Take Two

March 27, 2011

This yarn was just too nice.  All that Malabrigo softness — and in a colorway that’s one of my favorite ever, Solis.  (I’ve had a skein of sockweight in this color for years because I can’t think of a pattern that’s special enough for it!)  My first attempt at a cowl with this beautiful yarn just wasn’t right.  For one thing, the fabric was too dense.  Size 13 needles are too small for Rasta.  And even though my finished piece before seaming was the right size, the cowl was way too small.

So I frogged it and made another one.  This time, I think I found success.

PatternMarshmallow Fluff by Sarah Kraly

Yarn: Malabrigo Rasta in Solis, less than one skein (about 30 grams leftover)

Needles:  Size US 17 (12.75 mm)

Size Before Seaming:  6.5 inches wide by 24 inches long

The only problem I foresee is that this cowl is warm.  I mean, raging furnace warm.  Definitely it is for deep winter.  Luckily, it’s been clear and cold lately!

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In my belly! I made what might be the most delicious cookies ever today.  They’re Chocolate Fudgy Oatmeal Cookies, another recipe from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero.  Combining oatmeal, chocolate chips, cocoa in the batter, and (oh God, yes) dried cherries, they are full of happiness!  If you like cookies, go get this cookbook!  Now!

On the tube. I watched American Experience: Triangle Fire, to remember the 100th anniversary of the fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory.  This industrial disaster took the lives of over 100 workers, mostly young immigrant women, and spurred many much-needed regulations to protect workers and improve conditions in the garment industry and beyond.

Reading! I’ve really been enjoying the blog Vegansaurus.  It’s super funny, and full of great information for people who are trying to adopt a more-totally-plant-based diet like me.  I really liked their post, 11 Tips for New Vegans.  (Possibly somewhat ironically) I’ve been reading a great book — The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival by John Vaillant.  It combines natural history, ethnography, science, suspense … a really great read.  There’s something incredibly evocative to me about the word taiga alone … if you agree, you might like this book.

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Easily Distracted

March 13, 2011

I love the slipped stitches.

I had such good intentions to finish the Oatmeal Pullover this weekend.  But then a skein of Rasta (colorway: Solis) got in the way.

After much hemming, hawing, and Ravelry-searching, I decided the wham bam thank you lamb neckwarmer would be the pattern.  Lots of people have made it with Rasta, and I particularly liked LisaKay2004’s slip-stitch modification.  I checked my gauge.  I read the pattern.  I know I got a finished piece of knitting that is basically the same size as that called for in the pattern, but mine doesn’t have the slouch that I want.  Waaah.  I’m going to try getting it wet and blocking it bigger.

Also very likely: that I will buy another skein of this yarn in this same colorway and make another cowl!


Slow Morning

March 8, 2011

This morning, the piano for John-John (a generous gift from my parents) is being delivered.  So — lucky me — I get a nice, unrushed start to the day.  That means I get to drink my coffee sitting down in my “knitting corner” instead of standing up in front of the bathroom sink.  I’ve taken a brief hiatus from the blanket to finish a top-down sweater I started a few weeks ago.  Spring’s coming … the birds in the yard (mostly cardinals and finches) are singing their breeding songs.  It’s nice to hear them again!

I also took the time to make the Best-Breakfast-that-Isn’t-a-Green-Smoothie.  Oatmeal is my new go-to morning meal, even when eating out.  At home, I add a spoonful of peanut butter and sliced bananas.  Reasonable people can disagree on this point, but I think PB and bananas together are heavenly.  My two most delicious discoveries of the year are avocados in smoothies (thanks, Lolly) and peanut butter in oatmeal (props to Ashley).

And, now, back to the sleeves on that sweater…


This Week’s Fascinations

March 6, 2011

It’s a trend that seems to be sweeping the corner of the Interwebs I frequent … the green smoothie.  I’ve become a little addicted to having my vegetables for breakfast.  My favorite combination is avocado, spinach or kale or both, and strawberry.  I use frozen fruit, so ice cubes aren’t really necessary.  Most recipes use juice as a base, but I think the fruit makes it sweet enough.  Today, though, I made one with carrot-ginger juice (fresh, since my sweetheart bought me a juicer!), mango, pineapple, avocado and spinach.  It was not such a lovely color, but it tasted good.

The other fascination of the week has been the Big-Ass Granny Blanket.  I picked it up again last weekend and it’s growing.  It’s about 35 inches square now.  I’d like to make it big enough to snuggle under and cover my feet on the couch.  Maybe twenty more rounds or so?  It seems to be not-exactly-square, but I’m hoping that I can block it out.  It’s made up of odd balls and scraps of worsted weight 100% wool of various brands: Cascade 220, Wool of the Andes, Patons Classic, and a little Eco-Wool and Dream in Color Classy.  If When I finish it, I will be so pleased with myself, as it will be the biggest thing I’ve ever completed!

Yesterday, I had a seriously serendipitous vintage clothing score.  I went to meet my friend Cassie in Chagrin Falls for breakfast and knitting.  Afterwards, I stopped into Stash Style, a cute housewares and jewelry store which also sells chocolates and a little yarn.  Unfortunately, they are going to be closing the store and instead having barn sales in various locations around Northeast Ohio.  As I was looking around, I noticed two small racks of (mostly vintage) clothing.  On it, I found not one, BUT TWO, coats that fit me!  One of them is 100% cashmere!  They have some spots and aren’t perfect, but I have a different standard for vintage clothes.  Together, they cost $59.  Sweet.  The cashmere one has a label from a sadly defunct local department store, which makes it especially awesome in my opinion.

The Higbee Company Cleveland, Ohio

Today, the aforementioned sweetheart and I are brewing beer!  I’ve never done made beer before, but he was a professional brewer for many years at Terminal Gravity Brewing in Enterprise, Oregon.  Right now, we are “mashing in,” which basically involves making a whole lot of hot barley cereal.  It smells so good!  In a few weeks, we’ll have our own beer.


Two Days in a Row? Crazy!

February 26, 2011

Shortly after this picture was taken, these veg became borscht.

Remember what I said about the cookies not being a big hit with the boys? Scratch that. Sam LOVED them. Thank goodness I put some in the freezer or they would all be gone.  Lunch was Roasted Beet and Potato Borscht (recipe courtesy of Everyday Food).

Long have I believed that I didn’t like beets.  Um, revising that opinion. This month, I’ve been trying to eat more colorful veggies, so I gave beets another try. Yum.  And perhaps my post yesterday was slightly misleading.  I haven’t gone completely vegan. For example, I stirred some sour cream into my soup and inhaled it like a Hoover.

I was all set this weekend to knit like the wind on a seamless, top-down raglan I started.  But instead, I worked yesterday on a giant granny blanket that’s been languishing as a WIP.  (The header photo is a close-up of it.) Unfortunately, I’ve also been reading knit blogs and browsing Ravelry and I want to start about 900 new things.  I especially am feeling the desire to knit a stripey shawl, something like this one or this one, both of which were featured on Knitted Bliss.

This house is a total disaster area, due to the Awesome Destructive Power of Small Boys. I want to sit and knit, but John’s got a piano recital and my parents are coming over afterwards and, sadly, the house doesn’t clean itself.  I think I’ll put this album on and get to work!

 


Back to the Blog

February 19, 2011

It’s been  months, but I can’t bring myself to say goodbye to blogging.  If anything, I really want to get back to it.  There are a number of things that prevent me from doing so.  The first, of course, is time.  I have a job doing electronic document review, which means that I spend my day reading emails on a monitor.  So, naturally, coming home and getting online isn’t the most appealing idea in the world.  But I really miss the community and the writing.

Another (self-created) obstacle are the related ideas that (1) all blog posts need pretty pictures and (2) I am completely incapable of taking the pretty pictures.  I have what can charitably be described as a craptastic camera, no tripod, and highly limited skill.  I love the blogs with beautiful photography (some examples: Brooklyn Tweedjust marysePosie Gets Cozy, Hello Yarn, and Smitten Kitchen), and I want to create the type of blog I like to read!

But I’m going to try to overcome these obstacles, because I so enjoy blogging as a personal journalling exercise.  And I have so many things I’d like to write about.

Like knitting, of course!  I’ve been working on a number of things, and recently finished this Breckenridge Cowl with Malabrigo Rasta.  What a yummy yarn!  I also have two sweater-type projects on the needles (three, if you count a long-hibernating bottom-up seamless yoke sweater).  Just when I think I’ve embraced the fact that I am really a Small Project Knitter, I go and start a sweater.

Other topics to come: local food, Health Month, potholder mania, my love affair with leafy greens, other people’s UFOs, and more.


Summery

August 14, 2010

…lacy cottony socks…

…no-cook dinners…

…afternoons in the backyard…

Hope you’re enjoying these high days of summer!