A longish post today after a big day yesterday. Yesterday was a special birthday for my Dad (Poppy, as I call him). The big 8-0, and I spent the day by the bay with my parents.
If there is such a thing as a ‘typical’ eighty year old though, I can guarantee Poppy is not it. He doesn’t look it. He doesn’t sound like it. And he sure as hell doesn’t act it.
When he’s not in his shed out the back, he can be found kayaking, boating, fishing or swimming around these beautiful bays and inlets. Or playing sudoku on his iPad. The tide was out so he and I didn’t go kayaking yesterday, just walking.
Poppy is a creative man. A sculptor, woodworker, leather carver, drawer, painter. He is seriously talented. Here’s just one of the many amazing things he has made me. It’s even lined with sheepskin.
Traditionally I haven’t had much luck knitting Poppy anything he likes. He has liked a couple of neck warmers, but the first socks I made him were ‘too scratchy’. The second ones (made out of an expensive alpaca blend mind you) were also…… ‘too scratchy’. So we all decided Poppy has the most sensitive feet on the planet, mum got the socks by default, and no more socks for Poppy were produced.
I thought I may be luckier knitting him a nice vest, he likes vests, and he HATES the cold.
So this is the one I chose, Caldwell by Stephen West.
I used Hayfield Bonus Aran. I have used it lots of times, I know it is soft and hardy, machine washable and I love the colours. I’m not really into reverse stocking stitch, so I did straight stocking stitch on both the front and back. I also did the i cord bind off in the contrast stripe colour, to tie the whole thing together a little more.
The pattern was fine, although I don’t love the way some of the cables disappear halfway up the front. And the finishing took longer than knitting all the pieces combined! I do love the icord bind off though and will use this again.
Pattern: Caldwell by Stephen West
Yarn: Hayfield Bonus Aran, cols. ‘barley’ and ‘dark grey mix’, 1x 400g ball of each
Needles: 4mm and 4.5mm
Buttons: eBay, dark stained wooden toggles
Size: my gauge was off, so I knit a medium to get a large
Mods: changed reverse st st to plain st st on fronts and back. Used contrast colour for icord bind off.
M once more got out his favourite tools, the welder and the grinder (fortunately while I was in Tasmania, so I avoided the noise), and made Poppy this fabulous snail.
I frickin love this thing. 100% recycled materials. And what a smile. 🙂
So guess what the snail is now called. Gastro. More of that fabulous sense of humour.
I also made a few Paleo birthday creations (all grain, dairy and refined sugar free). Chocolate date balls and coffee ice cream were my own recipes, so no links for those. Poppy requested a Black Forest birthday cake, and I was pleased with how it turned out.
This consisted of a cake, a chocolate ganache and a coconut vanilla cream, cherries and raw cacao nibs to finish. It was really good. The ganache took two hours to cook but was worth every second. Who knew you could make sweetened condensed milk with coconut milk!
I made chocolate biscotti too, this was a real winner. That’s why there are no photos.
Oh I also finished off my Possum slouchy beanie using my Tasmanian souvenir yarn, roughly based on this pattern.
All in all, a great day. 🙂