Package Sent!

So, I did it in time – damn, I thought I wouldn’t with classes, work, exams, traveling and all that! My package for the exchange has just been sent off to its (lucky?) recipient. I hope it will arrive soon, as it doesn’t really have to make a big trip around the world *hint-hint*. I would have wanted to send it yesterday, but the post office was too full and I had/have a flu that didn’t make it nice to wait more than half an hour. Anyway, I hope «enter nick here» enjoys her pressies a lot.

Edit: Since the package has already reached its new owner, Pat, and until she can post pictures of it, I’ll put one I took before sending it (forgot to add the belgian chocolates when I took the pic…) so you get the idea.

Package for Pat


And Back Again

I am back from Belgium. I spent all last week there, and had lots of fun. For a whole (short) tale on the trip, visit the post I wrote on the blog Jan and I share. For pics, visit our gallery.


P.S.: No knitting was done during this time, but I managed to get a grasp at ‘tight spinning’ as I’ll call it (spinning yarn between your tight and your palm).

A Week In Belgium

I flew over to Belgium last Saturday the 3rd and on landing there and after picking up my suitcase, Jan and I went to do some shopping at Ikea. We bought a small dining table, two chairs, a low table for in front of the couches, and some nice boxes for our ‘little’ living room. Then we had fun putting all the stuff together and decorating the room. For dinner we had mum2’s chilli sin carne and rice with the family.

On Sunday we woke up late and had brunch at home, and then idled before meeting up with Chris, Joke, their Benjamin, and Joke’s sister at the irish pub in Ghent. We had some drinks and ate something while chatting over different things and hiding Ben’s playing car. After that, we went home and rested a bit, and called our favourite chinese for a take-away dinner, and passed by Jan’s sis’ to pick up chopsticks for eating our meal. We enjoyed duck with veggies, thing noodles with chicken, and fried rice, with some white wine and while watching some Red Dwarf (season VII).

Monday was time for more Ikea shopping (we had to exchange a book-case, wrong colour!) and bought some more boxes and the book cases, and dishes (only for two) and munchies (chocolate, vanilla cookies and marzipan). We put together all the stuff and had pizza dinner (with extra cheese). And more Red Dwarf *giggle*

Tuesday we went to Brugge for seeing the Ice Palace, a show of ice sculptures that was very cold and nice. There was even a bar to have drinks while seating on cold skins, and a barista with a frozen ass (his hands were kept warm thanks to the thermo filled with hot cocoa). We saw the Christmas (food and drink) Market and bought some chocolate from our favourite shop. And ate a real Brussels Waffle too (suikerwafel) warm, big and mjummy! After getting back home, we called the vegetarian restaurant Panda for booking a table, and had to rush down to Ghent again cause they close earlier that we thought. They had a fix menu (at a very affordable price) with orange lentil soup, a dish of seitan with various veggies and rice, and dessert (choco cake for the chocoholic, yogurt with fresh fruit for Jan).

On Wednesday, Chris was supposed to be at ‘our’ place around 10 for driving to Maasmechelen Village and meeting Dave there. He only got here one hour later though (bad Chris!). Once at Maasmechelen, we took a quick walk around the shops (nothing interesting *pout*) and drove off to Maastricht to eat there, take a walk around the (again food & drinks) Christmas Market and do some shopping at Media Markt. After that we dropped Dave at his place, and drove back home – don’t ask me how was the drive, cause I fell asleep pretty soon after leaving David and only woke up when we got to Brussels, and then fell asleep again! We showed Chris our living room before he left and prepared some veggie lasagna for dinner.

Thursday shopping after brunch! We went to a family run clothes shop (SKM) that was hideously expensive, and after 15 minutes or so we drove off scared to death. We stopped by Ghent and bought a pair of jeans at H&M and a laptop backpack at Fnacs. SKM was so depressing I really needed retail therapy! We went to have dinner at K.Roes.L, a nice restaurant that serves giant pancakes and oversized salads at a nice price, and then we headed off to the cinema to watch Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Since we got there too early, we played some free videogames (Soulkalibur III I think it was, on the PS II). I kick ass! (literally) The movie was great, go see it if you haven’t yet :-)

On Friday we went to Brussels to see an exhibition about Asterix. And then drove to Grote Markt to see the huge Christmas Market there. It is spread over several streets and squares in Brussels, with a couple of hundreds of chalets that sell different things, including food and drinks, and with nice carrousels with old looking mechanical parts. I bought some glass figurines (christmas decoration) and before heading home we had pankaces and hot cocoa at a pub. Mum2 had prepared a vegetarian rice for dinner that we had with lots of soy sauce. Afterwards, we prepared some salty microwave popcorn, chilled white wine (and cookies and chocolate) and watched more Red Dwarf season VI before heading to bed.

Saturday the 10th was the come back day. We had quiet breakfast and packed, talked a while with mum2 and relaxed a bit before going to the airport and taking the plane back home. It was a quiet flight, except for my headache – caused by me hitting my nose the previous night. And then I am back home and missing Jan so much…

I’ve fallen

And into what? you’ll ask.. I’ve fallen into online s.e.x. (nice acronym for Stash Enhancement eXpedition, eh?).

I got myself 250 grams of Suffolk worsted to heavy worsted wool, hand-dyed in a nice colourway called Autumn Heather, for a nice warm winter hat (still pattern undecided, maybe I’ll go for the Kittyville Hat from S`n`B handbook) – my head and ears freeze on the way to university, and they’ll freeze more in Belgium, so I’m in need of one that at least I can handwash. You can see the wool in this pic:

autumn heather wool

And also indulged in 200 grams of pure new wool, DK weight, hand-dyed in Incan Forest shade. This one will be for making myself fingerless mittens/gloves (downloadable pdf pattern), with cabled ribbing. My hands tend to freeze when I’m at the computer or I need to write a lot, which is always, so these will be very handy too. And here you see the Incan Forest shade:

Incan Forest DK wool

If you’re interested in these yarns, I bought them on ebay, but the seller has her own website where you can know a bit more of their work:

Here at The Natural Dye Studio we hand-dye the historical way, using flowers, roots, leaves and heartwood’s. We believe our products are safer for your skin and safer for the enviroment.

We only use dyes and mordants that will not harm the environment, all our spent dye baths and dye materials are composted and used to fertilise our organic garden.


We only use 100% natural materials and whenever possible use unbleached fibres and fabrics as this eliminates an uneccesary and toxic procedure in the manufacture of textiles.

Some weeks ago I also got 200 grams of nice fleece, washed and carded, from Ryeland sheeps, in dark gray, that I’ll use for learning to spin(!). I want to learn this other fiber art, it looks very interesting and another thing to spend my little free time on. The fleece is waiting for me in Belgium, where I’ll hand-make a couple of drop spindles (both top and bottom drop spindles), and (try to) learn to spin. Pic of the fleece bought at Forest Fibres:


It was nice s.e.x. It felt good (but I’ll try not to boost my stash too much, I’m on a student budget).


FO: Phone Sock

I’ve been playing around with dpn’s and my very first project was a phone sock (phone cozy, phone sleeve, as you prefer to call it). I made up the pattern myself (you can read the pattern on the side bar). The dpn’s were really slippery aluminium ones – old ones my mother had, since she is using the new ones, and the yarn is leftover sock yarn from a pair of socks my mother knit for herself. Anyway, see the pics:

phone sock


sock and phone

You can see the little sock for my smaller phone (yes, I own and actually use two different cell phones *geek*). I will also knit one for my bigger phone, and one for Jan’s (he asked me to, before even seeing mine!).


I’ve got news!

I’ve got very good news! I’ve got a job! I will be web-designing for a department, and doing a bilingual site for them (helping them getting into the 21st Century). That means I’ll be slightly more busy – in the mornings work and class, evening study at home and trying to knit after dinner.

Mum finished another two pair of socks, one in green for herself (no pic) and another clown-colourful pair for me, with shorter calf. So with 100gr she’ll be able to make a short calf pair and an ankle pair for me, that I really don’t like high socks unless I’m wearing boots.


And a pic of the lovely roses we have at home this week:


My baby blanket is coming along nicely, tho slowly due to the amount of stitches, so the pic is about the same as last time.


Recipes: Pumpkin Cake & Guacamole

These two recipes were acomplished during the past week while Jan was here. They were fun to cook, and Jan was very helpful in the kitchen :)

Pumpkin Cake


  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 1/2cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 500gr clean pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup candied fruit mix


  1. Chop the pumpkin into small pieces and cook until very tender, about 30 minutes or more, depending on pumpkin and size of pieces. Drain well (even pressing out excess water) and puree the pumpkin flesh.
  2. Beat both sugars, margarine and eggs with an electric mixer on medium for two minutes, scrapping bowl occasionally. Stir together flour, baking powder, nutmeg, vanilla and salt. Add flour mixture and pumpkin puree alternately to margarine mixture, beating on low speed after each addition until combined. Stir in candied fruit.
  3. Turn batter into a greased an floured 25cm fluted tube pan. Bake on 175C oven for about one hour, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for ten minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack.

Yield: 14-16 servings.


  • This cake can be mixed by hand with a simple fork, beating enough to mix well all the ingredients.
  • For decorating, brush with 2-3 tablespoons of orange juice, sprinkle with 1-2 tablespoons of coarse sugar, and garnish with 6-8 small marraschino cherries.
  • Refrigerate cake, covered, up to three days, or freeze wrapped in foil for up to two months.



  • 2 very ripe avocados
  • 1 small red ripe tomato
  • half onion
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder (or cumin seeds, grounded)
  • juice of one lime
  • salt
  • olive oil


  1. Mince onion very thinly. Peel the tomato and chop into very small cubes as well. Cut the avocados in half, pit, and spoon flesh out. Mash the avocado flesh to puree.
  2. Mix the avocado puree with the tomato and onion. Season with cumin, lime juice, salt and olive oil to taste. Chill for at least one hour before serving. Serve with popotos (fried corn tortillas).

Yield: a bowl.

Tip: If the avocados aren’t ripe enough, wrap them in newspapers, put them in a pot covered with lid, and let them rest in a warm place, until they’re tender enough. This will take from a day to a week, depending on the ripeness of the avocado.

Bon appetit!