Sunday, November 20, 2016

Roses, Muffins, and Merino

If you look over the years, the styles have changed - the clothes, the hair, the production, the approach to the songs. The icing to the cake has changed flavors. But if you really look at the cake itself, it's really the same. --John Oates
It was my birthday on Thursday. It sort of just came and went... I'm not sure if I'm having some kind of life crisis, but I was not all that interested in all of the birthday stuff this year. Perhaps it was because I felt like I was fighting some kind of cold all week. Thursday rolled in, and I went in early for a work meeting. People wished me happy birthday, the boss took me out for a nice lunch (as soon as my stomach was feeling better), and then I left early and treated myself to a facial and then a nap. No cake or anything. I was going to make myself a special treat, but it just didn't happen. But my folks sent me these beautiful flowers, which, despite having quite a few roses in it, are lasting very well. Flowers always bring a freshness to the day:

So, that was the birthday. 

Today, I was feeling more like myself, and after we came back for a walk during a break in the rain, I came home and made a batch of Applesauce Cake, this time in muffin format (because I didn't want to wait an hour for the loaf to bake). And you know, I'm pretty happy with this kind of birthday cake this year. Light and fluffy, simple and tasty. I think it's just what the doctor ordered:

Among all of this, I actually did some knitting this week. I've been working on making something with my handspun merino that I finished during this year's Tour de Fleece, but it's been surprisingly difficult. I was having a hard time finding a project that would work with the marled grey/white/black of the yarn. I started out trying to make Purl Soho's Classic Cowl, but the brioche stitch was just getting lost. I ripped that out and tried a few other stitches, until I resigned myself to making a plain 2x2 ribbed cowl.

I made it about an inch and a half in, and was terribly bored with it. After that, I just started to wing it: cabling and twisting stitches until I fell into a kind of rhythm. I am much happier with it now:

Making something from your own handspun means that finding the right project is much more meaningful. You need to really justify all that work that went into the spinning. This is what the stitches look like when they are stretched out a bit. I'm going to see if I can block it like this to show them off:

I've got Beef and Guinness stew cooking in the crock pot for dinner, along with some nice dumplings that are enjoying a nice soak on top. I'm looking forward to having a more normal week, perhaps with a better attitude to go along with it. Until then, I might enjoy a cuppa and another one of those wee muffins and hang out with my knitting for the rest of the evening. Tea and cakes are great company in the midst of a grey and grumpy week. Thank goodness for that.

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