Monday, October 29, 2007

Breathe in

Ah, a lovely weekend made even better by having a day off today. I'm not doing any of the stuff I ought to be doing, but as Bertrand Russell said, "The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time". I live by that. It's my mantra.

One finished sock

I seem to recall in a previous post mentioning the finishing of the first sock in the
Kitty Knits yarn. Well, there it is. The second sock is well on it's way down the heel, and may well be finished by Wednesday.

We've been haunting the fabulous
Canberra International Film Festival all weekend, and in a particularly low point before the start of yesterday's movie (when we waiting 15 minutes for some dickhead from the American Embassy to welcome us) even Mr QM lamented the fact I had no crochet to keep me occupied. Indeed. During the wait I could have most of a heel. And I wouldn't have seemed so annoying to those around me. Tap tap. Moan moan.

Ooh, and before I forget. I got another two divine skeins from Kitty Knits today. They are so, so, so lovely!



Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going back to enjoying my wasted time in the garden.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

They ain't got what we got

First barbie of the season

Tonight we had the first barbie of the season - we would have had it 2 nights ago, but for all this glorious rain we've been having! Anyway, sitting out on the deck, crocheting a sock while Mr QM wielded the barbie tongs was my definition of bliss. No music on the stereo was required, as we were serenaded by the frogs in the pond as the currawongs sang a tune.

For whatever reason I am having another lovely lazy weekend, and it will be a long one as I have Monday off work. I want to get a heap of sewing done - I am very behind, and with the weather getting warmer I suddenly have nothing to wear. Poor Magda has been wearing the same half-made blouse for 4 months.

In SSOS news, I have finished the first sock of pair number 3 - using the lovely rosebud yarn from Katt. I used two different patterns for this sock and it my favourite sock yet - it fits beautifully and I quite enjoyed making a short-rowed heel.

It's too dark to take photos now - tomorrow perhaps.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

It's Pizzaiola!

And this is the moment that the quilting/crochet/gardening blog becomes a foodie blog too. Gawd. There is obviously no stopping me.

Porco Pizzaiola is a favourite dinner in Chez Quiltingmick - I've based it on Tessa Kiros' recipe from her "Twelve" book. It's perfect served with boiled potatoes tossed in sage and melted butter, with carrots and beans. And if veal wasn't so hideously expensive I'd be using that instead of pork.

First you flatten your pork or veal and cut into smaller pieces. Lightly pan fry, and layer in a dish (vintage pyrex makes it taste better - honestly!)

Lay the pork in the bottom of dish

Bring two 440g cans of diced tomatoes (hey I'd use fresh tomatoes but at $5.99 a kilo for fresh or 99 cents a tin at the IGA, let's not call Michelle a fool) to the boil, turn down to a simmer, add basil, thyme, pepper and salt and simmer for 20 mins until the reduced sauce is sweet. Don't be tempted to add sugar. The sauce will get sweeter the longer you cook it.


Ladle the sauce over the pork until all pieces are covered. Then pop some thin slices of mozzarella cheese on the top and whack it in the oven (180 degrees celcius) for 15 or 20 minutes.

Porco pizzaiola

Yes, my kitchen is that yellow.

While that's cooking, do your vegies. Or get a store-bought salad and do a few rows of sock knitting in the time you've saved.

Porco pizzaiola - benissimo!!

Monday, October 22, 2007

I don't like Mondays

Some days are just bad days. Like the days you wake up with a migraine but know you can't skip work as there is too much to do. And when you water your vegie patch you discover some little munching blighter has stripped every single leaf from your eggplant seedlings. And then you get treated like crap at Birkenstock at lunchtime (as usual).

Well sisters, I have a miracle cure to a bad day! It's best to anticipate the bad day about, oh, two weeks in advance. Pop over to a little online sock yarn shop, fill your virtual basket and then forget you ever ordered it.


The Koigu came today along with some other delights and it's very medicinal, let me tell you. I don't think I'll ever make anything from it. I just want it to be ... Koigu. And lovely.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Under the willow tree I will wait for you to come back to me

Another weekend over, some more vegetables planted and another sock finished. Please allow me to show you sock #1 of the ankle socks. The heel is a little strange (it's an after-thought kind of heel) and I'll be doing a proper short row heel next time I make a pair, but this sock is so, so comfortable to wear.

' '

And then I got a little bored with the Sullivans, and that gorgeous rosy stuff from Kattwings grabbed me by the throat. Not 3 minutes after I sewed in the ends of the green sock, I was crocheting the ribbed band for another pair of ankle socks. The ribbing continued through this afternoon's delightful SnB in Civic and all the way through Australian Idol. Currently I'm on to the heel, but earlier this evening I was here:

The viburnum's flowers are amazing

And just because my garden is so stunning at the moment that I can't believe my good fortune, here's my crabapple tree. With blossom. And bee.

Crabapple flowers

Tomorrow I hope to show you that this "quiltingmick" persona isn't just for shits and giggles. I am a quilter first and foremost. It seems though that I am eight months behind in my homework for a class and I have a crapload of homework to do. God knows how that happened, but I suspect a sudden unexpected love affair with crochet happened around May.

Photographic evidence of completed homework will follow. Yes. Yes it will.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Hypnotized by a strange delight under a lilac tree

The first flush of lavender.

Lavender in the late afternoon

The last blooms of lilac.

Last of the lilacs

The viburnum is about to erupt, but what is this beautiful pink flower?

Strange looking rosy flower

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Wish I had a mango tree in my backyard

This afternoon I sat in the garden, and while Mr QM did this:

Mr QM in the act of tree stump removal

I did this:

In your shoes ankle socks

And came out with this:

In your shoes ankle socks

The Weekend of Doing Nothing is going well. Please send more chocolate and coffee.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Pack up your things, your work here is done

Ah. The end of another working week. And for once, this weekend will hold absolutely nothing for me. No heavy lifting, no hoisting barrow loads of soil. No hanging out of the washing. It's not as if I don't want to do these things, but my back decided it had finally had enough, and twisted itself into bucketloads of pain yesterday.

Nothing for it but to sit on the sofa all weekend with
Lorelai and Rory and crochet away. I'm really upset about it. Really. Upset.

In Southern Summer of Sock news, I have been quite productive given my time on the sofa. On Tuesday I was three inches from the end of sock #2 ... and then I allowed myself to get distracted by a new sock pattern and a ball of amazingly coloured sock yarn. It was only when Mr QM reminded me that I still had to finished pair #1 that I decided to finish them off tonight. I'm quite pleased, although next time I'd make them a little less wide in the foot and leg.

Crocheted socks

Garden news - the lettuces have perked up after the hot winds of last week, the snow pea seedlings are growing taller, and my first lot of seeds (the sugar snaps) have finally sprouted. The plans for building a third bed have been put on holdfor a week. Mr QM has to dig out a tree stump first. I'll be too busy on the sofa to help.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Take this sinking boat and point it home

This is the post where I share with you the outcome of my many weekends away from the computer and the crochet hook.

The vegetable patch. Finished it is.

Four weekends of hard yakka have produced our vegetable patch. I love it. There are two beds (and there will be a third shortly) and three wine barrels (and I'm hoping to fit a fourth in). The fruit trees along the right fence were already there, as were the compost bins - and of course my beloved Hills Hoist. I'm really pleased with how it's all turned out.

Wine barrels

So this weekend I was all ready to have a whole weekend of coffee, newspapers, movies, crochet and sewing. I got the newspapers and
movies OK - but would you believe I have spent another two days in the garden? This weather just lures me outdoors, and before I know it it's almost dark, I'm in desperate need of a shower and I'm aching all over.

This weekend I should have been sewing

Tonight is my night though. I'm going to mend some pants, make some more progress on Short and Sweet and finish off sock #1 for the
Southern Summer of Socks.

Pair #1 Sock #1

Monday, October 1, 2007

Southern Summer of Socks Day #1

I'm not able to blog to SSOS yet, so thought I'd log my stuff here instead.

Challenges: to finish my first bloody sock, then the second so I have a pair, and then move on to more exciting patterns. That is all.

Day 1: I had already started making a pair of socks - months ago - but realised last night that I should perhaps let them hibernate for a bit, try a different yarn, and get at least one finished sock under my belt (or on my foot. Whatever).

I started Tutti-Frutti from Crocheted Socks by Janet Rehfeldt, but ripped it out after a few rows because I HATED the inside-out slip stitch. I then decided to use single crochet as the stitch - the yarn was making a nice enough pattern without me interfering with it. Put it on, it was huge, so ripped it out again and took 4 rows from the ribbing.

In the middle of all this, I took mum and dad to the zoo. I do love me some extreme crocheting.

Extreme crochet at the zoo

And as of 10.15 pm tonight, we had this:

End of Day #1

I'm using Four Season Michaela, and I hope to goodness that they have one ball left at Lincraft because I only have three balls and I'm going to run out.

Thanks to everyone for wishing me a happy birthday for Thursday. It was an odd day - I found out on Thursday that an ex-workmate of mine who I held dear to my heart had passed in very tragic circumstances. Sure, there was cake at work, lunch with a friend and my parents turned up that night to visit, but that sadness for my old mate wouldn't shake, and won't for quite some time.

And because I don't want this post to be depressing, here's a photo of some cuteness:

Sun Bear

Mum and dad went home tonight - we had a great few days, and I miss them already.