Thursday, February 28, 2013

Three On Thursday

What I'm liking right now....



1.  Working on my granny square blanket has been a joy, I'm about 2/3 the way through and need to find an edge that I like.  It will look excellent in my living room and since it's made of wool (and a little mohair) it will be very snuggly and warm.


2.  Blueberries!  Last fall I froze 10 lbs of blueberries to help fill the void of fresh fruit through winter.  They're local and wild and sweet and I'm eating them every day until they're gone.


3.  Music, but non in particular.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Monday, Monday....

It's a beautiful day out today in my part of the world, so nice in fact that it was a joy to get up and start the week (having a great weekend make it pretty easy too).

About a month ago I posted about my first attempt at cheese making.  I had obtained fresh, local milk and followed all of the directions and have since been lovingly checking and turning it.  Well, the nice thing about making Colby cheese is that you only really have to wait a month before you can eat it instead of leaving it to age for 3 or more months.  So last evening we invited friends over to help us crack open my first fromage.  There were a few spots of mold on the outer edge, both top and bottom that had not penetrated the rind and cream wax, I was so worried that it was ruined and delighted to open it up to find creamy, smooth, unblemished cheese.  It smelled mild but heavenly and tasted creamy and mild but not as mild as it smelled (which was a nice surprise) and the texture...ooooo it was just right on the tooth.  Not too soft and of course with a little chewiness closer to the rind.  All in all, I'm very pleased with the result.  It's delicious and I made it with my own two hands.


We made an event of it with crackers, wine and fruit.



Fromage!

Remember that nice fabric I told you about...the one pictured on the top banner of my blog....well it does go so well in my living room and will probably become cushions or a lap quilt or something for that room.  So I decided I needed a big granny blanket to accompany it.  I have so many colours in my stash that I just knew I could pull the look together.  With fabric in hand, I searched through the stash and this is what I came up with....



I narrowed it down to 6 colours on a background of cream (3 greens and 3 pinks), all in very earthy hues.


I'm having more fun making this than should be legally allowed.  I had forgotten how much faster crochet is than knitting too, which is giving me a lot of instant gratification watching this grow at break-neck speed. 

Hope your weekend was filled with colour, flavour and friends also.  Have a great week everyone and Happy Monday!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Friday

Something girly and pretty that I made for me.


Happy Friday everyone, hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Sanity

"Sanity can be measured by stitches per inch, relative to project size."  Chantelle


Welcome to my world of lace and frustration...The pattern I'm working on is straight forward and quick to memorize.  The problem is, as always, my swatch told me lies.  My swatch was nice and snug and my project is not.  The gauge is off, not by much...but off.  Being a reasonable person, common sense is telling me to frog it and start over with smaller needles...BUT, but no listen....I think I can get away with the looser gauge on the lace work and if I really have to, drop a quarter to half a mm when I get to the top stockinette stitches....no really, I think it can work.  On a happy note, the yarn I'm using is sooooooooo nice.  It doesn't look like much on the cone but the more I work with it, the more in love with it I get.  It's a blend of natural browns and has a lovely springiness that I wasn't expecting to get from it in a finished knit.  It's also much softer than it looks.



I got it for a terrific price several years ago at a going out of business sale.  There were a few more cones in different colours and in hind sight, I should have bought them all.  But at the time I was a brand new knitter, so I've forgiven myself.



The lace is delicate and feminine and I think the sweater will be beautiful.  I'm not really a lace knitter, nor do I have much experience using lace weight yarns.  Although it's taking forever to do a single round at 396 stitches each, it's been very satisfying to feel the lace grow between my fingers.


Monday, February 11, 2013

Weekends

This weekend I wasn't supposed to have both days off of work but thanks to a Nor-Easter I did!  We were given lots of warning about the storm so, in the hopes of having an old fashioned storm day, I got myself prepared.  I brought in some knitting supplies (including some knitting machines) from the studio so that I wouldn't have to go outside, made sure the larder was stocked, the generator had gas and of course I didn't have to check for candles, batteries and bottled water because I'm always prepared for 3 days.  The storm came, it was awesome, we were storm-stayed and didn't even loose power.  I stayed in my jammies, made blueberry/raspberry shortcake, did some knitting, some crocheting and watched a whole bunch of mindless television.  It was a perfect weekend.

During my recent "granny" mania, I found a pattern on Ravelry for these lovely and strange slippers, consisting of 6 granny squares each.  I love them.


This is the slippers lying flat, you can see how you leave one seam open to fit the foot in.  Clever huh?



Now that I have my granny mania satisfied, at least for now, I can move on to other things.  I'm considering making myself this sweater...



I love this book by Lucinda Guy, very pretty knits and the sweater shown here is just stunning.  I have a lovely 4 ply fine Jacob's blend wool in natural brown that's been waiting for something special like this.  I knitted a test swatch and the Jacob's yarn have me the perfect gauge...not that that ever really means that the gauge will remain correct through the project...as I'm sure you know...swatches lie.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Of Cheese And Fibre

What a great weekend spent doing the things I truly enjoy.  Saturday morning I woke up with one thing on my mind.....Make Cheese!  So after about 6 hours of work I had this lovely Monteray Jack to show for it.


Notice the lovely cheese board it's sitting on?  After ordering my cheese making supplies for my Birthday, I woke up on the morning of my big day to find that Mr. Homesteader wasn't quite finished with his gift giving yet...


Isn't that a lovely accompaniment to what I'd already received.  I think the cheese is going to turn out lovely, I only have one concern about potential dryness.  I had difficulty getting the curd to firm up and from what I understand, cutting a softer curd can lead to too much loss of butter fat and I have to say that my whey did look a little more rich that last week.  So fingers crossed.  I know it tastes good, we'll just have to wait and see about the texture.

I sorted through a bit of yarn this weekend also.  I had purchased these lovely skeins of single ply, fingering weight from MacAusland's Woollen Mill.  The singles have quite a lot of energy in them, making them difficult to knit with if you don't wash and hang them first.  The kitchen smelled so good with a sink full of wool taking a nice warm bath.  When I was finished wringing them, I hung them on hangers with a coffee mug as a weight.  It's a perfect weight for a 100g skein of MacAusland's yarn and with the dryness in the house this time of year, they dried almost completely overnight.



I wish I could take a picture that's a true representation of the colours but I only have my smart phone for a camera and no special lighting.


The weekend came to a close with a wonderful Sunday Lunch made especially for me by Mr. H.  He cleverly dreamed up this masterpiece and it was one of the best meals I've ever had.  Pork tenderloin medallions breaded and fried in olive oil, thick cut potato slices...again fried in olive oil with a side of carrots and a lovely fried medley of both sweet and hot peppers.


And just when I thought it was over, on Monday, with 2:00pm fast approaching (that's when I was supposed to start work), Mr. texted me and said you might as well stay put and I'll work the rest of the day.  So that ended up being another whole day off.  Sweet.  So today, I'm repaying the favour and he's staying home for the day and I'm working.  Win win.

Dave, well Dave hasn't been working too hard lately at all.  He's been doing some of this....

 and a little of this....


It's such a hard life.