Sunday, September 24, 2006


Created by Christiane for Daniela whose podcast (Secret Knitting) blog I found this on. It does keep time, apparently.

Saturday, September 23, 2006


Among other things pursued, dragged down and hauled back to the Taph lair from op-shops this morning was this for $4 (still in the shops for $30.95) containing 2 episodes I've never seen - so happy!

And two pairs of black Bally shoes for $6 each.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Stalking the Yarn Harlot

For all of us not in North America we get to join the Yarn Harlot on her book tour thanks to YouTube.

If it won't embed go here and look at it. It's by Freecia.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Curly Whirly Scarf Recipe

Hi, if you've come looking for the curly whirly scarf pattern, please click here.

It was lovely to meet you at the exhibition and thanks for looking.

The rest of you - get to the TASDA exhibition this weekend at the CSIRO Discovery Centre - it's an inspiring feast for the senses of sight and touch. If I haven't hit you up already - buy a raffle ticket and support Stasia Dobrowski's soup kitchen and have the chance to win one of nearly 100 wraps and scarves.

And the girls are feeling very pretty since their wash and cut on Thursday. That's Rosie without the bow and Peggy with. Peggy removed Rosie's bow almost immediately but resisted all efforts to take hers away. They are different, it just doesn't look like it at the moment. Their happy smiles are identical, though. They love being groomed.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Blue Monday

Was once a cardigan, but $1 and several hours of unpicking, unravelling, skeining, washing and drying later it is 515g lovely soft blue 4-5ply wool.

Dunno what it wants to be yet but I've had New Order's Blue Monday stuck in my head since I started winding it. Not a bad song to wind wool to, actually.

Wanders off singing, "... and if it wasn't for your misfortune, I'd be a heavenly person today..."

Friday, September 08, 2006

not completely idle

Sunday before last for Bek's baby shower/Tupperware party - we have mini cupcakes iced in lurid pink for girls and striking blue for boys. The ones in the middle are iced with the fruit of the passion. I thought it was funny at the time but I was a little punchy.

I really did finally put handles on Mum's loofah. I believe this was meant for her in April but that cr****t nylon is such awful stuff I managed to forget all about it. The handles ended up being cannibalised from a Bay Swiss bag. By all accounts it's fantastic and does the job. It's rough and Mum reckons it will never wear out. Just as well because I ain't touching that stuff again - not even for her.

Now to yarn reclamation.

Here is a lovely cabled jumper with bobbles (ugh) on the bottom picked up at Vinnies for $1.

Washed skeins weighted by water filled chip packets (new Smiths chips, a lot like Pringles but with reusable packaging on sale at Woollies for 99c each a couple of weeks back) dripping into the shower stall. There's a really good photo of the skeins but Blogger is being unco-operative.

Here it is wound into beautiful centre pull balls and weighing in at 683g. That's a lotta hats for the homeless for next winter for $1.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

More mean than green

The non-cow post has caused some interest so I continue my personal review of products.

Butter substitutes ? well there really isn?t one. Nothing tastes as good as butter. I use a vegetable oil in baking where possible. Woollies sells a soy margarine (55% veg oil ? mostly soy) and there?s good old Nuttelex for those who can?t have soy or dairy. Both are reasonably awful. Nuttelex wins on several fronts (not on taste). It is salt-reduced, Australian owned and the container is square so it fits in the fridge better and makes the empty container more re-useable. Did I mention I often buy based on the re-useability potential of containers? I try to re-use packaging at least once before it is recycled. More mean than green I suspect but either way it?s better for the environment.

Mayonnaise also posed a non-cow problem. I?ve finally found a decent one. It doesn?t taste much like the sugary stuff I used to buy, but that?s a good thing. Sometimes one just has to retrain the tastebuds. The Norganic mayonnaise is fine. It comes with a ?delicious honey and lemon flavour?. Dunno about that, but it tastes ok and is good with chicken. There?s also a fat reduced version. This is an Australian owned company, too. I find it in the health food section of Woollies.

My icecream maker is a Krupps I bought for $20 at a Salvos store. It has two parts - the motor/beater which clips onto the bowl and the bow, the walls of which are filled with some liquid. The bowl needs to be frozen for at least 24 hours before use. For best results, ingredients also need to be as cold as possible. I usually keep the bowl in the freezer most of the year (not at the moment, even I think winter is too cold for sorbet) and make up a batch of ingredients the night before I need it. A family favourite is a big tin of mango, a small tin of passion fruit pulp, a little sugar syrup (artificial sweetener also works but doesn?t taste as good), blended, chilled and then sorbeted. Fresh fruit is, of course, best, but not always available ? tinned stuff works fine. If you want to skip a step with the tinned stuff, buy the tins in syrup and you don?t need to make any sugar syrup at all.

The reason I bought a second machine (also at a Salvos and yet to be tested ? it?s a Sunbeam) is efficiency and quantity. The Krupps makes about 750ml at a time and takes about 30-40 minutes to be ready. I need to wash and refreeze the bowl between batches, so even doing one batch early in the morning and one late at night I can?t always keep up with the demand of a large extended family. My nieces and nephew live 15 houses away ? my place and my freezer are very popular on hot summer weekends. Aunty Taph?s sorbet is also in demand for sorbet cakes for the two kids who can?t have soy or dairy and sorbet cakes are usually at least 2 flavours and 2 cake moulds full. Also, when the fresh fruit is available, time is important ? just like with jam making.

In knitting news, one jumper is completely unpicked, unravelled, skeined and washed. Just needs to be wound into balls and it's ready for a new life as hats for the homeless. Three other garments are in various stages of unmaking and should be done by this time next week. I'd forgotten how slow this process is, but it's worth it to save the yarn from the landfill.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Get Real

You are all aware, I'm sure, that Operation Wipeout is
a wish list rather than something achievable.

Yes, Gillian, I do love my lists and like you do the
little easy jobs first. I have been known to add
things to my lists in order to have the pleasure of
crossing them off.

Just the making the list gives me a bit of control

As for soy products. I resent having to eat soy. I
love love love dairy products. My father's family
were dairy farmers for goodness' sake.

Larissa asked for soy recipes. I don't really have
any as such. The soy dip is one carton of Tofutti soy
cream cheese mixed with a handful of chopped gherkins.
With everything else I just substitute soy for dairy
if it's possible. Desserts are a problem. In summer
I make fruit sorbets. The icecream maker is in
constant use in the warmer months. So much so that
I've invested in a second one for this summer.

It could be worse, I have a niece and nephew who can't
have dairy or soy. That rice milk stuff is really
rank. It makes OK pikelets but cakes with it are
lumps of yuk.

Friday, September 01, 2006


THIS is why Margie wasn't so fussed on Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Carribean.

How could the people at Interweave do this to us?