Friday, March 27, 2015

Steeking ....

At our local Knitter's Guild workshop I learned to "Steek".   I had never heard of steeking before until the Guild held a workshop at one of our meetings.

What is steeking ?

According to Rachel Henry - Steeking is technique used to safely and securely cut your knitting to create holes where you want them. It is frequently used with complex colorwork sweaters, because it is easier and faster to knit colorwork in the round."

Before the workshop we had some homework to do.  We  used Rachel Henry's Ravelry pattern called "Steek this Coffee Cozy" and knitted the pattern to the point before cutting.    This pattern knitted up a  nice fair isle pattern in the round.

Above is my completed homework.  At the meeting I cut down the center - between the two lines.  Then folded over the edges and picked up stitches for the ribbing.    I was little nervous cutting into my knitting, after the work I had done.  But it turned out just the way the pattern said it would !!  I'm not so sure I am ready to tackle cutting into a larger project such as a sweater just yet.  

Cozy after cutting and first ribbing in place. 

Finished Coffee/Tea cup cozy

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Kale and Sprout Winter Salad

Sometimes you come across a recipe that's just too good not to pass on.   And, here is one of those recipes.....

This one was passed on to me from my mother.  It was featured in the Montreal Gazette recently.   Credit for this recipe goes to the cookbook "Gatherings" by Jan Scott and Julie Van Rosendaal of Toronto and Calgary.

The salad is called Kale and Sprout Salad (recipe here) .  Kale and Brussels Sprouts are considered winter vegetables here and are usually available all winter in the grocery stores.  

Ingredients are simple ;  Kale, Brussels Sprouts, sharply flavoured Apple or Pear, roasted/toasted almonds (I used sunflower and pumpkin seeds), parmesan cheese (was optional for me).  I also threw in a handful of raisins.  Hubby likes anything with raisins.  He doesn't like brussels sprouts nor is not a fan of Kale, but had two large helpings of this salad and said how much he enjoyed it !   And, would I make again ??

The dressing is quite simple as well, using ingredients I always have in the house - Olive Oil, fresh lemon jice, grainy mustard, garlic, honey, salt/pepper.

To get the recipe click on the link above.    Enjoy !

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Credit Valley Foot Path Hike - March 22, 2015

Another beautiful day for hiking.   The weather dropped considerably overnight and was about -10C on our hike, with a wind chill of much cooler.   The sun was shining and was so good to be outside.

I was out on a group hike and wasn't the leader this time.  It's nice to be a sheep once in a while.
We hiked through the floodplains of the Credit River, past the ruins of an old paper mill and dam.  Along the way there's an impressive CNR railway bridge build in the 1850s, recently widened which crosses the river.  Further south on the trail were the remains of the Barber Mill Dynamo, one of the oldest electrical stations built in Canada.    We saw lots of evidence of beaver activity.

Trails were icy at times and was very glad to have on my amazing icers clamped on to the bottom of my boots.  

We hiked approx 10 km and found a great spot for lunch looking high over the Credit River.

 Lunch Spot 

 Remains of old Barber Mill Dynamo

Credit River - Remains of Old Barber Mill across the river.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Spring Hike

Spring is officially here !  

Today I lead a short hike for beginners on the Duff Pitt Side Trail of the Bruce Trail.  

There were seven of us out today.  The weather today started off not too promising with rain and cloud, but the sun came out just as our hike was starting.  

Despite most of our snow in town has melted, there is still lots of snow in the woods.  

Monday, March 16, 2015

Into the Woods We Go

The weather here has finally warmed up to 0C and was a great day for a hike yesterday.    There is still lots of  snow in the woods, and the rocks on the trails are starting to show their tips, just enough to let us know they are still there.    The streams are running and there was lots of evidence of wildlife despite actually seeing any.  

We had a great hike yesterday in Speyside Woods in Halton Hills.  There were twelve of us out and we hiked about 8 km in about 2.5 hours, including a picnic lunch stop.

Lunch break 

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Is it Spring Yet ?

It's still winter here in Southern Ontario, despite what the calendar says.  We've experienced some very cold temperatures that we haven't seen in many years.   Some days dropped to -40 C with the windchill.    When it was at it's coldest we lost power for a day.  Consequently the furnace didn't work since it needs electricity.     But, this time we were prepared.   Over the last several years, the power has gone out more frequently in the winter, so we put a few measures in place so that we are prepared and this time it wasn't a such a big deal even though the it was terribly cold outside, even the car wouldn't start when it's this cold.

We have a insert in our fireplace and had enough wood cut for several days.  The insert gives off quite a bit of heat, so we were warm.   There is a ledge on the insert where I can put a pot or two and boil water and cook a hot meal.   I had plenty of candles and oil lamps for light.  I purchased a couple of years ago a solar powered/crank radio, which also had a USB port to charge a cell phone if needed and were able to listen to the news and some music.

Today the clocks changed  - "Spring forward" one hour and the first day of spring is just two weeks away.  This weeks forecast is calling for temperatures above 0 C, which should melt away the snowbanks in our driveway.

I'm itching to get back into the garden but everything is still in hibernation here covered in deep snow.  For now, I continue to enjoy the outdoors by hiking on the trails and dream of what I will plant when the ground has thawed.


 It will soon be maple syrup time here.  While out on a hike the woods we came across an area that had the tubing set up to collect the sap from the maple trees.  

Friday, February 27, 2015

Knitting Catch Up

I've taken a bit of a break from knitting the last couple of months.  I did so much the last half of last year that just needed that break.  

Posting the rest of the knitted items I did for Christmas / birthday presents.

Matching Sweaters for little sisters - Age 2.5 and 8 months.
Knitted with yarn from my stash - washable acrylics.  
Sweater for 2 year old - using washable acrylic bulky yarn .
Mary Maxim pattern and wool.
Fingerless Mitts - knitted with the softest Alpaca yarn I bought while on a field trip with my
Knitters Guild to an Alpaca Farm.   Photo doesn't do this yarn justice.   It's a beautiful
warm chocolate brown.

Cabled slouchy Hat - knitted with a washable wool blend

Little sweater for a 6 month old - using an acrylic yarn
for easy washing

Monday, February 2, 2015

Abundance of Kale

It's a snow day here today.  The sun has finally come out and the storm has passed, leaving over a foot of snow to shovel.

I've been thinking about spring and gardening again.  After taking down our one and only old and very large tree in the back yard, I will need to re-think about what to plant in the way of veggies.  For so many years our tree gave a lot of shade and was able to grow cool weather veggies, not requiring much sun.  Now we'll not have any shade in our back yard.   Perhaps now I will have much better luck with tomatoes !

This past summer we had an abundance of Kale.  Curly green, curly red, red Russian and Dinosaur.  At the end of the season I filled a large wheelbarrow from our small garden.  I froze some, made kale chips but still had so much left over.   I saw on someone else's blog the idea (can't remember where) of dehydrating and making kale powder and thought to give it a try.   After washing and dehydrating the remainder of the kale, I put the dried kale into a blender and ground it up fine.

All the remaining kale I had now fits into a couple of mason jars of kale powder.   It takes up little space and has been so handy.  I used it in scrambled eggs, meat patties, meat loaf, soups, stews, smoothies.  The possibilities are endless.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Sweaters for Teddy

Last summer, our Knitter's Guild took on a project to knit for the Alzheimer's Society.

Because I participated in the project, I was able to purchase the bear at a reduced cost.

My granddaughter will be turning two in a couple of weeks and I knitted up a couple of sweaters for Teddy Bear and a matching sweater for her.   She loves the story of the Teddy Bear Picnic.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

My One Word ..... PEACE

Do you set New Year's Resolutions ? 
Do start with good intentions ? 
Do you stick with your resolutions ? 

Over the years I've made New Year's resolutions - some stuck, some were forgotten quickly, or I made too many that it became overwhelming.  Other years I've set goals and gave myself some challenges which seemed to work better.

This year I'm trying something different.   

I'm reading "My One Word"  by Mike Ashcraft & Rachel Olsen.   The concept is to lose those long lists of resolutions and choose just one word that "represents what you most hope God will do in you, and focus on it for an entire year"

My One Word is PEACE 

I spent the better part of this weekend deciding on my One Word.  In the process, realized that I've been search for peace for a long time.  This year I will focus on my One Word.  This something I haven't done before.  By focusing on this one word, other areas of life, I think, will fall into place. 

We live in a crazy, fast paced world and so many are stressed.   My workplace is going through tremendous change this year and being the major breadwinner for my family, peace is what I need to help me get through it.     

I'm looking forward to My One Word journey this year and where it will take me. 

Come to me all who are weary and I will give you strength.  Matthew 11:28
For He himself is our Peace.  Ephesians 2:14
Peace I leave you, my peace I give unto you ... John 14:27
A heart of peace gives life to the body.  Proverbs 14:30 
Seek peace and pursue it.  Proverbs 34:14
The peace of God which surpasses all understanding ...Philippians 4:17

it does not mean to be in a place
where there is no noise, trouble
or hard work.  it means 
to be in the midst of those things and still and
be calm in your heart.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Knitting Project - Fingerless Mitts

I'm still sharing items that were hand knitted as gifts this past Christmas.  I couldn't share before as would spoil the surprise for those who were receiving and see my blog.

This Pattern came from the 2014 Knitting Calendar, which gave a new pattern for almost every day of the year.   This pattern was November 3 - 6, called Oxford Mitts by Amanda Lilley.  They have a fold-back flap that buttons and learned how to knit a button hole loop for the button.

Pattern called for sports weight yarn, 137 yds - 2 x 50g balls.  I used 1 x 100 gm ball of Berroco Vintage DK - machine washable blend of Wool, Acrylic and Nylon.  

Vintage buttons came from my mothers' button box.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Knitting Project - Cowl

At a our Knitter's Guild monthly meetings we hold a raffle.  Proceeds of the raffle go towards program and guest speakers. 

I won the raffle at a meeting a few months back --  A beautiful skein of hand painted Misti Alpaca, Baby Me Boo !    50% Baby Alpaca, 30% Merino Wool, and 20% Bamboo.

I wasn't sure what I was going to make with it.  I've been on Ravelry for a while now, but wasn't using it to it's full potential.   I learned you can just put into the search your yarn and it will search the patterns available for that particular yarn. 

I found an easy free cowl pattern called Convertible Scarf.  Was an easy quick project that can be worn around the neck or pulled up over your head and worn as a hat. 

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