Saturday, May 30, 2009

Every Other Saturday

If it's every other Saturday today, it must be podcast day. Episode #5 is up! As well, I've started a new podcast notes page. There's a link in my sidebar. There, you'll find pictures of some of the things I talk about, as well as links to books and patterns I mention in the show.

On the knitting front, for all intents and purposes, the baby dress is finished! I'll be taking it with me to Sit and Stitch this afternoon, where I'll try to finish the sewing up. Then, all that remains is to crochet the button band and buttonhole band; the bands are nothing more than a couple rows of single crochet around the entire back opening, with loops in the last row, for buttonholes. I'll be on the hunt for pink ribbon to match the pink yarn, and that will finish the dress off. Once I have everything together, I'll take pictures.

All I have to do now is wait until this little girl puts in her appearance, some time in August. 

So, what do you knit when the weather turns hot? It's been gorgeous, sunny and warm this week... lace? Cotton? How about alpaca? Yup, that's what I've been working on. In particular, I've picked up the Ropes & Picots cardigan again and am really enjoying working on it. I have the right front completely finished now; originally, I was going to get the fronts and back panel all to the armhole shaping, put them on a circular needle and work all the shaping at the same time. I've changed my mind. I'll just finish one piece at a time; it's a little less bulky and easier to handle, and it just feels like it's faster. I'll take pictures sometime this weekend.

In the meantime, I've got some tidying up to do here in the apartment. This afternoon is Sit and Stitch. If you're in the Kelowna area, feel free to join us at KVR Coffee in the Capri Center Mall, from 2-4 p.m.... every other Saturday.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Let Them Eat Cake!

The cake turned out fantastically well and John was absolutely thrilled with it!  As you can see from the pictures, I'm not lying. :)

Don't look too closely at the dirty oven; it just proves that we love cooking/baking. It does get cleaned regularly, just not recently. Normally, if I'm making the basic version of the chiffon cake, it will rise above the pan; I find that the variations don't usually come up quite as high. And the cake, cooled and ready for consumption...

Dessert is served! I made some chocolate whipped cream by adding about 1 teaspoon cocoa, about 1 tablespoon powdered (icing) sugar and 2 ounces of brandy and whipping it all up until thickened. Slice the cake and garnish with a good dollop of the chocolate whipped cream and decorate with a sprig of mint. Dust with powdered sugar. Eat!

In a future episode, I'll include a clip that I recorded about this cake and the little misadventure I had during it's making. The recipe, incidentally, for those of you who love cake (and who doesn't?) can be found by clicking the following link (pdf file):

I'll put it in the sidebar as well. Enjoy!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Knitting Updated

I thought I'd update the progress on the baby dress. I was hoping I'd have all the pieces knitted by now, but I really didn't get a lot of knitting done this week. 

I did, however, finish up the front and back and one sleeve is done. I'm not sure how much I'll be working on it this weekend as the weather has finally turned nice and we really want to get out at some point. Unfortunately, there are chores that need to get done, too. 

Hopefully, the second sleeve won't take more than another hour or so to finish. If I get it done this weekend, I'll steam block the stocking stitch part of the dress and put the whole thing together. Originally, I had thought I'd do a serious blocking, but, in this case, I want the lacy parts NOT to stretch out, so I think a light steam blocking of the skirt is all that will be needed. That will even out the knitting and make it easier to put together. Then, it's just the neck and button bands to finish. I think that, in my button tin, I have some buttons that will work, but if not, it will be easy enough to find some small white buttons. 

The next pictures of this little project will be of the finished dress, I promise!

Last night, while we played Scrabble (I won by a single point), John kept saying he wanted cake. This morning, I asked him if he still wants cake and his response was "yup". And so, today I'll bake him a cake. I think I'll bake a chocolate chiffon cake. I'll even ice it (hmm... maybe I'll whip up some chocolate whipped cream)... just cuz I love him. 

If it turns out well, I'll post the recipe; it's a recipe I've had since high school and it has never failed me yet.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

It arrived today!! The Lanett in pink, that is. I picked it up on my way home from work this afternoon and, as of this evening, both front and back are complete and the first of the sleeves is almost half done.

This weekend, I anticipate that I'll be blocking the pieces and putting it all together. Baby things are so nice that way; they work up so quickly!

The other thing in the picture is my new iPod Shuffle. I love it!! I've downloaded a bunch of podcasts and listen to them on my walk to and from work. It's great! Tiny, but great! Right now, I'm catching up on Sticks & String and very much enjoying David Reidy's podcast. It will take a while to catch up with all 101 episodes, and then I'll move on to another podcast. Perhaps, all the other podcasters will be inspiring. :)

Saturday, May 16, 2009


Just a quick post. Episode #4 is up, but not at the usual place. I've opened a Podbean account and was able to upload the podcast with no problem.

You can find Episode #4 here.

As well, you may notice something new in the sidebar. You can play the podcast from the blog page (at least, I'm hoping it will work the way it's supposed to). If it works, fantastic! If not, I'll remove that widget. Let's keep our fingers crossed.

The widget is a little on the small side, I know, but if you click on the button directly below the main "screen", on the far right, you will see a list of podcasts. Simply click on the episode and hit the "play" button (a little triangle at the left side of the little screen). I know it's all small, but it was the only size that fit in the widget bar.

Technology - Can't Live Without It, Can't Shoot It

Episode #4 of the podcast should be up; it isn't. It seems is having problems. From some of the comments I've read in their forum, this is a weekend problem. As I said  to John, I can't get it up (the podcast, that is). I'll keep trying, but I may not be able to upload the podcast  until Monday. There's got to be a better way!

On the knitting front, I have been knitting! I've been working on the Estonian Garden wrap and making good progress. The pattern calls for 41 repeats of the Little Flowers chart; I have 15 completed. This section really is the perfect tv knitting. There's just enough pattern to keep it interesting, and it's an easily remembered stitch pattern. The back side is purl, which makes it completely mindless. The yarn (Knit Picks Gloss lace weight) is scrumptious and feels so nice to work with. All in all, this time around, it's working up just right! 

You may remember that a few weeks ago, I started the Gail/aka Nightsongs shawl (Ravelry link). Well, I frogged it. It just wasn't going to be big enough with the amount of yarn I had available. Yesterday was a slow day at work, and I got off early enough to stop by the yarn shop on my way home. I came home with this...

It's HandMaiden Yarn's Sea Silk in the peridot colourway; peridot just happens to be the birthstone for the month of August, and that just happens to be my birth month... meant to be? If you've never seen this yarn, it's truly lovely. It has a beautiful sheen to it, seeing that it's 70% silk (and 30% seacell). 

The colour in the picture is pretty close to the actual colour, but still doesn't do it justice. I bought one skein and had a second put aside for me, to be picked up in a couple of weeks. I've done a bit of swatching for the Gail shawl and I've decided to go down a bit in the needle size; the pattern calls for this yarn on a 4.5 mm needle but I found that a bit too loose for my liking, so I've gone down to 4.0 mm and am liking it much more. 

Knowing me, I'll probably start this shawl later today... or when I'm done here. 

The Aeolian shawl, #2, is still being worked on, but with so much hockey happening this past week, I haven't worked on it much. I picked it up again yesterday and did a few rows. It will be very pretty when it's finished. I anticipate that I'll get quite a bit done on it this weekend. It's a long weekend here in Canada (Monday is Victoria Day.. a statutory holiday), but John will be working. He had yesterday off and will be working with his boss, who's in from Edmonton, on Monday, which gives me the day to myself. Care to guess what I'll be doing???

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Knit Happens!

There has been knitting! The baby dress is at a standstill, though. I could have had it finished this weekend, but the pink yarn I ordered for the bottom edge and the cast on edge of the sleeves didn't show up. Apparently, it's been backordered. Thankfully, this baby's not due until August. Hopefully, the yarn will show up before too long.

All that needs doing at this point is one row and the cast off in pink, on both the front and back. Then, the sleeves, which are cast on with pink and patterned in the chevron lace all the way up. Seeing as I'm doing the smallest size, the sleeves will knit up very quickly... once the yarn gets here.

Having gotten to this point means that I have no tv knitting right now. You know what's coming, don't you? Uh huh, I've cast on another project. And, surprise, surprise, it's lace. This is the beginning of Evelyn A. Clark's Estonian Garden Wrap. I'm using Knit Picks Gloss Lace, in celery, on 3.75 mm needles. I had originally ordered this yarn to make the Luna Moth shawl, but just wasn't happy with the way it was knitting up. 

I've started this pattern before, once in an almost-cobweb weight red yarn (didn't like it) and once in Drops Alpaca (too folk-shawlish-looking.. is that a word?... wrong yarn and needle for this pattern). Both, obviously, were frogged. This, though, is a good match. I like how it's knitting up; it just feels right. This part of the pattern is almost mindless; it's an 8-row pattern repeat that's easy to remember, and the wrong side is purled. So far, I've completed 4 repeats and the pattern calls for 41. Then, there's a lily of the valley edging (complete with nupps) and a final edge that looks similar to the edging of the Swallowtail shawl.

Seeing that hockey will be coming on soon, this wrap should show good progress over the next few days. Go, Canucks, go!!

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Out and About

After doing some grocery shopping yesterday, John and I went for a drive. We wanted to see the Arrowleaf Balsamroot in bloom. It's one of our favourite Okanagan flowers. Now, before anyone says anything, I realize it's not just an Okanagan flower; thing is, I'd never seen them before we moved here. 

They are, in fact, indigenous to the western part of the continent and were widely used by the aboriginal peoples for food and medicine. And they're beautiful. We saw one property that was almost completely yellow with these cheerful plants.

If you look carefully at the picture below, just above the flowers, you can see something that John was surprised to find... wild asparagus! There wasn't a lot, but we each had a couple of stalks of freshly picked wild asparagus. How does it compare? Well, the stalks were lovely, with a slightly stronger flavour than cultivated asparagus; the heads I found to be a little bitter. That could be because they were already beginning to open up. Nonetheless, it's the first time I've eaten wild asparagus.

The second picture was 180 degrees from where John was picking the asparagus. This is a view of the lake, looking toward the city of Kelowna. If you look carefully, you may be able to see the new bridge (look towards the left side). Kelowna is on the right hand side of the picture.

Incidentally, the picture in the header of the blog shows the old bridge and the new bridge, side by side. The old bridge, in the foreground, is no longer there from what I understand. (We don't get out that way much).

Knitting... oh yeah, I've been doing some of that, too. Mainly, I've been working on the baby dress. It's coming along nicely, a little further along than the picture in my previous post shows.

The front is now at about 4" and the back at about 3"; it's my tv knitting, or when I don't feel like concentrating on what I'm doing. I'm not rushing this little dress; the baby's not due until August.

The periwinkle Aeolian is coming along nicely. I've just started the Final Agave chart. Again, I'm not rushing this one; I have one done and the second one is just for fun (like most of my knitting, really). It doesn't photograph well at this stage, so I won't show it to you until it is off the needles.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Episode #3 is up!

Go! Check it out; episode #3 of the podcast is up.

John and I are taking the day off. I'm not sure what we'll be doing, but we're getting out into the glorious sunshine!