Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Simple Country Life....

It's always busy round here this time of year as we prepare for the long hot Summer...
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There's dam fences to mend, stick piles to burn, goats to muster, garden beds to prep, veggies to plant, sheep to shear, more fences to build (and mend), fence lines to clear and if you're one of my girls, pockets to fill...
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Today, while I mended holes in old fences my girls helped out in other ways....
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They piled up sticks, collected flowers for drying and filled their pockets full of rocks - eager to take home for washing and painting, these always make the perfect gifts.

We really do love our Simple Country Life*!!!*

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Skinny Taiyo

I've had this crochet scarf made for a couple of months now and just love it..
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I love it that much that I thought I'd share the pattern with you all... This scarf works well with any wool but for the striping effect that I have in mine Noro Taiyo is a must.
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So grab yourself a 6.5mm hook and 300yards of yarn (make sure it's thicker than a 10ply) and we'll get started*!!*

Skinny Scarf Pattern
There are only 2 stitches that you need to know for this scarf, chain and half double crochet(hdc) - if you've never done a hdc before follow this link for a great easy how-to.
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O.K. now that you have your materials and you know all of the stitches you need to make a REALLY long chain. Don't worry about counting just chain until it's long enough to wrap around your neck a few times loosely, mine is about 2.5m long.
Row 1 - hdc into the 3rd chain from the hook and in each chain across.
Row 2 - Chain 2, turn and hdc in each hdc across.
Repeat Row 2 until you run out of yarn (I got 7 rows from my Noro Taiyo).
Fasten off, sew in your ends and you're done!!

I also like to add a couple of buttons to one of the narrow ends of my scarf so that I can fasten it into a loop around my neck but that's totally up to you.
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The red skirt is something I came up with at the start of the month when I was in desperate need of an outfit to wear to the Picnic Race's down the road at Louth.
It's a simple box pleat construction made using a similar technique to this one over at Burda.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

just the right amount of 'BULK'....

I've had this shawl off the needles since May but for some reason forgot to blog about it
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I made it to enter into the 'Knitted Shawl' category of my local Agricultural Show and am so thrilled that it actually won 1st Place!!!!
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I used the super simple 'Damson' pattern from the Whimsical Little Knits 2 book ($22 in my shop). Ysolda you are a pattern writing GENIUS!!! I loved every minute of making this shawl from the start right up to the blocking at the end....
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The Malabrigo Sock yarn was the perfect match for this shawl and used up all but 10 yards of the 440 from the 100g skein. With only 1 skein in this shawl it's perfect for wearing right now, as the days start to warm and the nights are still a little chilly - it's just the right amount of 'bulk'.

I currently have 4 shades of the Malabrigo Sock left in my shop if you're interested - they're $19.40 per skein!

I also made the skirt I'm wearing in these pix to wear to our local Picnic Race Day. I used this great tutorial from Burda and some Raw Silk I scored from the sewing shop down the street for $5 a metre. My whole skirt cost a total of $7.50 - WHAT A BARGAIN!!!!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Klamath....

I've been working on a couple of shawls for a dear friend over the past couple of weeks and with their completion last night I couldn't wait for sunlight to share some pictures with you all...
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The pattern that I used was the awesome Klamath - a FREE download off Ravelry...
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It has a whopping 14 PAGES!!!! But the designer really explains the whole process of the construction of the shawl perfectly - even a beginner could tackle this one...
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I used some of the divine Malabrigo Silky Merino which will soon be added to my shop and I'm absolutely loving the way that it drapes with this pattern.
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You are an amazingly kind hearted and generous woman Judy and I do so hope you love your shawls!!!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Shortbread....

Last Friday a gorgeous friend popped by my shop for a bit of 'knitting time' and with her bought the most delicious shortbread I'd ever tasted.....
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Kylie, your shortbread's are amazing and thank-you so very much for sharing your super simple recipe with me..... I made my first batch this morning, adding passion-fruit butter to half and orange jam to the other half - they are absolutely D E L I C I O U S !!!!!

So, here's the basic recipe for the shortbread and you can add anything you like to the middle of them for extra flavour.

Kylie's Shortbread
Blend 1 cup of plain flour, 1/2 cup of icing sugar and 1/2 cup of butter with a dough hook in a mix-master (I use a kenwood chef) until it all comes together like a dough.... Press teaspoons of the mixture into a mini muffin tin. I used the point-y end of a wooden spoon to poke holes in the middle of my shortbread, approx 3/4 of the way down. Fill this up with jam, chocolate, curd, fruit, nuts etc, this is totally up to your taste! Bake at 170'C for 20mins or until shortbread is browned all the way around the edges. Remove from oven and leave in pan for 5 mins before turning out to cool on a wire rack....

Monday, August 15, 2011

Dirty Hands...

This morning I've been planting out some of the seedlings I've had growing for the past month or so on the front veranda - protected from the elements....
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There is at least 20 Pea plants (mixed),
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120 Golf Ball Carrots,
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and too many Beetroot's to worry about counting... Next up is the task of separating all of the onions, ready for planting some time today as well....
Are you getting your hands dirty this morning?? If so what's going in the ground (or pot) where you live?

If you can remember back here, I thinned out some Iris plants and transplanted them all round my garden...
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Over the past couple of weeks, as the weather starts to warm a little, they've found their legs and are looking as healthy as one could hope - bring on Spring and maybe a bloom or 2...

Saturday, August 13, 2011

French Press Slippers

I've had the Crochet French Press Slipper pattern set aside for quite some time now, waiting on just the right shade of Malabrigo Worsted to come my way.
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Well, when my latest shipment arrived this week and I saw the gorgeous Coco colour-way I knew it was time to start hooking....
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This pattern was so quick to whip up (3 hrs MAX!), looks super cute and the finished slippers are SOOO comfy on my tied feet...shoe 1
I made the size 7/8 and a used a 5.5mm hook(not the 5mm they recommended) - they fit my 8 1/2 foot perfectly! I didn't even use 1/2 a 100g skein for my pair of slippers - now that's value!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Bread....

While the wind whips away outside today we're snuggled up inside, not too far from the wood fire - making bread.....
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As I set a 'honey & oat' loaf aside for its final rise and clear off my side of the bench Connie puts the finishing 'sprinkle' on a special concoction of her own.....
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So tell me, do you like to make your own bread??? If so, are you a bread-machine kinda girl or do you like the process of making the whole loaf from scratch yourself?

I go both ways and feel that each method is equally as good as the other. My bread machine is used every other day and produces the yummiest crusty white loaf my family and I have ever tasted, where as the oven is used twice daily to produce small, crunchy, mouth-watering, Artisan style loaves.

Am I making you hungry yet????

Thursday, August 4, 2011

HOME

We sure are glad to be home....
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After 4 long days away nothing quite beats the feel of your own bed as you nestle in for the night. Connie's camp was loads of fun but when I walked through the front door last night and took a deep breath in - it sure was good to be home...

Are you a 'home-body' like me too or do you prefer spending time out and about???

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

*Shop Update*

I've been trying my hardest to take a snapshot of what yarn I have in the shop at the moment and load it onto my website.... So far I've only managed to get through all of the 'Cascade' and still have 'Malabrigo', 'Debbie Bliss', 'Noro', 'Nundle' and then there's the 'hand-spun' to snap....
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So, with a new shipment of Cascade hitting my shelves this Thursday there will be 26 shades of 220 Heathers,
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4 shades of Alpaca Lace,
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20 shades of 128 Chunky,
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16 shades of 220 Sport..... 5
12 shades of Cotton Rich,
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7 shades of Sierra,
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and 50% off the last 3 shades of the Arcadia I used for this hat...... Phew.... I've even added new postage options for the website too with any order over 3kg getting FREE postage - pretty cool hey??? And the most you'll pay on any other order below 3kg is $11.20...