Make It Your Own

Make it unique. Make it yourself. Make it your own

Homemade bacon failure 12 May, 2010

Filed under: Home cooking,Thoughts — makeityourown @ 9:48 pm

Bacon fails

I’ve had a go at making my own bacon. Just a small piece of belly pork to give it a try. I followed a recipe from the River Cottage Family Cookbook. I followed it very carefully. It looks like good streaky bacon and is nice and tender but it is saltier than the Dead Sea and I’ve been to the Dead Sea and accidentally swallowed some of it. I put some cubes of it in a beef casserole and didn’t need to add any salt. I think the only thing it will be good for is supplying the salt in pea soup and such things. Good thing it lasts for weeks. I think mine will last forever with all that salt.

After looking at some other bacon recipes and curing instructions that I have I’m pretty sure there is a mistake in the River Cottage recipe. It calls for 500g salt for 1.5kg of meat where other recipes use about a quarter of that or less and also more sugar. I’m willing to give bacon another go with another recipe and over time I might cobble a recipe together from various instructions and come up with something I like.


My local supermarket is locally owned and so often has things for sale that you’d never find in Coles or Woolies. Today I bought a forequarter of lamb cut into chops including the neck, shank and ribs. It was $6 a kilo and the total cost was $20.30. After dividing up the chops into packs of 2 for the freezer I had 5 packs of chops, a neck in one piece, a shank, a set of ribs and a couple of chops that were too bony and fatty for grilling. All except the packaged up chops went into the pot with carrots, onions and celery and a few herbs and cooked gently for two hours. I strained it and continued to cook the stock to reduce it and took all the meat off the bones and chopped it up. I think I’ll make a pie with it tomorrow. 10 chops, a pie and a pot of stock isn’t too bad for $20.


All this cooking takes time and energy. I still need to keep the house clean, do all the washing (including nappies), keep J entertained and happy, visit people, go to Kindergym, Bible study, hydrotherapy and so on. I need to remember that there are more important things than saving money and home cooking everything we eat. If I buy biscuits I have not failed. If I buy some new clothes I have not failed. If J eats something out of a jar I haven’t failed either. What are the more important things? Spending time with God. Spending time with my family and giving them my undivided attention for some time every day. Seeking God’s approval and not the admiration of other people. My worth is not tied up in the things I do. I have to keep reminding myself of these things.


Think I Might Start Blogging Again 6 May, 2010

Filed under: Home cooking,Thoughts,Uncategorized — makeityourown @ 9:24 pm

It’s been a long time since my last post but I have a very good reason for this. J is now 15 months old and has just started walking. He is real cutie and loves his Dad. He is very sweet and has a gentle nature. I’m a stay-at-home Mum and after a year or so I feel that life has a rhythm and  an improvement in my health and energy levels means that I’ve doing and thinking and changing a few things. I’ve been having the urge to get a few things out of my head and onto a page so I thought I’d use my already existing blog as a kind of journal. You can read it not as you please but I hope some of my thoughts might inspire or inform someone.


The vegetable garden is going well at the moment. We’ve been eating butternuts and capsicums and a bit of New Zealand spinach occasionally as well as lots of herbs. We had the usual heatwaves over summer so the beans didn’t so well and butternuts almost died. The tomatoes were good though and the basil too. We decided that beans would grow better when the weather is cooler so we planted some at the beginning of autumn in a newly manured bed. Success! I picked a huge bunch of beans today and they were as sweet and crisp as you could want. I think beans are my favourite vegetable. Tonight for tea we had risotto with butternut and grilled capsicum, basil and thyme and beans on the side. The vegies were all fresh from the garden, except the onion and garlic. J likes risotto. It makes excellent baby and toddler food.

Speaking of onion and garlic, we have planted out a bed of onions, garlic and carrots. The onions were from a punnet, the garlic from the organic green grocer and the carrot from seed M saved a year ago. The garlic is up and the carrots have germinated along with lots of weed seeds but we’ll pull those out once they are bigger. We also have some spinach, lettuce and broccoli in the beds and some more brassica seedlings in the shade house. I’ve made a bed ready for podding peas but we haven’t planted them yet.

Make it your own…FOOD

I’ve been thinking about where our food comes from and what goes in it. Food these days is an industry with factories and machines, preservatives and palm oil. Highly processed food is not the kind of food I want to eat. It might be cheap to buy in many cases but it isn’t cheap for our bodies or the earth. God has given me the skills and knowledge to cook my own food and large garden to grow it and I want to do more of it. I also don’t want to put highly refined sugars and vegetable oils into the little body of my son. Below is a list of some of the things I’ve been doing myself…

Bread (in the bread machine)


Herbal tea (herbs grown in the garden and used fresh or dried)



Chutney and pickles

Stock (usually chicken)

Some vegetables and fruit

Eggs (we have six chickens)

Baking (biscuits, cake, scones etc)

Chicken patties (I use chicken thighs, bread and vegies and put it through my Kitchen Aid mincer attachment)

These are all fairly easy things for me to do, except for the heavy stuff in the garden of course. I think the two most important things here are the bread making and the baking. Industrial bread and biscuits are filled with all sorts of awful things and a lot of the time I don’t like the taste anyway. Our homemade wholemeal bread is heavy and dense and make excellent toast. It has no preservatives or fillers and tastes delicious. Homemade cakes and biscuits are made with butter, flour, eggs and sugar and one or two other things. They have no colours or “numbers” in them and definitely no highly refined vegetable oils which are very bad for you. They also taste homemade which is good thing when it comes to home baking. I would far rather give my little one a buttered homemade scone or a piece of homemade cake for morning tea than a bought biscuit.

My Empire Red Kitchen Aid stand mixer makes light work of mixing, kneading, mincing and slicing. It sliced 4 kilos of cucumbers in about 10 minutes!

I’ve just started to get my own bacon going but I’ll talk about that another day…

It might only be 9:20 but I’m tired. Being a full time Mum with a bee in her bonnet about home cooking makes for a tiring day. I’m going to bed with a book.

Here’s a happy snap of my little guy.


Knitting in Summer 7 January, 2009

Filed under: knitting,Thoughts — makeityourown @ 3:00 pm

In my opinion summer is the best time to knit. I get more knitting done in summer than any other time. The nicest place to be on a hot day is on the couch with the air conditioner on watching tennis and doing a little light knitting. Tennis is my most favourite, and really the only, sport I like to watch, though I have been developing a taste for test cricket lately. January has the perfect combination of hot weather and tennis on TV. I look forward to January all year. A whole month of nearly-all-day sport watching means lots of knitting time! This year it means lots of knitting for the growing bump.

Here are my tips for summer knitting:

First of all develop your “hot weather princess” personality. Complain to the world how your blood pressure drops/feet swell up/get heat rash/generally can’t cope in the hot weather and absolutely MUST lie down with a cold drink or you’ll faint. Practise swooning. Being 8 months pregnant or recovering from surgery (hi Dad!) are very convenient at this time.

Acquire an air conditioner and a comfy couch if you don’t already have them.

Keep the phone and the TV controls within reach on the coffee table so you can easily flick between the tennis and the cricket if you are following both.

Knit garter stitch or stocking stitch so that you can concentrate on the sport rather than the knitting. Test cricket may let you do a more complex stitch. It seems to me that you don’t really need to watch it that carefully. Just watch your knitting until you hear some cheering then look up and watch the replay of someone getting someone else out. Last week one of the cricket commentators said enthusiastically, “what a great day’s play…there’s been something exciting happen every hour.” Well that’s test cricket for you.

Don’t try to knit while watching doubles. Doubles tennis goes so fast and is so exciting that it needs your full attention.

Knit smaller items like baby clothes, accessories or pieces of a jumper. An almost-finished magic square blanket or bulky seamless jumper for your 100 inch chested relative are NOT a good idea in hot weather.

Gotta go. The Hopman Cup is on. Aussie Open very soon. Have a lovely summer everyone!

PS: with the regard to the baby: everything is going according to plan. You wouldn’t recognise my ankles though. They are like balloons. (Matthew’s comment when I mention my swollen ankles is “what ankles?” He is cruising for a bruising but has been very good at bringing me cups of tea in bed in the morning.)


Apricot Harvest 11 December, 2008

Filed under: Home cooking,Thoughts — makeityourown @ 6:44 pm

Hi every body (including my Dad; nice to have a comment from you!)

Someone requested a baby update last week so here it is: I am now 31 weeks pregnant. Everything is perfectly normal so far and I can feel his feet and elbows sticking into me on a regular basis. He is going to be born at Ashford Private Hospital. I am planning on being a stay at home Mum. Matthew is going to be a stay at home Dad for the first 8 weeks. If you ask me about names I will give you a suitably vague reply. Names and the date of the scheduled caesarean are a secret! Okay?


Over the last couple of weeks I have been dealing with our apricot harvest. Our small tree gave us about 5 kilograms of fruit. Not bad for a 5 year old tree. We watered it regularly while the fruit was forming so each apricot was perfectly delicious and juicy. Yum! We now have in the cupboard 12 jars of golden orange jam and 8 jars of bottled halves in sugar syrup.

Apricot Jam

Bottled Apricots

Seems like a lot of work though, doesn’t it? I guess it is a fair bit of work and takes a fair bit of time sitting at the table slicing kilos of apricots, boiling up jam, putting the halves neatly into bottles, watching over the bottles so they stay at the right temperature for the required amount of time, not to mention the slight anxiety felt over whether the jam will set or not or the bottles stay sealed or not. Is it worth it? I think it is for a few different reasons.

Taste: I’m sorry but you just can’t buy apricot jam that tastes as good as homemade jam from homegrown apricots. Just starting with a superior raw material makes a huge difference. Even if you buy apricots to make jam it will still taste better then supermarket jam. Bottled apricot halves from homegrown apricots may look the same as tinned apricots but that is where the similarities end. Homegrown apricots bottled in a light sugar syrup (or fruit juice if you prefer) taste exquisite, not an adjective used to describe even the best tinned halves. Aside from all the fantastic fruit you can eat straight from the tree, homemade jam and bottled apricots are are very tasty way of using the fruit all year round.

Food Miles: “Food miles” seems to be a fashionable thing to talk about at the moment. It is a serious issue though. Lots and lots of the food we eat is trucked thousands of kilometres in carbon burning, fossil fuel using semi trailers. The more food we eat that comes from our local area the better in terms of the environment and also in terms of taste and quality. Tomatoes that are grown in Queensland and eaten in Adelaide have to be tough to survive the journey and tough they are. The same goes for strawberries from WA. Fruit that comes from your own backyard is very low in “food miles”. Yes you may have to buy sugar from Queensland to make jam in Adelaide but it’s still better than having that sugar go to NSW to make the jam then have the jars of jam trucked to Adelaide. We live in a perfect stone-fruit-growing area; why on earth should we buy stone fruit in a tin from Victoria? (Let me stress that some things just can’t be grown in our local area. I consider coffee and sugar to be essential items and I’m happy to have them trucked from Queensland, or Ethiopia or wherever our coffee comes from. Queenslanders of course will have other items that need to be brought from the southern states and so on for whatever area you live in.)

No additives: my jam has three ingredients: fruit, sugar and pectin. Pectin is a natural ingredient found in fruit anyway and helps jam to set. My bottled fruit also has three ingredients: fruit, water and sugar. No colours, no flavours, no preservatives, no mysterious numbers, none of those strange things that make many children behave strangely.

Fun: I actually enjoy making jam and bottling fruit. They are not difficult skills to master and give a great feeling of satisfaction when you see the jars lined up in your cupboard.

Our peaches will be ready soon, the tomatoes too…


Why buy a house 3 December, 2008

Filed under: Thoughts — makeityourown @ 8:55 am

A few months ago I was flicking channels and came across the Hack Half Hour on ABC 2 (Monday nights) where they were having the rent or buy property debate. Renting a home or buying a home are of course the two traditional methods for paying for accommodation but there are other methods such as cooperatives or not paying at all such as squatting (God forbid!). In the debate they covered aspects such as working really hard and having no fun in order to pay off a mortgage and the more carefree, less burdensome style that comes with renting. I would suggest there is a happy medium. There is no need to mortgage yourself the hilt and pay it all off in ten years and neither is renting easy and cheap with rents always going up. They questioned whether rent money is “dead” money as real estate agents would have you believe. Someone suggested that the interest we pay to banks with a mortgage is also pretty “dead”.

Since then I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about our home owner status. Obviously whether it’s better to rent or buy is totally dependent on your taste and situation and one is not better than the other.

We bought a modest home in the inner suburbs of Adelaide nearly eight years ago and we are glad we did. Owning our own house has allowed us to do many things we wanted to do that we couldn’t have done renting. Here are few reasons we love owning a house…

Energy saving: we have been able to install insulation in the roof and install ceiling fans in the lounge and the bedroom, both lessening the need for the air conditioner and the heater. We have installed a gas heater so there is no need for power sucking electric heaters. We have planted trees in front of the two west facing windows to provide shade in summer.

Garden: while you can plant a vegetable garden in a rented property, it doesn’t make much sense to plant fruit trees since you may not be around to reap the benefits. We have a large vegetable garden with raised beds and we have spent years adding to the soil to get it right. Over the years we have planted an apricot, a peach, an apple, a pear and a lemon tree. We know we’ll still be reaping the fruit from these and the benefits of the improved soil in the future.

Decorating: a small consideration really but it is nice to be able to paint rooms the colour we want and hang pictures were we want without having to ask. Many landlords will allow renters to do these things anyway.

It’s ours for good: our little house has its idiosyncrasies but we are fond of it. It’s solid house in a nice area close to the tram, the city and the beach. Since we own it, we won’t ever have to leave unless we want to.

Wages go up, mortgage stays the same: Over a 25 year mortgage, your payments are roughly the same (with variations due to interest rates of course) every month over the whole 25 years. In 10, 15 and 20 years’ time your payments will have roughly the same dollar figure as they do now. Wages, however will increase over that time due to inflation so the fraction of your wages spent on the mortgage will lessen considerably. That can only be a good thing! Not so with renting. Dollar figures for rent will always increase with inflation along with your increase in wages due to inflation so the fraction of wages spent on rent will remain the same.

The “Great Australian Dream” of owning property does make some kind of sense but to us it isn’t so that we can “own our own bit of property” or “have the security of bricks and mortar”. We can’t take it with us when we die and our security rests in something bigger, God.


Adventures in home storage 6 November, 2008

Filed under: Home cooking,Weekly useful stuff — makeityourown @ 11:01 am

Preparing our home for an new additional family member after 8 years of just the two of us has been all about finding new homes for things around the house. I thought I’d share with you what I have discovered…

1. Purging. Man, the stuff I have thrown out recently! Everything from table linen, appliances, old ring binders (why did we feel the need to have 12 empty ring binders in the cupboard?), books, and clothes to acrylic knitting yarn and plastic knitting needles (why did I need 4 sets of 4mm plastic needles when I hate knitting with them?). Anything in good condition has gradually been taken to the Salvation Army, the Church of Christ “Big A Boutique” or Vinnies. Lots of stuff has just gone in the bin. The world is a lighter and less stressful place when we are less encumbered by stuff. One also fits into one’s house a little more easily!

2. Squeezing. I have one thing to say about this: buy some of the vacuum pack bags from K-mart or wherever, put stuff in them, vacuum the air out, store them in a box under your bed. It’s amazing how much stuff can shrink when there is no air in it. My wedding dress and the clothes I’m not currently wearing are now freeze-dried-biscuit type things, protected from dust and moths.

3. Going up. Wall space in our house has been much under-utilised in our house. We now have a fancy Ikea bathroom cupboard that is 6 feet tall instead of a small 2 feet tall one. It takes up the same amount of floor space but now I actually have EMPTY space in a cupboard even though I have put all the towels in it. (Given time I think we’ll fill it easily with baby paraphenalia). We are about to take the same tack in the kitchen and are on the lookout for a large tall dresser.

4. Cleaning and tidying. I find that a clean tidy house feels bigger than an untidy house. I know I can keep it clean and tidy before the baby comes but after? who knows.

After believing that 2 adults and a baby (and one day another baby maybe) couldn’t fit comfortably into a 2 bedroom house, I’m starting to feel like we can.


I know that the weather is warming up but Matthew still likes soup for lunch. I guess working in an air conditioned office means soup can be eaten almost all year round. I’m making this soup this morning to be stored in small containers in the freezer. It’s one I threw together one day and liked so I wrote down what I did and have now made it lots of times. If you are reading this in the Northern Hemisphere this is a good winter soup you might like to make as the weather cools down.

You’ll need: 2 onions, 2 carrots, 2 stalks celery, 3 cloves garlic, olive oil, 1 cup red lentils, 4 cups water, 2 vegetable stock cubes, 1 can crushed tomatoes (about 410g), 150g bacon pieces (good quality please), thyme sprigs

Finely and neatly chop the onion, carrots and celery and crush the garlic. Gently sautee these with a pinch of salt in a slurp of olive oil for about 10 minutes. Add all the other ingredients and simmer until the lentils and vegetables are soft, between 30 and 45 minutes. Add more water if you think it’s too thick and stir regularly so it doesn’t stick. (You can leave the thyme sprigs whole. The leaves will fall off during cooking then you can remove the stalks before serving.) Serve with bread or toast or allow to cool and freeze for later. Serves 4-6.


Everything is growing well at the moment. The tomatoes seem to grow a few centimetres every day. A couple of them have flowers already. There are apricots and peaches forming on the trees and a few beans have popped up. Matthew has been preparing a bed for the pumpkins. The roses are covered in flowers. The garden would look perfect except for the grass which is drying out and turning yellow but there is no way we’ll waste precious water on the lawn!


On the 29th November there will be a street market on Goodwood Road between the library and the primary school. A couple of friends of mine are having a stall and I’ll be there for a little while too with some hand dyed yarn. It’s usually and excellent market and you should be able to find some Christmas gifts or at least something yummy to eat.


This is a Chinese blessing, though I’ve also heard that it’s a curse, that I’ve been pondering lately. We do seem to live in interesting times what with the financial crisis, the first black President, climate change and the huge changes the internet has brought to everyday life. As a lover of history and the way it affects our lives now I’m enjoying watching these interesting times and I hope I live a good long time so I can see how lives are affected in the future by what is happening now. I love watching election coverage on the TV. I’ll happily watch Australian election stuff for hours. I watched about 3 hours of the US election coverage on the ABC yesterday. It’s really going to annoy my kids in future!

Have an excellent week and enjoy the interesting times we all live in! Sarah.


It’s Freezing 23 October, 2008

Filed under: Vegetable gardening,Weekly useful stuff,Yarn reviews — makeityourown @ 4:08 pm

After at least two complaints from family members and some of my own feelings of guilt, I have decided to get back into blogging.

What was the reason for the long break? There are a few reasons. I have been working on some new paid work projects namely starting work for Bendigo Woollen Mills as a freelance pattern designer/writer and also getting my Yarn Collective store and my Ravelry store up and running. I have also been doing lots of resting and house re-arranging occasioned by the impending birth (in February) of our baby. The work, the resting and the nesting have meant that very little craft has been going on so I haven’t had much to write about! So no blog for a while. I have been doing some knitting, gardening and cooking lately so I’ll chat about those today and see what happens in the future…


Since becoming pregnant I’ve been stocking up the freezer with all sort of things to save cooking too much when the baby arrives. Matthew has been on a bit of health kick lately and has been requesting healthy soups and such things for lunch. I’ve been getting to the market a bit less often and so I’ll buy lots of meat in one go and freeze it. We bought a bigger fridge with a bigger freezer recently (again in preparation for a growing family) All these things got me thinking about the freezer and the many things you can freeze for later.


All sorts of dinners can be cooked and then frozen. My favourites are: chicken casserole, beef casserole, meat or chicken curries, sausage and bean casserole, bolognese sauce, risotto. All these can be cooked and then put into plastic containers. I usually cook a meal for four or six, have two serves for the two of us for dinner then put the rest in the freezer.

I have found that a certain brand of container fits perfectly stacked side by side in my freezer draws making the most of the space. Another good way to make the most of the space is to not bother freezing cooked pasta or rice. Just freeze the curry or the bolognese since pasta and rice are easy to store and cook. It’s a good idea to wait until the food has cooled before you put it in the freezer so that is freezes more quickly and doesn’t start the thaw the food it’s put next to. Don’t think that you’ll remember what is in a container! Label it! (Don’t ask me how I know)

To thaw your frozen dinner either take it out early in the day and then heat it in a saucepan or zap it in the microwave. Perfect for the times when you want some wholesome food but don’t have the energy to prepare it or the cash to go out. I’ve always got something in the freezer for such occasions even when I’m not stocking up in preparation for a baby.


While lots of people make sandwiches in advance and freeze them I haven’t found that to be necessary yet so I’ve never tried it. Since Matthew decided that giant ham and cheese sandwiches for lunch every day wasn’t doing his health any good, we’ve been trying to come up with other ideas for his lunch that involve vegetables of some kind but are still satisfying.The answer has been soup, soup and more soup as well as chicken legs.

These soups all freeze well and are an easy and healthy lunch option for those that leave the house in a hurry each morning: corn chowder, bacon and lentil, pumpkin, cauliflower, minestrone, chicken and vegetable. I make a big pot of soup and then pour it into lunch-sized containers, label them and stack them in the freezer.

Another idea I tried was roasting some chicken legs and freezing them. It was a bit of an experiment but it has worked reasonably well. Buy 8-10 chicken legs (drumsticks), season them well with some kind of chicken seasoning or salt and pepper, spray a tray with oil and bake the legs until they are cooked (about 45 mins) at 200 degrees. When they are cool put two each into small ziploc sandwich bags, squeeze out the air and freeze. The worker can grab one of the bags with a bit of salad or fruit in the morning and zap the legs in microwave at lunch time for a quick healthy protein lunch.

Another idea that I haven’t tried but which I’m sure would work would be to make a cake or slice, cut it up and wrap in individual pieces. All you’d need to do each morning would be put a piece in the lunch box, ready wrapped. This obviously works for muffins too. Homemade cakes are always going to be healthier that anything you can buy since they have no preservatives or additives or processed oils and fats and usually less sugar and salt.

Home grown vegetable gluts

If you have grown your own vegetables you may have found at some stage that you have too much broccoli, cauliflower, beans, peas than you can eat fresh. Over winter I grew some fantastic caulis but found I had three great big ones ready at the same time. One we ate fresh, one I made into cauli soup and one I froze. The technique for freezing vegetables is similar for most kinds and I have had good success with the ones I mentioned above. Cut the vegetable into bite sized pieces. Boil plenty of salted water. Put the vegetables into the boiling water and then let the water come back to boil which should take a minute or two. Drain immediately, rinse with cold water and drain them well. Lay the vegetable pieces in a single layer on a tray and put it in the freezer. When the pieces are frozen put them into a plastic bag and seal. You now have a bag of vegetable pieces, each separate from each other so you take out just as many as you need at a time. As convenient as frozen veg from the supermarket but homegrown by you.

Some vegetable don’t freeze well at all. Tomatoes, zucchini, cucumber and celery are all too watery to be frozen as they are. Cooked into something is a different matter though. Tomato puree freezes very well for instance.

Since I mentioned celery I do actually freeze celery in stalks but I have a particular reason for this. I don’t like celery much but it is an essential ingredient in many soups, stocks and Italian dishes and you miss it if it isn’t there. Thawed frozen celery is just mush with some strings but that doesn’t matter if it’s about to go into osso bucco. Since I only use a stalk or two occasionally and only for cooking I keep a bag of stalks in the freezer so I don’t have to buy a whole or a half one every time I need a little.


I raved on about stock in my last post so you read about it there. Suffice to say that stock is best cooked in a large amount and freezes beautifully so you can always have some home made stock in stock.


When you make a cake or muffins or scones or whatever it’s very little extra work to make a double batch so you might as well put some in the freezer and save yourself some effort later. Cakes, muffins, scones, bread, rolls, fruit loaf, date loaf and so on all freeze well in my experience. Muffins and scones are very convenient because you can thaw just one at a time if you want to.


I like to buy lots of meat all in one go since I don’t get to my favourite butcher as often as I’d like. I find the best way to freeze meat is in meal sized portions and as flat as possible so it thaws faster. So two lamb chops or two steaks or a few sausages in one freezer bag. Mince is frozen in 500g packs squished nice and flat. Meat that is is open to the freezer gets dry and tough so seal the freezer bags well. My tip for the nicest frozen meat is to thaw it naturally either in the fridge for the day or out on the bench for a few hours (not recommended on a hot day!). The microwave always seems to cook one bit while it’s defrosting giving you a tough bit of meat so I only use the microwave to defrost meat in emergencies.

That’s probably enough about freezers. Didn’t realise I had so much to say about them! Here’s a yarn review to take your mind off freezers…


Jo Sharp Soho Summer DK Cotton 50g, 100 metres, 100% cotton

I’ve recently finished a project in this yarn for the December issue of Yarn Magazine. After knitting through 5 balls in stocking stitch I can tell you that this is lovely yarn to work with and gives very smooth even results. Even with very pointy needles, this cotton doesn’t split and is so soft that it never feels stringy like some 100% cotton can. End results are nice and light, though a very large project may drop a little. At around $7.60 a ball, a large project would add up to a large amount. The cost would be worth it though for the lightness and softness and coolness of a finished garment. At a standard 22 sts to 10cm and 100m to 50g Soho Summer cotton could easily be substituted into other 8ply/DK weight patterns ball for ball but be aware that in a large project some dropping may occur. In a smaller project such a child’s garment I think you could substitute into a wool pattern with no problems at all.


Now is a good time to plant all the summer vegies. We have planted tomatoes, capsicum, basil, zucchini and butternuts. As soon as I’ve pulled out the spinach and coriander which are going to seed I’ll plant some dwarf beans and climbing beans. Adelaide still has some serious water restrictions so watering is going to involve a mixture of the hand held hose (Sunday only), watering cans and grey water.

That’ll do for now. Have a good week everybody. My sincere apologies to anyone who has been checking my blog regularly and finding no new posts! Sarah.