Tag: food

Fall Break 21

Today is day one of my two-day fall break. Despite the mountain of papers waiting to be graded, I was determined to get some knitting in. Not the knit a few rows before bed kind of knitting but some actual soul soothing knitting.

As an extra treat for myself, I thought I’d spend the time not just knitting but finishing. I’ve had my Looped Loop sitting in a basket waiting to be bound off for at least six months. Binding off required Reverse Kitchener Stitch, though, and there just hasn’t been space in my brain for that.

The cool weather we’re having this week seemed like a great reason to take the leap. I must say I was also hoping to have a wonderful story of Reverse Kitchener glory to report.

Oops.

Here is a shot of the kitchenered ends. They’re right in the middle there, a tiny bit to the left of the middle vertical chair rail.

From this distance it looks okay, but honestly, I’m disappointed. I was hoping the join would be truly seamless, and it isn’t. The knit and purl columns don’t line up exactly. Plus, the seam area has virtually no give. Reverse Kitchener is now on my list of things to master, and I’m planning to try Tricksy Knitter’s method next. I’ll report back. If anyone has suggestions, please let me know.

Augie did a close inspection and decided he wasn’t thrilled with the results either.

Despite the Kitchener issues, having a cozy new cowl to wear when I go back to school on Wednesday makes me happy. And the yarn is divine. It’s Dream in Color Smooshy with Cashmere in Rasberry Blaze. Absolute heaven.

The fall weather has also ignited the need to bake. Yesterday’s goodness was Smitten Kitchen’s Jacked Up Banana Bread. It’s the best banana bread evahhhh. We had it for dinner, breakfast, and lunch.

Things continue to be hectic, but I am mostly keeping up with everyone’s posts. I’m sadly behind with commenting but am loving reading about what everyone is up to.

Until next time, be well, my friends. And knit on!

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In honor of the first day of Autumn . . . 6

In honor of the first day of Autumn, I made blackberry buttermilk cake for lunch. It was this recipe, but with blackberries. It was very good.


blackberry-dinner-cake

 
I was out of town for awhile. There was knitting and beer drinking in a hotel.
 

hotel-knitting

 
There was knitting and coffee drinking in a couple of different airports.
 

airport-knitting

 
There was knitting on airplanes.
 

plane-knitting

There’s been some reading.


reading

I’ve also learned a few things. Did you know that the poet Marvin Bell has a son who’s a song writer? His name is Nathan. One interesting (if not particularly well written) article claims he “may be the Woody Guthrie we need in the age of globalization.” More research is definitely in order.

I also came across the work of Lisa Anne Auerbach. Who knew?

The well is a little dry at the moment, so I’m trying to fill it up. Hopefully, I’ll have more to say soon. In the meantime, thank goodness for knitting. Be well, my friends. Knit on.

“I hope fireflies remember to do exactly what it was they used to . . .” 16

Birthday Cake 1

I think I’ve mentioned that soon after we moved to the mountains, my father moved up from Texas to be near us. We love that, and I think he does too, but he misses his Texas friends. Well, for his 84th birthday this past week, a couple of them came up to visit him.

We went with him to the airport to pick them up, and I knitted on a new pair of socks while we waited for the plane to land.

Airport Knitting

For Daddy’s birthday, I made Smitten Kitchen’s Triple Berry Summer Buttermilk Bundt Cake. It might have been the best cake I’ve ever made. Instead of using three kinds of berries, I used all blackberries. They were some of the ones we picked this summer. And I added birthday sprinkles.

Birthday Cake 2

It was a happy cake for a very happy occasion.

 

Birthday Wish

With visitors in town and a lot of work insanity going on, there could not have been a better time to come across this post on Wool n’ Spinning about getting your knitting in when you can. Wise words right there, folks.

I took the advice to heart and ended up working on Paul’s Checks and Balances sweater in ten-minute spells here and there to the point where the progress on it started to actually offset some of the frustration that’s been going on with work lately.

 

Knitting 1

Knitting 2b

Knitting 3

Another yarn-related thing I read this week was this post on the huge number of spindle whorls archeologists have found buried with female skeletons. Some are from as far back as Neolithic times. I knew about this in a vague way, but the article made me think more specifically about what it means that women were taking their spinning with them into the afterlife. I’m still thinking about it.

Here are a couple of other pictures from my week.

Chocolate

Work was hard. Paul brought me chocolate.

Our little friend Shanti stayed with us while her mom and dad went on an end-of-summer trip. She and Lola alternately played until they couldn’t play anymore and then passed out.

Shanti and Lola

Even though it’s only mid-August, the air is starting to feel like fall. I’ve been working on the porch when I can. Rasta likes to help.

Rasta

The title of this post is a line from Josh Ritter’s “Song for the Fireflies.”

With intermittent rain and shine
the sky re-started six or seven times
It’s blue because it sees
All our infidelities
We both know that it’s been so long
I’m not sure what to say so I hope
Fireflies remember to do exactly what it was they used to

I’ve been listening to Sermon on the Rocks non-stop.

See Ya Next Year, Tour de Fleece! 16

tdf-yarn-swap

Aaaaand another Tour de Fleece is in the books. Do you know about the Tour de Fleece? It happens every year at the same time as the Tour de France.

It was the brainchild of a vey cool woman named Star, the blogger behind Keep on Knitting in the Free World. The idea was that while the Tour de France riders spun their bicycle wheels, fiber spinners could spin along with them on their spinning wheels or spindles and cheer the cyclists and each other on.

For the first two years, Star actually ran the whole Tour herself. The idea took off, though, and what started out in 2006 as a handful of spinners chatting in the comments section of her blog had by 2008 become 15  organized Ravelry teams, sharing daily photos and competing for prizes.

These days, there are a well over a hundred teams, maybe even two hundred, and people all over the world take part. It’s crazy to think about thousands of people out there spinning their hearts out for 23 days, but it happens. I just love that!

tour-de-fleece singles 2

For the second year in a row, I spun with a team organized by the fabulous Dorothea of Spinfoolish Designs. She is ahhhhmazing! I know for a fact that she was born knitting, and she probably would have come into the world spinning, but her poor mother (“Saint Mummy,” I know you’ve heard of her) had to draw the line somewhere.

Every day, Dorothea sent us an email with info about the Tour or some interesting spinning topic. Plus, she organized all kinds of contests and games to keep things fun and keep everyone in touch since some of the team was pretty far flung.

With everything I had going on this year, I only managed to spin a tiny bit, but even that was nice. I also entered the team yarn swap. My swap partner lives in Canada (so cool), and I’m sending her the batch of alpaca/BFL in the photo at the top of this post. It’s some of what I spun last fall. I’m hoping she’ll like it.

Dorothea asks a few people to join her in writing the Tour emails each year, and this year I contributed an article about knitting with your handspun. As I was writing it, it occurred to me that I never posted a picture of my finished handspun pillow on the blog! I actually had to go back and check to be sure. I posted about making the pillow, but I never showed you the final result.

Here it is!

Handspun-Pillow-outside

Handspun-Pillow-outside-back-2

I can’t tell you how much I love this misshapen, lumpy bumpy pillow. It’s from my very first handspun, and everything about it makes me happy.

Speaking of happy making:

Augie

Augie is exhausted from the Tour frenzy. He’s so tired he can’t even guard the tummy.

And more happy making:

banana-cake

Banana cake with cinnamon cream cheese frosting. Also known as dinner. Yes, I did. Found the recipe here.

 

Spinning, Knitting, Summering 6

This is what I’ve been spinning for the Tour de Fleece.

Finn-Singles

It’s Finn in the colorway “Little Islands” from the Spunky Eclectic fiber club.

Finn from SE Fiber Club

These aren’t colors that I’d normally pick, but I’m really enjoying the shades of blue and cream. One of the great things about being part of a fiber club is expanding my color horizons. I’ll probably end up chain plying this when I’m finished with the singles. Then I was thinking I might use it for the yoke of the Garter Yoke Cardigan. What do you think?

I’ve also been working on Checks and Balances here and there. This was porch knitting this evening just before a major, much needed rainstorm rolled in.


Porch Knitting

I got this new project bag from Fringe Supply Co recently, and I love it.

Fringe Supply Co 1

It’s sturdy, so I feel like I can drag it around all over the place with me without having to worry about messing it up. It’s also got several nice pockets inside–a big one on one side and several tall narrow ones for needles and pens or pencils on the other side.

Fringe-Supply-Co-2

In other news, I’ve been pickling.

Pickles

Picking blackberries.

Blackberries

Making banana bread.

Banana-Bread

And opening packages of fun things that have been arriving for the goodie bags for The Knotty Ladies fiber weekend on Roan Mountain that’s coming up at the end of the summer.

Goodie-Bag-Goodies

I have a little work left to do tonight, and then I’m going to get back to spinning the Finn. I’m trying to ease the pain of returning to work after my nice break by interspersing plenty of knitting and spinning. Oooh, and I’m watching The Wire. Don’t know how I missed it the first time around.

 

Just Peachy 6

Today, I ate the best peach I’ve had in at least a decade. It changed everything.

Peaches_sm

Since my last post, I’d managed to come out on the other side of my work nightmare and walk right into being really pretty sick. I ended up with my third case of shingles. It’s rare to have it more than once, but it happens.

I’d been feeling sorry for myself for several days and basically doing nothing but the work I absolutely had to get done and knitting on the endless rectangle that is the Easy Folded Poncho.

Easy-Folded-Poncho_sm

The knitting was knitting, so it was great, but the stir crazy was setting in. On a whim I went for a drive.

Drive

I happened upon a roadside farm stand. Just visiting with the farm stand people and seeing the pretty fruit and veggies was nice, but the peaches. Ohhhh, the peaches. Language is not adequate to describe the peach I bit into after lunch. It’s amazing how one thing can change your perspective. This peach did. I’m pretty sure it healed me. I might have heard angels. I definitely closed my eyes and wimpered for several seconds.

I’m telling you about this because it’s what I have right now. Thank you for indulging me.

Here’s the Geek-A-Long square I finished in the tiny window between work hell and coming down with the plague.

Plants-vs-Zombies_sm

Now that I’ve been healed by the peach, I think I might return to my English Mesh Lace Scarf and leave the poncho for car knitting. I’ll be back with an update of some sort soon.

I hope you are well and knitting and about to find a peach as wonderful as the one I had today.

Peaches-2

Or some plums.

Plums_sm

Back to Gramps 2

It’s so nice to be back to knitting on Gramps. It’s knit potion, for sure. I didn’t realize I was missing sweater knitting until I dove back in and suddenly a whole collection of tense spots relaxed. 

Gramps CC

During the Gramps hiatus, I’d convinced myself that the contrasting color I’d chosen wasn’t going to work. I’ve been a little iffy about the main colorway from the beginning, and I started thinking that adding the neutral for the contrasting color would just make the whole thing impossibly chaotic. But I was wrong! Don’t you think? I really like how the bottom ribbing section turned out. Now I can hardly wait to get the sleeves done so I can return to the contrasting color for the button band and shawl collar. That will tell the real story.

Saturday was Fiber Guild, and I had the sweetest helper ever.

Cara

It was a great time, as always, with the added excitement that one of our newer guild members started learning to knit! Can you imagine? I wanted to have a mind meld and beam into her brain all the wonders that await her.

Learning to knit 1

Everyone wanted to get in on the fun.

Learning to knit 2

I took this marinated cauliflower salad for lunch. Yum!

Cauliflour Salad

Tomorrow is Super Tuesday here in the U.S. Heaven help us.

Don’t Ask, Walk! 0

No one can build you the bridge on which you, and only you, must cross the river of life. There may be countless trails and bridges and demigods who would gladly carry you across; but only at the price of pawning and forgoing yourself. There is one path in the world that none can walk but you. Where does it lead? Don’t ask, walk!

I came across this wonderful bit of insight from Neitzsche in a post on the Brain Pickings blog this week. It had a special resonance because it so perfectly describes a woman I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about. The woman’s name is Fukuko Katsuura, and weaving is her obsession. She is 88 years old. She started weaving at 60.

For decades the world said, “No, Fukuko Katsuura, you do not get to weave.” And she said, “Yes, I will weave.” And despite the restrictions of culture and geography and age and all kinds of other things, she did. She is. I’m making a list of unconventional role models, and she is at the top of it right now. There’s a juicy article about her here with lots of photos and interesting details. Coming across Nietzsche’s words at the same time as I’ve been thinking about her is one of those coincidences that makes me think I should pay attention. I mention it here mainly because the article on Katsuura’s weaving is a fascinating read but also because this idea of living authentically has been on my mind. It’s not easy, is it?

Knitting . . .

Weekend errands included a haircut with a few minutes to knit while I waited my turn.

Hari Salon Knitting

And here’s where I am with my first Geek-A-Long square!

Mario Kart Square

It’s absolutely every bit as fun as I thought it would be. There is something ridiculously satisfying about seeing the image appear in reverse on the opposite side. And the squish is insane. The idea of a whole blanket with this level of squish boggles the mind.

The weather here has been dramatic.

Weather

We’re in for the coldest night of the winter tonight, so I made soup for dinner. I used my new Christmas pot and made Hot and Sour Vegetable. Oh, my goodness. It was very, very good. I used this recipe for inspiration. Definite yum!

Hot and Sour Soup

Despite the way it appears, this is actually enough soup for days. The pot is huge!

‘Round Here 3

Birthday Shawl Cast On

I’m on a mission. My mom has a big birthday coming up on December 15th, and I spent so long trying to decide what to do for a gift that I backed myself into a knitting corner. I’ve given her a couple of knitted gifts recently, so I was thinking it might be better to buy her a gift. I looked and thought and asked friends for suggestions and thought some more and finally realized the day before yesterday that nothing would feel right but a handmade gift.

Luckily, I had this gorgeous yarn in my stash. It’s David Simpson’s Green Dragon Sport (thank you, Cari!!!) in a colorway my mom will love. It’s called  “Paprika,” and that’s just what it looks like. It’s a variegated dark orange that takes on an almost brownish cast in the right light.

I’ve had my eye on this scarf pattern for awhile, and I think it will be perfect.

So yesterday, I cast on and got down to business.

Birthday Shawl

Birthday Shawl 2

It’s going along fairly quickly, and the further I get, the more sure I am that this was the right call. Hopefully, when my mom wears it, she’ll know I was thinking of her and knitting love into every single stitch. That prospect makes me really happy.

The Travel Shawl is on hold for now—at first because I ran out of yarn but now because all knitting is birthday scarf knitting. The only thing left to do on it is the border, and I got the yarn for that today. I’m actually hoping to get back to it in time to finish before my trip to Texas. I’d love to take it with me and try it out!

The only knitting I’m doing that doesn’t have to do with my mom’s birthday present is the scrap yarn sock for the Scrap Yarn Sock Advent Calendar KAL. Here are my scraps.

Sock Scraps

We’re working the number of rows that correspond to the date and alternating back and forth between socks. Here’s today’s knitting. We did four rows using the color that corresponded to the year we joined Ravelry. I joined in 2011, so my color was green.

Dec 4 scrap sock

That’s about it. The weather has mostly looked like this.

Weather

Which as led me to things like this.

Baileys Cake

And whipped cream, which I acknowledge but can’t bring myself to photograph for posterity.

Friends in High Places 4

My dear friend Cari has written a funny, thought provoking, inspiring, makes-you-want-to-pull-up-your-britches-and-do-something-amazing account of her trip to see the fiber arts exhibit at the Bellefonte Museum in Pennsylvania this weekend. A piece of her artwork figured prominently in the show, and this was something that turned her inside out in all sorts of ways and ultimately left her ready for more. It’s the best blog post I’ve read in a long time. Be sure to  check it out, and when you do, notice the awesome Thin Edge of the Wedge scarf she’s wearing in the photo. Handknits in action, baby!

Things around here are moving along. Saturday was errand day which always includes a fun lunch:

Crochetl lunch

And a visit with Miss Kitty at the feed store:

Lucy

We found out this time that her name is actually Lucy. Apparently, the best place for feed store kitties in the winter is in the middle of the dog bed display. Makes sense to me.

Christmas gift knitting is probably going to start soon, but for now I’m indulging myself with crochet squares in every color of yarn I can dig out of my stash. I find the holidays kind of hard—good in many ways, but a bit stressful and sad too—so this is proving highly therapeutic.

I’ve also been going for walks. Paul and Blade and Dulce and I went on a nice hike up the mountain one day last week.

Walk 2

And yesterday Blade and I wandered over to the little cemetery that’s not too far from our house.

Cemetery rev

Walk 1

And last night there was seed bread.

Seed cake

Now I’m off to yoga. Wishing you peace and love, my friends. Thanks for stopping by.