Archive for October 2009

What’s hot + what’s not

Loobylu’s meme seems a nice (and easy!) way to get back into the blogging groove.



Beer! Not just any beer though, the Federation Square Microbrewery Showcase is on today and tomorrow. It got a little crowded tonight, but the great brewers and delicious beer made up for that.

New Mattress – we bought a new pocket spring mattress last week, replacing a clapped out old futon that was a little past its prime. I feel like I’ve got a big kid’s bed now.

My Mum’s birthday. I don’t think she reads my blog, but Happy Birthday for tomorrow Mum!

Using eBay to declutter. One person’s clutter is another person’s treasure it seems.

Rediscovering lovely shops such as this one, while the Australian dollar is relatively strong. This does nothing to aid the decluttering effort (see above).


A dreaded springtime lurgy that has descended upon the Pransell household. It’s the biggest ‘what’s not’ this week by far. I can’t hear, taste or smell very well, my energy is zapped and my patience thin(ner than usual). And I can’t bake. (whinge whinge whinge! I do feel a bit better getting that off my chest)

Mattress shopping. It’s boring, and lying on mattresses in big showrooms is awkward.

Overzealous yarn overs. In particular, discovering over zealous yarn overs 4 rows, or over 1000 stitches, after doing them.

Persistence makes the heart grow fonder


The back of Victory is sort of finished and the front is well on the way. I can’t quite claim the back as finished, as the stripe sequence is a bit… off. While idly reading through the pattern after finishing the back, it became apparent that I really hadn’t paid enough attention. On the right hand side of the photo is the back piece and on the left hand side is the in-progress front piece, featuring the correct stripe sequence.

Normally a mistake of this size would result in the offending project (because it’s obviously its fault and not mine) being placed (or tossed, depending on mood) into a corner so it can think about what it’s done. Projects like Matt’s Suave Sweater received such punishment. This project’s a bit different. I kept going, following the pattern properly for the front. It really comes as no surprise, but it does look better with the correct stripe sequence. So once the front is finished, I’ll rip out most of the back and redo it.

The ribbing is excruciatingly boring and the combination of 100+ stitches, 4ply yarn and 3.25mm means it’s by no means a quick knit. However, the non-ribbing sections are really enjoyable and I can’t wait to see what the finished product will look like.

I’m hoping I’ve turned a corner as a result of this recent large boo boo. Hopefully I’ll avoid the silly mistakes by not rushing into a project. Hopefully I’ll be a bit more relaxed when things go awry. I’ll just have to wait until the next spate of dufferism to find out I guess!

Crisp clutternut biscuits

Every room of the house seems to be filled with clutter. Old documents and bills, knitting paraphernalia, video games, boxes, clothes, you name it, it’s cluttering up my house. It’s also getting quite frustrating – I simply do not know how I managed to let things get this bad (actually I sort of do… my old house had lots more storage than this one). It feels very wasteful. So I’m having a good old fashioned stocktake and purge. Seeing the eBay, op shop and bin piles get bigger and bigger is kind of satisfying, but also makes me realise how little thought I put into some of my purchases.

Clutter has also found its way into the pantry. As a household, we’re really good at buying things we didn’t realise we already had, even when we plan weekly meals. Luckily, this tends to be mostly longlife or non-perishable stuff that I know I’ll use up one day. One of those things is desiccated coconut. Luckily (again) one of the ingredients that is used a lot in my Women’s Weekly Recipe cards is coconut (and ginger too, but that’s a story for another day).

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Crisp Coconut Biscuits (from Women’s Weekly Recipe Cards, circa 1970’s)


125 grams butter
1 cup caster sugar
1 egg
2 cups self-raising flour
1 cup desiccated coconut

pinch of salt
1-2 teaspoons of milk
Sugar, for dusting

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius.

Cream butter and sugar. Beat in egg. Add in sifted flour, salt and coconut and mix well.

I found the mixture too dry at this point, so added in milk until it was at a consistency where it could be easily moulded into balls but didn’t stick to my hands.

Roll teaspoonfuls into balls and press flat. Dip the top of the dough disc into sugar and place on a greased baking tray. Allow room for spreading.

Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until lightly golden.

I got around 30 biscuits out of this recipe. If I were to make this again (which is highly likely), I’d use plain ol’ white sugar rather than caster sugar for dusting. While you can see the caster sugar on top of the biscuit, I think the coarser sugar would look better.

Anti-seasonal knits

Now that the days are getting longer and daylight savings has started, this year’s cold days are most definitely numbered. Despite this, I have started work on Hap Blanket by Ysolda Teague.


The yarn was an op shop find from 2007, and I had no plans for it until the pattern was released earlier this year. Since then, it’s been burning a hole in my stash.

So far they seem to be a perfect match. The natural-coloured yarn works well with chunky garter stitch, and the dark grey stripe matches the light fawny grey nicely. It’s also lovely and warm.

Although the blanket will be lucky to get any use at all this year, I’m sure it’ll get a decent work out next year.