Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Stash Enhancement

On Saturday I went to Knit Happens with a friend for a little stash enhancement. After a few laps around the store, I settled on this:


Handmaiden Sea Silk, 70% silk and 30% sea cell from Canada. It has a distinctly fishy fragrance. I hope the recipient doesn't mind... this stuff is pricey. I'm thinking of a scarf. Maybe something lacey.


Ella Rae Classic, 100% wool. I have the Maple purse in mind. The black for the purse and red the Malabrigo that I bought in Michigan can be used for the leaf. According to Holly, Ella Rae Classic felts even better than Cascade 220. I'll have to try it out myself and find out.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

CSA week 17

Onions, swiss chard, mustard greens, eggs, tomatoes, one pear, two apples, three carrots, radishes, potatoes and beets. This is the third week in a row that we received beets from our CSA. After giving them away twice, I thought I would try to do something with them this week because we might be getting them again next week... and wouldn't it be better if we could eat them somehow? So I roasted them. Stained my hands in the process.

We haven't eaten them yet so the verdict is still out but I also have this chocolate beet cake recipe that I've been interested in trying for years. The beet puree is used to sweeten and moisten the cake. Might make that on Friday.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Test your color IQ

I saw a link to this quiz where you must put color chips in order by hue. Try it out. I scored 20 away from perfect.

Friday, September 26, 2008

A few more China pictures

I took over a thousand pictures while I was China (and Max took about the same) but have only shared a few. Here's some more.

Flying over the Arctic Ocean:

A roof at the Summer Palace:

One of the Nine Dragons at Beihai Park:

The Bird's Nest:

Bicycle traffic light (you'll need to zoom in):

Thursday, September 25, 2008

New shoes

Bought these on Zappos, along with three other pairs. Returned the others but kept these Bandolino Sorocas ... they fit well, look good, and they're reasonably comfortable to walk in.

What else can you ask for?

I've been wearing them for the past three days and the only glitch is walking over brick sidewalk, which is a little bit of a problem if I leave my office (since all of Alexandria seems to have brick sidewalks) but inside, they're great.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Happy Birthday Dad!

This is one of my most favorite pictures of my Dad, from when he walked me down the aisle at my wedding.

Today he's another year older! And doing it right... taking the day off to see a play at Stratford and have dinner with my Mom.

Hope you have a great day Dad!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A little hoodie


That's what Max called it when I showed him the finished hood, seamed. Now there is sewing to do, then picking up stitches and knitting (several times in fact) before I'm done. Luckily this is for a co-worker who is not due for another two months. Though that probably means I only have another four weeks until the shower... Last night I started on the edging of one of the sleeves.

Monday, September 22, 2008

CSA week 16

It's fall!

Which is normally wonderful but for veggies it means cabbage, beets, and swiss chard. Yuck! Still, we take pleasure in the tomatoes and melon. I'm thrilled about the fresh garlic and shallots (even if Max is not) and we have plans to use the bell peppers in couscous for dinner tomorrow.

Over the weekend I did a little baking.

Cheddar Bacon bread
(substituted the shredded zucchini for the pears, okay but not great)

Plantation Skillet cake (yum!) from America the Beautiful Cookbook.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Alexandria Farmer's Markets

Yesterday I discovered a new farmer's market in Alexandria:

Upper King Street Fresh Farmers' Market
King Street Gardens Park, 1806 King Street
Every Wednesday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., through October 29

Check it out! There are about half a dozen vendors selling produce, canned good, flowers, tea, and baked good. Best of all, it turned my mood around from cranky and crabby to happy and pleasant. Just the thing after work!

There are a few others in Alexandria on the weekend but this is the only one during the work week.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Almost certainly fatal

Max was in Massachusetts over the weekend and just got home last night. We were watching Saturday Night Live last night - for me it was the second time but just as funny as the first time! Here's one of my favorites:

Sunday, September 14, 2008

CSA week 15

Yellow beans, grape tomatoes, large tomatoes, peaches, potatoes, cantaloupe, and eggs. If this week's allotment looks small it's because we're missing the pears and the shallots but I didn't feel like walking back to Food Matters to get them since I needed to go out. That was yesterday.

Today was a very food day, which is surprising because of the unexpected high heat and humidity but I was in the mood. So after breakfast I went to the West End Farmer's Market:

Can you spot the spinner? She's usually there every Sunday, though how she managed today in this weather is beyond me.

This afternoon I was pretty busy in the kitchen once I came home with all the right ingredient. I made French onion soup for dinner tonight and lasagna for dinner tomorrow with homemade pasta. Gotta use up those eggs!

As you can see, there was leftover pasta. It was all roughly cut up and cooked through for later. There's black pepper in it for looks. You can't actually taste it.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

That's more like it!


I can almost see what it's supposed to look like (it's the Apple pattern from MagKnits). Working on the hood now. It's supposed to be a rainy weekend, starting tomorrow... hopefully I'll have some more progress to report next week.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Vacation head space

Even though my vacation is over, I am still not yet "with it." I've been knitting some but not much. I'm over jet lag but there's something that is still off. Just don't feel like it, whatever "it" happens to be.


Sunday, September 07, 2008

CSA week 13-14

Here's last week's:

And this week's:

While we were out of town, our friends who were house-sitting for us picked up the weekly allotment of produce from Food Matters. We could have also asked them to hold over the second portion and picked up a double portion when we got back but we didn't think we could handle that many vegetables so closely on the heels of returning from China. There are a bunch of different farms that contribute to our share of the CSA and they are the same ones that put the food on the table at the restaurant.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Blue scarf

I started knitting this scarf in Beijing during the Olympics with the yarn that I bought at this store. Mostly I just wanted something simple to knit, so garter stitch was just the thing. The colour is truer on the left.

IMG_6540 IMG_6557

I used my new knitting needles. Want to see?

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Beijing Siteseeing

Summer Palace
The driver dropped us off at the North Gate which meant alot of walking over a giant hill to get to the main part with the lake and the buildings.

I had never been here before and it was a little bit disappointing. Looked like every other place, nothing special just alot of walking. The best part really was the exercise park near the entrance with all the activities going on... fans, singing, dancing, badminton, streamers, Chinese opera, and a dozen more.

Beihai Park
This was my site to visit this time. The lake was so peaceful and the park was so beautiful. Ironically, I think I spent the least amount of time there. Next time I definitely want to go back and spend more time there. At least we got to see the Nine Dragon Wall.

Very few remain and the ones that are still there are hidden behind "One World One Dream" walls. Kristina and Bruce visited the ones near Beihai Park. We also walked through the ones in Liulicheng as part of our shopping trip.

Great Wall at Simatai
I went here with my family last time and complained bitterly about all the climbing. This time was a little different because of the pathway that was built three years ago, but still really tough. Kristina and Bruce took the cable car up to the top (the thought of which was terrifying to me); Max and Missy took the zipline down (also truly terrifying to me); I walked all the way up, across to the 6th tower and back. I was pretty wiped out for the rest of the day!

Tiananmen Square
It was filled with all kinds of flowers and tons of people because of the Olympics. Good thing we went on August 25 because on the 26th it was all being dismantled.

Forbidden City
I did see the Forbidden City was I was in China last and so this was my first time. Unfortunately there were some "notables" visiting and so access to the best areas were cut off just as we got to them. We think it was the Swedish royal family. Overall it was nice, the size is impressive but I think I would skip it next time.