Monday, August 31, 2009

Sea change

In the past few months, I've seen a metamorphosis within myself. I'm not entirely different, but I have changed. I used to get so worked up about things and now, well, I just don't. Don't get me wrong, I still get pissed off and there are people I'd like to punch in the face every now and then. It's different, though. There are facts that I just accept about people, and I have stopped trying to fix them.

It's not my problem. It shouldn't be. I know this is sort of a "duh" statement, since the only person who can fix you is you.

It's in my nature, though. It's what I do. I'm a fixer. I'm trying not to be, and it's getting easier every day to just let things go.

I'm feeling good about this attitude change. I think it will get even easier as time passes until I'll look in the rearview mirror without recognition.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Food Friday

I love pesto pasta salad. Love it. Actually I just love pesto. Period.

Pairing it with some chicken, mushrooms and cherry tomatoes made a great dinner. Dishes like this are the best for leftovers.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

What a difference a week makes

Here's a picture of my Favorite Cardigan progress as of Monday afternoon.

I'm about five inches past the sleeve separation.

How is that even possible? I'm amazed at how fast I'm knitting this baby up. I don't want to jinx myself, but I guess I've just been really motivated by the deadline. Sometimes, deadlines are a good thing.

Of course, it doesn't hurt that I'm using Malabrigo. I love the slight variation in color. The Marine ranges from dark purple to a slightly lighter blue. I'm a little less than halfway done with the second skein.

I'm still contemplating sleeve length. I think I'll have plenty of yarn to do full sleeves, but it may get more wear if I do 3/4 sleeves. I'm pretty sure I'll do the button band before the sleeves for two reasons: 1) the button band is always the biggest pain in the ass, so I'll get it out of the way and 2) I can then use as much as I have left for the sleeves.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Olias sleeps

Olias slept under my chair yesterday afternoon. He was so sweet and precious, at least for a few minutes.
It's not often that he's still, and I thought his little white paws looked so cute here.

Hope your Monday is going well.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Boston Marine Cardigan

For my vacation sweater, I chose Wendy Bernard's Favorite Cardigan. I cast on Wednesday, and I'm just a few rounds away from separating for the sleeves. It's going fast. I still plan to make the others on my list, but I'm betting that this simple cabled cardigan can be knit the fastest, since it is one piece, and is mostly stockinette. Plus, now that I can cable without a needle, the cables are a breeze. And of course, working in Malabrigo doesn't hurt with the speed and enjoyment.


I took these pictures after a few hours of work. I love the color, although it's hard to photograph. The color is more of a navy/dark purple than what the pictures show.

I think this second photo is a bit closer to the true color.

I'm hoping to separate for the sleeves before the end of the evening, but I'll definitely be through them by the end of the weekend. I'm not even done with the first skein of yarn yet!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Food Friday: The Good

I went to Spaghetti Western again last week (you can see my first post about the place here.

This time, I had their pizza and salad combo. You get a hearty, delicious salad (I love their dressing) and an extremely generous slice of pizza.

I chose "the good".
That's the name, but it's also what it is. It's delicious. It's covered with yummy vegetables, including roasted broccoli, eggplant, zucchini, mushrooms, and squash.

It's got feta and mozzarella cheese, because you can never have too much cheese. In my book, anyway.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Eggplant Cardigan Gift

My friend Terra is having a baby in a few weeks. I was in her wedding last year, and we've known each other since elementary school. I made her a gift for her wedding, and now I'm working on a gift for her bun in the oven, also to be known as Reese. I chose this pattern, but wanted to use stash yarn.
I chose this KnitPicks Merino Style in Eggplant, thinking it would be a good fall color for a little one. The only problem is, the pattern is written for sport yarn, and this is DK weight. I didn't make any adjustments, so my sweater is going to fit little Reese in, oh, say a couple of years. As my knitting group pointed out last night, this isn't necessarily a bad thing, as she will eventually be able to wear it. I'm still going to finish and gift it, but I'm also going to knit a (much faster) actual baby sweater to give her as well.


Here's a progress photo of the toddler cardigan (the color is truer in the stash photo above). I'm about an inch farther along in the stockinette. The pattern is really cute and easy, and it's free (see link above).

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Boston Sweater Thoughts

I've narrowed down the list of potential sweaters a bit, but of course, I then added a couple as well. I'm now trying to pick between four sweater designs.

The new list of possibilities are:

Vine Yoke Cardigan (linked in post below)

Emerald Isle Cardigan (linked in post below)

Buttony Sweater

Favorite Cardigan (link to Feministy's version, which I love)

I ruled out Ms. Darcy, because it has a decent amount of seaming and finishing, and I'm looking for quick and easy on this one.

I ruled out the Garter Yoke Cardigan, because I don't feel confident that I could finish in time. Finally, I ruled out Lush and Lacy, because I'm not sure that it will look good on me, after looking at several Ravelry FOs.

I'm leaning towards the Favorite Cardigan in Malabrigo Marine

or the Emerald Isle Cardigan in Wool of the Andes Onyx Heather
.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Help me choose my new project

My sister and I are going to Boston next month. We've never been, so we decided it would be a fun vacation to take together. I've decided (because I'm crazy) to try knit up a cardigan in celebration of this, in hopes that the fall weather (this seems like a safe bet, yes?) will allow me to wear one while I'm there.

The problem is, I can't decide which of the following four five patterns to start:

You can click on each link to see a picture of the potential project

Garter Yoke Cardigan

Ms. Darcy Cardigan

Lush and Lacy

Vine Yoke Cardigan

Emerald Isle Cardigan

Alternatively, I could try to finish my Central Park Hoodie.

Thoughts? Suggestions? Am I crazy for thinking I could knit one of these in five weeks?

Field Trip with Rhonda

Rhonda's been on vacation for a week, and since I'm infecting her with the desire to knit, I decided she should see a few more yarn shops. I took her to Yarntopia a few weeks ago, and she's already visited a second time. I've been dying to check out Twisted Yarns, so I thought a quick drive up to Spring might be fun, especially since that meant we could also stop by The Hen House, Spring's other yarn (and fabric) shop.

We had a a fun time, especially with my super navigational skills. I got a little turned around, but we eventually found both shops.

Twisted Yarns is really nice, and the selection is great.

I scored a skein of Malabrigo in the Vaa colorway. I have plenty of Malabrigo (not enough, though. You can NEVER have enough Malabrigo!), but I've been coveting this colorway, so I snatched some up.

I love this colorway.

I also purchase these two skeins of Shibui Sock in Mulberry.

I've been wanting some semi-solid sock yarn for a shawl (maybe Ysolda's Damson, or Hello Knitty's Multnomah)

We had a great field trip, and we both showed decent restraint.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Bonus Food Saturday

So, I used the Feta Salsa in another meal this week. I made turkey burgers the other night. Into the meat, I added lemon juice, fresh basil (my plant on the patio is going nuts!), sun-dried tomatoes, a little olive oil, kosher salt and pepper.


I sauteed some onion and baby portabello mushrooms, and cooked the burgers in a skillet. Add a wheat bun, some ground mustard, and a little feta salsa on top.
Again, phenomenal. This stuff is a great addition to a meal.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Food Friday

I made Smitten Kitchen's Feta Salsa I posted about last Friday and took it to a gathering last Saturday. We ate it with Triscuits and it was delicious. Then, I used some on Sunday evening in my dinner. I had some Gourmet Texas Pasta I bought at last year's Rice Harvest Festival.
Habanero Pasta, to be exact.

I sauteed some green onions, bell pepper and mushrooms, and tossed them with this habanero pasta and olive oil. Then I topped it with a generous dose of the Feta Salsa.

So freakin' good. Nothing says comfort like pasta, veggies and cheese for me.

Friday, August 7, 2009

No Food Friday

It doesn't mean I'm not cooking, or eating, for that matter, but I have no food to share with you today. I do have two Smitten Kitchen links to share. I'm planning to make one or both of these in the morning. They both sound amazing, and all of the Smitten recipes I've tried have been wonderful.

Smitten's White Bean Roasted Red Pepper Dip
Feta Salsa

Enjoy the rest of your Friday!!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Dear Olias,

You know I love you, little cat. You're such a cutie, you make biscuits on my tummy, you snuggle me and give me constant entertainment.

Of course,

you also bite. I don't mind so much when you bite me, but I don't really like it when you bite other things. Like this:

You know, like this Tussah silk lace scarf I made for mom? Yeah, I'd much rather you bite me than eat my knitted things.

Luckily, my mom is an understanding woman, and she knows what you're capable of. So when I told her that you ate her gift, she wasn't surprised.

Luckily, I was able to take a few pictures before you had a snack, so here's an FO to share, although it is now a RFO (ruined finished object). Hopefully, it will eventually be a Re-FO!

Details: Liesel, by Yummy Yarn
Yarn: La Lana Wools Tussah Silk, Strangebrew (purchased on my New Mexico yarn vacay!), 236 yards


Needles: Size 8
Time: About six months, and who knows how long it will take me to have the courage to fix it??
Recipient: my very understanding mother
Thoughts: The silk yarn was luscious and amazing to work with. Luckily, I have a tiny bit left which I will use to try to salvage this gorgeousness. I might try this again with a larger needle, or maybe I'll block it again once I fix it. I was pretty scared to block this, since it's silk, and I read you shouldn't wet-block silk. Instead, I used the iron by holding it a few inches away from the scarf, and ran it over and over to somewhat steam it. I don't think it blocked well, but it sure is was pretty!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

FO: Radiant Gradiant Ishbel

Seriously, I'm in love. This is by far the most beautiful thing I've ever made. I'm so proud to share this with you.

My Ishbel is complete and blocked!


Details: Ishbel, by Ysolda
Yarn: The Unique Sheep Verve Gradiant Sock Yarn, approximately 320 yards
Needles: Size 6
Time: 2.5 months, although it sat finished, but not blocked for one full month
Recipient: perhaps a gift, not sure yet


Thoughts: This pattern was extremely gratifying.

I accomplished several "firsts" with this FO: first shawl, first lace (I've had a few "semi-lace" projects, but this was the first with a fingering weight yarn), first wet-block. I cannot express how much I love this pattern.

I will absolutely make another, and I wish I had tons more gradiant yarn. The slow shift of colors is so appealing to me. The Unique Sheep yarn, purchased from Woolgirl sometime last fall, was very lovely to work with, and got incredibly soft after washing.


I blocked this using only straight pins (no blocking wires in my house so far, but that may change!). I like how the tips are not extremely pointy, although I'm considering blocking once more to get them a little pointier.

The next time I make this, I'm going to knit the larger stockinette portion as many have done, with the smaller lace portion.

My only disappointment in this FO is that I didn't get to use all the yarn! I've got about 80 yards left, which is definitely not enough for anything else. I guess like many others before me, I'll develop a sock yarn leftovers stash.

If you've never done lace before, I recommend this as a first dip into the pool. You do the stockinette portion first, so you get accustomed to the pattern flow, the yarn, etc,before getting to the tough stuff. I did have one row that I had to tink back and redo, as my stitch count was off, but other than that, it was smooth sailing!

This is my second Ysolda pattern, and I understand the buzz. Her patterns are so easy to understand and very enjoyable.

Oh, the love in my heart!!

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