Archive for April, 2008

Nothing from me today (hopefully I’ll have some finished quilt blocks to show you tomorrow).

But I just had to give you this link. Please go here and have a look at my friend Kerin’s fabulous work!

See you tomorrow

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Here’s Gorgeous Girl ready to draw the name – 45 entries! That’s the same number of comments I got when she was born.

Who will it be?

What do you mean I can’t eat it?

And the winner?

Slightly moist around the edges, but it’s number 12 – The Chocolate Cat.

She’s a relatively new blogger, and a fellow Aussie. Send me an email with your address and let me know if you’d prefer a knitter’s or quilter’s prize, and it’ll be in the mail for you (just as soon as I’ve bought it, and finished making up the hand made thingy – it won’t be long, I promise).

I have to say, I’m finding it hard to keep up with my blog reading. A number of factors, one is that I’m still teaching 5 hours a week (there were contractual overlaps) and, after spending 8 hours a day in front of a computer, it’s really quite hard to get motivated to spend more time there even if you are all very interesting. I’m sure that once I get settled into a routine it will be easier.

Next week has three public holidays, so Gorgeous Man and I are taking Gorgeous Girl on her first camping trip – tent and all. I’ll have pictures when I get back…

I’m going to be taking lots of knitting with me – it’s a fairly long drive there and then of course I’m going to need something to do. Hopefully I’ll come back with some finished items!

Congratulations Chocolate Cat – please email me with your address!

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Greetings, I’m feeling much better, after hitting a low point on Saturday.

I have a question for all the knitters out there. My hands are getting cold typing on the computer all day and I want to make a pair of fingerless gloves. I’d like to use the Malabrigo yarn that Beth sent.

Does anyone know of a pattern for this yarn?

Do you think Fetching from Knitty would work with Malabrigo – the gauge looks about the same, but I’d need to knit a swatch to be sure.

Any advice or comments, or links to patterns would be appreciated. Just remember that I’m not on Ravelry (I had to make a choice between reading about knitting and actually knitting – knitting won) so I can’t access patterns from there if you leave me a link to one.

I thanking you in advance for your collective wisdom.

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Don’t forget to enter my contest! You have until Thursday.

Well, it’s been really cold here this week and so I got out some hand knits for Gorgeous Girl to wear. These items were knitted long before she was even a gleam in the eye. I had some yarn leftover from a gift that I had made and I knitted it up into a little jumper and a not so little hat, you know for ‘one day’.

The hat is still a bit big, though the jumper fits quite well.

Yesterday we put her in this outfit from my friend Kerin.

In other news, I have the flu. Friday and Saturday were dreadful, but I’m feeling much better now and just have a runny nose and lingering cough.

I’ve finished quilting another block, I’m not really thrilled with the stitching (note to self, don’t stitch while ill) but I’m not pulling it out because so far I’m on-track for my self-imposed deadline.

There has been reading this weekend.

2008 Book List

18. The Secret Life of a Knitter – Stephanie Pearl McPhee (aka the Yarn Harlot)

19. The Yarn Harlot Casts Off – Stephanie Pearl McPhee

Thanks Beth! I really enjoyed reading them.

Well I’m off to wack on a dvd and do some more hand quilting while Gorgeous Girl is sleeping. Enjoy your weekend.

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Well, my big news is that I have a new job. I’m working as a Customer Support Agent for an internet start-up. I get to telecommute (fancy-schmancy way of saying work from home) with regular trips into the office (which is Gorgeous Girl friendly). If you are interested in creating your own web-page ours is free and really easy to use. Leave me a comment and I’ll give you the links. I have blogging to thank, seriously I’d never have been confident enough with my computer skills 2 years ago.

Which brings me to even happier news. To celebrate my new job, and because I’m getting very close to 30 000 hits (who would have thought so many of you would read this little blog!) I’m going to have a giveaway.

To enter simply leave a comment on this post. This is a fabulous chance to de-lurk (just saying) I’d like to know where you come from and how you found my blog (if you can remember). I’d also like to know if you are a knitter, quilter or both.

I’ll get Gorgeous Girl to draw a winner next Thursday, I’ll have to be quick to get the winning number out of her hand before she puts it in her mouth 🙂 but I’m sure we can manage.

Up for grabs will be a prize tailored to the winner.

If you are a quilter I will send you a selection of South African indigo (shwe-shwe) and some other fabric and a little something made by my (hopefully I can finish it, what with my new job and all).

If you are a knitter there will be some yarn and a little something made by me.

I promise not to send any of you biltong 🙂 I still haven’t tried it and I’ve been here two years.

If you are both a knitter and a quilter you will receive a mix of goodies.

I will not be shopping or posting until the end of the month, given that I need to finish the little something, the car needed repairs today and I need to wait for pay day from my new job…

So, comment away…

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A little while ago I won a contest on Beth’s blog for some yarn. Her parcel arrived yesterday, and I was overwhelmed. There was so much more in it than just the yarn I was expecting.

Beautiful malabrigo yarn (this is going to marinate while I ruminate on the perfect pattern – suggestions welcome), a book for Gorgeous Girl (which she thinks is hilarious, apparently Mummy making animal noises is very funny), some fabulous fabric and two Yarn Harlot books which are impossible to get here! I’m halfway through one already.

Thank you so much Beth!

I promised you a dahl recipe. This makes a ton of it, so I always freeze half.


2 large carrots

2 large parsnips

1 large onion

2 stock cubes (beef flavour)

500 grams of red lentils (about 1.1023 pounds) 🙂

fresh ginger (about 5 centimetres – 2 inches)

two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil



Finely chop the onion and saute in a large saucepan with the oil.

Grate the carrots and parsnips (I use a food processor) and add to the onion

Grate the ginger finely and add to the pot.

Pour in the packet of red lentils and then add water (about 6 cups) it should be an inch or so above the vegetables and lentils. NB I use water I’ve already boiled in the electric kettle to cut down on cooking time)

Stir well, bring to the boil, then turn down to the lowest setting on your stove, cover with a lid and leave it until cooked.

Simple really. You may also wish to add salt, depending on the saltiness of your stock cubes. It’s great with fresh crusty bread, and is always better the second day. In fact I usually make it and then leave it overnight in the fridge.

2008 Book List

17. Trajectories – Julian Rathbone

Come back tomorrow for a big annoucement.

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Guild committee meeting went very well. They were most excited about the website that I created for them. It still needs a lot of work, and it’s my first time designing a website – though this was a really easy programme to use (and it’s free!).

I asked if there had been further complaints about Gorgeous Girl – there hadn’t, and we spoke about ways around the ‘problem’. The committee is quite keen to keep it’s younger members, so I’ve got support from that end. We are going to change the way that the hall is set up, to maximise sound, this will also be better for me because I’ll be able to stand at the door and see what’s going on rather than have to peer around the edges. We will also look again at the constitution, but that will need to wait until the chair-lady comes back from visiting family in the UK.

The eye-roller (it turns out) has trouble hearing, she is going to be sounded out by a friend of hers who is on the committee so that looks like it’s sorted as well.

I didn’t get much hand quilting done today, Gorgeous Girl didn’t want to sleep much this afternoon. So rather than bore you with an ‘in-progress’ shot I’ll present one of my favourite pictures of Gorgeous Girl instead.

ok, you twisted my arm! Here’s another one:

I really will post the dahl recipe tomorrow, but now I’m off to sneak in a little quilting before the Gorgeous Girl wakes for her next feed.

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This weekend I decided to participate in Judy’s quiltathon. The time difference between South Africa and the USA makes it hard to report in real time, but it was still fun to set aside time just for quilting. I didn’t get as much done as I’d like, but I remind myself that I do have a baby, and I’m battling the flu.

I finished one block on the hand-quilted quilt.

You can’t see the quilting very well, but it’s very, very wonky baptist fans. I also started on the zebra foot block.

I should be able to finish this one today, child and housework permitting.

I have a quilting guild committee meeting today. Where I will ask if there were complaints about Gorgeous Girl’s happy noises this month, mention the hostile glares and ask if the guild is willing to change it’s constitution (no children under 12) to accommodate the two young mothers (the other baby that comes is two months younger than Gorgeous Girl). If I can’t get a satisfactory response then I will need to resign from the committee and take some time off from the guild.

I made my favourite dahl last night and will try to post a recipe later today.

2008 BookList

16. The Last Samurai – Helen DeWitt

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It’s been one of those weeks, after my great start with the hand quilting last week I haven’t done much at all this week. Gorgeous Man has been sick, I feel like I’m getting what he’s got and there’s some other stuff going on that has eaten into quilting time, but I can’t talk about that yet. Don’t you hate it when bloggers do that:)

Moving right along, in order to avoid a block by block update of the hand quilting I’m going to direct you over to Starfish who made a dpn holder from the tutorial I wrote for the Sew,Mama,Sew competition. Hello, if you came over from there, by the way.

Judy is having a quiltathon again this weekend, and I’m going to try and participate as much as I can. So hopefully there will be some pictures of more quilt blocks on Monday.

Gorgeous Girl has decided that she likes apple and that eating is hilarious. I’m not sure she actually realises it’s food, but she’s having a good time. I’ll leave you with a picture of her ‘feeding’ herself.

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The hand quilting continues

The hand quilting is coming along well. If I can maintain my current pace then I will be finished before my self-imposed deadline. I’ve finished a plain block, a monkey block, and a guinea fowl block since my last post. I won’t bore you with all of the blocks, but here is the guinea fowl.

The fabric in this block has an interesting story. I bought the background red at a guild ‘bring and sell your unwanted stash day’, the head fabric and the chest fabric come from the first quilt I made – knew there was a reason for saving tiny scraps, and the spotted fabric was also bought at the guild sale day, from a woman who was ‘selling’ fabric samples (she has a store) glued on cards in return for a donation to charity – our guild supports a local charity that works with sexually abused children in the local area.

I bet you’re all wondering how we went at the guild meeting yesterday. (What? You’re not?!) Well, I positioned myself by the door (so we could exit swiftly if there was a problem) and Gorgeous Girl was greeted, patted, kissed, picked up and carried around, and generally made a fuss over as the ladies came in. However, she was in quite a happy mood and wouldn’t sleep. She didn’t cry, but every time she said “Aaah” or “numm num num” as she chewed on her toy one woman would turn around and look and roll her eyes. At one stage I caught her saying something to her friend. (Before you be too hard on this lady, I know she has personal reasons for finding Gorgeous Girl’s presence there difficult and so it may just be the fact that she’s a baby drawing attention to herself rather than the noise issue). But I felt guilty and spent most of the time in the foyer, trying to peer through the door at what was going on. Someone did ask me: “Couldn’t you employ a nanny just for this time to sit in the foyer with her so that you can be in here?” …

Which then brings me to the question, is it worth my time to continue to do that? It was a great meeting, fabulous show and tell and the guest speakers were great, from what I could hear. Our guild leader ‘discovered’ Dear Jane quilts on her last trip to the UK (I don’t think many members of the guild spend much time online) and found a South African quilter (she’s listed on the cd of makers) to come and show hers. She’s made two one in blue shwe shwe fabric (South African indigo with traditional designs) and one in the brown shwe shwe, both with cream sashing. They were fabulous! I would have taken a picture, but my hands were full with Gorgeous Girl. 😦

Anyway, Gorgeous Girl can now sit up for a few minutes at a time. I’m not showing you this picture just for that, but because it’s the first time she’s worn the jumper I knitted for her last year.

It’s still a little big, but she’s so cute in it. Even though it’s warm outside the house feels really cold (it’s a south facing house) so I’m not looking forward to winter. Good thing her mother is a knitter 😉

Since it’s been a while I thought I’d also post a pic of me and the child.

I hate having my picture taken… Anyway, she’s wearing cute bunny slippers from my friend Kerin. There’s a whole outfit that matches them, but that’s still a bit big and I’m waiting for the really cold weather for that one.

Well, Gorgeous Girl is awake and demanding attention, and if you have made it this far congratulations.

Before I go I’d love your opinion on whether you think it’s worth my while to continue with the guild given the hostility from some of the members?

2008 Book List

15. Nathaniel’s Nutmeg – how one man’s courage changed the course of history by Giles Milton

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