Tuesday, April 23, 2019

British Columbia in the spring, with knitting

I found myself back in Castlegar over the long weekend. I took lots of pictures of family, and a few pictures of the great outdoors.

One day some of us went for a walk over a restored old bridge, and up into the woods. I had to quickly text a picture of these flowers to my sister-in-law, who told me they are called Avalanche Lilies. There were great swaths of them at some points along the path.

The Kootenay River.

Pretty blue sky. It seems like we haven't seen that in ages! In another couple of weeks the trees will be leafy and green.

Another day, we walked along the shore of the Arrow Lake on a rail trail. It was nice to be by the water, in the woods. Some of us were meant to be training up for our big walk in May, and I was wearing my new boots, but we didn't go up any big hills! I guess I'll just have to find a hill around here to walk up.

I took my crazy pink scarf I've been working on. I see that I haven't actually reported in about this before. It was sort of a palate cleanser after I finished my big grey shawl and it seemed to be a small project, but it has taken some time and, of course, has grown. It's not quite finished, but I'll give you some teasers!

We start out small, indeed. Increase one stitch every other row, then cast off 10 and start increasing again.

Throw in some leftover bits of sock yarn.

Oh, add some texture because it's a bit boring. Diagonals to help the viewer notice the shape!

A big chunk of diagonal eyelets. I should have ssk'd but I k2tog'd, so the diagonal lines are not quite what they could be.

After a while, start reversing the shaping, decreasing one stitch every other row, and then suddenly casting on some more.

I have a tiny bit of the pink left, and I think I will need to throw another odd ball in to get to the final point. I couldn't finish it in all the airport waiting yesterday because I was sure I'd run out of yarn. But I sincerely believe I can get this done tonight, though I may be proved wrong.

Monday, April 15, 2019

This is the only picture

We have pictures of Notre Dame, but not on this computer. We even have slides from 1984. But when we went there with the kids in 2006, prime Knitting on the Cam time, this is the only picture I put here, because my interior shots were murky and, actually, I do sound sorta grumpy in that post.

Saint Arthur of the Green Book and Saint Elaine of the Baguette, in some niches on Notre Dame.

Unbelievably sad.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Muffin Monday, a year on

Well, I did not meet my goal, if goal it was, to bake all the muffins in my muffin book last year. However, we soldier on. Also, I know it is not Monday but I just couldn't wait!

I just recently made a batch of Peanut Butter Muffins, although we don't have peanut butter in the house.

I used Wow Butter, which we here have eaten for years, due to kids with allergies. It's made from soy beans and tastes pretty darn close to peanut butter.

I can't find this online, so I will give you the recipe.

1/2 cup margarine (part shortening) [I used all margarine, and it surely couldn't hurt to use butter]
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter [or Wow Butter, and it doesn't have to be crunchy]
1 egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup milk
1/3 cup chopped chocolate chips

Cream the margarine, sugars, peanut butter and egg.
Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and add alternately to creamed mixture with milk, until blended.
Stir in chocolate chips.
Fill muffin cups and bake at 375F for 25 minutes.

I meant to make some other muffins, which asked for buttermilk, and I was going to use yogurt, but then I was missing a crucial ingredient... and when I came to make these instead, I found I didn't actually have any milk! I used about half a cup of yogurt and the rest evaporated milk! They could have been moister, as it turned out.

But flavour-wise, great! You can't beat peanut butter and chocolate. This book also has a peanut butter and banana muffin and maybe I'll try that next!

I have popped a few into the freezer because we all know that the end of April is Hot Docs festival time, and I am going to need some muffins to grab on my way out the door.

Tuesday, April 09, 2019

At long last, I can cross this off my list

Once upon a time, six months ago or more, I started the Stephen West 2018 mystery knitalong.

There was much knitting, and knitting in ways I hadn't before, like making Latvian braids, a very time-consuming and frustrating way to make a pretty nice line.

There were giant holes, and swirls and fun stuff.

There were interminable wings in two colours, with an i-cord edge knit in. At some early point in this project I should have clued in and not done the i-cord edge, but it's a mystery, and we didn't even really know which end was up until it was too far along.

On the first clue he had us changing colours every few rows, and leaving all those yarn ends! I soon found I didn't have the patience for that, and made my colour changes more slowly, but still had too many ends at the starting point. The pattern tells you to leave them 8 inches long and then make them into little twisted cords to dangle, but mine were not that long. I sewed in all the other ends, along those dang Latvian braids, for example, and when I got to this point I just made a few little braids.

I had finished the knitting some time ago, and was just daunted by the idea of all those wretched ends, so this sat in time-out for a couple of months at least. Finally, I got it done, gave it a bath and can now see it in all its glory.

It is very wide in the wingspan. Very, very wide. I like a big shawl, but this is just too big!

And now we wait for next winter, because it's practically spring here now, and I certainly don't need a giant, grey shawl.

Remind me, next fall, that my love for Mr West's work is not boundless, and sometimes it's best to wait till others have made the mystery shawl before jumping in!

Saturday, April 06, 2019

Some pretty new things

I tried so many things with this yarn. Two different shawls were started and ripped out.

Finally, this cowl seems to have given me what I wanted: lined up rainbow bits!

There was enough yarn to make some fingerless mitts as well. I'm not convinced of the usefulness of fingerless mitts, but perhaps in May, in England, when it's a bit chilly and not really very cold... perhaps then, they will be perfect!

I like the way the cowl pattern tips and turns the colours a bit. I picked this stitch pattern from my 2010 Vogue Knitting desk calendar, cast on 160 stitches and just went straight. Nice.

The great red spot, as the mitt increases.

You can wear these with the diagonal bit of ribbing on the back of the hand...

or with the straight bit on the back of the hand!

I have a tiny bit of lovely wool/cashmere rainbow yarn leftover, to be added to a hat or something one day.