Where there is a will there is a way

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Papatuanuku: Our Connection to Nature (bottle top mosaic artwork), mounted in a school in NZ

This year I have been blessed with work in a team of staff who support Year 7’s to 13’s in a NZ school.  I started doing art with a few students that have supported classes in the centre, who have challenges such as autism, Down Syndrome, hearing issues.  I have loved working with these young people - supporting them in mainstream classes, or at their learning in the centre.  As time has progressed I have started doing a lot of gardening and art with our students (of course).

I have been able to be the person I have always felt guided to be - this year - due to the specialness of the environment I have been in.  That’s the only difference... I have wanted to create a bottle top mosaic for over nine years (post here that proves it).  The gardening and connecting to nature themes that I feel inspired to pass on to young people (and their open minds) are in it.

It is mounted in a courtyard between all the food tech classes at the school above where there had been a neglected 3.7 m long planter; I restored the soil and planted herbs for their cooking, in a bit of an adventure, and now the Learning Support Centre students and I maintain it.

It has been the most amazing collaborative effort, true teamwork where the energy of the students pushed me along from my usual perfectionist struggle; and all their ideas from their unique personalities enriched it.  There has been political guidance (to apply and receive permission and funding), team leadership for the drilling of screws, artistic cooperation, but mostly the space and trust to allow me to follow the guidance I listen to from spirit.

A local paper came to the ribbon cutting ceremony (Hibiscus Matters, Dec 18); here are the words to a presentation I made explaining the social message - an important part of the recycled materials mural:

This artwork was created using 2607 plastic bottle tops saved from one family’s usage (mine) over nine years, diverting them from landfill as these are not currently recycled.

The students of the Learning Support Centre have been involved in the creation of this artwork from concept stage, to placement of lids in the mosaic, to drilling screws; each student adding their own unique touch which gives this artwork its power.

The artwork shows the forces of nature at work, from worms digging in the soil beneath the ground to the land being shown as alive with Papatuanuku’s face and body as the hills, the swirls of wind, rays of sun and waters of the ocean and rivers as they flow from the land.

This artwork shows us how nature works and regenerates itself in a cycle, ever recycling what it does not need into something new, never throwing anything "away”.

(Bottlecap artwork method inspired by Michelle Stitzlein, artist in America.)

Monday, December 9, 2019

A whale for Wendy

It was a whale of a project.

But I wanted to express to my sister how much I loved her, from far away.  (I live in NZ, she in North America.  She had also just given me some super valuable advice and had always helped me so I wanted to show her how much I cared.  Also, wouldn't that be a funny thing to get in the mail?  

I restarted several times figuring out the best way to proceed.

I normally knit in the round, and after many sea creatures like dolphins, start at the nose and expand or shape at will.  It is seamless.  It is like a sculpture.

But the humpback tended to the 2D sew-it-together approach as it seems like there are two colours, one on its base, another on top.  Also the mouth wraps around up high on the whale.  After trying a few times switching colours but knitting round I gave up on that and calculated the 3D shape as best I could, mapping put the area around the whale and making a knitting graph of the top and bottom (based on actual tension).  I drew the flanking shapes - lower half shaped like an arrowhead, the top like a bottle starting narrow and staying narrow for awhile then expanding.

The graph and the drawing were super helpful but for some reason I figured it wasn't quite wide enough - too realistic - so I multiplied the stitches by 33% wider...

This was the result.

This is the start of the base (baleen) piece- really big ribbing to show those grooves...

I recorded what I was knitting - eventually sewing both parts together, stuffing it and continuing the second half in freestyle- leaving caps to return to for adding the fins.  

Every part required several tries, the start (5), the joining, the tail (twice).  The fins of course - but when I elaborately spent an evening following the scalloped edge on a fin, this is the most important part to write down as nature is syymmetrical.  I can freestyle the body all I want, but the second fin must copy the first exactly (mirrored).  And the left side of table in to right.  So it must be written down - even just for the moment until it is complete.

Kind eyes need eyelids; I always enjoy adding soul to the animals doing this part.  Eyes are the most important to be done right.

After all was complete adding bumps and even the top fin through shaping added lots of whale character.

I may not have made a realistic humpback whale, I think following such a bumpy type of whale (while shortening the proportions) allowed me to make a very whale-like whale!  

My sister has always loved blue, and I used a few strands of blue sock wool, and he same but part white on the base.  When she got this in the mail - it was a whale of a hug!

By the way here is the pattern I painstakingly recorded.  I hate following patterns myself, but just in case!  Well they are a great way to learn technique.


Bottom of humpback whale

Cast on 16 sts

  1. Knit in rib 16 sts

  2. Add 2 each side, rib 20 

  3. Rib 20   

  4. Add 2 each side, rib 24    

  5. Rib 24

  6. Add 2 each side, rib 28

  7. Rib 28

  8. Add 2 each side, rib 32

  9. Rib 32

  10. Rib 32

  11.  Add 2 each side, rib 36

  12. Rib 36

  13. Rib 36

  14. Rib 36

  15. Add 2 each side, rib 40

  16. Rib 40 start double ribbing 2k2p

  17. Rib 40

  18. Rib 40

  19. Add 2 each side, rib 44 2p2k first 

  20. Rib 44 stil 2p2k first

  21. Add 1 each side, rib 46 care for ribbing as 1 extra (Kfb, p, 2k2p…)

  22. Rib 46  starting k1 p2 k2

  23. Rib 46 

  24. Rib 46 

  25. Rib 46 

  26. Add 1 each side, rib 48 

  27. Rib 48 switch bigger needles

Rows 28 - 48, continue double rib 48 for 12 rows, then change to 

49. K or p2tog 7 times following pattern, then continue pattern until 14 left, k or ptog 7 times following pattern

50. K2tog, p2tog, k2tog, continue pattern until last 6 - k2tog or p2tog 3 times with pattern

51. K2tog twice, follow pattern to last 4; k2tog twice (24)

52. P1, k2, p3 etc until last 3, 2p, k1

53 - 55 Continue in triple rib for 3 rows then reduce 1 more each end. (22)

Knit in pattern for 48 rows or until narrow part measures about 30 cm.

103. Switch to double rib again to fade out indents - *(2k2p) repeat until end of row (but ends on a 2k)

104. Start with 2p2k. Repeat to end, but ends on a 2p.*

105-106. Repeat rows 103/104 double rib pattern once more. 

107. K2tog,(2p2k) until last 4, then 2p, k2tog. 20

108. P1, (2k2p) repeat until last 4, then 2k, p1. 20

109. K2tog, p1, (k2p2) until 3 left, p1, k2tog. 18

110. (2k2p) repeat, ends on a 2k. 18

111. (2p2k) repeat, ends on 2p. 18

112.  K2tog, (2p,2k) until end.  17

113. K2tog, (2k, 2p) until last 3, k1, p2tog  15

114. K1, p1, (k2, p2) until last sts k1.

115. P1, (2k, 2p) until last 2, k2tog. 14

116. P1, (k2, p2) repeat until last 1 then k1.

117. K2tog, k1, p2, (k2, p2) until last 3, p1, k2tog. 12

118. (2k, 2p) until end.

119. K2tog, (2p, 2k), until last 2, p2tog. 10

120. K1, p2, k2, p2, 2k, p1. 

121. K2tog, p1, k2, p2, k1, p2tog. 8

122. K1, p1, k2, p2, k2 (8)

123. P2, k2, repeat.

124. P2, k2, repeat

Put sts on hold

Top of humpback whale

Cast on 8 sts

  1. K8

  2. P3, kfb twice, p3   (10)

  3. Kfb, k8, kfb    (12)

  4. P3, kfb, p4, kfb, p3 (14)

  5. Kfb, p12, kfb  (16)

  6. jKfb, p14, kfb (18)

  7. K8, kfb twice, k8 (20)

  8. Kfb, p18, kfb (22)

  9. K10, kfb twice, k10 (24)

  10.  Kfb, p23, kfb (26)

  11. K7, kfb, k10, kfb, k7 (28)

  12. P28

  13. K13, kfb twice, k13 (30)

  14. P30

  15. K30

  16. P30

  17. Kfb, k30, kfb (32)

  18. P32

  19. K32

  20. P32

  21. K3, kfb, k to last 4, kfb, k3.  (34)

  22. P34

  23. K34

  24. K2tog, p to last st, k2tog (36)

  25. K36

  26. P36

  27. K12, kfb, k10, kfb, k12 (38)

  28. P38

  29. K38

  30. Kfb, p38 (until last st), kfb

  31. P40

  32. K40

  33. P40

  34. CO 10 to right side, k to end, .CO 10 sts

  35. P60

  36. K29, kfb twice, k29 (62)

  37. P62

  38. K62

  39. P62

  40. Kfb, k to last st, kfb 

  41. P64

Stockinette until matches bottom piece then sew together leaving holes for side fins and knit in round again.

Narrow tail by eye looking at photos of whale.

Whale tail

When at most narrow (48 sts) start increasing - also knit more rows below so tail will be slightly lifted up(like when the breach).

Over 16 rounds increase to 82 total (I turned and knitted more rows on underside than top).

Method for knitting tail - when stitches are evenly divided onto 4 needles, knit with 2 at a time, other 2 on hold.  

For a few rows, reduce k2tog x 2 at beginning (closest to tail centre), then increase by 1 at tail edge on end of needle, again at end of next needle, then k to last four of round at k2tog x 2 again.

Then k2tog at start and end of rounds with no increases at edge until all stitches gone - draw string through last two.  

Repeat on other side.

Whale fin - right (according to whale)

Doesn't matter what you do just write down and mirror exactly as fins are symmetrical!

Right side, round starts by eye, bottom needle first to the left...

Stick needle in round hole, pu 14 sts top, 14 bottom

k 4 rounds

  1. k28

  2. k28

  3. k28

  4. k28

  5. Increase by 2 on bottom (16) and by 4 on top (18) 34 sts

k 8 rounds

  1. k34 

  2. k34

  3. k34 

  4. k34 

  5. k34 

  6. k34 

  7. k34 

  8. k34 

  1. n1 bot: Kfb by eye, k2tog at end (tail).  n2 top: k to last st, kfb by eye. (35)

  2. k round 

  3. k round 

  4. n1 bot: k2tog by eye, k to end of round

  5. n1 bot: k2tog x 2 by eye, k.  n2 top: k to last 2 and k2tog (by eye).  

  6. n1 bot: k.  n2 top: k2tog by tail and k2tog x 3 by eye. 

  7. k28 (15 bot n / 13 top)  

  8. n1 bot: k.  n2 top. k to last 2 and kfb x 2 (by eye). 

  9. n1 bot: k.  n2 top: k to last 2, kfb x 2 (by eye). 

  10. n1bot: k to last 2, k2tog (by tail).  n2 top: k. 

  11. k29 (14 bot / 15 top)

  12. n1bot: k2tog by eye, k to end.  n2 top: k to last 4 sts, k2tog x 2 by eye.

  13. n1 bot: k2tog by eye, k to end.  n2 top: k2 tog by tail, k to end. 24 sts

  14. kfb x 2 at start and end of round (by eye)

  15. k28 

  16. n1 bot: k to last 2, k2tog (by tail).  n2 top: k. 27 sts

  17. k2tog x 2 at start and end of round (by eye)  23 sts

  18. n1bot: k2tog by eye, k.  n2 top: k. 22 sts

  19. k22 (10 bot, 12 top)

  20. k22 

  21. k22

  22. n1 bot: k to end.  n2 top: k2tog by tail, k.

  23. k21

  24. k21

  25. kfb start and end (by eye).

  26. k23

  27. k23

  28. k2tog at start and end of round (by eye)

k 6 rounds

  1. k21

  2. k21

  3. k21

  4. k21

  5. k21

  6. k21

  1. kfb at start and end f round (by eye)

  2. k23

  3. k2tog x 2 at start and end of round (eye)

  4. k2tog at start and end of round (eye)

  5. k2tog x 2 at start and end of round (eye)

  6. k2tog x 3 at start and end of round (eye)

  7.  k2tog x 4

  8. k2tog x 2

draw string through 2 sts

tidy up corner

shape and stuff bumps, reinforce, look at photo whale fin 

other fin - round starts by eye but is top needle first.  replicate (mirror)

That's it!

Sunday, June 9, 2019

The Making of the Houhora Dolphin

Free pattern as follows:

This dolphin is knitted from nose to tail. I knit the body mostly in the round - except when forming buttonholes for the side fins and top fins. Later stitches are picked up round the buttonholes to knit the fins. It is a very seamless pattern, which does not require any piecing together afterwards although I do make the buttonholes a little long for flexibility (a few stitches sews them to be smaller. You do not have to use two colours, it is easier if you do not. Use only one colour for an easier knit - pattern included after this one.

I started with short needles, 3.25mm wooden, but when done with nose, switched to my regular metal 4mm needles. Use any wool you like, I used bamboo cotton but it was slippery. I liked how it revealed my design. If you use regular wool it will look even better. I knit through the back loop when I create animals, for a denser fabric.


Cast on 6 onto 3 dp needles (short if possible).

1. (K1, m1, k1) repeat 3 times (9 sts)
2. (Kfb, k1, kfb) repeat 3 times (15 sts)
3. K15
4. (K2, kfb, k2) repeat 3 times (18 sts)
5. K18
6. (Kfb, k6) repeat 3 times (21 sts)
7. K21
8. K21
9. (K7, kfb) repeat 3 times (24 sts)
10. K24
11. K24
12. K24
13. There are 8 sts on each needle. Slip last st from previous needle onto working needle (bottom needle) so 9 sts. Now knitting to reg length needles - 4mm, K10 onto same needle so bot needle has 10 sts. Onto next new reg length 4mm needle (k, kfb) seven times - 21 sts on that needle (dolphin top). Bot: (K2, kfb) 3 times, k1 - 13 sts on bot needle. Now this point is start of round. (34 sts)
14. K34
15. (K3, kfb) until 2 sts left on top needle, k2 - 25 sts top. K4, kfb, k2, kfb, k4 - 15 sts bot.
(40 sts)


16. K to last st of top needle (k25), turn.
17. Sl1, p to last st, turn.
18. Sl1, k to last 2 sts, turn.
19. Sl1, p to last 2 sts, turn.
20. Sl1, k to last 3 sts, turn.
21. Sl1, p to last 3 sts, turn.
22. Sl1, k to last 4 sts, turn.
23. Sl 1, p to last 4 sts, turn.
24. Sl1, k to last 5 sts, turn.
25. Sl1, p to last 5 sts, turn.
26. Sl 1, k to last 6 sts, turn.
27. Sl1, p to last 6 sts, turn.
28. Sl1, k to last 7 sts, turn.
29. Sl1, p to last 7 sts, turn.
30. Sl1, k to last 8 sts, turn.
31. Sl1, p to last 8 sts, turn.
32. Sl1, k to last 9 sts, turn.
33. Sl1, p to last 9 sts, turn.
34. K to end of needle, then continue knitting to finish round (keep gauge tight).

Divide sts from bot needle so that the gauge will be easier to balance, 7 onto two needles, then continue knitting with 7 st on it until there are about 20 on first needle, and the second needle will have 20.  Continue knitting - 5 rounds.

35. K40
36. K40
37. K40
38. K40
39. K40

Sl last 7 sts from round onto new needle. K7 sts, this is bot needle again. This will distribute sts to 14 sts on each of 3 needles.

40. K40


Work on 28 sts (top 2 needles) in stockinette for 9 rows. This will create two “buttonholes” where fins will extend from:

41. K28
42. P28
43. K28
44. P28
You can knit all stitches onto one needle at this point, it’s easier.
45. K28
46. P28
47. K28.
48. P28
49. K28. Place on hold.

Work on 14 sts on bottom of dolphin in stockinette for 10 rows; I changed to a lighter colour for this:

50. K14
51. P14
52. K14
53. P14
54. K14
55. P14
56. K14
57. P14
58. K14
59. P14


Keep knitting to join round, but change to deeper colour to continue top, twist colours when change:

60. K14, turn.
61. Sl1, p13, p14 lighter colour, introduce another strand of same blue for top and p14, turn.
62. Sl 1, k13, k14 lighter colour, k14, turn.
63. Sl 1, p13, p14 lighter colour, p14, turn.
Repeat rows 62-63 twice more (4 more rows of stockinette).
64. Repeating 62
65. Repeating 63
66. Repeating 62
67. Repeating 63
68. Follow pattern for next row of colour changes but repeat (K6, k2tog) until 4 sts left in row,
k4, turn.
69. P12, p12 lighter colour, p13, turn.
70. (K6, k2tog) repeat three times, then k12, turn.
71. P13, p8 lighter colour, p13, turn.

Divide sts equally onto 2 needles evenly (I had been knitting on one working needle), knitting to join rounds (top fin buttonhole ends), now only in original colour (cut off ball of lighter but leave long tail):

72. K10, k2tog, k8, k2tog, k10 (30 sts)
73. K30
74. K14, k2tog, k15 (one from next round) - 29 sts
75. K until last 2, k2tog (28 sts)
76. K28
77. K4, k2tog, k to last 6, k2tog, k4 (26 sts)
78. K26
79. K9, k2tog, k4, k2tog, k4, k2tog, k4 (23 sts)
80. K4, k2tog, k4, k2tog, k9, k2tog (20 sts)
81. K20
82. K11, k2tog, k3, k2tog, k2 (18 sts)
83. K18 (Stuff as you go!)


Starting with 18 sts, 9 top needle, 9 bottom. First expand base of tail:

84. (Kfb, k3, kfb, k3, kfb), repeat (24 sts)
85. K24
86. (K2, kfb, k6, kfb, k2), repeat (28 sts)
87. (K5, kfb, k2, kfb, k5), repeat (32 sts)
88. (Kfb, k14, kfb), repeat (36 sts)
89. K36
90. (k3, kfb, k10, kfb, k3), repeat (40)
91. (k8, kfb, k2, kfb, k8), repeat (44)


Divide half of each needle, slip sts onto 2 needles so 11sts on 4 needles. 2 needles will be worked with at a time to knit each tailfin separately. Working on right side 2 needles first (if tail to ceiling, belly facing you):

1. Needle 1 - kfb, k8, k2tog,
Needle 2 - k11 (22 sts)
2. Needle 1 - k11,
Needle 2 - k2tog, k8, kfb (22 sts)
3. Needle 1 - kfb, k8, k2tog,
Needle 2 - k11 (22 sts)
4. Needle 1 - k11,
Needle 2 - k2tog twice, k5, kfb twice (22 sts)
5. Needle 1 - Kfb twice, k5, k2tog twice,
Needle 2 - k11 (22 sts)
6. Needle 1 - K11,
Needle 2 - k2tog twice, k5, kfb twice (22 sts)
7. Needle 1 - k7, k2tog twice,
Needle 2 - k2tog, k9 (19 sts)
8. Needle 1 - k7, k2tog,
Needle 2 - k2tog twice, k6 (16 sts)
9. Needle 1 - k4, k2tog twice,
Needle 2 - k2tog, k6 (13 sts)
10. Needle 1 - k4, k2tog,
Needle 2 - k2tog twice, k3 (10 sts)
11. Needle 1 - k2tog, k3,
Needle 2 - k3, k2tog (8 sts)
12. Needle 1 - k1, k2tog, k1,
Needle 2 - repeat (6 sts)

Draw string through last 6 sts, secure. Cut string but leave a long tail hanging off point of tail.  Stuff fin.


Return to other two needles on left side, stuff this fin as you go:

1. Needle 1 - k2tog, k8, kfb,
Needle 2 - k11 (22 sts)
2. Needle 1 - k11,
Needle 2 - kfb, k8, k2tog (22 sts)
3. Needle 1 - k2tog, k8, kfb,
Needle 2 - k11 (22 sts)
4. Needle 1 - k11,
Needle 2 - kfb twice, k5, k2tog twice (22 sts)
5. Needle 1 - K2tog twice, k5, kfb twice,
Needle 2 - k11 (22 sts)
6. Needle 1 - K11,
Needle 2 - kfb twice, k5, k2tog twice (22 sts)
7. Needle 1 - k2tog twice, k7,
Needle 2 - k9, k2tog (19 sts)
8. Needle 1 - k2tog, k7,
Needle 2 - k6, k2tog twice (16 sts)
9. Needle 1 - k2tog twice, k4,
Needle 2 - k2tog, k6 (13 sts)
10. Needle 1 - k2tog, k4,
Needle 2 - k3, k2tog twice (10 sts)
11. Needle 1 - k3, k2tog,
Needle 2 - k2tog, k3 (8 sts)
12. Needle 1 - (k1, k2tog, k1)
Needle 2 - repeat (6 sts)

Draw string through last 6 sts, secure. Cut string but leave a long tail hanging off point of tail.

Then more more shaping, draw string through inside the top of fin for half the fin, then down through stuffing to centre, then pull a little. This will cinch the first half of the fin a little tighter for more curvy shape. Then sew up the gap between the two fins with remnant strings - then draw inside after securing (make a knot inside dolphin fabric).


Pick up 28 stitches around buttonhole onto two of the short needles, 14 each one. I had sewed it a little shorter so it matched a dolphin better - about 4cm in length after.
Start knitting nearest dolphin nose.

1. K28
2. K26, k2tog (27 sts)
3. K12, k2tog twice, k11 (25 sts)
4. K25
5. K2tog, k9, k2tog twice, k8, k2tog (21 sts)
6. K21
7. K2tog, k7, k2tog, k8, k2tog (18 sts)
8. K7, k2tog, k7, k2tog (16 sts)
9. K2tog, k2, k2tog (14 sts)
10. K2tog, k3, k2tog twice, k3, k2tog (10 sts)
11. K2tog, k2, kfb, k3, k2tog (9 sts)
12. K2tog, k7 (8 sts)
13. K2tog, k4, k2tog (6 sts)
14. K2tog, k2, k2tog (4 sts)
15. K4
Draw string through 4 sts, secure.

(facing belly nose up)

Pick up 16 sts onto two short wooden needles, 8 on each needle.

Start knitting nearest dolphin nose (knits under the fin first).

1. K16
2. K16
3. K7, kfb twice, k7 (18 sts)
4. K8, kfb twice, k8 (20 sts)
5. K9, kfb twice, k9 (22 sts)
6. K10, kfb twice, k10 (24 sts)
7. K24
8. K2tog, k20, k2tog (22 sts)
9. K9, k2tog, k9, k2tog (20 sts)
10. K2tog, k16, k2tog (18)
11. K2tog, k14, k2tog (16)
12. K2tog, k6, kfb, k5, k2tog (15)
13. K2tog, k11, k2tog (13 sts)
14. K2tog, k9, k2tog (11 sts)
15. K2tog twice, k1, kfb twice, k2, k2tog (10 sts)
16. K2tog, k4, k2tog twice. (7 sts)
17. K2tog, k5 (6 sts)
18. K2tog, k2, k2tog (4 sts)
Draw string through last 4 sts, secure.
Do the same for the other side, but reverse pattern as follows:

(facing belly nose up)

Pick up 16 sts onto two short wooden needles, 8 on each needle.

Start knitting nearest dolphin nose (knits over the fin first).

1. K16
2. K16
3. K7, kfb twice, k7 (18 sts)
4. K8, kfb twice, k8 (20 sts)
5. K9, kfb twice, k9 (22 sts)
6. K10, kfb twice, k10 (24 sts)
7. K24
8. K2tog, k20, k2tog (22 sts)
9. k2tog, k9, k2tog, k9 (20 sts)
10. K2tog, k16, k2tog (18)
11. K2tog, k14, k2tog (16)
12. K2tog, k5, kfb, k6, k2tog (15)
13. K2tog, k11, k2tog (13 sts)
14. K2tog, k9, k2tog (11 sts) ,
15. K2tog, k2, kfb twice, k1, k2tog twice (10 sts)
16. K2tog, k4, k2tog twice. (7 sts)
17. K2tog, k5 (6 sts)
18. K2tog, k2, k2tog (4 sts)

Draw string through last 4 sts, secure.

On vacation to Houhora, making this - after a walk through forest which had been left to itself.

31 DEC 2018

I followed a path towards the top of the hill.
Everything looked sacred.
I wanted to be careful where I stepped, for everything was alive.
I took care to step around small plants and even the leaf litter felt alive.
I thought about how everything is
Papatuanuku - Earth Mother, everything is alive - except where humans have cleared all life away - we have forgotten we live on Mother Earth, all the time.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Oven roasted habanero sauce

Super easy and healthier than boiling style!  (As nutrients are more preserved.)  Just freeze or eat fresh.  Making this sauce is just like you bake or oven roast veggies - then use a blender stick.  

I used feijoias and guavas from bach we were staying on. So amazing to use resources picked from the land.  I had brought chillies I had grown - an ice cream bucket full, and bought bell peppers, garlic, onions.  (Photo below shows all the beautiful ingredients that went into this oven roasted habanero chilli sauce.)

Homemade sauces taste so much better as they are fresh and didn't need preservatives to guarantee their safety long-term.  This sauce tasted amazing and as roasting was easier/healthier - won't be boiling sauces anytime soon!


I just cut up and baked 3 glass trays of ingredients one after the other in the oven until you could smell their nice smell and were soft.  First just chillies as had so many.  Sprinkled sea salt and pepper. Then the onions and garlic. Sprinkled sea salt and pepper.  Then fruit both kinds with a sprinkle of sugar over top to aid in caramellisation. If less ingredients onions garlic could go together.  Wouldn't do fruit together  with chillies actually. 

Didn't overcook especially chillies so nutrients intact.  Allowed to cool then blended.  I also added the juice of two lemons.  We added about 1 cup of vinegar.

THE ONLY PROBLEM was the bloody guava pips, when your teeth find them!  Would remove these next time even after cooked - or not use guavas.

PS - these are guavas - hadn't used them before - wouldn't need to remove skins as they are soft, I did, but this is optional.


TRAY 1 (chillies)

All chillies cored, deseeded, cut into roughly equal pieces (photo above - before cooking):

18 Thai chilli peppers mostly green a few red. 
2 jalapeƱo chillies. 
6 habanero chillies insides of flesh scraped (tamed). 
5.5 bell peppers. 

Coat with just enough oil and and sea salt and pepper and bake in glass oven tray on oven at 200 until well roasted. 

TRAY 2 (onion garlic)

2 red onions diced
2 bunches garlic diced 

Coat with just enough oil and sea salt and pepper and bake in glass oven transfer oven at 200 until soft.  

After cooked, I poured in to the bowl with chillies (photo below, both chillies and onions, garlic cooked).

TRAY 3 (fruit)

Scoop out flesh 10-12 feijoas
Cut up 25 guavas. 

Chop roughly, put in an oven tray with a sprinkle of sugar, bake until caramelised. 

Photo above - the glass tray I cooked everything in (with both guava and feijoa after baking)- sequentially!

When all cooked put in same large bowl, whizz together with blend stick.  Add juice of two lemons.  

Add 1 cup vinegar. 

Freeze or use straightaway fresh!

How to make chilli jam


600g cut up chilllies or capsicums (peppers), any kind. 
1 cup vinegar 
5 cups sugar (helps preserve as bugs don't like all the sugar)
1/2 pouch Hansells Jam Setting Mix (from supermarket (pectin for thickening, made from apples). Method:

Cut up and core 600g of chillies (if I have picked a bit more I just add a bit more vinegar and sugar and setting stuff proportionally) no worries. Wear gloves or will have painful fingers.

The heat of your jam will be from this choice here.   Mild - 4 med sized capsicum, 4-5 capsicum.  Med - mostly Thai chillies.  Moderate and divine - add a Habanero with inside white interior scraped away (tamed that is where heat us stored). etc!

Blend with 1 cup vinegar - add half chillies and all vinegar, blend, than add the other half.

Pour into large pot with 5 cups sugar in it. Stir. DON'T ADD PECTIN YET.

Boil 10 min, turn up to max then turn down to gentle boil. Put clean jars into oven at 160 degrees C to kill bugs. I wipe sides with wet scraper to avoid possible crystallisation with unmixed sugar falling in at wrong time. 

Then add pectin made into paste just before adding (or gets thick) stir well and count to 60. Take off heat.

At this point you pour into hot sterile bottles, to 1 cm from top. Pour slowly as hot bottles will fizz the stuff up. USE A GLASS MEASURING CUP or something small to pour into jar. I still have a scar where sticky jam danged onto my arm. You can't get sticky boiling stuff off in time.

Pour then cap using a tea towel or something, stick on windowsill or wherever. You will hear a POP which is the oxygen leaving the bottle as it vacuum seals. When it cools label with pride.