose something to match the pink and grey bathroom tiles...David's selection was perfect, grey, pink and white zig-zags.

When we got to Grandad's he was thrilled to see us(weekends are very lonely for single ppl). David saw the mess on the front after the tree felling last week and grabbed the rake to pile it up. Dad and I were most impressed(Davy is 7 yrs old)

Next Dad says "While you're here you can help me re-make my bed...at 83 yrs of age he had all his laundry on the line so the three of us brought it together...we pulled out bed to make it easier and saw it was dusty underneath. David got the hoover and he and his great-grandad cleaned up together...David went on to vacuum the whole house's carpets.

We decided to spend a little time at the brilliant new Adventure Park nearby, it's a wonderful new place for families provided by the local council...




Kindred spirits.

After we left the park and took Gdad home he gave David some money to spend at Aldi on the way home~ to buy some treats for the whole family.
 Not this sensible Nana's idea of good shopping so we talked about what foodstuffs grub may have been needed at Chez David....we had $50 so we were treadling lightly(hey we didn't even put $1 in to hire a trolley) As we chose items David cannily noted the prices and oft-times chose the cheaper/better value item...we started off keeping a running tally ...I lost it at $20 but David approached the check-out knowing he had spent around $38...it cost $39 and I was stunned, such great maths and he had $10 left to put in his money box! 

I took him home, we put the shopping away and did a little tidying for his Mum and then I drove home happily exhausted after over 4 hours on the go! Grand-parenting is a wonderful thing, I still pinch myself when I look at their beautiful faces and wonder if they are real.