inspired by amanda
So I finished this little project over Christmas. Transverse Scarf by Miriam Felton. Great knit on definitely different material. The silk almost feels like paper while you are knitting with it. I knit with lace needles which are definitely the bomb although I had to make sure I did not split the silk which was quite easy … again it is almost like knitting with a kind of paper.
Ditto on dropping a stitch. Whoa Nelly definitely made sure to be aware. There is no elasticity or that clingyness that you have in regular yarns which might afford you the comfort that if you dropped a stitch you could probably catch it or bring it back up. None here. No forgiveness.
I do not work with safety lines or markers. I had a couple of great teachers (thanks Joan Kass and Evelyn Clark!) who both spoke to one becoming an intelligent thinking lace knitter who understands the nature, pattern and direction of lace knitting without relying solely on markers and safety lines. Knowing where the center is without markers. Or the edge stitches. That safety lines tell you that you will inevitably make a mistake and that the lace is then in charge and not you as the knitter. So no safety lines. I read my lace knitting. And I love it. They taught me so much and for that I am forever grateful.
The scarf went quickly. It was repetitive as all scarves are. And it went quickly as a pattern with some interest can take you. Not necessarily a great TV knit but doable in front of the TV as long as you are checking for those splits.
The biggest issue I faced was the blocking.
The first time I soaked it and then blocked it the dried scarf was as stiff as a board which clearly meant the sizing had not come out at all. So I soaked it again. And again. And again. No progress. I was thinking that I needed to probably agitate it a little and then remembered that Vicki had mentioned the Transverse. So I emailed her. And she was kind enough to get back to me. Her suggestion? Agitation! THANK YOU VICKI!
So, I put it in the washer on gentle and washed it for a wee bit and then spun her out. After blocking again (and I admit here that I used pins because my blocking rods are in a place in my craft room, which I am trying to re-organize, where I cannot reach them so a scalloped edge was developed instead), I finally had some drape. I won’t kid you; this scarf is not soft and squishy but it is beautiful. And it has a kind of dignity. The drape is lovely. It is a lovely scarf.
I am giving this to my Moms. She is the most wonderful person. And she has dignity. They will look grand together.
It’s nice to be back!
My laptop crashed (apparently some corrupt files) and I lost the ability to be online or check emails for just over a week (I am working through the pile of emails and if you haven’t heard from me, you WILL! lol). A nice holiday on one hand but frustrating on the other. ‘Nuff said.
So, the sweater is finished. The knitting part anyway. Shoulders are done; I like to use a 3 needle bind off. I must get the neck picked up and knit, then sew it together. I have been lagging on getting the rest put together – I have been a little scattered for sure. There always seems to be so much to do around here and my energy is limited so it seems that the ‘must do’s’ are usually taking precedence.
I did start a pair of socks. Yay! My preference when knitting socks is two at a time, toe up, short row heel.
This pair of socks are the Ribbed Ribbon Socks by Wendy Johnson from her book Socks From The Toe Up. The pattern is fabulous! Easy, quick and fun. I am already at the heel turn. I think I will be knitting more socks this year, they sure do go much faster.
Hanging my head in shame I cannot tell you the name or origin of the sock yarn – I have lost the ball band (I had the yarn split into 2 and prepped for knitting in a sock bag without it seems the ball band). Will find in the current chaos that exists in my craft space.
Taking up more of my reading time however has been a great assortment of cooking books – more than shown here. I have really been enjoying cooking so much from scratch; my own ideas and those I glean from books and online – yesterday was a kick butt cooking day. I made Amanda’s brownies (seriously freaking good), bread (Pullman, Buttermilk Bread dough, English Muffin dough), Shepherd’s Pie and Water Crackers. Can you say YUMMY? The boys in this house are feeling quite blessed these days!
Linking up with Ginny.
inspired by amanda’s moments on fridays. a single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week, a moment to pause, savor and remember
On the home stretch with the sweater. Hurrah!
The sleeves are finished and I am now on the front. Can’t wait to finish this puppy and move on to the next item.
The benefit of focusing on one thing, particularly a sweater, means getting it done far more quickly than working on several at one time, however there is no variety (I am chuckling inside right now – getting a sweater done within a month is definitely a good thing) in the knitting. My goal this year is to focus on one project at a time, ensuring completion of each project. Looking at the UFO’s in this house is a testament to my need for focusing and finishing. Getting hyped up for the knits left behind is going to be another story!
So I am well into my new book. And liking it. A good thing because I have more from the series. William Krueger is a good author and while the read isn’t ‘captivating’ (see my last post) it is pretty good. Thank goodness. I had this on my Nook. I don’t always read from the Nook (even though I love it and the backlighting to death) because it is always nice to feel a good, old-fashioned book in my hands. Good news though – I have a couple of paperbacks in the series. Yay!
Linking with Ginny.
the weekend started with a great lunch
at Harp & Wylie’s in Port Perry
with my Mom and Dad
I love them so much
lunch was excellent and
lots of fun
followed by a walk to the
Wee Tartan Shop and
Tweed and Hickory
a quiet evening followed
watching old movies
Saturday was tumultuous
early romping with the dogs
lemon ginger scones for Ed
there was unexpected conflict
and a relationship is changed
more old movies
rocking classic Oscar movies on TCM
spaghetti sauce was made
thanks to Carole
gobbled for dinner with
we couldn’t wait the day for some flavour marrying
it was so yummy
my hubby was happy to see
the Maple Leafs win
Sunday morning started with an
early morning walk in the field
with the hounds
so good to get out in the
bread was baked
and a loaf was given to our
great news came unexpectedly and a huge
stressor is suddenly gone
so happy and relieved for that
re-organizing the pantry
in preparation for this
the pantry is not done yet
definitely a work in progress
dog nails clipped
Max getting groomed
laundry to be done
the rest of day will be about relaxing
watching the Super Bowl
hanging with my wonderful husband
how was your weekend?
linking weekend love with Amanda
inspired by amanda’s moments on fridays. a single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week, a moment to pause, savor and remember
Welcome to the OLW Blog Hop hosted by Margie based on the BPS class led by the amazing Ali Edwards (she has been so inspiring for me on so many levels). If you are here from the hop then you have arrived from Kristina’s blog, Inspiration from the parking lot called the 403. If not, I am so glad you are here!
My One Little Word for 2012 is Invite. I wrote about choosing it and my intentions for it here. The month of January has proven itself eventful in so many ways. It is amazing the power of intention and focus by claiming just One Little Word. I started my month by creating a poster for myself.
I have it where I can see it all the time (actually I printed off a couple to post in various key locations!). For motivation, inspiration and those feel good moments. It makes me so happy.
My primary focus this month has been to post on my blog and connect with the online world in a reasonable manner, to increase our veggie intake (it was already pretty good but I want to have an 80-10-10 split with food – the 80 being veggies), priorize healthy home cooking and to work my camera every day. It has been a pretty successful month.
I have been making lists – I love to make lists. I have always found it helpful to focus myself and clarify goals/ideas/projects. So early January was dedicated to crafting various lists with the focus on my word and how it could impact the lists.
I posted a lot in January. More than I have in a long, long time. 16 posts in one month! Unheard of for me. And I have really enjoyed it. It feels really good. I even did a 12 on 12 post which I have never done before.
The healthy eating focus has been so awesome. I have tried to start each day with a green drink – this one has Kale, Spinach, Cucumber, Apple, Blueberries, Spirulina, Flax Seed, Mint leaves and water. Really good. I don’t juice, rather I use the Vita Mix to puree it and then sip slowly. I have missed a few days here and there but I am working on making it a regular routine.
The veggie focus has been pretty successful. We are eating less protein with each meal and I am prepping way more veg. Above is Cauliflower Salad with lightly steamed Cauliflower, Arugula, Raddichio, Mustard Vinaigrette with Toasted Breadcrumbs. A new family favourite. I have really focused on less processed carbs and putting more grains into our food.
And I decided to make our own bread. This month I made Oatmeal Bread, Potato Bread, Buttermilk Bread, Whole Wheat Bread, English Muffins and Crumpets. It feels great to know exactly what is going into the food we eat. The guys in my life LOVE this new addition to the house!
Simple roasted vegetables. Adding lots of herbs and spices to food. Really really good and I am feeling much more connected to the food we put in our bodies.
My other big focus this month has been to take photos. Everyday. No matter how crappy I am feeling. And I have had a few bad days. My fibromyalgia has been exacerbated by new menopausal symptoms (can I tell you how brutal these are?) and vice versa. Ugh. I have had to rest quite a bit but I am pleased by my ability to accept this and work with it. I really want to invite some resolve with my physical self and my chronic illnesses this year. It is time to make peace with myself on this front.
So, the photography. I love playing with light and shadow. Always have. And winter often provides really great moments of such extremes. Hence, I have been playing with my camera.
Our lovely big boy Huntly doing his regular thing on our bed. We have a really nice duvet cover that we never see because we always put a cover on top of it to minimize dog hair on the duvet. He loves our bed and the sunshine.
We had an ice storm on Friday and I messed around with my new from Christmas Telephoto Zoom lens. LOVE this lens and the creative possibilities it invites.
I have been really pleased with the fact that I have been able to create despite many days with the really small square I live in sometimes. Working on staying present and enjoying the moments I have rather than focusing on the ones I haven’t had. Pardon the dirt on the floor. Clearly some things have NOT been kept up….
The focus in January has been fantastic for me. I have so much to be thankful for and feel blessed to be surrounded by so much inspiration. The word invite is so perfect for me. By remaining open, I have experienced so much already this year. Including my very first ever blog hop participation. This has been great! I can’t wait to see what February brings!
Next on the blog hop list is Kelly, who resides over at Minding My Nest. Enjoy her post, her blog is lovely. Thanks so much for stopping by!
Outside my window… more snow, some freezing rain and grey, grey, grey.
I am thinking…that this unhappy war between my fibromyalgia and the recent onset of menopausal symptoms needs to find a happy resolution.
I am thankful…that I am not outside or on the road driving in this guck.
In the kitchen…citrus orange chicken is marinating and banana ginger scones are baking.
I am wearing…christmas socks (he he), black leggings and a black shirt.
I am creating…a plan to get some serious time in my craft room with a few scrapbooking projects.
I am going…to shower Ed with kisses as soon as I get this done! LOL. I sure do love him.
I am wondering…how Nick’s last exam is going.
I am reading…Boundary Waters by William Kent Krueger and a few cookbooks for some upcoming meals.
I am hoping…that a couple of different issues stressing me out find some positive resolution soon.
I am looking forward to…the Western Regional Scottish Deerhound Specialty in Louisville, KY in mid March. Cannot wait.
I am learning…that it is okay to break tasks into smaller steps so I don’t totally fall apart trying to get things done.
Around the house…the floors need to be swept!
I am pondering…herbal, rooibos or English breakfast.
A favorite quote for today…An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind (Mahatma Gandhi).
One of my favorite things…kisses, licks and so much dog love from Huntly, Bailiewick, and Maximus.
A few plans for the rest of the week: tax stuff, re-organizing the pantry, knitting, reading, making bread (and some chocolate pudding for Nick), a walk or two with Bailiewick, cuddling with my 18 year old kidlet, getting my supplements together.
A peek into my day…
Linking up with Peggy.
I made some Buttermilk bread from the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes book. It turned out really well. I wasn’t sure how it would turn out. The process involves NO kneading … and yet I got bread!
As the name states this bread is made with both yeast and buttermilk. The dough comes together really quickly (like, duh, in 5 minutes) by mixing it together (I used my Kitchen Aid and a bread hook), letting it rise for a bit and then putting it in the fridge. I left it in the fridge for 6 days (the recipe says it can be left in there for 7). When I uncovered it, it had this really awesome tangy smell, almost like a Sourdough starter. The dough is then cut in half (the recipe called for thirds and smaller pans so I went for the half and larger pans), shaped with floured hands and put in the pans. Seriously, it couldn’t be easier.
So the dough takes 5 minutes to put together, then there is the initial rising time and some fridge time. The refrigerated dough then takes 5 minutes to shape and is left to rise. So far, so good.
Once the dough has risen – and I must say that while the recipe states about 1 hour and 4o minutes I would say that I left the dough to rise for a lot longer than that more like 2 hours and 30 minutes – I think that coming out of the fridge for 6 days chilled the dough quite a bit and it needed some time to warm up so that it could rise. It did get a good rise though so I was definitely stoked.
Just out of the oven. The colour was just as lovely in real life as it looks here. A truly golden brown and oh the smell. Again that nice tangy smell that comes with sourdough.
Resting the bread. It is supposed to cool before you cut it. Clearly where they were baking and testing this bread there was no 19 year old bread monster with a bottomless pit for a stomach living in their house! Making him wait was a lesson in perseverance!
When the bread was finally cut, the texture was gorgeous! Spongy and full bodied. Springy and it smelled so great. This is a sturdy bread with lots of moisture, texture and flavour. So darn good! It has been great on it’s own, with butter, toasted, for sandwiches. It hasn’t lasted too long but with minimal prep work, no kneading, fridge time and minimal shaping pre-bake time this is definitely a bread I will be making again. The taste and results far outweigh the work on this bread. Definitely a keeper!