Chill.

With the temperatures finally at a near perfect level, I am back in my element!

This is when I come alive, when ideas flow and I feel inspired again. And this is when I tend to chew off more than I can   handle. Life has been busier than ever. I don’t generally do busy. I don’t like to rush around. I like to do things the slow way. From raising the kids to building our house, finding your passions and in making friends. No need to rush things, right? I still think spending the day in our pj’s, having a simmering pot of  soup on the stove,  is the best way to unwind. That, and endless rows of knitting in your favourite colour right now. Give me a cookbook and a kitting project , and I enter a deep state of relaxation…

Lately I have been on a bit of a sugar free kick. I like to explore different ideas and ways of cooking and if it improves our habits and lives, then even better. So while I have been playing  with a low grain diet, I also started to have a closer look at our sugar consumption. We don’t eat any processed food or lots of packaged things, so I am not too worried. But I am taking it more as a challenge to create healthy and tasty treats without using sugars. Our main sweetener are Coconut sugar, Honey and Maple Syrup. So for our porridge it is still coconut and honey and for baking Rice Malt or Coconut. I am not much of a baker, so finding some real treasures to add to the lunchbox has been great. The kids are my taste tester, and #2 child in particular. If he approves, its in. So here is a bit about what I have been making this week.

super balls
Super Balls

We call them ‘Super Balls’ but really, they are Energy Balls. They contain shredded coconut, pumpkin seed, steamed pumpkin and cranberries. That’s it! All wizzed up in your blender, rolled into balls and tossed through some more coconut if you like and they are delish. I played around with sweet potato and sunflower seeds too. And didn’t tell the kids about the pumpkin….No they are in the lunchbox and I am feeling ever so pleased…..

When my mother-in-law visits, she always brings with her ingredients to make chocolate balls. I don’t know what goes in them exactly, but something along the line of wheat biscuits , coco, condensed milk and what not. Kid’s love making them. So the other day I played around with the Nut Milk pulp. A whet and creamy mix, all I added was some melted coconut and cacao butter, raw cacao, lots of shredded coconut and a dash of maple syrup. We rolled it into balls and popped it into the fridge to harden. Out came little chocolate balls that had a hint of alcohol (I think my maple syrup fermented a bit…oops.). Oh goodness, I felt so good having them as after dinner treat! With all the coconut goodness, they are a health food that takes you to chocolate heaven! I can see a choc ball cook-off with Nana…

And another yummy slice recipe that is a stayer is this lovely, light grain-free pumpkin bars. No photo from me, as it got eaten before I could take out my camera but so simple and yummy.

Today is a home day for me, so I will try my luck with an Avocado/Chocolate ‘Nutella’ spread…I’ll let you know how it goes.

It has been lovely experimenting and playing with food and feeling good about giving your kids healthy treats. And myself!

But this is not at all about food isn’t it!! Yes, I have been knitting and the shop has been busy with customers inspired by the sudden, yet totally expected turn of weather. And with new stock arriving almost daily, it has been hard to keep up with it all.

One of the most anticipated arrivals has been the Madelinetosh shipment. After all the remaining boxes got released from Customs I spent a long time playing with the most glorious colours. Pairing up neutrals with jewel tones has been lovely and no photographing can make these colours justice. While very tempted, I have yet only appropriated one skein of Madtosh Merino DK for a little sample project. After my last post about cowls, I had to make one for myself, but I can see a few more popping up..

Lepidoptra
Lepidoptra
Grasshopper
Grasshopper
Ink
Ink
Lolita
Lolita

These skeins have been flying out the door and I am glad that our next shipments of Madelinetosh will be more regular. Shipments are now planned for June, July and August, so we should have one of the biggest selection of Madelinetosh yarn in the country. Which makes everyone happy, as this is such a lovely yarn.

Tempest Shawlette {knit}

Lumen {knit}

Hang Ten Pullover {knit}

And speaking of Jewels, I have received a tiny shipment of Malabrigo Silkpaca in the most delicious colour combination.

Silkpaca
Silkpaca

If you are game, there are some super cute patterns to inspire…

Phoenix Mitts {crochet}

Aimatia {knit}

Itaca {knit}

I have also added the super cute Namaste Bags to our shop range, so there is now funky accessories to store all your knitting paraphernalia…

To browse whilst sipping your coffee, we now have an eclectic range of patterns, books and magazines.

Kelbourne Woolens Volume I is a stunning collection of timeless designs and the Best of Knitscene complements it with more stunning pieces to recreate. If you love knitting and crochet little flowers, then this little treasury of beautiful blooms is for you!

flowers
100 Flowers

I love my magazines and find lots of inspiration in them. We now stuck magazines to suit all tastes. The stunning Interweave Magazines are almost a collectors item…Jane Austen Knits takes its cues from the 18th century designs, while Knit.Wear is unashamedly modern and avant guard.

Jane Austen Autumn 2012
Jane Austen Autumn 2012

We are also stocked up again on all the PomPom issues, which are just such a breath of fresh air….

And speaking of fresh air, I have been feeling particularly energised after our regular tuesday night knitting. Over the past few weeks are great bunch of girls have started joining us and it has been a highlight of our week. It is amazing what happens when a group of women get together, no matter if its is for a book club or knitting night. It is always inspiring, uplifting and refreshing…

Have you found your groove lately? How do you slow down and stay centred? And what are you knitting at the moment?

Hope you are well and thoroughly enjoying the glorious autumn colours

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7 thoughts on “Chill.

  1. OMG – those yarns look delicious… I am in love with the Ink, and Lepidoptra, and the Grasshopper and Lolita… uh – all of them??? Glad you keep calm whilst being busy, what an art…

  2. Some days I feel I’ve found my groove, but usually my days are spent driving from pillar to post, with the gaps between filled with a flurry of activity. I find life much more comfortable when I can devote the day to being at home, or at least returning promptly from school drop off – there are then almost enough hours in the day to get most things done while still being able to actually sit down and feed the baby! Though going out for a good coffee now and then I find to be a great de-stresser.
    As for knitting, I am about to start on a Caelum jumper for my 6 year old boy in a cascade wool. But before then I need to finish unraveling a very tangled skein of ‘Skein’ wool – what a nightmare. I have placed the swift and ball winder to the top of my wish list again!
    Great treat ideas. I find the recipes in Cynthia Lair’s book ‘Feeding the Whole Family’ great, with lots of wholesome and easy lunchbox treats to try. I would really like to see the ‘recipe’ for your chocolate balls – they sound divine!

    1. Hi Paula, great to hear from you! I totally hear you! How is life with the new bub? I can only too well remember that sweet, sleep-deprived phase of my life….
      Love the Caelum Jumper, knitted about 3 of them for various boys…
      Will write down a recipe for my ‘choc balls’ and put it up…
      Look after yourself!

  3. Hi Alex, I love receiving your newsletter. I would love to come in & see your new shop sometime but am not sure where it is. Could you please give me the address (& basic directions)? I know Castlemaine a bit but don’t live there. Also, although I am not very healthy myself ( need to work on that!!) I know through vegan & sugar free friends that Agave syrup is another sweetener you can use. Also apple ( or pear) juice concentrate. Thought I’d mention them if you are experimenting. Thanks Alex. Cheers, Kristin x

  4. hi alex,
    i’m so excited to see an australian shop stocking gorgeous imported yarns like madtosh, malabrigo, cascade etc. i’m a melbourne girl & even in the city it’s near impossible to find stuff of that quality. i buy most of my yarn online but then feel bad because i want to support local small business (not to mention shipping costs!), but most places just stock the usual patons, cleckheaton etc which i guess is a decent cheap staple but leaves me a little cold.
    i hope the shop continues to thrive. i look forward to popping in & swooning over your skeins the next time i’m in castlemaine!

    1. HI Cecily

      thanks so much for your kind comments.
      Yes, yarn needs to sing to you and give you shivers when you see it, doesn’t it.
      Look forward meeting you in the shop some time!

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