Saturday, April 17, 2010

April Showers

It's mid-April and showers have started albeit only a day or two, so far.
I'm not much into the rain, although it was a necessity in Portland with the dry dry weather there, a welcomed addition to foster the dry crops. In Victoria, it seems like it's mostly wind here. Being surrounded by water lends itself to that, I suppose. Near daily, the wind whips down the road bringing dust into my eye.

Some things finished since March - I finished my Malabrigo Hat in Tuareg.
This pic is not a great one - but you can see the design.

Coronet Cable Hat

Here is the hat, on me:
Coronet Cable Hat

The Ravelympics Celebration went off without a hitch, well, mostly. We had a fabulous breakfast at Pagliacci's downtown. They were so quick and attentive that I didn't get much done in the way of the prize draws, but we had a great breakfast, and I circulated some lavender sachets, celebratory bubbles, and chocolate bunny ears. After breakfast, we headed over to Knotty By Nature and proceeded to draw for the prizes; prior to claiming, we each shared our challenge project, the outcome, and our lessons learned. A good time was had by all.

In recent weeks, I came down with a bit of non-creativity and disinterest, likely compounded by a lack of sleep. I finally finished the outstanding woven scarf that I started at the Ravelympics. I think the magic I felt for the knitter's loom has gone.

In order to jump start my creativity a bit, I started a new quick project called Turkish Bed Socks by Churchmouse Yarn and Teas in Seattle. These bed slippers can be made from 1 skein of Koigu KPPPM, which as I was knitting I discovered this yarn is not superwash, which is disappointing, since the colors are so brilliant.

Koigu KPPPM pic 1

The pattern itself has a very interesting construction - starts at the ankle, turns a heel, and then, knits a length which forms the base part of the foot. These 2 pieces are seamed, and then, knit in the round to form the foot, and decrease to the toe. One of the ladies who works at Beehive informed me this is the way the Turkish people knit these socks; she said they are available for just $1 a pair at the market.

At the moment, I'm focused on trying to finish my b-side cardi. I tried it on today and discovered that it fits quite well, I'm actually looking forward to putting the flappy collar on (which as you might know was a bit of a concern for me).
I seamed the sleeves into the body, and am currently doing the button band. I need to do a bit of calculation there as I have 6 buttons @ 1" instead of the expected 7@1-1/4", so I will have to space it a bit differently. Hopefully, pics to follow, along with pics of the cool buttons I picked out months ago and have been waiting to use with this. I've just been debating with myself whether to leave the cuffs down and put the smaller buttons on as a decorative note, or to fold the cuffs up and then, put the buttons on. I imagine my gauge is a bit off, as my knitted arms are a bit skinnier than I expected (or could be I put some weight on my arms). Perhaps this will work better to use this as an evening sweater for my summer tops, when the tops are thinner, or my arms are bare.

No big birthday celebration this year, as I felt more adjusted to life in Victoria, and frankly I was so focused on Ravelympics, it was there and gone before I knew it. For my birthday dinner, I had my choice, and went with my parents to Pescatores Restaurant, downtown near the Inner Harbour, for the first time. The restaurant has a very warm and cozy feel having high ceilings and walls painted a deep red-orange color with a few tastefully placed lamps with red shades which make it feel warmer.
I really enjoyed myself.

For dinner, I had a black cod special which was literally a "melt-in-your-mouth" meal, and substituted roasted vegies for the salad which were very yummy. For dessert, bananas foster - basically a big crepe filled with ice cream, and bananas flambed. Unfortunately, for me, not a ring-side seat to see the flambe part. I think that's something they try to do in the US. Here it's tastefully by closed doors, and you only see the successful sweet mush that comes of the bananas. Very yummy.

For my birthday, I received a swap package from the Uk with handdyed blue yarn, and some lovely chocolate treats - one a bar of chocolate with orange and cardamom which I haven't broken into yet, and some caramel drops which are very yummy from Hotel Chocolat (man, I wish I lived closer - I'd be there...well, almost every day).

This week the exciting news is that I won two tickets to the Young Life Home Renovation Tour this year. I went today with a friend and saw some fabulous homes and saw several neat ideas for organizing kitchens, and bathrooms. Most notably, tiling the entire area around wood stoves and glass enclosure showers seems very popular this year, and more people are adding tile accents using clear tiles on coloured grout. Interesting use of shades called "Sheer Weave" - basically, a plastic mesh on a roller that is used to shade a window, keeps 90% of the UV out, and lets the light in; while at night, provides privacy as people inside a lighted room show only as shadows.

Also, finally saw a house using the "Tilt and Tip" windows I saw in Germany 10 years ago, part of a MAC renovation. These ones were floor to ceiling deck doors, which when the handle was tipped up, the window could be tilted in allowing air to come in, without opening the entire window/door. I love these windows. Hopefully, one day I will have a house where I can install these and enjoy them.