Monday, October 27, 2014

Pattern Review: Simplicity 1651

So the first summer dress of the season is finished! I've wanted to make up this pattern for absolute yonks, and when I saw the Kaffe Fassett Lotus print in GJ's I knew that the perfect fabric had finally come my way!

Lotus Dress #1

There are a few things that I quite like about this dress - it feels very sun smart, with the mostly covered bodice, and high back neckline. It's also got a 1940s vibe that I am really digging at the moment, especially with the cute double cap sleeves and bodice detailing. And it has a skirt that is perfect for swirling in. Not that I get many opportunities to swirl, but I like to be prepared in case a good, grade A swirl is suddenly called for. And you never know when that might occur!

The design features a side zipper, which I'd never actually done before. I approached the zip with some little trepidation, but it went in as easy as pie - phew! My secret is to always baste in my zips these days, and it really does make a different. The old stitch in time saves nine certainly rings true in that regard.

The only quibble I have is that the dress has turned out a tad more demure than I wanted. The cover illustrations make it look rather sassy, but my version seems determined to be well behaved and not bring any shame upon the family etc etc. Which is nice enough in it's way, but sometimes when you have your heart set on sass, you want SASS, BABY!

Not to worry - there's plenty more summer dresses with a pretty high sass factor coming along! Oh, and I've just noticed on the back of the pattern envelope that light weight double knits are amongst the recommended fabrics. Could be a winter version with long sleeves in the pipeline for winter, methinks!

Lotus Dress #2

Project Details
Pattern - Simplicity 1651, Bodice Front View B, Bodice Back View C, Flared Skirt
Fabric - 3.5m of Kaffe Fasset Lotus print from GJ's Discount Fabrics
Notions - 35cm invisible zipper

Friday, October 24, 2014

Chunky Cable Cowl

It's an exciting day here at the Jorth household. So exciting that Galumph might have woken up to find me shaking him, squealing "TODAY'S THE DAY! TODAY'S THE DAY!"

And then Tyger might have sleepily opened one eye only to discover her mother's face stationed mere millimetres from her own, waiting for that eye to open up so she could excitedly yelp "Wake up, Tyger. TODAY IS HERE!"

And then while everybody was trying to eat their vegemite on toast in peace and get over their rude introduction to the world of the awake, they might have had to put up with somebody tapping on the table with both hands, excitedly chanting "TODAY MY DESTINY IS FULFILLED! TODAY I RULE THE WOOOOOOOORLD!!!!"

Because you know what today is, don't you? I know you've all had it marked in your calendars for ages. That's right - today is the day my first knitting pattern is released. HOORAY!

Introducing the Chunky Cable Cowl. Designed exclusively for Woolarium, this quick knit cowl is the perfect project for beginners wanting to embark upon an easy cable design.


Knit up in Spud & Chloe Outer (wool and organic cotton) this cowl is so super snuggly soft that you won't ever want to take it off.

The pattern is available free with any purchase of Spud & Chloe Outer from Woolarium. The cowl has been designed to be a quick and satisfying knit - on 10mm needles it knits up in no time at all, making it perfect for Christmas gifts (or just multiple versions for yourself!)


We have a few more exclusive patterns up our sleeves, so keep an eye on the Woolarium blog for more fabulous quick knit designs. And while I'm at it, a big thank you to Sharron at Woolarium for this awesome collaboration. This knit design business is so much fun! Especially with a big chunky plaited cable!

If you have any questions, leave a comment and I'll try and get back to you asap.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Monthly menu plan - October/November


It's hot in the city, hot in the city tonight... well, it soon will be with summer practically upon us, and all the delicious spiced-up food I plan I cooking. I'm drooling just thinking about those delectable, tongue-sizzling flavours!

Week One
Monday - Creamy chicken and rocket pasta
Tuesday - Potato, pea and pumpkin samosas with salad
Wednesday - Spinach and ricotta cannelloni with salad
Thursday - Lentil and sweet potato salad with feta croutons
Friday - Red coconut curry salmon with Asian coleslaw
Saturday - Quinoa burgers with beet and feta relish
Sunday - Brown walnut butter and brie pasta with rocket salad

Week Two
Monday - Baked gnocchi spanakopita with steamed greens
Tuesday - Indian spiced red lentil soup
Wednesday - Asparagus and pea risotto with smoked salmon and rocket
Thursday - Spaghetti and meatballs with garden salad
Friday - Chilli chicken with creamed corn, with lemony broccoli
Saturday - Pea, broad bean and haloumi fritters with salad
Sunday - Rice paper rolls

Week Three
Monday - Broccoli pesto pasta with garden salad
Tuesday - Spicy rice and sweet potato biryani with baked eggs
Wednesday - Moroccan lentil and chickpea soup with garlic bread
Thursday - Beef and vegetable meatloaf with mash and gravy
Friday - Buckwheat crespelles with spinach and ricotta
Saturday - Green curry with crispy salmon and peas
Sunday - Roasted vegetable, cheese and cranberry filo pie with salad

Week Four
Monday - Greek bean and silverbeet stew
Tuesday - Red chicken curry with quinoa (with added vegetables)
Wednesday - Roasted tomato and lentil soup with croutons and garden salad on the side
Thursday - Salmon dauphinois with steamed vegetables
Friday - Chops with potato and asparagus salad

Friday, October 17, 2014

If it ain't broke...


And now for something really different, I'm making a dress made out of red and pink! I know - crazy, huh?

Thursday, October 09, 2014



Sabrina the (occasionally grumpy) dressmaker's model had been in surprisingly good spirits for weeks, but those happy feelings were beginning to ebb somewhat. "For", she thought as Jorth dashed past her, "who couldn't be full of felicitous bliss when wearing a dress as floral as this? However, would it be too much to ask for the darn skirt to be attached? Hmm, Ms I'm-so-busy-with-the-knitting-Jorth?"

Just then, much to her surprise, Jorth came over and lifted her a meter or so from her original position. "What the...?" Sabrina began to mutter, but then swallowed her words when she saw the sewing machine being lugged from its cupboard, which she had previously been standing in front of. Not daring to believe her eyes, she watched with growing rapture as Jorth gathered up the skirt pieces which had been lying neatly overlocked for some weeks past, and put them beside the now set-up sewing machine.

So thrilled was she with this turn of events that she didn't even flinch when Jorth stripped the completed bodice off her, for she knew that before the day was over, she would be resplendent in the full dress. Quietly, so quietly that the spools of cotton in the haberdashery buffet could barely hear her, let alone Jorth with her sub-standard human ears, she began to hum "Kiss From A Rose", and settled in to watch Jorth finish her new favourite dress.

Monday, October 06, 2014


Green Yarn

It's been a bit quiet around these parts, my friends, and to you all I must apologise, but life decided to throw a few curves balls our way, and when I am busy try to catch curve balls (anybody who has seen my feeble sporting attempts will know the catching isn't in my top 10 - or even maybe top 100 - skill set) I find that the old blog tends to get neglected.

Neglecting, however, makes me sad. I like my blog. I like being able to chat and interact with you all. So I've decided to give you a quick roundup on what's been going on, and hopefully now things have settled down somewhat I'll be back to my blogging best soon. So, in a nutshell:

- My father-in-law has been quite ill with an acute leukaemia. He's currently undergoing chemo, and is responding well to the treatment, thank goodness. So as a family we have been spending a LOT of time at the cancer hospital, which I can't praise highly enough for the brilliant job they are doing.

 - Just in case you thought we might be sick of hospitals, poor old Tyger came down with a vomiting bug so severe that we ended up with her at the Royal Children's Hospital. It turned out to be a nasty viral gastro, but for a while there was concern that it might be appendicitis. That was fun!

 - Then of course, just as Tyger was on the mend Galumph came down with the bug.

 - And, never one to be left out, I picked it up too. We went through a LOT of Pine-O-Cleen that week!

 - Whilst overtired and recovering from all this, I stubbed my toe so badly that I think I fractured it. So there was hobbling, too. Yay!

 - I changed jobs. It's actually been quite a stress-free process, and I love where I work now, but that was another life-changing unit thrown into the mix!

- I found out my bestie is moving to Darwin. I have gotten so used to seeing her beautiful face everyday as we take our children to school that I pretty much bawled when she told me the news. I am already feeling quite bereft at the thought that she won't be around. I think a holiday to Darwin might have to be on the cards for next year, because she is truly one of those people who lights up your day with her smile, and soothes every concern with her wise words, and I need my fix! Especially when trying to catch curve balls.

- Galumph has been crazy busy at work, and has pretty much worked through 5 weeks straight, with only the odd day off here and there. However we did just have a weekend together, which was lovely. Two days off in a row - felt like a novelty!

So that is about the sum of things. Still, fear not - there has been knitting and even a bit of sewing going on, so keep on eye on this space, and hopefully there will be some new projects featured here soon.