Sunday, September 26, 2010


Happy Un-Birthday to me! Yesterday was the real thing, and I had a blast. Knitting extensively on Friday night, then another awesome cooking class, Chocolate Lover's at The Dirty Apron with Eleanor: good - and just when you think you'll be eating the 3 desserts all in a row for lunch - they bring you lunch - as in Chambar chef style lunch: - Grilled Sablefish with lemon, asparagus, tomato risotto and a burnt tomato coulis...awesome:

We then finished up our Raspberry Truffles, and Caramel Chocolate, Pine Nute, and Sea Salt good, even with the salt.

The beginnings of the truffles...raspberry purree and whipped cream.

The final was a lucious Bittersweet Chocolate Cake, flourless, that turned out like a large lava cake - so good you could hardly stand it. But we did! simple enough you can do on your own, with tons of tips from Eleanor as well.

Flowers, knitting class, and Chantal tix with the VSO were awaiting me at the coffee shop after (all of my favorite things in one day, is it possible??) Then off to the Hyatt DT - beautiful room, and GREAT company.

The view:

We had a comfortable yet debative walk to Bao Bei (2010 Georgia Straight winner of Best New Restaurant) - check it out on my links page. It was packed, as usual, but so worth the wait. Had bar seats next to the trendy's...and shared some delicious Beef Noodles (hand cut, brothy and beefy!), shrimp dumplings and vinegar (everything is so fresh), beef bok choy (mmm..such flavor), pork belly (the most delicious thing you have ever tasted). For my birthday drink, it was The Best F$%&ing Pina Colada You Have Ever Tasted - kudos to the bartender for filling it back up again after having some extra. It is really called this and really tastes like this - fresh pineapple whipped up before your eyes.

Some great conversation, then moved out out the deluge of rain in the Vancouver night.

This was the best birthday yet - awesome, awesome. Thank you everyone!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


One last fun piece to finish before I bear down on baby and Christmas knitting - my Citron- done in
Schoppel-Wolle Zauberwolle yarn in Stone- crazy colours! I love it. Super easy knit, the yarn is a little rougher than I thought, but I hope that blocking it will soften it up:

I love the way the colours are striping. Perfect. Once this is complete (hopefully this weekend), I can hunker down on Mom's projects, and make a list of priorties of gifts. It's going to be a busy October/November - I am not going to leave these to the last minute.

Also: I haven't decided if I am going to bring any knitting to Africa or not in January. Seems like it will be just too hot and rainy - but I will have some time on my hands when I am there. Maybe one project. Need to get all my knitting out of me now while I still can!

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Finally, work this week has become an easier feat to get through - things are running much more smoothly for the first time in months, and I have much more energy to do things outside of work. Like - read an knit (surprise).

I finished Cool Water today, that had approx. 5 different character sets that all wove together at the end. The separate stories I really enjoyed, but the ending was a bit of a let down, I have to say. Worth a read for anyone who is in to Canadiana.

I have started to knit the Blue Sky Alpaca's Button Up Cowl for a special someone's birthday gift :

Delicious Blue Sky Alpaca's Royal yarn (limited edition). I did have to rip it out - I now know my mistakes and go all that much futher. I might put the floss in to have the life line to rip back to.

While I did the first version of the bottom few inches, I listened to Jane Urquhart's The Stone Carvers - something I have always been meaning to read. I was thrilled to find such a poetic way of writing (and the dramatic actress reading to me over the speaker really helped), and more excited to find out it was about two wood carving siblings who go to Vimy in the end to help with the memorial, combined with a love story. Jane obviously was struck by the memorial as much as I was - gorgeous stone carved in a tender, gargantuan way - I still remember having to back up a long way to have the whole memorial in my camera frame (although not too far as there are still mines in the ground). Visit Wikipedia for more info.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

My Favorite Month

Yes indeed, it is my favorite month of the year - September (in case you didn't know). It kind of crept up on me as August dwindled away as the merger workload has hit an all new peak. Last weekend, Labour Day Weekend, I afforded myself some good ol' weekend goodness.

I kicked it off with Stitch n' Bitch at UY on Friday night - something I was not able to attend for 3 weeks - starting the good fall knitting/shopping process with a big bang. Then off to the PNE, eating gluttonously with the bf. Beside the horseshoeing, were two lovely ladies knitting - advertising the Beyond Fibre fest coming up in Langley first weekend of November. Very excited.

Sunday I dedicated myself to a knitting retreat, involving only myself. It was lovely. I finished the my first Foliage toque, originally knit for my sister. However, upon further thought, I realized yet again that blue is acually MY favorite colour, and I would knit her up a nice pink one. My knitting retreat involved a field trip to Three Bags Full as it was the closest to pick up some pink worsted, and ended up getting some more for other Foilage toques for the girls maybe. After 8 hours of knitting, I was getting squirrely, campy, whatever you want to call it,and ended up leaving the knitting alone. Thank God I don't own a cat and the stereotype just might have come true.

Monday, day off (yay) started with a sore throat but a lovely breaky at Jethero's, but still the tell-tale sign I was getting sick. Sure enough, this week I have lost my voice and had several 1/2 days at home. I HATE being sick. Because not only can you not do chores or things you don't want to do, I did NOT feel remotely like knitting, and could only read. So annoying.

So I finished off Ross McLarty's novel The Memory of Running, a slow starter but vividly written novel about a man on self discovery after losing his parents, by running away or too things on a bike. Very funny at times too. I would recommend it.

I did make it to S+B on Friday though - a little coughing, but I'm glad everyone put up with me. Urban Yarns has some fantastic new yarn by Punta Yarns called Merisoft Hand Painted Aran - beautiful. Lots of choice, but I decided on this as my first - colourway is HP63:

 I completed my sister's pink Foliage last night in the wee hours of the morning. The two are done in Malbrigo's Worsted Merino, so soft and warm. It holds the leave's shape great, I think. I used a size 7 needle for the whole toque for both (rather than the suggest 2 sizes). The blue colourway is 150 Azul Profundo (great name), and I did the pattern as written. I found it a little long, so for the pink ( 148 Holly Hock) I decided to leave out the last two rounds of the leaf pattern and go right into 6 rounds of ribbing to finish off. She's happy, I'm happy.

I absolutely needed to start something on with the Merisoft last night (this morning). I knew I wanted to do a hat, so after debating for a while, I picked Hurricane. Although the yarn is busy, the aran weight allows the purl stitches to stand out well. A quick knit, and the yarn did well on the bamboo 7 circulars.

I really like this one. Shelagh Rogers with CBC Radio's The Next Chapter is back, so I had fun finishing this off while adding to my reading list.

I can't wait to use this pattern again in a less busy yarn.

I have managed to get a accomplished a lot this week. I am also working on the CanLit novel Cool Water by Dianne Warren - about numerous characters in a very small town in Saskatchewan - it has turned out to be a pleasant surprise, and is pulling me back to it.

Gotta love "recovering".
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