Sunday, 27 June 2010

Hot bread quickly

When mornings are blurry with mist and rain, the best breakfast is hot bread,  freshly baked just before the dogs are walked, with leatherwood honey or black cherry jam - and a couple of sweet mandarins from Mildura.

I always make flattish bread because then I can be sure that it will cook right through and I won't have to find the bread tins (that have been missing for over ten years now) and finally that it will cook really, really quickly.
I am an impatient cook. I admit it.

Proper socks

Aren't these stylish? Fairisle socks for a new baby!

I saw these at Buninyong market and couldn't resist them. Luckily there is just the right new baby nearby to give them to. Maybe I should start my sock knitting career with baby socks. So charming, and such fun to make.

Friday, 25 June 2010


7.10 am of a rainy morning and I went down to Sturt St. to get a cup of coffee.

The scent of coffee in cold wintry air is magical.

Still dark at 8.30 - but I'd had my coffee and was going to spend the day reading and watching the rain fall down.

It was a great cup of coffee.

Monday, 21 June 2010

Winter sun in my room

The sun is so bright and warm after the morning mist. The geraniums are happy to sit inside, out of the cold, so they are all flowering. They don't care if the window is a bit grimy - and neither do I, I guess, as I've only just noticed.

It's cold in the corners out of the sunlight.

but my work table is glowing.

I love winter.
(Gloves help).

Monday, 14 June 2010

Vermilion Pears

The Reader

All night I sat reading a book,
Sat reading as in a book
Of sombre pages.

It was autumn and falling stars
Covered the shrivelled forms
crouched in the moonlight.

No lamp was burning as I read,
A voice was mumbling, "Everything
Falls back into coldness,

Even the musky muscadines,
the melons, the vermilion pears
Of the leafless garden."

The sombre pages bore no print
Except the trace of burning stars
In the frosty heaven.

                                                   Wallace Stevens.

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Sunday knitting

I began with an autumnal desire for a new, warm, woollen wraparound shawl.

Then I found 15 balls of pink mohair in the local Op shop. A bargain, even though pink is not a colour I would usually wear.
I bought thin, long needles (size 14, steel and 50cents from the Creswick Op shop) and cast on as many stitches as would fit. Either I'd knit it sideways or longways, just depending on how wide it turned out to be.

By now you can guess that this was to be a project of pleasure and ease. I like to knit just as some people like worry beads.

If I knitted 3 rows purl and one row plain I thought I'd get a nice ridged effect, just like a sea shell, and I wouldn't worry if it was occasionally 4 rows of plain - not too formal, natural looking.

It began to look good - and I thought of an extra nifty trick. When I get to the right length I'll cast off, pick up the stitches all down the side and knit out in the other direction - more intriguing texture. I thought I'd invented this trick, then found it outlined in my new sock book as a way to do part of the sock heel.

I thought I'd invented my purl /plain stitch pattern too, but here it is in this beautiful knitting blog, Brooklyn Tweed . Read the post of April 2010 the Romney Kerchief.  I could never knit like this - what an eye for colour and texture! How do people plan such clever and elegant patterns - and knit them so beautifully?

Anyway, maybe I'm not the only person to think of this pattern, but I don't think anyone else will be knitting it quite in my way.


There were Williams, Packham and Corella pears. I bought these deep red ones called D'Anjou because they had the heavenly sweet scent that proper pears have. And they were delicious, there are none left.

Different points of view

I was going to l'espresso Friday morning to get a morning cuppa (this cafe is my favourite in Ballarat). It was just on 8 am and since I had my camera I took a picture of the crane on the fountain by the Base hospital.

Changes as as I move around the dry fountain.

The frogs around the basin are the best!

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Hillside house

Here's another lovely old Ballarat house that has resisted being done up .

You have to walk right round it to really appreciate it.

Turn the corner.

See that window - you'd be almost underground in there.

But the back verandah looks right over the tree tops, as the hill dips down very sharply.


This cold winter weather seems just right for silk and wool work.

Now that it's deliciously cold and wet and grey I've covered the couch with cosy rugs and got out the knitting. Last year I learned to knit beanies and made 18 of them. This year I started on a a shawl of fine pink mohair wool found in the Op shop and a  rug of soft, white, wool squares. These are being knitted to my own designs (plain & purl and no decreasing).
Then madness struck. I found some last year's knitting mags for 20 cents apiece and saw patterns for SOCKS. And I had leftover wool in a mandarin orange colour - just right for the season.

But the sock patterns in the magazines were written in a foreign language (sl., k, incr, patt) so I got a very simple sock book with a picture for every stitch (just about). And I will knit socks. At least two.
I may never get up from the couch.