Thursday, 1 October 2015


July was crazy this year, so we sort of missed having my birthday dinner - until tonight!  And Pinterest came through again with an excellent carrot cake.  I've never had carrot cake for my birthday, but it's October and it suddenly feels like autumn and this just seemed right.  (It tasted right, too.)

Monday, 28 September 2015

Lace Star

Knitted in 2013.  Finished and blocked last week.  Available here in my Etsy shop.

Monday, 22 June 2015

Chicago by train

Last weekend I went to Chicago for the Blues Festival/CUBE (Chicago Underground Blues Experience) which is a dance exchange.  I didn't feel like driving my wreck of a car that far, or paying for parking once I reached the city, so I took Amtrak instead.  I love travelling by train, and I loved Chicago, and the blues festival was huge and amazing, and I got lost a lot but never too badly, and I danced with some lovely people, and I ate amazing food but didn't gain a pound because I did so much walking.

Here I had my first taste of Chicago deep-dish pizza.

A successful weekend, I should think.

Saturday, 30 May 2015

Ice Princess

Knitting time lately has been pretty limited, but I did finish a pair of gloves for myself back in February!

The pattern is Annemor #1 by Terri Shea from the book Selbuvotter: Biography of a Knitting Tradition.  This book is really interesting - all the patterns are taken directly from original gloves and mittens, but this means they have some strange fitting quirks.  I am not sure if my hands are just very differently proportioned than the standard Scandinavian model but I find I have to heavily modify this proportions, even when my gauge matches that of the pattern.  (For these, I added about half a dozen stitches to the width and an entire extra repeat of the pattern for the palm and fingers.)  The patterns are gorgeous and if you're willing to put in a little extra work to get the fit right they're definitely worth it, but I certainly wouldn't recommend them to a beginning two-colour knitter or someone with little experience in altering patterns.

Yarn is KnitPicks Gloss fingering - a merino/silk blend which is one of my favourites; warm, strong, and very soft!  These gloves got a lot of wear during the second half of the winter, and I'm looking forward to wearing them again next year.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

mostly about work

I can't recall if I've ever mentioned on the blog that I work at a coffee shop now - have done for the past eight months or so.  But since today I managed both to bring my camera to work and have the battery charged (things I've been intending to do since last September), I took some photos and thought I'd share.

It's a little independently owned and operated place, and it's quite a fun place to work, most of the time.  I remember when I first started being completely overwhelmed and impressed at how everyone seemed to know all the regulars and their orders - and now I'm one of those people.  It makes me wonder what we'd do if one of the regulars changed up his order.  It would throw everyone completely off balance!  Busy, fast-paced days are more fun than slow ones, but even those can be nice; there is rarely a boring day.  (Though being an introvert working for the most extroverted woman on the face of the planet occasionally becomes... challenging.  Especially early in the morning before I am fully caffeinated!)

One of the best things is that we roast all our own coffee in-house, so you'll never drink coffee from beans roasted more than about 48 hours ago.  I would never have called myself a coffee snob or imagined myself becoming one; but a few months here and I can barely swallow typical restaurant coffee anymore.  This is not always a good thing, especially when travelling! 

Sometimes there is a pretty little flower or star left in the grounds after brewing a pot of coffee.  (These turn out to be difficult to photograph, since if the grounds are fresh enough for the flower still to show up, they're hot enough to be steaming, and steamed-up camera lenses do not clear photos take.)

And sometimes, quite by accident, I manage to make pretty pictures in my lattes.  (Always by accident.  If I try to make "latte art" I'll end up with a strange blobby mess.  But if I'm not thinking about it much I end up with lovely, slightly abstract leafy patterns or, as today, something suggesting a bird.)

But don't worry.  Even if your latte isn't particularly pretty, or your sandwich proves somewhat messy -- I promise they'll taste good!

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

In which I recall that I have a blog

So, the blogging thing.  Clearly I'm very good at doing things regularly and consistently!  I'm not sure why but I always seem to lose track of the blog during the winter.  But now it's spring and things are blooming and the garden is getting started and I may, possibly, manage to make posting here a more-than-biannual event.

Obviously, tea is a necessary part of garden planning.

Work and nannying are still taking up much of my life, but we're almost past the chance of frost around here and so I've been spending time planning, prepping, and planting my garden.  We're putting in some larger perennials this year and I haven't begun to tackle those yet, but the kitchen garden is half-way in!

I hope to be back sooner than Thanksgiving, with more garden photos, or maybe some finished-object posts!

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Tropical Socks

I am finally getting around to posting some of the Christmas knitting!  (Possibly the only Christmas knitting which is actually finished yet - but shhhhh, don't tell anyone that!)

These socks are for my brother's girlfriend, who spent two weeks with us in her first visit to the frozen north.  When I was at her place this summer I was knitting a pair of socks and she dropped several broad hints about wanting some herself, so how could I refuse?  I picked a yarn as bright and sunny as she is, and incredibly soft and warm.

I cannot deny having done some slight engineering and rearranging of the yarn so as to make the stripes line up exactly.  More ends to work in, but it was worth it!

Saturday, 3 January 2015

New Year

Oh Lord,
Length of days does not profit me
    except the days are passed in thy presence,
    in thy service, to thy glory.
Give me a grace that precedes, follows, guides, sustains, sanctify, aids every hour,
    that I may not be one moment apart from thee,
    but may rely on thy Spirit
        to supply every thought,
        speak in every word,
        direct every step,
        prosper every work,
        build up every mote of faith,
        and give me a desire
            to show forth thy praise;
            testify thy love,
            advance thy kingdom.
I launch my bark on the unknown waters
        of this year,
    with thee, O Father, as my harbour,
            thee, O Son, at my helm,
            thee, O Holy Spirit, filling my sails.
Guide me to heaven with my loins girt,
            my lamp burning,
            my ear open to thy calls,
            my heart full of love,
            my soul free.
Give me thy grace to sanctify me,
            thy comfort to cheer,
            thy wisdom to teach,
            thy right hand to guide,
            thy counsel to instruct,
            thy law to judge,
            thy presence to stabilise.
May thy fear be my awe,
            thy triumphs my joy.

(Taken from The Valley of Vision.)