Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Enough of Christmas!

There has been plenty of knitting throughout the past week. The cardigan is making good progress. The back is finished and I’m past the armhole shaping and into the collar and v-neck shaping on the left side.

Drops 123_1.2 I was a little worried, when wrapping it around myself, that it might just be a little too small, but it shouldn’t be. I’d hate to put all this work into it and discover that it doesn’t fit as I expected it to. When I hold the sides and hold it to myself, it does fit just fine. I should stop worrying, right?

Yesterday, I went through my unfinished projects and came across this one, Western Seas, an Alice Starmore pattern that I started a long time ago. It was 3/4 finished, but I had no idea where I was in the pattern, so I frogged it. And, obviously, restarted it. The one thing I do know is that it was the smallest size in the pattern. This time, I’m making the 4-5 year size, guaranteeing it will fit one or more of the grandsons for quite some time. I know I’ve been ignoring the cardigan, but I’m very much enjoying the knitting of this little sweater. I’m now thinking of making a few more of these and, eventually, sending them out to the grandkids.


The sweater is a simple gansey, worked in the traditional style, from the bottom up, with a split welt (waistband). I’m working it in a sock yarn on 3.0 mm needles and it’s working up very quickly, considering that I’ve had nothing but time on my hands this week. Even now, I’m inches further than the picture show; I’m now up to the start of the underarm gusset shaping.

I’ve also been playing some more with double knitting. I bought a pattern online for a pair of double knitting mittens, and have started them… twice so far.

001 002

As pretty as it is, I’m afraid I’ll have to frog it. As a matter of fact, I’ll have to turn my back on this technique. Because I’m using 2.0 mm needles (I could and may try using slightly larger needles) and using both hands, holding one strand in each hand, it has been really hard on my thumb. It’s been so hard on my thumb that I’ve had to use a tensor bandage (I use the brace, too, but this time the tensor felt better) and Naproxen. Proving to myself that I can do this technique effectively is not worth the pain. For that reason alone, I’ll be frogging this mitten and putting it away for now.

Luckily, knitting English style (throwing vs picking) is much less painful so I can still knit. And, as you can see, I have plenty to work on. One less project will not be missed. :)

Christmas Reflections

After I’d posted yesterday’s post, I read it aloud to John and he asked me, “Why isn’t Christmas your favourite time of the year?” We chatted a bit about that and I came to the realization that it isn’t so much the fact that it’s become so commercialized, although that has a lot to do with it.

It comes down to “hafta” and “wanna”. There are so many expectations on people at this time of year: you have to get together with family, you have to go to church on Christmas Eve and/or Christmas morning, you have to buy presents, you have to send cards, you have to plan a dinner, you have to… fill in your own “haftas”. That’s what makes me crazy and makes me want to say, “No, I don’t have to!”

This Christmas was about “wanna”. I wanted to bake buns and treats to give to my neighbours and co-workers. I wanted to send cards; I wanted to MAKE those cards. I wanted to have a nice quiet day with my husband. I didn’t want to visit friends, make a lot of phone calls (I did call my mother) or do anything out of obligation.

Yes, it would have been nice to have family around, but that brings along with it a lot of “haftas” of it’s own. If there are grandchildren around, I’d feel obligated to buy gifts. If there was family coming over, we’d be obligated to spend a lot more time in the kitchen and less time with our guests. All of a sudden, you’re caught up in the “haftas” and you’ve lost the “wannas”.

Christmas should never make you feel obligated to do something you don’t really want to do. It should be a time of “Peace on Earth, goodwill towards all people”; how can you have that kind of sentiment when you’re feeling pressured with the “haftas” and resenting every moment of it?

I’ve just now realized that my gift to myself this year was the best one I could have given… the gift of “want to”, not “have to”. For the first time in a very long time, I’m coming out of the Christmas season feeling much more relaxed and peaceful than I have in a very long time. Isn’t that what it’s all about?


Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas 2010

Christmas is over for another year; there’s just New Year’s Eve to get through now. That makes it sound like it’s something to be endured, doesn’t it? I don’t mean it that way, but I’ll be honest, this isn’t my favourite time of the year.

That said, this Christmas has been a quiet one, relaxing and peaceful. Allow me to share a few images from Christmas here, Chez Skae.

bunsI baked on Christmas Eve. The buns were shared with our neighbours; we kept a half dozen and each of the other three tenants received a half dozen. One neighbour, on hearing that I’d made them, commented that they even looked like “real dinner buns”! Another neighbour simply salivated!

xmas walk The weather was gorgeous, hovering around freezing, but sunny. it was perfect for a nice, long walk while the turkey was cooking. We walked for about an hour and a half. By the time we were headed back home, this is sort of how we felt…

snowmen…A little tired, but happy.

xmas dinnerAnd then, we feasted. Amazingly, even after that long walk and working up an appetite, neither of us could eat even half of what was on our plates. We’ll be eating turkey for weeks to come!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Milestone Reached!

The cardigan is moving along very nicely, thank you for asking! This weekend, I reached a milestone in the knitting of this cardi. I’m past the armholes! That’s exciting. Well, it’s exciting to ME! It means that I’m about halfway through this project.

002 I’m really enjoying this yarn. To refresh your memory, it’s KnitPicks Gloss, a combination of wool and silk. You can see some of the sheen of the silk in the picture above. And, the yarn is as nice to touch as it sounds. I think I’ll get plenty of wear out of this cardigan.

Incidentally, now that I’m at this stage and the stitches for the left and right fronts are on cables, I can tell that it will fit comfortably. I always worry about that.

With Christmas being just a few days away, and the neighbourhood decorated as most neighbourhoods are, I decided to mount my camera on a tripod last night and head outdoors to experiment. Keep in mind, this is just a little camera, a point & shoot.

This is what my street looked like last night…

If I don’t blog before the big day, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas (or whatever it is you celebrate) and a prosperous and happy 2011, filled with friends, family and all the good things life has to offer.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

One More FO… just a little one

The snowy weather we’ve had over the last couple of weeks have definitely inspired me to knit cold weather accessories. Last Sunday, I cast on for another hat, for myself. It was finished on Tuesday; it could have been finished on Monday, but my thumb has been acting up again.

001The pattern is “A Better Bucket” by Amy Swenson (available here). I used the Cascade 220 wool that I’d bought for the Harmonia Rings cowl that I made a few weeks ago. It’s a cute hat. It just doesn’t look cute on me. I had hoped that the brim would flare out a little more than it does. Oh well, it will look good on someone, I’m sure, so it will be going into the giveaway box.

I did see on Ravelry that many knitters have knit this hat using modifications designed by a specific knitter (Solaris, mods here). Apparently, she’s redesigned the brim to be more flared. I might just try knitting the hat again using the modifications, if I can decide on a yarn.

In the meantime, I’m going to try working on my cardigan this weekend. With all of the moving things around at work this week, my thumb and wrist have been annoyingly painful, so the only knitting I’ve been working on has been small projects. Or reading.

Speaking of work, we’re going through some major changes at the print shop. Almost all of the production (presses, cutter, stuff like that) has been moved to our other location. We’ve dramatically downsized the storefront, keeping only the customer service, graphics, copying and some bindery (my department). It has meant a lot of moving things around, a lot of accumulated dust (they’ve been in that location for almost 25 years!) and still trying to get work done. It’s no wonder my hand has been hurting!

Sunday, December 05, 2010

It’s All About the Little Things


There are just some things that give you pleasure far beyond the effort they take to get done. That door handle is one of them. A couple of weeks ago, our bedroom door handle came apart; we’ve not had a door handle since. Earlier this week, we came across a spare door handle at work and my boss was about to throw it out but gave it to me instead after I told him we needed one.

The type used in the directions was a little too small for John to read comfortably so he didn’t even try to tackle the installation. I was going to do it yesterday, but the hole in the door was too short. I told John late yesterday that he had to enlarge the hole and I’d install the handle. He had until 10 a.m. this morning. A few minutes later, it was installed and I’m feeling very proud of myself!

There’s another little thing that gave me a lot of pleasure and will continue to give me pleasure, hopefully, for many winters to come.


The gloves are the Knotty gloves I made last winter. Last week, while perusing patterns on Ravelry, I re-discovered this hat pattern, the Knotty But Nice hat, available through Knitty. You can find it here. I picked up the yarn earlier this week; it’s Cascade 220. I cast on yesterday and just finished it within the last half hour.

Some of the comments on Ravelry stated that the cabled section should be worked on larger needles than called for. Some said the hat was too small or too tight to be comfortable. I was a little concerned but knitted the hat pretty much as written. The only very small change I made was to use a smaller needle (4.0 mm) for the first inch of ribbing, then switched to the called-for 4.5 mm needle for the remainder of the hat. I also made sure I worked the cabled section loosely. The hat fits perfectly, even slightly loose. I love it. And I love the fact that it matches the gloves perfectly.

007  And… just to show you that there truly is progress being made on my cardigan. I’m into the waist shaping now and it’s mostly stocking stitch now rather than the never-ending ribbing.

John’s outside putting out some Christmas lights and I’m planning to bake some cookies… after I put the dishes away. Then, I might even address some Christmas cards. Maybe.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Double, Double

No, this post isn’t about coffee*. Nor is it about gum**. Honestly, it’s about knitting. Double knitting to be precise.

Some of you may be asking, “What IS double knitting?” Double knitting can be a yarn weight, but it can also be a knitting technique that results in a double thick piece of knitting that’s also completely reversible. It can be knit flat or in the round.

I’ve known about this technique for a long time; every few years I try it just to see if I can remember how it’s done. It wasn’t until I saw the work of a specific designer on Ravelry that I became even more interested in trying it again… seriously this time. If you’re a member of Ravelry, check out tina13’s project and pattern page. She has some amazing scarves!

003This is just the beginning of a project, a toddler’s scarf, but already you can see that the two sides are reversed. I’m looking forward to seeing how this comes out. There’s another advantage to playing with this technique. I’m working with both yarns on one finger, knitting continental-style. The thing is, every second stitch is purled. I’ve never quite gotten the knack of continental purling, but that’s quickly changing. Even after four rows, it’s already becoming much more comfortable.

As far as learning this technique, I’ve been hunting for books on the subject; I found one at KnitPicks (it’s made it to my wish list), Double Knitting by M’Lou Baber. However, I don’t want to spend $30 on a book if I’m not going to enjoy the technique. I’ve taken another tack. I’ve ordered a mitten pattern through Ravelry. I figure that if I enjoy making a single pair of mittens and the scarf, I’ll get more out of the book. The first mitten is already underway, but temporarily on hold. At the moment, I’m working it on two 2.0 mm circulars, one an Addi turbo, the other a Knit Picks Harmony. Last night, while getting it all set up and on to the needles, the Harmony (laminated wood… very pretty) splintered. A splinter almost 2” long peeled off the needle, making it pretty much useless. Today, on the way to Sit & Stitch, I’ll be stopping by the yarn store to pick up a longer (36” minimum) 2.0 mm Addi turbo. (It’s being knit with the Magic Loop method.)

It sounds from the above that I’m not making any progress on other projects. I am. My cardigan is moving along, albeit slowly. I try to do a couple of rows on it every day. I must admit that I’m getting really bored with the seemingly endless ribbing. It will get done!

* Tim Horton’s Double Double is coffee with double sugar, double cream or milk.

** Double Mint gum used to use lyrics in their ads that had “double, double, double mint gum” in it.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A Winter (mostly) Photo Post




…my toes (you don’t need to see that picture) and ankles stay chilly… no, cold!




Saturday, November 20, 2010

First Snow!

Our gorgeous autumn has suddenly given way to the chill of winter. The leaves that were so glorious in their shades of yellow, red and green are now remnants of the year gone by, some clinging tenaciously to the branches, most, nothing more than memories. being trampled underfoot or under tire.

009It’s not a pretty snow picture, I know. This is right outside our back door and was only taken to give you an idea of what our first snow fall looks like. The snow started Thursday night and has continued on and off since then. Even now, it’s snowing… a very fine, light snow. There’s nothing fluffy about this snow. The forecast is for more of the same for at least the next week. Winter has finally arrived.

Of course, being winter, and cold, and snowy, it’s the perfect time for cuddling up indoors with a mug of something hot and some knitting. I’ve been doing just that.

The mug of something hot, earlier this week, was John’s infamous NeoCitran toddy (NeoCitran, lemon juice, honey and a generous dose of dark rum); I was feeling a cold coming on and John has absolutely no patience for colds so he medicated me. I must admit, it seems to have stopped the cold in it’s tracks, but I’ve also been fighting some kind of stomach bug and migraine. I was home for a total of two days this week (1 full day and 2 half days). By Friday evening, I was able to eat again without feeling nauseous.

In the meantime, though, I rested in my recliner with my knitting. I have to say, I’m making good progress on the cardigan. I think it helps that one of the girls at work is knitting the same pattern and is further along than I am… can’t have that!


Little Monkey is monitoring my progress very closely. As you can see, I’m past the first buttonhole. What is a little more difficult to see is that I’m up to the point of putting in the pleat/cable, which means I’m nearly to the waist shaping.

Even though there are what seem to be miles of k3, p3 ribbing, so far, because I’ve taken out two of the three pleats, it’s almost an hypnotic knit. As long as I remember to check the length every now and then (for buttonhole placement), I can work on this project almost in the dark. Not that I would. John wouldn’t allow that… not good for the eyes, and all.

Last weekend was our Sit & Stitch weekend and I decided not to work on the cardigan. That meant that I had to find something else to work on and there was nothing around here that I really, really wanted to take along. So, I went hunting. And shopping.

There is a pattern on Ravelry that I’ve kept coming back to over the past months and I decided to finally just buy it. The pattern is Harmonia’s Rings by Sivia Harding. Of course, once I had the pattern downloaded, I needed yarn for it. Believe it or not, I couldn’t find anything in the stash that I wanted to use for this pattern. So, it was off to the yarn store before heading to Sit & Stitch. I ended up with Berroco Ultra Alpaca in a gorgeous deep orange. The yarn is 50% alpaca, 50% wool and is so soft and luscious!

Again, this isn’t a great picture, but it does do justice to the colour.

013Lampshades simply don’t make the best models, you know? What you can’t see is just how cushy and stretchy and yummy this cowl is. Being a moebius, it’s also a really fun knit! The only complaint I had, and it’s a very minor one, is that the needle I used was a little too long to be comfortable to work with. The pattern calls for a 47” circular; I’m not sure what length I had (the longest KnitPicks cable I had in my needle stash), but it could have been a little shorter. That’s it. Minor.The pattern is very well written and I had this finished within three days.

I’ve worn the cowl a couple of times now and I love it. Now, with the extra skein I have (I bought 3, the cowl required 2), I’m thinking of making fingerless mitts, or maybe a pair of mittens. That’s for another day, though. Today, I’m working on the cardi. And staying indoors with a hot cup of something and watching the snow fall.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Oh My!!

I love almonds! At work, I regularly fill a small canister with hickory-smoked almonds that I pick up at the bulk store next door. They make a great little snack. Before anyone says anything, I only eat a handful a day;  the usual amount I buy lasts me a couple weeks at least. And almonds are good for you.

I will admit, however, that I prefer almonds that are flavoured. I’m also continually on the look out for yummy nut recipes; I have collected a few.

So, how do you turn this…

Almonds 001

… into this…

Almonds 002

Well, all it takes is water, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and almonds.

Let me tell you, these are YUMMM!! They are Burnt Sugar Almonds and they’re easy to make and a real treat to eat. Having said they’re easy to make needs a small proviso. Don’t even attempt to make these when there are small children or distractions around. You will be standing at the stove, concentrating.

I could have posted this on the food blog (In Ev’s Kitchen), but I’m not going to post the recipe. I’m going to point you to the recipe. You can find it over at the Tasty Kitchen blog, this particular post.

This recipe would make a great hostess gift (put them into a pretty bowl or a clear gift bag), a yummy treat for your co-workers (if you really want to spoil them), or anyone you want to impress. Heck, they’re best when you make them just for yourself. Just make sure you hide them.

Oh, make these and your house will smell heavenly, too!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

In My Knitting Basket

With the Willow Cowl on it’s way to Minneapolis, I’ve been working on my cardigan. I’d almost forgotten how nice this yarn (KnitPicks Gloss, 70% wool, 30% silk) is to knit with. The knit 3, purl 3 rib is almost hypnotic to knit at this point, and I still have inches of ribbing to go.


All of that ribbing is great for TV knitting; too bad we don’t have cable anymore. It’s just not the same watching shows and movies over the internet.

Today is Remembrance Day in Canada, Veteran’s Day in the US. John will be going to work for a while, then heading over to the cenotaph for the Remembrance Day ceremonies. I’ll be staying here, but I’ll be listening to the CBC coverage while I’m knitting.

It’s good to be reminded now and then that the freedom we enjoy today cost the lives of many people, men, women and children, who went before us. Last night, John and I watched “Defiance”, starring Daniel Craig and Liev Schreiber.  If you’ve not seen it, it’s about a family of four brothers who fight the Nazis in Poland. They, and over 1200 Jewish refugees, make a home for themselves in the forest and fight to preserve their freedom. It’s based on a true story; the brothers, in the end, saved the lived of 1200+ people.

As much as I dislike war movies (I walked out on “Saving Private Ryan”) that do nothing more than glorify violence, this one made me think. What would I do to protect my own freedom and the lives of others whose freedom was being threatened? These were ordinary people, not soldiers. They were farmers, students, teachers, carpenters, philosophers, children, country folk and city folk. They did what they had to do in order to survive, in order to stay alive. Many of those who lived in the forest didn’t survive, but they never stopped fighting for their freedom.

Would I do the same? Would you?

Please, take some time today to remember those who paid with their lives so that we can enjoy what we have today. Remember the soldier who died, but remember as well the civilians who died fighting a battle they didn’t ask for but were forced to fight.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Again, an FO

The Willow Cowl for Wendy is finished, washed and will be mailed out this week! I think I’ve said it already, but I have to say it again – I love these shades of green!

046 I was, however, very disappointed in this particular ball of yarn. There were three knots and one complete break. The ball was, essentially, two balls of yarn. Two of the knots were knotted in sequence, but one knot was completely out of sequence and I had to unwind a ball of approximately 2” before I got back to where it should have been knotted.

When you’re paying $16 for a 100 gram ball, that shouldn’t happen, in my opinion at any rate.

Now, I’ve started working on my cardigan again. You remember, right? It’s a Drops pattern. I had started it already, but when the order for the Willow Cowl came up, it was put on hold.


In the interim, I frogged what I’d already worked. Between John and myself, we decided that the ruffled lower edge would simply put too much of an accent on a part of my body I’d like to minimize. I’m modifying the pattern a little to make it a little more hip-friendly.

The cardigan starts out with three cable pleats, which create the ruffled lower “skirt”. I’ve reduced the stitch count to what it would have been after the second cable pleat and will work the ribbing up to where the third pleat will be. I will work that pleat, which is close to the waist shaping. That will give a little more hip to waist shaping and, I think, will look alright in the overall design.

Now, it’s turning out to be a lovely day here in the Okanagan and I think I should get out and enjoy it while we have it.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

A blog post almost didn’t happen this weekend. It’s been pretty busy and I should be absolutely exhausted. Last night, John and I (mostly me) bartended a Halloween party. One of the guys I work with was involved with organizing the party and I’d bartended for his club once before. It was a crazy busy night. We got there at 7 pm and didn’t get home until about 1:30 am. Of course, I couldn’t sleep right away, so I had a glass of wine, chatted a bit with John about our night and then, hitting the bed, fell right to sleep.

I don’t usually stay up that late. I was up at about 8:30 this morning with the intention of doing nothing at all. Well, except knitting, that is.

Willow for Wendy I’ve been working on this during the past week. It’s intended recipient lives in an area where winter is for real and this is a Christmas gift for her, from her father, who happens to be John’s cousin. It’s the Willow Cowl, which I’ve made for myself before, a pattern I really love. The yarn is Marks & Kattens Fame Trend in a gorgeous green colourway. Unfortunately for me but fortunately for my wallet, the yarn store had only one ball of it left; if there had been more, I would have bought a ball for myself, too. The shades of green in this yarn are the exact shades of green I love and wear.

I will be sorry to be putting this cowl in the mail.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Gotta Love Cute FOs


I have a feeling this little character could be popping up all over the place. The possibilities are endless.


Now, I want to make more monkeys! The pattern is Jacobus, available through Ravelry (not free, but well worth the price of $5.00US). The yarn is some kind of sock yarn that was in my stash, without a label. The pattern can be made using any weight of yarn; you just have to choose a needle size that will give you a firm fabric. Because I was using sock yarn, I used 2.25 mm needles.

Incidentally, the picture on my iPod is of Trinity and Ethan, who had been eating raspberries right off the bush. It is, essentially, a photo of two monkeys. ;)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Can Sock Yarn Monkeys Be Rude?

I’m having fun knitting on Jacobus, the sock yarn monkey (I think I’ll have to start calling her Jacoba, though… it’s more girlish). Trying to pose her for her first real portrait, though, was a bit of a challenge.

For one thing, she only has one arm; the second arm has been started, but I’m only 7 rows in, so there are three stainless steel needles where an arm should be.

For another thing, she hasn’t been stuffed yet and her body seems to have parts that aren’t really there. That made for a giggle or two on my part. Once she’s been stuffed, though, I’m sure all will be fine.

007 This really is a fun pattern to knit. The hardest part so far has been keeping track of the rows knitted. Her legs are 50 rows and her arms are 40 rows, not easy to keep track of when you’re being interrupted by someone who wants to tell you about the book he’s currently reading. Thankfully… there’s an app for that!

008I love my iPod! I can have as many row counters as I want or need with this little app. And it’s free! For counting, all I have to do is touch the little plus sign and to frog a row, I just hold the “frog” key and the plus sign turns to a minus sign; click it while holding down the “frog” button and a row disappears. If you have an iPod or iPhone, do check out this app; just go to the iTunes app store and search for Knit Counter Lite. 

Well, we had planned an outing today to get some more of the photo assignment finished, but the weather’s turned rainy and gray, not a great day for picture taking, or cameras, unfortunately. That does, however, give me more knitting time, which suits me just fine. I can certainly use a day of doing next to nothing. I might just get Jacoba finished today.

Oh, while I think of it, I’ve rejoined Twitter. If you would like to follow me there, you can find me as EvelynSkae (all one word) or you can click on the button in my sidebar. I hadn’t intended to join again, but my boss asked me about Twitter yesterday, wanted me to help get an avatar up there for our work account. I figured that if my place of employment was going to be on it, I might as well be, too. Feel free to find me there.

Now, time for more coffee and time for knitting… I’ll post pictures when the monkey’s finished.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Of Cardigans and Monkeys and Pictures

Wow! This week has absolutely flown by! I’ve been very busy at work this week (and will be this coming week, too) and there hasn’t been much time for anything else. With the work I’ve been doing, the thumb has been aggravated, so there hasn’t been much work on my cardigan. There has been some, though!


I’m just about to work the next pleat (cable, technically), which means I’m almost up to the waist. I think, though, that with my  thumb being a little tender, it will have to wait until next weekend so I can give my hand a chance to recover. Working that cable is really hard on the fingers. I think I’ve mentioned before that this is the most difficult (fiddly) cable I’ve ever worked. It requires two cable needles, one at the front and one behind and stitches are knit off all three needles at the same time.

The colour in the picture is, finally, pretty close to the original. At least, it is on my monitor.

Yesterday was Sit & Stitch day. I haven’t been in a couple of months, and I had to get out to take some pictures, so I decided to go. I had to have something to knit, though, as the cardigan is a little heavy to take along and the next row is the pleat row, not something I want to be working on while trying to carry on conversation. Earlier in the week, I’d purchased and downloaded a pattern through Ravelry (it’s becoming an even more dangerous place!), a pattern from one of my favourite toy designers, Annita Wilschut (her website is in Dutch, but if you’re on Ravelry, you can look her up there). This one is named Jacobus, a monkey.

He is absolutely adorable and can be knit out of any weight of yarn. In the past, I’ve made her teddy bear pattern (Carolus) and the mouse pattern (Suzie). They were both fun to knit and this one is proving to be the same. The entire monkey is knit in one piece, with very little seaming. Here’s how it’s looking so far…


Once he’s finished, or rather she’s finished (there’s a lot of pink in the yarn and she’ll have a pink muzzle so it’s decidedly more female than male), I’ll post a picture. In the meantime, I’m enjoying the process.

If you ever decide to knit a toy, do check out Annita’s patterns on Ravelry. Her patterns are very well written, with plenty of pictures. And the fact that there’s very little seaming is also a bonus.

I think that, today, John and I will be getting out for a bit. I still need to get some pictures taken for work and I think he wants to spend some time at work (which I don’t mind… gives me some uninterrupted quality knitting time). Speaking of taking pictures for work, did I write about my assignment?

We have a client who wants marketing materials printed. He asked whether or not we have a photographer we like to work with and both of the women who’ve been dealing with him recommended me (they have such confidence in me!). He’s given us a list of about a dozen places he’d like pictures of, places his company has dealt with. They’re all in and around Kelowna, with the farthest one being a golf course near Vernon, about a half hour drive from here. My boss has lent me his Nikon DSLR and John and I have been going out to the places on the list to take pictures. It’s really been fun so far; I’m getting to places I normally might not even know about.

So far, I’ve photographed one golf course, one winery, a school, a sports field, and a residential complex. The client has seen some of the pictures and has, thus far, been very happy with what he’s seen. I can’t tell you how good that feels! It helps that we live in a beautiful area and his company does work outside (irrigation systems).

It’s looking like another gorgeous autumn day in the Okanagan. It would be wasteful if we didn’t get out there while we can. It won’t be long before it’s too cold or miserable to enjoy the outdoors. I hope that, wherever you are, you enjoy your day!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Being Careful Not To Twist

You know those patterns that are knit in the round? You know how they always repeat the warning, “join in the round, being careful not to twist”?

Well, here’s why they tell you that…

016 Twelve rows in, and I never noticed it was twisted. Damn!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Done Like Dinner

Just a few minutes past noon, and my slippers are off the needles, seamed up and ready to toss into a hot wash. By 1:00, they’re felted to size and drying. I am one happy girl!



Yarn & Food

Last week, I wrote about the yarn that I was given and the swatch I’d made with the Condon’s 1 ply wool. It has, obviously, been released from the pins and ready for a review. My first reaction was that this is not a yarn you want next to your skin. I had hoped it would lose some of it’s scratchiness, but it really didn’t. It did, however, block beautifully. Now, I’m not really sure what to do with this yarn. I posted about it on Ravelry and someone there suggested it might be considered a weaving yarn as Condon’s did make yarns for weaving with and that, perhaps, I might be able to trade it for something I could and would use. One thing I don’t do is weaving and I’m not about to start.

002I might consider that, or I might make a shawl or two, but something to be worn over a jacket or coat, not something worn next to the skin. Someone else suggested that it might be a great yarn for felting. I think that will be the next test.

I also wrote last weekend that I would be making apple jelly and some bread sticks. I did both, but didn’t make any dinner buns. Both turned out very well, if I do say so myself. John thinks the jelly is a bit too thick, but I don’t mind it being a little on the firm side. It 001tastes marvellous on a piece of toast and the colour is gorgeous, so clear and jewel-like. This batch is just plain apple jelly; yesterday I made a small batch (about 1.5 cups of jelly) of lightly spiced apple jelly. It’s spiced with a cinnamon stick and a couple of cloves and tastes like apple pie.

The breadsticks, too, turned out really well! The recipe came from someone on the Breads forum on Ravelry and sounded so good that I 002just had to try them. They did not disappoint! They’re filled with a mixture of minced garlic, olive oil and grated parmesan cheese. The only thing I would do differently next time is to sprinkle them with a bit of coarse salt before sealing the filling between the two layers. The majority of these are in the freezer; they’ll be perfect with a pasta or soup dinner, warmed in the oven. I will definitely be making these again, perhaps adding some herbs to the filling as well. I’ll post the recipe to the food blog (In Ev’s Kitchen).

In the knitting department, one of my slippers is finished! Completely! And the second slipper has been started. As John said last night, I could have a new pair of slippers by Monday night, knitted, felted and dry. Yup, that’s doable!

I very much like the combination of these two yarns, both Cascade 220. The picture doesn’t really do the green any justice. It’s a much nicer green “in person”, not as washed out as it appears to be in the picture. Even the brown is more golden than the picture shows. 056Seeing as my nightgown is green and my robe is white, these should work quite well. When John saw that I was making 2-colour slippers for myself, he was a little envious, commenting that he only got ONE colour and how come he didn’t rate two colours? I laughed.

Ok, this post is getting a little windy now. I’ll leave you with one of the pictures I took yesterday. One of the places I had to go to take pictures was a local school. At either side of the main entrance were large pots of flowers, mostly chrysanthemums and dusty miller. The flowers are beginning to fade but the contrast between the mums and the dusty miller was just too much not to photograph.

052 For those of you in Canada, I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Some Things Just Take Time

006 I had to go back through the blog to find out when I started these slippers for John. It shocked me to discover that it was way back in March 2007! We were living in a basement suite at the time and the slippers never did get finished because: 1) summer was on it’s way and you don’t need felted slippers in a Kelowna summer 2) we were busy with John’s Dad who eventually moved back to Vancouver and 3) we moved out of the suite, first to Gibsons and then into a 3rd floor walkup that was warm enough that felted slippers were superfluous and 4) I wasn’t about to use coin operated washing machines for felting. Well, seeing as we’re back in a basement suite with ceramic tile floors, felted slippers are necessary again; and seeing as we have an in-suite washing machine, I have no excuse not to felt.

When I pulled the slippers out of the storage bag, I realized that all that was left to do was the second sole (if you haven’t made these, there’s a double sole, inner and outer, making them nice and cushy and extra strong) on both slippers. I had that done in pretty short order. After stitching up the soles yesterday, I immediately threw them in the washing machine and after 1 1/2 cycles (with an old pair of jeans), they were felted to size. Now, they’re drying, which will take a couple of days given their thickness.

And John will be happy. Now, it’s my turn. I need slippers, too, so this week I bought wool for me. As John said, right now I need slippers more than a cardigan so they’re the priority. The cardigan is on hold for a few days, but coming along. I just need to be careful not to aggravate my thumb, which has been bothering me a bit this week because of what I’m doing at work. Because of that, I’ve been limiting my knitting time.

Speaking of work, even though it’s a long weekend here in Canada (our Thanksgiving Day is Monday), I’ll be spending some time outdoors, working on a photo shoot for a client at work (his company sells irrigation equipment). I have numerous sites in and around town that he wants pictures of for his company’s brochures. It’s gray out today, but I think I’ll be able to get some good pictures. I just hope it doesn’t rain.

I’m also hoping to film a tutorial this weekend. The nupps tutorial is still in the queue, but first I’d like to make one on the crochet cast on, which can be used as a provisional cast on or as a nice-looking, stretchy cast on that mirrors the cast off. It’s perfect for something like scarves, where you’d like both edges to look the same. It’s also great for projects that have a ton of stitches to cast on… like my cardigan, which has a cast on of 915 stitches.

Now, though, it’s time to get myself going. Let’s see… tripod, 3 cameras, fingerless mitts, warm socks, sturdy shoes… Am I forgetting anything?

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Oh Bother!

I love blogging. Really, I do. That said, though, I really, really, really hate it when you have a post ready to publish and the program you’re using decides to crash. That’s what  happened earlier. I had my post ready to hit “publish” and I got that error message. You know the one.

So, now I have to remember what I wrote or start over completely. I’m starting over, trying to remember everything.

There has been knitting this week, but not really much to show. The cardigan is coming along nicely, with about 4” finished, and the first buttonhole inserted. The rows are getting shorter now; after the current pattern row, I’ll be down to about 500 stitches (from a cast on of 915). Yesterday, not much knitting happened because of a migraine (kept me in bed pretty much all day), but I did work a few rows on the Shetland Christening dress. It’s all garter stitch at this stage, so there’s no brain work involved. Perfect for those days when thinking hurts… literally.

This week also saw the growth of my stash, thanks to Ann (once more, Ann, thank you so much for thinking of me). She stopped by the shop with a bag of yarn for me, a bag that contained this…

003 001

The yarn in the first picture is a cotton/linen blend from Denmark. I’ve never heard of the company, but I do like the feel of the yarn. One of the ladies I work with suggested a tank top or light cardigan perhaps. I’m not sure yet what the yarn wants to be, and until it tells me, it will wait in the stash. The second yarn is two 4-ounce cones of 100% wool lace weight yarn from a Canadian company, Condon’s Yarns from Charlottetown, PEI.

I’ve done a little research into the company and didn’t come up with much. I did find an article about them that was interesting; I also did a search in the extensive yarn database on Ravelry, but only came up with one hit. There were also two threads started, with one post to each thread, hardly qualifying them as discussions. To find out a little more, I’ve emailed the Charlottetown Chamber of Commerce, asking about this company.


If/when I hear anything, I’ll pass it along here. This morning, I also took the time to knit up a swatch with the yarn. It feels rather scratchy, or raw (it even smells like wool, telling me that it has a fair bit of lanolin in it??), but it does knit up well. I wanted to see whether or not the wool would soften up after it’s washed. It’s still drying, so the jury is still out. Once it’s dry and released from the pins, I’ll post a review of the yarn, even though it’s a yarn that has (likely) been discontinued. I’m hoping it softens up quite a bit because, as I said, it really is nice to knit with.


Ok, now it’s time to get my apple jelly going. Last week, we were given a box of apples and I made a batch of juice, which I froze because I didn’t have the time to finish making jelly. Right now, it’s thawing on the stove (low heat) and I’m forcing myself to deal with it. I also intend to make a batch of dinner buns and some bread sticks, so I’d better get moving.