Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Pickles pullover

This week I finally released the pattern for Pickles.The Pickles pullover uses a top-down seanless hood construction and was inspired by my nephew Dylan. It comes in sizes from Newborn to 12 yrs old, but I think the 12 yr old size would be easily adjusted to fit any tall skinny teen. The sizes are:

Newborn(6mths, 12mths, 18mths, 2yrs, 4yrs, 6yrs, 8yrs, 10yrs, 12 yrs) to fit chest sizes 16(17, 18, 19, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28, 30)in or 40(42.5, 45, 47.5, 50, 55, 60, 65, 70, 75)cm.

Final garment circumference is approximately 18.2(19.6, 21.1, 22.5, 23.6, 26.2, 28, 30.2, 32, 34.2)in or 45.5(49.1, 52.7, 56.4, 59.1, 65.5, 70, 75.5, 80, 85.5)cm.

Here's the little one who inspired the pattern. He's now 17 months old and the sample he is wearing was knitted in size 2.

Here's one modelled by the son of one of the test knitters. As you can see the hood is generous but not monk-like in its proportions. Thefit should be slim (not tight), with the hem coming down just under the hip-bone.

There is absolutely no seaming required. There are some stitches to be picked up but that is easy, especially with the photographic tutorial included with the pattern.


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Saturday, August 20, 2011
Feathers, leaves.. close enough?

I was looking for a shawl pattern with leaves but none seemed to fit with what I wanted and I wanted to knit something tried and tested for once, rather than design my own. I searched Ravelry, I googled and found nothing. Nothing at all.

Then I saw this pattern by Alina Appasov.

image taken form the pattern page on Ravelry

Isn't it gorgeous?

What I did not account for was that the cast on involves 411 stitches, and it has nupps! I have never knitted nupps! After a brief moment of anxiety, I firmly took a hold of myself and decided it can't be that hard and proceeded to cast on. Now I am about 9 rows into the 27 patterned rows, and it's not looking too bad at all. I am loving it!

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Thursday, August 18, 2011
My mother-in-law's spring rolls, with a twist

My mother-in-law makes the best springrolls on this planet. Honest to God, she does!

Last weekend I learned how to make them. So this week, I decided to give it a whirl. The recipe is simple enough.

The original recipe used spring onions, carrots and pork. I decided to add to the vegetable content and use chicken instead of pork as the pork mince at the butcher looked a little manky this morning.

My version of the recipe:

500g minced chicken
1 medium carrot - grated
1 large zucchini - grated
white pepper
5in square springroll wrappers

Put vegetables and meat in a food processor and process till well mixed. Sprinkle with a little salt and white pepper and process further.
Separate the spring roll wrappers a few at a time. Place teh unused skins under a damp tea towel to prevent them from drying out.
Place a wrapper diagonally facing you. Place about a heaping teaspoonful meat mix on the lowest third of the wrapper. Pick up the corner closest to you and roll it upwards once, firmly encasing the meat mixture. Fold the two corners on the sides inwards and then continue rolling the bundle upwards. Lightly moisten the upper corner and stick it to the bundle.

In a medium pot, heat about 1 inch of peanut oil. Fry the springrolls a few at a time. Be careful not to overcrowd the pot as that will lower the oil temperature and the rolls will be oil logged. Fry till golden brown and drain on a wire rack or paper towel.

You can also use the same mix and shape it into nuggets. Lightly coat in breadcrumbs and pan fry till golden on both sides.

Absolutely delicious. Goes well with tomato sauce, sweet chili sauce or Vietnamese dipping sauce.

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Monday, August 15, 2011
Who's a slouch?

Since I am home with a sick child today anyway, I decided to work on some completed and tested patterns while he curled up in front of the tv watching Wallace and Gromit and the were-rabbit. These patterns were just sitting around waiting for me to look over them once more before they were ready to be published.

First off the line is a slouch hat.

It's knit in one piece from the bottom up. The cabled button band features a simple chain with a buttonhole that fits right between the two sides of the chain.

The pattern is now up in the Ravelry pattern store and ready for purchasing. Or simply click here to buy it:

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Sunday, August 14, 2011
A sight for sore throats

Today we have a little man who woke up with a very sore throat. All day he has not been keen to eat, and by evening, not only was he hoarse and miserable, he was starting to run a temperature.

So for dinner I made seafood congee. For the uninitiated, congee is rice porridge - cooked by boiling up rice with lots and lots of water.

1.5 cups rice
7 cups water
500g mixed boneless and shell-less seafood
A knob of ginger the size of your thumb - peeled
Soy sauce, white pepper and sesame oil to taste

In a large pot, wash the rice. Then add 7 cups of water and the ginger and boil till the rice grains are soft (like porridge) and the water starchy. If you have a large rice cooker, you can do this in a rice cooker too.

In a bowl mix the seafood with about 1 tsp of soy sauce and a dash of white pepper.

When the rice congee is ready, keep it boiling and add the seafood mixture. Remove from heat and stir the seafood into the congee. Add soy sauce, pepper and sesame oil to taste.

If you like, you can garnish with chopped spring onions and coriander.

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