This was the third year for the Twist Fibre festival in Québec, but a first time for me. Thanks to Sue, I finally got to see what all the fuss was about. It was small but packed full of quality vendors. Among other things, Twist features mainly local yarn, fibre, and other materials. I came away with a few very very nice purchases.
I was really excited to see that Laura Sheppard’s Handmade Pottery was there, so I picked up a mug. Much better to purchase in person. It is beautifully crafted.
For someone as busy as I am, I have spent a surprisingly small amount of time and energy exploring the events going on in Ottawa since I moved here in 2007. I was very excited when my friend Stephanie invited me to an an outdoor movie night at Rideau Hall.
They set up a screen on the grounds and hundreds of people showed up for a free screening of The Grand Seduction; an English adaptation of the French Canadian film. We had such a great time. There was free popcorn, beverages provided by a local Scout troop, and even the weather cooperated. The Governor General, David Johnston, said a few words then we all sang Happy Birthday to the director. It was really really nice.
I even managed to get some knitting done. It was pretty cold, and it got dark so I had to put it away eventually.
I finished it a few days later and it turned out perfectly!
Recipe: Strawberry Banana Trifle with homemade pudding
I set out to make a simple dessert, but it ended up being a bit more complicated that I’d intended. It still turned out fabulously, so I’m not really complaining. I bought the angel food cake at the grocery store, but the whipped cream and pudding mix I made from scratch.
I substituted for the corn starch and added vanilla when mixing up the pudding on the stove. Potato starch was a little “glutonous” in the end, I wish I had used tapioca or rice starch but it still worked.
1 cup white sugar
3/4 cup starch (tapioca, corn… I used potato)
3/4 dry milk powder
1 tsp kosher salt
2 cups milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
In a medium bowl mix together all dry ingredients with a whisk.
Combine 2 cups of milk with 1/2 cup of pudding mix in a medium saucepan over high heat, whisking constantly.
Bring to a boil, and then immediately reduce the heat to a simmer and continue whisking until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon (about 3 to 5 minutes).
Let sit for at least 5 minutes before serving. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
I’m really happy I was able to go to knit night last week since I won’t be able to go for a few weeks. I had ordered yarn (through Jen) from knitpicks.com and it came in, which means this will soon become Christmas stockings. And by soon I mean sometime in the next year.
After watching the sadness that was a lonely guinea pig, we found someone on Kijiji who was giving away their guinea pig. This is the little girl we brought home on Thursday night. We named her Spike, which is better than “The Nameless One” as we were calling her before. I’m guessing her age at around 2, based on weight. She is very active, really likes her hay, and has a very good understanding of how towel layers work.
After work last Friday we drove to KW for a weekend visit. As always, it was equal parts lovely and exhausting. We didn’t get in until nearly 2AM on Saturday, so I opted not to go for my usual run. After catching up with my mom, we spent the day with my friend Alex while she worked on her costume for a convention coming up. Dinner at My-Thai with Darcy, Ellen, Stela, Heather, Alex, and Chris was so nice. We had a really nice time with everyone.
The impetus for the weekend visit was a family reunion. I am so happy I was able to go this year. That’s two years in a row now. I’m grateful that Chris has been so supportive about increasing our trips to KW.
And in case you live under a rock, Guardians of the Galaxy was so freaking amazing. I want to go and see it again. And again. And again!
The sweater I’m working on is full of modifications, and I can’t wait to be finished it, but in the meantime I’ve started a hat that is already looking really nice. The pattern is Rikke by Sarah Young. I’ve knit it before and I love this pattern. The yarn choice is extremely important because it has to have the right stretch and drape. I’m confident Madelinetosh will work well.
While I was visiting family this weekend, my mom let me taste these amazing treats she had made. They were so very very good, that I feel the desperate need to share the recipe with everyone I know.
Ingredients 1 cup (dry) old-fashioned oats (can use gluten-free)
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips (can use dairy-free)
1/2 cup natural almond butter (or any other nut butter)
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1/3 cup raw honey
1 tsp. organic vanilla
Directions: Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Roll into 1 inch balls and place in air tight container in the refrigerator until ready to eat.
I know it’s July and everything but let’s talk about June. A whole fuck of a lot happened in June. June was full of doctors appointments and other various unpleasantness, but the nicest part of June was our (all too brief) holiday in Gatineau. I rented us a cottage for the week about an hour away from home so that Chris and I could get away from life for awhile and just enjoy some quiet time together. It’s was a lovely week, even though it was buggy as hell. Some very good friends of ours joined up for the weekend and then we spent the rest of the week alone: reading, sitting in the sauna, watching movies and ultimately just taking it slow. I wish every day could start slow like that. It was so nice that even a bit of rain didn’t really matter, until we had to pack up the car in it. That was fun.
Another super lovely thing that happened recently was my aunties came to visit. Auntie Julie had been to Ottawa before, but not Auntie Linda. Anyway, it was so very very nice. We went to the Museum of History (otherwise known as the Museum of Civilization until Harper changed it because War?) to see the exhibit on the Empress of Ireland. That was very cool to see. Then on Canada Day we met up with a friend of mine for high tea at the Billings Estate Museum. It was a little disorganized but the food and atmosphere were both spot on.
English Course Accountability:
I’m a little frustrated with my course right now, but it can’t be helped. My tutor went on vacation shortly after I submitted my last assignment so I’ll have to wait nearly 2 weeks for feedback. This is extremely frustrating since I was so motivated and getting so much done.
Talk about motivation! I’ve been doing really well with my running. I’m up to 4km now, so I’m on track (ha ha, track) for my goal to run in the Terry Fox this year. I even managed to get a run in while we were in KW this past weekend for a family reunion.
Let’s get to the knitting:
Nothing too exciting for my knitting, but the body of my sweater is almost finished. I guess that’s pretty exciting, now that I think about it. I have a camping trip coming up this weekend and I’m really struggling with what to bring for a project to work on. I’ve had horrendous experiences with starting projects while away, and I’m reluctant to bring my beautiful alpaca silk sweater with me just so that I can knit some sleeves. If I have time this week I’ll try and get some socks on the needles before we leave.
On my birthday last year (in February), my fiancé’s parents bought me yarn. Beautiful awesome Fleece Artist yarn! They bought me the kit for the Garter Stitch Jacket and I was too afraid to knit with the beautiful yarn then… silly me. I finally wound up two of the three skeins into center-pull balls before Christmas in the hopes that I would finish Chris’ socks while I was out of town, and maybe get to start a new project before the new year.
Alas, it was not meant to be. I didn’t finish Chris’ socks until after I returned home in January, and didn’t manage to start the Jacket until only last week. But start it, I did, and I absolutely love it! Earlier this week, I finished off the back panel and started one of the front panels that same night. I started the waist-shaping last night and hope to have this piece done at the Knit Night on Friday.
I just love this yarn. I was worried that it would stick together and make knots in the skein, but once it was wound into a ball, I’ve had no problems. It’s pulling out nicely, and I haven’t encountered any tangles yet *fingers crossed*. I’ll probably have to wind up that last skein before I start the sleeves, I think… but I’m hoping I have enough left over for maybe a hat. Ah yes! The Mods: I noticed that the pattern is for a 43″ bust (under the arms). Well, I measure my bust to be 34″. After allowing for some positive ease, I figured out with some crazy math that I can reduce the width of the jacket by 83.7% and it will fit me better. I’m leaving the length the same, thanks to some thoughtful advice from fellow knitters, and so far it seems to be going just fine. I still haven’t decided whether or not I need to reduce the sleeves in diameter… I may just knit it up as directed and do some measuring before I get to far.
Anyway, enough chatter. How about some photos! Here is the back panel all complete. I am so happy that it’s not doing the camo-thing and even has a bit of striping to it! I was worried the stitches were too big, but it’s such a soft, fluffy yarn that it hardly matters. I’ll probably just wear in at the drafty office anyway.
Here is the piece I’m working on right now. It’s actually a few inches beyond this point now, but you can see I still have quite a bit yarn left which is good.
First off, I need to send out an apology to PDXKniterai. We’re in the middle of a transit strike right now, and so my ability to get things done is severely limited. I’m getting paid today, and so I’m hoping to be able to get your package out by Wednesday at the latest. I am so sorry!!!
In happier news, Josiane (winner number 2) met up with me on Friday. We hung out a knit-knackers for a bit, then walked to Aunt Olive’s for food where I met her boyfriend and we talked about all sorts of stuff. I gave her yarn, which she’s hoping to weave into a scarf for her boyfriend. It was great to meet her!
Saturday was a Christmas party, and Sunday was laundry day, so not much knitting has gotten done. I have been working on my fiancé’s socks, and I’m still hopeful I’ll have them done for Christmas. I’m at approximately 6 inches in length for the leg. I’m starting to think about how long these should go. I’m pretty sure I saw somewhere that the leg should be about 8.5”, but now I’ve read other suggestions saying it should be about the same length as the foot, or an inch longer. That would make an 11” (ish) long sock. Is that too long? Or should I stick to an 8.5″ length sock. I really have no idea what boys prefer in terms of sock-fit.
I’m also torn about what to start next. Either, Bella Paquita, or the garter stitch jacket from fleece artist. Those of you reading since last year (lol) will remember this gorgeous yarn from my fiancé’s parents. I finally feel ‘strong’ enough in my kitting abilities to work with this awesome yarn.
I can’t believe how well this Christmas season is going for knitting. I credit you, dear bloggers! I have knit 17 gifts for Christmas, including the one in progress right now. So I present to you, my December list!
1. Gift Item: Sherbrooke Cowl (ravlink) Recipient: Gisèle (fiancé’s grandmother) Pattern: Sherbrooke by Lauren Weinhold (free PDF download)
Occasion: Christmas 2008 Finished: Dec 1/08 Notes: This cowl went a little slower than my other knits. Maybe it was because the stitch pattern was a teensy bit boring… maybe it was because I needed a break from knitting… either way, it turned out quite nicely. Yay! One gift down, one left before christmas!
2. Gift Item: Hedgerow Man Socks (ravlink) Recipient: Chris (fiancé) Pattern: Hedgerow by Jane Cochran (free)
Occasion: Christmas 2008 WIP: Nov 30/08 Notes: Finished the cuffs of both socks, and got them both on the needles for two-at-a-time. Man this yarn is tiny! I love it though, very soft, I’m sure he’ll love them. I can see this stitch pattern getting a little boring, but that will make them great for a travel project. I’m already a good couple inches into the legs.
Once those items are all done, I’ll get to start working on birthday and wedding knitting for 2009!
3. Gift Item:Gloves or mittens Recipient: Joel (brother) Pattern: Ken Gloves or Tweedy Mittens
Occasion: Birthday Due date: Jan 7/09 Notes: To go with his hat
4. Gift Item: Undecided Recipient: Auntie Julie Pattern: …
Occasion: Awesomeness Due date: Feb 7/09
5. Gift Item: Lace knitting Recipient: One of my bridesmaids: Lise, Rin, Ve, or Elsa Pattern: undecided
Occasion: Wedding Due date: September 2009 Notes: I would like to start one of these in December
Other gifts I’m thinking about:
Joel and Chantelle — Wedding Gift / May
Dad — Birthday / June
Auntie Julie and Auntie Linda — Thank you gift / September
Holly — Thank you gift / September
Fran, Pete and Blip — Thank you gift / September
Mom — Thank you gift and Birthday gift / September
Graphic designer with a passion for all things knitted