humble beginnings

the designed in canada group in ravelry is having a knit-a-long (details here), so i am finally casting on something i was going to start years ago: a red cotton cardigan.

i have a sad scrap of twisty mesh that i had started working on, before the entire thing was abandoned a million years ago. seriously i think i bought this yarn almost fifteen years ago. it was one of early trips to romni wools not too long after i moved to toronto. the idea was to make a feminine, maybe even lacy but not grandmother-lacy red cardigan, like something amélie would wear. it was that long ago.

anyway, i goofed around with thinking i was going to improvise something but i could never quite settle on what it was i wanted, so when this kal came up i thought it was a good opportunity to search through the canadian designers on ravelry and see if any of them had the answer.

and laura chau did! the cardigan is markdale.

so now, after more than six months of not buying yarn, and working on old yarn and old projects, i'm digging into another oldie from the stash. about time, too. i also managed to get two prize-winners from previous years at the fair sent off to deserving recipients. o happy day! maybe i am not a hoarder after all.


summer cherry picking & picnic mini pies!

summertime! everything is so lush and lovely right now, including the fruit trees. it's hard to get excited about buying groceries when there is fresh fruit all around for the taking, if you have access to a tree.

fortunately, we have a local organisation called not far from the tree which connects tree owners with fruit pickers. the spoils get dividing between the owners, the pickers, and various charities.

i had been "wait-listed" for a bunch of picks, but finally got a chance to pick some cherries the other day. woohoo! it wasn't a giant haul - you never know what you're going to get, harvest might be anywhere from 5 to 50 pounds - but it was enough to make something. and with a planned picnic on the island with some friends, i wanted something portable.

and so: mini pies!

the great thing about these is that since i baked them in a muffin tin, they fit perfectly into a cupcake carrier for taking to the beach.

i used smitten kitchen's all-butter flaky pastry, and mixed the cherries with a bit of sugar and cornstarch.

the key to making this a weensy bit easier: waxed paper. strips of waxed paper (along with buttering and flouring the muffin tin) allowed me to lift the tarts out easily. and it was also the easy way to transport the woven lattice tops onto the top of the fruit.

once again, i overfilled them. sigh. a lesson i will never learn.

they look a little messy, but wow, do they taste of summer!