Friday, June 28, 2013

Placket perfection


"Check checkity check this out!" roared Jorth excitedly, throwing a half-finished shirt at Galumph as he staggered inside after a hard days work. "This, my dear long-suffering husband is placket perfection! See how the stitching is perfectly straight! The placket triangle folded with 60 degree equilateral precision! The interfacing strong yet unobtrusive! The placket underlay underlayed absolutely! Marvel, dear man - marvel!"

"That's nice, dear" said Galumph as he stowed his pannier bag and began to pour himself his post-work soda water and cordial.

"Nice? NICE?" retorted Jorth. "Old chap, I don't think you appreciate the flawless beauty what I have created. This placket is a thing of beauty! Seamstresses shall weep before me. Saville Row tailors shall erect giant monuments in my honour! Craft bloggers shall bow down before me and tremble with fear at my great and glorious abilities. I AM A SEWING GOD!"

"Uh huh" said Galumph, to whom this scene was somewhat familiar. "Shall we tell those trembling craft bloggers about the swearing as you screw it up for the third time in a row? The ranting at the sewing machine? The clouds of tailor's chalk filling the air as you angrily cross out another failed seam? The shower of thread ends falling from your quick-un-pick?"

"Er..." said Jorth, as she sheepishly filled his glass with ice cubes. "Maybe we'll keep the sewing tanties to ourselves, eh?"

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Miette cardigan knit-a-long


I know what you are all thinking. Namely: what the heck is Jorth doing with more red yarn? And such big bouncy balls of the stuff, eh? Surely she doesn't - couldn't - possibly need any more yarn in that stash of hers?

Well, until recently my thoughts were running along the same lines. Especially since I'm having a wee bit of trouble closing the wardrobe door where my yarn is stashed in amongst a jumble of evening dresses, pannier bags and toy stuffing. But then I saw this pattern, and the rest, as they say in the movies, is history:


There is no WAY I am not making myself this beautiful, beautiful garment. It's the Miette cardigan by Andi Satterlund, and when I showed it to Nic we both started squealing like over-excited little girls. Before you knew it half the studio was crowded around our computer monitors, oohing and ahhing over the knitterly goodness. That was when I, super genius that I am (bwah ha!) hit upon the idea of having a Miette cardigan knit-a-long.

I know - I'm awesomely clever, ja? And the cherry on the cake is that we'll also be running a class over at Handmaker's Factory, to show any new knitters the skills they need to make their very own.

Because, truly, I would hate for anybody to miss out on having their very own Miette just because nobody had every shown them what ssk or ptbl was. That would be a gross crime against knitters. I will not perpetuate these crimes! There must be Miettes for one and all - or at the very least, those prepared to wield their own circular needles.

Oooh, this is going to be such fun! If you want to join in the KAL, then leave a comment at the bottom of this post on Handmaker's Factory, telling us that you too will be joining in the fun, and providing us with your blog address. The KAL will finish at the stroke of midnight on the 31st of August - this gives us just over 2 months to make up our Miettes. It's made up in a worsted weight yarn, so it should be a fairly quick knit to put together. And if you get stuck, I'll be more than happy to answer questions about it. Leave any questions either here, on the Handmaker's Factory Miette KAL post or contact me on email (jorth AT bigpond DOT net DOT au).

Once your Miette is done, post it up on your blog and let us know it's finished, either via email or by leaving a comment on the Miette post. And the pop it up on the Handmaker's Factory Project page. We'll then make up a gallery of finished Miettes, and then sit back and congratulate ourselves on being such brilliant knitters.

What are you waiting for? Dash over to Ravelry and get your free copy of the Miette pattern and start knitting! Can't wait to see what you all make!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Red cables

Red Cables

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it a very red blanket? Why, no, sillies - it's part of the cabled shawl that Tyger requested for her birthday. Naturally!

Sorry - what was that you said - most nine year olds don't want cabled, hand knitted shawls for their birthdays? Well, my girl marches to the beat of her own drum and that is what she declared she wanted. I could pretend her request came as a shock, but it didn't - although I did have one awful moment when I though she'd asked for a ball, not a shawl. Glad that didn't come about! I might have needed to venture outside and be sporty or something. Perish the thought!

(Oh, and yes yes yes, I know it's now officially late... but this dreadful flu I've had has completely knocked me for a six {look at me go - a sporting metaphor. Wowsers!}, plus I sliced my thumb open which really blimming hurt, so the fates appear to be working against me. But it shall be done. And soon! I'll even pinky promise, since the thumb is out of action. But pray, give me a break - there's 328 stitches per row in the darn thing. A quick knit this ain't.)

**UPDATE: The pattern is Sirdar 1386. Silly me forgot to mention that before. Whoooooops!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013



My funny, sassy, clever, always-beaming girl is nine today. Nine! Time sure flies when you are having fun, and I can think of nobody I'd rather spend my time with. You are truly awesome company. Don't ever change.

Have a brilliant birthday, my wonderful kind-hearted girl. I'm so lucky to be able to be your mum. Seriously - I get teary just thinking about how close I was to not being here to share my days with yours. The best years of my life have been since you came along, and every day I thank my lucky stars that I can wake up and see your smiling face.

Love you for as long as the stars shine, and probably a bit longer than that,
Mum xo xo

Friday, June 21, 2013

Sunki - this time in Liberty!

What can I say - when you have a pattern this funky, and such loverly loverly fabric, it's no wonder that things get made up twice!

Sunki Liberty #1

Sunki Liberty #4

Sunki Liberty #3

Sunki Liberty #2

Even though we both adore the Elephant Sunki, Tyger and I think this one is the best version so far. To own the truth, I was a little bit worried about how well the red contrasting panels would go with the vintage-style Liberty print, but I think it's turned out rather well - given the Liberty a bit of a modern edge, if you will.

The Liberty fabric is part of the new Liberty Lifestyle range, which is made in regular quilting cotton weight, rather than the traditional Tana Lawn weight, which is light indeed. As much as I love the Lawn, this weight makes a fabric that is far more versatile - and long wearing. A few things I've made in the Tana Lawn have ended up with tears at stress points, simply due to the fragility of the fabric. This is not only more robust, but also comes in some rocking prints plus can be purchased at a far more economical price point than the Lawn generally comes in. Hooray for Liberty!

I made a couple of slight alterations to the pattern this time around - namely I added 5cm length to the sleeves and 6cm to the front and back, which gives the Tyger a wee bit more growing room.

Not much else to say except that I TOTALLY LOVE THIS DRESS! Seriously - why does this not come in grown up sizes? Between this and Vogue 8184, I could have my wardrobe totally sorted!

Project Details
Pattern: Sunki Dress ePattern from Figgy's Patterns
Fabric: 1.2m Liberty Lifestyle Bloomsbury collection - Garnett in Rich Red Blue from L'uccello, plus scraps of red cotton for the side panels
Notions: 28cm invisible zip

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Sunki #2 - in progress


Jorth and Tyger let their eyes travel along the path of the coin, never letting it out of their sight as it left Jorth's fingers, soared briefly in the air, did a few flips and then plummeted back down to the ground. They both leaned over its landing spot, Jorth doing a few raspy coughs whilst Tyger absentmindedly wiped double-barrel streams of snot onto her sleeve.

"Well", said Jorth, "on the one side we both have ghastly colds, and are stuck inside on a beautifully sunny winter day. Boo!"

Tyger sniffled loudly in agreement.

"But on the other side of this coin, we are snug inside with Pride and Prejudice on - the Ehle/Firth version, naturellement. And a new Sunki dress in progress. AND it's going to be made out of Liberty. Lifestyle Liberty, if you please! So really, on the whole I think things aren't too bad indeed."

"Wave your hands in the air like you just don't care!" said Tyger, letting her snot-covered sleeves do some dancing.

Jorth groaned inwardly, and hoped to high heaven that while she kept on sewing, Tyger might pick up a few deportment tips from the fine ladies and gentlemen of P & P.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Monthly Meal Plan - June/July


I'm pretty excited that it's going to be school holidays soon, and I think that might be reflected in this menu. Not only is it birthday month at chez Jorth (so there will be cakes and desserts aplenty to be baked) but with Tyger being home for the holidays, we're going to roll up our sleeves and get properly sprinkled with flour in the kitchen as we busily make our own pasta, gnocchi, pizza and tacos. CAN.NOT.WAIT!

Week One
Monday - Roasted vegetable risotto
Tuesday - Lentil, farro and vegetable soup
Wednesday - Beef stroganoff
Thursday - Roasted sweet potato soup
Friday - Tofu burgers with red cabbage coleslaw and wedges
Saturday - Chicken schnitzels with creamy garlic mash and broccolini
Sunday - Roasted vegetable lasagne with salad

Week Two
Monday - Garlicky tomato soup with buttered baguettes
Tuesday - Steak Diane with potato gratin (birthday dinner)
Wednesday - Malaysian vegetable curry
Thursday - Butter and onion tomato pasta with garden salad
Friday - Spiced cauliflower and lentil pilaf
Saturday - Roast pumpkin ravioli (with homemade pasta)
Sunday - Coq au vin

Week Three
Monday - Zucchini soup with cheddar scones
Tuesday - Potato and split pea curry with garlic naan
Wednesday - Oven baked tuna and tomato risotto with rocket salad
Thursday - Ricotta and spinach filo triangles with garden salad
Friday - Vegetarian chilli con carne
Saturday - Winter tacos with creamy greens (from Mexican Food Made Simple by Thomasina Miers)
Sunday - Ricotta gnocchi with fresh tomato sauce

Week Four
Monday - Smashed felafel burgers with Greek salad
Tuesday - Potato and leek soup with brie toasties
Wednesday - Lentil spaghetti bolognaise with feta and rocket
Thursday - Crumbed lamb chops with minted peas and broccoli
Friday - Spinach, tomato and cheese omelettes with salad
Saturday - Corned beef with mash and vegetables
Sunday - Home made pizza (mushroom and cheese, roasted capsicum and marinated feta)

And for a bonus - here's some breakfast ideas!
 - Maple banana bread with fruity compote
 - Buttermilk pikelets with strawberries
 - Huevos rancheros, heavy on the coriander and freshly ground black pepper
 - Coddled eggs with spinach

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Yarn + bloggers + one super cute baby

I performed a vital public service today: I taught a very cute 5 month old how to shop for yarn. Never too early to start, says I!

Yarn Shopping

Bwahahah! Actually, I taught his mum, the talented Julia Bobbin, and very good she proved at it too. Oh, and that bag I'm holding? Er, well, yes, I may have purchased a little myself. As did Nic. Our mission today was to come, to paw and to conquer. Well, maybe credit cards were conquered, but nobody got hurt in the process. Besides, it's for a jolly good cause - there is going to be a Miette knit-a-long in the works rather soon. Exciting times!

So watch this space, knitters! We'd love you all to join in, so once we figure out our time frames and all the other bits and bobs I'll pop the details up here, and we might even run a class over at Handmaker's Factory for beginner knitters who want to knit along but need a little help. Yarny goodness for one and for all! Hoorah!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Pretty in pink: lace knit cardigan

Knitting is good. Speedy knitting is even better. Speedy knitting that results in a cardigan knit up in two weeks is freaking superlative!

Pink Cardigan #2

Pink Cardigan #1

Pink Cardigan #3

Seriously, it felt like I spent more time seaming this baby together than I did actually knitting it! The only modification I made was to sew the lace flat down onto the bodice pieces (the lace being knit separately). The pattern called for it to be left with a looser edging, but I had a feeling that over time and after washes, the edging might start to look a bit tatty, so I seamed mine down flat, using two ply strands of the yarn.

I'm rather chuffed with the fit of this cardigan. The slightly dropped shoulders give it a relaxed feel, but the overall fit is decidedly slimline, which I like. I'm also rather taken with the lace...I think I might need a lacy cardigan of my own this winter!

The buttons are vintage glass buttons that are ever so slightly faceted, which suits the cardigan exactly. I didn't want anything to distract from the lace, so these clear glass ones are perfect. Big thanks to Kim at L'uccello for patiently digging around in button boxes for me!

Project Details
Pattern: Sirdar girl's cardigan #2389 (comes in both long and short sleeved versions)
Yarn: 7 x Rowan by Amy Butler Belle Organic Aran in shade 218, purchased from Sunspun
Needles: 4mm and 5mm
Buttons: 6 x vintage glass buttons from L'uccello

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Lola dress

The only bad thing about making this wonderful, wonderful dress up is the fact that I had that darn " la la la Looooooola!" song stuck in my head the entire time. Gah!

But never mind me and my mind worms - the full pattern review of the Lola dress, by Victory Patterns, is over at Handmaker's Factory. One thing I would like to say here, though - this is one super comfy dress, and the pattern was great! So if you are after a dress that looks great but feels as cosy as they come, then this pattern might be the girl for you!

I did make my sleeves a wee bit longer, as I prefer a long sleeve, but apart from that no other changes were made. Love those deep wrap-around pockets!


Project Details
Pattern: Lola dress by Victory Patterns
Fabric: 1.5m fleecy, with matching ribbing, from Spotlight

Monday, June 03, 2013

Soft boiled medicine cup

Hmmm... even though our household economics/savings budget is tighter than Superman's underpants, I'm pretty sure we can afford to purchase another egg cup.

Eggs #1

Eggs #2

Eggs #3

#notveryfancypants, #awkwardwhencompanyarrivesforbreakfast