Saturday, September 29, 2007

wet and blustery...

it's one of those days that defines november around here - pouring rain, driving southeaster bended the tired trees...oh, wait, what's that you say? it's only the last day of september? too bad, says mother nature. it's the west coast, and the weather here is nothing if not unpredictable. but then again, it's a perfect day to curl up inside with some knitting. i'm feeling a bit reflective today after an eventful saturday. my plans for a large family dinner in honour of my mom's b-day had to be reconfigured to cook on the bbq when the power went out in the storm, with marginally successful results. as well, am nursing a few scrapes and bruises after my dad and i had a near miss with a falling tree. my dad got clear, but unfortunately i snagged myself on some barbed wire while running away, which is where my main wounds come from (and sadly, a ruined pair of jeans), and have a sore back from a branch that landed on me. could have been worse though - the sheep and alpacas on the farm will be getting a bit wetter for a while as some large chunks of the tree made sizeable holes in the small barn roof. an adventure on the whole, but we are not too much the worse for wear.

i have some finished objects to show, and both i am feeling pretty happy about. i finished the column of leaves from brooke nelson, just in time for my mother's birthday. I did two repeats of the central leaf pattern, as i wanted to create a wider, more shawl-like scarf. i wasn't entirely thrilled with the yarn, which is garnstudio muskat, but that could just be my general dislike for cotton yarn. i do like the colour though, and the gentle sheen it has, which i think is perfect if my mom wants to dress it up. i highly recommend the pattern - pretty easily remembered, and somewhat addictive at that. great lacework on the whole.

in a slightly faster knit, in that i decided i needed to have them RIGHT NOW, are my lovely shifting sands armwarmers. i used the stitch pattern from grumperina's shifting sands scarf, which i think creates great texture. i had originally tried some more bulky cables, but was quick to realize i didn't have nearly enough yarn to make them a decent length, and this pattern was much more yardage friendly. i was also going to make them into fingerless mitts complete with thumbholes, but then decided that i wanted something that looked more suitable indoors as well as out, basically just like long sleeves to pair with non-long sleeve shirts this fall. oh, and the yarn? yum, i love this stuff. indigo moon sportweight merino, straight from gabriola island (just down the way) in the loveliest shade of purple (i'm all about purple this fall). my one concern, however, is that although the wool is superwash, i think i'm unlikely to be sticking them in the machine with any other items - my fingertips turned faintly purple while knitting, and i'm not sure my bamboo 3.0mm dpns will ever not be purple again.

next up, i am working on some hats too warm folks up in this fall weather - there are several birthdays on the near horizon so gift knitting is top on the to-do pile. however, i did discover some kauni yesterday at the LYS, and am thoroughly smitten. i picked up some red/burgundy that is calling to be a lovely shawl, so we'll see how that overtakes the other projects. hope the weather is better where you are!

Monday, September 10, 2007

fall flavours...

I came home from work today fully motivated to do some baking. I've had some fresh corn sitting in the fridge from the farmers market, and leave it to martha stewart to provide some good inspiration. I tried out her recipe for rosemary corn muffins, which look pretty darn good, don't you think? Very straightforward and easy to make - although I'm sure they are delicious fresh, I plan to freese most of them so I have yummy lunch options all week.

I've also been thinking about things to do with all those farmers market and home grown veggies in the fridge; good option? Pizza. Tried something a little different with my crust today, by substituting some of the water for beer, which turned out well indeed. I also stuffed the crust edge with cheese. Sauce was a mix-up of fresh chopped garlic, artichoke paste, a little leftover alfredo sauce, and some roasted jarred peppers. My pizza is different every time I make it, but this time the toppings included mushrooms (who can have a pizza without them?), garden zucchini & yellow cherry tomatoes, and local zephyr squash and red pepper, topped with mozza, cheddar and parmesan.

And lastly I will leave you with last night's sunset - the weather is just awesome this week. Hope you are inspired to try some yummy culinary adventures in your own kitchen.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

oh the photos...

that's right. I was feeling the photography today, so you get to enjoy the fruits of my walk on this lovely september day. first though, a little recap from the past little while. the alpacas are settling in, although they aren't exactly cuddly just yet. here they appear eyeing my niece and nephew, only because they are holding buckets of food. they're also a little wet after a day of drizzle.

next up - twisted tweed socks from schrodinger. I really enjoyed this pattern, although they came out a bit large. the phildar yarn is so yummy soft, capped off with heels, toes, and cuffs of trekking pro natura. the boy seems to like them too. i might try and make a pair for myself in a brighter colour.

i've also been working hard on my variation of knitting school dropout's leaf tee - modified to be a cardigan. am kind of on the fence about the result - the colour is great (love that Indigo Moon yarn), but the fit is a bit off. However, it has now been blocked anyway, and will probably finish attaching the snaps soon.

today I went to one of my favourite places to walk - the Oyster River trail. there are so many things to see - the river, the beach and ocean, the farmland that borders it, the forest - you get a little bit of everything. the late afternoon light was warm but clear - exactly what I love about september. i think the pics are pretty self explanatory, but if you're wondering about the specs in the water in the shoreline shot, those are fishermen tempting the salmon making their way to the mouth of the river. 'nuff said - hope the whole month is this nice!