Congratulations Michael.

finishedLast night was an extremely exciting stage of the Tour de France.

The winner of the stage was Michael Rogers from Canberra.  I can say that I knew him as I taught him in high school. :-)
Well done Michael.

some twitter comments

Some Twitter comments on the victory.

He dared to dream and made it a reality.

Twitter post

I hope he wins another stage before the end of the Tour.

Falling down in my Historical Fiction Challenge

As I have been busy doing other things I haven’t read many books for my Historical Fiction Reading Challenge.  I have been reading crime fiction but I am now reading a historical fiction book for my challenge.  The book is Suite Française by Irene Némirovsky

Suite FrancaiseA wonderful book with so many interesting characters.

From the cover:

“Set during the year that France fell to the Nazis, Suite Française falls into two parts.  The first is a brilliant depiction of a group of Parisians as they flee the Nazi invasion; the second follows the inhabitants of a small rural community under occupation.  Suite Française is a novel tha teems with wonderful characters struggling with the new regime.  However, amidst the mess of defeat, and all the hypocrisy and compromise, there is hope.  True nobility and love exist, but often in surprising places.”

This book gives you a fascinating look at Paris during World War II  and the massive exit from the city seen through the eyes of the author who (while writing this book) was living in the French countryside until her capture by the Nazis. All characters are carefully depicted and each one brings to the novel some aspect of life during the Nazi invasion of France in 1941.

“In 1941, Irene Némirovsky sat down to write a book that would convey the magnitude of what she was living through by evoking the domestic lives and personal trials of the ordinary citizens of France.  Némirovskys death in Auschwitz in 1942 prevented her from seing the day, sixty five years later, that the existing two sections of her planned novel sequence, Suite Française would be rediscovered and hailed as a masterpiece.”

Although the author never finished Sweet Francaise what is amazing is that her lack of an ending does not affect a beautifully written story.


Tour de France jumper finished, another project needed for the remainder of the Tour.

I obviously chose a project that was not of an appropriate length for the Tour de France as I have completed it and we are only up to Stage 14 when I write this post.

The TourThe jumper was a joy to knit.  I had forgotten how much I enjoy colour work when knitting.

retro yoke jumper
I have now started a small project for the time being.

close upIt wont take long to knit as it is thick wool and big needles, in fact I will probably finish it on the next stage.

start of knitting

This is what I am making.

tea cosy

You can find the free pattern here.

I have a Pinterest board for woolwork, aka knitting


and another board for crochet.

crochet ideas I have made a few of the items on my boards but there are still many to choose from. You can view the boards by clicking on the pictures.

Patterson Park – a new playground in Metung

information boardYou will need to click on the picture to be able to see the detail.

The park was looking a bit run down and the only renovation that had taken place was the installation of the raindrop fountain.  The fountain has proved to be a huge hit with the young ones so it is only fitting that the rest of the park be given an upgrade.

Work is due to be completed by October so at the moment there is not really much to show.

climbing frame and swingThe raindrop fountain is in the centre of the picture where the metal post can be seen.

I’m sure that when it is finished it will get lots of use.

Steamed Pork Buns, it was intended to be coconut dumplings?

We recently purchased a steamer as we had left our previous steamer behind when we moved house.

bamboo steamerI had been tempted to make coconut dumplings after watching a Jamie Oliver program. I didn’t end up making the coconut dumplings but made steamed pork buns instead.

pork dumplingsThey were delicious.

deliciousI used a recipe from the Australian Women’s Weekly Chinese Cooking Class cookbook.  I have used this recipe book for many, many years and I still use it now.  All the classics are in there.  When I was working it was guaranteed to have a recipe that was quick to put together and satisfy a family.

chinese cookbook

A wonderful knitting handbook which supplements Elizabeth Zimmermann

The Knitter Knitting Masterclass with over 20 technical workshops and 15 beautiful patterns edited by Juliet BernardKnitting Masterclass

This is one I borrowed from the library but I will need to buy a copy for myself as I found so many good tips within the covers of this book.

joining woolJoining wool has always given me a bit of a headache.  I never know whether to make all my joins at the end of the row (fine if working on two needles) or whether to join with a knot (Zimmermann would turn in her grave at the idea of a knot) or whether to knit for a few stitches with the old yarn and the new yarn together.

Since reading this book I now join using the Russian method which is sort of like knitting with the old and new yarn together but with the added security of the wool being looped together.

If you are a knitter, what method do you use to join in a new ball of wool?

I also discovered in this book that I hold my needles and wool by the English method. (Gasp!) Why wasn’t I taught the Scottish way?

holding wool

I said that this book supplements Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Knitting Workshop.  There are many helpful hints in this book that are not covered in Zimmermann’s book.  I bought the Zimmermann book because I wanted the Baby Surprise pattern and I found the book to be really helpful as well as providing the pattern for the Baby Surprise Jacket. It is a jacket that is knitted all in one piece.

If you are a knitter I suggest you check out Knitting Masterclass at your local library.  You will probably end up buying one for yourself.  By the way, I would recommend it to beginners not just those who are experts already.

A Tour de France jumper

While watching the Tour de France I like to have a knitting project on the go.  My most recent knitting project is a Shetland shawl but because every row is different you have to give it full concentration and so it is not a suitable project for the Tour de France.

I have been meaning to knit a Yoke jumper for my elder daughter and hadn’t been able to pin her down to select a pattern and choose her colours.  She was visiting us last week and I was able to get her to do the choosing so I was then able to start work.  My daughter found the pattern online.

yoke pattern

My elder sister will recognise the pattern as it is the one I knitted her for her 21st birthday, quite a few years ago.  Interesting to note that it is now a “retropattern”.

My daughter has marked on the colours that will be used instead of those on the pattern.


I made sure I did a swatch this time as I want to make sure that it fits.  It is difficult to photograph navy blue. It just seems to come out a dark blur.


I have adapted the pattern so that I am knitting the complete jumper on circular needles or four double ended needles.  The only seam will be six stitches under the arms.


I have managed to get quite a bit of knitting done so far and I think I might manage to finish it before the end of the Tour.

While I was searching for a yoke pattern to use I created a Pinterest board which if you are interested you can check out on Pinterest by clicking on this screen shot.

yoke sweaters

Having found all these lovely sweaters I think I will probably be doing more yoke jumpers in the future.