Monday, August 06, 2018

Some blog news and some plans for the future

Exciting news from the blog world: Jane is blogging again about her new house (in Cambridge) and stained glass and cooking and sewing and looking at things! Always something nice to see there, and I'm glad she's back!

Exciting news from me: I'm going away for two weeks. I don't think you'll miss me, since two weeks without a post is not that unusual around here. I have, of course, picked out some knitting to take. I believe I will make a hat and maybe a scarf, or maybe I'll take out the bit of the scarf I've started and do something else. (See below, plans change on the fly...)

Exciting thing #2: We put Elaine on the bus this morning and she is off on another camping adventure in the wild woods.

She has a raincoat and sunscreen, and long johns and a bug jacket, so I think she'll survive. I have a friend whose daughter is off on a dig in Europe, texting constantly about the scorpions and snakes. Is that better or worse than no communication at all for three weeks?

I realised recently that I have done nothing this year on UFOs from the past. Sweaters started decades ago that need a bit of edging; squares that should be a cushion cover or blanket by now. Perhaps in the fall I'll get on that. I also, duh, want to start something new.

I had a whim which seems to have become a plan: walking across Hadrian's Wall next spring. Now, there is much to be sorted out about that, but one question looms large -- do I get to knit a cool new sweater? I suggested three to a group on Ravelry: Ceilidh, Rogue and Hiker. All of them are made with heavyish yarn, suitable for gallivanting about on the moors and the dales and the crags and all that, I thought. But no, everyone is telling me to make something lighter. Right now it is in the 30s Celsius around here in the daytime and I can't quite get my head around the weather in May in the north of England, but I think if I can't wear a big sweater then, when can I?

Look, it's perfect:

It's Rowan's picture

I could make a multicoloured waistcoat, I suppose. That would keep me warm and chic, but not too warm. How about this? I have the pattern and I have the yarn. It's a slip-stitch pattern, not stranded, so I wouldn't likely go completely bonkers knitting it. Possible, possible.

So tomorrow I just have to pack to go away, swatch a bit of this pattern (having first found the magazine that the pattern is in), do all the dishes and clean up the living room, oh, sew a new tote bag to take....

Arrivederci! (No, I'm not going to Italy.)

Monday, July 30, 2018

Muffin Monday: Double Chocolate Blueberry

Today I made muffins for the first time in a while.

I think this recipe might have been a "reader favourite," suggested by one of you!

Cocoa powder, chocolate chips, blueberries!

Be careful to mix your brown sugar in properly or you might get a blob!

It's a darn lie about the 14 muffins, I must say. I could have got 12 big ones, but the recipe said 14 so I got out a tiny loaf pan for the rest, and had about half the batter I needed for that. Twelve gigantic muffins, I'd say.

But, delicious! Arthur was not entirely convinced by the chocolate/blueberry combo, but the rest of us are quite pleased indeed.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Eye Candy Friday

I've seen more butterflies than usual this year, I think. 

It's hard to get them to pose in the sunshine.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Just a quick hat set

I've just got to stop putting my hand in the air when people offer up free yarn for charity knitting. I got myself another bagful the other day.

There was one skein of Lorna's Laces Swirl Chunky, a wool and silk blend, soft, warm, bright!

In the skein, which of course I forgot to photograph, the yarn looked like I could make a regular stripe pattern, like this. But alas, I think you need a yarn that is machine-dyed. My colour pattern soon slipped a few stitches out of sync, no matter what I tried.

So I just made a hat. It is knit flat on the number of stitches I was using for my last attempt at lining things up, I think 49. It is not quite big enough for me; great for a 10-year-old or so.

But that didn't take all the yarn, so then I knit a teeny tiny scarf.

I will have to find a nice button or two and then a child can make a tight or loose cowl/collar/scarflette.

Perhaps I could have knit a less pointy hat and had more yarn left for a bigger scarf. Next time.

We are ready for our close-ups...

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Went to the beach

The last couple of days I have been in London, Ontario, visiting my brother who has been away for a year.

We went to Grand Bend for an afternoon, looking at the beach and the lake and the sailboats and the ice cream stores.

lifeguard chair

How many colours!? 
As far as the eye can see, it's blue (and green and white and...)
At his house, we were awash in wildlife. First a woodpecker, then a shrew, a gopher, and finally this lovely deer, right outside the kitchen window! 

Apparently the neighbours have an attractive apple tree. She did like munching on some of John's flowers, too.

I got some knitting done, but will have to show you another day. (I took three projects, of course, and finished one.)

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Startitis and high fashion

I have a few things on the go right now. It is 32°C out, and forecast to be over 30° all week! So of course, I have to pick my knitting carefully. It's too hot for a wool scarf,  or a wool hat, so now there's this:

Yes, Kate Moss and I have much in common. This is a still from a movie about Vivienne Westwood. And I love the sweater!

I have some DK cotton yarn to use. I couldn't find anything like it on Ravelry, but I found this pattern, which has been on my shelf since the day it came out in 1987.

Big rectangles knitted on 8 mm needles. Really big rectangles. It was 1987, and a sweater 50 inches around was not out of the ordinary. Kate's isn't oversized at all.

And then there's Westknits' Loosey Goosey. Super oversized, knitted on 10 mm needles. 

I think I will more or less follow the pattern for the green sweater, so the holes are not ginormous, but I will add rows knitted with a much bigger needle, and I will add some dropped stitches here and there. And I have 4 different yarns, that oughta spice things up, too!

It won't really look like the one at the top, but I'm not Kate Moss, either.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Muffin Monday: Yogurt Bran

It seems like it's been a while since I made muffins, and we happened to have a litre of buttermilk in the fridge, and 2 kilos of frozen berries, so I gave these a go. Sort of this recipe, sort of that.

I have made these before; the page in the book is pretty splattered! It says it makes 2 dozen muffins, and my notes say 1 dozen regular and 1 dozen small. This time it made 3 dozen small and an 8-inch round cake! Who knows how these things work!

I used buttermilk instead of yogurt; the recipe calls for vegetable oil and as it happened I only had about 1/4 of a cup, so these are made with mostly olive oil; and I had no white flour, so they are all whole wheat.

My regular muffin pan was dirty because I just made some cloverleaf buns for a potluck party. (Very good, made the dough in the breadmaker!) I didn't think the paper muffin cups were quite the right size, so I sprayed the one pan and crossed my fingers and trusted the "no-stick" coating on the other. Bad move.

Some came out easily, but some didn't. There will be a lot of half-mini-muffins around here.

But tasty! And I think if one actually follows the recipe, they would be perfect!