5 And A Beagle

"Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans." John Lennon

Friday, September 30, 2005

Recipe of the Month - September 

Chocolate Brownies

Quick and easy and ready for the bake table at the Back to School BBQ -

1/2 c. butter
2 squares unsweetened chocolate - melted
1 c. sugar
2 eggs - well beaten
1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. chopped nuts (optional)

Cream butter, add melted chocolate and mix well. Mix in sugar until well blended. Add beaten eggs and mix well. Blend in flour and nuts. Spread evenly into greased 9" square pan. Bake at 350 for 25 - 30 minutes. Allow to cool before frosting.

Chocolate Frosting
1/3 c. butter
1 egg
2 c. icing sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 square unsweetened chocolate - melted
Cream butter, stir in egg. Gradually add sugar and beat until fluffy. Add vanilla and melted chocolate.

Go here for all of the monthly recipes.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Self Portrait Tuesday 

Is it too late to post a SPT? I don't think so. The sun hasn't set on Tuesday where I'm sitting.

Here is the outside of the poor old throat. I'm still channeling Marlon Brando as Don Vito Corleone. Sometimes I sound like the Don on helium. It's providing entertainment for my co-workers though, they never know what raspy, squeaky voice awaits them when they call me.

Don't forget to check out the knitting bag proto-type that's up for grabs. (one post down)

Sunday, September 25, 2005

A Weekend with Sammy the Barking Seal 

For the last three days I have felt like this little fellow whom I affectionately refer to as Sammy the Barking Seal.

I've had a cough and a sore throat and I sound like a barking seal. Or actually, sometimes I sound like this guy.

As a result, I haven't done too much this weekend. Mostly laying about in the evenings, hoping someone will take pity on me and make me some tea and honey.

This is the test bag for backtack that was made up last week.

As mentioned, it needs interfacing on the top part to allow it to stand nicely. If anyone is interested in having this bag, please leave a comment or e-mail me at canadianedelweiss at yahoo dot ca. I'll be opening it up to put in some fusible interfacing on the back of the top trim and once it's stitched up again, it'll go to the name drawn on Sept 30th. The handles are a pair of knitting needles, but for ease of shipping, I'm afraid it will have to go sans needles, but it will have a little fibre treat inside instead.

Here are the fabrics that I've picked out to use on my backtack partner's bag, as well as a few 'take out boxes'.

More pictures as I progress.

I've also started on a quick shrug for #4 with ladder yarn. I thought this would be a really quick knit but it's taking a little longer than expected. That darn ladder yarn can be tricky at times. I went shopping with dear #4 the other day and her taste in clothes far and away exceeds my budget. I saw a couple of cute bolero sweaters that were priced close to $100 (yikes). I said I could knit one for less if she was game - she agreed so first comes the shrug while I hunt for a nice pattern for a bolero. Does anyone have any suggestions for a something in a lace weight yarn?

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Knitting Bag - Gotta use your imagination 

I stayed up until midnight last night making one of these...

Just imagine it with a black bottom, black and white small herringbone pattern on the top trim and wild slashes of burgundy, olive, teal and gold flecks on the inside. I was quite pleased with how it turned out - the size, the shaping etc. but it definately needs interfacing.

Why no pictures? Well, #2 - my husband, decided to strengthen the fortress around our computer system. In order to post pics, I have to load them on to the computer downstairs. Then I have to come upstairs and connect onto the network from the computer upstairs and pull the pics from the downstairs pc onto 'hello'. But I need a password now. Do I know the password? NO. I've tried guessing at all of the obvious ones with no success. Sadly, even #2 can't crack the code and he's the one that loaded the program. Hopefully the solution will come and I'll be able to post pictures this weekend.

Of course, I knew #2 would be able to solve the "problem". Never a doubt! There should be pictures of the floppy bag tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Backtack Ideas 

I've been thinking of ideas for the backtack project and with the help of the links put up by Kath at Red Current, I've narrowed it down to either this knitting bag

or this knitted bag

and with whatever I chose, I'll try and make one of these and throw it in with the goodies.

I've got the material lined up and ready to go with a 'prototype' of the knitting bag. If I like the way it turns out, that will probably be the one I'll make for my backtack buddy.

I went back to working full time back in August and I'm finding by the time I get home I just don't have the energy to do much. Part of my mind is racing with ideas, while the other part is screaming for sleep. Hopefully I'll be more productive in the coming days (okay, maybe by next week)

Sunday, September 18, 2005

The Felted Tote...Mary Poppins would be proud. 

Here is the felted bag in all of its pre-felted glory.

It doesn't look any larger than any other bag I've made before it is felted. I'm ready to pop the pieces in their respective pillow cases, throw them into the washing machine and wait for the magic to begin. I'm thinking in 15 maybe 20 minutes, I'll have a nice little tote ready to block. After about 10 minutes, I open the lid, pull out the straps and check on their progress. Is it my imagination or are they longer than when they started? I pull out the flap. It doesn't look any bigger, but it sure doesn't look at all felted. I don't even bother to pull out the tote, I just close the lid and wait another 10 minutes.

Second check and I'm really starting to get concerned. Nothing looked like it was felting. I started searching for the label from the wool, but I couldn't find one. This was Lopi wool I'd bought over 20 years ago, with the intention of making a sweater for my husband. All I could find were balls of the yarn wound up, but no label. A little panic was beginning to set in. What if this was some of that 100% wool that is completely washable?

I drained the washer and refilled it with the hottest water I could. This tote was going through another session and it was going to get agitated and boiled.

Half an hour later, I threw in the towel. The hot water seemed to do the trick - somewhat. The pieces seemed to be smaller and the fibre had tightened up a little. The one unfortunate side effect was that I now had something that shed so much crap into the washer, you'd think I'd thrown the dog in the machine.

There was so much fuzz floating in the wash, filling up the pillow cases and clumped onto the tote, I could have used it to mold together a small pet.

Here - the finished product...
A bag that even this woman would be proud to own. It could easily carry all of her prized possessions. Remember...the hat stand, the wall mirror, the plant and the lamp? But I don't think practical Mary would appreciate that her magical bag would leave so much fuzz on her perfectly pressed clothes so as to look like she'd just gotten up from a "lie down" on the dog's bed.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Self Portrait Tuesday 

Picking up on an idea started by the multi-talented Kath at Red Current, here is my submission for a Self Portrait Tuesday - September's theme - body parts. I figure I'll participate for now, I can take pics of body parts without having to put an actual photograph of me. After all, this could be the hand of any 40 something woman who's hands spend too much time in dishwater because her dishwasher hasn't worked for the past decade.

A bit of knitting done on the weekend. Just take the previous photo of the scarf and add a few inches. Take the picture of the tote and picture it now with holes for the straps and cast off the needles. And where was the knitting done? Why on the ferry of course. Yes, for $100 CDN you too can take a day trip to Vancouver Island. #3 came back on Thursday, oh how we missed him the whole four days we were apart. He had tickets to Oasis so he came back for the show and stayed the weekend. He filled up the van with another load of stuff and off we went for a whirlwind day.

The first time we took him over, we were surprised by the number of rabbits roaming around the campus. This time we spotted a family of deer grazing near the entrance.

Thumper and Bambi live on campus
(Wait a minute, that sounds like a bad title for a bad movie)

That should be it for knitting on the ferry for a while though. I'm going to have to find time somewhere else.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Totes, scarves and Needle Rolls 

Finally some knitting content.

Here is the progress on the felted tote. I'm at the point of doing the I-cord strap slots but I can't make heads nor tails of the instructions. I'm thinking of just doing up button holes where I think the strap slots should be. Then it's just a matter of making the straps and the front flap and throwing it in the washer.

I've had some yummy Koigu that I bought from Carrisa at Knittingmaniac a few months ago. I've been trying to decide what to do with the 2 skeins. I'm just not up to making socks so I decided to do Frill once again - this time only the center pattern without the actual 'frill'

This is the progress made while sailing between Vancouver and Victoria last weekend. It doesn't seem like a lot but it would have been more if I hadn't casted on at least 4 times, knitting a few inches each time and ripping it all back. First it was too wide, then too narrow and finally it was just right. Except for the fact that I hadn't cast on enough stitches for the pattern repeats. Considering I work with numbers all day long, you'd think I'd be able to figure out that I needed multiples of 8 plus 3. Or is it multiples of 5 plus 3. Whatever it is, I've got the right number of stitches on the needle now.

And finally, I've made another knitting needle roll.

I'm hoping to set something up on ebay so that I can sell it and have the proceeds go to Oliver's Fund.

Monday, September 05, 2005

So Long, Summer Holidays 

Well, the sun has set on another summer holiday. Tomorrow is the first day back to school for the kids. One starting first year university, another starting grade 10 and the youngest, her last year at elementary school, grade 7.

I remember telling my son when he was in grade 2 or 3 to listen for the sound of mothers all over the neighbourhood shouting for joy as they celebrated the first day of school. "Remember how you felt on the first day of summer vacation? Well that's how all the mothers feel on the first day back at school. We're all gleefully running around our empty houses."

I'm not so sure I feel that way this year. He's out of town and the girls are becoming so much more independent. In a way, I'm kind of pining for those years when they were younger.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Does this mean we become ... 4 and A Beagle? 

We're off Victoria so that this fellow can complete his disappearing trick.

#3 is off to university. A mear 3 hours by road, ferry and road again. I was talking to the mom of one of his friends who is also headed to the same university. I asked her how often her son was planning on coming back to town. When I told her how often #3 was talking of coming back (twice a month), she replied, "He's probably just saying that to make you feel better." I don't think so. His girlfriend is staying back here to attend university. Who do you really think he's wanting to come back twice a month for? If it weren't for the girlfriend, I'm sure #3 would be saying "Me and the laundry will see you at Thanksgiving."

I've started on the felted tote from Simple Knits for Sophisticated Living. An easy project that is quite neat because as you knit up the sack, the balls of yarn store nicely in the pouch.

Have a great Labour Day long weekend!


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