Saturday, December 31, 2016

New Year's Eve Fusion

On the eve of James' birthday, we're having traditional tortiere. For my American readers, this is a French Canadian pork pie typically served in the Xmas through New Year's period. When we were in Wash, DC, I made this once when we were entertaining fellow Canadian expats. One of the guests almost cried when he saw the pie, which reminded him of his mother's home cooking. For the recipe, see this earlier blog post.
To accompany the pie I made an apple chutney this afternoon, after walking downtown for some fresh ginger. There was a biting wind, but it didn't seem to deter the skaters in Market Square.

My favourite chutney comes from the original Moosewood Cookbook. Anglo/Indian condiment meets French Canadian main course in a sort of culinary fusion.
At the same time, the Fusion cardigan is coming along.

I'm also washing and repairing some of James' knitted garments, preparatory to their (and his) return to Toronto next week. Happy New Year. Stay warm!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Boxing Day

This day-after-Boxing Day, I thought I'd have a look back at some previous Boxing Day posts for some insight into why I love this holiday so much.

As the "No JAM" post reminds me, I have a birthday to contend with, and a son who has a new sweater request. It's great to knit for someone who really appreciates (and wears) my knits. So, I e-mailed him a few Ravelry men's favourites to score on a scale of 1 to 5 stars, to help me home in on just what he's looking for in his sweater. Then I wandered into Chris James, a local high-end men's clothing shop where my James is working over the holidays while he's home from University, and he showed me some sweaters there that he likes. So, now I have some ideas for the direction this new sweater is going to take. I won't get it done in time for the big day (January 1), but I'll have made a start and it should be ready to try on when he comes home (I hope) for Reading Week in mid-February.
Happy New Year.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Random Updates

1. Fusion, the purple version, is coming along, albeit slowly. Some knitters cruise along at high speed at this time of year. Not this knitter. Too much interference from family, holiday events, etc. I'm almost done the body (just the lower border left), but the sleeves shouldn't take long.

I know, I know, we knitters always think like that and then something horrible happens. I'm optimistic, though. BTW, that's the front steek over on the right, in case you're wondering. And I won't cut it open until after the entire cardi is done, apart from the front borders. It will hold the fronts together nicely while I do the sleeves.

2. Winter is definitely here. I snatched this pic of the Frontenac County Courthouse while out walking two days ago.

It may be snowing on and off, but at least so far it's not wildly cold.

3. Had my annual fun making baked ornaments. Recipe here.

We like them both as is, and painted. They make lovely small gifts.

Our first set lasted more than 10 years, but lately we've needed to re-make them annually, probably because our damp climate turns them slightly mouldy over the summer.

4. Now for the really BIG NEWS. We have gone from owning two houses, to owning none! Yes, that's right. In November, we realized that our beautiful three-storey limestone townhouse had hit the market at the wrong time. At the same time, Bill was becoming increasingly grumpy about moving out of the downtown. So, we decided to put the Barriefield house (still vacant) back on the market. It sold quickly, and at enough of a profit to cover most of our costs, to a doctor just moved here from England with his young family. We promptly took down the For Sale sign on our downtown house, and then on that same day we unexpectedly received an unconditional offer on it. Since in the words of our agent, that offer was "gold", we accepted, although thankfully our closing date isn't until summer. We have all spring to find yet another place for ourselves. Crazy, I know. Makes life exciting!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Getting On with It

With snow squalls raging outside this afternoon (in between brief bursts of pale winter sunlight), I'm forging ahead with Isabel's "Fusion" cardigan in Quince's Chickadee with "Frank's Plum" as the main colour.

This is one of those stitch patterns that gets radically transformed by blocking. See how the fabric looks in the grey version? It reminds me to slow down and wet block the current version before starting in on the fair isle border. Undoubtedly, there's going to be some growth in the length department.

I'll use the hiatus to scrounge around for some more of these little buttons.

They're so perfect with both the grey and plum variations. Stay warm!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Liz's Pussyhat

When I heard about the Pussyhat Project a few days ago, I came home and discussed it with Isabel, who was born and lived the first fifteen years of her life in Washington, DC. She thought it would be a great idea to make a hat to send to the project, so I looked up the pattern on the project's website. Not wanting to knit a long strip and then seam it together, I wrote my own version, seamless of course, because who has time for seaming? It's knitted bottom up so you get the stretchiness of the longtail cast-on, and because it's so stretchy it fits a wide range of head sizes.

It's not a perfect, fancy kitty hat like this one, but is meant to be quick and easy. The idea is to make a big visual impact at the Women's March on Washington on January 21. I read today in the Washington Post that the National Park Service has not yet handed out permits for any marches in the days surrounding Mr. Trump's inauguration. However, a starting location has been set for the Women's March, and it is expected to go ahead regardless. If you can't be there and want to show your support, knit a hat (my version is here) and send it to the project for someone to wear. There's a label to the wearer for you to fill out if you wish, on which you can communicate which women's issues matter most to you. Grab some pink yarn and get going!
P.S. Yes, this is a slightly different version than the one you saw here yesterday! We decided we preferred the version with the "ears" unsewn and left to curl on their own.