Thursday, October 13, 2016

In Celebration....

Twisted Traditions, my pattern store is celebrating 10 Years of Twisted!!! Many of you know me from this blog, which started in 2004, and a few years later I began Twisted Traditions.

 If you head over to Ravelry, you can get a free sock pattern- Dream Weavers.

I have also added a new Fair Isle design, Scrub Oaks & Maples  which is not free, but have a look anyway. My thanks to my tech editor and of course, Miss Mew.
Perfect for fall, n'cest pas?

Here's to more Twisted- more colour, more style and more Can Con!

Fleece out.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The Annual Turkey Stupor

We had a fantastic Thanksgiving. Some of us piled into our cars on Saturday and visited the Ball's Fall's Thanksgiving Festival. There was food, vendors, and music (bluegrass) and the weather was perfect. Totally my kind of weekend.
This is the chapel all decorated. They have an old grist mill and I bought some flour. They also had wool and roving from this charming place, and I now have some Newfoundland/Soay roving, which, let me tell you, you can't just get anywhere.

I had a wonderful caramel apple (no peanuts or other crap on it) and we also got soap and icewine jelly. I got some ornaments for the tree from a local potter.

She had some lovely bowls and mugs, but really, I cannot fit one more mug in this house (Emma Bridgewater excepted).

We had turkey on Sunday, and everyone agreed that it was the juiciest one yet. Lots of stuffing and mashed potatoes, gravy and Miss Mew made a wonderful pumpkin pie. My girl is becoming quite the cook, and I hope she provides dessert for Christmas maybe.

Speaking of ornaments, I made some prototypes of the Shetland Sheep- one kind of looks like a Zwartbles, but no one probably will notice.
A bit like a Zwartbles- yes.

Today, FC and I are celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary. A few months ago I got a white gold band with blue diamonds, and he got some hard drives. We'll probably have turkey sandwiches tonight, which I enjoy just as much as the turkey itself, so it's all good.

Mr. Clawed is very pensive, but enjoying having the window ledge to himself.

Fleece out.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Peppermint Patty in the Pumpkin Patch

It's been awhile. I like that we're in October already because I always feel more inspired and stoked when cooler weather hits. It has been mild but not HUMID so there's that. I have lots to show you.

First, on the advice of my friend, I am doing light therapy. For 30 minutes each morning I sit in front of a daylight bulb and read or knit. I am pretty sure that I am feeling the effects after only 3 days, but anything is better than not being able to wake up, and not being cognizant for an hour afterward. Not sure if I actually suffer from SAD, but I am here to tell you it is real, and it happens. I'm not much of a sun person at the best of times, so I probably am deficient in Vitamin D. I'll let you know more in a few weeks time.

Alexander's Filey Gansey is coming along. I picked this up again last week and have given myself the rest of October to finish it. Doable, I hope.
I finished my pillow Boo & Baa-bie. 
I will add some bells to the bottom and ribbon and hang it up..somewhere....
I also sewed a few project bags for gifts. FC found this fabric when we went to Michigan. Isn't it great?

I had an idea a while back to make my own Sheep ornaments. I ordered some plywood sheep cutouts on Etsy (love Etsy) and FC drilled a hole in the top. I have some Shetland roving and I am going to paint the sheep, and put some roving around the body. Then I can needlefelt the markings, add a bell and a hanger and we're done. Shetland sheep come in many colours and markings so this should be interesting.
While we're on the subject of Etsy, I have been intrigued by this seller .
 I ordered some of her Halloween self-striping sock yarn, and look at her presentation. These should be fun to do.

The handspun sweater is blocked and drying, and I will sew on the buttons and put it on the dummy. Also, a new Fair Isle is modeled and written up, as well as a new free sock pattern. I think I have gotten more done in the last couple of weeks than since May.

If you're looking for some new reading material, Janine, The Feral Knitter has published her book on Fair Isle and it looks intriguing. I've always admired her design ethic.  Vogue Knitting has some articles on Shetland as well.

As well, there are cats......

Who sometimes get along. Here are the "Earl Greys".


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Ten On Tuesday- Quiche, Lorraine?

The Ten on Tuesday was something about football season and food, and my eyes glazed over at the word "football" so I'm not participating this week.

But food- yesterday I made my MacGyvered quiche-y thing, and I remembered I wanted to share with you guys. It's so easy and versatile and so good, you'll love it. And real men can eat it.

Quiche, Lorraine? (see what I did there?)

1 bag of frozen hash browns
1 package of Sea legs (or ham steak, or what you decide to use)
half a red onion
1 package frozen cauliflower
1 cup shredded cheddar
1 cup shredded Monterey
12 eggs
1/2 cup light cream
fresh grated nutmeg

(This recipe makes 2- but you can halve the ingredients easily)

 Spray 2 pyrex pie plates with Pam. Preheat oven to 375 deg. Spread frozen hash browns on the bottom to provide a base.  Dice the onion and spread 1/2 on each plate evenly. Add sea legs (I broke up smoked salmon on the second one).
Add thawed cauliflower and distribute evenly.
Add 1/2 cup of each cheese evenly on top.
In a large measuring cup, break 6 eggs and add enough cream to make 2 cups. Mix with a fork and grate fresh nutmeg. (This is important, NEVER use already ground up nutmeg, it has no flavour.) Mix again and pour s-l-o-w-l-y and evenly over the pie.  Do this again for the second one.

Bake for an hour. They come out all puffy.

The cool part here is that this is really adaptable.  Some other combos are broccoli/ham, bacon/spinach- and also just plain vegetarian is really good. AND you can freeze one.  And try another kind of cheese- I'm thinking some blue or feta would be yummy.

It has become cooler the last couple of days- which has brightened my mood considerably.  I am still working on my top-down cardi, so nothing really to see here. I am planning on going to a festival in October (not a fiber one...) and I have gone through about half of my clothes and am giving away tons.

I'm now off to pick up a part for my car- the hatch lock has rusted and it's being held down by a rope.  I know, classy.
"I'm ready for my post-breakfast sleep....."
Valentino is very handsome, and very wicked.

Quiche out.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Ten On Tuesday- 10 Things You Did This Weekend

"...August, die she must
the Autumn winds blow chilly and cold,
September I'll remember,
a love once new has now grown old."

April Come She Will
Simon & Garfunkel

Except August is very much alive here. It's going to get hot and sticky for the next three days. I am so miserable I can't even.

Okay- onto the 10.

1. Went grocery shopping. Twice.
2. Went to Stratford, Ontario.
3. Did alot of laundry.
4. Made Pasta Primavera.
5. Cleaned up the sewing room/office.
6. Sat outside and worked on my cross stitch.
7. Slept in
8. Did some weeding.
9. Did some knitting.
10. Contemplated a permanent move to the crawlspace.

I began a new sweater for myself out of handspun. I like the top-down construction and the raglan sleeves.
It is BFL from Three Waters Farm.

On Saturday we stopped into New Hamburg on the way to Stratford. Our usual cafe wasn't open but we went to the restaurant and I had the most amazing club sandwich with fries and gravy. Then we went to the quilt shop.
I got this little basket to hold my Dee Nickerson cards.

Miss Mew and I got kits to make table runners. Woot!
Clawed is wondering why Tino is being such a schmuck to him. Tino is like that with everybody.

Keep cool.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

August is ending....and other cool stuff.

Well, how I know this is because the CNE is on (Cricket burger anyone?). My daughter will be there volunteering with her cat rescue, so hopefully alot of kitties will find new homes.

Last week FC and I hopped in the Rabbit (see what I did there?) and went to Michigan. FC was eager to go to the largest car museum in North America, and it didn't disappoint. A couple of highlights:
This is a 1937 Cord. I have always hoped to see one as I used to have a collection of Art Deco images and this car always featured. The headlights are opened by the driver with a crank inside. It also has a "coffin" hood.
This 1958 Corvette is beautiful in and of itself (check that olive metallic paint) but more interesting is that it was one of GM's  "Damsels of Design" cars that included seasonal seat covers, a compartment for your handbag and retractable seatbelts that wouldn't snag or catch on your clothes.

We got tons of pictures, so if you come over, I'm sure FC will be more than happy to show all 700 in a slideshow. Actually, it was pretty cool and we walked around for more than 4 hours.

We also went to the Michigan Fiber Festival- I got some fibre and not much else.

Every once in a while, I run across something special on Pinterest and last week I noticed this woman's art. Her name is Dee Nickerson, and I think her paintings are incredible.
Alot of her work features animals, knitting and everyday life. They are not "cutesy" but portray lone figures and friends and have a peace and calmness about them. I also love that they are not all sunny days, but walking in snow and doing ordinary activities. Check out the link. I ordered some cards as she doesn't have prints. I am enchanted.

Who besides me is happy to see this summer end? I don't even mind if we have a warmer autumn, as long as the blessed humidity goes away. I understand it's cooler in New Zealand during July and August. That's a consideration.

I'll have to arrange passports for the kitties.

Fleece out.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Brought To You By The Letter "L"

The Ten On Tuesday is 10 things about you that feature your first initial.

1. I need Lots of sleep.
2. I Loathe summer. More like I hate heat and humidity.
3. Love animals.
4. Don't mind Laundry.
5. Love my daughter Laura.
6. I have Long hair. (being moon-faced, short hair looks terrible).
7. Laughing is my favorite thing.
8. I Live in the suburbs.
9. I drive a Little Volkswagon Rabbit. (small, but powerful).
10.If I don't get my tea in the morning, I am Likely to rip someones head off.

In weather news, we're about to be hit by the worst heatwave so far. I don't know how they can separate them, bad to worse, but apparently humidexes over 41 C. Another week indoors.

 If it was cooler, I would be purging and reorganizing this whole house (yes, sometimes I would like to purge the whole house...). We rearranged some furniture and brought this chest of drawers downstairs.
It now holds all my fabric and sewing supplies.  I am going to go through every drawer and cupboard here and toss all the stuff I'll never use, or have been hanging onto.

Next week FC and I are off to Michigan to attend (what else?) the Michigan Fiber Festival. 
This is a new one for me, as we've been to Fingerlakes 3 times, and Vermont once. Looks to be nice, and we're staying in Kalamazoo, where there is a cool car museum, so something for FC too.

In knitting news, it's status quo. Too hot to work on the Gansey, and all I have are some socks on the needles.  Hopefully there will be some cool inspiration at the festival.

I'm off to take Clawed for his shots. Stay cool and fleece out.
"neener, neener....we had our shots last year....."

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Ten On Tuesday-10 Things You Can Do To Beat The Heat

1. Move to Siberia.

That's all I have. The heat is getting to me, only today there is a reprieve. But this is Mad Dogs and Englishmen in the Noonday Sun weather. Something like 100% humidity. Need I say more?

I have been MIA since the end of June. In the midst of what was going on, I did some knitting, because that is what keeps me sane. Sane being a relative term, but I think things are getting back to normal.

Tour de Fleece simply didn't happen. But yes, there is always next year, and I will look forward to that. I did do a bit of spinning, in double drive, decided it was too fiddly (and my SR is touchy at the best of times) and put it back to Scotch tension.  All is right with my spinning world again.
It is too hot to work on my Filey, but I have finished the front patterned part and am onto the back.

I started a sock, using Socks That Rock "Christmas Balls"- (giggle)

Way back, I designed this Fair Isle. It is called "Scrub Oaks and Maples". For some reason I have been resisting writing this pattern, but most of it is done (heckofalot of math in a knitting pattern) and hope to publish in autumn.  I also have a free sock pattern to photograph, but the text is done.

...and in kittyland, the boys are bearing up under the heat. I have my helper, Mr. Valentino, and it looks to be a productive day.


Cheers and fleece out.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Ten On Tuesday- 10 Things on Your Summer List

I probably won't be making a list. Not to say that I don't, because I make all kinds of them.  It's been hot, and today is nice and breezy, so I'm going to hang stuff out to dry. That's something I love to do in the summer.

This year's Tour de Fleece is running concurrently with la Tour de France, Saturday July 2 to 24th. I am spinning for Team Fat Cat, but I haven't decided what challenge to do. I have set my Schacht-Reeves up to spin in double-drive, as opposed to Scotch Tension, so maybe that will be it.
I do have alot of Fat Cat fibre in my stash, so hopefully I can choose something. I'm sure I can.
In Gansey news, I have split off for the front of Alex's Filey, but slow going since I am using a 2.75mm needle.  The joy is in the process.
I am still spinning my Three Waters Farm "Pragmatic Raconteur" BFL. I am on my 7th braid, and have plied 4.
Some rather bad cats on board here. Tino somehow thinks that Howard is the outside cat, and hisses and screeches at him.  I shudder to think what he would do if he ever got ahold of that one outside.

Ok- stay cool. I'm fleecin' out.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

June Musings

Hard to believe we are in June, isn't it? The weather has been glorious, windy and cool-ish, also sunny, and then we get downpours.  But I am told this will be a hot summer, and this makes me grit my teeth.

Speaking of which, I had a dental cleaning yesterday. I get there, only to find that my regular girl has moved on. As I am being told this, I almost had a meltdown right there and then in the dentist's office. I wish her the best, of course, but she literally saved my teeth. She was fantastic. The replacement was fine, actually quite nice and professional- so that was something.  I must try and deal with change better.
Do you remember that line in "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf" ?
When George says to Martha:  I wish you would stop springing things on me.  That's what I thought of.

I told you that I received my 3rd skein of lace from BMFA.
 The edging chart on the pattern wasn't good. Yo's at the beginning of rows which I dislike. I found a better one in Heirloom knitting, so I started that.

I am almost to the underarm gusset and chest pattern on the Filey gansey.
I have been spinning. "Pragmatic Raconteur" in BFL, from Three Waters Farm.
I even dusted off the sewing machine and did some bags.

Valentino and Howard like to cram themselves onto the office chair. I don't know why Howard hasn't fallen off.
I guess that leaves Clawed out of the loop. 

Fleecin' out until next time.