Friday, 28 June 2013

Buttertart Tour

Skip and I like to celebrate our wedding anniversary by doing something special. The last couple of years we've gone into The Big City. A couple of weeks ago I read a tourist brochure for Ontario that mentioned a couple of buttertart tours. (For you who don't know what buttertarts are, they are a Canadian dessert specialty).

When I was in Lindsay a couple of weeks ago at my card weaving workshop, I tried to have lunch at the Little Schnitzel House but was turned away because they were full! So I thought it would be fun to make a return visit with Skip and have lunch there and on the way, and while in Lindsay, drop into a couple of bakeries that specialize in buttertarts.

Our 15th wedding anniversary is tomorrow but we don't like doing touristy things on weekends when it is so busy so we went today.

First we dropped into Buttertarts N' More in Little Britain.
It is down the street from the Foodland which has 'The Spudster'  in its parking lot. I assume from the signage that the LCBO (the liquor store) and The Beer Store are also in Foodland.
Inside the bakery, we were gobsmacked at the number of buttertarts available for purchase - plain, with raisins, with pecans, with walnuts, with raisins and pecans, with raisins and walnuts, with coconut, with chocolate chips (my choice) and a few other choices I can't remember.
There was also a cart with enormous danishes with a tray on top with massive coffee cakes topped with icing, walnuts, cherries and raisins.
We made our purchase and proceeded on to Lindsay for lunch.
I had the 'lunch' pork schnitzel with home fries and vegetables. Skip had the Jaeger pork schnitzel with a creamy mushroom sauce. Yum!
 We passed on the tantalizing German desserts and headed out to the Pantry Shelf for more buttertarts.
We ordered plain ones which weren't too runny. I like them that way. Don't let the fork fool you, a buttertart is not a piece of pie, it is to be eaten with the fingers.
When I got home, I warmed one of the chocolate chip buttertarts in the microwave. It was runnier than I usually like but SO delicious! I was compelled to lick the plate! Which is OK because I was in my own kitchen, after all.

We have some more fun planned for our anniversary tomorrow. Stay tuned.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Escher Socks

I finished Laura Miser's Escher socks from the book, "Knitting Socks with Handpainted Yarn". The Rowan Fine Art sock yarn was a pleasure to work with but at $30 per 100g ball, it won't be on my regular sock yarn purchase list. However it would make a great gift (hint, hint) for any occasion.
I continue to work on Spike and have almost completed the top half.
Part of the stitching involves using Wisper, a mohair blend yarn with one strand of the DMC floss. It makes for a slightly thicker yarn so only half cross-stitches are required - see the white part below. The half crosses go to the right / while the full crosses' top stitch go to the left \.
Today we got to see one of Scooter's 5K races which took place only a few kilometres away from our home. The starter told the fast runners to move to the front and the slow runners to move to the back so Scooter was right up front. He's in the white shirt and green shoes front and centre.
He figured he'd do well because it's not a very well-publicized race.

Sure enough he was the first to appear from around the final turn to the finish line. No other runners were in sight!!!

I was fortunate to get this shot just as he was about to cross the finish line. His official time will be about 17:28. Way to go, Scooter!
Proud Papa posed with Scooter The Swift.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Card Weaving

On Thursday, I drove up to Lindsay to participate in a card weaving workshop with the Kawartha Handweavers and Spinners Guild and some ladies from the Scugog Handweavers and Spinners Guild. I do the website for the Kawartha group and have honourary membership status but it was the first time I've ventured up to their meeting place.

Judy Chapman got underway and quickly showed us the warping method between two pegs, one at each end of the table.
Basically we thread two ends each through holes punched in sturdy cards that are 3 1/2" square.
Warping involves winding the warp back and forth around the pegs, dropping one card one each side each time. This was the hardest part but once we got the hang of the first couple of cards the rest went quickly.

We then started weaving the first pattern on Judy's instruction sheet - the basic striped pattern - rotating all the cards in the same direction after each pass with the shuttle. The popsicle sticks were spacers to get the warp nicely spread out at the beginning in preparation for weaving.
The next pattern we tried was the checkerboard where we rotated groups of 4 cards 180 degrees for the setup, then rotated them all together in the same direction.
Diagonal stripes were next where we gave each card a quarter turn for the setup, then turned them all continuously in one direction then in the other direction to slant the other way.
I thought I'd try a chevron pattern next. I liked it because I didn't have to count the number of turns of the cards. Once I had the setup done, I whipped along quite nicely, rotating the cards continuously in one direction.
I tried the diamonds but didn't like what they looked like and besides, I had to count too carefully. We were having so much fun yakking and oohing and aahing at each others' weaving I lost track.

Then we only had about 1/2 an hour to finish up. I was determined to get my whole warp woven so I did the last foot or so using the chevron pattern.

Once I was done and had cut the warp off the pegs, I turned my weaving over and saw how lovely the other side was. I had threaded my cards from front to back by mistake and was actually weaving on the wrong side the whole time! Doesn't this chevron sample look better from the right side? D'uh!
I cut my samples apart and have determined that they shall be bookmarks.  Below are all the right sides of my weaving. You can see the diamonds 2nd from the right are a little wonky but the rest look pretty darned good, if I do say so myself.
I want to thank the kind lady who gave me the cards I needed and the two ladies who provided me with the proper yarn. I was the worst prepared participant but once I got going I got the most weaving done! (Ever the competitive crafter).

You can see card weaving at Renaissance fairs and other period events. It is also called tablet weaving and you can read more about the craft here, here, and here.

With a minimum of equipment, one can easily create beautiful woven strips which can then be seamed to make larger objects.


On Wednesday, I participated in Windreach Farm's World Wide Knit in Public Day where I taught 45 very well-behaved Grade 8 students how to knit. I was only given 1/2 hour per group so my helpers and I cast on a dozen or so stitches and knit one row and had the knitting ready to put in the kids' hands. It was a very successful event. Fortunately in each group of 15 there were a couple of kids who already knew how to knit so they were my helpers.

I didn't get any photos of the event because I was busier than the proverbial one-armed wallpaper hanger. I did, however, receive a lovely thank-you gift of a basket with two felted Yardley Lavender soaps. 
The fleece is from sheep raised on the farm.

Then I whipped up to Uxbridge to attend the Shuttlebug's June meeting/pot luck luncheon at Judy F.'s. It was a lovely, sunny day and we were able to dine outdoors.

It was determined at an earlier meeting where we had so much fun wearing Judy's hats, that we should wear hats or fascinators to the June meeting. I got to reprise the fascinator I wore to Lorna's wedding.

Dini sported a lovely hat and modeled the beautiful scarf she wove with tencel using the warp that was dyed at an earlier meeting.
Judy's backyard and garden were verdant and serene. There was a brief business portion to the meeting
and then we chowed down.
On display was the yarn we had dyed last month at Gayle's.
Some people have been weaving samples for a major project the guild is undertaking over the next couple of years.
Although we don't meet formally again until September. Many of us will meet up at the community centre to weave throughout the summer. I'm hoping to get up there and weave my first teatowel.

Monday, 10 June 2013


In an effort to cut down on paper napkin and paper towel use, we have been using cloth napkins at mealtime since last summer.

I have made four sets thus far that have been seasonal, including some summery ones that look like they'd be fun to take on a picnic.
Although colourful and functional, I felt they looked a little ho-hum so I thought it would be cute to stitch on some insects one might find at a picnic.

In addition to some ants, I stitched a horsefly,
a dragonfly, (whoops! I just noticed I didn't finish its right wing)
some bees,
and a beetle.
I used some waste canvas and stitched them up in a couple of hours. How cute! They look WAY better, I believe.
Now I assign a napkin which gets used for a week (or less if it gets quite dirty) and throw it in with the wash.
No more paper napkins or paper towels for daily use.

BTW, I get 4 napkins from a yard of fabric. I hate waste and I love shortcuts ('cause I'm lazy) so I don't even make them square. I cut the yard of fabric into fat quarters and hem each side with mitered corners. They're so quick and easy to make and lots of fun to switch out for each season. Finished size is about 16" x 19".

My dishcloths have been quite popular lately so I knit up another one this evening. My current favourite pattern is the ballband dishcloth.
I used two colours of Peaches and Creme cotton yarn.
The multicoloured yarn is scented! It's the same price as the unscented yarn but only 56g as opposed to 70g in a ball of the unscented yarn.  It really does smell like lime!

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Mini Holiday

Last week Skip and I met our friends, David and Susan in Rochester, NY to attend the Wegmans LPGA Championship. Wouldn't you know, we hit the 'half price bottle of wine' night at Romano's Macaroni Grill. Interestingly, even though we were unable to finish the 1.5L bottle of house Chianti, we were permitted to take it with us as long as it was sealed in a bag with the bill.
Now those are the kinds of 'doggy bags' I can really dig.

Because of the predicted bad weather on Thursday and Friday, we went to the more casual ProAm on Wednesday where we were able to use our cameras freely.

I had lots of opportunity to work on the second Escher sock.

It was an overcast day and relatively cool, which was great.

The grounds were beautifully kept and the peonies were in full bloom.
We were able to get very close to the world's best golfers, including Michelle Wie, 
Lexi Thompson,
Anna Nordqvist,
Stacy Lewis,
and Se Ri Pak on the practice range, among others.
This Paula Creamer fan sported a custom-styled hat and was anxiously awaiting her tee-off on hole number 11.
Paula loves the colour pink and always has something pink on. That day, she had a pink ribbon in her hair.

We then drove to our favourite area of Buffalo/Williamsville and shopped 'til we dropped.

This summer we probably won't be venturing too far other than day trips here or there or adventures into The Big City. As much as we love to escape the winter cold, we really do like being home in the summer. I have lots of crafty projects to work on, the usual activities and of course, there's always stuff to do on the house.

I did a little bit of work on Spike last night while Skip, Scooter and I hung out together and yakked.
I keep him in the rotation of projects. I do hope to finish stitching some UFOs, do the finishing on some others and start a couple of Hardanger projects. I seem to have the stitching 'bug' again although I'll always have some knitting project on the go as well.

On the way home yesterday, I finished turning the heel on my second Escher sock and am now working on the gusset decreases. The Rowan Fine Art sock yarn looks like it will be quite fuzzy and will probably pill a lot, but it is really nice to work with.