Monday, July 25, 2011

Jugust Planning

Finally! Warm summer has reached Vancouver - well, at least for the last two days which happened to be a weekend, yay! I feel like it's the start of summer, now that the "summer" months are halfway over, it's practically August.

In case anyone hasn't heard of John Fluevog shoes, designed and made in Vancouver, here is a pic of why you should check them out. My favorite shoes of all time, I think:

I now really really love Fridays with my dark jeans!

New month, new projects, new goals. I have finally cast on for the seemingly quick Vine Yoke Cardigan by Ysolda Teague in Cascade 220 and a great colour! The first cardi ever (adult size - baby sweaters do not count), and timed it with the Urban Yarns KAL. It's going well so far, but there is a feeling more like a crap shoot than a well calculated, confident piece. Gone are the days of the no-gauge-swatch shawl using up a skein of sock yarn.

I am also now officially Auntie Ashley to a beautiful Baby Evan - aka Yoda. My Ravelry favorites have exploded this past week since he was born. Number one on the list: Baby Sophisticate which will use up the three hunter green Misson Falls 1824 skeins in my stash, and will look great on him! Pattern is free free free also!

Looking at my Ravelry page this weekend, I have become very annoyed at the list of unfinished projects that really should be finished by now - 1) the Hippo that I started in Africa, and just need to stuff and finish (I was not carting stuffing to Africa), 2) the Brambles Beret that will use up one more stash skein, 3) the Celeano shawl and 4), the Daybreak shawl.

So, because I have lofty goals and love setting them, here is my goal for Jugust (the last bit of July until August 31st:

1) Finish Vine Yoke Cardigan (if you search Vine "Yolk" Cardigan in Ravelry patterns you still get the Vine Yoke Cardigan, FYI :))
2) Finish Baby Sophisticate - starting Evan's Fall Knits collection
3) Finish the Hippo to send to Africa
4) Finish my Brown Brambles Beret

As I'm not entirely crazy, the Celeano shawl and Daybreak shawl I will work on for the end of September. If I finish before, great.

Off to prep up the summer raspberries fresh off the vine today. I LOVE SUMMER!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Mmmm Seattle

My little sis and I just took a 3 day trip down to Seattle - to SHOP! of course :)
We like the good food, so we did wanted to discover the undiscovered: the non-grease, non- massive overflowing plate of American food.
First stop: a great breaky of an omlette (choose how many eggs you want) in old town Bellingham at the Old Town Cafe. Not too hard to find, a couple of one-way streets, and you're there. Check it out if you are just crossing the border.

After shopping til we dropped at Seattle Premium Outlets, we moved on to the must-have of the weekend: Nordstrom's department store restaurant.

Now, most people, when they think of "department store restaurant" they think the lowest of the low joints, with the cheapest coffee and smoke pits in K-Mart as screaming ugly childeren run by.

Nordstrom's Cafe Bistro specifically at the Alderwood Mall in Lynnwood (Seattle's DT Nordstrom was very limited), had amazing food. Numerous chefs (yes, chefs) prepared the food to each specific order fresh.  I had the Roasted Chicken and Herbed Goat Cheese sandwich with caramelized onions, sundried tomato, juicy chicken, and greens. So freakin' good. We went back on the way back up. About $10 for the sandwich with skinny fries or salad. MMMMMM. My sister swears that the Ham and Swiss grilled sandwich is the best she's ever had.

For dessert, which must be shared, is the Chocolate Paradise Cake. Um, yes. Dense cake, caramel sauce, toffee bits.

Goodness in a slice.

Moving into DT Seattle on Sunday after doing some credit card damage, we hoped onto the Bainbridge Island ferry as a walk-on and visited the Blackbird Bakery for a blueberry lemon scone and a latte - how pretty!

Then of course, my fave stop on the trip, after reading about it on the Jared Flood blog: Churchmouse Yarns and Teas.

I mentioned how I had found out about them, and how we just finished the Jared Flood KAL, and the lady mentioned that he was actually coming in the very next day to do some photo shoots. Um, damn, one day too late. I could have been a knitting designer crazy fan. But I'm not. So I left with some beautiful things:

1) Two skeins each of Madeleinetosh Sock in Raven and Dahlia:

2) The coveted Little Red in the City, just in time for the Ysolda KAL. As I'm starting my first adult sweater, I really need the tips in here.

Very excited to cast on (hopefully) tomorrow.

After traipsing around Pioneer Square in DT Seattle (where practically everything is closed on Sundays), we randomly came across this massive yarn bombing in the actual Pioneer Square. So cool! Lots and lots and lots of knitting.

We shopped until we dropped, and so I didn't get much knitting time in until the car ride home. And then, I finished the Clapotis!!!! With only a tiny tiny ball left of the Cezanne:


She has been cast off and is blocking! Yes! Finally! The never-ending project has been conquered.

Blocked, it is 93 inches long, but 23.5" wide. Not too shabby.

2 of 2 Urban Yarn KALs complete!

Thursday, July 7, 2011


I went shopping today with my Christmas present from the b/f's dad - $100 at Chapters! Love it. It was so hard to decide what to spend it on, when I could just wait a year for it to be available at the library.

But, once I started, it was hard to stop :)

From top to bottom:

1) The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao - Junot Diaz - Pulitzer Prize Fiction Winner - 2008
2) The Long Song - Andrea Levy - according to Heather (of Heather's Picks), she's at the top of her game with this novel
3)  The Help - Kathryn Stockett - soon to be a major motion picture - seems like an Ashley movie, therefore an Ashley book.
4) The Surrendered - Chang-Rae Lee -NYT bestselling author, and a staff pick (Carman). Well Carman, we'll see how it is, and Pulitzer Prize Fiction Finalist - 2010
5) A Visit from the Goon Squad - Jennifer Egan - Pulitzer Prize Fiction Winner - 2011 - let's see why this won...
6) Tinkers - Paul Harding - Pulitzer Prize winner - 2009 - It has one of those artsy covers that just makes you think it MUST be good. And it won a prize.

Hmmm - maybe I'll start a new list - Pulitzer Prize winning books in Fiction...

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Missed Her

I made a great investment this weekend - my lonely lounge chair base out on the deck finally got a beautiful cushion - Canadian Tire to the rescue, baby! And this was my knitting view in the cool night air after a hot summer's day:

I love my new place! The seawall is so close, that walking to the library (fave place in Vancouver) or popping down to knit for an hour while overlooking the water of False Creek is just magic.

Speaking of lovely warm summer days, the last couple of days I have taken the Skytrain to work - it's a refreshing carefree way to travel, and I was able to finish Missed Her, the latest book from Ivan Coyote. I love the palette-cleansing effect of short stories after an intense novel. Also, when I get busy, I could always make time for one of her insightful tidbit stories (only 2-3 pages long usually).

Going with the Canada Day celebration theme, I have now moved on to a novel I feel I should read, ok, well, more like an author that I should read. And I have to say that the title and the character names intrigue me. It is:

A couple of pages in, it's interesting so far. Will keep you updated.

As for my knitting, I am 1) super excited about the Urban Yarns Party for the Jared Flood show-offs and the fact I actually finished it in time for the party. 2) I am now able to work a bit on my Clapotis below - almost there - but it is getting very long....

3) We are starting the Ysolda Teague KAL at Urban Yarns - very excited. I am thinking the Vine Yolk Cardi in a charcoal - not 100% sure but close.

The adventure begins Friday!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Duck Duck Goose - Juneberry!

Juneberry Triangle is done. Done like dinna. It has been a long time since I've had a finished object, and boy, does it feel good.

I blocked this baby yesterday morning on my deck in the warm Saturday sunshine, and as all the other Ravelry comments said, it really did flourish with blocking. The Berocco Ultra Alpaca used did not define the stitches - only after the hard block did it really stretch and show the patterns swirls.

Although finished after the Urban Yarns KAL deadline of June 24th, the party for our Jared Flood KAL has thankfully moved to this Friday, July 8th. It is nice to have something done for this (unlike my Clapotis that is the knit I keep on knitting).

Juneberry was an interesting knit - my first knit with charts, and although a little difficult to figure out the legend and which side to do what on, it was pretty intuitive after the first chart. It would have been nice to have some memorizing, but such is life.

Not a big fan of the bobbles aka "Juneberries" - annoying to knit, and I don't think add that much except for the border. Also, lots of ssk's, which I hate - in my head, instead of "slip,slip, knit" I think "duck, duck, goose" - same rhythm. Ugh, annoying.

I had to delve into skein 3 near the end, so if anyone needs an extra skein of Oceanic Mix (6825), let me know!

I am happy with the way it turned out. Now hopefully we are doing a Ysolda Teague KAL...
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