the problem with being a sewer is that it makes it difficult to buy clothing... everything is just so poorly made these days it is galling! i bought young h a lovely duffle coat at a nice store and one of the buttons was off within a week, and the zipper was coming loose too... just finished sewing on a new button properly, and reinforcing all the other buttons properly, and reinforcing the zipper. grr! serves me right for having standards i guess.

this is also why i love vintage... things used to be so well made compared to now. sigh. can i be transported back about 5 decades please?


but of course!

just as i am ready to start the last set of petals on my felted wreath, i lose my printout of the pattern... sigh. and the original ravelry link was wrong. but it's fixed now (and here it is, for the record), on track again, determined to finish it this weekend or else. hard to get things done when i fall asleep at 7:30 most days though!

also, i can't believe i haven't posted yet about laura's amazing storage locker of yarny goodness, conveniently located at queen & spadina, i.e. 5 minutes from my office. i have been by three times so far, getting christmas presents, stuff for friends, and stuff for myself of course! basically, a relative of a friend of a colleague (or some such connection) had hoped to open a yarn store, bought $100,000 worth of yarn, and then decided not to open the shop - so there's a lys-worth of yarn going at 25% off retail, and laura wants it all to go to knitters! it's by appointment only, since it's all in a storage unit rather than an actual shop, but laura is very willing to get rid of it all: set up an appointment by calling or emailing 416-389-3866 or simbabee1@yahoo.ca.

she has everything from lana gatto feeling to lopi (which i have always secretly coveted) to tofutsis to a million other gorgeous fondle-able yummy yarns. here's some briggs & little sport (and my first hand-wrapped centre-pull ball - thanks to rosary for showing me how) i got to make surface - i haven't made a sweater in a while because when you need 15 balls of yarn it gets of pricey - but i got all i need for only $20! very happy!

i've had it in my queue for ages, and i'm aiming to get it done... for next thanksgiving. that's realistic, right?


how does this happen

two months ago i thought i was so organised and ahead of the game for christmas... now it is barely a month away and i have so many things left to do! everyone has their lights up on my street and i haven't finished the felted wreath... i keep getting distracted by new projects (an asl "i love you" vest for h, and a pair of socks, and returning to an old sweater project for him that i set aside last spring) instead of completing the time-sensitive ones i should really get cracking on! also, having craptastic health for the last 60 days has really not helped. but there is a light at the end of that tunnel i am beginning to think; physio last week really made a difference, and i'm doing that again tomorrow (note to self: find receipt from last week's session & submit to insurance). here's hoping they fix me; i am dying to repaint, and open the living-to-dining archway (as i have talked about since we moved in) - at least i have cleared out some closets, took bags of stuff to goodwill, and "de-fragged" my piles of projects-on-the-go. now, where's my celebrex...


they snick! they doodle!

so i decided to try again, this time using a combination of lard and butter, and i noticed that the recipe calls for baking soda and i am pretty sure that last time i used baking powder (that's the first thing i reached for this time, too). in any case, they are perfect! and great with a cup of tea!


too cute!

this morning i brought h's new thuja socks up to his room and he
promptly took off the socks he was wearing and said "i want wear black
socks mummy"



time, it's on my mind

i almost forgot this morning that i was toying with the idea of doing nanowrimo again for the first time in years. i think the real challenge this time will be just to find enough minutes in the day. i do have a grand plan to take iron supplements with oj 30 minutes before breakfast (for better absorption) every day, so maybe that will be my writing time? hmmm...

anyway i've just finished making a giant vat of soup and doing all the dishes (which somehow didn't get done yesterday or friday, more hmmm) so i think i've earned a writing break! just as soon as i've got tonight's giant roast ready for the oven.

white bean & kale soup with italian sausage

2 tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp chili flakes
3 lg onions (i used 2 medium-large and 1 ginormous one), minced
5 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 kilo italian sausage, squeezed out of the casings in little bits
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
2 lg cans diced tomatoes
4 cans white kidney beans, rinsed well
1 bunch kale, chopped and washed
8 cups liquid (water, or water + chicken stock, or add some white wine)
salt & pepper to taste

heat the oil over medium flame in a GIANT pot. add the chili flakes; swirl until they give the oil a bit of colour. add onions, sautee a few minutes till translucent; add garlic and cook a few minutes more. add sausage and herbs, stir and let simmer about 10 minutes. add tomatoes in their juice, simmer a little while longer, then add the well-rinsed beans (really rinse them well!)

bring a separate pot of water to boil and blanch the kale (to get rid of the bitterness). drain the kale and add to the big pot.

finally, add the stock/water/whatever and simmer until all is well combined (say another 15 minutes). season to taste with salt and pepper. voila! serves 100.