Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Slipped Stitch Socks

I found a pattern that I thought would work well with this Handmaiden Casbah sock yarn.
Casbah is lovely MCN yarn.

Here it is wound into a ball. 
It reminds me of a painted bunting. I would LOVE to spot one of these for real someday.

I wanted to do a pattern that was primarily knit (as opposed to textured or lacy) and found this one on Ravelry.
I started the sock with a twisted rib cuff, frogged from Monkey socks I cast on first. I am adding an extra slipped stitch round.

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Gradient Handspun

I found a braid of 70/30 merino/seacell roving in turquoise and purple in my stash. I decided to spin the colours separately as much as possible. The turquoise and purple were easy to separate.
I spun the roving with both colours as the transition.
Here are the three bobbins of singles.
There was a bit of barberpole-ing even within the solid colours.
The blended colour was actually quite consistent.
168 yards of turquoise, 100 yards of the blended skein and 150 yards of the purple for a total of 418 yards of fingering weight.
 I am now going to look for a pattern that would suit this gradient yarn.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Sweet Dreams Off the Wires

This is the best photo I could get on the lawn outside.
It really is worth the effort pinning out all those picots.
I had trouble taking a picture of the back in the mirror but you get the idea.
Here is some detail.
This was a fun knit with a fine laceweight yarn. I have enough to probably do another, smaller one. A smaller one would also be lovely with a tonal fingering weight yarn.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Blocking Sweet Dreams

I finished the Sweet Dreams shawl a couple of weeks ago but didn't get around to blocking it until today.
I'm using flexible blocking wires that I ordered on etsy a couple of years ago.

They're really good for curvy items. I even put them through the points of the lace.

Here you can see the difference in look after pinning out each picot.
There are 32 points and 8 picots on each point. That's a lot of pinning!
In addition to the t-pins, I used up an entire container of 250 stainless steel sewing pins.

The key to a nicely curved crescent shawl is to increase 6 stitches every 2 rows. If you only do 4 sts every 2 rows (or 2 per row) you get a nice trianglar-shaped shawl. The extra 2 sts every two rows creates enough extra fabric for the curve.

Also, instead of starting with a small garter stitch tab at the centre back, I knit a long one before turning it on its side to pick up sts for the stocking stitch area. This avoids a strange point in the middle of the centre back. This is where I got the idea to do this.

Monday, 19 May 2014


Yesterday, our friends, Susan and David, invited Skip and me to go geocaching with them. They have the nifty Garmin GPS. I've kinda been intrigued with this kind of treasure hunting and was glad to have the opportunity to have 'experts' show us what to do.

We headed off to an area a few kilometres east of here close to the Lake Ontario shore. It was a lovely, sunny day - perfect for a scenic drive.

We found the first cache in a cemetery. It was at this point, David informed me that I could download a geocaching app on my iPhone. We then went to the harbourfront at Newcastle but couldn't find the cache we were looking for. Then we drove farther east along Lakeshore Drive and found a couple more.  It was lots of fun.

We then went antiquing in Orono and I picked up a stitch pattern book dating from 1980 for $3. Then we went back to David and Susan's to sample some Prosecco they're considering buying for toasting at their daughter's upcoming wedding reception.

It was a very fine day.

Today is Victoria Day, a statutory holiday in Canada commemorating Queen Victoria's birthday. We call it the 24th of May weekend as it is celebrated on the last Monday before May 25th. Some call it the May Two Four weekend (a 2-4 is a colloquial term used for a case of 24 beers) as it usually marks the first long weekend of our fairly short cottage season.

Being retirees, weekends aren't a big deal for us. We can do fun things every day of the week and, in fact, try to do most stuff during the regular work week while everyone else is working. Skip is golfing with his league today and won't be home 'til after 5. I decided to take my iPhone geocaching to see what I could find in our vicinity.

I couldn't find the first cache I was looking for. It was along a creek and I didn't really want to step off the path into the muddy creekbank. However, I did find the second one I was looking for. Cool!

Something's Cookin'

Just after New Year's, Skip and I decided to follow the Wheat Belly diet. It involves eating wheat-, grain-, sugar-, and starch-free.  What does that leave? Lots of yummy meat, fat, cheeses, seeds, and green vegetables. It has been a lot easier to follow this 'diet' than any other I've attempted. We both have lost about 15 lb. and hope to lose more altho' we've been on plateaux for while.

We have eaten out a lot less and I've been cooking at home a lot more. Once recipe I found a couple of weeks ago is the Faux Carb Pizza recipe from the Fathead movie blog. There is no wheat or grain and the crust is substantial enough that you can pick up your piece of pizza in your hand to eat it (altho' knife and fork users are not discouraged). Basically the crust is grated mozzarella and a bit of cream cheese melted in the microwave oven with a bit of almond flour. It is then formed into a crust and baked on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Once it is baked, you can pile on the pizza sauce (I made mine from scratch as well as all the commercial ones have the verboten sugar and canola oil) and any other toppings you like, plus, of course, more shredded cheese and bake it in a hot oven on a lower rack 'til the cheese starts to brown.

It was a hit!
And the crust is so yummy, you want to eat all of it, too.

The great thing about this pizza is it really fills you up. This recipe makes one big enough for the two of us to have two pieces each. I usually can't finish the second piece so I wrap it up and have it the next day. It's just as good the second day. Baking it on the parchment paper makes for a super easy clean-up, too!

If you're gluten intolerant or avoiding wheat for any reason, I highly recommend you try this easy recipe.

The pizza sauce recipe? I just used one from the internet that wasn't too complicated.

I went shopping for mayonnaise the other day and couldn't find one that didn't have starch or canola oil in it so I found this whole egg recipe online and made half the recipe. It turned out really well. It will last 2 weeks in the fridge. I substituted extra-virgin olive oil for the vegetable oil and whipped it up in the food processor in a couple of minutes. Apparently the key is to just drizzle the oil in while the rest of the stuff is whipping. A blender or hand blender would work as well, I believe.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Linen Stitch Scarf - Part II and a Fine Day Out

I finished the Koigu Linen Stitch Scarf. Yay!
Initially I would get confused about what side I was working on. The stranded side is the right side.
The bumpy side is the wrong side. They both look nice.
I want to redo tying the fringe - using 4 strands instead of the three I did. Tina from Soper Creek Yarn did a twisty thing with the strands and made a really nice fringe. I want to emulate that.

While I was at Soper Creek Yarn a couple of weeks ago, I bought a skein of Misti Alpaca Pima Cotton & Silk Hand Paint yarn.
I started another Linen Stitch scarf and have about 3" of the 5" width completed. See the distinct difference between the 'right; and 'wrong' sides?
This yarn is a wee bit thicker than the Koigu yarn I used on the other scarf so I only cast on 400 sts.

Last Saturday, Jennifer, Donna, and I went to Port Hope to attend The Gathering -  big spinning event at the Town Recreation Centre.

I didn't get great photos but this will give an idea of the event.
There were a lot of spinning wheels there but most people were shopping at the merchant tables or chatting. The snacks and coffee were free.
We could have had lunch there ($5 burgers or chili) but we opted to go to Basil's Market and Deli just a block away from The Black Lamb.

After lunch we visited Laurie at The Black Lamb then moved on to Soper Creek Yarn. All in all we enjoyed our road trip. It was a fine day out.