Catching up on many things

Knitting


I’m making good progress on Brighton Take Too, the cardigan for my sister. I love the pattern, I adore the yarn (Rowan Cashsoft DK) and the combination of the two makes for a really great knitting experience. I did encounter a small technical hitch yesterday…

I was knitting merrily on the left front. Mum and I were having an evening with a DVD (something that hasn’t happened for a few days due to being really busy) so I got a ton of work done and was almost at the armhole. I was feeling so proud of how much I had accomplished. Then, just as the DVD was getting to the end, I looked down at my needles and quietly said “crap”.

I’d forgotten to change needles after the garter-stitch hem. So I’d knitting half a front on 3.25mm rather than 4.0mm. This is not a mistake that can be easily fudged.

Riiiip.

I’m feeling proud of myself because, rather than trying to fudge or block it out or something, I actually ripped it back to the end of the garter stitch and started again. This is a huge change from what I would have done a year ago and I feel that it shows progress in my knitting because I’m actually willing to rip back and re-do rather than try to work around my mistakes.

Still annoyed with myself for making that kind of mistake, though.

Cable/TV

I got brave and actually called my cable company! They’re coming out tomorrow to install the new DVR. As the cable company only has an HD-compatible DVR, I’ve also added in the basic HD package. So I’ll be watching House in crystal-clear hi-def. Yay.

Road Trip


On Saturdy, Mum and I went on a bit of a road trip. We drove down to Mahone Bay, stopping in at a yarn store in Upper Tantallon on the way. It was a beautiful sunny day and the drive was lovely. The first yarn store was tiny with a very chatty store owner, but she had some beautiful yarn. Mum bought some pretty stuff to make a shawl (feather and fan, making up as she goes along apparently) and I bought a skein of Malabrigo Worsted to make a hat.

At some stage I’m considering using Mal for a sweater but I want to see how it knits up, wears and washes before I commit to it and I thought a one skein hat would be an ideal test. It gets cold here. There is no such thing as too many hats.

Then it was on to Mahone Bay and lunch at the Biscuit Eater Cafe. We always go there for lunch and tea because their food is amazing and the service is so friendly. Plus they have chocolate expresso shortbread, which has to be tasted to be thoroughly appreciated. I also, um, picked up a couple of books there although not Nancy Drew early editions this time. Hee πŸ™‚

After lunch, we wandered along for a good poke around in Have A Yarn, still my favourite yarn store. I managed to find a skein of Fleece Artist Sea Wool in a gorgeous pale green/pink combo that I love. Mum bought some in dark burgundy/purple that I nearly took, but she was merciful and knicked it for myself so that I didn’t have to choose between the two colourways.

A skein of Handmaiden Casbah also fell into my hands, in variegated green and cream. It’s beautiful. It’s 81% merino/9% cashmere/10% nylon. Possibly the most indulgent socks ever. I love it.

Mum also picked up a skein of Tanis fingering in dark green and a pattern for some cable eyelet socks that she’s quite excited about. Yup, I’ve got her knitting socks πŸ™‚

With yarn cravings satisfied, we stopped in at the Tea Brewery for some loose leaf tea and then we hit the road to go home. All in all, a very satisfying and fun trip with some gorgeous pretties to show for it.

Cooking/Experimental Mondays


It seems that while Mum has been here, Mondays have become the day that I try out new dishes on her. Hence Experimental Mondays. So far we’ve had:

Week 1: Baked mushroom risotto (from Comfort Food) – huge hit, definitely one to do again. A little fiddly so possibly not one to make for one person, but it was absolutely fantastic.

Week 2: Meatballs in tomato sauce (from Comfort Food) – didn’t season the meat well enough and need a better substitute for pasata, but still very good and to be tried again. I have three portions in the freezer πŸ™‚

Week 3: Pork and ginger dumplings (from new Chinese cookbook) – another big hit, much easier to make than I thought it would be and the dumplings are probably best put together on the day of cooking rather than the night before. The dipping sauce was delicious and these are definitely being done again.

Week 4: Wild mushroom and broccoli flan (from Vegetarian Cooking) – very fiddly, good thing this was being done on a public holiday rather than after work. Needed two people to actually get it done in under two hours. The end result was really good and I’m enjoying eating the left-overs for lunch, but I’d need to find ways to stream-line the process if I do it again.

At the weekend there was also wonton soup (to use up the remaining wonton skins – huge hit for both of us) and a bittersweet Mexican chocolate torte that is fantastic. I’m keeping the Experimental Mondays idea after Mum goes because it’s a great excuse to try out new things.

Um, Mum declares that she’s going to miss my cooking immensely and does she have to go home? I think this is one of the nicest things she’s ever said πŸ˜€

Other miscellaneous stuff

The stuff I am doing at work right now, affectionately known as The Zombie Project (it keeps coming back from the dead and eating my brainz!), is horrible and evil but will look excellent on my end of year review. At least my boss is also hating it so we can commiserate. And my cubicle-mate is working on it as well. Our cubicle has become the cubicle of misery and doom.

Mum goes home in a week. Although there’s a part of me looking forward to having the house to myself again, there’s another part of me that’s really going to miss her. We’ve rubbed along pretty well and we’ve managed to work out a good friends relationship where neither of us feels that we’re beholden to or required to report into the other. I’m feeling much happier about her six month long visit next year now. In fact, I’m kind of looking foward to it.

With her here as more of a resident than a guest next year, I need to make sure that I take time to do stuff (fannish stuff, website maintenance etc.) that has been allowed to slide while I’ve been ‘entertaining’. There has been no writing and minimal keeping up with fan stuff and I miss that, darn it.

My sister will be visiting over (Canadian) Thanksgiving. This is awesome indeed πŸ™‚

Also, I’m really, really hoping that Doctor Who is aired the weekend before the anniversary. The fact that this will mean I have new Doctor Who on or just before my birthday is entirely beside the point…

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