lately

Slowly working on a few lazy summer project. I bought this Bernat Handicrafter Cotton to make a dish cloth but I had a lot left. I tried making a couple more dish cloths but I still had a lot left. So I wondered whether there was enough to make a summer top with the rest. Because it’s a variegated yarn I thought a simple geometric pattern, like a diamond lace pattern, would work without obscuring the lace pattern too much.

It was just going to a simple boxy sweater, I figured I would knit in the round until underarm, then knit front and back separately by knitting flat, then sew the shoulder seams, and finally knit several rounds of 1x1 rib around the sleeves and collar. 

So I started with knitting in the round, first in stockinette, then in garter stitch, but the pooling just turned out really weird when I switched from knitting in the round to knitting flat when I separated front and back. I guess I should’ve known that the yarn would do that. So anyway, the above picture shows that I’m back to knitting it flat in two pieces, then knitting the ribbing on the sleeves and collar in the round. Will keep you posted on how it goes! I do like the colour combination of the yarn, and knitting it flat is creating more of a striping rather than a pooling pattern, which I like better, so I’m really hoping it will work. Will keep you posted and share the pattern if it works out!

Before the summer sweater I was working on a pattern from the 5th anniversary issue of Pom Pom magazine. It’s being hibernated at the moment because it’s too warm to knit this. But I’m looking forward to finishing it. I love sideways sweaters. It just needs sleeves, which I will knit in the round after sewing up the side seams. Using Caron Cakes! :D I do love variegated yarn.

And because a sweater is too large to knit on public transit, I started a portable project for going to and from work. I’m making some dragon hand puppets for my niece and nephew for Christmas (shh… and no, it’s never too early to start holiday crafting). I bought a kit from my local yarn store and learned to make bobbles (a row of bobbles runs down the back of the puppet). Also, short colour repeat rainbow yarn is so much fun to work with! Spot the tiny heart!

Looks like I have a few WIPs but I actually did finish a custom order recently. Animal friends to be part of a commemorative project, so glad I could contribute to it. 

Wishing you much joy and creativity for the weekend!

 

TTC knitalong adventure :D

Last week I helped out with the TTC Knitalong and yarn-hopped with a wonderful group of people around the city yarn-crafting and sharing laughs! Thought I’d share some highlights!

Oh and if you aren’t familiar, the TTC Knitalong is a charity event that benefits Sistering, a trans-inclusive support and drop-in centre for women in downtown Toronto. Live around TO and missed it this year? You can read all about how it works here so you can be all ready next year! :D

Our route started at my local yarn store, the very cozy and friendly Porch Swing Yarnsomniacs. Mike is such a trooper, he had a wedding to attend in the afternoon but joined us for the morning, working on a Hufflepuff scarf :) Also, note the brilliant Star Wars sweater that the owner of Yarnsomniacs created!! (It’s on the back of the wooden rocking chair — you can see it in all its glory here :D)

We then hopped over to the bright and sunny Knit-O-Matic. Must remember that they carry Lily Sugar ‘n Cream cotton. I love summer knitting with cotton.

Eweknit not only has yarn, it also has WATG kits (heart-eyes) and tons and tons of gorgeous fabric!

Then we took a break for lunch. We went to Little Sito for Lebanese brunch, which I’ve never had before. The perfectly poached eyes on rich fried cheese, avocado, herbed home fries, oh my. Highly recommend it!

After lunch we went over to Yarns Untangled in vibrant Kensington Market. It has the perfect knitting spot for knitting/napping under the tree :) Also love that this shop always carries products from local artisans like greeting cards, soaps and buttons, in addition to unique hand-dyed yarns.

Finally, we spent the rest of the afternoon at Romni Wools in the isles and isles, floor to ceiling full of woolly goodness. (everyone quickly disappeared behind the yarn before I could take a picture :S)

Knitting along on the TTC! Knitting while standing in a crowded, moving streetcar is a Torontonian superpower. 

I’m actually quite directionally challenged (had to consult with my compass a couple of times throughout the trip!), so thankful for participants who super knew where they were going, and for a relatively easy, relaxing route :) Though because I’ve never led a team before I was quite nervous about remember the route and keeping time, so I didn’t try to buy anything until our last stops. But I did bring home sweater quantities of Briggs & Little wool (Canada’s oldest woolen mill!) in these beautiful shades of green, a back issue of Pom Pom magazine with lovely summer sweater patterns, and a beeswax food wrap with piles of cats on it to reduce the use of Saran wrap! 

We’re so fortunately to have so many local independent yarn stores in Toronto! I’ve always just known they are there but don’t really visit, because going to Michaels is easier, and I’ve started to take them for granted. Will have to make a point to visit them more often! 

Wishing everyone a wonderful week!

 

central park florals by diana

Film from NYC developed :D

The best ones were from Central Park. I also have had to find a different photo developing place this time because the trusty service at Shoppers Drug Mart has closed down :’( This new place charges 5 times the price of Shoppers, but the images did turn out much more vibrant. I guess I’ll have to use film more sparingly from now on, it’s really becoming more and more expensive. 

Anyway, here are the Central Park florals :D

I also loved the weathered wood railings all over the park. 

Not sure why I haven’t learned this over the past few years I’ve been using the Diana Mini, but finally realized that it is best for capturing more intimate moments rather than landscapes in the distance.

Landscapes just turn out super fuzzy most of the time and so lack focus. I do like this one with the boats though.

And this one with the light leaks around lady Liberty. And some street scenes.

 

Wishing you a great weekend with new adventures, big or small :)

this week’s awesome finds

A wonderful project of knitting feathers of birds representing each territory and province of Canada. Paid pattern from Erin Black on Ravelry. (and thank-you to Amy who always shares the most awesome yarn crafting projects with me! :D)

A rope coiled and sewn together with sewing machine to make these cute bowls. From Lia Griffith.

I love that it’s not a square-form. I bet it’s very hug-able. From Hobby Craft.

Also hug-able is this onigiri pillow! Really want to make a crochet version of it for my friend who loves everything Japanese :D From Kittenhood.

This stitch would make a nice summer top I think. From We Are Knitters.

I saw the scrubber yarn at Michaels and have been wondering about trying it. This makes a nice cute gift! From Fiber Flux.

This is so awesome, and so well made! :D Gudetama pattern by Stuff Susie Made.

I’ve never had panna cotta, but they remind me of the almond tofu dessert that I like, and look easy enough to make, so maybe I’ll try making it one day in the summer! From Oh Happy Day.

And finally, this chart spotted on Pinterest! This will be my winter project, in a corner-to-corner crochet throw :)

 

Have a great week, everyone!

 

countdown to the TTC knitalong!

I spent yesterday morning stuffing awesome swag bags with awesome people for everyone coming to the TTC Knitalong (heart-eyes, heart-eyes, heart-eyes). Check this out!

So excited!! It’s only one week away! It’s not too late to sign up, but hurry, there are only a few tickets left!

So grateful for the sponsors this year!! <3 we’ve got very nice mercerized cotton, large buttons, needles, hooks and knooks (new craft to learn btw!), gauge ruler, and knitting patterns!

There are ALSO lots and lots of YARN raffle prizes, which you can check out on the TTC Knitalong Instagram feed :) And you can get a free raffle ticket for every yarn or finished item donation! The yarn donations go to organizations like Street Knit, Knitted Knockers and hospitals. Proceeds from the event goes to Sistering, a drop-in and support centre for women in Toronto.

Come join us this Saturday if you’re in the Toronto area! :D You’ll see me with team Magic Loop!

Have a good week everyone!

 

the travelling pineapple purse

I started the pineapple purse on the trip to New York. Here’s me participating in International Knit in Public Day in Brooklyn! (We had checked out of the place we were staying at and had a free morning before our flight in late afternoon, hence lugging around all our bags)

Made the straps when we got home. I think I made them too long, it was a bit hard to gauge… it works ok for now, but if they continue to stretch as I use it I will have to replace them.

Here it is in action, at the Devil’s Punch Bowl in Hamilton, Ontario!

Much fruitiness at the Punch Bowl :D Here’s another look at this beautiful display of rock strata.

I wish we had the time to figure out the trail to the base of the cliff. The view up on the face of the escarpment must have been magnificent. But we were heading out to visit family and there was a thunderstorm was coming, so we didn’t want to get stuck on a trail in the woods in the rain.

According to the Waterfalls of Hamilton brochure that I picked up in the nearby Punch Bowl Market (more on that in a minute!), Devil’s Punchbowl Falls was created at the end of the last ice age 450 million years ago, carved by huge amount of meltwater rivers that plunged over the escarpment. The Punchbowl is the only area where one can view such a large vertical display of Ordovician and Silurian stratified rocks. My phone camera didn’t capture it super well but you can see a brilliant teal band of rocks in the middle of the cliff. We will have to go back one day and see it better.

And the Punch Bowl Market is a treat in itself! We had a lunch of very fresh, very delicious pies (chicken, strawberry rhubarb, beef) under lush hanging plants in the patio outside :) They also sell a lot of homemade preserves and sauces, and the decor is delightfully retro :D

If you ever find yourself in the area, be sure to visit, along with the many many beautiful waterfalls in Hamilton area. I’ve only visited one other waterfalls in the area, so maybe a summer road trip is in order :) 

Have a good rest of the week, everyone!

 

the laziest cheesecake

If Gudetama were ever made into a cheesecake, this would be it…

… because I made it in a rice cooker :D

I literally just mixed all the ingredients together and pressed the “cook” button. Found the recipe from this Japanese cooking website, I chose it because it was the easiest (no separating egg whites and egg yokes kind of stuff). I converted some measurements and substituted some ingredients, and it turned out quite beautifully if I do say so myself :D so I’m recording the modifications here in case I have to come back to it again, or if anyone is interested in trying it. Note: I have a 5-cup rice cooker; for a smaller rice cooker, you might have to halve the recipe as suggested on the original recipe, so it will cook through.

  1. Warm 200g of cream cheese to room temperature (I eye-balled 1/5 of the 250g brick and cut it off), fluff with fork.
  2. Mix in 2 eggs (beaten), 1/3 cup sugar, and 1 tbsp lemon juice.
  3. Gradually mix in 1/3 cup pancake mix (I bought the kind that you have to add milk and egg, not the just add water kind) and 1/3 cup half-and-half cream. Mix very well to eliminate lumps (I used a hand mixer).
  4. Grease inner pot of rice cooker with margarine/butter. Pour mixture into pot. Cook on regular rice setting.
  5. When done, test with toothpick to see if the centre is still runny. If so, cook on same setting again. (Toothpick will not come out clean, but as long as the inside is not runny it should be ok)
  6. Take out inner pot and cover with plastic wrap, cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for a few hours (I wanted to minimize the chance of it crumbling when I flip it out).
  7. Flip the cake out of the pot carefully with my hand (or a plate that fits inside the pot) pressing gently on the cake (as demonstrated with pictures in the original recipe).

Ta-da!

It tasted like a cross between Japanese cheese cake (light, fluffy, not too sweet) and New York style cheese cake (dense and rich). I suspect the denseness is due to me cooking the cake 3 times. The toothpick didn’t come out completely clean the second time and I thought it had to be, so I think I overcooked it. Next time I’ll just cook it twice. 

I made it for Mike’s birthday :D I’ll probably make it again for my parents, Mike’s parents, my co-workers, my friends, church potluck… it’s so easy!!

Wishing everyone a sweet Sunday afternoon!

 

p.s. Gudetama is a Sanrio character in the shape of an egg who is very lazy. It also morphs into different kinds of egg-based foods. His short anime are hilarious, and a bit bizarre… but fun for a short break in the day :)

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