Saturday, December 18

A Worthy Meal


Pasta with Smoky Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Bacon
  • 3 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 4 bacon slices or 4 ounces of pancetta, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons pimenton (smoked paprika)
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 8 ounces any cut pasta
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives (I subbed parsley)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Heat the oven to 400.  Put the sweet potatoes, bacon and oil in a large roasting pan, sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss.  Roast, stirring occasionally for about 30 minutes.
Remove from oven, dust with the paprika, add the onion to the pan, stir and continue roasting for another 15 minutes.
Cook pasta in boiling, salted water.  Drain and reserve some of the cooking water.  Remove the roasting pan from the oven and stir in a bout 1/2 cup of the cooking water, scraping up any browned bits.  Add  pasta, chives and cheese to the pan and toss to combine.  Serve hot or at room temperature. 
Serves 4

Thanks Caitlin of Biscuits & Jam :) I love reading her blog so much!

Wednesday, December 1

Time for an other one

January Fibre Studio (me) and Prairie Girl Knits (Adele) will be at the Carleton Mall Friday & Saturday {Dec 3&4} for their annual Christmas Craft Sale.

The appartment is a buzz of Christmas trees, knitting swatches, scarves, knitting needles and patterns.
{Note: 'a buzz' is crafting code for very very messy} I haven't been to Adele's in over a week but I'm sure it's messy there too. Somehow sewing seems to conjure up lots of little scraps.

If you're in the area or know of someone who will be, come on over, we'd love to see you!

Thursday, November 4

Wednesday, October 13

Autumn

I love everything about this photo-taken of honeynutbrown (ravelry). This photo expresses so well many of the aspirations I have for my new living space. 


Friday, September 3

Knitting Up A Storm



All this talk about Earl and that havoc he is inevitably going to cause has got me to thinking! If this hurricane did actually amount to anything how would I get through it?

Storm Chasing really isn't my thing so I'll be staying home to ride out the storm. The battery life on my apple computer is only about 5 hours, and my dog isn't the best conversationalist, so I'll be left to rely on old faithful- no not the dog...Knitting! 

Although knitting appears to be  mundane, so 'the same', there are some precautions to take when knitting during a hurricane. It would be foolish to jump right into storm knittin'.

I've enlisted the help of my personal knitting consult to assist in this list.
{Please welcome Adele to the blog!
}

We've come up with a list of good practices, essential tools and common sense anecdotes as well as some tips to keep you knitting come wind or high water! Bring it on Earl!

  • If you're securing your patio furniture or putting a weighted vest on your dog, it might be wise to secure your yarn stash too. I've never known a piano or chest freezer to blow away, so if it will fit, throw all your yarn in and you'll have it when you need it!
  • Now is the time to charge your ipod, fill it with knitting podcasts or your favourite mood music..are you in the mood for knitting?
  • Headlamps are not just for splunkers anymore. These handy flashlights that sit on your forehead with the help of some sort of elastic are very affordable, Adele seems to think they can even be purchased at the dollar store!
  • Another benefit of having a headlamp is that it will allow you to read knitting patterns or books, when the power goes out, or the battery of your laptop dies.
  • To eliminate frustration and maximize your knitting time check online for patter errata for the project you plan to work on during the hurricane.
  • If the Vikkel braid you know is coming up at the end of your Estonian mitten is making you shiver, look up the technique on YouTube before it's too late!
  • In the unnecessary event of limited lighting get out those needle protectors! Unprotected needles could be more problematic than unprotected sex, without the little bundle of joy 9 months later. And really, no-one wants blood on their latest work in progress.
  • Now might be a good time to practice knitting blind. If the batteries in your head lamp die, or your nervous about flammable material near an open flame, get out some chunky yarn, your size 35 needles, and close your eyes, it's time knit a garter stitch car cozy.
  •  I know you've never lost a 00 needle in the couch cushions before and your sweet overweight cat never plays with your stitch markers, but trust me, anything can happen during a hurricane. Prepare your tool kit now!
  • Knitting is not all about the tools, patterns and yarn. There are some things knitters need to keep going, you guessed it...coffee. Grind up some of Ethopia's finest now and brew it up, it will keep in a thermous long enough to keep you knitting into the wee hours of the morning.
There are many other things we could metion to help you prepare- like  how being frantic or melodramatic is not a good idea anytime, especially not in a hurricane, but you're smart and probably know all that anyway.

Think ahead, be prepared and knit up a storm!



Tuesday, August 17

What Makes a Vacation?

What makes a vacation really great? Is it the deals you score at the outlets, the amazing hotel, or the perfect beach weather? Yes, perhaps but I tend to believe memories are made when you share conversation and experiences with people you care about.

On my recent vacation a lot of time was spent selecting food and places to eat with family and loved ones. Even through everything wasn't always perfect, I don't have one bad memory of the following places.


Wile I shopped in Bangor, Jacques got a breakfast Sandwich from Subway.

The next stop was When Pigs Fly to pick up some artisan bread and dipping oil. 









Then we enjoyed steak, and fish, lobster and beer at Gritty McDuffs. 










The next morning we grabbed a quick breakfast at  Friendly's in Freeport.











Jacques family took us out to Fish Bones in down town Chelmsford that night.





The next time we ate out was a breakfast treat at Tango Grill Cafe.







Later that day we visited my favourate grocery store, Trader Joe's.





When we arrived at Old Orchard Beach we had Bills Street Pizza which was delicious! That night our Portland treat was 51 Wharf.








The next morning we got our morning coffee at Starbucks....and breakfast at Mr.Bagel














Later that day we ate at Taco Bell but they had no Fries Supreme. A few days later our travels took us to Nova Scotia. Of course there was Tim Hortons.

And a great little restaurant in Truro called Frank and Gino's





Before Blue Rodeo we munched on goodies at Jungle Jims.

For most of this trip we grabbed snacks from grocery stores but on the way home we did eat at St. Hubert with my mom and dad.


What's your favourite vacation food?

Thursday, August 12

Friday, August 6

{Mixed Media Challenge}

Well after very little debate I've gone and joined the Mixed Media Challenge which is sponsored by Heidi of London Wul.

Each piece of work must be themed on a quote. As such the inspiration for my project comes from an ancient Russian proverb. As my project is revealed, the reason behind this will come to light.

"If everyone gives one thread, the poor person will have a shirt"


Today Heidi posted some links to feed the fire of our fiber {or mixed media}  addictions.

from t to b, l to r:
Central Park West Sunset -Linda Levin, Winter -Lines Laura Cater- Wood, Its Raining Men- Mary Clare Buckle, Winter I Series -Bloomfelt.

Thursday, August 5

{Tag}

Currently I'm in the process of launching my own micro-business, there's lots to do and I find it so easy to get swept away with ideas, especially when I look online for inspiration.

Although I've distributed some of my product already I'm still looking for 'branding' ideas. These are ways to make my product easily identifiable amongst a sea of other beautiful goodies.

The 'tag' as I call it is what I'm focusing on this week. Here is some recent inspiration.

Friday, June 18

{Twenty Interesting Facts About...Bond...James Bond}



Due to some outside influences in my life, I've recently been re-exposed to the James Bond empire of books and movies. Both entertaining, and easy on the eyes, it's easy to see why Mr. Bond has been popular for so many years.  

James Bond was created in January 1952 by British journalist Ian Flemming while on holiday at his Jamaican estate, Goldeneye. 

Mr. Flemming, who in addition to the 12 James Bond novels write 2 short stories about 007. 

The first of 22 Bond films, Dr. No was released in 1962, two years before Flemming's death. 

Commander Sir James Bond, is an officer of the British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6)

How old is James? Well, in "You Only Live Twice" Tanaka tells James he was born in the year of the Rat (1912/13 or 1924/25). Although the books were written over a 12 year period, and his age, when mentioned is around forty.

The Bond Family motto is "Orbis non sufficit", which in "On her Majesty's Secret Service" we learn means "The World is Not Enough".

The Highest Grossing James Bond film is Thunderball staring Sean Connery. It grossed $141,200,000 in 1965, which today is over $966,400,000.

Of the actors to play the British Bond all but one (D. Craig) were over 6ft tall.  By the way, he's 5'11!

After S.Connery quit the role of 007 after 5 successful films, producer Albert. R Broccoli wanted 23 year old Timothy Dalton for the new Bond character. Dalton declined as he believed himself too young for the role.

Roger Moore was also considered to replace Connery, however was too busy with his television role in "The Saint". (Interestingly enough both Dalton and Moore would go on to play the Secret Service character.)
 
The role was ultimately given to George Lazenby after he impressed Broccoli with his ability to display aggression, when he accidentally punched a professional wrestler (acting as stunt coordinator), in the face. 
 
 
At the time of the release of "On Her Majesty's Secret Service"  Lazenby's performance received mixed reviews. Lazenby was dismissed by critics who cited him as a brave but disappointing successor to Connery. Over the years his performance has been viewed more favourably, and OHMSS rankes among the top three Bond films with fans.
 
Corgi, the producer of highly collectible scale model die-cast vehicles, released a collection of 007 Mission Arsenal replecas in 2008. They include: Secret Sender Cell Phones, Nano Surveillance camera, GPS Tracker, Crypto Decoder Device, Pen Set.

The "James Bond Theme" was written by Monty Norman in 1962.

The only Bond theme to reach number one on the pop charts in the U.S. was Duran Duran's "A View to a Kill." 
 
When Bob (2004 film, "The Incredibles") approaches Syndrome's lair at night the music and shots match the opening scenes of Goldfinger, as Bond approaches the oild storage tanks. 

Michelle Yeoh, who played Wai Lin in "Tomorrow Never Dies", performed all her own stunts.

At 37, Honor Blackman was the oldest woman to play a Bond girl.

The two most recent 007 films "Casino Royale" and "Quantum of Solace" broke with numerious Bond film traditions. Such as: The actor had blonde hair, the phrase "shaken, not stirred" was not used, the line "Bond, James Bond" was never uttered, and there weren't really any gadgets.

Casino Royale, premiered on Nov 14, 2008, and was released in Asia and the Middle East the following day. It is the first Bond film to have been released in China.

Monday, June 7

{ Twenty Interesting Facts about...Pigs }



If you only visit this blog to read about knitting, spinning dying and the occasional sheep or Great Dane story it will be best for you to stop reading now. Go visit the Yarn Harlot, or Never Not Knitting. They will provide you with your daily dose of fiber. 

Over the weekend when I was happily knitting socks in front of the wood stove at JAP's parents farmhouse, I was recruited move some (2) pigs. 

This adventure resulted in a splinter, bruised knees and a great sense of accomplishment. 


So, in honour of my piggie adventure here are twenty interesting things you may not know about the common Pig.
(Please jump in with any additional information you may have) 

  • The first domestication of the Pig is thought to have taken place in China  around 4900 BC.
  • Pigs are the only mammal found all around the world.
  • The 9 species of Pig live on every continent except Antarctica.
  • Groups of pigs are called sounders or herds.
  • A male pig is called a boar.
  • A female pig is called a gilt if she hasn't had piglets yet and a sow if she has.
  • Pigs are very intelligent and learn quickly. They rank 4th in animal intelligence. Piglets learn their names by two to three weeks of age and respond when called.
  • Like humans, Pigs are omnivorous; eating both veggies and meat.
  • The pig's nose is called a snout, big boars like to use it as a weapon.
  • Pigs can have either straight or curly tails.
  • A pig can run a 7 minute mile.
  • Pigs have 44 teeth.
  • The lifespan of a pig is up to 15 years.
  • Due to the position of the eye on the head, Pigs have excellent eyesight. They also have very good hearing and a keen sense of smell.
  • Although Lean by nature, pigs are often overfed by their owners.
  • Very clean by nature, pigs keep their toilets far from their living or eating area.
  • The well known phrase "Sweating like a pig" is not accurate. As Pigs have not sweat glands they are incapable of sweating.
  • To keep cool, Pigs roll around in mud or water. The layer of mud protests their skin from the sun.
  • Pigs are fantastic swimmers. In fact the Pig Olympics which occur annually in Shanghai China include swimming races.
  • Pig insulin is used to control diabetes.

Bonus!

Many places around the world are names after the Suinae mammal.

  • When driving through Boarhill Scotland you can see the remarkably plain church built in 1866. 
  • Let's not forget about Hog Head Ireland,  which is known for its excellent bass, cod, dab, dogfish, mullet, pollock and ballan wrasse fishing.
  • Then there's the Sow River in England which is a tributary of the River Avon. 
  • What about Babe Island Guam which is known for it's beautiful beaches?
    Note: The movie Babe has no direct connection to this area.
  • Finally and the most tragically popular is the Bay of Pigs in Cuba. This area located 150 kilometers southeast from the Cuban capital city of Havana played host to the USA's unsuccessful invasion, which attempted to overthrow Fidel Castro.




Oink.


Tuesday, June 1

No Camera Necessary



It is with great pleasure I'd like to announce JAP and I have successfully encountered and conquered what many call
the test of a relationship, the "dear John letter" of vacations you might say...

not Disney,


not sleeping on your second cousin's pull out chesterfield,


none of those horrid eco learning adventures that are so popular,



I'm talking about something worse,



Wilderness camping. With tents, and no running water, and black flies, mosquitoes, the whole bit.


We saw many majestic views on our 3.95 hour (should have been 3) hike of Mt. Bailey. {
Latitude : 47.4295Longitude : -66.9473}.

I learned to trust JAP and have a good attitude despite being lost, and tired, and hot...

...and out of shape.

I learned all about JAP's room-mate woe's and now understand the sun does not set at 4:30.

Despite a forgotten air pump, forgotten towels rendered useless due to fridgid showers, no camera to commemorate the set up of the tent and salsa left in Drummond, it was a great trip. We didn't need our camera, as it's a trip I won't ever forget.






Tuesday, May 11

{it encourages me to improve my photography}

Back in September I posted a list of 100 things I love about knitting. Number 22 on that list was: it encourages me to improve my photography. Improvement is good, especially when there is LOTS of room for it...I've got miles and miles to go.
Example: Right now the my greatest photography skill is hitting the 'enhance' button in iPhoto.

Really.

This has been life changing for me.

Back to the point. I just want to take good, bright, clear photos of one thing. Yarn. Forget about capturing important life moments, puppies, babies, weddings, just gimme the yarn.

In the past I've some how {divine intervention} managed to take some okay pictures, totally by accident. Here are some I'm okay with, what do you think?







**I'd like to thank my white Ikea desk chair for making this photo shoot possible**

Sunday, May 2

{May Mystery Sock 2010}

I'm not sure if I have ever mentioned one of my favourite websites on this blog yet. It seems rather impossible that I have not. This site, which is called Ravelry is sort of like facebook for knitters, but with no pesky farmville or mafia wars foolishness. Actually it's better than facebook, because it's all knitting all the time. For me anyway, people who crochet are on the site too, but let's be honest, crochet is a bit kitschy...

er....um....

I mean crochet is just not for me.

Where was I, oh yes Ravelry. Well Ravelry has all these groups you can join. I know for a fact there are over 10,000 groups but to date I have only joined 11. One group I have recently joined is called "Sock Knitters Anonymous". Those who know me will testify that I do not have a sock knitting addiction, however this group does have something I need. ~Mystery Socks. A mystery sock is a sock pattern that is released to the group in section. {cuff, leg, heel, foot, toe}. They are typically designed by a famous sock knitter/designer.

Yes there is such a thing as famous sock designers.


Really.

In the past Nancy Bush and Cat Bhordi have designed, but this month it's all about Cookie A. I have never knit any of her patterns before so figured knitting it at the same time as a group of people would be great. If I have any questions there are about 60 other people working on the same thing I am. One of the rules is that you post a photo on May 1st of what you have cast on, even if it's not much. This is what I've managed to knit on so far.

Pattern: Cookie A Mystery Sock for Sock Knitters Anonymous Group
Yarn: Happy Feet by Plymouth Yarn
Needles: U.S. 1 circular needle
Start Date: May 1st 2010
Finish Date: TBD
Ravelry Link



This afternoon was a beautiful 22 degrees outside and I was knitting on the patio with Mr. K. Once I was done mystery socking it for the day I decided to re-begin a shawl that's been in my queue since before Christmas. Here's what I started with, and my welcome companion Mr. K, one of the handsome men in my life.



Pattern: Ishbel by Ysolda Teague
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Pure Silk
Needles: U.S. 4 circular needle
Start Date: May 1st 2010
Finish Date: TBD
Ravelry Link





Wednesday, April 14

FO: Fly Fly Away

Finished Object Name: Fly Fly Away Socks {formally unwillingly known as airplane socks}
Yarn: unknown
Needles: 2.75 mm
Pattern: improvised

Happy Knit-Iversary

Last night the Woodstock Fibre Artists celebrated ONE year of knitterly fun!



Tuesday, March 30

Knitting Brings the Boys to My Yard.

I have been seeing a lot of vintage advertisements lately with a knitting theme. Here are some of my fav's.

"Yarn with a Happy Ending
Everything's bound to turn out all right for a fellow who's tied to a girl who keeps Schlitz in the picture. We think you'll like Schlitz best, too, because more people
like the taste of Schlitz than any other beer. That's why
Schlitz is... The Largest-Selling Beer in America"


This is a cute one. My only thought is... sometimes you need to measure something when it's not on your needles, or maybe something that's bigger than 12 inches long?




Not sure what this one is for, but I like the graphic.



This book speaks the truth...

Thursday, March 18

It's Not Tuesday

No, it's not Tuesday, but it is Thursday, and I am feeling random, and unlike the Harlot, I do not rail against it.

Well, not today...maybe tomorrow...we'll just play it by ear.

1. I knit socks on the airplane. I will not now, or ever in the future refer to them as airplane socks, but if you decide to call em that, I'll know what you mean.













2
. My sushi last night cost $50. That's okay, I'll expense it, I just submit my receipt cause work pays for meals and other 'essentials' when I travel.

Essentials =$50 worth of rice and avocado.

I did not receive a receipt. ...

My sushi cost me $50.....it was worth it.


3. One more reason to love an Alpaca.
They are not afraid to hang 10 with dudes making funny faces.

Friday, March 12

Knit or Sweat

Knit

Sweat

Sweat, or Knit?

It's an age old question. Well not age old, three week old maybe.

Lately my behind has been jiggling a little more than I'm comfortable with. (Yes I comfortable with a little jiggle), and I decided to do something about it. That something turned out to be Julie's Boot Camp Extravaganza. This extravaganza is inconveniently held on BOTH Tuesday and Thursday nights. If you know me at all you know those are my knitting nights.

Tough choice. Sweat, pain, blackouts and possible public embarrassment or knitting, talking, laughing, coffee, yummie treats, and no pain. Did I mention no pain?

I miss you knitting and knitting friends. I'll be back when Boot Camp is over, with less jiggle in my behind.