The Quest for Cheesecake

Believe it or not, this post is not about knitting. For all the hardcore knitters who are disappointed, I’ll give you a little update at the end of this post and my promise to write a knitting and picture filled post very soon. For now, you are stuck with the story of my pilgrimage to St. Jacobs in search for cheesecake. To truly understand how special this trip is, you need some back-story.

My high school friend Megan and I went on a school trip to Waterloo sometime around 2004 or 2005. It was a conference at Wilfred Laurier University about pollution and how it affects the eco system. On the way there, our small party stopped in St. Jacobs, where we were allowed to stretch our legs and explore the small shops around the street.
Megan and I found this bakery with a huge assortment of cakes, cookies, pudding, pies, bread, mousse, tarts and all manner of delicious things. We immediately zeroed in on a pan of cheesecake. After purchasing said cheesecake, we were off to the hotel. Let me tell you, the only thing I remember about this conference, was the cheesecake. It was by far the best I’ve ever had in my entire life.
Megan now lives in Guelph and I currently reside in Burlington. We were reminiscing about the experience and the cheesecake, okay lets be honest, it was mostly about the cheesecake. As we stared off into space trying not to drool, Megan mentioned that St. Jacobs was not far from Guelph. We immediately made a date to go try to find this ambrobrosia-like cheesecake.
We met in St Jacobs a couple weeks ago. Megan came more prepared than I was; she not only brought a camera, but a cooler with a cryo pack. That’s right, not just one of those blue cold packs, a freaking CRYO PACK. Which has got to be the best because it sounds like it’s made to keep something, more important than cheesecake, cool.

Public parking in St. Jacobs

Megan and I were very patient in our acquisition of this cheesecake. We didn’t simply run to the store, no. We affected an air of maturity and took the logical first step, lunch. The fact that the grill was attached to the bakery had no sway on our decision at all… okay, maybe it had a little sway. After lunch we gave up any pretenses of being inconspicuous and hurried over to see if they still made the cheesecake. It was there, same packaging, same window, same everything. We didn’t exactly hide our glee well….

Alright, I didn’t hide my glee well.

We jumped in line behind a family and discussed what kind we would get, since there was cheery, raspberry and blueberry. I am not going to lie to you; I was actually scared the family in front of us was going to get the cherry one. I’m glad they didn’t because I am not completely sure how I would have reacted. A couple scenarios played out in my mind during the wait. They ranged from me mugging this small family for their cheesecake and running wildly away or completely losing my mind and proclaiming that I did my waiting! Eight years of it!
Luckily, they were only there for cookies and pie.
I got cherry and Megan got raspberry. As soon as we were out of the store, we high tailed it to the car, cooler and cryo pack. We even set off and explored the surrounding shops.
I think we lasted about an hour and a half before heading back to Megan’s place for our cheesecake dinner and viewing of Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog.
I thought we might have built the cheesecake up in our minds for eight years. Then when we actually got to have it again, the real deal would pale in comparison to the memory. Folks that cheesecake was just as good as I remember. I actually rationed it, so it would last longer and finished the final piece last week sometime. Unfortunately now I am in withdrawal; I guess I should have seen that one coming…
Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, I’ll update you on the knitting. I finished the Julissa and wore it to work today. I haven’t managed to get any photos of it, but I will get a few good ones and write a more detailed post soon. I am currently working on the second alpha sock; the first one was blogged here. I am also going to continue finishing off my older projects that I have let fall to the side. Then I will start my grandmother’s sweater.

Something Blue

You probably thought this post was going to have something to do with the wedding!
I managed to get a few good pictures of the Terracotta sweater in natural light. It really shows the attractive cobalt colour.

I also finished a scarf! It is made from the Dye-Version yarn in the colour Rustico. I believe the pattern is called the Bright Eyelet Scarf. I’ve had it on my needles since April; I am relieved to finally have it done!
Now that I have finished something from my black boxes of knitting, I was able to cast on something I wanted to work on. The Clapotis Scarf is really more of a shawl; it’s knit diagonally and every five stitches you drop a stitch and unravel it to the bottom. I only just started dropping stitches to create the small ladder effect. As I am knitting along, I see the dropped stitch and have a small aneurism. I think, ‘oh s@#*, I dropped a stitch! How did I do that?! How have I not noticed before?!” Then I realize… I did it on purpose. It is not something comfortable to do; most people try REALLY hard to PREVENT the dropping of stitches.
I know Alanna has been waiting forever to take a stab at this shawl I started working on it a few days after she started. We were both really surprised to find the ladders were not yarn-overs. Even though the intentional dropping of stitches stresses me right out, I am determined to finish.
Alanna is back from Lithuania as of late Friday night. I met her for lunch with my mom Saturday and gave her the second half of her birthday present. It is a personalized yarn bowl!
I knew I wanted to get her a yarn bowl, but I had to find a good one. The only close yarn store I know of that carries them, The Wool Bin, had few choices; I turned to Etsy. As soon as I found the Maid of Clay page, I knew this was EXACTLY what I was looking for. Alanna has a hard time finding anything personalized due to her name’s atypical spelling. Since Michelle is a relatively common name, I’ve never had this problem and realized it’s something I’ve always taken for granted.
It has been so hard keeping a lid on this; I knew she would love it! Opening it, she knew it was a yarn bowl, but guessed there was more to it since I was simmering with barely controlled glee. Then BAM personalized yarn bowl and my weeks of waiting were over. This is why I don’t buy Christmas presents in advance; I just can’t stand the suspense!
On a calmer note, the washer, dryer blocking is AMAZING!! It takes the whole process from two or three days to one hour, that’s right ONE HOUR. I didn’t start with anything too delicate or precious; one of my first wool sweaters that’s not a good fit. I put it in the washer, nobody freak out, and it was fine. The wool wash cycle puts in enough water to soak the garment for a while, and then drains it with very little spinning. The drier has a small shelf to insert so the drum turns around it and circulates the air within the chamber. You arrange your sweater on said shelf and let the drier work it’s magic. I found the wool cycle was too short, only 20 minutes. I ended up putting it on ‘timed dry’ and entered in the same settings as the wool dry and putting it on for an hour. Usually there is a slight amount of dampness left, but air drying for a short period of time would take care of that, or simply re-arranging the sweater on the shelf and turning the drier on again.
The sweater was not felted, stretched, shrunk, or disfigured in any way. I deem this washer and drier money VERY well spent.
That is all the big news for now, the rest of the yarn for Grandma’s sweater; I’ll have to start that soon. I’ll get updated pictures of the Clapotis scarf and decide what project I’ll finish next.

It’s Always Sweater Season

I cannot believe it is August already; time is flying by. I was in Costco the other day and I saw Halloween decorations. As sad as I will be to see the warmer weather go, I can’t wait for autumn! Especially since I’ll be completely stocked up on sweaters.

Raglan cable and cowl neckline.

I finished the Terracotta cable sweater last night and I am blocking it right now. I think it will look really good once dry. The bright blue colour is beautiful and seriously surprised me while blocking. Since cobalt is such an intense colour, I expected it to bleed into the water while soaking. The water was hardly tinted blue at all. I was having a difficult time determining if the blue was from the sweater, or the water itself.

Looks much darker and a bit green in this light. There will be more photos with natural light.
Just think of these as teasers

Our new washer and dryer were delivered today. I am patiently waiting for the normal laundry to be done, so I can try some of the new settings. There is a wool setting, you can put this little shelf in the dryer and put your wool sweater, scarf, etc. on it. This way, the sweater isn’t tumbled around, felted and stretched. The air moves around it and dries it faster. There is also an air-dry option, which is similar to the wool dry, but with cooler air.
I’ll have to let you know how it works out! In the mean time, I am trying to polish off some projects I have had on the needles forever. Hopefully, next week will have a blog post with photos from at least ONE finished project I dragged out of hibernation!