Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Knitted Temperature Blanket - June 2020

I heard about temperature blankets at the end of last year.  I've never made one before and it sounded like a fun long term project.

The idea of a temperature blanket is to knit or crochet a row (or a number of rows) on a blanket each day for a full calendar year.  The colors used each day correspond with the temperature outside.  The more colours you use to represent temperatures and the more varied the temperatures, the more colourful the blanket.

To be consistent, I chose to use the temperature at noon.  I debated whether to use Toronto's temperatures (regardless of where I am) or the temperatures of where I am (so it's a Teena ~ temperature blanket).  I decided to make a Teena ~ temperature blanket ... it should be interesting to see how it turns out as I travel throughout the year.

I'm using nine colours from Red Heart Comfort and Bernat Cozy Style yarn.
  • Blue:  -6C or colder
  • Green:  -1C to -5C
  • Light purple:  0C to 4C
  • Teal:  5C to 9C
  • Red:  10C to 14C
  • Dark purple:  15C to 19C
  • Yellow:  20C to 24C
  • Orange:  25C and higher
  • Grey:  first and last rows and divider rows between the months

So far, the warmest temperature (orange) was 32C in Toronto on June 10 and the coldest (blue) was -10C in Toronto (blue) on February 14.

I cast on 200 stitches.  The first and last five stitches of each row are seed stitches (knit one, purl one, knit one, purl one, knit one).  In between, I'm doing stocking stitch (knitting the odd rows and purling the even rows).  I added two rows of seed stitch at the beginning of the blanket to stop it from curling (stocking stitch does that and I hadn't thought of that when I started).

June


Warmest in June:  32C (orange) in Toronto on June 10
Coldest in June:  17C (dark purple) in Toronto on June 12 and 14

May


Warmest in May:  31C (orange) in Toronto on May 26
Coldest in May:  5C (teal) in Toronto on May 8

April

Sunday, 28 June 2020

Honeycomb (aka Newfie) knitted mittens

I finished knitting another pair of Honeycomb (aka Newfie) mittens.  They are fun to make.


I used black Red Heart Super Saver 4 ply yarn as my main colour (A), Orchid Mist Craft Smart Yarn, Ombre 4 ply yarn as my second colour (B) and 5mm double pointed needles.

Wrist
  1. With A, cast on 42 sts
  2. Knit 1, purl 1 for 18 rows
  3. Purl
  4. Purl, increasing 2 stitches on each needle for a total of 48 stitches

Pattern
  1.  *Knit 4 with B, slip 2 purlwise with A*, repeat to the end of row
  2. Repeat this row 4 more times (5 in total)
  3. Purl 2 rows with A
  4. Knit 1 with B, * slip 2 purlwise with A, knit 4 with B*, repeat to the last three stitches, knit 3 with B
  5. Repeat this row 4 more times (5 in total)
  6. Purl 2 rows with A
  7.  *Knit 4 with B, slip 2 purlwise with A*, repeat to the end of row
  8. Repeat this row 4 more times (5 in total)
  9. Purl 2 rows with A
  10. Knit 1 with B, * slip 2 purlwise with A, knit 4 with B*, repeat to the last three stitches, knit 3 with B
  11. Repeat this row 4 more times (5 in total)
  12. Purl 2 rows with A

Thumb
  1. In step 12 above, purl 2, put 7 stitches on a stitch holder for the thumb and cast on 7 stitches, purl to the end.  Purl 1 row.

Mitten
  1. Knit the pattern until long enough (I did 6)
  2. Knit 1 row
  3. *Knit 4, knit 2 together*, repeat to the end
  4. Knit 2 rows
  5. *Knit 3, knit 2 together*, repeat to the end
  6. Knit 2 rows
  7. *Knit 2, knit 2 together*, repeat to the end
  8. Knit 2 rows
  9. *Knit 2 together*, repeat to the end
  10. Thread the yarn through remaining the loops and pull tight
  11. Weave end inside

Thumb
  1. With A, pick up the 7 stitches from the holder
  2. Pick up 7 stitches around the thumb hole for a total of 14 stitches
  3. Knit to fit length of thumb
  4. Knit 2 together all around
  5. Thread the yarn through the remaining loops and pull tight
  6. Weave end inside

Tom's Dairy Freeze, Etobicoke, ON

I spent a couple hours at Humber Bay Park East this afternoon.

It isn't too far from Tom's Dairy Freeze on the Queensway so I stopped in on my way home for a banana split.  An ice cream lunch!


I got strawberry, chocolate and blueberry sauces on it.  Though it was good, it was HUGE and I wasn't able to eat it all!


Because of Covid-19, their outdoor eating area is gone.  So I ate it in the car with the air conditioning going.  Plus they only take cash, which is different considering everyone else is asking that you pay by credit card.   If you don't have cash, there is an ATM at the side of the building.

Tom's Dairy Freeze Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Humber Bay Park East, Toronto, ON

This afternoon I drove to Humber Bay Park East and went for a walk.  It was sunny and warm (29C but felt like 32C) and felt nice to get outside.  This is a great park and it's been a couple years since I've been.

I did the loop around the park and everything is so green and lush.  There were lots of people out and about and most were social distancing.

Air India 182 Memorial
Hard to believe that just a couple years ago these were all no-tell motels

Saturday, 27 June 2020

Book ~ "Revenge of the Chili Queens" (2015) Kylie Logan

From Goodreads ~ Everyone in San Antonio remembers the Alamo but how many remember the Chili Queens? Back in the early twentieth century, these spicy señoras sold their lip-smacking chili in plazas all around the city. Now, as part of the Chili Showdown, Maxie and her half-sister, Sylvia, are dressing up as the Chili Queens to raise money for charity. 

But someone wasn’t feeling too charitable toward a local troubadour, who is murdered at the fundraiser. When their friend, Nick Falcone, head of security for the Showdown, actually becomes the prime suspect, it’s up to Maxie and Sylvia to turn the heat up on a killer, who’s planning a chili reception for them.

Jack, Maxie's father, sold spices in a travelling chili cook-off circuit and disappeared a couple months ago.  Maxie and her half-sister, Sylvia, who she doesn't get along with (Jack is their father), keep running the family business.  Now the the Chili Showdown has moved on to San Antonio and they are involved in some charity events.

There is a mysterious guitar player wondering around the first event ... he is found strangled with his own guitar strings.  And then we find that he wasn't who everyone thought he was.  Nick, head of security, had a violent past with the mystery man.  Maxie has been attracted to Nick over the series and suspects that he may be the killer.  There is a cast of colourful characters (beauty contestants, drag queens, rival "Chili Queens", etc.) and anyone of them had a reason to murder also.

Though this is the third and final in the Chili Cook-Off Mystery Series by this author, it works as a stand alone as there is enough background provided (I'd read the first two).  It is written in first person perspective in Maxie's voice.  I liked Maxie well enough, though I found that she jumped to conclusions as to "whodunnit" without a lot of evidence and doesn't seem to have any filters ... she speaks without thinking (she doesn't seem very mature).  Sylvia wasn't as bitter or nasty or unlikable as in the first two books.  It's a "cozy mystery" so there is no swearing, violence or adult activity. 

I thought the first two in the series were okay but thought this one was a letdown.  The attraction between Maxie and Nick finally starts to get going.  We finally find out what happened to Jack and it was really lame and unbelievable.

Trinity Common, Toronto, ON

I walked to Kensington Market this afternoon.  Restaurants and bars in Toronto, as of a couple days ago, are allowed to open their patios as long as social distancing rules are followed.  I saw an empty table for two in the corner of the patio at Trinity Common so stopped in for a beer.


Seating was only available on the patio (not in the restaurant) and the tables/chairs were spaced apart.  Mario, the server, cleaned the tables and chairs as soon as people left.  All staff wore masks or face coverings and they were all friendly.


There is a limited menu and they are printed on paper and you provide your contact information (so they can notify you if there is an outbreak because of their restaurant).


This is the first beer I've had on a patio since last year and it was nice to feel "normal".


There are men's and women's washrooms and though there are three stalls, only one person is allowed in at one time and you have to wear a mask when you enter the restaurant (they provide them if you don't have one).

Trinity Common Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

College Falafel, Toronto, ON

Lately I've been craving a donair so I headed for a late lunch to College Falafel (at Ossington Avenue and College Street) for an "east coast" donair.  It's not the first time I've been there as they make good donairs.  The owners were very nice and friendly.


There are a wide variety of condiments and I got just tomatoes and donair sauce.  The donair is served in a pita pocket, which isn't quite traditional but worked out okay.

Since restaurants are able to serve food but you can't eat it in, I headed to a nearby park to eat it.  This donair was delicious and messy (it's a good thing I asked for extra napkins!).  The meat was good and the sauce was tasty.


College Falafel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

KC's tree, Trinity Bellwoods Park, Toronto, ON

I went for a walk this afternoon and stopped in at Trinity Bellwoods Park.

I visited KC's tree this afternoon ... it's so leafy and green!


The social distancing circles have been in the park for a while but it's the first time I've seen them on this side of the park.   There were a lot of police officers on bikes ensuring everyone behaves.

Thursday, 25 June 2020

Books ~ "Canada" (2020) Norah Myers

From Goodreads ~ When you think of Canada, do you picture the awe-inspiring magnificence of the Rocky Mountains, the sprawling metropolis of Toronto, or the vast expanse of the northern territories? Or do moose, dogsledding, and maple syrup spring to mind? 

This fascinating exploration of the world’s second-largest country extends from Churchill, Manitoba (the “Polar bear capital of the world”) to Vieux Montreal to Vancouver beaches. 

Packed with more than 200 spectacular photographs, presented in a handy pocket-sized landscape format, and with expert commentary for both armchair and prospective tourists, Canada captures the breathtaking beauty of this large and varied country. 

As a Canadian, born in Nova Scotia, living in Toronto for more than 30 years and doing a fair bit of travelling for my job, I thought it would be fun to read about Canada, especially with Canada Day being less than a week away.

This book is not only a collection of full-colour pictures but also interesting facts to go along with the pictures.

The book is split into five sections:
  1. The Atlantic Region - New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland
  2. Central Canada - Ontario and Quebec
  3. The Prairie Provinces - Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba
  4. British Columbia
  5. The North - Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon.

Here are a couple things I found odd with this book.  While the author states that Ontario and Quebec are Canada's two largest and most populated provinces, she lumps them together into one section.  Being the largest provinces, I would have thought that they would have warranted their own sections, especially given how different Quebec is in many respects from the rest of Canada.  Yet, British Columbia got its own section?!

Another thing I found odd was some of the choices of pictures.  There is a picture of a bull moose in the Atlantic Region section, for example, but no specific location provided in the picture's description, just that they are found in most of Canada.  Is this an Atlantic bull moose?  So a general picture of a bull moose was included but where were the pictures of Peggy's Cove or the Cabot Trail?

Wednesday, 24 June 2020

Diagonal stitch pattern dish cloth

I knitted a dish cloth this evening using a diagonal stitch pattern.  I received an order from Michaels yesterday and this pattern was on one of the skeins of yarn I'd ordered and it intrigued me.  It was quick and easy quick.

I used Bernat's Psychedelic Ombre Handicrafter Cotton Yarn I'd ordered last month and 5mm needles.


I cast on 40 stitches.

Row 1 (wrong side): Purl

Row 2 (right side): * Knit 2 stitches together but don't slip stitch from needle. Insert the right hand needle into the top stitch of the two you just knit together, knit the first stitch again, then slip both stitches from needle. Repeat from * to the end of the row.

Row 3: Purl

Row 4: * Knit 2 stitches together but don't slip stitch from needle. Insert the right hand needle into the top stitch of the two you just knit together, knit the first stitch again, then slip both stitches from needle. Rep from * to the end of the row. Repeat from * to last stitch. Knit 1.

Keep repeating these four rows until desired length.

Cast off in purl.  Darn in the ends.

Happy Gotcha Day, Muffin!

Three years ago today we adopted our little weirdo, Muffin, from Annex Cat Rescue.

Tuesday, 23 June 2020

Honeycomb (aka Newfie) knitted hat

I finished knitting a Honeycomb (aka Newfie) hat tonight.


I used black Red Heart Super Saver 4 ply yarn as my main colour (A), Red Heart Super Saver (Twilight) 4 ply yarn as my second colour (B) and 5mm circular and then double pointed needles.  I knit a pair of mittens with this yarn combination last week.

Since the pattern in multiples of six, I cast on 108 stitches with A.  I knit 1, purl 1 for 12 rows.

Pattern
  1.  *Knit 4 with B, slip 2 purlwise with A*, repeat to the end of row
  2. Repeat this row 4 more times (5 in total)
  3. Purl 2 rows with A
  4. Knit 1 with B, * slip 2 purlwise with A, knit 4 with B*, repeat to the last three stitches, knit 3 with B
  5. Repeat this row 4 more times (5 in total)
  6. Purl 2 rows with A
I did this four times (so eight rows of colour).

To shape the top ...
  • Knit one round
  • *Knit 4, knit 2 together*; repeat to end of round
  • Knit one round
  • *Knit 3, knit 2 together*; repeat to end of round
  • Knit one round
  • *Knit 2, Knit 2 together*; repeat to end of round
  • Knit one round
  • *Knit 1, knit 2 together*; repeat to end of round
  • Knit one round
  • *Knit 1, knit 2 together*; repeat to end of round
  • Knit one round. 
  • *Knit 2 together*; repeat to end of round
  • *Knit 2 together*; repeat to end of round
  • Cut yarn leaving a 6 inch tail
  • Thread the yarn through the remaining six stitches and pull tight
  • Weave in all ends

Book ~ "Death by Devil's Breath" (2014) Kylie Logan

From Goodreads ~ In Las Vegas, the stakes are high - and so is the Scoville scale. Maxie Pierce and the Chili Showdown are in town for a very heated contest devoted to judging the legendary and notorious-for-being-self-combustible Devil’s Breath chili. The guest judges are casino performers with a taste for chili and an eye for publicity. 

Maxie is already going mad organizing the event, dealing with her snide half sister, Sylvia, and trying to figure out her hothead of security, Nick. But when a local hack comedian drops dead in the middle of the Showdown, it isn’t the spicy dish - it’s poison. And Maxie is going to have to shuffle through a full deck of suspects to pick out the culprit.

Maxie's father sold spices in a travelling chili cook-off circuit and disappeared eight weeks ago.  Maxie and her half-sister, Sylvia, who she doesn't get along with (they have the same father), keep running the family business.  Now the the Chili Showdown is in Las Vegas.

Minor Las Vegas entertainers (a blind singer, a comedian and a magician) along with a wedding officiant are judges in the Devil's Breath chili contest ... the entertainers want the publicity because whoever sells the most tickets to their upcoming shows will be in attendance a couple days later for a large group wedding.  When the comedian is murdered during the contest, it could have been anyone who did it since no one liked him.  Despite being told to stay out of it by Nick, the Showdown's head of security, she still keeps at it.

Though this is the second in the Chili Cook-Off Mystery Series by this author, it works as a stand alone as there is enough background provided (I'd read the first one).  It is written in first person perspective in Maxie's voice.  I liked Maxie well enough, though I found that she jumped to conclusions as to "whodunnit" without a lot of evidence and doesn't seem to have any filters ... she speaks without thinking (she doesn't seem very mature).  Sylvia was too bitter and nasty and not likable at all.  It's a "cozy mystery" so there is no swearing, violence or adult activity.  I thought story and writing were okay and I liked it enough to read the next one in the series.

Sunday, 21 June 2020

Honeycomb (aka Newfie) knitted mittens

I finished knitting another pair of Honeycomb (aka Newfie) mittens.  They are fun to make.


I used black Red Heart Super Saver 4 ply yarn as my main colour (A), Desert Craft Smart Yarn, Ombre 4 ply yarn as my second colour (B) and 5mm double pointed needles.

Wrist
  1. With A, cast on 42 sts
  2. Knit 1, purl 1 for 18 rows
  3. Purl
  4. Purl, increasing 2 stitches on each needle for a total of 48 stitches

Pattern
  1.  *Knit 4 with B, slip 2 purlwise with A*, repeat to the end of row
  2. Repeat this row 4 more times (5 in total)
  3. Purl 2 rows with A
  4. Knit 1 with B, * slip 2 purlwise with A, knit 4 with B*, repeat to the last three stitches, knit 3 with B
  5. Repeat this row 4 more times (5 in total)
  6. Purl 2 rows with A
  7.  *Knit 4 with B, slip 2 purlwise with A*, repeat to the end of row
  8. Repeat this row 4 more times (5 in total)
  9. Purl 2 rows with A
  10. Knit 1 with B, * slip 2 purlwise with A, knit 4 with B*, repeat to the last three stitches, knit 3 with B
  11. Repeat this row 4 more times (5 in total)
  12. Purl 2 rows with A

Thumb
  1. In step 12 above, purl 2, put 7 stitches on a stitch holder for the thumb and cast on 7 stitches, purl to the end.  Purl 1 row.

Mitten
  1. Knit the pattern until long enough (I did 6)
  2. Knit 1 row
  3. *Knit 4, knit 2 together*, repeat to the end
  4. Knit 2 rows
  5. *Knit 3, knit 2 together*, repeat to the end
  6. Knit 2 rows
  7. *Knit 2, knit 2 together*, repeat to the end
  8. Knit 2 rows
  9. *Knit 2 together*, repeat to the end
  10. Thread the yarn through remaining the loops and pull tight
  11. Weave end inside

Thumb
  1. With A, pick up the 7 stitches from the holder
  2. Pick up 7 stitches around the thumb hole for a total of 14 stitches
  3. Knit to fit length of thumb
  4. Knit 2 together all around
  5. Thread the yarn through the remaining loops and pull tight
  6. Weave end inside

Saturday, 20 June 2020

Book ~ "Chili Con Carnage" (2013) Kylie Logan

From Goodreads ~ Romance is supposed to be the spice of life. But Maxie Pierce is so done with bad relationships - well, almost. She just has to get rid of the latest loser, Roberto. Besides, she has more important things to worry about. Her daddy, Texas Jack Pierce, king of the chili cook-off circuit, has been missing for nearly six weeks now. In his place, she must team up with her irritating half sister, Sylvia, to promote the family business at the Taos Chili Showdown, to be judged by celebrity chef Carter Donnelly.

But when Maxie discovers Roberto’s body in the chef’s trailer - only hours after publicly breaking up with him while wearing a giant red chili pepper costume - she suddenly finds she’s the one in the spotlight as the police pepper her with questions. Now this Chili Chick needs to kick up the search to catch the real killer and get back to finding her father.

Maxie recently broke up with her boyfriend in Chicago after he cleaned out her bank account and put her thousands of dollars in debt.  Her father, who sold spices in a travelling chili cook-off circuit, disappeared six weeks ago so she catches up with the Taos Chili Showdown in New Mexico to try to find out what happened to her father.  She has to work with her half-sister, Sylvia, who she doesn't get along with (they have the same father), to keep running the family business.

Celebrity chef Carter Donnelly is at the Showdown to promote it and himself.  It's a surprise when Roberto, one of the show's roadies, is found dead in Carter's RV.  Maxie had had one date with Roberto but wasn't interested in him and had had a fight with him that morning.  Plus it turns out Sylvia had a history with him and is arrested for his murder.  As much as she doesn't like Sylvia, Maxie doesn't think she killed Roberto and she sets out to find out who did.

This is the first in the Chili Cook-Off Mystery Series by this author.  It is written in first person perspective in Maxie's voice.  I liked Maxie well enough but thought Sylvia was too bitter and nasty.  It's a "cozy mystery" so there is no swearing, violence or adult activity.  I thought story and writing were okay and I liked it enough to read the next one in the series.

Thursday, 18 June 2020

Ipsy Glam Bag - June 2020

My June Ipsy Glam Bag arrived today.
  • $12 a Glam Bag ($223CN for a year)
  • 5 beauty products worth $50+ (the average Glam Bag value in 2019)
  • Glam Bags are available in the U.S., U.S. Territories, & Canada. U.S. shipping is free. Taxes will apply to all bag orders shipped within the U.S. Canadian shipping is $2.95.


Here's what I received ...