Thursday, June 21, 2012

Ravelympics, graduation

You all know about the Ravelympics fuss, I'm sure.

I don't do the Ravelympics because I don't like all the organizing into events and teams and putting things on project pages in a timely manner. But I do the winter Knitting Olympics and I intend to knit something special during these upcoming Olympic Games, so I am Ravelympic-ing in spirit. And I am, along with two million other Ravelry members, outraged at the idea that challenging ourselves in our chosen field while watching athletes challenge themselves in theirs is in any way "denigrating" or insulting.

Watch out for those pointy sticks, guys!

The Olympic Rings of tequila drinks. Denigrate that!

There are two great ideas floating around about this. One is the general idea of yarnbombing the Olympic site. This is an excellent idea and although it is just the US Olympic Committee people object to, yarnbombing the London site would be fun and certainly show off the power of the knitters to everyone. The other is ... well, I'll just let Kay explain it, here. I would love to see Stephen Colbert take on this issue.

Closer to home, today Elaine graduates from grade 6. She has a dress and diamond studded flip-flops. I'm not sure they are good dancing shoes, but they are comfy and cool and cheap and cheerful.

It is so stinkin' hot here these days that it is perfectly fine that I didn't knit her a shawl or shrug or anything at all.

If we're lucky, glamour shots will be taken this evening.

Then we have a week of hanging around the school being too hot and uncomfortable to think, and then it's summer vacation!

Arthur finished his last exam on Monday, gets his marks next Monday, and then embarks on a cool summer course:  Get on a bus, go to see the Parliament buildings in Ottawa, a pub in Montreal, and the United Nations (and a musical) in New York, write a report or two, and get credit for the most boring, useless, denigrate-worthy course in the Ontario curriculum! Brilliant! (I tell him he needs a knitting project for the bus, but he sensibly points out that he will be typing away on those reports on the bus -- they do still need to do a year's work in two weeks and it's not all fun and games, you know!)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Yet another sock toe

This pair of socks is quite old, and the front halves had big holes. So, although I couldn't put my hand on any leftovers of the original yarn, I mended them with some serviceable alternative. Two different serviceable alternatives, in fact.

Added bonus: A picture of my new project bag! These sold out lickety-split, and for some reason I got in at the very beginning. Nice and big, for a little bag.

I would prefer a bag with a double drawstring, but let's not niggle. 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

A sock, five years later

Two years ago, we planted this wisteria in a box on our top deck. The first winter we surrounded it with insulating bags of old leaves, but this past winter we totally neglected it. But look! A flower! This single flower is quite gorgeous. Of course, we are hoping this will grow to cover the deck, giving us shade and tons of dripping purple flowers.

Soon we will also have daylilies flowering up there as well. We hacked a bunch of these out of the front yard and Stephen didn't want to just put them in the garden waste bin, so they are in a big pot, and seem to be thriving!

The reason I was up there with a camera in the first place: I finished a sock! And this is going to be a single sock, so I call it a true FO. Since Arthur wears his socks mismatched anyways, a single sock is not a problem!

Long, long ago, I was making socks with this yarn and lost my knitting bag! So this lone ball has stuck around for five years, waiting patiently to be turned into something. And look, if only I'd been quicker, I could have finished a sock with the single ball of yarn, but now Arthur's feet are too big!

A tiny bit of green and white on the toe. (That yarn is from his Jaywalkers, which didn't need a whole ball since I did coloured heels.)

Moving inside for the modeled shot!

Jazzy, eh?

Friday, June 15, 2012

More food, more camnesia

Last night I made three Jamie Oliver recipes for dinner, and I thought at several stages of taking pictures, but as we were scraping up the last bit of asparagus tart, I clapped my hand to my forehead: I hadn't taken a single shot!

First up was Crispy and Delicious Asparagus and Potato Tart. It really was crispy and delicious. Crispy because of the filo pastry crust; delicious because of asparagus, three eggs and a cup of cream! It was surprisingly light and the potato made it  novel and different from a quiche. And it looked very elegant. Definite make-again!

I wanted a simple salad, and found Cheese and Onion Salad with Creamy Herb Dressing. Lots of greens, pickled shallots and roquefort cheese! I think I put too much cheese, but all things considered, it was simple and fresh and delightful. And! I actually found some creme fraiche in the "other" grocery store. So I was able to use two tablespoons in the dressing, as ordered. He says that salad serves four... Perhaps as a whole meal, but with a romaine lettuce, a boston lettuce and four handfuls of herby greens, that is a huge ton of salad! We have leftovers, even though I cut back as I was making it.

Dessert was the grande finale it should always be! Sweetened cream, chocolate, meringue and pears. He calls it Tray-baked Meringue with Pears, Cream, Toasted Hazelnuts and Chocolate Sauce. No nuts for us, but otherwise made as written. Very, very delightful! It would be good with other fruit as well, of course.

I could show you a picture of my dirty kitchen, but perhaps that's not necessary. Gotta get into the food photography mindset. Who knows what is next, but I think I have more or less covered the Spring chapter and will move on to Summer. Though there is one rhubarb dessert I haven't tackled yet!

Monday, June 11, 2012


(Lots of pictures to come)

When I was at my parents' place, they had a box of trinkets and baubles they no longer needed, and did I want to take anything?

Some of it was stuff I had seen around the house all my childhood, and some was not. Some was lovely and some was okay and some will end up in the thrift store, to a stranger's delight.

This is what I brought home:

A glass fish float. They are Japanese and were used to hold up fishing nets. They tended to drift across the Pacific Ocean, like so much stuff we hear of lately, and turned up on BC beaches, where lucky beachcombers found them. I'm sure some are still found. This one was wrapped in a paper from a shop on Salt Spring Island, and may be a replica. But it is pretty.

It has a little bump inside from the manufacture

A little dolphin my dad carved of wood. It has a hole in its fin; perfect for dangling on a Christmas tree.

And who is this handsome gentleman? He is beautifully carved of nice wood, and has a dashing moustache.

Ceci n'est pas un gentleman, ceci est une pipe.

I did not take the pipe which was in my dad's breast pocket and broke a couple of his ribs when he fell on it as he was crossing the Rockies in 1958. His friend was editing a book about David Thompson, and the two of them hiked across the mountains retracing his steps. It was just a plain old pipe, and this is lovely!

Some little wooden shoes, Dutch souvenirs. Elaine chose these.

Some beautiful little ceramic pots. We got them in 1972 in Chipping Campden, at the Campden pottery. I love the brownness of them!

I, who was Elaine's present age in 1972, chose the one below on the left, and have always had it on a shelf or windowsill. And now I have three. I would love to make a sock or two in this colourway!

Then there is a brass ashtray, from Mitchells and Butlers Ales and Stouts, which I have hung on my wall. I asked my dad if there was a story behind it and he said yes, but it is not a very good story: he stole it.

He was stationed in England in the Second World War, and he once went to Glasgow on a furlough. An evening in the pub, and he nicked this!

The most intriguing find was these little baskets. My grandparents bought them in Stewart, BC, in the late 1920s when they were living in Masset on the Queen Charlotte Islands. They are now rather dull and faded on the outside.

This is the lid of one.

This is the inside of the lid. See the green and red, all beautifully woven.

The inside of the basket is also so full of colour.

Look at that! Such fine work!

The second has a little knob on the top, and is equally dull and faded on the outside.

The bottom, protected, I guess, from the sunlight, is still colourful.

A smudge of darkness on the outside.

The inside of the lid is coloured and quite elaborate. 

The inside of the basket is amazing! That smudge on the outside turns into a whale, pursued by a canoe-full of intrepid hunters. This is not a traditional motif, but clearly made for the tourists!

All in all, quite the haul...

Sunday, June 10, 2012

I went, I took no pictures

Last week Elaine and I hopped on a plane and went west. We passed over the prairies and the multicoloured fields were quite spectacular. Of course, by the time I had found my camera, we were getting into the clouds, but you can see what I mean here.

We had to stop in the Vancouver airport for an hour or two. Of course, I took pictures of knitting.

This is a sock I knit long ago. The front was pretty worn out, with holes too big to darn (comfortably) so I took the top off and am reknitting it.

But, alas, I ran out of yarn and hadn't put another little ball of leftover stuff in the bag. So, without even a darning needle, I slipped the stitches onto the last bit of yarn and will get them finished up soonish. Aren't I clever?

These babies were for my dad. I got up extra early that morning to finish off the toe, and they are all perfect. (More or less... there is one place where I messed up the pattern, but had forgot it till this very moment. And it is not visible in this picture, so I guess it doesn't really exist at all.) Recognize the carpet? I will never be able to pass through this airport without tossing some knitting on the floor and photographing it.

We got to Castlegar, saw three sisters, a brother and a sister-in-law, a niece and her daughter, a nephew and other miscellaneous types, and took two pictures. Here's one. My brother looking at some rusty stuff in the woods.

The other picture was taken on the same occasion, and is of the back of Elaine's head and my sister-in-law in the background.

No pictures of the lovely three-year-old, no pictures of the nonagenarian parents, no pictures of the lot of us all in a row. No pictures of the bald eagle we saw from the car one day. (No pictures of us laughing when I said that we'd seen a bald eagle driving to Nelson!)

On the way home the clouds were lit up marvellously by the setting sun. So, a picture of the schmutz on the window of the airplane:

I vow to take pictures next time! Of actual people! And tomorrow I will show you pictures of the stuff I took out of the box labeled "thrift store or ??" of "junk" my parents were parting with.