Monday, September 25, 2017

Yopping Numero Treize - a little knitting, a lot of camping

I did start another Iona square and it is almost finished but this past week was all about camping. 

Here are a few pictures of our adventures and I will be home on Wednesday so more knitting should ensue.  I am worried about my cabling needle getting on the airplane, but I will surrender it if need be. 

Here are the falls just down the trail from our campsite.

 And my son finishing his 45 km bike ride (we were his support team).

Here we are at Fish Lake - soooooo crowded!

And yes, there was snow on the ground and got down to -6 the first night so I loved this little resilient plant.

Here we are camped by the Big Horn River.

And here is a picture of one of the little red squirrels that kept us amused.

And the grey jays that kept hoping we would leave the picnic table unattended.

Before I forget - here is my the test knit by Ruth aka Celtic-Knits aka Knitterarium.  It is such a fantastic pattern.  It turned out so big and lush and I KNOW I will wear it everywhere!

So that is my week - I now have two weeks of reading to do of the other Yoppers but I promise I will get there by the end of the week. 

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Yopping Update Twelve - A buddy for the bookworm

This post will be short and sweet and to the point.  I just got home from travelling all day, and I am leaving for more travelling tomorrow so I am tired and my cat needs cuddles.  Let's begin:

Here is my Antarktis off the blocking mat.

I am so happy with this sparkly project:

I did get my Yukon Hococo sewn together - oh my there were soooo many ends to sew in once he was all put together.

But I did it!

I made my sister promise to talk me out of any more little knitted animals - but then she gave me this book.  (She is not to be trusted!)

So maybe - after the Iona is done...... 

I resisted casting on anything new after Hococo was done and I went on to complete six more squares of the Iona.  I have entered a WIP down to finish her by the end of October.   Ack!  I think I can do it. It takes me about one evening per square - and I only have fourteen more to go! (Well, then there is the putting it all together part, too).

I really want to finish her because I am certain I will have quite a lot of left over wool from it and I can't wait to knit other things with the beautiful colours of this very smooshy bluefaced leicester  wool.  I am sure I have mentioned before that bfl wool is my absolute favourite.

This bfl has been dyed by Kinfolk Yarns - her colours are so fantastic - she is a true artist with those dye pots.

If you are a spinner/weaver/knitter/crocheter do you have a favourite wool and/or yarn company?

So that is my week - I was away for the weekend and just got home so I am quickly getting this post done before bed.

We are off for a camping trip tomorrow - but the Iona is perfect camping knitting.  Small and portable.

And yes, there is still no picture of the test knit - but a little birdie told me that probably next week. 

Stay tuned.  I can't wait to share her with you. 

To follow other yopper bloggers go here. Their posts are always an inspiring and entertaining read. 

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Yopping Eleven - Finished Objects

First of all the secret test knit is still under wraps but it is done and I can't wait to show it to you.

(Get the pun - under wraps?  Cause it is a shawl....oh never mind.)

But, not yet!

After the big finish I went back to poor Mr. Bookworm, who, if you remember, I had left all in  pieces!

So I started:

This first pic is somewhat x-rated and rude comments abounded in my house.

This sat on the coffee table for a day or so and my husband plaintively asked WHAT was I knitting.

Things improved with a few accessories.

And by the time he had on all his clothes (and his arms) he was almost done!

The pince-nez spectacles were the final touch!

See the cute detail of words on the pages of his book?

Also I checked on Ravelry and I think I am the first and only person to have made this pattern.  

So once he was all put together I returned to my Antarktis shawl which I finished with zero yarn left over.  I had to fudge the bind off of the last fifteen or so stitches, but it looks fine.

Here she is on the blocking mat before blocking. The headache I have had off and on all week really took a turn for the worse on Saturday so no blocking happened.

So now that was done I started to knit all the rest of the pieces for Hococo the Lemur.

Once knitted I couldn't bear the thought of starting to put it together (my least favourite task) so I knit another twenty rows on my sixteenth Iona square that has been ignored for far too long.

I swear once this lemur is sewn together and stuffed I will:

a) not knit any fiddly toys that required sewing together for quite some while, and

b) get back to my Iona blanket before I (God help me) cast on these really cute socks in the Simply Knitting magazine that Mr. Bookworm came from. Oh, and there is a really cute sweater in there too!

So there is my week.  Three finished objects, and plans for new cast-ons.  (Don't tell my Iona.)

I will leave you all with a link to The Knitting Song  which I discovered this week.

And the link to follow other Yoppers who are as crazy as me - some even crazier as this is their seventh year of yopping along.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Yopping numéro dix - Knitting and pickles

Oh my goodness people - I have been knitting, really!  Every single day but no pictures yet so be patient.  I will finish the test knit this week as I am on the border and have probably two more days of knitting to go.  Then blocking!!

I am loving this pattern and the yarn I am using so I am excited to share it with you once the pattern is published.

I have also been making pickles this week.  Silly me because yesterday was such a hot day and between sterilizing bottles, making the mustard sauce and then sealing the bottles in a hot water bath my kitchen was probably a million degrees.  (That is likely a gross exaggeration).

Here is my progress as of yesterday afternoon.

And here is this morning's work - much easier process and all done before the house got too hot.

I decided that 3 1/2 pints is not nearly enough onions so I went out this morning early and bought four more pounds.  Tomorrow I will get up early and finish them up.

If you want to read more about my mustard pickles and why it is so important for me to do this each year you can read yesterday's post.

It has been a good few days.  On Friday I went to the Pacific National Exhibition with a good friend I have know since Grade Three and we walked and talked and took in the sights.

I haven't been able to go swimming while I wait for my tattoo to heal but I think I will be in the water again by Tuesday.  I miss the pool, but I love my tattoo so it is all worth it.

So that is my week:  secret knitting, canning pickles, and visiting with good friends.

To follow my yopping friends check out their posts here.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Mustard Pickles

I started making a batch of mustard pickles yesterday.  It is my grandmother/aunt's recipe and as I was cutting up the vegetables to put into the brine I felt so connected to those two women.

As I sliced each stalk of celery, peeled each small silverskin onion, handled each tiny dill pickle and cut the cauliflower into flowerets I though of how many gallons of pickles they had made over the years.

My aunt taught my sister and daughter and me how to make the pickles about twenty years ago.

She taught us before her dementia had truly taken her from us, and that day in her little kitchen is one I hold dear to my memory.

I have only been making them for a few years but I remember the first time I made the pickles on my own I had wished I had paid more attention to the smaller details, but still, and all, my pickles taste like hers.

Last year for the first time I decided to also make their pickled onions.  I only made six jars but every time I opened one and tasted the first onion it reminded me of their preserves cellar, their cold cupboard, their warm kitchen.

To be honest those pickles just tasted like home. And love.

I am going to spend today sterilizing bottles, blanching the vegetables, making the mustard sauce and putting up the pickles for the winter just as Granny and Georgie did numerous times.

And tomorrow I will do the onions.

I am using their stoneware crock, their hand-written recipe and their love is infused in it all.

And also, I didn't forget

My father died forty-four years ago yesterday.  My grandmother was his mother.  My aunt was his sister.  And in starting those pickles yesterday, for a brief moment, I had them all in my little kitchen.