Change and Progress . . .

Last night, looking east from my Aunty’s:

This morning (sunrise, 8:30 am):






Did I mention that it’s -24C, feels like -31C with the windchill? πŸ˜‰ and yes, I may have to go out this afternoon . . .

The best part of winter is . . .

20131120-100610.jpg . . . finishing cardi shoulders with Kitchener stitch (a new love; it’s so easy!), then . . .

20131120-100743.jpg starting on the collar!! Now, this is not traditional Fair Isle, but much of this cardi is already unconventional, so my thinking is that all the traditions (and I do love traditions) were originated by weird people like me, who likely worshipped their own traditions, but also yielded to the call of the wild . . . I found a pattern for a cardi collar by Briar Rose that I liked on the “By Gum, By Golly” site (, then (of course) altered it to make it more my own by adding a couple more sets of markers for additional increases, which will change the shape, but to what, I’m not entirely sure. πŸ˜‰

I did go out yesterday and it wasn’t as bad as I expected, likely ’cause the wind had mostly died down.

I’m glad I picked up a few groceries, though, as there will be more snow today and tomorrow.

In researching collar patterns, I was inspired to see if there were any Fsir Isle Tam patterns and of course there were! So I also picked up some smaller sized double pointed needles (two sets, as I like to use at least four to hold the work and another to knit with. Two smaller circular needles, too, in different lengths (the only ones in that diameter).

Then I attempted the Magic Circle Cast-on from the Persistent Illusion site:

I had a little trouble with it, although I did feel I understood the idea. So I gave up in the directions and did what I thought was intended. And it worked!

20131122-000218.jpg Here’s a closer look:

20131122-000317.jpg Best I could do with the iPhone, sorry.

But when I tried to figure out a pattern and make increases to keep the work flat, I found out why all the tam patterns start with the band and work up! It’s just easier (and you can try it on as you go.

So I’m not sure what I’ll do with this bit, but I put it aside and went back to the cardi and now, voila!!

20131122-000919.jpg That’s the back, with the collar showing off the points where I added increases (knitting by the seat of one’s pants is fun, when it works!) Here’s the front:

20131122-001234.jpg and a close-up of the edge:

20131122-001336.jpg. I knitted the collar in garter stitch (knit every row) using two strands of the hot pink, alternating strands every stitch. This kept the collar in sync with the stranded body, so nice and thick. I followed the recommended cast-off instructions (use a size larger needle and cast off loosely). I knit loosely most of the time, though, and after a couple of inches didn’t like the edge and unpicked what I had done. No photo, sorry. The stitches were still on the larger needle, so I used a circular needle smaller than the size I used to knit the collar, then cast off a bit loosely, alternating strands. I’m very happy with this edge!

20131122-002144.jpg I don’t think you can tell, but this was taken after 10 pm tonight and the flurries which began in the afternoon are still coming down; just not steadily. We have a snowfall warning out through tomorrow, with a predicted 10 to 20 cm (4 to 8 inches) of snow. But it’s warming up and was -19C last time I checked. By Saturday it should be around +4 and +1 on Sunday. The city is near the end of the November snow removal budget and that’s before removing this batch. More is coming in a couple of days, too! So, here’s what I’m planning to do about it: reprise a new favourite treat, Norwegian Egg Pancakes! Super easy and good for those of you with an abundance of spring eggs . . .

Start heating a frying pan (I prefer cast iron, but use what you have)

Break 6 eggs into a bowl and whisk (or beat) well.
Add 1 cup of milk; whisk (or beat) well, again.
Dump in 1/2 c flour, whisk/beat ’til smooth.

Add a bit of oil, margarine or butter to the panv pour about a quarter cup of batter into the pan, forming a thin crepe-like pancake. Cook for 3 min on the first side, turn and cook for 1 min on the other side.

Makes enough for two for brunch.

Now, you know I don’t follow directions all that closely, right? So I halved the recipe (it was only for me, last week). I used whole wheat flour plus a couple tablespoons of wheat germ. My eggs were extra large size, so the cakes tasted ‘eggy’, which I liked.

I thawed a few frozen strawberries, added some frozen blueberries, cut a banana in half and sliced it into the warm berries, then added a wee bit maple syrup . . .


After I cut up the pancake stack, I poured the mixed fruit over all and dug in!


Plus this:

Equals this:

Mmmmmmm…………………….. πŸ™‚

It’s now 1am on Friday morning, I’m hungry, but I’m not making pancakes now. Grapes and a few pages of my book await me. Have a lovely day in the garden, my new southern friends, and we in the north will sit by the fire, knit, eat and read (figuratively for some of us, alas).


14 thoughts on “Change and Progress . . .

  1. Tell me you have this delightful tool in your arsenal?
    The cardi looks amazing and I love the collar. I’ve just finished mine but casting off loosely seems impossible to me. I usually use a needle that’s double the size of what I’ve been knitting with and it’s still tight. 😦
    The UK is set for the worst winter in 60 years so I wonder if that self same cold weather might be coming your way. Stock up on those staples and cans of things and stay warm my friend. At least Canada is used to dealing with snow. πŸ˜‰ Heathrow airport shut down last time they had a blizzard. The whole city did – they couldn’t cope from what I heard.
    Your pancakes look delicious and remind me of a recipe I have that I need to try. They’re gluten free crepes made with eggs and ricotta cheese and given the goat (if she gets back in milk) and the chooks, I can make this one entirely from homegrown ingredients. πŸ™‚

    • Yes, I’ve used the knitting help site a few times. I use Google a lot when I can’t remember how to do something (or when I never knew, but began the project anyway; like the barn cardi) LOL

      Maybe you could use three needles? or not . . . I’m naturally quite a laid back person, and my tension reflects that, I think. Some would say ‘lazy’, but I like the wound of ‘laid back’ so much more . . .

      I remember several very bad winters in the UK; this sounds ominous . . . It’s so much more challenging when an area isn’t used to really bad weather; there is never enough snow clearing equipment (public or personal); houses aren’t sufficiently insulated (though they should be); people often don’t stock up enough on food, bathroom tissue and other basics. We always have stuff on hand, in spite of Mum’s wish for more space on the shelves (well, everywhere, really!). But I like to know that we’ll eat, no matter what. Last winter the hot water baseboard heaters gave up in the midst of a week of -30ish C and we used the oven to keep the worst of the chill at bay. Plus we both wear cardis when called for, eat hot soup and we also have plenty of extra bedding. I even have a couple of wee hot water bottles (if I could remember where I put them LOL_). So we’ll likely stay warm enough, come what may.

      My last winter in Victoria, BC, we had nearly four feet of snow on Boxing Day. I was staying with a friend (I was laid off at the time) and we had her sister and nephew visiting over the holidays. The city shut down to all traffic except emergency vehicles for three days. It was so lovely; quiet, clean, no car exhaust. We took the boy and my little border collie for long walks every day to tire them out and we truly loved it. Games and movies at night and we had plenty to eat, since we made sure of a well-stocked pantry even then. But one of my friend’s friends called up the second day to ask if he could come over for supper; he’d run out of food!! I’ve never gotten over that; he’s a very brainy IT guy with lots of degrees, too.

      And once someone else I know called after an electrical storm that caused our power to go down for over a day. She had plenty of canned food (tinned) in her pantry, but only an electric can opener on hand. Not since then, though! I’ve always felt best when I didn’t have to rely on things I can’t fix by myself, or which may leave me in the lurch on a whim. Mind you, I know how to open a can with a good knife (hunting knife, not butter knife lol) . . .

      Your recipe sounds tempting, too; hope you post it one day. Lucky you, to have goat and chooks, both . . . and with the veggie garden in full swing soon, I see frittatas in your future. πŸ™‚

  2. I understood all of your post except that knitese, which I don’t speak. But I admire the letters! πŸ™‚ Sunrise for us is a bit earlier, but not much, and no snow, but lots of frost. Keith and I have both read the first chapter of The Last Light of the Sun, the book I believe you are reading now and turned me on to. It’s great!! We are both enjoying it, and I love to talk about it with him. I love the writer’s short, smart sentences and storytelling.

    • I could teach you knitese . . . πŸ˜‰

      Glad you are liking the book; I finished a couple of days ago after my usual inner conflict; as in mid-life, I move between the youthful rush to know what comes next and the older desire to savour for as long as possible. In the end, I simply re-read fairly often. Sadly, most of my favourite authors have simply disappeared from the library, so I am reading while I can.

      When you are done, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the book.

      Because Kay’s writing has improved over time, you might want to read his books in chronological order; also, this time around, I really noticed the internal references to details of his earlier books. The Lions of Al-Rassan is still my favourite, but not by much . . .

  3. That lovely Christmas Tree star of knitting needles is about as far as I would get with that plethora of knitting accoutrements…if I managed to make ANYTHING (let along hold the needles together) without stuffing it up or Earl investigating, I would count myself a lucky woman ;). I would love to read. I have 3 gorgeous books (one of them Keith Richards memoirs…now THAT is a set of memories worth hooking into ;)) and one of them is about a UK cook called Clarissa Dickson Wright. She is a MOST amazing woman to say the least. She rose to fame as the quite half of a pair of larger, older women who had a cooking show called “The two fat ladies”. If you haven’t seen them PLEASE check them out on Youtube, you will fall in love with them. Clarissa wasn’t just big…she was huge BUT the lady was one of the youngest women ever to reach the bar (law) in the U.K. her mum was an Aussie heiress, she spent her life battling the bottle and she has now lost more than half her body weight but only because she wants to live longer, not for glamour. I love this woman…she is shy, awkward but most determined and I can’t wait to get into her book “Spilling the beans”. Her food is quintessentially British as is she but there are so many stories to be told and I, being the nosy magpie that I am, want to find out πŸ™‚ Have a great weekend. I turned over the last of the garden beds in the sunshine yesterday. It felt amazing not to have to contort myself into some strange shape just to enter the veggie garden. I weeded, I watched Earl (out of the corner of my eye) prancing around off lead hunting lizards (never got one but HILARIOUS to watch) and digging furiously in the garden beds… like Mel gibson covered in wode “FREEDOM!” ;). This sunday I am going to plant everything out (what hasn’t died of sadness and attrition that is 😦 should put a bill in to my lecturer!) and start the slow process of customising the new garden to narf7’s pecadillos…that’s like armadillos only customised…and I need…I NEED a passionfruit vine! My choko is happy and will be planted out…I am off to hunt the pots where my hops vines languish and soon that garden is going to sing and so am I πŸ™‚

    • Actually, it wasn’t quite that bad, Narfie; I was holding the stitches on four needles and using the fifth to work with; but the work did look like a star and I loved the image. I guess I could make Christmas ornaments out of them, couldn’t I? In my spare time, of course . . .

      Yes, hard to read in the summer (or craft, either). Not to worry, winter is on it’s way to you, soon as I can push it along . . . πŸ˜‰

      I’ll have to look for Richards’ book. Our library may have a copy. I’ll look for the one on Dickson Wright, too; I have a book by an American woman who was a great cook and wrote on culinary matters. She and her husband travelled in Europe during the 20s and 30s, I think it was. I found that book somewhere and had it around for ages before I read it. I think you’d enjoy it, too. Once I remember either her name or the name of the book, I’ll share the info with you. Right now, my memory chips seem to be on the blink quite often. I’ve heard of the two fat ladies, but that’s all. Now I’ll have to check them out on YouTube (if I can stay out of the music, that is!)

      Thanks for the good wishes; the weekend went well and I’m hoping to start a post about what I’ve been up to once I’m done answering you. I’m so happy for you all, enjoying the new netted garden. Worth all the work, isn’t it? Do you remember the pain? No? So it is like childbirth, then . . . πŸ˜‰

      I czn just see Earl hunting for lizards . . . Mel Gibson in wode (and tartan!!); what a great film that was!!

      Good luck finding a passionfruit vine, eh? And I hope you have cause to sing loud enough for me to hear you from Canada!!

  4. brrr…pretty snow though. Your knitting skill amazes me, you are very talented. that an iron skillet, I use my mothers and grandmothers everydea, just season and they last forever… they are a treasure:-)

    • It is pretty, or was. A couple days of above freezing (parts of the days) has led to a general slump in the landscape; snowdrifts are lower and not so much on the trees now.

      Thanks for the compliments; my knitting is pretty average (iPhones don’t show everything, thank goodness. πŸ˜‰

      I love colour, pattern, rhythm, in pretty much everything and I really live to design. I plan to design my own motifs for the first real wool cardi.

      That is, indeed, a cast iron skillet. My Mum’s. Mine are in the storage. I have a cast iron Dutch oven, too. Love it! Keeps us strong; also serves as a weapon if our home is invaded . . .

      You are lucky to have some from your Grandmother. We have very little from my grandmothers. They died before I was born. I think of them so often, though.

      • I am sorry to hear your grandmother passed away before you were born, I had one like that, too ( a year old). A weapon, I would of never thought of that – I will now-lol.

      • Lots of uses for cast iron, if one is quick (for self-defense). lol I prefer mine, which do not have the lovely wooden handles; this means I can use them over a campfire (been a long while since I did that, but hope lives on . . .) or pop an omelette in the oven, or even make pie or bread in them.

        Yes, I missed having a grandmother when I was growing up; especially since my Mum has so many great stories about staying with her maternal grandmother for a couple of weeks or so in the summer. One of the big treats (if they were very good) she and her next older sister (the other kids went too, but at different times) looked forward to was being allowed to comb Grandmother’s hair at night before she braided it for sleep. It was always worn ‘up’ in the daytime, but came below her waist when let down. I can’t imagine a small child looking forward to that these days . . . but maybe . . . One of my friends here has grandkids and one of the girls, when she was younger, loved to play with my hair. I spent all of one staff party in the kitchen, with my hair being braided, unbraided, pinned up, let down and so on . . . I’m not much of a party girl, so I was quite content!

      • Oh, we had ours in mid-October. No harvesting going on in most of Canada this time of year. πŸ™‚

        Hope yours is a good one, though. And that the weather co-operates.

  5. Gosh Linne, that knitting with all those needles – and not even following the pattern…..and now don’t you go telling me that’s easy, I know it’s not!

    I’m a bit of a hot-shot with 2 needles and one ball of wool – introduce another ball of wool into that mix and it will pretty soon look like Orlando had a fit in the knitting basket!

    You certainly have the right weather for knitting though – and the food looks pretty good as well!

    I kind of envy you your deep, dark, cold winters – it’s a real season which invites you to go in and be quiet and contemplative – and handcraft. Ours tend to be coldish and greyish and sometimes wettish and longish. A bit of a nothing much and a non-event interspersed on the very odd occasion by a tiny, fleeting glimpse of the white stuff ……We get so excited over 2 mm of snow falling and rush out into it before it melts. The TV mentions it, the papers take photos and write articles about the Browns and their 2.5 children making a makeshift toboggan out of cardboard and old carpet and we all talk about it for days………. I think the last time we had a decent fall of snow was maybe 4 or 5 years ago – by that I mean it lay on the ground for two days before disappearing once more.

    Stay warm! xoxo

    • Well, I think it’s easy (relatively!) . . . If you have a good instruction book or a good teacher, it doesn’t take long to master the main bits. I was thinking that if I were to teach someone, I’d start them with a wide headband or else a cushion cover (say, for a 12″ cushion). But mostly I think one either likes detailed, complex things or one doesn’t. We need all sorts, don’t we?

      I don’t care for tedious repetition, but sometimes I just make my rebellious inner brat do things ‘right’ instead of shirking . . . and of coyrse I’m all pleased and excited when the results are good!! πŸ˜‰

      I was born not far from the west coast of BC (Matsqui; I don’t think it’s on the map anymore; as far as I know, it’s now part of Abbotsford). I lived on or near the coast ’til I was 7ish, when we moved inland. We moved around a fair bit, there. At 19, I went to Victoria, BC, to attend uni, dropped out the next spring, then spent most of the next 30-odd years on the coast again. So you can see why I pine for your sort of weather . . . that said, it took me a few years to get used to the greyness and damp.

      I remember the excitement over snow . . . cardboard box toboggans when we were young, too. I like the 2.5 kids, too; wonder did they get the smiley end or the damp end . . . LOL

      So far, am staying warm; helps to have a huge barn cardi on my lap. πŸ˜‰

Thanks for stopping by my blog! I look forward to reading your comments. ~ Linne

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