Jumper Joy

From vests, I did transition to jumpers. I used this clever pattern where the jumper is knitted top-down on circular needles and thus is completely seamless.

BB's Jumper

Hubby’s jumper was the first cab off the rank. Even though it’s plain, plain, plain, I certainly learned a lot knitting it. And I got the sizing right with him.

BK's Jumper

My jumper is a lot looser, so I guess I won’t be wearing it to ‘formal’ occasions. That said, it is very comfortable and nice on the skin. Not too bad for some first efforts.

Vested Interest

I was itching to get out of ‘accesories’ territory (hats, mittens, socks, booties etc etc), and the humble vest was the perfect garment to make the transition with. It’s good to wear on cooler days, under jackets, around the office, and on first sight, manageable enough. So I set to work.

My first vest was this little number. It was in my favourite colour, and had lovely cables! They are the plaits down the middle.

Cabled Vest

It wasn’t enough though because I had to straight away knit another vest. Knitting up all those colours drove me a little nuts (all those ends to weave…) but I think did it ok.

Leftovers Vest

The good thing about vests is that:
a) It doesn’t take a long time to make (I averaged about 2 weeks each) and
b) It doesn’t cost the earth in yarn.
Each vest took about 7 balls of yarn – that’s $35 worth, which is still comparable to what you might pay in the shops. But nothing can compare to the satisfaction of making something for yourself (or other people) – priceless!

Shake Your Booties

There’s a baby boom going on, at least for my friends and family. I have 8 girl friends/family members who are expecting. The fact that quite a few of them are expecting their first means that it’s been a good time to be making baby gifts.

I have been knitting these baby booties in various colours.

First baby booties

Blue booties

Red booties

After getting the hang of the pattern after the first pair, I can now knit them without looking at the pattern.

My friends were very surprised and delighted to receive their booties. I guess it’s because knitted gifts are as rare as hen’s teeth these days. As long as they use them, I’m happy.

Beanie Bonanza

Beanies were the second thing I learned to knit after scarves. It’s about the easiest thing you can do as at its simplest only involves knitting, purling, and decreasing.

Simplest Cap

But I have always coveted those ear flap beanies. They look so cute and warm and comfy – perfect for someone who feels the cold. So this time around, I knitted a purple one for myself.

Thorpe Hat

Then hubby said he wanted one to wear when he’s outside in the field, so he got a blue one.

BB's Ear Flap Beanie

Pattern is here. It’s all very easy and quick – it took me all of 3 nights to finish one. What are you working on at the moment?

Knitting Frenzy

Knitting is one craft that I took up again this past year. I think my first experience of knitting was all the way back in primary school, when my Year 2 teacher taught the whole class how to knit. I vaguely remember the experience of being frustrated at the holes I made with my green acrylic yarn and red needles.

Jump forward 26 years and things have gotten a bit easier this time around. I have gone through a few bouts of knitting as an adult, but this time I have gone much further. Previously I had knitted scarves before going on to beanies, mittens and socks.

Belated socks


In the past year, we have discovered the joys of a bread maker. Its primary job is to make bread, of course. I make a loaf most weeks using my own ingredients (not pre-mixed stuff). The bread tastes great, and I know that it contains no preservatives. Some people might think that using a machine is the lazy person’s way of making bread – the clever machine kneads, rises, proofs, and bakes – but if it works, why not?

Homemade wholemeal bread

Last Easter, we made hot cross buns, again with the help of the bread maker. This time we used it to mix and raise the dough but did everything else manually. Again, it tasted lovely, and it wasn’t too sweet like store-bought buns. We hope to make another batch in a week or so when Easter comes around again.

Homemade hot cross buns

Lastly, we use the bread maker to make pizza dough. There’s an art to rolling the dough out thinly and then strategically arranging the ingredients, but the result is a great tasting pizza that’s isn’t overloaded with salt and fat.

Homemade Pizza

We’ve had some wonderful pizza parties where everyone made their own pizzas. It’s a novelty to many people to make their own pizzas, but it really shouldn’t be.

Even though we have had the help of a bread machine, baking isn’t rocket science. It does however take thought and preparation. Making pizza from scratch takes more than 20 minutes, which I suppose is time that most people don’t seem to have, but the convenience comes at the cost of taste, and health. We ate store-bought pizza the other week, and even the healthy choice pizza (sparing in meat and cheese) made me thirsty. That never happens when I eat homemade pizza. It makes me wonder at the amount of salt in pre-made food.

The supermarkets however are determined to sell convenience, and they seem to be slowly stripping their shelves of basic baking ingredients. For example, we can’t seem to buy dry yeast in canisters anymore, only in packs of 7g ‘single use’ sachets – no good to me since I use yeast by the teaspoonful, less than 7g worth. This is not the only sneaky thing the supermarkets have been up to. C’mon, why do you need pancake mix when the real thing is so easy to make? All I can say is, don’t be afraid of flour and dough, peoples. It really can be your best friend if you take the time to get to know it.

Valentine’s Day Dinner – Part 3

My contribution to our Valentine’s Day dinner was the dessert. The current year’s favourite dessert is apple and rhubarb crumble. It’s the dish I make for my parents-in-laws and hubby loves it too. I served it with a dollop of our homemade Greek yoghurt.

Valentine's Day Dinner

We’ve discovered yoghurt making in the last few months. It only takes a few minutes to prepare the mixture and overnight to ‘cook’. Yum!