i’m ashamed it has been so long

I kept waiting for a sunny day to photograph my last package from my SP12 secret pal.  Let me let you in on a little secret, folks… I don’t do sun.  I know I’m supposed to take flash-free photos.  I know that the photos are supposed to look better, more professional, and true-er.  Well, guess what?  That’s part of the reason I sometimes post infrequently.  I have some nice yarn or a finished item that I want to show off, but it’s 11:30 at night.  I tell myself “I’ll take a photo tomorrow during the day” and then I don’t.  I work during the day, and often leave while the sun is still rising (or at least not bright enough to give good light).  I get home once the sun has set (most of the year), and on weekends I get busy inside with Jakob and house stuff and forget to run outside and take a cute picture of my baby sweater on a park bench.  If I take flash-less photos indoors then I end up with really dark, blurry images that I delete right away.  So until I’m on maternity leave again and can actually be home during the daylight hours, photos with flash are all you’re going to get.

All that being said, sorry for the delay Secret Pal, and here are the photos:

In what is (sadly) the last package of SP12, my pal really spoiled me.  I got some beauty supplies, some yarn, a funky fabric bag, and a magazine.  That is the exact issue of KnitScene that I was reading about on Knitting Daily recently, and admiring some of the sweaters inside it. 

Some really yummy-smelling, vanilla-scented body whip that looks as thick as marshmallow fluf, and a bar of body exfoliant in the same scent.

The best part of the package is this GORGEOUS Estelle yarn called Cadenza (Rav link).  It’s 80% Superwash Merino and 20% Tussah Silk, and the sheen on this thing is just stunning.  Not only that, but it is in blues! My favorite color!  I have no idea what to make with it (am I fancy enough to wear socks with silk in them?) but it will definately be something special!

Thank you so much Secret Pal!  (Who, by the way, it turns out is Andrea, who blogs here and who knit Jeannie, which is still one of my big “want-to-knit”s that I even have the yarn for already.



Question 10: Here’s an odd sort of question…What Olympic event would best describe your knitting/knitting style?

Gack- I don’t know all the events! Yannick and I have been watching each evening the last few nights, though, so if I would only be able to pick from the beach volleyball, swimming and gymnastics routines…

If I go over the list of Summer Olympic sports listed on the official website, I guess my knitting style would be “Artistic Gymnastics”.

Here’s an excerpt of the discipline’s origins, from the same website:

“When gymnastics began in ancient Greece more than 2000 years ago, the gymnasium was the centre of cultural activity. Men gathered there not only to practise sport, but to understand art, music and philosophy. The Greeks believed symmetry between the mind and body was possible only when physical exercise was coupled with intellectual activity.

Today, gymnastics is often termed the ultimate combination of sport and art, but the idea is nothing new. Plato, Aristotle and Homer heartily advocated the strengthening qualities of gymnastic activity. It is a philosophy that can be found in much of their work.”

A combination of sport and art where physical exercise is coupled with intellectual activity…sounds about right to me!

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This week our question is about your knitting… In many communities, “the fair” is a great place to visit and spend time with your family. It’s also where many have entered one product or another (jams, cakes, even knitting)… Have you ever entered your knitting (or anything else) in the fair? Would you ever consider it?

I’ve never entered anything in a fair, but I did enter a pair of gloves I designed into my local guild’s mitten/glove contest. I won for the category of “mittens/gloves knit from an original design” but I think I was the only one who designed my own pattern, so I can’t claim I won due to talent alone.

Edited to add:
…for those of you who live in parts of the world w/o fairs…would you ever consider entering your knitting in a competition?

Yes! I wish we had fairs here, I’d love to enter competitions!!



Here is question 8! Enjoy!
What is your favorite supper for a hot summer evening? (For added “flavor”, post a photo or recipe link)

Well, I don’t really have a favorite supper these days- the vomiting has gotten somewhat better; instead of everything I eat, I’m now only doing it anywhere from 1-6 times a day. And I had 3 random days last week where I didn’t throw up at all.

Because it is so unpredictable, I don’t look at meals anymore as “hmm…what looks good to eat?” Instead I think “what is worth it?” For example, last night Yannick decided he wanted to order supper. A big criteria for choosing a place to order from was the price- I didn’t want to order something too expensive and not keep it down.

Plus I’m not a good one to talk about favorite suppers these days anyways, what with all the food aversions. Had you asked me this a few months ago I probably would have answered “ordering St-Hubert BBQ chicken” but now I have ZERO interest in eating chicken.

I have had no problems eating pasta though, so to make up for another crappy answer, let me share my easy rosé sauce recipe:

Cheese Tortellini with Rosé Sauce (really easy “recipe”)*

-Put a large pot of water on to boil.

-While you wait, melt about a tablespoon of margerine or butter in a medium pot, then add some chopped onion. I love onions, so I use at least 1 huge onion for a portion of pasta for 2-3 people, more if there is more pasta. I usually chop half, and thinly slice half. I don’t know if it tastes different after cooking, but I like the variation.

-Boil a package of fresh or frozen cheese tortellini. This usually takes about 9 minutes.

-Once the pasta is boiling, empty a small (125ml I think) can of Ayers tomato soup into the pot with the onions. Fill the empty can 2/3 of the way with cream, and add that to the pot too. If using milk, you can put a full can.

-Stir the sauce and let it simmer/heat until the cream and soup are well mixed. By this point the pasta should be ready.

-Drain the pasta, toss with the sauce, and serve. In the past I used to season the sauce with all kinds of spices and garlic, but as one of my favorite “comfort” foods, all I would add to this is some salt at the table.

It’s plain, but homey, and really good on a cold night. Or any night. And it reheats well too.

*Yes, you’re basically mixing store-bought pasta with tomato soup, cream and onions. I never said this was a Cordon-Bleu recipe. It’s still really tasty!

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Time for the next Question of the Week:
We are all creatures of habit and when it comes to sitting down to knit, it’s no different…
What is(are) your favorite place(s) to knit?
My favorite place to knit is in front of the TV. Ideally I’ll have a stack of VHS tapes of the shows I’d recorded in the last little while, which would give me a few hours of only the shows I want to see. I knit without looking, so I get restless if I have nothing to distract my eyes. Also, this will sound strange because knitting requires varying degrees of concentration depending on the project, but I need the TV (or at least my iPod) to keep my brain occupied while I knit.

What supplies (besides yarn & needles) make the setting perfect for knitting?
Um…light? I have knit in the dark, but it didn’t turn out pretty. Seriously, I think the only thing I’d need besides my yarn, needles and pattern, would be my notions caddy. I have a small 2-level makeup bag that holds everything I need in a compact, easily portable little bundle. Everything is in there, from scissors and sewing needles to spare buttons, pens, pencils, a highlighter, measuring tape, needle gauge, stitch markers, a scale, reinforcing thread, elastic thread, waste yarn, stitch holders and more I’m sure I’m forgetting.

Beyond that I just need a comfortable seat, although I have knit while walking many times. I’d love to be able to knit while lying down, but it isn’t worth the strain on my arms.


SP12 QOTW and first package

Here is this week’s Secret Pal 12 Question of the Week:

Since thinking about holidays/vacations is SO much fun, let’s continue with the theme…

Question #6-What is your favorite type of project to take along on holiday/vacation?
Hey Group!
If you’d like to share a story…Tell us about a time that you packed too much knitting or were stranded without knitting for Question of the Week #6.

Well. I think some of you might already know the answer to the second half of that question (I’m looking at YOU, Maaike), but I’ll answer both anyways.

My favorite type of project to take along on holiday/vacation is socks. I put the yarn and needles into a tiny zippered heavy plastic bag, like a makeup bag or the bag baby shoes come in. I transcribe the pattern into my Palm so it is accessible, and am able to tuck both into any purse necessary. I like to have a more complicated pattern (maybe charts I need to look at, or something I need to pay attention to) for quiet times like relaxing on the beach, and a mindless stockinette or rib for times when I’ll have to keep picking it up an putting it back down.

Now then, as for the overpacking or underpacking of yarn. I’ve never underpacked yarn. But I have overpacked. (Once! Only once!).

I severely misjudged the amount of knitting time I would have on the cruise my family took this past holiday season. What can I say, it was my first trip without my breastfeeding 7.5-month-old, and I thought I’d be knitting to try and ignore how much I’d be missing him, AND because of the novelty of having both hands free AT THE SAME TIME for hours on end.

This is the knitting that actually got done on the 13 day trip. I cast-on and finished Fibonacci Sock #2 (Ravelry project link), I completed 90% of my first Sidewinder Sock, and while waiting in the airport to come home, I cast on for Mona’s November Mystery Socks (Barcelona Socks Ravelry link). Why didn’t I finish the first Sidewinder before coming home? Who knows. Why didn’t I knit in the rest of the airport time and on the plane (4 hours!) coming home? No idea. I might have slept.

As if that much yarn with so little knitting wasn’t bad enough, here is more of the yarn I’d brought. Yes, apparently I thought I’d knit 15 socks in 13 days, while 11 of those days were spent on a cruise visiting Cartagena, Ochos Rios, Panama, Limon and somewhere else I forget right now. Plus I took about 9 1-hour computer courses. And we went to the shows every night. Etc… I *did* try to start one of the pairs during a long bus ride at one of the stops, but my gauge was completely off with the needles I had with me, so that got put aside.

But I’m not crazy! These are the 2 balls of yarn I took OUT of my suitcase before closing it- because they would have made it way too much yarn.

Stop laughing.

As a distraction, here is my first Secret Pal 12 package!

Thanks Secret Pal! As you can see, starting from the bottom left, there is some tissues (always handy, especially with a baby), a magnetized notebad (I always have one on my fridge) and a mini notebook with pen, a postcard with sheep on it, a sheep chocolate (which I shared with Yannick) and some LOVELY dyed-in-the-wool mediumweight sock yarn.
These colors are beautiful! Thank you so much Secret Pal!



I’m rushing this post because I’m leaving work in 7 minutes and want to take advantage of a few Jakob-free moments at home (he spent the day at my mom’s) to tidy up before my Aquafit class, so there are no photos, just a quick answer to the latest Question of the Week:

Boy, time flies. Summer is when many of us head out on vacation/holiday. So, this week’s question/s has us wondering:
1) Where is your favorite place to go for vacation/holiday?

Hmm…I don’t know, I don’t get to take summer holidays anymore. I think those days ended when I neared the end of school and worked part- or full-time. Another sucky answer, but I really don’t have a favorite holiday spot.

2) Where is one place you’d like to go?
I’d love to travel across Canada, preferably by train.



The “perfect sized” stash was a tough question for many of you to answer. Maybe these stash related questions will be easier:
1) What yarn (that you don’t have/haven’t used) would make your stash “complete”?
2) What yarn do you never want to be without?

Hmm…these are harder! Let’s see…

1) I don’t know! There are a ton of yarns I haven’t used/don’t have…but I can’t think of anything I’m lacking. The only way I can answer this is to say I wish I had more sweater-quantities of yarn in my stash. I know it doesn’t answer the question exactly, but I honestly can’t think of any particular brand/fiber/color/whatever that would be my Jerry Maguire.

2) Sock yarn. It works for socks, for fine projects, for baby clothes, for accessories, lace items…plus you can double it to get a different gauge. Give me a variety of fiber contents and I think I’ll be set for almost anything.



Question of the Week #3
So far we’ve had a lot of fun with “summer related” questions, now it’s time to answer a “knitting related” one.What would you consider the perfect amount of stash?

Oy. I guess the perfect amount of stash is having whatever you need on hand for any spur-of-the-moment, birth-announcement, gift-idea, sweater-quantity project you might decide to do. Realistic, right?