Saturday, May 29, 2010

This week, I...

-finished a book
-got yarn in the mail (twice; it's been awhile, so I picked up a few things on ravelry detash)
-had dinner with my sister
-watched a super fun movie, Fantastic Mr. Fox (I love Wes Anderson. Also, Jason Schwartzman in fox form is awesome!)
-swatched for a summer project in Cotton Fleece
-went home for lunch one day (it was neat to see the kitties during the day, and read!)

THis weekend, I'll be drinking one (or maybe two!) of these:

One of the best I've ever tasted

and enjoying a nice holiday weekend.

I hope you enjoy yours as well!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Food Friday: It's been a while

A few weeks ago (and then again last weekend), the boyfriend and I made pizza.

Pizza dough

I made some homemade whole-wheat dough (from a great resource of recipes-check it out!). I'll definitely make it again. It was super quick (I used rapid active yeast). The dough comes together quickly, especially with the use of the Rapid yeast, because it eliminates the need for the first rise.
Toppings included: fresh mozzarella (sliced; it melts awesome), turkey sausage, salami, leeks, bell pepper, kalamata olives, mushrooms, and pesto for the sauce. I precooked the vegetables and sausage, to minimize the water content. It was divine.

I've said it before, but any recipe where you can use what you've got is a perfect choice in my book.

Scrumptious

Happy food Friday!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Double FO Post!

On the agenda today, sharing my latest completed projects: the Mariposa Mitts and my Sundara Milkweed Shawl. As I said last week, the first mitt was finished months ago. I immediately cast on for the second, and then, well, I moved on to other knits. It sat unfinished until I picked it up last week and finished in two hours. So silly.

FO: Mariposa Mitts

This is the second pair I've made, the first being a gift for my mom in her favorite color.I may keep these for myself. The Mariposa colorway is one of my favorites in the Malabrigo line. The pattern, here on Ravelry, is straight-forward and really lets the variegated Malabrigo shine.

FO: Mariposa Mitts

As for the Milkweed Shawl, it took three weeks to knit.

FO: Milkweed Shawl

I used Sundara Sock Yarn, a splurge, in the Delphiniums colorway.

FO: Milkweed Shawl

I was a little disappointed that I couldn't finish the pattern. I'm not sure of the reason, but the pattern called for 350 yards, which is exactly what I had.

FO: Milkweed Shawl

I debated using a second color for the edging, but in the end, I just cast off early, omitting the last six rows.

FO: Milkweed Shawl

The pattern, Milkweed Shawl, by Cosmicpluto, is extremely easy to knit.

FO: Milkweed Shawl

Many have already said this, but I love the inclusion of a written number to indicate how many knit stitches are in an uninterrupted run.

FO: Milkweed Shawl

It makes it so much easier to follow.

This is my third completed shawl of the year. I cast on yesterday for a fourth (the previously discussed Waves of Leaves in my kool-aid yarn).

FO: Milkweed Shawl

Lace was something that always intimidated me, so it's gratifying to feel more confident with it.

Raveled here

Friday, May 21, 2010

Another social site joined

After hearing about Goodreads through several blog friends, I joined recently. I don't really need another online distraction, but it's fun, and very useful.

I've been working on my "read" list, and have added many new items for my queue of "to-reads". Although I'm still working on Wicked, I walked to the library yesterday. There's one literally right around the corner from work. I haven't had a library card in ages, so I filled out an application. I was very amused to find out that I was still in the system at my parents' address (they don't live there anymore and aren't together), which I haven't lived at for TEN years. Funny. Even funnier, the librarian informed me that there was a late fee on the account: $1.40. Hilarious. So, I paid my fine, and picked up two books, one of which I started last night. It's Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro. I tore through the first third of the book last night, which was highly enjoyable.

For any of you who would like to link to me on Goodreads, I'm here.

Happy reading, and happy weekend!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Upcoming projects

I finished the Milkweed shawl, but it still needs blocking and photos. The Sundara yarn ran out before I was finished knitting, so I cut out the last six rows. I contemplated finding a CC for the last few rows, but I didn't really like any of the stash possibilities, because I felt they took away from the fun blue/purple mix of the Sundara colorway. I'll be sharing that shawl soon.

Progress: Mariposa Mitts

I'm also finishing up the second Malabrigo Mitt in Mariposa. The matching glove has been sitting half-knit for about six months.
Re.dic.u.lous.

As for the summer top I'd like to knit, the following are some of my favorites (at least, these are the ones I have stashed yarn for):
Buttercup (ravelry link)
Cherry (previously started)
Fresh Mint
Camellia

Additionally, the next shawl I'm planning is the Waves of Leaves shawl.

Don't drink the koolaid

I'm finally going to use my Kool-Aid yarn. I totally dig this funky colorway, and I think the shawl pattern is perfect for it.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Progress: 3/10

I'm knitting my third shawl of 2010 (for the 10 shawls in 2010 challenge). I haven't mentioned it much here because I'm really not sure that I'll complete the challenge, but it's a fun goal, nonetheless.

The third shawl is Cosmicpluto's Milkweed, and I'm using my lone skein of Sundara Sock. The colorway is Delphiniums, and I dig the purple to blue variegation. I'm loving it so far.

Progress: Milkweed Shawl

I'm much further than this picture, and I may even finish this weekend.

Once this shawl is complete, I'll be casting on for a summer top, although the specifics are still undetermined.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

FO: Mother's Day Multnomah

Last fall, I knit this shawl, and immediately wanted to knit another in a semi-solid yarn. I loved the variegated effect, but I knew it would really pop in a semi-solid.

Multnomah

Enter version 2 of Multnomah, a gift for my mom. In Shibui Sock, which is fast becoming one of my favorite yarns, it knit up quickly and is just as lovely as I dreamed. This Mulberry color is right up my mom's alley.

Modeling Multnomah

I gave it to her a week early (after scheduling myself rigidly the few days before), so that she could take it on her California trip.

Mom's Multnomah in California

She loved wearing it, and she took pictures of the shawl, draping it carefully in each one, to get the photos "just-so".
She commented that she got some strange looks, and I'm sure most of you can relate. We get some funny looks taking pictures of yarn, FOs, food, etc. But we know what we're doing, so who cares, right?

Mulberry Multnomah

I used about two skeins of the Shibui. I broke into a third skein, but little cat played with one of the original skeins, so I may have had a little less yardage than I expected. I really need to weigh the shawl to know my exact yardage. I used the recommended size 3 needle, and finished it in just two weeks.

Multnomah

I adore the pattern, and definitely recommend it to lace knitters of any expertise. I learned my lesson from shawls past and bound off very loosely, which allowed me to block more aggressively.

Raveled

Monday, May 10, 2010

Blackberry crumb bars

Remember this post? Well, I made the same Smitten Kitchen goodness, but this time with blackberries.

Blackberry Crumb Bars

Since blackberries are firmer and bigger than blueberries, I crushed the berries with the sugar, lemon juice and cornstarch before adding to the pan. I think it helped break them down a bit. The only other modification I made was to reduce the sugar (only slightly), by about 1/3 cup. I just remember them being so sweet that a little less sugar couldn't hurt. It wasn't a noticeable difference, at least to my mouth.

Blackberry Crumb Bars

I still ate them up. Next time, I'll try them with lime juice instead of lemon.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Reading mojo: I have it

I have strong memories of going to the library at least once a week when I was little. My mom would take Jill and I, and we would stop for a snow cone afterwards (my two favorite flavors were bubble gum and coconut, but not together). I read constantly, and couldn't get enough. We participated every year in Book-it! as well.

Somewhere along the line, as it does for most, my reading time diminished, and last year, I'm not sure that I finished one book. One. It's shameful. Embarrassing. I know most of my free time goes to knitting now, but I'm trying to make a conscious effort to make time for reading. A few weeks ago, I finally finished The Omnivore's Dilemma. I started it sometime last year, and read some on the plane home from Boston in September, but then it sat unfinished for months. I thoroughly enjoyed it, but I never devoted enough time to finish. When I finally finished, I felt so proud (of a feat that was nothing but ordinary). It encouraged me to read more often. Last week, I started and finished a book in two days. It was a loaner from Jill, who never lost the reading bug. It's called Scratch Beginnings, and it's a response to Barbara Ehrenreich's Nickel and Dimed, which I read for one of my social anthropology classes at UH. It was a quick read and very enjoyable. I'm also halfway through Wicked. I've seen the play (and I'm seeing it for a second time in July!), and have been dying to read the book. I've got a ton of books waiting to be next in line, so I'm hoping to keep this pace.

It's so nice to be making reading a priority again.

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