Tag Archives: sweater

An Update

Oh dear, it’s been almost exactly 7 months since my last post! It was a hard winter for me, which bled into the spring and part of summer. I had the usual winter/early spring depression that left me feeling unmotivated and uninspired to do anything but the bare minimum. I visited with a friend the other day who always inspires me to put more creativity and art into my life and it made me want to get back to the blog!

I’ve gone on lots of adventures, made some cool things and wore some neat outfits. I’m not going to post everything from the last 7 months here because my life isn’t that interesting. But I do have a few things.

First up, Almond “Florentines”!

My mom used to make these all the time and referred to them as Almond Florentines. I had a bunch of graham crackers left over and wanted to make some. A quick Google search indicated that she didn’t really make Almond Florentines as they’re traditionally known. This is more like a simplified version. They’re delicious and tres facile.

Ingredients:

1 cup of butter

1/2 cup of brown sugar, lightly packed

Graham crackers

Slivered almonds

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 180C. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and the set down a layer of graham crackers.

In a saucepan, melt the butter and add the sugar. I used 1 cup of butter, but ended up with extra butter/sugar left over. You might want to use something between 3/4 and 1 cup.  Stirring constantly, let butter/sugar boil for 2 minutes.

Pour the butter mixture over the crackers, completely covering them. Sprinkle with almonds and put in the oven for 10 minutes. I put mine in for about 5 minutes, then turned the oven off and let the pan sit in the oven for the next 5 minutes. The oven is just setting everything, not really cooking.

IMG_0001When you take the pan out of the oven, the butter mixture will still be very liquidy. You might think it’s not done.

IT’S DONE, TRUST ME. But it’s also very hot. Put it on the stove top or counter and walk away for an hour.

No, seriously, walk away. Don’t touch it. It’s too hot and not ready to be enjoyed yet. You’re just going to burn yours-

I told you not to touch it, didn’t I?

After the hour is up, you’ll come back and your little cookies will have this lovely smooth candy coating on them. You can just break a cookie or five off and enjoy!

IMG_0002So tasty and delicious, you’ll have to try hard not to eat the whole pan in one night!

 

Also while going through my photos tonight, I was reminded of the totally awesome cat sweater I bought in the spring!

 

cat sweaterOutfit details:

Sweater – Target, XL // Skirt and rain jacket – made by me // Tights – JoeFresh, C  // Blouse (collar) – Zellers, XL // Shoes – Target, 10 // Glasses – Derek Cardigan

LETS ALL MARVEL AT HOW THE CAT ON MY SWEATER HAS THE SAME GLASSES AS I DO.

I’ve got a headboard tutorial planned and am also working on several sewing projects right now, so hopefully I can get some updates posted soon. But for now, those florentines aren’t going to eat themselves.

Take care of each other!

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I’m Finally Done!

How has it been nearly a month since I’ve posted here again?

Part of it has been due to the fact that I’m actually on a half-assed regular sleep schedule, for literally the first time in my life. I’m sleeping 7,8, 9 hours a night! This has never happened before. I feel great, but can’t help but still feel like I’m wasting my time. Very rarely can I piss around until 1AM on a week night anymore. Now, I have to get everything done that needs doing by about 10PM, before I crash.

So between sleeping, and being busy with dance shows and other things, I just haven’t had time to blog! A friend has recently decided to start blogging and asked me for some advice. I figure I should lead by example and find time to update my own blog!

I have, however, had time to finish a project that was a looooong time coming.

If you’ve known me for any amount of time, you may remember this picture (or something like it).

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I had started knitting a siwash sweater (or a cowichan, to some people), using vintage Mary Maxim patterns that my gramma had used for decades.

One year when I was about 10, for Christmas I believe, everyone in my family got hand knit siwashes from gramma. My mom and I both got pink ones with a burgundy  diamond pattern on them. I wore it all the time.

After a couple years, I outgrew it and had to stop wearing it. Then one day, I was at my gramma’s house and it ended up being colder when I went to go home and I didn’t have a warm jacket. My auntie was still living at home at that time and let me “borrow” hers for the evening. Then I just kept forgetting to bring it back and before I knew it, I had worn that thing for 20 springs and autumns.

It’s still a good sweater. It gets a little bigger every year as I hang it up and it stretches out. But since I wear it, and this sweater is cream and light blue, I have permanent coffee stains on the sleeves and what looks like a car grease  stain on one part that just will not go away.

So in the fall of 2010, I was ready for a challenge. I wanted a new siwash and I wanted to make one myself. The hunt was on for The Right Yarn. The standard siwash yarn is Mary Maxim’s Titan yarn. But it’s acrylic. And anyone who knows me knows that I don’t do synthetic yarn (unless it’s a bit of nylon in sock yarn).

Then I discovered Debbie Bliss’ Como yarn. 90% merino, 10% cashmere.

Cassshhhhhmerrrrre……

Yarn.com had a pretty good price on it, so I did the math for how many skeins of Como translate to the number of skeins the pattern called for in the larger Titan skeins. I measured and remeasured and checked my math and placed my order. Soon, I had a big box of delightful wool in navy, ecru, and magenta.

I wanted non-traditional colours because – I’m not sure if you’ve noticed – I’m not a beige/brown/black/grey kinda gal. I also knew I wanted a traditional design, in that I wanted some kind of animal found in Canada. But I didn’t want the reindeer that the pattern called for, nor did I want an eagle or a fish. I also didn’t want the same diamond pattern I had as a child. So I altered the Owlie Owl Cowl pattern from Ravelry to suit my needs.

And lo, a surly owl siwash in blue and hot pink was born!

Well… incubating.

I was making great strides until I realised I was running out of wool. Oops! Didn’t do the math right. I redid the math and ordered more of all 3 colours. They arrived a couple weeks later and I carried on. After a year of knitting on and off, I was so close to being done, and I ran out of blue again. Crap!

No worries, I could just order more, right? Well, at that point, Yarn.com had discontinued my yarn. And I couldn’t find it anywhere else. I searched everywhere.

Discouraged, I just hid the project away for a while, feeling more and more terrible every time someone asked me of my progress. I had lots of ecru yarn and some magenta. I was literally half a sleeve and a collar away from being done. I really didn’t want to put an ecru collar on a blue sweater.

But I could dye the ecru yarn, right? Of course! I bought some dark navy dye and stashed it away for months until my lazy ass felt like doing something with it. 2 weeks ago, I got really gung-ho again, and got to work dying yarn on a Saturday afternoon.

After an hour of the yarn in the dye bath, it was still just a sad grey/blue.

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Well fuck.

Okay, plan B time. The collar, I decided, could be magenta. That would look okay. But the sleeves… what to do with the sleeves? One sleeve was already done, all in blue. The other was about up to the elbow, with no blue yarn left. So I ripped the completed sleeve out, down to the elbow and knit a pink stripe in the centre of each and then carried on with the blue. I had to do this a couple times, ripping all the blue out, adding more pink, then knitting the blue back in, until I had enough for both sleeves.

FINALLY. I was done knitting this thing.

After a lengthy phone call to my gramma about Just How Do I Sew This All Together? I was ready to start the hand sewing.

Have I mentioned how I loathe hand sewing?

I loathe hand sewing.

I spent a good hour on Thursday night sewing pieces together at the kitchen table until my back had had enough of that. I guess I wasn’t wearing the sweater the next day! Friday after work though, I finished the sewing. It took a good few hours to sew everything together, but I was determined that I was wearing this sweater the next day when I went on a road trip with my belly dance girls. So by about midnight on Friday night, I had me a sweater!!

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(Obligatory horrendous 80s knitting catalogue picture)

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Lookit those surly owls. Aren’t they surly? With their half-lidded eyes?

Those owls say don’t fuck with me. I may be a sweetheart, but I regularly handle pointy sticks, so don’t fuck with me.

At least that’s how I imagine it in my head!

It definitely needs a little relaxing and stretching out, which always happens with a siwash after a few wears. I’ve already been “pet” a few times – everyone loves how soffffft the cashmere is.

This was a definite feat. A real accomplishment. I don’t think I’ll ever want to knit anything this massive again. It’s like Mount Everest. I’ve climbed it, proven that I can do it, but now I think I want to come down and just knit some socks. Or maybe a nice shawl.

I’ve got a couple more posts I’m working on that I can hopefully get out there soon. I’m off work all next week and since we’re still under so. much. snow, I’m probably not going to get to the couple of hiking day-trips I was planning. So I’ll probably be sticking around here, making some things, cleaning and hopefully blogging!

Be good to each other!