August 31, 2004

Catch-up

I have just realised that I never documented the finishing of the silk squares sweater — I was distracted by my new silk, and deserted the old. Shameful. So, here is the mitred sweater in its finished state:

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The sizing is not quite what I envisioned when I started the project, but I like it. And I do think the construction makes it a very interesting top. Now I just have to think about what to do with the rest of the silk from Elann… any ideas? (It’s aran weight, slightly rough and tweedy). This sweater didn’t really take very long to do, I found the mitred squares made everything except the sleeves go very quickly. I wonder if I should try another Just One More Row pattern…

In other news, my birthday was this past Saturday, and we celebrated in style at the home of two old friends, Mike and Tyla, who hosted a lovely party. I over-indulged in various types of sparkling wine (it was my 28th birthday on the 28th of the month, which is apparently one’s “Champagne” birthday — we couldn’t afford real champagne, but we decided to honour this new-found tradition as best we could!). I also used the opportunity to make a cake — I love baking, but eating baked goods isn’t very good for me, so I have to seize every chance I get to bake for others. Here I am, clearly already more than slightly cheerful, with my sour cream cake filled with home-made custard, whipped cream, and wild Ontario blueberries:

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Mmm, that was good cake, if I do say so myself. I do love wild blueberries…

I’m getting near the end of the front of Mark’s sweater, and I think I’ll post a photo when I do finish it, just to prove that I have been knitting and to remind you of what it looks like. Then it will be one more sleeve, the finishing, and then… I’m not sure what project will come next. I’ve definitely got things planned, but I have to decide what order makes the most sense. Oh well, I’ve still got lots of time!

Posted by Aven at 03:34 PM | Comments (9)

August 26, 2004

Still here

Just a quick note to say I’m still here and still knitting, even if I haven’t posted in a few days. We had a hectic but fun weekend in Ottawa, catching up with family and friends, and since we’ve been back the Olympics have continued to consume my life. I’ve made fair progress with Mark’s sweater, though — I’ve finished the first sleeve and am about 10” into the front — at least I can knit while watching the Olympics!

I missed the SnB at Lettuce Knit last night, unfortunately; a friend offered to take me to a Blue Jays game as an early birthday present. They lost badly to the Red Sox, but it was still fun to attend a game, and because there were lots of Boston fans in attendance the atmosphere was actually pretty good.

And that’s all that’s going on here — I have to hurry up and finish more of the sweater, or start something more interesting, so that I have something to report to the blog! Pictures of similar-looking dark brown sweater pieces can only have limited appeal… oh well, I’ll try to have something better soon!

Posted by Aven at 06:38 PM | Comments (0)

August 19, 2004

Silk Poncho

It was finally sunny today, so without further ado, here is my new Mango Moon Recycled Sari Silk Poncho:

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And the back (though really, there isn’t a front and back, it’s just however one wants to put it on):

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Just in case that’s not enough picutres, here it is lying on the ground, and here is a close-up. I did a simple drop-stitch pattern (every fourth row of stocking stitch), and made one rectangle out of each ball. I thought that would mean I’d have two similar rectangles to put together, but it turned out that although the two balls weighed the same, one had much more yardage than the other. (The yarn is spun very irregularly, so I guess the one ball had more thin portions, or something like that). Anyway, I didn’t want to rip it out, mostly because I was worried about stressing the yarn but partly because I wanted my poncho NOW, so I just sewed the mis-matched rectangles together, short ends to long sides. The result is asymmetrical, but I like it just fine. It gives me more options for wearing it.

Now, of course, I’m going to have to go shopping for the perfect little black dress to wear under this poncho…

I don’t think I’ll get much knitting done over the weekend, or blogging, since we’ll be busy with various family and friends events — have a great weekend while we’re gone, and I’ll try to have something to report on next week!

Posted by Aven at 05:21 PM | Comments (5)

August 17, 2004

Update

I’ve finished the silk poncho — but I keep forgetting to take a picture of it in daylight. I’ll try to get one tomorrow. In the meantime, I can tell you that I love it! It’s such a beautiful yarn…. a pleasure to work with and a fabulous result (if I do say so myself!). Details when I have the picutres.

I’ve also finished the back of the Ridged Rib sweater for Mark, and am well into the first sleeve… I meant to finish the sleeve before I started the silk poncho, but I just couldn’t wait. I’m trying to make up for it now by being very diligent. I’m being assisted in that endeavour by the Olympics, which continually distract me and make me spend hours in front of the television. I’m a complete Olympics junkie, even though Canada rarely does very well, especially in the Summer Games. There’s just something about international competition that enthralls me. My only complaint is that CBC isn’t airing any of the equestrian events, even though there are Canadians in them. They’re all on “CBC Country”, a digital channel — and we don’t have digital tv. I haven’t even seen them updating us on how our equestrians are doing. It’s disappointing, since that’s one Summer Games sport I actually know something about, and I’d love to watch it. But I guess CBC doesn’t think anyone else wants to…

Right, back to work. It’s overnight in Athens, so I can leave the tv for a few hours!

Posted by Aven at 10:36 PM | Comments (2)

August 12, 2004

Happiness is...

More silk!

Yes, thanks to a wonderfully generous early birthday gift from my mom and dad, I am now the proud owner of this:

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Mango Moon Recycled Sari Silk, the purchase of which benefits women in Nepal (I’m not sure exactly how, but it’s enough to know someone other than me is benefitting from my acquisitiveness!). Isn’t it gorgeous? And the most exciting thing about it is what you can’t see — it’s so incredibly soft. Want to see a close-up? And another? Of course you do, because it’s so beautiful.

I could never have spent so much on two skeins of yarn if it weren’t for my lovely parents, who noticed my subtle hints about this yarn I’d seen at Lettuce Knits that was so amazing… sigh… Thanks again, mom and dad!

What am I planning to make with this silk? Why, a poncho, of course! I’m thinking a rectangular one, for variety’s sake — with lacy open stitches, to show off the lovely colours. Any pattern suggestions would be welcome, though I may just do something very simple.

And now I’m off to fondle the yarn again… must finish other projects, so I can start on this one!

Posted by Aven at 12:09 PM | Comments (6)

August 10, 2004

Back again

(Warning: rather image-heavy post)

We’re back from our all-too-brief stay at my parents’ cottage. We had a lovely time, although the weather didn’t cooperate until Monday morning, hours before we had to leave… of course. Still, we managed some sunning and swimming, and lots of good food and music and family and friends.

This is the cottage itself:

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And here are the views from the beach (click on them for larger versions):

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And of the road along which I went berry picking:

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We had some rather unusual food… the patriarch of a neighbouring cottage, inhabited by old and dear friends of ours, was thrown a surprise 60th birthday party, and the central event was a roast suckling pig. There are many, many pictures of the extravaganza that was the pig-roasting, but I’ll spare you them… but any confirmed carnivores who aren’t easily horrified by food that looks like the animal it comes from might be amused by this picture of the pig’s head. On Sunday my family (and some close friends) had barbequed rabbit, and here most of us are standing on our screen porch, about to enjoy the lovely meal:

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I did knit — see? But I didn’t finish anything, so no progress reports for today. Instead I’ll leave you with one more picture — Tigger registering his protest about our imminent departure by staging a sit-in on our packing:

tiggerpackingprotest.jpg

Posted by Aven at 12:14 PM | Comments (2)

August 05, 2004

Arms race

After rescuing the silk sweater from Tigger, who just loves it when I’m blocking, I think that it’s long and wide enough, though I still might pick up stitches around the bottom and knit a few rows downward, just to lengthen it… I’ll see. In the meantime I’m working on the first sleeve:

silksleeve.jpg

This weekend we’re heading up to my parents’ cottage, in Quebec, just off the Ottawa River. It’s a fair distance to go for just a couple of days, but we’re looking forward to it very much — two precious days to lie on the beach and enjoy ourselves. I think the silk sweater is getting a bit bulky to carry around, so I’ll be bringing this:

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It’s the beginning of Mark’s next sweater. This one is in Paton’s Decor, an acrylic/wool mix, and I’ve used Knitware’s sweater-designing software to make the pattern — it looks pretty straightforward, so I think it will work. The stitch I’m using (close-up here) is called Ridged Rib. So far, this seems to be going much more quickly than the King Charles sweater — I have no idea why, but I’m glad.

Since we’re leaving for the cottage tomorrow, I won’t be posting again until Tuesday (not only does our cottage not have internet access, it doesn’t have electricity, running water, or phones — in fact, it’s outside any cell-phone service area!). Have a great weekend — I’m sure I will!

Posted by Aven at 02:45 PM | Comments (3)

August 02, 2004

Preserving the summer

What’s the most sensible thing to do in the hottest portion of a Toronto summer? That’s right, make jam!

Ok, maybe not, but this is when the fruit is ripe, so this is when it happens, heat or no heat. This year we’re finally getting our act together to make several different batches, all of which have something from our garden in them:

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That’s two types of raspberry jam and one batch of lime mint jelly; we also made a batch of gingered citrus-rhubarb jam, but I seem to have neglected to photograph the jars. For more details on the individual recipes you can check out my husband’s blog; he writes about them here and here. I think we’ll be taking a break for a little while, but soon it will be time for chutneys and relishes… mmm…

I’ve also been knitting, in between boiling things. The front and back of the silk sweater are done, joined at the shoulders, and blocking:

silkblocking.jpg

I’m worried that it’s going to be a little small, but I think the blocking will make it work; if I need to, I might add a row of squares or something else to the bottom, since I think it might be too short. We’ll see.

I’ve also started the next Mark-sweater… more on that next time.

Posted by Aven at 05:38 PM | Comments (2)