Monday, March 30, 2015

Season of Change

It's that time of year.....Spring...

The month of March.  You don't know what you'll get weather wise.   We started the month with fridges temperatures, snow, ice, warm temperatures, melting snow, freezing rain, more snow.  The month came in like a lion and as the old saying goes should go out like a lamb.    A season of not wanting to let go of winter and summer trying to take hold.

The four foot snow banks in our driveway have melted considerably and now barely visible.  The snow on the front yard has melted, showing some grass, but snow is still about a foot deep in the gardens.  The ground is still frozen.

I'm itching to get in the garden again after the long winter, but must be patient as there's not too much to do until May here.

There are also seasons in my knitting too.  During the fall so much is on Christmas knitting.  Since January my inspiration for knitting has been a lull.  In these times have a supply of cotton on hand to knit up dish cloths.  These, for me are quick projects and things I can do without too much thinking and at the same time feel I've accomplished something in the evenings.

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.  

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