Toilet Roll Telecopes

Little Bug (3-yrs-old) found some empty toilet rolls, and has been running around playing telescopes with them. He hands them out to Mummy and Daddy to join in the game as well.

We can use them to look around the house and name everything we see. We can pretend to be pirates looking for treasure, or spotting other ships. Hours of free amusement and we didn’t even need to paint them ūüôā

I like to keep little things that we can repurpose for other uses, and the cardboard tube that the toilet paper comes on is very useful. The rolls from the glad wrap (cling film) and foil, or paper towels are the same but a little longer.

Some other things you can make from toilet rolls are:

  • Dolls/puppets – just add head made from scrunched up newspaper, then paint or dress as you like
  • Construction – they make great legs for anything paper mache
  • Shakers – put cling film or foil or masking tape over the ends and some rice or beans inside and there you have musical instruments.
  • Angel for the christmas tree – as for the dolls above, but add wings, etc and you can stick it on top of the tree.

Victorian Shrug pattern

Last time I bought some bamboo/cotton yarn from Lincraft¬†they threw in a free “Yarn Inspirations”¬†book. I picked one that had a bolero pattern as I like to wear these little jackets over singlets, or strappy dresses¬†in summer. The little jackets are hard to find in the shops so I figured I would just make it instead.

Much later someone gave me 6 balls of Aran wool, not quite enough to make a kids jumper, but as I was  looking for a pattern that only needed this much wool I found the pattern for a Victorian Shrug.

Basically the shrug is a rectangle (aka wide scarf pattern) where you sew up 20cm each end for sleeves. Then if you want to get fancy you can add a knitted or crotched lacy pattern around the edges.

This was the first “lacy” pattern I have attempted, all the passo, and yo, and stuff like that scared my off. However I asked my mother to show me and it is really very simple.

There is really only 4 rows to the pattern. I am making a large one which should measure 107cm long and 58cm wide when completed. So I cast on 67 stitches using 7mm needles.

1st Row: k1 (yo, s1 k1 passo, k1 k2tog yo k1) to end

2nd Row: Purl

3rd Row: k2 (yo s1 k2tog passo yo k3) to last 2 sts. k2

4th Row: Purl

Repeat until work measures 96cm, cast off loosely.

So to translate…

k1 = knit 1 stitch  Рbasic knit stitch

yo = yarn over – wrap the yarn over the needle like you were doing a knit stitch (obviously without picking up a stitch from the other needle)

s1 = slip stitch – slip the next stitch from the first needle to the second needle without knitting it or anything

passo = pass slip stitch over – basically pick up the slipped stitch and pass it over the last stitch that you knitted, just like casting off.

k2tog – knit 2 together – just a normal knit stitch, but instead of picking up one stitch put the needle through 2 stitches and treat them like they were one.

Sounds scary, but pretty easy once you try it. The s1¬†and passo¬†combo, and the k2tog¬†are just different ways of making a hole in your knitting (that won’t run like your dropped stitches). The yo is to put the stitch back on the needle for the next row. You should always have 67 stitches on your needle,¬†NO¬†increasing or decreasing is occurring.

Recipe List

Having just repacked the pantry I realise that I could feed the family out of it for at least a month.

I have tried menu planning before and it never seems to work… there are always too many leftovers, or life gets in the way, or I forget to buy an ingredient. You know the way it works.

However, I love browsing the mags and picking new recipes to try, especially when I have all the ingredients on hand. So, I have decided to write the list of recipes that I have most, if not all the ingredients, on the fridge and rub them out as I make them.

This will also give me inspiration when I’m trying to work out what’s for dinner, and cut down the food bill this month as I clean out the pantry.

On the list so far, all from the March 2011 Woolworths Good Taste magazine, which means they should also be available from

  • Butternut pumpkin pies, p27
  • Lime coconut cake, p29
  • Sausage ragu¬†linguine, p35
  • risi¬†e bisi¬†(rice and peas), p38
  • Spaghetti with tuna balls, p46
  • Chickpea¬†pilaf with haloumi, p50
  • Chicken & polenta lasagna, p67
  • Fettuccine boscaiola, p82
  • Speedy dhal, p95
  • Pea & Haloumi¬†fritters, p106

Now to go flip through the April edition.

Fridge Notes

If you are like me then you are always forgetting things and writting yourself notes. While looking around the kitchen for a place to put a whiteboard, my eyes fell on the fridge. There it was big, white , looking a lot like a whiteboard. So, I tried it! Works perfectly with a whiteboard marker, rubs off clean. If you leave the pen on too long then you will need something like windex to clean it off with.

Movie Review: Your Highness

From the trailers I thought this would be a half decent movie, but I was wrong.

Natalie Portman’s character only appears half way through, when it looked from the trailer as the focus of the movie. The plot is weak, and obvious. The humor is mostly of the toilet variety.

Not worth the price of a movie ticket, possibly good as a rental DVD.

However, it is so bad it may acquire a cult following of The Princess Bride variety (don’t get me wrong, I love The Princess  Bride).