January Finish Number 2

Saturday David & I took Deuce on a long overdue walk in the park. We headed out to Richmond Park and walked up to the ponds and back.  Deuce loves the park – despite it being pretty nippy he ran around like a mad little thing, played with another puppy (they chased each other  – what Deuce lacks in speed he makes up for with great turning ability. Kind of like a rabbit!) then totally crashed out in the back of the car on the way home.  For once David didn’t have to work so it was a nice treat to have a Saturday just pottering around with him. 

We watched our Love Film delivery – Deja Vu, a movie with Denzel Washington about a guy who goes back a couple days in time to stop a bomb going off on a crowded ferry.  Very silly with lots of continuity inconsistancies. The concept was cool – the ability to fold time and peer into the past –  but lacked punch in execution.  Instead of a clean one-two it was more like:  one, and a, quarter, a half, er, 5/8ths…  two!  I tinked David’s yak hat during the movie and finished it up before the end credits so at least it was a productive 2 hours!  Just scraped in that second finish.  Hmmm I wonder what else I could finish today?

First things first though – time for coffee!  David is working (sigh) so my turn to pull the shots.

January Finish: Aeolian Shawl

Wooop woop! Bound off my Aeolian shawl yesterday, blocked and pinned it (which nearly made me crazy. There are so many dang points!!). Sigh. You know how I knit, mostly its a sort of inner compulsion which drives me to a project and keeps me going until I finish… which is how this little guys started way back in April last year.  I got to 15 rows short of bind off by July but well, the vastness of it sort of overwhelmed me, and then I got distracted and it was summer then sock summit… and before I knew it it was January 2010!  Anyways, Marja and I made a pact to finish at least one thing every month this year. She’s managed to finish 3, this is my second, though the first, a tuque for David, somehow doesn’t feel like a real finish – partly because it’s too small and I have to undo it and tink back to knit it a bit bigger.

I do love lace – how it transforms from a slightly ugly and wrinkly thing to something of elegance and beauty.  Here it was finished, but unblocked.

Blocking – all those dang pins! Each stinky point has a stinky pin. Boy was I happy to be finished blocking.  Even more happy than when I was finished knitting if you can believe it.

And finally, the finished product. Am very pleased with it.  That Elizabeth Freeman is a creative genius.

Voila, my Midnight Aeolus.  It’s very pretty. The yarn is Old Maiden Aunt merino/silk in colourway ‘Midnight’.  Gorgeous to knit with, and so nice against my skin!  Lilith (the woman who is Old Maiden Aunt) will be one of the vendors at Knit Nation.   All her colours are so beautiful – they remind me of old school fairy tales – pretty pretty colors with a hint of darkness.  So romantic!

I have this insane urge to knit socks out of laceweight.  Sheesh how small would my needles have to be?!? LOL.  Sock club members, watch out!

Missed Little Sophia yesterday – she was home sick from school, apparently the tummy bug that made the rounds in the City is now making the rounds in schools.  B says though that she is loving being home with mom & dad, except, Sophia says, it would be better if she wasn’t stuck in bed.  Will catch up with her next week.

Can’t believe we are into February already. Is this what happens when we get older – time speeds up?  I feel like i’m careening away in a dodge’em car that has somehow escaped from the track.  Lots of fun, but a little daunting to be so free in the big wide world!

Red Noodles

Wed I got some nice chunks of shin from the supermarket, and stewed it for 5 hours for niu rou mian (taiwanese style beef noodle soup).  A couple star anise, some chinese kardamom, szechuan peppers and some other seed herb things really add the right depth and complexity to the broth.  I need to get some doubanjiang that is not chilli based – i made do this time with soy sauce and a more bean based chilli sauce (rather than chilli based bean sauce) which was fine but I like the broth to pack a bit more punch.   I meant to make man tou as well, but I only got started after lunch and ran out of time. I got distracted also making these pecan bars dipped in chocolate ganache by the Barefoot contessa.  Incredibly rich.  I think I’d like to make them again omitting the honey as I really am not a fan of the flavour of unset honey, and I’d chop the pecans into smaller bits, and I’d use a lasagne pan instead as the caramel bubbled out of the flat sheet. Oh and i’d make sure the edges of the crust raised up like a pie to contain all the caramel!

I got a little stiff by the end of the night – and woke up on Thursday really stiff – coughing hurt my sides, laughing, moving my arms.  I drove up to see Jenny & Oliver, and she made some yummy risotto. We visited the awesome crockery place and I got some more of my soup bowls and a beautiful salad bowl.  Came back and got Marja on the way as we had knit night at mine last night.

Remember the pottery painting we did last week?  After the kids were done I took 15 minutes to finish my plate with a rooster. I thought the tail would look pretty with the different glazes.  Marja had picked it up along with the kids pottery and brought it with her.  I am really pleased with it, despite the rooster being somewhat off centre!  We’re going to go back and I’m going to make more plates! I wish I’d done white glaze strokes around the rooster for texture and effect, but given that I had no idea how the glazes would work together and so was doing some serious blind off pisting, I’m really happy with how it turned out.  Next up a chickie plate.

Knit night was good fun – we got stuck in with the wine, and then ordered in some food from Addie’s Thai, though I made a colossal error in judgment. I thought i’d try something new and different… and ordered their noodles in red soup.  Hmmmm.  Well they weren’t kidding.   It looked like this:

And though I like to think I’m relatively adventurous with food (you can’t not be when brought up with Chinese food… alot of it is strange and weird relative to the aisles of Safeway, but tasty nonetheless).  This was.. well, not as bad as it looked, but not much better either.  Bleck.  Lesson learned, never to try a dish the staff can’t describe to you in terms that don’t include the menu descriptions (“special red soup”).

Everyone was joking about i-tampons and i-maxipads, and I totally was out of the loop. Had to finally ask – and was answered with all heads turned my way and total silence.  Then Marja pipes up with ‘I can’t hang out with you – you aren’t cool enough if you don’t know!’  Apparently I’ve been away on the moon for the big news – Apple’s new ipad!  lol.  Well I am in lala land most of the time, so go figure.  I googled it (thank the Interwebz) and it looks like quite the nifty gadget.  I really do live in a bubble. Thank goodness for my knit group or I’d lose the thread completely.

And I’m almost finished my Aeolian shawl!  I finished the last 3 rows last night with the girls, and have only the bind off to do now.  Will post a picture once it’s been blocked.  Cheryl it’s a beautiful pattern, though pretty involved (most of it is sort of alone knitting. Talking to other people increases the risk of tinking way too much!).

Will check out those books Daniele, thanks! And Yseult, thanks for delurking! Big kisses, tink 34 stitches, knit forwards and back, ssk 4 times, and bind off. ;P  Lol – one day you will be a master at the language!

Float Like a Butterfly, Sting Like a Bee

David and I went to a boxercise class at the gym last night.  I used to love boxercise classes (a long long time ago when I was much fitter!) so we were really looking forward to the evening.  We weren’t disappointed!  I was pretty nervous having D as my partner – he’s a little clumsy sometimes and I could just see him missing my glove and smashing in my nose.  He came close a few times I have to say.  He throws a mean punch and when he used force you could feel it. Ouch!  But other than the close calls, it was great throwing punches.  We didn’t do any hooks, just uppercuts and straight punches.  Also sit ups which I hate and haven’t done in years.

I’m aiming to finish a knitting project every month since I have altogether way too many WIPs that I want to have finished tout de suite! This month I dug out my Aeolian shawl (here is the original pattern) which has been sadly neglected, 15 rows from finishing, since last summer.  The thing with this kind of shawl is it starts at the top edge in the middle, with each row growing progressively longer.   Here’s a great diagram I found with a photo tutorial to illustrate what I mean.

Triangular Shawl Construction
by Emily Wessel

Each row increases in length and by the time you get to the edge, there are a heck of alot of stitches to knit.  I just got a bit fed up working through the stitches…. but strangely enough once I picked it up again the rows weren’t too bad.  I now have 8 rows left… so well on my way to my January FO.

Tea & Coffee

Met up with Marja, Kate, Kate and Yuvee at Starbucks in the morning for some knitting. We sat there, four of five of us knitting on the same thing – the most recent Knit Love Club sock.  I think young (okay okay, youngish. or at least not OAP) people knitting is still a curiosity.  Our group ranged fro 22 to 38 years old.  We had a lady of about 60 approach us, absolutely thrilled that we were knitting, and a 40ish chap stand in the corner watching us suspiciously for a little while.  He seemed utterly enthralled and confused as to what we were doing!  We moved on to Chamomile (I think that’s the spelling) in Kingly Court – it’s the cutest little tea shop that does lunch and afternoon tea.  I had a rosebud tea, and Nora had a Turkish apple tea that reminded me of my girl’s week at Turunc bay.  Caught with with Arianne, Ali, and Tricia!  A really nice morning, and a visit to Buzz at All the Fun of the Fair.

Found out today that I got into the Loopy Ewe club – very exciting as I’ve never been in her club before and have always admired her work – Sheri’s business inspired me to start Socktopus – and her customer service is really second to none.

Thai 101

Last night Ed ordered from Thai Kitchen 101 – very impressive menu and tasty! They had sticky rice which is my all time favourite, and we had sea bass wrapped in lettuce leaves. Also very tasty. Will have to see if they will deliver over here!  We also played Risk – the first time I’d ever played the game.  I remember thinking as a kid that I wasn’t that interested in the whole world domination thing, but boy, when Ed started attacking my territories (I was holding Europe) something in me when a little beserk.  I’d refrained before from attacking Greenland, as I just wasn’t that interested in holding North America, but when he attacked my poor little Iceland, well – gloves off. No more Mr. Nice. Guy!

My next turn, I reinforced Great Britain, then regained Iceland and advanced in force onto North America via Greenland, decimating his armies in the process.  Surprisingly satisfying!   At a point when I had 4 of his territories left to conquer (with only one foot soldier on each territory, vs my terrifying yellow peril of 10 foot soldiers), David asked me what my goal is. I had to think, since I really didn’t have any other than getting back at Ed for trying to wipe out my armies!  I think I said that I just wanted to not die.  Not great for a military commander, I think.

Then Ali reminded me of my mission which was to take the Australian and North American continents. I already held Australia, and lucky for me that my personal vendetta took me down the route of capturing, or er, ‘liberating’ North America from Ed’s evil clutches, so the two dovetailed nicely.  With 4 territories left in North America it was, in the words of Nigella, a doddle, embarassingly easy.   A few more rolls of the dice and Ed’s army was no more!  World domination, here I come!

Off to walk Deuce then for tea and knitting with the ladies down at Kingly Court followed by an afternoon of paperwork. Gotta keep that balance!