Friday, May 31, 2013

Last day of May

I thought I would get in one more post while it's still May. I hoped to write while I was at the 15th Annual Okanagan Knitters' Retreat in Sorrento last weekend, but I just didn't get the chance. It was a wonderful weekend however. I focused my photography efforts on the flowers and shrubs, looking for interesting colour combinations. Maybe I can play around with the colours in future art projects.

We also discovered Quilchena when we took the 5A instead of the Coquihalla between Merritt and Kamloops. It was a lovely drive, and the old hotel and general store are wonderful.

I even bought a dress at the general store - made in Canada!

There was a great erratic boulder in the hotel garden.

The rest of these photos were taken on the grounds of the Sorrento Centre.

I learned that this beautiful tree is a sunburst locust.

This huge bumblebee appeared to be having a break - it didn't move for the longest time...

while this honeybee was busy as a ...

This was the view from my bedroom window.

I hope you have a wonderful month of June, everyone!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Wednesday round-up

A new sock in progress using leftover yarn. I've been longer than usual without a sock on the needles. I'm calling it Orangey Goodness.

A new shawl - the same Handmaiden yarn as the last one in the Pewter colourway. This one will be a Gingko. It's good travel knitting for now, because it's simple stocking stitch and yarn overs until the lace starts.

The BSJ I started in December is finally finished! I thought I had finished knitting this really quickly in January. I had the top-of-the-arm seams finished, a collar knitted on, and was sewing on buttons when I realized I’d placed the button holes wrong and the two sides didn’t match. Sigh. I put it aside and made a different baby gift for the baby due in February.

Now there’s a baby due in June I want a knit gift for. I pulled the jacket back out of the trunk where I'd put it to think about its behaviour, ripped out the collar, ripped back to the buttonhole row and reknit the last 5 rows. New bind-off, no collar this time (I crocheted around the neckline), and I decided to go with two buttons this time around. I did the ssk bind-off because the other three (three!) I tried didn’t look right!

It will be a set with the booties I knit from the same yarn in January.

 The rhododendrons are blooming outside our windows - right on schedule, and the bees are hard at work.

We moved in five years ago last weekend, and every year the rhodos have bloomed for the May long weekend.

Tomorrow it's off to Sorrento for the 15th annual Okanagan Knitters' Retreat! I'm excited to be going a day early this year. Maybe I'll see you there!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Meal for a warm day

On warm spring days (and summer too) I start to crave big salads for meals. Here is our meal from the other evening. We love using these big vintage bowls we got from a friend (made in East Germany!) for soups and salads. This version was lettuce fresh from the patio, fresh mung bean sprouts from the windowsill, grated carrot, chopped kale from the garden, toasted coconut, and a spicy Thai dressing. A couple of weeks ago we shredded the last piece of the last beet from last year's garden! With the mild winter we were able to leave some beets in the ground until early spring, then we stored them in the fridge and they were still as sweet in May as they were last fall!

 We also had these almond flax burgers from Brendan Brazier's Thrive Diet book. They're surprisingly tasty and filling.

The drinks were my version of a kombucha mojito, based on another Brendan Brazier recipe but adapted to what we have on hand. I've been brewing kombucha tea for a few months now, and Dave and I rather addicted. We have some just about every day.

For the mojito, muddle a handful of chopped, fresh mint leaves with a couple of tablespoons of lime juice and about a tablespoon of maple syrup (adjust to taste). Pour 2 cups of kombucha tea over it (leave it to steep in the fridge for an hour or more if you have time). Strain and pour over ice cubes until the glass is nearly full, then top up with sparkling water. Enjoy!

If you google kombucha mojito you'll find a few other variations you can try too.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


Pattern: Brandywine Shawl by Romi
Yarn: Sea Sock by HandMaiden in Nightshade

Saturday, May 11, 2013

A shawl is knit

I've finished knitting my Brandywine shawl. This one won't be too difficult to block, and the weather is supposed to turn wet, so I should get it done soon. I'm looking forward to wearing it, so that will help! I ended up doing two extra repeats of the main lace chart. I probably could have squeezed out one more, but I didn't want to run out of yarn part way through an i-cord bind-off and then have to rip back one lace chart.

The pasque flower has finished flowering, but now it has these cool-looking pods instead, which last for quite a while.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Sunny afternoon

Today's creativity attempt - hand carved stamp from India and mixed media:

Progress on the Brandywine:

It's as wide as my circular needle is long now, with three more repeats of the main lace pattern to go.

The first of my tomato babies to go into a big pot for the season. This is Supersweet 100 - an heirloom cherry tomato.

This one is Superbush - large heirloom tomatoes on a short sturdy plant. It does really well in a container. I love how strong its stem is.

A kale seedling under the tulips:

And my artsy photo for the day: Thibault trying to join me outside through the screened window.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Can you guess?

My creative play today was to play around with the settings on our camera, and then to take and edit this photo:

These little guys appeared on our Pasque Flower this morning. I love how they are a complementary colour to the flower petals!

So, does knitting count as doing something creative or inspiring on a given day? I think it should, but I'm trying to use this challenge to push myself to do things I don't feel I do enough of. I have done a few more repeats of the lace pattern on my Brandywine, which is actually in the same colours as today's photo. I'm hoping to have it finished in time for the knitting retreat.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Every day in May?

When I checked in on Sarah's blog last night I saw that she had posted a challenge on May 1st to do something creative or inspiring every day in May. I figured that the lunch bag I made counted for Wednesday, so before I went to bed last night I pulled out an ink pad, a stamp I carved inspired by Geninne's book, and some pencil crayons and felts. It only took 20 minutes, and was a lovely way to end the day, and end up with this in my sketchbook:

This afternoon I sat in the sun on the patio, and played around with another stamp inspired by the same book:

Anyone else want to join in with Every Day in May? I'm going to try...

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Notes on a Wednesday

I am making some progress on the Brandywine Shawl. There are over 100 stitches between the lace borders now.

Our lettuce seedlings are doing well in the cold frame on the south-facing patio:

 The kale seedlings are also coming along nicely. We'll probably plant some out into the garden on the weekend.

The daffodils have finally quit, but with the cool weather they were perfect from before Easter until just a few days ago. The tulips are now in bloom.

Our springs seem to be getting longer and cooler these past few years. I find it hard to believe that I'm posting tulip photos on May 1st and that the flowering cherry trees aren't yet done. We still get the first snow drops at the end of January, like always, but mid-spring things now happen later. The trees in front of our place don't even have leaves yet. I know that's normal in many places, but here on the south coast of BC we're a good month behind where spring used to be.

I made myself a new lunch bag today. I've had the fabric cut out for months, but finally got around to taking out the sewing machine and actually assembling the bag. I think this is the fifth Poochie bag I've made. I don't really do fully sewing, and this pattern meets my requirements for low fuss! Thank you, Happy Zombie!