Plugging away

It has been a very busy weekend. I made a pan of brownies on Saturday but of course forgot to take pictures. This new recipe I have tried is rich and fudge-y and does not stick around for long. We made stuffed peppers filled with orzo, vegetables and feta to go with our steaks before heading out to watch UFC with the boys.

Today I made mini-butter tarts for birthday celebrations at work and beer bread buns for lunch and dinners this week. We had samples of both and they are both excellent. The gorgeous colour of the bread comes from Guinness and not the choice of flour.

We are making pizza for dinner tonight. I was in charge of making the dough and Sean was in charge of the toppings. He had to get his fingers in the shot.

I have been concentrating on knitting a chemo cap for a friend of Sean’s family. His mother offered to buy the yarn if I would knit it.

I have also been knitting more on the hap blanket than I probably should but it is so nice and mindless while being incredibly soft. I’ve cast-off the garter stitch centre yesterday and then promptly picked up the stitches around the edges and started the lace edging. Sean wants this blanket to be nice and big and suggested that if we ran out of yarn before it was the proper size we could run to the yarn store and get some more, which is a pretty good idea. I’m afraid it won’t make for good photographs until it is cast-off now that it only resembles a giant blob.

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Madli Scarf

Pattern: Madli Shawl by Nancy Bush from Knitted Lace of Estonia

Size: 12″ wide and 77″ in length (relaxed)

Yarn: 2 skeins of Plymouth Earth Ecco Cashmere (The yarn is lovely but the number of knots was not).

Needles: 3.5mm lace addi turbo’s

Gauge: Ummm it’s lace, I didn’t bother.

Started: April 2010       Finished: August 2010

Modifications: Since I did not have the required yardage of this yarn called for in the pattern I chose to do 5 repeats instead of seven to make it less wide and did 5-stitch nupps instead of 7 in an effort conserve yarn to ensure it would be long enough for a scarf.

I love everything about this scarf from the fuzzy halo of the cashmere to the pattern itself. I like the smaller nupps as you can tell they are still there but aren’t quite so obvious which thrills me. I also love the fact that it is a wide scarf but also very light and airy. It has been the perfect fall scarf so far and had been getting a lot of use now that the heatwave is gone!

Sorry for the bit of a delay posting about this finished object but I actually wanted to post it with pictures of me wearing it!

PS. I made my first pie in probably over 10 years. It is a pear pie.

A Sunny Sunday

We thought yesterday was going to be the nicest day of the weekend and went for a little walk to the park to throw the frisbee around. However I woke up this morning and the sun is shinning beautifully. We may need another excuse to spend time outside again today. It was also a great day for taking pictures of knitting in progress.

One of Dad’s Christmas socks is complete (well the knitting part anyway). If there is enough time after I finish the second one I may use duplicate stitch to put Space Invader motifs on the socks. The black yarn is Regia, a work-horse yarn with nylon added in. It’s not super soft but it is also not scratchy and should take a lot of wear my Dad will dish out while he’s puttering around the farm. The toes are Paton’s Kroy Socks. These are like all the socks I have made him in the past, machine-washable. However we don’t tell him they are machine-washable. He has to put them in the special laundry pile for hand-washing only (they will last longer that way too) or he runs the risk of never getting another pair of handmade socks. This is just in-case either I or Nanny make him a pair of socks that are not machine-washable. So far there have been no reports of mishaps from my mother so I think he takes the possibility of being cut-off from handmade socks very seriously. I think it is very endearing that he makes that extra effort to take care of his handmade socks and is part of the reason he gets a new pair every year. Last year he gave me the highest sock compliment that I think can come from him – “This socks are the best socks yet; they stay up and fit nice.” I guess it’s custom socks from now on.

I have finally taken the leap and cast-on and started knitting the sleeve for Sean’s Aran sweater (after charting out the increases for the cable using Knit Visualizer. So far it is turning out very well.

I started reclaiming the yarn from a disaster project from a few years ago called the Kimono Shrug. I had finished all the knitting but when I started seaming it together it definitely did not work. Since it involved 6 skeins of Malabrigo it is definitely worth reclaiming the yarn. Well I finally got around to it and unseamed and then unravelled the pieces back into skeins. I dampened them to help relax before winding them back into balls.With the one skein that was not knit up into the disaster project I started work on a couch blanket by Ysolda, very simply called the Hap Blanket. The centre is garter stitch and then you pick up along the edges and work in a feather and fan pattern. As you can tell I am currently on the garter stitch pattern. I am making it slightly bigger than the pattern calls for since I have the yarn and I would like it bigger than 40″. It is my nice mindless project at the moment to take breaks from all the Christmas and secret knitting.

Tidbits

I received some yarn from my mom to make two secret projects so all I will show you is the yarn until they are complete.

This weekend we made delicious sticky buns. They did not last very long.

I picked up a package in the mail today and these lovelies were inside. These are from Sundara Yarns.

I also finally cast-off the front of Sean’s sweater. All that is left to do are the sleeves.

Level 1

I have been looking for a knitting challenge for a while now. For a while I was looking for a knitting course to take but most courses are covering things I already have self-taught myself and are more about learning than a challenge.

Randomly I searched on the internet and found that The Knitting Guild Association (TKGA) offers a recognized Masters program. There are three levels that need to be completed before you are considered a “Master” and each level asks for more work than the last. The nice thing is that there is no time limit and you can work at your own pace which allows for Christmas presents to be knitted by Christmas.

I received Level 1 earlier this week. It involves several swatches, questions to be answered, a report on blocking and a project which is a bi-coloured toque. I bought two skeins of light colours of Cascade 220 for my swatches and did a wee bit of a test swatch of seed, garter and stockinette to make sure I had the right size needles (I apparently knit very loosely).

Then I’ve started on the seed stitch swatch first. It needs to be dense with no holes. So far I think I’m doing a pretty good job but we will have to wait to see what the Committee thinks when they grade it.