Sunday, January 13, 2013

Homemaking Day!

Well, my husband took the kids out for the day so I've been at loose ends alone with the cat. I took the opportunity to sleep in, then felt energetic.

I got up, fired up iTunes, cleaned the kitchen and then proceeded to make:

Lentil stew:
  • organic red lentils
  • onions
  • potatoes
  • cumin
  • seasoning (this time no-MSG Vegeta - sometimes hard to find)
  • fresh parsley added at the end
 I need some groceries, otherwise I would have put carrots and celery in the stew as well. We always top each serving with a splash of extra virgin olive oil and freshly squeezed lemon juice.

Home baked bread:
  • freshly milled organic hard red wheat
  • 1 cup of homemade 7 grain cereal mix (we cracked the grains ourselves, all from organic sources)
  • salt
  • sugar
  • yeast
  • filtered water
Eggless Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies:
  • more freshly milled wheat (I always use whole wheat for baking, even if the recipe calls for white)
  • unsalted butter
  • almond butter
  • cocoa powder
  • sea salt
  • pure vanilla
  • baking powder and soda
  • substituted almond milk for milk
 I didn't have eggs so I searched on Allrecipes for something. First time trying this one out. With the whole wheat, the dough looks fairly dark, esp. with the cocoa powder. I also added walnuts and semi-sweet chocolate chunk.
Verdict? Very nice, light and crispy. Will add this recipe to my collection :) Kids will be happy when they get back home.


Crafting: 


Made good progress on my hand warmers. They're now almost 10 inches long, so the 50g ball has given me good mileage. Not bad for only two days knitting. They should work very nicely when scootering. It also feels quite serendipitous that the stripes seem to match up. I didn't intentionally do that, I just split my ball and started knitting and now I have matching mitts :)

I also used to have an issue when changing from the knit stitch to purl, esp. in the borders of cables, or 2 x 2 ribbing. The last knit stitch before the transition was always loose. I've since found that if I push down the purl bump between the stitches, it seemed to help. Recently I found an even better remedy: On the first purl stitch after the knit stitch, I give an extra swing to my right tip (I knit continental) and this pulls the stitch tighter. My ribbing looks very even:

I used my iPod to stretch out the ribbing.

So, I think I've been very productive today.



Saturday, January 12, 2013

Gloves for Scootering

I finally started some fingerless mitts to wear under my gloves when I'm scootering. Hopefully they will be long enough to cut out any draft going up my sleeves.

I only had a 50g ball of the yarn so I split it into two equal balls by weight. I'm knitting them two at a time on two circs and the only mod to the pattern is that I'm knitting them from the hands first so that I can keep knitting up the arms until the yarn runs out.

Ribbed Hand Warmers:

 My yarn split into balls. I'm using the mesh from a garlic bag to keep the yarn cakes neat.

 The stitch marker is to keep the two gloves together because they always seem to start drifting apart on the needles.
 My cat, Nibbler is trying to butt in on the shot!

 Started from the hand first, instead of the wrist as the pattern is written.
Yarn bought at Dressew at a bargain!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Power of the handknits

I believe in the power in the hand-knitted woollen garment. Despite it being the middle of winter, albeit mild by Canadian standards, I'm still being driven to work on the scooter.

My outfit today:

Black garbardine dress pants
Chartreuse long-sleeved t-shirt layered over a longer black tank top
Black down vest
Mara shawl - in STR Ravenscroft colorway - black, dark greens, dark purples
Black leather shoes

My riding gear:
Motorcycle pants
Motorcycle gloves
Esprit long length winter coat - black with faux fur trim (a few years old)
Full face helmet with bluetooth headset so my husband can talk to me the whole commute

Temperature: a frigid 3C, wind chill factor probably making it closer to 0C.

As you can see, the only hand-knit item on today was my shawl.

Cold!

After work we went for a long walk (2 hours) on our famous Seawall - from Coal Harbour to English Bay and back - while wearing all the above mentioned attire. I was also carrying my purse which probably weighed 8 lbs since there was no room to leave it locked up in the scooter underseat storage compartment. It was a great workout (extra resistance and weight from the motorcycle pants and purse). The afternoon weather was brilliant:





There was even a trio of sea otters frolicking in the white-capped waves. I did my best to get my Vitamin D quota.




My scarf kept the chill off my neck and down my back and I felt warm enough until the sun set and riding home seemed to last forever.

What I need to make are long fingerless mitts in sock yarn that I can wear under my motorcycle gloves and will reach at least to my mid forearm.

My scootering cowl is a little too long and rolls down under my chin. It is also too short in the front. I think I need to make the Bandana Cowl, or something similar in shape, but close fitting on my neck.

Just need to choose the right yarn...

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Finishing!

Finished three sweaters in time for the girl before she left for Toronto. Turned out very well. I had made them originally for me but they looked great on her.

1) Wendy Bernard's Favorite Cardigan:





 I really love those buttons. Got them at Button Button. They always have a great selection.


2) Kaleidoscope



I didn't have time to get buttons so left it for her to get some herself. Yarn pooled a little bit but still okay. I think it will be quite wearable for her.

3) Low Tide

I'm so happy with how this project turned out. Loved the yarn and the dye which I blogged about here.

Used shell buttons which were a little small, but still nice.







So this means I can start three more new projects, right?

I've also been recently told by two different friends that some relative has passed away leaving rooms full of yarn, and one even has spinning wheels and looms and would I like to come take a look??

You don't have to ask me twice :) More details as I follow-up on this treasure and see if it will pan out.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Hexipuff Update

Days since started: 59
Total made: 131
Daily average: 2.22


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Great start to 2013

So I picked up my Swing Cardi, which I haven't worked on for a few weeks. I've knit all of the body except for the cable edging that goes around the whole outside of the sweater. I've always been a little unhappy with the way the cabling looked, but thought that was the nature of the yarn and it would improve on blocking.

However, when I reviewed the pattern to try to pick up where I left off, I realized that I had been reading the cable chart wrong the whole time. I had placed the right cable lined up directly above the left one, when it should have been offset by 3 stitches.

I broke my yarn and did a swatch to see what the proper cable would look like and it looks so much better than what I did. Now that I know I've done it wrong, I think that I will have to frog the whole thing and start again. If only I hadn't stopped working on it, I would have been perfectly fine with it.

Here's my original post.

As I said, great start to the year. I think the only goal I will set for myself is to continue knitting everyday. That seems to be the only intention I can keep.