Saturday, August 3, 2013

Lunching with Gardein Beefless Burgers

Today's lunch was a sort of hamburger steak plate that I made using Gardein's beefless burgers.  I added mashed potatoes with some yellow and green beans on the side.  Mashed potatoes and Gardein burgers were topped with brown gravy.

Gardein beefless burgers with gravy
It's the second time I eat these beefless burgers and I liked them better today.  The first time I brought them to work so I ended up spreading some Maple Chipotle marinade on them and microwaing them.  They were okay but something was missing.

This time I sauted them in a pan and added some Montreal Steak spices by Club House.  That's what made them so much greater.  When I used to eat steak I would spice them up with a lot of Montreal Steak spices, I just loved the stuff!

This morning I spent some time knitting a few stitch patterns and I have found one that will be just perfect to knit an infinity scarf.  I just wasn't sure if I should go with the 2 knit stitch edge or a 1 knit stitch edge.  I think I prefer the 1 knit stitch edge.

Infinity scarf stitch pattern

You should be seeing the finished infinity scarf in my shop by next weekend.  I usually knit a lot during the week and do my photo sessions early Saturday and Sunday mornings when the lighting is just right in my living room.  Thank goodness my mannequin is always here and ready!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Hot Weather Supper - Greek Salad

It's been hot and humid this week which means I want simple meals especially for supper.  I don't feel like slaving over a hot stove at all.  I get home late from work and even weekends are lazy times.

For supper today I made a great Greek salad with a wonderful tofu we can buy here from Unisoya.

Unisoya tofu Greek Style

Making supper was really simple.  I just needed to cut the tofu in cubes, chop a tomato, some cucumber and onion; add Kalamata olives with a bit of lemon juice, olive oil and basil.  Ran out of oregano so added basil this time.  And voilà!  So delicious!

My Greek salad

What are some of your meals that you love to eat during hot weather?

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Preparing for the Christmas in July Sale

As I mentioned earlier I will be participating in the Christmas in July event happening from July 11th to July 26th.  The event actually runs from July 11th to July 21st.  I'm extending it to coincide with what some people in Quebec celebrate; le Noël des campeurs.  It's the campers Christmas!

I have noticed that a lot of my listings expired this week and last week.  I must have listed a lot at the end of March, early April.  So, if you don't see something that used to be there I should eventually list it or drop me a note about it.

To prepare I have been knitting a lot of scarves and decided to get a picture of them all together.  Aren't they just lovely colours?

A whole bunch of cable and lace knit scarves.

Looking at all these scarves it makes me want to see actually how many colours and lengths I have knit this pattern.  I remember knitting a few with fringe as well.  I have started an album on my Facebook Page to document all the scarves.  It could be interesting to see.

Cable and Lace Scarves on my Knits By Nat Facebook Page.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Meeting Some Vegans From the Internet

Last night I finally met 2 vegans ( Dino and Steve) I have known since March 2006 when I joined the Vegan Freak Forums.  Yes, they are people I met on the Internet.  It's funny how people will tell you friends on the Internet are not "real" friends.  It's true, some of them will just be Internet acquaitances and I consider them as such, not friends.  But others you can tell that one day you will meet and have fun! 

Steve is studying to be a minister and has a blog entitled RANTINGSTEVE.

Dino is a cookbook author and has a blog called Alternative Vegan (just like his cookbook).  I have the cookbook and love his recipes but was really looking forward to actually tasting his cooking!  It was amazing!

On top of what's pictured below, he also made scallion pancakes and fried potatoes.  The lentil soup recipe is available in Alternative Vegan.

Lentil soup, daikon and baguette.

Veggies and pasta.

They came to Montreal to visit the city and Dino has fallen in love with it!  He was even talking of moving here!  Wouldn't it be just fun?

I also met some friends of theirs from New Jersey and others here in Montreal.  I know for my part I had a wonderful evening filled with great food and interesting conversation.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Just a Few Vacation Days Left

I have been on vacation close to 2 weeks, getting 2 extra days off for the St Jean Baptist and Canada Day. I must truthfully say I am enjoying the time away from work.

Last week I spent my time at my parents' in Magog.  My mother picked me up Saturday so I could bring the cats with me.  Lola hates it when I grab her to put her in the carrier but lately she calms down after I put her in.

As usual I had some knitting with me for the 1 1/2 hour car ride and as soon as I took it out my mother tells me to relax.  She doesn't get it that knitting for me is relaxing. Yes, I may knit a lot for Knits By Nat but the actual time doing the knitting is very relaxing.  I ended up knitting 5 hats during the week.  You can see them below; some still have ends to be woven in.

Knit Slouchy Hats.

I had an amazing time celebrating St Jean Baptist at my niece's new house.  I brought my vegan hot dogs, decided to try Unisoya's hot dogs but wasn't so thrilled with them.  I found them slightly too mushy.

I did some shopping with my sister, walking the entire mall from one end to the other and back.  Thank goodness we weren't at Carrefour Laval.  Now that's one crazy mall to walk!

I even went shopping at Costco with my nephew.  Didn't think I would find anything but came back with Gardein burgers, Unisoya tofu (my favorite), hummus, Kalamata olives (I think I'll have enough for a while) and Kikkoman soy sauce.

My Costco stash.

I also found these cute shoes at Addition-Elle, shopping for my mother but found something for moi!  I was thrilled to see they were all man-made materials.  They were on sale and had an extra 50% off.  Aren't they just cute?

Beige sandals.

I still have a couple of days left but they will be spent working on my Knits By Nat shop.  There's the Christmas in July event happening and I want to participate this year.  The other years I have been on vacation during the event with usually no Internet access.  Really looking forward to it this year!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Working the Crown on the Lace Beanie

I really love the lace beanie I started working on last weekend although the crown of the beanie has been bugging me all week.  There's just something about it I wish was different.  Friday I started knitting a beanie with some multicoloured brown yarn and kept thinking about how else I could knit the crown.

I know I didn't want the crown to look like my slouchy hat with distinct lines of decreases but wasn't sure how else I could knit it.  Saturday morning I was up at the crack of dawn and decided to do some knitting instead of just lazing around in bed.  I decided to try something and it has turned out beautifully.  You can see below the new crown of the lace beanie and I just love it.

Brown multicolour lace beanie.

I ended up knitting 2 more beanies over the weekend and absolutely love the way the crown looks.

Rose and multicoloured lace beanie.

I have bought some lovely yarn to knit more of them; it should be arriving this week.  I can't wait for it to come.  Just looking forward to knitting more lace beanies and adding them to the shop.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Lace Beanies

I have been working on these lace beanies lately.  I had to unravel and rework it because it was starting to look more like a slouchy hat than a beanie.  After a few tries I finally got the right amount of stitches and number of rows for the beanie look I wanted.

Isn't the finished one just cute?
Grape and red lace beanie

Saturday, March 30, 2013

New Colours for the Lace Scarf

I have been knitting new colours for the lace scarf.  Below is the tangerine colour, so lovely and silky looking which you can't quite see in the photo.

Tangerine lace scarf in progress

I have already added in my Etsy shop the lace scarf in red and off-white.  The red is a really beautiful shade of dark red, no hint of Santa Claus red at all!

Red Lace Scarf

Off-White Lace Scarf

I have more yarn in my stash to knit a few more lace scarves and I am looking forward to knitting these colours, especially the emerald green!  It is such a beautiful green.  The lace stitch is such a simple one ( it's only 4 rows ) I can easily knit it on the métro going to work.

Emerald green, rose and celery green yarn.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Knitting Pattern Shop is Open!

I have had so many requests for the patterns to my creations, especially the cozies, that I have opened up a knitting pattern shop.  It is called Knits By Nat Designs and right now there's only one pattern in it.  It's the pattern for the Sweet Violets Coffee Cup Cozy.

Sweet Violets Coffee Cup Cozy

Writing patterns is a lot more difficult than I imagined.  I keep wondering if I forgot something or if I'm putting in too much information.  I also intend to have the patterns available in French as well.  Now, I just need to post in my French blog.

This week I have renewed with an oldie but goodie lace creation I knit for my shop a few years back.  It's knit with a Little Arrowhead Lace but I find it makes such a lovely spring scarf.  They should be available in my shop soon.

Little Arrowhead Lace Scarf in the works

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Productive Saturday Morning

Yesterday after work a co-worker was asking me if I at least sleep in on weekends and I replied that I don't really.  I love waking up early, knitting in bed for a few hours and then getting up for breakfast.  I usually get up when I start getting really hungry.

This morning I finished knitting two hats; one of them was on hold while I knit the second.  I often do this when I realize I don't have enough rows to knit while going to work; I'll just start something new to knit.  These are multi-coloured versions of  the Lace Striped Slouchy Hat.

Multi-coloured lace striped slouchy vegan hats

I also started working on a new headband, simple garter stitch that will be adorned with vintage or cute buttons. The first one I knit I found a bit too wide, ended up ripping it and now I love the new width.  With all the buttons I have I'm going to need to go button shopping for the navy headband.  I haven't found any in my stash that I find look great on it.

Vegan headbands

I should be taking pictures of the hats and headbands to add them to my shop as quickly as possible.  This is one part of the business that I find more of a chore.  I wish I had an assistant who loves taking pictures and writing listings while I spend my time knitting.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Why Blame it on the Vegans?

There's an article that appeared in the Guardian a few weeks back about quinoa.  The title of it is : Can vegans stomach the unpalatable truth about quinoa?

Why vegans?  I doubt very much there are enough of us to create the high demand for quinoa.  I personally haven't eaten any in a while although I did just buy a big bag last week.  I know a few co-workers who actually eat quinoa more than I do.  And they aren't anywhere near being vegan.

There are also a few misconceptions in the article.  One of them being the mistake everyone does about soy.  The majority of it is used to feed animals, not to make tofu or soymilk.  (It was corrected the next day in a footnote.)

Another misconception is about depending on food coming from other countries  :

 "rummage through the shopping baskets of vegetarians and vegans swiftly clocks up the food miles, a consequence of their higher dependency on products imported from faraway places. From tofu and tamari to carob and chickpeas, the axis of the vegetarian shopping list is heavily skewed to global."

Has the author even spoken to vegans or vegetarians? Or even done her research?  Most of my shopping list is not for food coming from around the globe.  A lot of it is produced and transformed here in Canada.  According to Pulse Canada :

Canada has emerged to become the world's largest exporter of lentil and pea, and a top five bean exporter.

I understand there are issues with food consumption but this article just added to the confusion instead of helping to understand the issues. 

Actually, there are issues with a lot of what Westerners consume since they are usually made in Third World countries by people who are paid a pittance and work grueling hours.  Will the author stomach the unpalatable truth about her computer?

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Organizing My Coffee Cup Cozies

I may have finished this One Cup Cozy a Day project last September but I now have a bunch of cozies that were just bundled haphazardly in big plastic bins.  They weren't colour-coordinated at all which made it very hard for me to find the cozy when I sold one.

The article in Ladies' Home Journal's February 2013 issue means I have been getting more sales and looking for the correct cozy has been a pain.  Looking through my stuff I found these shoe-sized plastic bins and seperated them by colour.

Red, Blue and Multicoloured Coffee Cup Cozies

The multicoloured red one in the middle bin is one of the cozies featured in the article.

Pinks, Blue, Lilac and Purple Coffee Cup Cozies
I had to seperate the blues because they didn't all fit in one plastic bin.

Green, Yellow, Orange and Brown Coffee Cup Cozies

This one is a bigger plastic bin since I ran out of the smaller ones and probably would have needed at least 2 more. 

Now, it's certainly going to be a whole lot easier for me to find the cozies when I sell them in my shop.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Now it's Freezing Cold

Last week we had record amounts of snow and this week it's damn cold.  This is the one reason winter is my least favorite season.  I love the snow but hate sunny, damn cold weather.  A sunny day usually means it's going to be so cold.

This is what I looked like this morning leaving for work.  Bundled up and hoping not to fog up my glasses too much while I breathe.

And this is how the cats have been during this cold weather.  I don't even have to look for them around the apartment.  They have spent the entire time in my bedroom.  They only come out to see me when I get home and to eat.