Sunday, October 31, 2010

Goodbye Blogtober

(pictures in this post are from my botanical visit the other week)

It's been a good month. I've posted each day (though I was late by a couple of hours once or twice) and surprised myself by actually being able to post everyday. If you saw my list of things to write about you might be surprised about how many things have been crossed off due to lack of time to post about them.

I also promised to do a giveaway a week... that didn't happen. Sorry!!! At least I did one, I suppose. (Though I haven't actually sent it yet... soon, soon I promise!)

What I have enjoyed most about this month of writing everyday was finding so many new Australian blogs. I have really, really enjoyed that. It can be hard to find other Australian blogs, but an event like this draws many of them together. 

I only visited a portion of the people who participated, though I had grand intentions of visiting most, if not all, of them. I appreciate immensely all the people who visited me and took time to comment.

I also loved writing everyday, and I feel like I have relaxed much more into this whole blog writing thing that I do. Though you, my valued bloggees, will perhaps be a better judge of that.

I want to keep trying to post regularly. I might even try to keep doing it everyday, because the rhythm seemed to suit me. Other times I've tried posting every second day, but I'd forget and it just generally didn't work.

Rest assured I will be back tomorrow to share my plans for November!


And Then BAM, You Have Stash

(warning: picture heavy)

Knitters and crocheters are strange... they talk about needing their fix, and building their stash... have you got a Sable*?

I certainly don't have a Sable, but the other day I went through what I do have and was rather surprised. Which means, of course, that my husband is rather unimpressed. But he wants a new gaming mouse, so I think I can get more yarn ;)

What prompted me to find out how much wool I actually have was my mad organising skillz. I have two huge bags full of taspestry wool. I don't even know where it came from, but I think it might have belonged to my Grandmother. I thought I could fit them into my 48L yarn tub, freeing up half a shelf for other stuff (already full: a box of lego). The tapestry yarn did fit into the tub... sort of... let's just say that if the lid isn't clipped down then you can fit a finger between the rim of the tub and the lid. 

Would you like to see? (Too bad if you don't, as I'm going to show you anyway.)

(okay, update... I've just spent the last 20 minutes sorting through the tapestry yarn, so you're going to get pictures of that too.)

As you can see, the yarn is lifting up the lid:

An ariel shot of the first layer in the box - each of the big balls is 200g, or 4 times the size of a normal ball of wool:

The next layer - those white bags are full of tapestry wool and the three balls in the top left hand corner are a camel and baby lambs wool mix that I got at a second hand shop for $2 each:

 The final layer - the green bamboo yarn (with the orange label on) was a steal at $1 each, I got 7 balls for less than the usual price of one ball ($8.50):

This spew is all the tapestry wool!

This is about half of the tapestry wool sorted into piles - DMC, Semco and Anchor (the long blue labels):

This yarn I got rid of, just scraps and unlabled stuff:

And last, this is my neatly repacked yarn tub (before all the little balls of wool got chucked on top and the lid was squished down), the plastic bags of tapestry wool on the bottom:

I do have a few more shoeboxes full of yarn, so I think I have plenty. Though I have three more giant balls on the way for a jumper. A purple jumper! :D

I don't know what I'm going to make with the tapestry yarn, but I think it is really feltable, so maybe some coasters (backed with felt) would be cute. Or maybe little stripy felted bags? I think my nieces would like those. Maybe even little felted Christmas baubles. I certainly have enough yarn to make all of those and more!

*Sable = Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy


Friday, October 29, 2010

Passionfruit and The Sound of Music

I ate three passionfruit for breakfast. They were good. I ate breakfast at 12:30pm. I am a teeny bit naughty. Breakfast was really lunch.

That's all there was, there wasn't anymore. 

Oh gosh, now I want to watch Madeline

I was so excited when I found out that the narrator of Madeline was Christopher Plummer, who plays the captain in The Sound of Music

I love that movie, though I usually stop it right after the wedding scene, hopefully always just before the sound of the bell changes from wedding bells to Nazi bells.

When I was little I never realised what a nasty lady the Baroness was. I remember watching it again when I was 13 or so and being totally shocked at how manipulative she was. 

Only in the last year or so did I start to truly start to recognise how early in the movie the Nazi sub-plot (is that the right word?) starts. Like when the butler closes the door to surreptitiously ask Ralph if there is any news. Tut tut. (Though not as big a tut tut as filming part of it in Germany... the opening scene has never been the same since I found out that little bit of information.)

I'm not really sure how this post changed from being about breakfast/lunch to The Sound of Music, but there you have it.

By the way, The Sound of Music is one of my favourite films to study to, because I know it so well. Calamity Jane is another also fits into this category.

There, something about me that you didn't need to know and probably didn't even want to know. 

Please reciprocate ;)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

My Creative Space

Last time my creative space was all about [creatively] writing essays. 

This time, it's all about yarn.

Some knitting...

Some crochet...

Some more crochet...

Sorry for the awful pictures: today is overcast and grey, which isn't helpful when it comes to photo taking!

I'm joining in with kootoyoo... pop over and visit if you want to see more (hundreds more!) creative spaces!

What creativity is happening in your space today?


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Five Petal Pretty

While I was in the midst of my assignments I was playing with a crochet flower idea, and came up this this little five petal pretty. 

This flower uses a tiny amount of yarn, and takes about two minutes to make.

It's hard keeping all those loose ends hidden... I leave the ends so I can easily tie them to a hat (making them removable) or sew them to something if I so desire. 


I hope my instructions make sense! It's been awhile since I wrote them and assignment brain makes you think in abnormal ways!

Five Petal Pretty
Scraps of DK weight (8 ply) yarn
4.5mm crochet hook
Tapestry needle for finishing and sewing in the ends
Pattern uses US terminology.
Stitches used: chain (ch), slip stitch (slst), double crochet (dc).

Special Techniques: Magic Ring (also called Magic Loop)
--magic loop video (here are some written instructions)

Make a magic ring, ch 2.
Round 1: 10 dc in magic ring, join with a slst. Pull the magic ring closed.
Round 2: *ch2, 4dc in the next st, ch 2, slst in next st, repeat from *
Cut a tail of about 4 inches (10cm), and draw it up through the last slst. Thread the tail onto the tapestry needle, insert under the very first slst (from Round 1), and back into the centre of the last slst. This makes an invisible join and is very neat. Secure the tail by taking it under a few stitches, bringing it up near the other, starting tail.
I left the tails hanging and loose so I can use them to sew or tie these five petal pretties onto other projects, such as beanies or scarves.

Enjoy! And please, if you notice a mistake, let me know in the comments. 

The copyright of this pattern remains with myself. It is provided free for personal use only. The pattern may not be reproduced for commercial purposes. If you want to sell products you have made from this pattern, you are free to do so (please refer to my FAQ page).

Creative Commons License
Five Petal Pretty by Katherine Crombie is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Chai Tea Ice Cream Recipe

Earlier this week, inspired by my sister-in-law, I made a chai concentrate. My husband is now slightly addicted to chai tea. Here's the recipe for it if you are interested. It's super easy! We think it would be perfect to take camping, as it doesn't need to be refridgerated and no milk needs to be added. We keep in a jar in the fridge, but I think next time I make it I'll see if I can find a squeezy bottle to keep it in.

Anyway, ice cream!

I have a favourite ice cream recipe, and to this I added the spices used in the chai concentrate and replaced 70ml of the milk with black tea.* The result is a rich (very rich!) ice cream that tastes just like Christmas. Served with cherries (from the freezer, allowed to thaw) it is perfect.

Chai Tea Icecream
(a recipe designed for an ice cream machine)

4 egg yolks
125g castor sugar
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
70ml black tea (cold)*
130ml milk
200ml thickened cream

Put the egg yolks, castor sugar and spices into a bowl and beat them until light and creamy. 

Add in the black tea, milk and cream, and use an electric mixer to whisk everything until smooth.

Get a spoon and eat all the bubbles that have formed on the surface of the mixture, because they are delicious.

Pour the mixture into the ice cream machine and leave it for ages and ages, until the paddle moves back and forth a couple of times. (The addition of the water may mean that the paddle will never move back and forth: mine didn't reach this stage before I put it in the freezer, but it was light and creamy and holding it's shape.)

Serve (with cherries if possible) and enjoy!

*Next time, I would heat a little of the milk and let the black tea brew in that, allowing it to cool before adding it to the mixture.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Feeling the Needle Love

No, not needles that take blood... new knitting needles!

My Addi's finally arrived at my sister in law's mail box last week and on Sunday I got my grubby mitts on them. I managed to leave them alone for the duration of the church service but as soon as it was over I was all over them.

I'm already knitting a scarf for a friend with them, and they are beautiful to use.

Next knitting project will be a baby cardigan. Read into it what you will.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Poppies and Orchids

So yes, yesterday was all about the Japanese Gardens, and today is about poppies and orchids.

Inside the conservatory... I had some friends get married here in 2008 (I think). They just had their first baby, a little girl. 

Back out the other side of the conservatory, I want to have a feature like this in my future garden.

Lovely tulips, with the Derwent River in the background.

Tomorrow, at the risk of totally alienating all my readers, there'll be four more photos from the Botanical Garden visit, which are being used as part of the 100 Snapshots Challenge. 
And then I'll be talking about something else, I promise!!!

The Japanese Gardens

On Thursday it was a public holiday (as well as my mum's birthday) and Julian totally shocked me by suggesting that we have a picnic in the Botanical Gardens. 

We arrived at 1:30, aka peak hour, and had to wait for a car to pull out in order to get a car park.

We sat in a most delicious smelling location, right next to a fence draped with wisteria. When we have our own home, we are definitely having wisteria planted in at least half a dozen places, and hanging from the deck rails.

For lunch, we munched on salad rolls and brie cheese, with grapes and chocolate for dessert. 

Julian had a snooze (predictably), and I snuck off to the Japanese garden (just on the other side of the fence we were next to) and had fun taking photos. Here are some of my favourites.

Tomorrow, poppies and orchids. Yay!