Friday, December 31, 2010

Not Better But Equal

This post equals the number of 2009 posts and although, I could post twice today - that seems like cheating. Seems I've developed a Repetitive Stress Injury in my right thumb joint which makes knitting and pretty much anything painful.....the knitting marathon for those sweaters for Liam and Quinn have done me in. I'm supposed to rest it and then in the New Year I can get a brace or I can get laser treatment but I do not have to stop knitting. Thank goodness! This morning I was moping around thinking I can't knit anymore, that means I have to sell my business and what will I do with myself, blah, blah, blah - yup, I can be slightly dramatic when the need arises.

Last night I was working away on Umaro - I know, I'm not supposed to be knitting but really - ignore Jared - I don't think so....... Emma comes in the family room with a plate of pomegranate seeds. She tipped the plate slightly and guess what? Yup brilliant pomegranate juice all over me and Jared - I mean Umaro :0 She was really, really sorry and a quick rinse in cold water got the juice off the blanket and off the ball of yarn I was knitting with - lucky for her! And now I have to wait until everything is dry to knit anymore....so my thumb will get some rest.

Do you all have plans for New Year's Eve? Not us really, my dad is coming over for appetizers and dinner - and then it's probably Greg, me and Emma with Dick Clark's Rockin Eve. Happy New Year to all of you - may 2011 be happy, healthy and prosperous for everyone!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

This post brought to by the pony.....

videoWe love Gidget as I'm sure you've all gathered by now - Emma's show season starts in February so this was our first schooling to get ready for the new season. A schooling is where they take the ponies and horses off property to another barn/arena to have lessons. The change of environment is good for everyone - gets the riders used to the reactions of the ponies and gets the ponies used to being away from home. The jumps are fancier and bigger so it's good experience for everyone.

Here she is all dressed up in her fancy clothes - Emma's coach is a very traditional British riding coach and so the ponies and the riders are to be dressed in sedate colors. Navy wraps and Baker Sheets are the standard dress for shows and schoolings - I have to say, all the ponies look pretty amazing dressed in similiar colors.
The trailer couldn't come into the driveway because the day before it got stuck all over the place so the girls walked their ponies to the property entrance to get loaded - it was a beautiful day and a beautiful picture.

And the sepia - just because I figured out that setting on the camera while watching.
To Creative Hands - Emma's hat from the last post was bought at the Royal Winter Fair - cute eh?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Knitting Complete

Here is Quinn's Sweater - same as Liam's but Tanis Green Label. I'm very happy to report that she loved it - she put it on right away and didn't take it off. She loved the puppy buttons - I caught a glimpse of Liam outside today and he was wearing his sweater too. So all is good in the knitting department except for my hands which have been aching since Christmas day - I've been trying not to knit too much but Jared has been (ok so when I say Jared, I mean Umaro)looking longingly at me practically begging for attention. I cast on a pair of socks for Greg in Zen Yarn Garden Serenity 20 - so nice and soft but they aren't far along - truly I feel guilty knitting them because Jared gets so jealous - :).
A wonderful Christmas was had by all, everyone was very happy with their gifts - I ordered myself a Kindle 3G from Amazon - it won't be here until the end of January so I'm very anxious!
Emma got this cute hat from her big sister - she's been wearing it everywhere. My mini vacation starts tomorrow (store is closed until Tuesday, January 4th)and I am really looking forward to it.
There's still a few blog posts due to catch up and surpass last year so you haven't heard the last of me yet.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Busy Knittin'


I'm in the home stretch - Quinn's sweater just needs the hood finished and the sleeves. I'm knitting it out of Tanis Green Label in Sweetheart and it's sooooo nice. Hope the little bum likes it - she's been known to say she wants something and then won't have anything to do with it when it comes to putting it on. Liam's sweater is finished - Mission Falls 1824 Wool was the choice for his. He picked out tool buttons and I think they look really cute! Knitting Pure and Simple pattern Children's Neckdown Cardigan #981 was the pattern I used for both.
The Lovely Linda brought by 2 finished projects out of Rowan Kidsilk Haze - both Churchmouse Classic Patterns.
The first is the Two Way Ruffled Scarf which is actually a pattern for 2 scarves than can be worn seperately or together as pictured. Each scarf takes one skein of Kidsilk Haze.
The next is the Mohair Bias Loop which used two skeins of Kildsilk Haze as well. This is knit on the bias and the ends are grafted together. It's so light and can be worn doubled as a cowl or around your shoulders as a wrap. I love it!
The new Vogue came in today - Winter 2010/11 - I think it's time for tea and a browse through it to see what's in there to be knit.
I must admit I'm really looking forward to finishing up the Christmas knitting because then I can resume my affair with Jared...........oops I mean Umaro!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Goals

Way back at the beginning of the year I said I had some goals - I can only remember 2 and am too lazy to go back and find out for sure. One was to quit smoking which has happened - I actually passed the 11 month mark without even noticing it. Usually I'm right on top of that so maybe it's getting easier. Well, it most definitely is - there are still times when the urge is there and sometimes really strong but for the most part I think about it less and less. It is, without a doubt, the hardest thing I have ever done in my life and has probably used up all my willpower reserves but it's worth it. I will see my 50th birthday as a non smoker who has cut her risk of heart disease by 50%. No small feat since my mother passed away at 62 from heart disease and I smoked for 30 plus years!

I also remember saying I wanted to blog more often - well, that's been kind of dismal, even I will admit. I have to blog at least 5 more times before the end of the year to beat 2009 by 1 so that's my plan. Wouldn't it be nice to blog everyday? Or maybe every other day?

On the knitting front, I am, of course, inspired to knit way too many projects before Christmas. I'm working on sweaters for Liam and Quinn -both want sweaters with hoods and buttons. I've got gorgeous mitts picked up for my aunt but I'm thinking I might switch them to my best friend because she happened to mention she wanted thrum mittens. These aren't thrum - they are to be found here - I don't know I'm just dying to knit red and white mitts - must be the season!

Thursday, December 09, 2010

New FO

I whipped off a cowl for the owner of the barn where Emma rides. It's a version of the pattern that appears in Winter2010/11 Knit Simple. There's actually a couple of cowls in there that I'd love to make. This one is one strand of Mission Falls 136 Superwash Merino and 2 strands of Rowan Kidsilk Haze. It called for ribbon instead of a loop but I'm on a time crunch and loved the look of just the loop.






Sarah was kind enough to model it for me - I know she's going to hate that I posted this picture because her eyes are closed. I'm now onto a pair of Thrum mittens that need to be finished for Saturday as well. They are for Emma's riding coach who spends hours and hours in a freezing arena working with the girls and their ponies. Then it's a sweater for my dad and I'd just love to knit those fish hats for my grandchildren - it never fails the closer to Christmas it gets the more inspired I am to knit for people. Why couldn't I just come up with these ideas a few months ago?
Don't forget Christmas Open House this Saturday from 10am-4pm - everything but spinning wheels is 25% off!

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Some Reporting to do....

I have a new crush....his name is Jared and he designs the most amazing patterns ever! This was posted on his blog a while back and the pattern was just recently released. I'm in love! I even ordered the yarn in to make it exactly like Jared's - ok, well, that and I tried it out of something else but wasn't getting the look....and the 'look' was what inspired me. There's even enough for 3 more blankets in stock in case you're interested!

December's edition of the Dream Club arrived yesterday and it's a yummy blend of blues and pinks called Candy Floss! The sock pattern is called Lake Effect - really nice pattern!





I finished my Fifth Avenue Cowl - 2 skeins of Tanis Fiber Arts Green Label in Shadow did the trick!

Our Holiday Open House is Saturday, December 11, 2010 so mark your calendars for a day of yummy treats, hot cider, specials and door prizes! From 10am-4pm.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Recipe Requests


I've had a few requests for the salmon recipe so here it is:


Salmon & Mushroom Rice Savoury Pastry Roll
Prep Time: 30mins

Cook Time: 55-60mins


1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp each chopped fresh dill and Italian parsley

1 tsp grated lemon rind

1 clove garlic minced (I used about 3)

1/4 tsp each salt and pepper

1 piece centre cut fresh Atlantic salmon fillet, skin removed (about 1.5 pds)


Rice Filling:

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 onion chopped

1 pkg (227g)Cremini mushrooms sliced

2 cloves garlic minced

3/4 cup long grain rice

1.25 cups chicken broth

1/2 cup 10% half and half cream

2 tbsp each chopped fresh dill and Italian parsley

1 pkg (500g) frozen puff pastry


In a small bowl, combine oil, dill, parsley, lemon rind, garlic, salt and pepper. Spread mixture on both sides of salmon. Cover salmon in saran wrap and refrigerate.


Rice Filling: In large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium high heat and cook onion, mushrooms and garlic for about 8 minutes or until no liquid from mushrooms remains. Add rice, broth and cream; bring to a boil. Cover and cook on low for 15 minutes or until no liquid remains. Stir in dill and parsley; cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Let cool completely.


Roll out the puff pastry to a 17 by 13 inch rectangle. Spread rice mixture along centre of pastry leaving about 4 inches of pastry on the long sides and 2 inches on short sides. Place refrigerated salmon on top (remove saran). Fold over short ends of pastry and then longer sides to cover and pinch seam. Place seam down on parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake in 425 degree oven for about 30 minutes or until pastry is golden brown and puffed slightly.


Makes 8 servings....enjoy!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Cigarette Anyone?

Aha! Got ya - bet you thought I'd started smoking again - nope! 11 mos coming up! But I do have a photo of the best men's sweater I have ever seen - Linda dropped it off yesterday and my dad stopped in offering to buy it. It's Smokin by Jared Flood - just realized who the designer was, I should have known because it's so great!
Yarn: Blackstone Tweed Chunky in 6607 - a deep gorgeous charcoal grey that didn't photograph as well as it could have.









Linda also dropped off the Karen Shawl from Amy Swenson - don't you just love the scallopy detail at the top of the shawl. This took less than one skein of Dream in Color Everlasting in Tidewater. Feels wonderful knit up and the colors - well, you should just come by and see for yourself!



And I've been cooking - Longo's (my fav place to grocery shop) has come out with it's holiday magazine of recipes and it's just loaded with things I had to try. First up was salmon, mushrooms and rice in puff pastry. Yum! Yum! I've made it twice now and it's going to be a family dinner regular because it's so delicious and so easy! I've also made seafood pasta and an artichoke and mushroom casserole.....seriously, if you are near a Longo's go get the magazine. Tonight is sauteed scallops with spinach and rice. I KNOW....I sound like I might know what I'm doing.......
And I'm knitting...madly on the Fifth Avenue Infinity Scarf! Pictures tomorrow!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

To The Royal We Will Go

Tomorrow we're off to the Royal Winter Fair first thing - four girls and their ponies made it to the Royal. It's quite a big deal so we are taking Emma and Celine to watch their friends compete in the big leagues.

Megan and Melvin the pony are going to the Royal - they are on the right. It's Melvin's first season showing and he got to the Royal.

Emma and Gidget are on the left and Celine is in the middle with her new pony, Titan.



Could it be possible the Gidget and Emma will get to the Royal next year? I'd probably just pee my pants I'd be so excited. Gidgey needs a haircut....I just love this pony - she's so cute!

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Now I'm All Messed Up

I thought I had things all figured out - at least in terms of my knitting - I was finishing the last clue of my Mystery Socks (both socks complete in Dye Hard Serendipitous Sock - yay me!), working away on the Effortless Cardigan and planning to do that pinwheel sweater out of Tanis (here's the colorway I want) BUT then I got to looking at the new Dream in Color Everlasting Sock Yarn - the colors are fantastic - truly so unique. There should be a shawl out of this - or maybe I could just open up the skeins and drape a bunch of them around my neck and call it a new trend? And if that's not enough to confuse me....then more arrives.










Dream in Color November Yarn arrives and it's like the colorway was designed specifically for me....






Oh right, and then Tanis blogged about this today - now if that is not enough to make you want to scream with joy at the very thought of knitting it then I don't know what it is.

And the very icing on the cake - you all know how much I love Through the Loops Mystery Socks while cruising around yesterday had me finding one from 2008 - I've 09 and I just finished 10 - don't you think I should have 08 too?

And completely on a random note - here's why we were very proud parents this weekend. It was the banquet for Emma's riding - she finished in second place in the Central East Division. Here she is with her dad and his parents.
Emma and her riding coach.

My kids and grandkids!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Drop Your Needles


Yesterday I was cruising around Ravelry and tripped across this.... which then led to finding the pattern, printing a few copies and then playing with Tanis yarn all morning. Seriously, I just wanted to drop all the projects I was working on and cast on. Imagine my joy when I saw the pattern comes in adult sizes! Here's the results of my efforts:
Choice #1 Blue
Lilac
Grape
Plum
Blueberry
Cobalt
Midnight



Choice #2 Red Sand
Amber
Sunset
Poppy
Garnet
Velvet
Choice #3 Green
Moss (Colorway #1)
Moss (Colorway #2)
Stormy
Olive
Teal
Midnight
There were more choices but one of these is the one I love best! I still haven`t cast on but it`s all laid out over the table with more choices that I put together today. I`m obsessed with it - absolutely obsessed.
Quite the storm we had last night - no power so knit night got cut short. Despite our best efforts, knitting by candlelight doesn`t really work!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

For Sale


A client of mine wants to sell her Lendrum Double Treadle spinning wheel - it's been used less than 6 times and is in perfect condition. It comes with a regular flyer, 4 bobbins and a lazy kate. Regular price is $533 - but she will take $433 Cash. First email gets it! Pick up and cash only.
connie (at) pickupsticks (dot) com

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Details finalized.....

The November Class schedule has been finalized and re-worked a bit so I could fit the yarn tasting in. You can find the new schedule here and the registration for the yarn tasting here.

I've got the shop all put back together and have done some re-organizing - now the couch is facing in the right direction so knitters can sit on it and be a part of things on Knit Night. Surprisingly it feels very spacious....you'll have to come and check it out.

Madelinetosh has shipped more Tosh Sock and it's in the mail as I type this - hopefully, it will be here by the end of the week and all of the new Dream in Color Everlasting has also shipped and should be here by Friday late in the day.....the missing Shi Bui from Yarns on Stage is supposed to be delivered tonight....

Now...if I could just find a place to put it all!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Door Prize Winners

So sorry to be so long posting this but Saturday was exhausting - the shop was full of knitters and we had tons of fun! Here are the winners of the door prizes:

Baby Hoodie Sweater Kit - Uylond Lynch

Set of Pom Pom Makers - Kathleen Holmes

Noro Silk Garden Sock (3skeins) - Pat R

Noro Silk Garden Sock (3skeins) - Roselle Purcell

Dream In Color Knitosophy (3skeins) - Lynn Bee

Connie Made a Tea Cozy (Noro Silk Garden & Mission Falls) - Barb Kerr

Syndey the Sheep - drum roll please - Shelley Oliver

Congratulations to all the winners.

Next event at Pick Up Sticks will be a Yarn Tasting on Saturday, November 13 from 11am til it's over! There will be a 10% discount on that day on the 6 yarns that are selected to be tried. Fun, right? Can't wait!

Thursday, October 07, 2010

When It Rains, It Pours

Have you ever walked into a bookstore, desperate to find a book that will grab your attention and keep you reading to the very last page? Those are likely the days that you pick up 1000 books and nothing grabs your fancy! Knitting is alot like that - there are some days that I can't think what to knit, what to cast on, what to continue and then there are other days that I find there is so much that I want to knit or do that is fiber related that I don't know where to start. Combine this with the fact, that I have this crazy pact with myself that I will not cast on lots of projects - just 2 at the most - currently, I have 2 - a pair of socks for Greg and Woman's Energy. I'm hurrying through the socks to be able to focus completely on Woman's Energy BUT there are many, many other projects that are distracting me. And when I say many, I mean many so today I will just tell you about the shawls and a shrug - perhaps I can tempt you to start some of these projects so that I can at least see them in progress and try to satisfy my curiousity about what they will be like - sometimes that's all it takes, right? - just a few rows to see if you can manage that particular pattern and then it's on to something else.

1. Amalia Shawl - this is a really interesting shawl because you knit the lace border first and then pick up stitches to finish the body. Not to mention that's it gorgeous and that the designer is Canadian! (Yarn: Tanis Mulberry Silk)

2. Calsada Shawl - again lace first, then the body. Same designer - YAY! (Yarn: Waterloo Wools Kirkland Laceweight)

3. Celaeno - one of Romi's 7 Small Shawls booklet which has got to be the deal of the century. $20 for all 7 Shawls released over the course of 2010 plus a bonus pair of fingerless gloves to match Maia which I have knit and love, love, love! (Yarn: Malabrigo Sock)

4. Pogona - I'm a fan of Westknits and just love this shawl, love the shape, love the way it looks, love that it looks relatively simple. Stephen is another one who has published a small booklet of his patterns - you can get 8 of them for $20.00 - all totally knitworthy! It's a e-book so talk about instant gratification! (Yarn: Tanis Yellow Label DK)

5. Vaya Shrug - the only shrug on my list but I am dying to knit with it with the Schaefer Anne it calls for and wear it all over the place. Laura Nelkin designed this as she has alot of patterns for Schaeffer - there's tons of her work on my list but this is my first choice for today! (Yarn: Schaeffer Anne)

The hottest gift knit so far is the Ruffled Scarf from Churchmouse Classics - we have a sample done up in Schaeffer Nichole but anything at all would be great! Bigger gauge just means a bigger scarf and that is never a bad thing. We have all the new Churchmouse Patterns including all the new baby ones!

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Ahhhhhhhh!

So no email, no website, I feel as if I'm on a deserted island! It's all starting to work again - I got 180 emails this morning but nothing current - not sure where in cyber space it all is but somehow apparently, it is supposed to make it's way to my inbox! Website front page is up but nothing else appears to be working - oh well - patience is a virtue they say! Hopefully by the end of the day today everything should be back to normal. I called my webguys and told them this morning that it still wasn't working and I guess I sounded a little distressed about the whole thing - he said they are freaking out enough there for everyone - I said, I'm not freaking out, I'm just calling to tell you that things aren't working in case you think they are. Sooooooo he's supposed to call me back .........in the meantime, there's new samples in the shop.



Here's Mom and Daughter Tea Leaves Cardigans from Madelinetosh. This is actually a very flattering sweater - destined to mine once I'm done with the sample. There's still lots of Tosh Vintage available to make these!


















Then we have the Hay Cardigan which is new on the Madelinetosh website made out of Tosh Merino Light - again another really versatile, classic, easy to wear cardigan!

















And finally Welted Fingerless Gloves - pattern is a Churchmouse Classic and the yarn is Gourmet Cashmere. The photo shows the yarn remaining after we knit one pair with a single strand - there is 26g left. The gloves took 24g soooooo I think if I were to do this again, I would knit them double. Yum! Yum! Cashmere!


And hey! Congratulations to Clare L. who won the Yarns On Stage contest! Her very own Sydney will be on the way to her shortly! Speaking of Sydney - the one Pick Up Sticks won which will be offered for a door prize has been arrested by customs and so his arrival is delayed! Should be here tomorrow - but I guess it depends on how well he behaves with the Canada Customs officials!

Friday, October 01, 2010

It's October Already

Wow - where does the time go? Good start on the month by blogging first thing though, don't ya think?
I'm still working away on Woman's Energy but had a brief detour this week to get this scarf off the needles.
It's the perfect Man Scarf I think and the yarn shows the stitch definition beautifully.
Yarn: Dye Hard Fiber Arts Silky Cashmere
Yardage: 1 skein 356 yards
The color is this really, really gorgeous green that does not take to being photographed. It's really a stunning color for a man or a woman. Guess you'll just have to come by to have a look! And while you're at it..... you might want to take a peek at the new Dream In Color October Club selection. It's a gorgeous cashmere blend sock yarn that will just have your fingers twitching to cast on something - it comes with a cute fingerless glove pattern for free BUT if it were up to me, I would be using it for this! I participated in this last time and had a fun, fab time! Of course, there are other yarn options....Tanis Purple Label Cashmere Sock or just like the Man Scarf - Dye Hard Fiber Arts Silky Cashmerino.......just sayin!






Saturday, September 25, 2010

As promised.....



Woman's Energy Day 3 - this shot was on a 32 inch circular - I put it on a styrofoam head I have - kind of like a sloppy beret at this point.


The yarn is lovely to work with - Viola Fancy Lace, colorway Smudge.
Woman's Energy Day 4

Here's a close up I took this morning - now on a 40 inch circular. I compressed this photo so when you click on it you should be able to see the fibres that are starting to bloom from the cashmere.....so soft!
I think I'm going to spin today after a few rounds of Woman's Energy - it's the perfect day - cool and bright!


Friday, September 24, 2010

Husband With A Black Eye

Yup - a black eye! Happened on Monday when this pony decided to go AWOL and leave the barn. Greg tried to stop him and ran face first into the chain that is supposed to keep wayward horses in the barn. To compound the situation, he also had the cold that I was recovering from. This photo really doesn't show the worst of it - he was a bloody mess on Tuesday morning.

The pony pics were taken before all the ruckus - don't the girls look cute with their ponies. Emma and Gidget are developing a nice relationship - she's such a good little pony and Emma just loves her.
This jump surprised both Emma and Gidget - Emma didn't realize how high and wide it was and neither did Gidget - but they made it!
Another nice jump - Emma's going to have a long winter - she wants to get this pony to the Royal Winter Fair next year which will mean lots of practice and lots of horse shows starting in early Spring.


Started my Woman's Energy Knit A Long in Viola Fancy Lace - I'm at about 30 sts between markers - (there's 8 markers) so far so good, it's really very simple. The only issue I had was the circular cast on with just 9 stitches but once I got past that it was fine. The chart I am on will get me to over 600 stitches so I have a ways to go but truly it's much easier than it looks! Pictures tomorrow - promise!