It’s been a crazy week filled with a drippy faucet, a phlegmy husband and sweaters that never end! Thanks to the plumbing prowess of a good friend, the faucet has been replaced, the husband is slowly drying out thanks to more medication (I guess my ginger tea voodoo wasn’t strong enough), and one never-ending sweater actually found an end!
Of course, with all this silliness happening, I was in a mad swirl of baking. It calms me and anyways, a happy working oven makes the chilly winter days cozy and lovely. All my goodies were made with locally milled organic Red Fife wheat flour from True Grains bakery in Cowichan Bay, organic fair trade cane sugar from Level Ground, local fruits, nuts, milk and eggs.
I started with a rhubarb-blueberry-plum jam oat bars I made with jam I canned over the summer. When you're elbow deep in canning, wondering why you're going through all this trouble in final sweltering days of summer and you're thinking to yourself, "I'm never to going to use all of this up." Middle of January seems like a long way away but it eventually does creep up and man, it's like Christmas when you start digging into these fruity jewels.
I also whipped up a batch of cranberry hazelnut muffins with local cranberries excavated from my freezer and local hazelnuts from Footes farm. It was made with my usual muffin recipe.
Finally, I whipped up some bagels for DH who is a bagel fanatic. I used the Montreal bagel recipe in Jeffery Alford and Naomi Duguid 's "Homebaking: The artful mix of flour and tradition around the world". They weren't much more work than making regular bread. The bagels were so good that DH did the cutest little happy bagel dance in the middle of the kitchen. Oh, I guess I shouldn't have told you all that ;)
Now onto other things (warning! Knitting rant ahead!)
Remember this twinkle in my eye:
Well, it’s finally done!
It took 2 months but I did manage to finish it with a few balls of yarn leftover for a small shawl or a couple pairs of mitts or socks. BTW, the next time I pick a pair of 2.75mm needles and say, ‘I think I’m going to knit a sweater with these’, just smack me upside the head. It will cause me less brain damage than all the noggin against the wall action that occurred when I was in the middle of umpteeth day of working the second sleeve. The torso looks long but it shrinks up when I put it on. I’ll have DH take a photo of me in it as soon as he wakes up from his mucous-lined sleep.
As mentioned before, the construction was inspired by this simple design for Knitty.com.
Of course, I took one look at that wonderfully, simple and elegant design and said, ‘Oh, that doesn’t look stressful enough. No, let’s throw in a cabled back panel and I must use absurdly, thin yarn with a very loose ply. Let' s have the sleeves narrow off smoothly and end in a leaf point that sits exactly over the top of my wrist. Yes and I’ll wait until the very end to decide on how I’m going to finish it all off so I can have the masochistic pleasure of frogging and reknitting through the same 3 inches seven times before I decide to finish off with the simplest and most obvious edge for the bottom of the sweater. Yes, that ought to drive me sufficiently batty for a few months.”
That said, I love it. I absolutely, positively love it! It's much warmer than I though it would be. I dubbed it the "Midsummer Night's Dream" sweater. Ironically, summer would probably be the only season I won't be able to wear it because it's so snuggly warm. Oh well, I will wear it during the rest of the year and have a puckish forest wrapped around me.
That’s one never-ending sweater done. I’m now feverishly working to finish up my MIL’s sweater. I even brought it with me on our Winter Adventure trip. Here’s a pic of me working on it. It was taken inside a picnic shelter turned winter cabin at Waterton Lake National Park. It was quite luxurious compared to our usual winter climbing accommodations. It even had a wood fired stove. I was feeling very Little House on the Prairie working my knitting by the light of a gas lantern with the winds howling about outside and a wood fire smoking us out inside.
Here’s how the wonderful winter world looked the next day:
Here's DH and I on my Happy Birthday climb!
That's it for now.