Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Basketful of Cat

I just had to share this picture with you; I've also posted it on my Photos 'n Things blog just cuz I think it's so darned cute. I really didn't think he'd try to get in to the basket, much less fit in it! I watched as he checked out the basket by sniffing it carefully, then gingerly putting both is front feet into it (it's lined with plastic), then his back feet. Finally, he curled himself down into position and promptly went to sleep.

Even when I started clicking away, he didn't move at all. I think the cat bed I've started will be appreciated, don't you?

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Monday, October 30, 2006

Little Things

My youngest daughter informed me last week that my newest grandchild is due on January 2, 2007. Somehow, that information got me started on thinking about baby things. To this point, we have no idea whether she's having a boy or a girl, so choosing colours is a little more difficult. However, I've been particularly drawn to this lovely shade of mossy green, so that's what I've been knitting with. And, this is what I've been knitting...

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I did mention the booties once before; the pattern can be found at the Garnstudio web site (or you can click here and you'll be taken directly to the pattern). I like how they turned out; the pattern calls for a crocheted picot edging around the top edge, but I kind of like it plain. Perhaps if the baby is a little girl, I'll crochet around the edge, but otherwise, I think I'll leave it as is. Here's a closer picture of the booties...

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And a close up of the top knot hat (pattern is in my sidebar, under "My Patterns")...

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Because I don't know this baby's gender yet, I'm not sure what to knit in the way of a sweater, which I WOULD like to do. I'm thinking of designing one. I don't think colour matters too much, as long as the sweater is cute. I really love the yarn I've been using, Luxury Fine Merino Superwash DK, from Peru. As I said in a previous post, it's a nice, soft, cushy wool. I'm thinking of a sweater in that particular yarn.

I've also been working on a design using that yarn and a baby cable pattern (I wrote about that before, too, remember?). I have one wrist warmer finished and I'm loving it! Actually, I've already done two wrist warmers, but the second one is better than the first. The first one was my trial version. I've got it right now.

Allow me to introduce "The Baby Rib Wrist Warmers".... or.. wrist warmer (singular), at this point...

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Now, I need to knit the second one and write out the pattern. I love the nice, long, 4" cuff on this one. I've been wearing the first one while on the computer in the mornings and that's the perfect length for keeping my right wrist nice and warm when it's just above freezing in our bedroom, where the computer is.

Special note for Cathy (you know who you are)... We did go to the Halloween party on Saturday evening, and our costumes worked out really well. However, I have no pictures to show you. The hostess took pictures, and promised to send me a picture of John and myself, so when I get it, I'll post it here, ok? For anyone wondering, we went as an artist (John) and his painting (me). I took a sheet of pressed cardboard, cut a face-sized hole in it, then created a work of art (and that is an overstatement), and attached a length of elastic. I wore black clothes and painted my face to match the "artwork". John wore the roomy's shop smock and a black beret and filled his pockets with paint brushes. Throughout the night, he'd come at me with a brush, "touching up" his masterpiece. There was a lot of giggling on my part.

Back to my knitting; the day is mine and I intend to waste it away by knitting. No wait, knitting's not a waste of time. ;)

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Hello... have you missed me?

It feels like forever since I posted. I know it hasn't been that long, but it feels like it. I've almost been feeling guilty. Almost. On the other hand, there hasn't been much to write about.

Today, well, I could say the same, but there are a couple of little things I can tell you about. First, I think I mentioned that I'm making a gift for a friend. I thought I'd show you a picture of that project; it's almost finished. I've got about 4" of 2x2 ribbing to finish and then it's done.

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This pattern is from an old Paton's booklet. I thought it would make a great gift. The yarn is not the one I mentioned in my last post. It's Online Linie 157, Tessa, 100% superwash wool, worsted weight. It's being worked on 4.5 mm needles and has knit up fairly quickly. If I worked on only one project at a time, it would have been completed in two days, probably.

I've also bought yarn to make a scarf for my mother. Both John and I agree that the colour would look good on her, especially with a black jacket she wears for "good".

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I'm planning on making a multidirectional scarf with this pattern: click here. I've used this pattern before, as well as Iris Schreier's MD scarf. They end up looking the same, really. It's a simple knit once you understand the process. The yarn is Feza Yarns, Fiona, a blend of 57% acrylic, 25% polyamid and 18% mohair. It looks as if it will knit up into a stripy pattern. I'll post pictures once I actually get it started. First, though, I have one or two small projects I want to finish.

This is one of them.

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I know, it's just a teaser. The stitch, of course, is baby ribs. It's the same rib I've used in my Java Rib socks. I'm not going to show you yet what it is I'm knitting in this stitch, other than to say it isn't socks. When I have the second item done completely, I'll post a picture. The yarn I'm using for this project is nice, to say the least. It's Luxury brand (from Peru), Fine Merino Superwash wool DK (that's the name; quite a mouthful, isn't it?), 100% superwash wool. It's a real joy to knit with, nice and soft and cushy. I'm using 3.5 mm needles and it's knitting up beautifully. That's what I wanted to show you, how it's knitting up. The stitch definition is good and it's really nice against the skin, and right now, I'm wearing it against the skin of one of my more sensitive areas. Um..... that didn't come out quite right. My wrist, ok? Enuff said.

I've also been playing with swatches. I think there's another scarf pattern brewing in the recesses of my brain. Amazingly, every time I go through my set of Barbara Walker treasuries, I come up with more ideas for things. There's just not enough time to follow through on all of them. I have sweater designs drawn out that I doubt I'll ever get to. I have scarf ideas that are constantly brewing. Sock ideas, fingerless glove ideas..... *sigh* Will there ever be enough time to do it all???

Now, I need to go see my doctor today. I'm all out of my blood pressure pills. It's always fun to go and have my pressure checked and to be told I should lose about five pounds. Oh well, it's only a few pounds. I can do that. Walking is good exercise. I can walk more. Just not today or for the next couple of days. Why, you ask?

I walked home from work yesterday. It's about an hour's walk; it's not a difficult walk. It's mostly flat. The scenery's great; I get to walk across a bridge. (We live on the other side of the lake from where I work.) Thing is, I wasn't really wearing walking shoes yesterday. I was wearing a clog type of shoe that I've had for years. They're comfortable enough for work, but for walking... well, only short distances, apparently. I have blisters. On the bottom of the balls of my feet. Both feet. I won't be doing much walking today.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

...and on the knitting front

There really isn't a lot happening. On my days off this week, I got very little knitting done. I did, however, start (ack, that dreaded startitis... I've been afflicted again!) a couple of small projects. I could take pictures, but there really isn't much to show yet.

I think I mentioned the baby booties I started, didn't I? The pattern is a Garnstudio pattern, found here. It knits up fast, but I've still only got one knitted and it's not all sewn together yet. The second one is about one third completed.

The second project I started is for a web friend, but she doesn't know it yet. All I'll say about it at this point is that it's being made in a yarn that we've carried at the store from Day 1. It hasn't sold and I'm not sure why. It's a lovely yarn to knit with. More details on that tomorrow. All I can remember about it right now is that it's called "Gaucho" and it's a worsted weight superwash wool. I think my friend will be surprised.

Then, the third project I started... There's this four-legged creature that shares the house with us and he has discovered all of my favourite places to sit and knit. Many a time, I've prepared my knitting spot, left to get something I'd forgotten, turned around and found Romeo curled up precisely where I was about to sit down. I've decided to knit him his very own spot - one of Cat Bordhi's cat beds. Hopefully, it will keep him off my favourite seat. Again, I just started the moebius strip yesterday, so there's really not much to show yet. As it progresses, I'll post pictures.

I know she probably will not see this, but today is my mother's 75th birthday. My mom has a computer but isn't online any more. I know that a couple of my sisters read this blog, so I'm trusting they'll let her know I've announced her age to the world.

My mom and dad moved to Canada as newlyweds from Holland in 1953. They are the only members of their respective families to have emigrated. They settled first in Winnipeg, where my mom gave birth to six children, me being the eldest. In 1966, they moved their family from Winnipeg to Abbotsford, British Columbia. The trip took almost a week, as I recall. I was twelve at the time. Their seventh child, my youngest brother, was born a few years later in Abbotsford. Now, in addition to her own seven children, there are sixteen grandchildren and six great granchildren, with two more on the way (one of which is my fifth granchild). How's that for a legacy?

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Happy 75th Birthday, Mom! We love you.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

More blogging... do I really need this?

Ok, sometimes I'm a glutton for punishment. Those of you who've been reading my blog know that my other (sort of) hobby is photography. I don't indulge in it to the extent that I do with knitting, but it's definitely something I enjoy. For my birthday a couple of years ago, John bought us a good digital camera and I love playing around with it.

The pictures I take, though I don't mind sharing some here, aren't usually about knitting. To that end, I've started a photography blog. And, for comparison's sake, I chose not to go with Blogger for it. It's a WordPress blog. It can be found here: Photos 'n Things (clever, huh?) Please feel free to visit and leave your comments there. I will attempt to post a new picture there daily, but can't promise. Some mornings I wake up just in time to rush to work.

Now, I must get ready for work. I'll try to post some knitting content on the weekend.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Peach Picking

Peach Picking
Originally uploaded by peridot1454.
This post has nothing to do with knitting, although I did knit a few stitches earlier today.

No, this post is just a test. I've signed up with flickr and am just seeing whether or not I like how it works with Blogger.

I took this picture a couple of days ago, while out on my walk. Just down the road from us is a peach orchard and these ladders, used for picking the peaches, are all leaned up against a power pole. The sumac is wearing it's spectacular fall colouring; I love this shot.

Monday, October 16, 2006

2:00 already???

Where has this day gone? I've done almost no knitting today (other than one little baby bootie... pictures another time). Does that qualify as a wasted day?

No, I can't say that it has been. I did knit on the weekend and finished (yes, finished!) these...

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Anyone who visits the Knitty web site will recognize these as Knucks, without the embroidery. If you're not familiar with Knitty, where have you been hiding? You can find the pattern by clicking here. They were fun and reasonably quick to knit; I did one on Friday and one on Saturday. If John's nice to me, I may even make a pair for him!

Oh yes, the yarn! It's Grignasco Top Print, colour #75, 50 grams, 100 mt. or 110 yards, 100% alpaca. One ball was enough for the Knucks with only a few yards left. It's nice and soft and warm (I like warm!).

I have a website to share with you. Reading a fellow blogger's post one day, I came across a link to Garnstudio.com. Talk about a goldmine! Just in English, there are over 1500 free patterns. Do check it out, and if you know of other websites along the same line, let me know. I'll post it in my "Links" section.

There are still a few things I need/want to do before John gets home from work, so I'll end this post with a picture I took today. One of the things on my to-do list today was "go for a walk"; I went, camera in hand. I took quite a few pictures. This is one. As well, in the Links section, I've put a link to a web page with a series of pictures I took. I've named the series "Detritus". There is a wooded section between our road and the main road; during the summer, there are often squatters staying in one area, away from the homes. Unfortunately, when they leave, they do not take their garbage with them. That's what this series of photos depicts. Makes you think...

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Friday, October 13, 2006

I Got Mail!

Snail mail... don'tcha just love it? I'll get to that in just a moment. First, though, I have a purchase to share with you. Yesterday, after work, when I should have gone straight home, I went instead to the other yarn shop in town. I like dropping in there now and then because they have stuff that the store I work in doesn't have. Like these two books...

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"Shetland Lace" by Sarah Don. I haven't had much of a chance to really go through the book yet, but I think it could be one I'd refer to regularly. I really do enjoy knitting lace, even though I have no burning desire to knit a "ring shawl". You know, that's one of those shawls that can fit through a woman's wedding ring... nope, no intention at all. But I do like knitting lace. It looks so complicated and yet, it really isn't.

The second book is "A Knitter's Template" by Laura Millitser Bryant and Barry Klein. Having had just a cursory look-through, I can tell you already that I won't be using the second half of the book much, if at all. The first half contains the information I'd use. Garment construction, sleeve treatments, measuring for knitting.. that kind of stuff. It's not that I don't have that kind of information elsewhere; with this book, it seems to be all in one place. I do know (already) that I'll have to get John to help me measure this body I'm inhabiting. I don't think he'll mind too much. ;)

Ok, on to the mail. When I got home from work yesterday, there was a box on the freezer. I didn't have my glasses on, so I wasn't sure who it was for. When I realized it had my name on it, I started to wonder if I'd forgotten that I'd ordered something online, but I was pretty sure I hadn't. So WHO loved me enough to send me a parcel? Who out there has my snail mail address? All that went through my mind in about two seconds. I dropped everything I was carrying (making sure I put the bottle of wine down carefully.. didn't want it to break), found the pocket knife on my key chain and slit the box open. Inside, wrapped in bubble wrap, I found this...

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So, why was this sent to me? Well... a while back (summer '05), I was asked if I would consider allowing one of my patterns to be included in this calendar. In return, I would receive a copy of said calendar as a thank you. That calendar is what arrived yesterday. Am I thrilled?? You have no idea!

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January 12, 2007.... that's MY day!

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A picture of the pattern (which, incidentally, resides in my sidebar as well). I've been published!

Then, I noticed this on the box/cover...

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How cool is that! Not only is my pattern included in the calendar, but the picture I took has been included on the cover! Am I thrilled or what?

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Before I forget, there were some questions asked in the comments that I really should answer. First of all, regarding the Nanaimo Bars. Knitting Rose asked what custard powder is. Well, I don't know whether you can get this where you live, but the powder I'm referring to is Bird's Custard powder (aka Creme Anglaise). Here, it comes in a yellow, blue and red tin and it's main ingredient is corn starch. You mix it with milk and a bit of sugar, cook it and end up with custard (which I do not like at all!). Instant custard, if you will. You could probably substitute an equal amount of Jello Instant pudding, vanilla flavour.

Then, a couple of you asked about the yarn I'm using for the "Hug My Ankles" socks. It's Online Supersocke 100 in the Fun Color collection, colour #765. I'm loving the colours in the yarn; it truly is a fun colourway. I must admit to having added four of the colourways to my stash, and may have to, eventually, add the rest of the collection. You can see the entire collection here; I must say, though, that the picture does not do the collection justice at all. The colours are much brighter than shown.

Now, I have the rest of the day to putter around the house. Any guesses as to what I'll be doing today???

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Nanaimo Bars - the recipe

Here, by request, is the recipe for Nanaimo Bars


1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar
4 tbsp. cocoa
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups graham wafer crumbs
1 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Melt butter, sugar and cocoa over hot water until sugar dissolves. Add beaten egg and vanilla; remove from heat. Add crumbs, coconut and nuts. Press into well-buttered 8x8" pan. Refrigerate until set.


1/4 cup butter, softened
2 cups icing sugar
2 tbsp. custard powder
3 tbsp. hot water

Combine these four ingredients until smooth. When base has cooled, spread filling over base and return to refrigerator until set.


4 squares semi-sweet chocolate
1 tbsp. butter

Melt chocolate and butter together over hot water. Spread over filling and chill until firm. Using a hot knife, cut into squares or bars.

I cut these into 1" squares as they are very rich.

Three down, One to go

Charts, that is. I've completed three of the four charts for the Icarus shawl. Now, I have only 28 rows left to do. That's chart #4, with 24 rows, and the edging, consisting of 4 rows. Then it will be finished, off the needles, off my plate. So, will I finish it today? Nope.

Today, I'm finishing a project for a customer (second one for said customer). She doesn't like sewing things together and is uncomfortable picking up stitches to do the bands so she's paying me to do it for her. It's not something I do much of (for others, that is), but it helps to pay for some of my yarn, so occasionally I don't mind.

Just so you can see that I really have been working on Icarus, here's a pic I took this morning.

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I've also been working on a sock. It's that "pick it up when you sit down for a few minutes" kind of project. I started doing just a plain old, ordinary kind of sock, but decided to change it up a bit. I'm calling it the "Hug My Ankles" sock. It starts out like an ordinary sock, but adds some ribbing along the sides, hugging (hopefully) the ankles. I hate socks that droop around the ankles and I figure this may stop that from happening. I'll carry half of the ribbing down the instep.. you'll see. I'll post another picture when I get that far.

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It's a little hard to see the ribbing yet, but it is there. I wonder if the Nanaimo bars are ready yet. A cup of tea and a Nanaimo bar (decadently sweet and chocolate-y yumminess), how does that sound for a healthy (*cough*) lunch?

For those of you who have no idea what a Nanaimo bar is, it is a Canadian (west coast, even) concotion that starts with a graham wafer chocolate base, then a layer of what can only be described as butter icing with some custard powder, and topped with a layer of semi-sweet chocolate. As I said, decadent, sweet, yummy. And, oh so rich!

Ask me for the recipe.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

October Moon

Knitting is in the background today. It's not that I'm not knitting, it's just that there really isn't anything new or exciting to show you. I'm knitting another Lacy Cantata Cap (pattern in my sidebar), this time out of a rust coloured Sirdar Country Style DK; I've picked up the Icarus shawl again, at least for today; I have plans for a couple more hats. Other than that, like I said, there really is nothing to show you.

So, feeling that I really should post something, I have a couple of pictures to share with you. Most of you know that we live on the banks of Lake Okanagan. It's October. We just had a full moon. Put the two together and you end up with......

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John called me to look at the moon a couple of nights ago, and to bring the camera. I'm glad he did. A closer look at the moon? Sure, I can do that.

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You can even see the man in the moon's face!

For those of you who read this blog, and live in Canada, I wish you a happy Thanksgiving weekend. We truly have a lot to be thankful for. Enjoy every blessing with a thankful heart.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Can I breathe now?

I've been busy. Busy knitting, busy working, busy at home. Today's my day off. I'll be working today. I'll be knitting today. I have a pattern for the store to print up today and a couple more to work on. This is a good thing. The brain's still in gear. I'm knitting more hats. The ones I'm knitting now are patterns I've already knit before, but I have a reason to knit hats. That's for another day. Let's just say that Strings 'n Things Designs now has a partner and leave it at that.

One of the hats I've knit again is the Men's Toque รก la Strellson. I was chatting with my sister about that particular hat and she commented that it looked kind of long and was it supposed to be folded up? So I re-knit it and took a pic of it along with the original ad (which I tore out of the magazine it was in). To show you how it is intended to be worn, might I present (again) the Strellson Toque...

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Again, it's knitted out of Sirdar's Country Style DK. One 100 gram ball will easily do two of these hats, with almost enough to make a third hat. In other words, two balls will easily make 5 hats. Do I really want to make five of these?

In other knitting, like I said, I'm working on hats at the moment so pretty much everything else is on hold at the moment. I really need to get back to my Donegal Tweed cardigan. I could use it right about now. The weather, gorgeous as it is, definitely has an autumnal twinge to it and I'm finding it more and more difficult to stay warm. It's almost time to pile on the shawls, I'm thinking.

I HAVE been doing other things, too. Over the past week, I've made, and frozen, a couple batches of apple sauce, 9 jars of oriental style plum sauce, 4 jars of plum marmalade (jam), frozen 4 quart bags of pearl onions (we can't find them in the freezer section here and we like to put them in our stews and chicken pot pies). I've been quite domestic over the last little while. Both John and I like to process fresh foods for consumption later in the year, but we don't always have the time. This year, we've done more than we have in the last few years and it really hasn't been a lot. In addition to what I've already mentioned, we have a few bags of freshly scraped corn in the freezer, too. Oh, and a couple of bags of rhubarb. I might turn that into jam later this winter.

I'd still like to make a few jars of salsa (I have this wicked recipe and the field tomatoes are still around and delicious), just to have them around for those nights we don't want to cook. Nachos are always good, yanno? (Just not too often!) Speaking of recipes, I bought a book a couple of years ago that I really love. It's title is "Small Batch Preserving". Offhand, I don't remember the names of the authors, but it's an excellent book. The recipes make, on average, 4-5 pints per recipe. That's just perfect for the two of us. The salsa recipe I referred to is in that book as is the plum sauce I made. I've made quite a few things out of that book already and all of it has been good.

That reminds me... I really should add some recipes to my recipe page, shouldn't I? I've been neglecting that page. Note to self: add that to the to-do list... somewhere near the bottom for now.

Enough rambling for now. John's at work (his eye is SO much better now, but he did feel like he's been straining a bit the other day), the roomies will be leaving before long, and I'll have time for ME! Now, where did I leave my glasses and my knitting last night?