Saturday, August 29, 2009


The little boy's sweater for the Armstrong Fair (I.P.E.) is finished and in Hazel's care now. I took my time with the finishing because I wanted it to look good. On Wednesday evening, I blocked it by pinning it out and laying a damp towel over it. It stayed that way until Thursday evening, when I sewed in the sleeves and sewed on the buttons. The buttons, incidentally, are mother of pearl on a black backing. I (and John) think they finish the sweater off quite nicely. In fact, John liked it so much, he asked if I could make one in HIS size! Maybe one day, but that's a heck of a lot of knitting, especially if I were to use fingering weight yarn, as this one is.

Now, I just have to wait and see what kind of results I get at the fair. The fair runs from September 2-6; all entries are to be in on September 1. All entries are to be picked up on September 7, Labour Day (I'm right this time, right?), so John and I have decided that we'll go to the fair next weekend, probably Saturday, then go back on Monday to pick up my items (and whatever prizes I might have earned). I'm not sure if I've mentioned it or not, but I have 5 items entered: the Evolution Shawl, the Inga Hat, the Rubayiat mittens, a pair of gloves I designed last year (for me, but they fit John, so they're his) and the little sweater. We'll see what happens.

In other knitting, I've finally finished the 4 cm (2") of black ribbing on 2.0 mm needles. Good grief, that took a long time! Now, though, the knitting is positively flying! I'm talking about the little Setesdal sweater, by the way.

I took this picture on Thursday night and I'm already a couple of inches past this point. I'm now working on 2.5 mm needles and it's all stocking stitch, so it really is working up quickly. As a recap, the pattern is from the same booklet as the little boy's sweater, SandnesGarn's Lanett Baby, #0812. The yarn is the yarn called for, SandnesGarn Lanett. I'm knitting this sweater, you will recall, because I'll be learning a technique I've never done before... steeking. At the rate it's knitting up, I'll be up to the armhole area in no time!

Did I mention that I'd cast on for a simple shawl/scarf for last weekend's Sit & Stitch? The Multnomah scarf, by Kate Flagg, is a simple garter stitch shawl/scarf (it's smaller that a shawl, shaped like a shawl, but bigger than a scarf). I'm not sure what the yarn is; I think it's Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn, but I can't be positive. I know it's been in my stash for a long time and it's about time it became something. It's a free pattern; you can check it out on Ravelry.

This is the perfect, almost mindless project for those days when you want something simple and comforting to knit. I love the colours in the yarn; the picture (on my monitor) is pretty accurate and it's knitting up nice and cushy. I'm using slightly larger needles than the 3.25 mm needles called for in the pattern; I'm using 4.0 mm. Right now, I'm about 2 rows away from starting the feather and fan section.

I'm supposed to be working on the podcast today, but unforeseen circumstances (a migraine) have kept me from coming up with anything interesting to talk about. I would rather skip this episode and do it when I feel like myself again. It will be up when it's up. In the meantime, I'll just keep working on a mindless (or nearly so) project.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

There Has Been Progress!

I realized yesterday that the little boy's sweater that I intend to submit to the Armstrong Fair has to be finished by Friday. Entries are to be submitted on Sept. 2, a Tuesday (oops... Wednesday... thank you anonymous commenter). One of the women I work with will be bringing my entries there, since she'll be accompanying her parents, with their submissions. Monday is Labour Day, a holiday (wrong...Labour Day is the 7th). That means I'll have to have everything to Hazel by Friday (or Monday). That gave me a little twinge of panic.

Not that I need to panic. As of a few minutes ago, the sleeves are finished. Now, all I need to do is pick up umpteen number of stitches and work the button band and collar.... on 2.0 mm needles. At least ribbing is fairly mindless.

Once this little sweater is off the needles, I can work on anything I want, with no guilt involved!

Edited to correct my calender errors. I actually have (but won't need) more time than I realized. Bonus! 

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Dinner Is Served!

Well, it WAS served last night. And it was a HUGE hit! As John said at one point, "It's like having sex on a plate!". Yes, it was that good!

When I first met John, he told me at one point that he wasn't much of a soup person. He didn't think that soup qualified as the basis for a meal. Every time I've made soup, though, he's loved it. Last night was no different. He took one sip of his soup and his eyes actually widened in appreciation. 

The Spanakopita (the two larger triangles) and the Sausage Rolls were no different. The larger bowl contains Tzatziki, which is a must have when you're eating spanakopita and pita bread. I wanted John to make the tzatziki, but he walked me through it; it turned out just as good as everything else did. 

I've posted the recipes for the spanakopita and the sausage rolls in the sidebar. If you make either of these, let me know how they turn out. Mmm... I'm getting hungry again!

On the knitting front, earlier this week, I decided to use up the ball of pink Lanett that I had to buy for the little dress. All I needed it for were the cast on row for the sleeves and the cast off row for the skirt of the dress, so I had almost a full ball just sitting here. Pink isn't a colour I use a lot of, so I decided to cast on for a small sweater for the same little girl.

I decided to knit the "Baby Sweater on Two Needles; Practically Seamless" from Elizabeth Zimmermann's book "Knitter's Almanac". Having gone through pages and pages of projects on Ravelry, it looked like I might be able to get away with just the one ball of yarn. However, as you can see in the picture below, there's not enough yarn left to finish the body of the sweater.

I had to pick up another ball of the yarn. Oh well, I'll be using a good portion of it in the sweater, so I don't mind too much. I'm hoping to have this little sweater finished this afternoon. It will be my Sit & Stitch project for today. 

Tomorrow, I'll be spending some quality time with the little boy's sweater because it needs to be finished by the end of next week. (And it will.)

Friday, August 21, 2009

Got Zucchini?

Last week, one of the women I work with brought me a couple of zucchini from her garden. In exchange, I gave her my recipes for Zucchini Loaf and Zucchini Soup. One of the zucchinis was sliced up and sauteed as a side dish with fish (John loved that recipe!); the other was turned into Zucchini Soup today.

Because it wasn't very busy at work, I'm home; that gave me the opportunity to do some cooking, something I've been wanting to do, but have been too tired for. Today, however, is the perfect day for preparing a couple of hot weather dishes (not that it's cooler out, it's just that I have the time and the energy today)!

This zucchini soup recipe is a light, fresh, tasty soup that can be served hot or cold. Personally, I prefer my soups hot, but I know that cold soup can go down quite nicely on a hot day. I got the recipe many years ago from one of my sisters-in-law, but I've made it my own. I found the original recipe a little on the boring side, so I added a few flavour-enhancing ingredients.

If you want it, the recipe is in the side bar. Feel free to download it, try it, and let me know what you think. If there's interest, I'll even post the Zucchini Loaf recipe. Now, on to making Spanakopita, one of our favourite summertime meals! I'll get John to make his yummy tzatziki when he gets home.

So, what's YOUR favourite zucchini recipe?

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Button, Button, Who's got the button?

There's not a lot happening around here today. John's off to work, I'm just sitting here relaxing with a cup of coffee. If the weather stays nice, I'll probably go to the park today for a Knit In, being sponsored by one of our local yarn stores (Kelowna Yarn & Needlework). The park is within walking distance, which is a good thing considering that John has the car.

The little sweater below? No, I didn't knit it; the picture is from the pattern book. I have, however, cast on for it. If you listen to the podcast, you'll know that I've cast on for this sweater simply because it uses a technique called "steeking". The entire body of the sweater is knit to the neck in one circular piece. Then, the armholes are cut, and the sleeves sewn in. I've never done any steeking before, so this will be a learning experience for me. That's the only reason I've cast on for this sweater. That, and the fact I like it; I think it's really sweet. 

In the comments of my last post, Roslyn asked where I go to get buttons. Well, in the case of the little dress, I went to Bibles for Missions, in the strip mall where I work. I just wanted some small, flat, white buttons. I found a packet of 6 buttons for the grand total of 25 cents. And, everything in the store was half price! (I paid full price; I was in a bit of a hurry and there was a very slow person ahead of me, someone who had no idea how to use a debit machine; I just gave the teller the 25 cents and left.) For anyone living here in Kelowna, if you just want some plain, simple buttons, check out the thrift stores. BfM even puts sets of buttons into little baggies, so you don't have to scrounge to find the buttons you need. If I want something different, I'll first check out the fabric store, and then, if absolutely necessary, I'll check out WalMart (not my first choice for anything!). If all else fails, I'll go to one of our local yarn stores, but I find their prices for buttons to be on the high side. In their defense, though, they do have some very exclusive buttons that you won't find anywhere else. 

My coffee cup is now empty and it's time for something to eat. Enjoy your weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Picture of an FO

It occurred to me last night that I hadn't posted a picture of the completed little baby dress. Well, here it is... all done except for the buttons. I'll hunt for those this weekend; it will mean a trip to the other end of town.

Now, we're on baby wait at work.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


A post of pictures today; these are a few of the pictures we took on our Sunday drive. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 09, 2009

A Brief Post

It's a lovely Sunday here in Kelowna. John and I have decided to make the trip up to Kalamalka Lake in a little while. We'll be checking out a couple of fruit stands, hopefully coming home with fresh peaches, and whatever else looks good. From what we've sampled so far, it's a good year for fruit. The cherries, blueberries, nectarines and apricots have been very sweet and juicy; hopefully the peaches will be the same. We'll also be sampling the waters of Kal Lake (going swimming!).

Knitting has been stalled this week. Both John and I have been reading a fair bit; we've each read four books in the space of two weeks. Since I haven't found a way of reading and knitting at the same time (apart from the occasional audio book), knitting has suffered.

However, yesterday was Sit 'n Stitch, so I started another little bear. Meet Strawbeary...

I know... he/she doesn't have a face yet. That will come, but not until I'm inspired. The bottom picture is there as a comparison, to show the difference in size. Strawbeary is made with Patons Classic Merino on 4.0 mm needles. The pattern is Annita Wilschut's Carolus. I can highly recommend this pattern; it's well written and very easy to follow.

Incidentally, the tag on the little bear's neck reads "My name is Sammie. I'm a little bear looking for a BIG sister." Sammie will, as I've posted before, be going to Sam when her little sister is born.

Now, I'm off to get dressed for a road trip.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Taking a Break from Knitting

Yes, that means I've actually been knitting. I picked up and worked on what is, at the moment, looking like an orange blob. It's a Drops pattern, #112-26. I know that I've blogged about this sweater before, calling it the Orange Sherbet cardigan, or something like that, but it's been a while. The yarn is Lerici Fein, a cotton/acrylic blend, and I'm knitting it up on 4.0 mm needles. 

I'm just past the armhole shaping on the back of the cardigan and the fabric is knitting up nice and drapey. The yarn has a nice feel to it, kind of cushy and soft. I have a feeling this will be a very comfortable cardigan and the pattern is a fairly timeless design. The colour? Well, it isn't quite as intense as the picture and I love orange! It's such a happy colour and it does fit in with quite a few things in my "wardrobe" (aka my collection of things to wear).

In other things, in Episode 10 of the podcast, I mentioned that the Terrace Mtn. fire was almost contained. Well, last night, a wind kicked up and turned the fire. It was about 85% contained yesterday morning; today, it's only 35% contained, about 2700 people have been evacuated (again) and the fire has grown to approximately 7025 hectares (about 27 sq. miles) in size. It's very smoky here at the moment, so much so that we can smell it in the apartment.

When I got up this morning, I took my coffee outside, but before I could sit down, I had to clean the ash off the chair. Yes, that's ash.

It's gotten worse as the day's gone by. Most of the day, we haven't been able to see the hills on the west side of the lake. This next picture is taken in the direction of where the Rose Valley fire was. The hills aren't visible at all.

This next picture is directly across from the apartment. The hills are slightly visible, but definitely shrouded in smoke.

And this last picture is looking towards Vernon. You can vaguely see that there are hills there, but, again, the smoke is thick.

Combine the smoke with the heat (it's 34C today, with a humidex of 37C... that means it feels like 98.6F) and I can tell you, personally, I'm not feeling that great. It's definitely starting to get to me. My nose has been itchy and I've been coughing a bit; I'm beginning to get a headache. We could really use a good downpour, but it doesn't look like there's any relief in sight until Wednesday, at the earliest.

Enough whining. Back to knitting. Break over.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

What else is there to do on a hot day? It's 36C (97F).

Meet Suzie...

...a little mouse with character. Who knows where she'll show up!

It's hot!

It's going to be another scorcher today. For the past week or so, the temperatures have been hovering in the mid 30's centigrade. That's mid 90's fahrenheit. Thankfully, we do have a small air conditioner and we've been running it a lot, so the apartment has been comfortable. Still, it's been too hot for knitting. 

What knitting I have been doing, has been on this little project. The pattern is Suzie by Annita Wollschut and is available for free on her website. I'm using some old Regia sock yarn that I had in my stash. It's taken me all week to get this far. I now have one arm left to do, then the ears. It's very cute!  A little fiddly, but cute. 

These little toys could become addictive. They're quick to knit up (when the weather's not working against you), they're cute, and everybody loves them. I've already got a small collection of patterns I'd like to make.

But I'll never stop knitting lace!