27 April 2013


I made yoghurt.

If you've been reading here for a while you'll probably have noticed I like to make stuff. Clothes, soap, toys, cakes, bread, jams and chutneys. Making my own yoghurt has always been on the list but I wasn't interested in buying special powders or canisters as I knew I'd never keep that up (I also knew yoghurt is just warm milk and bacteria).

I finally got around to it and predictably wondered why it had taken me so long.

I made yoghurt again. I am never going to shut up about this. SO GOOD. SO CLEVER.

I used these instructions and it worked beautifully. Every time.

Behold the delicious yoghurt.

Behold the Delicious Yoghurt.

I've made this for several weeks now and as with my soap, I think I can safely say I won't ever buy shop-bought scary-ingredient-filled commercial stuff again. Have a go, it's so very very good. And it will give you that warm smug glow of a person who knows they will survive the zombie apocalypse, (as long as you remember to save half a cup as a starter to take with you into the zombie-proof shelter).

The cat likes it too.

Your cat will approve too.

25 April 2013

22 April 2013

small treasures


beach treasure

it's just the usual around here, nothing particularly worth recording. There's work, a looming essay, driving children back and forth from soccer matches, laundry, trying to get inspired in the kitchen (Jamie's 15 minute meals is helping, sort of), a 50th birthday party which was good fun, an outing to the Comedy Festival (Denise Scott and Judith Lucy being hilarious), the new Kate Atkinson novel (highly recommended), and the knitting of a pair of husband socks and a cardigan for me.

I planted some Tasmanian Flax in the garden yesterday. And we went to Ikea and bought two armchairs and a rug. The old icky carpet and the two mismatched op shop armchairs are now out by the roadside for Hard Rubbish collection and one chair has gone already. I thought we were the only ones who sat on tatty junkyard chairs. Apparently not.

I received a sewing book in the mail the other day which i must show you. I need to get inspired with the sewing machine too. I seem to sew a lot of clothes but still stare dismally at my wardrobe every morning. Is that physics? Or Murphy's Law or something? Who was Murphy anyway?

My office is freezing today. I'm wrapped in a shawl and my colleague in the office next door is wearing her coat. Oh my god, Autumn.

Ok lunch time is over. Back to the computer screen and some speedy typing to warm up my fingers.

(Beachy treasures were from our Easter break at Waratah Bay).

11 April 2013

tilting towards autumn

Lunch hour duck

Autumn mantelpiece.

good things today:

submitting the essay
learning that the scary lumps are benign cysts
cracking open the new Kate Atkinson which had been set aside as a post-essay treat

6 April 2013

finished knits

Not one, not two, but three (!) black shawls to show you. These are all destined to be gifts for other people.

Black garter ridge shawl, traditional triangle

First up, a plain black traditional triangle, with a few garter ridges thrown in. It's kind of like the Boneyard Shawl, the Romney Triangle and the body of Terra before the lace, all rolled in together but without actually following the instructions from any of those. Knitted until it felt big enough.

Grey and black Textured Shawl, extra wide

A grey Textured Shawl but modified to include increases on all rows, not just right side rows, to result in a wide, shallow triangle which the wearer could, if she wished to emulate Tess of the D'Urbervilles, wrap around herself and tie behind her back. (So when she's picking cabbages in a muddy field her shawl ties don't trail in the muck).

The modification to the pattern means it uses a surprising amount more yarn than usual, and i ran out of the grey Pear Tree 8ply yarn when the shawl was still not quite the size i was after. I opted to border it with the last of the black Pear Tree 8ply i'd dyed to knit the first shawl, and i'm quite pleased with the effect.

Cladonia, extra wide

And finally, another Cladonia, modified to make it bigger for more wrappage. This used the last of my precious stash of The Knittery slim sock yarn and as it looks unlikely that The Knittery will ever return, that's the last time i'll knit with this lovely yarn, sadly. It is my favourite sock yarn - silky but strong, with a lovely sheen and gorgeous drape. Perfect for delicate shawls and also the best yarn i've ever used for socks. *mourns*

This black shawl was dyed too, although i opted to dye it once it was complete. I prefer yarn dyeing to garment dyeing, but the skein had already been dyed once and balled, and i was not going to undo all that work. Besides, i was hoping that the previous dye job (olive and plum) would work for the shawl. Unfortunately it did not. And so i did what i always do when in doubt - overdye the whole thing black and call it done.

Now to wrap them all up ready for gifting, as they say. When did that noun become a verb? I think i prefer "ready for giving". Yes, much better.

All three shawls are ravelled, here.