Lake Bumbunga, SA ~ The Pink Lake with kids

Lake Bumbunga in Lochiel, SA is a pink salt lake located 2 hours drive north of Adelaide or 40 mins west of Clare.

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It is surreal and beautiful and a brilliant place to visit. It’s also isolated, Google Maps will navigate you to a private dirt road hundreds of metres from the lake itself, and the sharp, salt encrusted ground under the water can rip up little feet in an instant.

How to get there?

Navigate to “Jitter Bean Oasis” which is a cafe/convenience style road side stop located in Lochiel, SA. Park outside and cross the road for best access to the lake.

What facilities are there?

The only “facilities” near the lake is a green shed public toilet on the corner of Robert St & the Princes Highway. I don’t recommend this for a toilet stop but it has a tap inside which we used for washing the salt off our hands. I can’t confirm if this was rain, bore or drinking water and there was no signs or anyone around to ask. Let me know if you visit Lake Bumbunga and find a fresh water tap close by!

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Here are some tips for making a visit to the “Pinkie Pond” as my 4 year old dubbed it so much smoother.

  • Wear rubber sandals if you enter the water – $1.50 thongs from Kmart with a strap did the trick for my little one and saved the pain from the sharp, salt encrusted sea bed. I put my thongs on as well after a few nasty scratches myself.
  • Wear sunscreen & hats 
  • Baby wipes – Trust me on this one. After stepping out of the pretty pink water you’ll begin to notice a layer of dried salt on absolutely everything. My black jeans looked like someone had thrown flour at me, little Lottie’s legs, hands and hair was caked in salt and nothing but the baby wipes we bought in Clare 40 minutes later after a crunchy and uncomfortable car ride would get it off.
  • Carry fresh water – common advice for visitors to the Clare Valley as many properties run on rain water and the safe tap water has a strong taste. You can buy cases of water in supermarkets and food stores in the towns around this area. A case of fresh drinking water in the car and a few bottles of safe tap water for washing will make the journey back from the lake a lot more comfortable especially if little ones managed to get salt in their eyes!

What did we learn?

We did some research on the differences between fresh and salt water creatures before our trip and used our visit to Lake Bumbunga to reinforce the differences between the water in the sea, inland lakes, swimming pools and taps. Honestly, this was mostly for fun and photos rather than study!

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Pokéball Crochet Pattern

My family is majorly in to Pokemon Go right now. My husband actually walks home from work to catch more, our 3 year old is utterly delighted that she caught a Pidgey all by herself, I’m impressed by the game and all three of us have spent so much time together rediscovering something my hubby and I loved as kids and introducing it to our own child.

The original Pokemon series is on Netflix here in Australia, and Little Lottie is working her way through the episodes. A Pokeball is an obvious thing to crochet for a child who is now calling herself Pikachu instead of her actual name but it only occured to me to sit down and make it when I caught her throwing her hard, plastic pencil sharpener shaped like the Death Star at the TV.
I only found one pattern on Pinterest and it didn’t turn out the way I wanted. It was too small and didn’t look quite right. So I set out to write my own and after some trial and error – documented here and here – the pattern is finally done!

Crochet Pokeball Pattern

 What you’ll need

  • 8 ply acrylic yarn in red, white and black
  • 4mm crochet hook
  • Darning or upholsterer’s needle
  • Scissors
  • Toy stuffing

Terminology;
Sc = single crochet,
(SC2) = Sc2 in the same stitch to increase stitch count
(SC2tog) = SC two stitches together to decrease.
SlSt = Slip Stitch
(no.) = Indicates the stitch count for the row

Pattern

  1. Start with white yarn. SC6 into a magic circle, SlSt together. (6)
  2.  Sc2 in each stitch around. (12)
  3. SC1 (SC2) x 6 (18)
  4. SC1, (SC2), SC2, (SC2), SC3, (SC2), SC2, (SC2), SC3, (SC2), SC2 (23)
  5. (Sc2), Sc4, (Sc2), Sc3, (Sc2), Sc4, (SC2), Sc3, (Sc2), Sc4 (28)
  6. Sc3, (Sc2), Sc6, (Sc2), Sc6, (Sc2), Sc6, (Sc2), Sc3 (32)
  7. Sc 1, (Sc2), Sc7, (Sc2), Sc7, (Sc2), Sc7, (Sc2), Sc6 (36)
  8. Sc 6, (Sc2), Sc11, (Sc2), Sc11, (Sc2), Sc5 (39)
  9. Sc8, (Sc2), Sc12, (Sc2), Sc12, (Sc2), Sc4 (42)

Switch to Black yarn
10. Sc15, (Sc2), Sc26 (43)
11. (Sc2), Sc42 (44)
12. Sc44 (44)

Switch to Red yarn
13. Sc42, (Sc2tog) (43)
14. Sc26, (SC2tog), Sc15 (42)
15. Sc4, (SC2tog), Sc12, (SC2tog), Sc12, (SC2tog), Sc8 (39)
16. Sc5, (SC2tog), Sc11, (SC2tog), Sc11, (SC2tog), Sc6 (36)
17. Sc6, (SC2tog), Sc7, (SC2tog), Sc7, (SC2tog), Sc7, (SC2tog), Sc1 (32)
18. Sc3, (SC2tog), Sc6, (SC2tog), Sc6, (SC2tog), Sc6, (SC2tog), Sc3 (28)
Stuff your Pokeball until it firmly holds it’s shape.
19. Sc4, (SC2tog), Sc3, (SC2tog), Sc4, (SC2tog), Sc3, (SC2tog), Sc4, (SC2tog) (23)
20. Sc2, (SC2tog), Sc3, (SC2tog), Sc2, (SC2tog), Sc3, (SC2tog), Sc2, (SC2tog), Sc1 (18)
21. (SC2tog), Sc1 x repeat around (12)
22. 4 x SC decreases. Fasten off and weave hole shut.

Button

  1. SC 6 in a magic circle (6)
  2. 2SC in each stitich (12)
  3. Change to black, SC in ea stitch (12)


Fasten off and cut leaving plenty of yarn for sewing the button on. You can increase the stitch count to 18 if you prefer but I’ve found that 12 gives a much tighter and straighter edge when the button is sewn onto the Pokeball. Sew button on over any visible colour change stitches.

And there you have a Pokéball!


This takes me about 45mins to make at the moment but I’m getting faster. I’ve already got lots of requests from friends and family for Pokéballs and I can’t wait to make them. Gotta catch ’em all!

Liz x

Crochet Macarons Pattern

Feb 2019 Update – PDF Pattern now available on Etsy

I’m considering making a bunch of these as favours for Lottie’s birthday party next month so I combined some of the bits I’ve picked up from amigurumi and cupcake patterns and came up with a pattern of my own. I have come across crochet macarons before but they always turned out so small and not very macaron-looking. So here’s my own attempt at a pattern.

free crochet macaron pattern from liz&lottie

They are pretty much the same size as a regular macaron you get from a cafe. Perfect for pretend tea parties and play kitchens.

Here are the finished products. They work up in about half an hour if you’re familiar with the 6-12-18-24-30 round stitch expansion.

crochet macaroons 3

  (20c coin for scale)

I think they look pretty good. Here’s the super basic pattern.

Crochet Macarons

U.S based terminology; SC = single crochet, SlSt = slip stitch, Ch1 = chain one,

(2SC) 1SC x 6 = two SC into one stitch to create an increase, 1 SC into the next stitch then repeat six times.

{xx} = stitch count at end of round.

You will need; 

  • 3mm crochet hook
  • 8 ply/ DK yarn in 2 colours – one for the biscuit and on for frosting.
  • Toy stuffing or yarn scraps
  • Scissors & Yarn needle

Method; Top Biscuit

  1. 6 x SC into a magic circle. Sl St to join. Ch1. {6}
  2. 2 x SC into each stitch around. Sl St to join and Ch1. {12}
  3. (2 SC) 1 SC x 6. SlSt and Ch1. {18}
  4. (2SC) 2 SC x 6. SlSt and Ch1. {24}
  5. Final increase round. (2SC) 3 SC x 6. SlSt to join and Ch 1 {30}
  6. SC into each stitch around. SlSt, Ch1 {30}
  7. SC into each stitch, change colour and Sl St, Ch1 to reach row 8 with a new colour. {30}

Frosting

8. 30 SC into back loops only. SlSt to join. Fasten off leaving a long tail for sewing.

Bottom Biscuit

Repeat steps for rows 1 – 7 and fasten off instead of changing colour.

vvvv What you have should look something like this vvvv

crochet macaroons 1

Notes on Sewing

Everyone has their preferred way of putting crocheted toys together. In this instance putting the needle straight through the V created by the SC in the frosting and then into the bumps on the inner side of the bottom biscuit all the way around created the neatest edge. It also made a little ridge on the bottom part to match where you crocheted into back loops only.

crochet macaroons 2

Sew 2/3 of the way closed then stuff with toy filling or yarn scraps. Don’t over stuff or you’ll end up with an oval shaped ball. Even out the stuffing by holding your macaron in the centre between your thumb and forefinger and rotating it to flatten the shape slightly. Finish closing the gap and sew in your ends. And that’s it!

I’ve made a bunch of these and have plans to put them in my Etsy store as well as use them for party favours.

I’m loving making these and I hope you will too.

Liz x

The usual blog pattern disclaimer notes apply; You can sell the macarons you make but don’t sell this pattern. If you share it on your blog, Pinterest etc. please link back here. Thanks!