The perfect summer day

Sunday, July 29, 2012

What do you picture when you think of a perfect summer day?

Mine started with a perfectly blue sky, and enough me time to read a chapter of my new book, while enjoying a cup of coffee.

We then baked a little something. I love rhubarb, and my local grocery store finally started carrying it, so I've been trying a few different recipes. This one is from La Tartine Gourmande.

Lunch was followed by a quick run to my local yarn store . I was hoping to get some Pink Label Tanis Fiber Arts on sale, but ended up with this beauty:

And finally, the rest of the day was spent in my sister's pool.

We got home a little while ago, our skin still feeling hot from the sunshine we've absorbed all day. We're tired, but a good tired, if you know what I mean. I will sign off, and I am going to sit down and do some knitting. Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend as well.

Summer Sweater KAL and a visit to a Lavender Farm

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

I am really happy to be able to show you my finished KAL sweater. After a really slow start, I finally gathered some steam and put the finishing touches on it this weekend.

My comments? Another great Purl Bee pattern. It is a simple construction, but that's what makes it so wearable, modern, and especially pretty. I also really like the yarn I used. I took a chance on linen yarn on ebay, and I am really happy with the quality. Also, the colors are amazing. I have lots left over, so I am already on the lookout for another suitable pattern. Suggestions?

Now let me tell you about our weekend outing.

Our little family has been making a effort to discover our own "backyard" so to speak. We live in a beautiful province, and especially in the summer, there are tons of things to do. A few years ago I had visited a lavender farm close to Magog, and I absolutely wanted to take the hubs and A. to it.

We packed a picnic basket, I armed myself with my camera and off we went. I was a little worried about the 2 hour car ride, but A. loved playing "spot the red car", and it kept him busy for most of the day. I worked on my niece's t-shirt, and before you know it we had arrived.

Bleu Lavande is a really special place. It's perched on a hill, overlooking the surrounding forests. It's flowering season at the moment and as soon as you arrive you are faced with a sea of purple. If there is a breeze, you get a hint of that refreshing lavender smell. There are picnic tables strewn along the fields, a band is singing live, and you can participate in botany, gardening and cooking workshops. They even have little tents set up where you can get massages. The kids can play on the jungle-gym, but most of them are content just running through the fields and smelling the flowers. I tasted the most delicious lavender lemonade, and I am dying to try and whip up a batch at home.

It seems everyone is overcome by this sense of calm. We came back really refreshed and content. I will leave you with some shots of this wonderful place.

Summer B-day Party

Monday, July 23, 2012

I have always envied people whose birthday is in the summer. The possibilities for celebrating are endless. BBQ, picnic, pool party, garden party, any type of outdoor entertaining is fun. Case in niece.

She turned 3, and to celebrate we had a picnic in one of our favorite parks. It has every element needed to make a kid's party perfect.

A huge playground, water games, picnic tables and lots of shade for the parents to watch the kids have fun.

I had planned to make the Spring garden Tee for Sofia, but did not get around to finishing it. At around 1 AM the night before I had to admit defeat and set it aside. She will get it by next weekend (I hope), so in the meantime here's a shot of the almost finished tee.

Luvinthemommyhood Summer Sweater KAL

Sunday, July 8, 2012

If you've been following my blog for a while you may remember that last year I joined the luvinthemommyhood Summer Sweater KAL. It was a great experience. I got to "meet" a lot of like - minded knitters and I loved sharing and discussing my project. Everyone is really helpful and encouraging. So if you've got a project in mind, or if you've been thinking about that one pattern, but have not yet found the opportunity to start... Why not join us?

Here's the link to sign up, there's no pressure, and I promise you it's lots of fun.

Now about my own project, I mentioned here that I found some linen yarn on eBay to use for the Purl Bee Silken Straw Summer Sweater pattern. It was going to be my vacation project. The plan was to use the 8 hour flight to be productive and make lots of progress. I even went on-line to do research and make sure that you are indeed allowed to bring knitting needles on board (I had a printout with me just in case). About an hour into the flight, after A. and S. had fallen asleep, I pulled out my project and settled in for some knitting.

Alas.....barely any progress was made.

I've never worked with linen before, and did not consider the stiffness of the yarn. I am knitting this with 2 strands held together, so the result was a huge tangled mess of stiff, linen, lace-weight yarn. I believe I spent maybe 1 hour trying to untangle it, then gave up, frustrated. In the end, I had to cut out quite a bit of yarn, because I was never able to undo it.

I did not pick up my project for any significant progress, until I read about the KAL. It was the push I needed. So here's a glimpse of what it looks like. It's coming together quite nicely, and I cannot wait to have it finished.


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

I promised you a separate post on our visit to Sevile, and that is simply because I believe it really deserves its own mention. It was located only 2 hours away from where we were staying on the Costa del Sol, so the hubs and I decided to rent a car and hop on over for a day.

Normally I would not venture to drive in a city I don't know, much less in a country where I can't speak the language (guess those Spanish courses never stuck). But we put our faith in our GPS and set off.

Let's just say that it took over 30 minutes to reach the highway that was only 2 km away. Why? Because street signs are almost inexistent and Jill (our GPS) was unable to pronounce the street names in an intelligible way, which resulted in us turning in circles for a while. So....there was some yelling, some swearing, some huffing and some pouting, but once on the highway we setteled in for the 157 km drive.

Arrived in Seville, we simply parked in the city centre and set off exploring on foot. I was surprised to see how many locals seemed to be out during the day. The streets we literally packed. Everyone was dressed up as if they were going to a wedding. It was really nice to experience the city life like that.
We started noticing that the ground was covered in what looked like pine-needles, and there was a familiar smell in the air, that I could not identify for the life of me.
All this walking made us hungry, and what better place to rest and enjoy a local beer and traditional tapas then in the shade of Europe's biggest cathedral, admiring this view?

Map in hand, we set out to find the famous Seville Cathedral, the biggest of its kind in Europe. It is said that church authorities declared: "Let us create such a building that future generations will take us for lunatics." (according to my lonely planet guide). We made our way through tiny "calles" lined with the cutest boutiques, little cafe's and restaurants, we admired the attention that seems to be paid to the littlest details such as the underside of balconies being decorated with hand-painted tile. We caught glimpses of colorfully tiled entryways and tapestry-clad balconies.

After this very enjoyable break, we headed to the cathedral entrance only to discover was closed! Open pretty much 365 days a year, but not June 7th. It's a holiday, the Feast of Corpus Christi to be exact. This explained why the whole city seemed to be out for a walk. Needless to say we were disappointed.

Fortunately Seville has lots to offer. We spend the next 5 hours exploring Real Alcazar, and the barrios Santa Cruz and Parque Maria Luisa. The parks and gardens are incredible, little oasis' to escape to. And everywhere we went we were followed by this mysterious smell.

You may wonder why I claimed that Seville is a knitter's city. Let me explain. everywhere I looked I noticed this sign:

I got curious of course, and flipping through my guidebook I found this explanation: " It is traditionally said to stand for "No me ha dejado" meaning "She has not deserted me". These words were reputedly uttered by Alfonso the Wise, after the city remained loyal to him in the course of a dispute with his son, during the Reconquest. The double loop symbol in the middle represents a skein of wool, the Spanish word for which is madeja, thus no(madeja)do."  How perfectly adorable is that?

There are so many more corners to Seville we did not get to explore, and I really hope that one day we get to go back. I will let you enjoy some more Seville shots.

Oh, and the smell? It took me hours to figure it out. It was rosemary. Seville smells like rosemary!