Tuesday, August 31, 2010

An unexpected day off

Firstly, thank you guys for your birthday well wishes! It's nice to feel the love from near and far : )

Okay, who here doesn't like a day off? A day to relax, to unwind, to maybe catch up on a few minor chores or best of all to finish up a project. Well I certainly don't mind a day off, like I had today - but definitely not under these circumstances.

Have I mentioned before that I'm on the path to a healthier, better body? Read as I'm working out and trying to eat right. Some days, those two ends of the coin actually work well together and I feel super duper. Yesterday I had a good breakfast, drank my water, made a blueberry banana smoothie and had a nice lunch. In the evening, in an attempt to get the other side of the weight loss sucess coin going I headed off to the gym to the much anticipated step class. Let me say here that I've always been kind of afraid of the step - I look down at it to make sure my feet are on there properly and that I don't go flying across the room.

So, this was my third step class and it was going great! I was burning fat and sweating like nobody's business. Suddenly, the world went off kilter and guess what? I went flying across the room. Well not exactly flying but I can't for the life of me figure out how I got so far from the step AND facing the other direction. Man, the pain shot up and down my leg, and my ankle almost instantly began to expand.

Yes, not only was my ankle hurt but my pride as well. That class was full. And there were onlookers waiting to get in the class after that one. So, yah. I had to take the day off. I am now able to put some weight on the poor thing but now it is the size of a large egg.

The plus side of this sad tale is that I got to do some extra knitting on Miralda. I am getting to the point where the rows are getting noticably shorter and the pattern is really very evident. I have no doubt at all that the Berocco Ultra Alpaca Fine was an excellent choice. I am almost finished this first skein of yarn and will have to take down my trusty-ish home made swift and get a-winding soon.

Wanna see a pic?

I am looking forward to finishing it up and blocking it. I'm going to have a blocking party soon too as Ishbel, Damson and the leaf tee all await some shaping love.

Well I'm off for now. I think my knee wants to join in on the hurting action.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Another year, another birthday

Hola peeps!

Today is my birthday and it was a nice one. Nothing spectacular or mind blowing but I felt covered in love and appreciation and those are two things that no one should be short on. Plus it was a vast improvement over last year. Those were not good times!

So the hubby bought me a beautiful foodie gift basket. See below!

In there I found camembert cheese - an acquired taste for me I have to say! Table water biscuits seasoned with black pepper to go with the cheese. A bar of Lindt white coconut chocolate, St. Dalfour's peach preserves, a box of mixed teas, roasted seaweed, bamboo rolling mat and paddle, sushi rice and white miso soup and to top it off pirouline chocolate hazelnut cookies. If you can't tell by now, I am a closet foodie. I love food mainly because I get so bored of the traditional fare we tend to cook here. Once I do my research I'll try my hand at the sushi. But since it takes years and years and more years to become a sushi master, I'll settle for just being able to make something that vaguely resembles what I get in the restaurants and hopefully taste just as good... or relatively close. LOL!

Last post I mentioned that I was going to make a white chocolate cheesecake for my birthday but it didn't happen. Went to the store and behold, no white chocolate. So I resolved to make this cake instead. Another no-bake cake. Here's evidence of my attempt:

As you can see, it's not quite like Martha's LOL! It did set up quite nicely as promised but after the minimum 6 hour leave alone requirement, it tasted like someone spilled chocolate in their ricotta. The tastes did not as they say on the cooking channel marry each other. However, a day and a spoon later revealed that this cake is really quite good! I used pulverized oreos instead of the wafers and that added even more fat, er, taste. The oreo crumbs didn't stand up to the top layer of the ricotta/chocolate mixture and kind of spread outwards to the sides. It's not a cake that can sit on the counter for a long time for obvious reasons and so it is not remembered that often by the rest of the family. But I guarantee you that once I pull out a saucer and put a slice on it, everyone wants piece. I don't think I'll make it again though. The ingredients are quite expensive (eg USD$14 for a litre of ultra pasteurized cream that I'm not using everyday...) and a pill to find.

Okay, so that's the cooking/ food section of the blog for the day. On to knitting. No pics (as it kind of looks almost the same as you last saw it) but Miralda is coming along beautifully as last indicated. I am now to the diamonds. Somewhere along the way, I neglected to decrease three stitches so now I have 284 instead of the required 281. I am going to fudge it and take off the extra stitches at the ends and hope that doesn't mess my knitting life up too badly.

So that's it for me today. Another year God has blessed me with good life and the ability to enjoy my family and that's the best birthday gift I can think of!

Sunday, August 15, 2010


One of the first things I did this morning after getting out of bed was to reach across to my bedside table and grab Miralda and start to knit on her. This is really shaping up beautifully in the pattern itself and the colour of the shawl. Since this is a bottom up shawl (well that's what I call it anyways - is that the correct term?) there's alot of the knitted fabric in hand after each row passes and this berroco ultra alpaca feels heavenly. No sneezing or itching here so maybe that other yarn for the clogs as mentioned in a previous post had in a different combination or different fiber content. Anyways, this a total joy so far.

Just a heads up though - this pattern comes with an two errata sheets here and here

Here's a pic to show you how far I've gotten:

 Besides the knitting, I have a few other plans that my husband in particular is looking forward to - the main one being my first attempt at making a no-bake white chocolate cheesecake presumably for my birthday on Wednesday (it takes 24 hours to set - or so the recipe tells me) but I somehow think that he'll get into it once it's set tomorrow.

What are your plans for this beautiful Sunday morning?

Friday, August 06, 2010

Let the knitting begin (again anyways)

After a fair amount of postman stalking, my expected package arrived. I am very happy to finally have in my hands the St-Denis Nordique yarn in ruby wine, Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine yarn and the St-Denis Magazine issue 2. Here are a few of my cell phone pics attached:

St-Denis Nordique in Ruby Wine and St-Denis Magazine Issue 2

The St-Denis Nordique is 100% wool and does not feel terribly soft under my fingers. It doesn't feel terrible either - just a tad coarse. Not as coarse as hemp but not as soft as Malabrigo lace. The colour is deep and rich and to my untrained eye the balls looks the same without any mild variations of red.

Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine in Oceanic Mix

Now I must confess that I am totally in love with the Berroco. I really wasn't sure what to expect with this yarn and the colour. But the colour is totally amazing. It is a beautiful mix of blue and subtle greens that the cell camera isn't picking up. The name Oceanic Mix is absolutely spot on as it reminds me of our beaches on a hot scorching day - much like today! It's soft and a bit hairy. Which brings to mind a memory of itchy nostrils and skin back when I was knitting some clogs out of an alpaca blend of yarn. Someone suggested to me then freezing the yarn before knitting and that did work. I don't suspect or rather I hope not to have any problems of that kind with this beautiful yarn.

I'm torn as to which one to start first! The Juneberry Triangle or the Miralda Shawl. Decisions decisions!