If health content bores you, maybe just skip this post, for I’m still on Dog Rehab Duty, and my world revolves around that, pretty much. What a good thing I never realized, back in February, the journey this was going to be. I mean, they did inform us at the clinic, but they also said that Charlie’s recovery was remarkably speedy, initially. It was just stupid, probably, to extrapolate from that; hope’s a bitch, as my friend Damon Salvatore from the Vampire Diaries used to say.
Today, I have a hard time mustering any of the optimism from the early days after the surgery, and I feel exhausted. Seeing progress goes a long way when it comes to keeping the faith, and for the last 4 weeks, there hasn’t really been any, period. No upward-sloping curve at all. In fact, we’re back with the pain meds, continuous regular physio therapy, exercise, and even electro-therapy.
Seeing someone you love in pain is just hard, whether they be kids, pets, friends or family. The first wobbly steps in the morning. Always saying no when he’s happily dashing towards a dog friend, or a family member who needs to be properly greeted. No walks off the leash, no running, no jumping … and no one really seems to know what the time frame is. I guess it’s just eating at me. Apologies if I sound whiny. It must be one of those days.
Thankfully, there’s still my happy place, the yarniverse:
What you see above was what I played with over the weekend, making these small crochet pouches. I was asked to teach how to make them at the school’s crafternoon this coming Saturday, so I needed to make a prototype, to know what I’m even doing. I bought yarn on Friday, always a treat to visit the yarn shop. Personally, I think the square ones are prettier, but I can see how young children might prefer the round shape. These are meant for selling at our school’s annual Summer Fayre in July.
In April, I also ambitiously set out to make another sweater. It seems I caught the colorwork bug, for I’m trying out something a bit more complicated and very different from the chocolate brown number I did end up giving a brown ribbed semi-turtle, here:
The new sweater project was inspired by something the IG algorithm showed me. The artist is on Ravelry, check out their work, it’s really lovely: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/sea-glass-sweater-2. I found this pattern so intriguing that I started playing around with it, stubbornly not buying the pattern but wanting to teach myself how to do it:
The piece is designed to be a stash buster – all yarn people have one, so I’m sure you can relate. The trick was combining colors and yarn qualities to look and feel nice, while managing the increases for the yoke and the intricate 1/1 pattern at the same time. With my daughter’s help, I decided for a pink, grey, caramel, purple and greenish color palette. If the sweater ends up with her, I won’t be surprised ;-).
Regarding the increases, I found a solution for not messing up the 1/1 color change while increasing at the same time: I made 2 inc in 1 stitch, instead of 1 inc, like you normally do (1 in the front loop, 1 in the back loop). Instead, I just did (1 in the front loop in color A, 1 in the back lop in color B, and a third, 1 in the front loop in color A again). The yarn is thin enough for the fabric to accommodate the 2 increases instead of 1, so it’s been very gratifying to solve this puzzle ;-). I’m sure more experienced people have thought of this ages ago, but to me it was a new problem and I was really proud when I cracked it!
I’m working with a 4 mm needle, to compensate for the fact that you have 2 live threads at all times, which results in a slightly thicker fabric. It was too dense when I tried it with a 3 mm at first. The yarn is mostly sock yarn. There’s also a few really soft merino and cashmere skeins, and the really soft caramel mohair and cotton blend I used for the neck. The color changes are basically random; I’m trying to go with the flow, using one variegated yarn and one solid color at the same time, and trying to always have one of the softer qualities and one of the more basic sock yarns balance each other out into a wearable, soft fabric.
I was obsessing a little about that yoke for a good week, knitting at every opportunity, frogging and changing, and re-doing … you know how that goes … to the point of giving myself a little carpal trouble, so I set the sweater aside after finishing with the increases, and focused on work instead – for which I need my hands and wrists too, obviously.
Right now, I’m well into the last third of the translation of this inspiring fiber artist’s crochet book: https://knitsnknots.ca/. Her name is Janine Myska, she’s Canadian (*love*), and she provides accessible, affordable, doable crochet patterns for sweaters and cardigans. Highly recommend! I hope to be done with the first draft next week, and then my editor and I will have to work out some digital knots of our own, because this is an InDesign project, still a bit nerve-wracking for me…
And since this is a blog that offers seasonal food content sometimes, here’s a pretty and unusual potato salad for you, a perfect spring-time addition to a barbecue, but also perfectly yummy all on its own!
Potato Salad Primavera
8 small boiled potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 red onion, sliced and chopped
5-6 stalks green asparagus, blanched for a few minutes
1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
1 TBSP basil or parsley, cut into thin slices
Salt, pepper, pinch of sugar
6 TBSP olive oil, or other oil
1,5 TSP Dijon mustard
1 TSP white Balsamic vinegar
Boil potatoes in salt water, add the asparagus for 5 minutes or so, then put the peas in a sieve and set over the boiling water to steam them, also no longer than a few minutes. Set asparagus and peas aside. When potatoes are tender, let cool for a while, then peel and cube.
Chop your onion. Cut the asparagus stalks in pieces that seem appealing (I like diagonal, but that is really up to you.)
In a salad bowl, combine oil, mustard, vinegar and spices and stir until smooth. Add all your other ingredients and stir carefully. Let sit for 20-30 minutes, then serve, and prepare to be wowed!
This recipe has a number of hits when you google it, and I’m not entirely sure who came up with it in the first place. Some use dill, I’ve tried basil and parsley, both very good; others add capers or use roast potatoes. I’ve been thinking about adding hard-boiled eggs next time – try what seems good to you, and let me know how you liked it!
My own family enjoyed it, and I know I’ll be making it all through asparagus season.
Have a great week, everybody, and thank you for checking in and reading.