Saturday, 7 May 2016

Charlie's Jumper

I've taken the sizing and stitch numbers from an old garter stitch pattern I bought second-hand from the library so this jumper pattern looks nothing like that one. The basic knitting is very easy, picking up the stitches around the neck and decreasing to form the V may require some help if you haven't done it before.

The two I have made so far are to fit am 18 month old toddler and as I have used 2 different colours. They would take about 100gms for the main colour and 30-40 of a contrast colour, less for the smaller sizes. I've used a nice, soft hand-wash acrylic yarn from Spotlight for around $2-3 a 100gm ball so they have been very inexpensive too...should be hardy for a busy little boy next Winter. The yarn is by 4Seasons and is called Stallion Acrylic...

You'll need your trusty UK size 10 and 8 knitting needles(3.25mm and 4 mm), a stitch marker or a small loop of brightly coloured yarn and 2 stitch holders or spare needles. Around about 150 gms of yarn, all one colour or some contrast yarn too
Sizes 6mos(12mos and 18mos)


Using smaller needles cast on 58(62, 66) sts and work 12 rows in single rib.

Change to larger needles and work in stocking stitch until your work measures 16(18, 20) cms from the beginning, ending with a wrong side row.

Cast off 4 stitches at the beginning of the next 2 rows and then continue without shaping until your work measures 26(29, 31.5) cms
Cast off 11(12, 13) sts at the beg. of next 2 rows and slip remaining sts onto a stitch holder or spare needle.


Work as for back until your work measures 18.5(21, 22)cms then we divide to form the V-neck ...

Shape Neck

Knit 25(27, 29) sts and slip these onto a spare needle/stitch holder, knit to end.
Purl 1 row, turn
Decrease 1 st at beginning of next and every alt row 14(15,16) times and then continue until it measures the same as the back, cast off the remaining 11(12,13) sts.

Join the yarn to the sts on the other side/holder and complete that, decreasing at the neck edge as before.


Cast on 36(40,44) sts on the smaller needles and work 12 rows of single rib, switch to larger needles and work until it measures 19(21,23)sts....increase at each end of every 10th row and add stripes if desired...actually the stripes really help with the counting of every 10th row ;)
Cast off.
Make two.


Join right shoulder seam and then with right side facing you and smaller needles pick up 34(36,38) sts down to the middle, place marker, pick up one more st and place another marker then pick up the same number of stitches up the other side of the front. Knit across stitches on the holder for the back.

Work 6 rows of single rib, working two sts together at each side of the marker then cast off loosely.
If this is a new technique to you then have a look at this link which explains it much better than I can
Knitting and More

Now you can join the left shoulder seam, attach your sleeves and then sew up the sides and down the sleeve edges, fitting around the 4 cast off sts that are to set in the sleeves.

Happy knitting...Charlie is due today but appears to be digging his heels about this!
Hope you have a relaxing weekend

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Kushari~Egyptian Meal, Frugal But Oh So Delicious

I watched Maeve's Food Safari one afternoon last week and she showed Egyptian cooks preparing several different recipes including Kushari, a scrumptious blend of rice, pasta and lentils with a tomato sauce and fried onions. We both really enjoyed this meal with some sour cream, I even had it on toast for breakfast the next morning...

I was lucky to be able to buy the spice Baharat locally as that was the only thing I didn't have handy, everything is pretty much standard pantry fare, I think a fried egg on top will be a lovely addition too.

I used a can of puy or French style lentils some-one had given me, plus about 2 cups each of cooked Basmati rice and macaroni elbows and about 3/4 bottle of passata(2 cups?) instead of the tomato paste and water. I made a lot more fried onion than is showing here and half a long red chilli from my garden.

Another spicy rice recipe we loved recently was the Cajun Chicken and Rice from this list by Pioneer Settler. I had to use a Mexican chilli mix but have bought some Cajun seasoning for next time...I also used fresh onion and capsicums rather than frozen as they are plentiful and cheap at the moment. We can't buy the tomatoes with chillies here so I used fresh tomatoes and a few slices of bottled jalapeƱos... the grated cheddar cheese mixed through was lovely too...

It's Mother's Day here on Sunday, I have asked the 'children' to ignore it this year, my first without Mum. It won't go completely un-noticed as our grandson is due on Saturday and so hopefully my daughter in love will celebrate her first ever Mother's Day, her own Mum flew in from interstate yesterday to share the joy.

Much of this post resonates with me and I do find comfort in some places and unexpected pain in others, Bree helped by folding some of Mum's clothes to take to a charity shop for me but it's a very slow job de-cluttering her possessions...they have to go some-where that they can be used but we don't want to let them go. One day at a time for now.

So please enjoy your weekend and your family, take time to smell the roses

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Around the Garden

So lovely and fresh but it would have been much better if I hadn't left my camera out's currently sitting in a dish of raw rice which I hope will draw out the moisture!

Our neighbour, Nadia, has taken many cuttings of her Euphorbia Cotinifolia without ever knowing it's name. I asked an on-line gardening community and it was quickly indentified, it's very tree-like but is actually a perennial so I am going to plant it in front of the passionfruit vine to provide some shade from the afternoon sun in Summer. Nadia has cut hers to train them into small trees and they are stunning...

In it's large pot is the Papa Meilland rose I bought not long after we lost Mum, she has one at the family home and always loved it's fragrance, her other favourite is Mr Lincoln...

The passionfruit vine is going gang-busters, the flowers are so unusual and the fruit so delicious that  it's a must for every warm garden...

Still good drying weather...

a black and white corner...quite un-intentional but rather eye-catching...the white daisy was also a cutting from Nadia...

I sat down after a crazy busy day of looking for Dad's wallet around his house and view was instantly soothing...

the herbs are so lush at the moment with all the rain we've had, I've started to save the basil seeds as they appear and ripen...

saving my chilli seeds too, these grew from some seeds in a chilli our neighbour, Nong, gave me last year...I also have bird's eye chillies from her seeds...


these little cherubs never complain and are always smiling...

My garden isn't big but it certainly packs a punch and I love that so many of my plants have been grown from cuttings or seeds from my neighbours. My son and his wife have taken several frangipani cuttings to grow at their house, it will be nice to watch them grow in the coming years.

No rabbit pics these days and Twitch sure is missed, he loved this little courtyard so much but the great news is that our little grandson is due this week so please keep him and his Mummy in your thoughts.

I hope your week is going well and Dad found his wallet shortly after I'd been to the bank to cancel his cards!
Ah well, here's always knitting and here are 6 more reasons to enjoy it

Love from Sue