Wednesday, November 2, 2011

My own olives

Olives on the tree

This year I decided I want to make my own olives. The ones we can get in the supermarket are a bit too salty for my taste, and my father in law's olives last year were absolutely fantastic. It is a pretty simple process, but time consuming. We picked them straight from tree this year, since there are not that many. Most people spread a fabric or nylon under the tree and just shake them down - I would too, but it's not an olive year this time and so we chose to do gymnastics :)
These dark ones are called 'Kalamon' and are one of the most tasty ones. After an all morning olive-hunt I ended up with half a bucket, wish there were more, but since it's kind of an experiment this year, it's alright, I guess. They are now soaking in water, that needs to be changed every day to get out all bitterness. After 30 days I will put them in salt water for 24 hours, then in vinegar for another 24 hours, and then - finally - they will fill the jars and get covered in olive oil.
It's a really big bucket - I was very optimistic when I got it :)
Adriana slept most of the time - what can be better than a nap out in fresh air? :)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Contrast and Complement

Contrast and Complement shawl
Finally, it's been published!

I've had the idea about this shawl since last winter. But as it sometimes happens with good ideas, it takes a while until they get to the point of a completed project.
I got some super nice extra fine merino this spring, when my favorite yarn seller - Colourmart - had put up sets of matching colors for sale on their e-bay site. These greens were meant to be together, and so I started the shawl. It might sound a little crazy, but I did not actually have a written plan for it, just the idea of how I wanted it to look in the end. And, I think it came out really, really nice! :)

The pattern is being tested on Ravelry, at Free Pattern Testers group, a few projects are still in finishing lines. My test group is really great, and have given a lot of input in this pattern. (I probably say that about every test, but... well, knitters are generally very nice people :))

While my original shawl was knit from top down, I have designed the pattern so that it can be knit both ways, top down and bottom up, each of both having it's advantages. I know I prefer the top down, I just tend to finish projects faster, when the stitch count is decreasing :D

I plan to start another shawl, and I have started a Knit-A-Long in 11 shawls in 2011 group on Ravelry, if You'd like to join. The pattern is available as an instant download, the regular price will be $6,00, but ontil November 10, 2011 it's on special offer for $4.00.You can get it here , or find Contrast and Complement on Ravelry.
Some more photos: