Friday, October 24, 2014

Chunky Cable Cowl

It's an exciting day here at the Jorth household. So exciting that Galumph might have woken up to find me shaking him, squealing "TODAY'S THE DAY! TODAY'S THE DAY!"


And then Tyger might have sleepily opened one eye only to discover her mother's face stationed mere millimetres from her own, waiting for that eye to open up so she could excitedly yelp "Wake up, Tyger. TODAY IS HERE!"


And then while everybody was trying to eat their vegemite on toast in peace and get over their rude introduction to the world of the awake, they might have had to put up with somebody tapping on the table with both hands, excitedly chanting "TODAY MY DESTINY IS FULFILLED! TODAY I RULE THE WOOOOOOOORLD!!!!"


Because you know what today is, don't you? I know you've all had it marked in your calendars for ages. That's right - today is the day my first knitting pattern is released. HOORAY!


Introducing the Chunky Cable Cowl. Designed exclusively for Woolarium, this quick knit cowl is the perfect project for beginners wanting to embark upon an easy cable design.


Chunky-Cable1

Knit up in Spud & Chloe Outer (wool and organic cotton) this cowl is so super snuggly soft that you won't ever want to take it off.


The pattern is available free with any purchase of Spud & Chloe Outer from Woolarium. The cowl has been designed to be a quick and satisfying knit - on 10mm needles it knits up in no time at all, making it perfect for Christmas gifts (or just multiple versions for yourself!)


Chunky-Cable2

We have a few more exclusive patterns up our sleeves, so keep an eye on the Woolarium blog for more fabulous quick knit designs. And while I'm at it, a big thank you to Sharron at Woolarium for this awesome collaboration. This knit design business is so much fun! Especially with a big chunky plaited cable!


If you have any questions, leave a comment and I'll try and get back to you asap.


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Monthly menu plan - October/November


Chilli

It's hot in the city, hot in the city tonight... well, it soon will be with summer practically upon us, and all the delicious spiced-up food I plan I cooking. I'm drooling just thinking about those delectable, tongue-sizzling flavours!


Week One
Monday - Creamy chicken and rocket pasta
Tuesday - Potato, pea and pumpkin samosas with salad
Wednesday - Spinach and ricotta cannelloni with salad
Thursday - Lentil and sweet potato salad with feta croutons
Friday - Red coconut curry salmon with Asian coleslaw
Saturday - Quinoa burgers with beet and feta relish
Sunday - Brown walnut butter and brie pasta with rocket salad


Week Two
Monday - Baked gnocchi spanakopita with steamed greens
Tuesday - Indian spiced red lentil soup
Wednesday - Asparagus and pea risotto with smoked salmon and rocket
Thursday - Spaghetti and meatballs with garden salad
Friday - Chilli chicken with creamed corn, with lemony broccoli
Saturday - Pea, broad bean and haloumi fritters with salad
Sunday - Rice paper rolls


Week Three
Monday - Broccoli pesto pasta with garden salad
Tuesday - Spicy rice and sweet potato biryani with baked eggs
Wednesday - Moroccan lentil and chickpea soup with garlic bread
Thursday - Beef and vegetable meatloaf with mash and gravy
Friday - Buckwheat crespelles with spinach and ricotta
Saturday - Green curry with crispy salmon and peas
Sunday - Roasted vegetable, cheese and cranberry filo pie with salad


Week Four
Monday - Greek bean and silverbeet stew
Tuesday - Red chicken curry with quinoa (with added vegetables)
Wednesday - Roasted tomato and lentil soup with croutons and garden salad on the side
Thursday - Salmon dauphinois with steamed vegetables
Friday - Chops with potato and asparagus salad

Friday, October 17, 2014

If it ain't broke...

Lotus

And now for something really different, I'm making a dress made out of red and pink! I know - crazy, huh?

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Florals


Floral

Sabrina the (occasionally grumpy) dressmaker's model had been in surprisingly good spirits for weeks, but those happy feelings were beginning to ebb somewhat. "For", she thought as Jorth dashed past her, "who couldn't be full of felicitous bliss when wearing a dress as floral as this? However, would it be too much to ask for the darn skirt to be attached? Hmm, Ms I'm-so-busy-with-the-knitting-Jorth?"


Just then, much to her surprise, Jorth came over and lifted her a meter or so from her original position. "What the...?" Sabrina began to mutter, but then swallowed her words when she saw the sewing machine being lugged from its cupboard, which she had previously been standing in front of. Not daring to believe her eyes, she watched with growing rapture as Jorth gathered up the skirt pieces which had been lying neatly overlocked for some weeks past, and put them beside the now set-up sewing machine.


So thrilled was she with this turn of events that she didn't even flinch when Jorth stripped the completed bodice off her, for she knew that before the day was over, she would be resplendent in the full dress. Quietly, so quietly that the spools of cotton in the haberdashery buffet could barely hear her, let alone Jorth with her sub-standard human ears, she began to hum "Kiss From A Rose", and settled in to watch Jorth finish her new favourite dress.

Monday, October 06, 2014

Changes


Green Yarn

It's been a bit quiet around these parts, my friends, and to you all I must apologise, but life decided to throw a few curves balls our way, and when I am busy try to catch curve balls (anybody who has seen my feeble sporting attempts will know the catching isn't in my top 10 - or even maybe top 100 - skill set) I find that the old blog tends to get neglected.


Neglecting, however, makes me sad. I like my blog. I like being able to chat and interact with you all. So I've decided to give you a quick roundup on what's been going on, and hopefully now things have settled down somewhat I'll be back to my blogging best soon. So, in a nutshell:


- My father-in-law has been quite ill with an acute leukaemia. He's currently undergoing chemo, and is responding well to the treatment, thank goodness. So as a family we have been spending a LOT of time at the cancer hospital, which I can't praise highly enough for the brilliant job they are doing.


 - Just in case you thought we might be sick of hospitals, poor old Tyger came down with a vomiting bug so severe that we ended up with her at the Royal Children's Hospital. It turned out to be a nasty viral gastro, but for a while there was concern that it might be appendicitis. That was fun!


 - Then of course, just as Tyger was on the mend Galumph came down with the bug.


 - And, never one to be left out, I picked it up too. We went through a LOT of Pine-O-Cleen that week!


 - Whilst overtired and recovering from all this, I stubbed my toe so badly that I think I fractured it. So there was hobbling, too. Yay!


 - I changed jobs. It's actually been quite a stress-free process, and I love where I work now, but that was another life-changing unit thrown into the mix!


- I found out my bestie is moving to Darwin. I have gotten so used to seeing her beautiful face everyday as we take our children to school that I pretty much bawled when she told me the news. I am already feeling quite bereft at the thought that she won't be around. I think a holiday to Darwin might have to be on the cards for next year, because she is truly one of those people who lights up your day with her smile, and soothes every concern with her wise words, and I need my fix! Especially when trying to catch curve balls.


- Galumph has been crazy busy at work, and has pretty much worked through 5 weeks straight, with only the odd day off here and there. However we did just have a weekend together, which was lovely. Two days off in a row - felt like a novelty!


So that is about the sum of things. Still, fear not - there has been knitting and even a bit of sewing going on, so keep on eye on this space, and hopefully there will be some new projects featured here soon.


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Monthly menu plan - August/September


Asparagus

So many things I love about this time of year. Salads are starting to make themselves known again. The jasmine is out. And asparagus is finally back! Woo hoo!

Week One:
Monday - Macaroni and cheese with broccoli, cauliflower, peas and corn, with a garden salad
Tuesday - Lemon, lentil and spinach soup
Wednesday - North African beef, barley and bean stew with sweet potato mash
Thursday - Huevos rancheros
Friday - Sweet potato and salmon cakes with dill yoghurt and salad
Saturday - Roast chicken
Sunday - Chicken and pea risoni (using left over roast chicken)

Week Two:
Monday - Cauliflower and lentil pilaf
Tuesday - Creamy potato and silverbeet soup with salad
Wednesday - Italian sausage and red wine risotto
Thursday - Spanish tuna pasta bake with salad
Friday - Chickpea pilaf with haloumi
Saturday - Pancetta wrapped salmon with potato salad and rocket salad
Sunday - Tuscan peasant soup

Week Three:
Monday - Silverbeet and chicken barley risotto with peas
Tuesday - Spinach and ricotta cannelloni with chunky lentil sauce, with garden salad
Wednesday - Creamy sweet potato, onion and pumpkin soup with garlic croutons
Thursday - Vegetable, bacon and risoni soup
Friday - Spinach and corn pasties with salad
Saturday - Rack of lamb roast
Sunday - Beef and red wine stew with mash

Week Four:
Monday - Pastitsio with salad
Tuesday - Spinach impossible pie with green salad
Wednesday - Tomato and basil soup with croutons and salad
Thursday - Sweet and sour pork
Friday - Baked potatoes with the works
Saturday - Zucchini pasta with rocket
Sunday - Ratatouille with polenta

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Baby booties


Booties

How adorable are these baby booties, eh? So teeny! And tiny! The perfect gift for Tyger's favourite teacher, who is calling her soon-to-be born little one 'Peanut'. So much cuter than 'Bump', which is what poor Tyger got stuck with. Sorry about that, Tygs.

Welcome soon to the world, Peanut!

Project Details
Pattern: Saartje's Booties by Saartje de Bruijn (free pattern on Ravelry!)
Yarn: Left-over partial ball of Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino
Needles: 2.75mm
Notions: 4 buttons

This is a great, quick and easy knit - in fact, I think I spent more time sewing them together than I did actually knitting. I made the newborn size in a gender neutral colour, with cute red buttons to brighten things up.

Ravelried here.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Calling on Mr Abbott: More bicycle infrastructure funds, please!


Wheels


Dear Prime Minister Tony Abbott,

As an Australian family who are committed to leaving a safer, better, greener world for our daughter, I was rather dismayed to discover that funding for bicycle paths was not included in the 2014/15 Infrastructure budget. We need more people on bikes now! Reasons for this include:

1 -  63% of Australians are inactive.

2 -  Inactivity costs us a staggering 13.8 billion every year (in health and associated costs).

3 -  59% of Australians want to ride a bike but they're concerned about cars and trucks.

4 -  Separated lanes will overcome that concern.

5 -  If 59% of people take up riding we'll save at least $8.1 billion - every single year.

6 -  $7.5 billion will buy 7500 kilometres of separated bike lanes and paths.

7 -  It will transform Australia into the most bike friendly and physically active country in the world!

8 - Once word gets around that Australia is the most bike friendly country in the world, the tourists will flock like crazy. Everybody loves a country full of cute bike riders. Just ask the Danish and the Dutch!

So on behalf of bike riders everywhere, I humbly ask that you reconsider the Infrastructure budget, and find some money for bikes. $7.5 billion should do the trick in not only making us the envy of the world, but will do wonders for reducing obesity, pollution and a huge range of lifestyle cancers (how much do we spend on that each year, huh?)

Yours sincerely,
Jorth

PS Imagine that you did spend the money on creating safe bicycle lanes for one and all. Every time a cute bike rider pedalled past, you could think "Hey! I did that!". I'll leave you with that thought, Tony.

You can follow the Bicycle Network's Please Tony campaign here.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Leafy Greens Blanket

The stork carefully stored the package that Jorth handed to him, carefully wrapped in brown paper and string, and as he flew off into the sunset he had one simple, grateful thought: that delivering presents for soon-to-arrive babies was sure as heck a lot easier than delivering the bubs themselves.

Leafy Greens #1


Leafy Greens #2


Leafy Greens #3


Project Details
Pattern: Leafy Baby Blanket by Leyla Alieva (free pattern!)
Yarn: 7 balls of Zara by Filatura Di Crosa, yarn held double throughout
Needles: 5mm needles

I really, REALLY enjoyed knitting this sweet baby blanket up. Since the yarn was held double, it went by pretty quick, and I would have gotten it finished sooner except I ran one ball short, so had to dash off to the yarn store before I could finish it. D'oh!

The blanket itself isn't huge, but is the perfect size for tucking into a pram or over a car seat to keep their precious occupant snug and warm. This is a definite knitting win to chalk up on the board!

Ravelried here.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Monthly Menu Plan - July/August


Cake

Slow braises, pasta bakes, lasagne sheets made from scratch... this is truly not the winter of my discontent. And since it's a dual birthday month at our place, there's plenty of cake as well. Yippee!

Week One
Monday - Salmon, pea and potato cakes with garden salad
Tuesday - Lemon, lentil and spinach soup
Wednesday - Tomato, pea, bacon and spinach risotto with rocket salad
Thursday - Broccoli and pecorino pasta with garden salad
Friday - Lemon pepper pilaf
Saturday - Farro, butternut pumpkin and romesco salad
Sunday - Macaroni with peas, with a green salad

Week Two
Monday - Roasted vegetable 'speltotto' with kale
Tuesday - Tofu and noodle stirfry
Wednesday - Pumpkin and haloumi burgers with coleslaw
Thursday - Spanish tuna pasta bake with salad
Friday - Creamy potato and silverbeet soup with cheese toasties
Saturday - Beef stew with sweet potato mash
Sunday - Roast chicken

Week Three
Monday - Creamy chicken pasta with rocket
Tuesday - Ratatouille pies with garden salad
Wednesday - Roast tomato and basil soup with garlic bread
Thursday - Chicken pesto lasagne with rocket salad
Friday - Birthday dinner!
Saturday - Baked potatoes with all the trimmings
Sunday - Lentil cottage pies with corn cobs

Week Four
Monday - Spaghetti and meatballs with salad
Tuesday - Cauliflower, silverbeet and chickpea wraps with tahini
Wednesday - Minestrone a la Jill Dupleix
Thursday - Ham, tomato and ricotta calzones with salad
Friday - Homemade fish and chips

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Party dress!

It's tempting to think that you can't deck yourself in an awesome, home-made party dress when your birthday falls in the middle of winter. Shivering and party poppers don't generally tend to go hand in hand. However, with this incredible pink/red/black brocade, and a little help from Vogue 8902, I have a feeling that I'll be looking pretty snazzy this Saturday night, no matter how darn cold it is outside!

Party Dress

Monday, July 14, 2014

Scrunchie city!

Oftentimes when it is school holidays, I lament that I never seem to get any crafting done, but this thankfully was not the case this time around. In fact, it was scrunchie city! The scrap bag had never seen so much action!
It was also the perfect craft to teach Tyger how to use a proper sewing machine i.e. mine, rather than the semi-toy one she was given a few years ago. She looked rather trepidatious at the beginning, and I began to become somewhat alarmed that something might go wrong and this was a bad idea, but once she got over her initial fears she was soon sewing like a pro. In fact, I had to bark at her to stop treating the machine like a racing car at one stage!

Some may say "Scrunchies? I thought they died with all the other bad early 90s trends!", but let me tell you this: they are hip and happening in this house. Besides, if they are good enough for Hillary Clinton, they are good enough for Tyger!

Scrunchies

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Knitting ON FIRE!

Somebody call the fire brigade, because I am on FIRE, people, FIRE with my knitting of late!

I'm blitzing through Tyger's Flora Layered Leaf Skirt. I'm going great guns on my own patterns. I even spent a wee while today pawing a ball of Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino from my stash and decided to turn it into a supercute pair of baby booties pronto.

And let's not forget this gorgeous leafy blanket that's being made for my besties first child. One and half more pattern repeats and I'll be done. I swear, people are lining up to gawk at me and my super speedy knitting skillz, cos I am like the Usain Bolt of knitting at the moment. Except with Addi Turbos instead of fancy spikes. Although I am tempted to do this awesomely awesome pose after a particularly nice cast on. No wonder people are staring!

I'm also going to be teaching a Learn to Knit class over at Handmaker's Factory this Sat, 12th July, so come along and I'll have you blitzing through the projects in no time.

Now I just need to put the needles down for a while and get my birthday dress sewn. Who needs sleep, eh?

Leafy

Monday, June 23, 2014

An oldie but a goodie


Pink Dress

Jorth glanced out the window, and was displeased with what she saw. The rain was grey, the clouds were grey, and her feelings were grey now that their travelling adventure was over.

"C'mon Jorthy, old lass!" she said to herself. "You know what to do to banish this gloom away. Riffle through the stash and get yourself a sewing project, stat - and better make it nice and pink!"

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Monthly Menu Plan - June/July


Baked Apples

As a complete and utter soup addict, I welcome winter with open arms. Actually, my arms are far from open. One hand is holding an assortment of celery sticks, onions and carrots ready to be chopped finely into a soffritto, and the other is busy polishing my pride and joy - my extra-large-and-perfect-for-soup saucepan.

I am told that there are places - clinics, if you will, and I hope you can hear the sarcasm verily dripping from the italics there - that soup addicts like me can go to, but whenever this is suggested to me I grab the wooden spoon from whatever soup I can currently making and make the rudest sign imaginable with it. I love soup. I will eat it for breakfast, again for lunch, and then follow all that veggie goodness with more soup for dinner. Winter is here, and I'm making soup, darn it. Nobody puts Soupy in a corner!

Week One
Monday - Bean and roasted sweet potato tacos with green salad
Tuesday - Paprika chicken with quinoa tabouleh
Wednesday - Creamy pumpkin soup, plus schwartzbrot with lentil dip.
Thursday - Coconut rice with hot smoked trout
Friday - Roasted vegetable tacos
Saturday - Pearl barley and smoked paprika minestrone
Sunday - Lemon, bean and pea risotto with garden salad

Week Two
Monday - Buttermilk and harissa chicken with spiced carrot couscous and rocket salad
Tuesday - Chilli beef casserole with brown rice
Wednesday - Zucchini pasta with green salad
Thursday - Beetroot and carrot soup
Friday - Out for dinner for a very special girl's birthday!
Saturday - Rag pasta with tomato, brie and basil, with salad
Sunday - Ratatouille topped with feta on a bed of cheesy polenta

Week Three
Monday - Lentil spaghetti Bolognese with green salad
Tuesday - Sweet potato and chilli soup
Wednesday - Persian style lamb pilaf with sautéed spinach
Thursday - Roasted garlic and tomato soup
Friday - Glazed pork cutlets with coleslaw
Saturday - Baked potatoes with the works!
Sunday - Pearl barley minestrone with Italian sausage

Week Four
Monday - Roast chicken with seasonal vegetables
Tuesday - Chicken noodle soup (made with left over chicken)
Wednesday - Roasted vegetable lasagne with salad
Thursday - Spicy bean soup
Friday - Pumpkin and haloumi burgers with wedges
Saturday - Homemade veggie pizzas
Sunday - Quinoa and spinach pilaf with lamb chops

Week Five
Monday - Primavera pearl barley risotto with rocket salad
Tuesday - Vegetable, bacon and risoni soup
Wednesday - Spinach and ricotta cannelloni with salad
Thursday - Roast garlic, leek and potato soup
Friday - Lemon pepper pilaf

Since it's winter, there's nothing better to finish off a soup meal with than delectable baked apples! And that solves the mystery of why a delicious picture of apple dessert was included in this post, rather than my beloved soup. You can find the recipe I created over at Mum's Business.


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Holiday slide show

Hello! Did you miss me? It was pretty darn awesome exploring the world, but as Dorothy once remarked, there is no place like home. We got back on Sunday, and no only has the jetlag pretty much worn off, but the very last load of holiday washing is currently swishing away in the machine, and life is back to its regular scheduling.

I know quite a few of you followed our travels on Instagram, but for those who didn't, here are some holiday snaps. I really, REALLY loved travelling around Switzerland and the UK. If any knitting shops want to sponsor me to live and work over there, send me an email pronto!

Trip1
Jungfrau in Switzerland. Cold but very, very beautiful.

Trip2
Exploring the streets of London, near Marylebone.

Trip3
High Tea at The Savoy. Pure, sugared-up bliss!

Trip4
Hey look - it's Pemberley! Otherwise known as Lyme Park.

Trip5
The ruins of St. Mary's Abbey in York.

Trip6
We drove through Wales on a very wet and wildly windy day. Felt rather apt.

Trip7
The harbour shops in Portree, Isle of Skye, Scotland.

Trip8
The Quiraing on the Isle of Skye. There was no way I was going to try and climb that monster!

Trip9
Wildflowers growing in a rock, of all things, at the Point of Sleat beach. Tough flora!

Trip10
Point of Sleat beach. For most of our time there, we had this perfect beach to ourselves. Bliss!

Trip11
Last but not least, Edinburgh Castle.

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Zürich

This morning found us all snuggled up in bed, map of Zürich in front of us. Museum? Sure. Boat ride along river? Okey dokes. Tour the churches? But of course.

But then we started walking, and after a few minutes decided to throw all of our plans out of the window. Zürich is just so beautiful! The sun was shining, and every corner threw up another ridiculously beautiful view. The river walk was stunning, the laneways perfect for exploring, and the city's citizens all seemed to be out and in a jolly mood, soaking up the rays themselves and grinning at the beauty-struck Aussies.

Zurich - somewhat unfairly I feel, after today - has a reputation as being a bit dull. A city built for business rather than fun, but we had such a wonderful time today that I would consider moving there tomorrow.  Dankeschön, Zürich, for a gloriously perfect day to store away forever in the memory banks.

Zurich1

Zurich2

Zurich3

Zurich4

Zurich5

Zurich6

Zurich7

Friday, May 02, 2014

The perfect yellow beret

You didn't think I was going to go trekking over to Scotland without a fancy hat of my own now did you? If Galumph got one, and Tyger got one, I was certainly getting one!

Porom

I used the Porom pattern from Jared Flood of Brooklyn Tweed. It was a lovely, easy pattern to follow, and the schematics for the pattern are the best I've ever seen. I'm feeling rather chuffed with my lovely new lacey beret, I must say.

And it matches my coat. Heaven!

Project Details
Pattern - Porom by Brooklyn Tweed
Yarn - 2 balls of Debbie Bliss Rialto DK in colourway 23045, from Woolarium
Needles - 4mm and 5mm circulars (I used my longest circulars, and did the magic loop method, rather than using dpns)

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Insta-jorth

I did it! I finally did it - I joined Instagram!

Travel

One of the reasons I've signed up is so that I can easily document our trip overseas. Yup, just thought I'd throw that one in there! We're heading over to Switzerland, then to various parts of England and Scotland. I cannae wait! Everything is booked, our house sitters have their keys, and the mail has been redirected. Six weeks of travelling, here I come!

So if you want to get a regular dose of Jorthy goodness, follow me on ze 'gram: jorthknits - cat pictures will be kept to an absolute minimum. Promise!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Ginger nuts (or the worst poem you'll read this week)

Sunday afternoon, and I'm on the couch
Got an infection, so I'm a right royal grouch
Galumph and Tyger confer in kitchen
"What can we do to stop her bitching?"

Cupboard doors a flung open wide
Various ingredients are taken from inside
Flour, sugar, and heaps of spice
To tame the beast they'll bake something nice

10 minutes on the oven door is open
I look up from the couch, my heart a-hopeing
With a plate and a cuppa over Tyger struts
Oh bless their hearts - they made me ginger nuts!

And damn tasty they were, too! Just as good as the shop ones, and that's really saying something.

Gingernuts


Gingernuts #1


Gingernuts #2

Ginger nuts*

200g butter
2 tbsp. golden syrup
2 cups raw sugar
2 eggs, beaten
3 1/2 cups plain flour
6 teaspoons ground ginger
2 tsp baking soda

1 - Preheat oven to 180 C. Melt the butter and syrup together in a saucepan over a medium heat. Pour into a large bowl.

2 - Add the sugar and egg to the butter mixture and stir well. Add in the remaining dry ingredients and mix together well.

3 - Roll spoonfuls of the mixture into balls and place on lined baking trays. Press balls flat with a fork, and sprinkle the tops with a little extra raw sugar. Bake for 11 - 12 minutes for a medium crunchy biscuit, or a tad longer if you prefer yours super crunchy. Makes 60.

*guaranteed to sooth any cranky people you may have lying around.