So Dale of Norway *finally* got a new website. (They may have had it for a while now -- I got so sick of checking the old site only to find it hopelessly outdated that I hadn't done it in ages.) And while the US / English version is still under construction, the Norwegian version is up and running and looking pretty nice! I was diggin' the new "Cafe" booklet that I have pictured above. Just look under "Kolleksjon" at the top to get to the currrent booklets and then click, click, click on the photos to get into the good stuff.
I also like this more fitted yet traditional looking ski sweater:
Now I just have to finish my current Dale of Norway sweater -- that would be Ingeborg which I have been working on for several years. And I also need to start and finish Pete's Dale of Norway sweater -- I don't even remember the name of his! (I've said it before and I'll say it again -- I am not a sweater knitter. But Dale of Norway makes me want to aspire to be one!)
Yesterday Material Obsession had this post which shows a bunch of beautiful completed quilts. Well, the one at the top just blew me away! It's from a pattern called Candied Hexagons that was in an issue of an Australian quilting magazine called Quilters Companion. Here's the issue with the same quilt right on the cover:
Now I think this is issue #18 maybe? And I want it!! I would really like to make this quilt! I've been looking for a quilt that I could hand piece -- a TV project that I could work on a bit each night. I think this may be just the thing. I can't stop thinking about it. If you know how I can get a hold of this issue, or if you have a copy you are willing to part with, I would love to do a trade or something!
okay, it's the holidays. It's a little stressful for some. I have a raging headache myself today. But really people. Do you need to be nasty? Try some holiday cheer -- be good for goodness sake. I mean first I get this comment on the knitting blogs web ring:
Not really a public comment, but...is anybody monitoring the ring? I keep getting stranded because people are NOT posting their ring keys. Both MartaSchmarta (third link out from WendyKnits) and Unsympathetic (4 link out from Yarn Harlot) have been without ring keys for WEEKS and it's almost impossible to surf more than a few blogs before getting stuck.
Sorry if I sound cranky--but with a waiting list to participate, I'd have hoped that the ones lucky enough to get into the ring would keep things up.
Thanks for being a problem instead of a solution! Happy Holidays to you too! (I am so glad that I'm getting rid of the ring right now -- sheesh!)
Then I just got a nasty email from someone else (business related, so I won't go into it here.) Please people! You are killing me! Why? Why? Why?
See, I have another business in addition to the knitting one -- it's a rubber stamp store which I've owned for over 5 years. I only sell Hero Arts stamps because I love them the best. I started it up because I needed something to do after Maddie was born and I have stuck with it all these years!
Well, every December they release a sampling of their new line for the following year -- and it's insane! It comes in tons of boxes (instead of a few big boxes) and creates a huge mess. And I have to figure out where to cram all the new stuff -- the shelves are overflowing. So that's how my day is going -- quite a mess, wouldn't you say?
Oh, the new stamps are *super* cute this year -- want to see? Just stop by my shop -- Stamping Online!
Check this out if you have little ones! It's Santa's phone number: 800-972-6242
I guess every day there is a new message between now and Christmas. I listened to it first before I let Maddie call and it's cute! Santa tells the kids to behave and such -- Maddie thought it was cool.
BTW, I found this over at Moki's blog. She's been posting lots of holiday things this month.
Ghana 84% Cacao -- package says:"The Fair Trade Certified cacao used in this single origin dark chocolate bar is from the fertile growing region surrounding Kumasi, Ghana. The perfectly fermented and dried beans yield slightly floral notes over golden and round chocolate flavors." My thoughts: This is the darkest bar of the bunch -- almost no sweetness at all, just pure chocolate heaven! Oh -- and that round chocolate flavor I talked about in the Ghana Panama Ecuador bar? Well, I guess this is where it comes from. You can definitly taste the parts of that bar that come from this chocolate. I'm getting a bit of tanginess that probably comes from the fermentation of the beans -- really nice! And considering that this is 84% cacao, there is not much bitterness and no harsh flavors at all.
After trying these four bars, I would highly recommend doing a tasting of your own! It's so much fun to see how different each chocolate tastes and I think I would end the tasting with the Ghana Panama Ecuador bar -- my favorite of the bunch -- so that you can see how the different flavors blend together.
And for people who have asked where you can get these -- they are starting to show up at Whole Foods and you can also order them from the the folks at Theo Chocolate.
In other -- believe it or not knitting -- news. . . I've started work on a new bag. I get *tons* of requests for a Bigger Booga Bag, so I'm working on a new pattern for one. It involves more than just sizing it up since it needs more stability as the size grows. Stay tuned for progress pics -- I'll have some soon!
I just received my package from the Pincushion Challenge Swap! Look at how gorgeous it is!! My swap partner was Kristin from Kleas and I couldn't be happier with the package she sent. It included all kinds of goodies along with the pincushion -- chocolate, soap, trim, paper goods and buttons too! I have to show you the secret to the pincushion though. . .
Those flower on top are actually pins! Can you even stand it! I don't know how she made all the tiny, perfect stitches. I'm just in awe of it. Thank you again, Kristin! I love it!
(I sent my pincushion package to Jade over at Unfinished Object. I forgot to take a photo before I sent it off to her -- doh!)
So, I mentioned that the packaging was beautiful, but the bar is too. it's divided into these flat thin rectangles that are 1" X 3" -- each is 1/2oz and you get 6 as the bar is 3oz. Now I am particular about the shape, so this matters to me a lot. Why? Well, first of all I want to be able to break off a piece easily and I want that piece to be just enough to satisfy me. In addition, the bar should not be too thick (this one is perfect at about 1/8th of an inch) -- this gives you the perfect bite! And I don't want it to be bumpy of fancy or anything -- just flat and smooth. The texture of the chocolate is what I want to experience.
Okay, I may be a bit obsessive.
So you can see a piece of the chocolate broken off and sitting on top of the bar in the photo. Dark, glossy and prefectly sized. Time to try it!
Ivory Coast 75% Cacao -- Package says: "This single origin chocolate is made from the first Fair Trade Certified cacao beans brought into the United Sates from the Ivory Coast. The richness and intensity of flavor in this bar reflect the complexity of the growing region." My thoughts: Wow! This is chocolate through and through -- almost like the taste of a brownie (but not very sweet at all). I kind of get a hint of spice and maybe a touch of coffee. It's smooth and melts beautifuly , but leaves a dry feeling in the mouth and a bitter (in a very good way!) note at the end (this is the coffee flavor I'm talking about). I was totally not expecting this!
Trying these bars really is fun -- it's amazing how different they all taste even theough they are all dark chocolate produced in the same factory. I can't wait to try the last one!