Monday, August 31, 2009

Fair Nimbus

Monday dawns, CHILLY here in STL, 62 degrees at 10:20 a.m. Who can figure this. I should be working as I'm off this afternoon but instead I'm thinking of what easy peasy knitting to pack for a few hours in the car with you know who and her mother (sigh) to go to a local fair. Mini doughnuts and knitting may save the day.

I've cast off the last stitch for the eggplant Nimbus (yay!) and so pleased. Now to block and assemble, I have the most fabulous vintage inspired pin for the neckline.

Other than getting Lexical off the needles which should happen by weeks end, I have NOTHING in the wings except the Ravenna Satchel which has been taunting me for a very long time.

inspire me please!!!!!

My goal is a few little quickie projects to fill in, and to FINISH Ravenna. Then I will reward myself with a new project. When I look at my Ravelry fave list, the ideas are so many----- and at this point I am unable to find a front runner!

Today I'll be car knitting the eyeletty hat from the new Vogue Knits. Sounds like a plan.........

Along with a corn dog, looking at some knitting and quilting, another corn dog, some deep fried something or other and probably a beer.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

the OTHER Nimbus

Knitting here and there this weekend on the other Nimbus, the purple one. The fronts have been liberated from the needles and both sleeves are currently in progress. the 4 inches of garter banding is almost complete, once that happens the sleeves come together pretty quickly.

And that------ is it.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Mesh Scarflet

Sometimes scarves are just fun and this scarfLET was no exception! About an hour before heading out the door for last weekend's trip I copied the pattern for the Mesh Scarflet from the current issue of Knit Simple and looked for yarn and needles. I had no fabulous scarfletty yarn so I grabbed the single ball of Wool Ease in the gold colorway that has been sitting around for color inspiration. The scarf was loads of fun to knit (although purl heavy) and great for knitting while visiting with family non-stop for 2 days. This really cute scarflet came off the needles about half way through the trip home on Monday, I had about two inches of it on the needles after a Friday evening cast on. This one calls for a button but I think I'll be looking for a cool stick/pin of some sort.

Love the whole issue full of fun little scarves and know I'll be adding to the collection!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Jiggety Jig

I've returned home (Monday evening) and have unpacked, done laundry, gone to the grocery store and caught up on work for the most part.

An unplanned scarf came off the needles over the weekend which was serendipitous. I'll post photos later.

The purple nimbus met a bit of a stall as I could not REMEMBER if I had knit the back when the two fronts were on the needles and awaiting measurement before the armhole decreases. Imagine that, no memory. Crazy! The fuel of course was that I could not find it as it was not in the last known location. HA! I did find it upon coming back from knitting last night, we shall not discuss the bozo place I put it. However, having rediscovered it my memory is now back on track and I'm ready to get those fronts moving. The Lexical sleeves are almost finished with the decreasing soon to be behind me.

Sadly today I really need to do a bit of cleaning. It's okay as long as I remember doing it in the first place!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009


I've been inspired by jewelry and accessories this season, personally I think it has been awhile since the items you see are so wearable, fun and just pretty.

But pricey and I do have yarn and fabric to buy! :)

I wandered into M*ichael's yesterday armed with a sale flyer and a 40% off one item coupon. What I found there were some really great pieces to putter with using the current jewelry making goodies I have and a small collection of vintage pieces to add (or not).

LOVED this piece------ even worn alone on a cord it looks great. On clearance for $1.99 how can you lose?

I have no idea what I'll do with these pieces but I think they'll be a great starting point and I love the colors.

The above black and berry pieces just didn't photograph well. They look modern and fresh, how they'll end up is a question mark at this point.

Love Love Love this piece----------- jeweled and fabulous! I love the way it looks on all of the colors from my fall color board but especially on the gold color aka dijon.

I've tossed them into the room where creativity happens to mellow a little and soak up the vibes. When they come out the other end it will be fun to see how they have evolved!

The car gets packed for a short getaway to do the family thing tomorrow, six hours out and back with (hopefully) some knitting in between. I'll be taking the stalled Nimbus and the Lexical whose sleeves are an inch and a quarter away from beginning the sharp decreases.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Color, revisited

Francis asked me about the color palette at Eilee*n F*isher............ and how their "Nimbus" was colored. Their cute little shorter sleeved sweater is available in the classic tones of that designer, ash and a plummy tone. Go with everything sort of colors.

It made me think----------- why do we choose the colors we do when selecting a particular yarn for a project? Do we think, hey this will go with everything............ or do we think, the heck with going with anything, I just like the yarn.

What is your thought process? I'm curious!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

A little somethin' from the sewing room

I confess, I've done so much LESS than I thought I would with my time to myself. It's okay. I have spent a little bit of time in the sewing room working on a couple projects from the merlot side of the fall color board.

A simple and swingy jacket inspired by Eileen Fisher who is one of my favorite designers. I wish I could find her knit available on the bolt, yummy washable wool fine crepe--- the hand and appearance is wonderful. My jacket is a drapey fine knit but I'm still on the hunt.

The jacket is at the point where it needs about a mile of seam binding attached and I'm having trouble working up the energy. The other pattern is from McCalls. While I love everything in it for the moment the merlot knit will have that cute 3/4 length top with the intriguing yoke/neckline. It sits having been cut out. As it is 92 here today, fall seems far away.

I also noticed when last at Eileen Fisher (in Highland Park IL) that she is featuring a darling short sleeved sweater that looks SO like my Nimbus(es). Hers is wool, alpaca and merino and retails for $218. Get knittin' I say!

Have I mentioned my patent snakeskin print 3 strap peep toe pumps? Oh yeah! I can't wear anything above a nice flat for too long but the temptation overtook me.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Fried Green Time Off

My time off has not exactly gone as planned but has been wonderful in every way. I've even tried to catch up on blog reading (which had fallen woefully behind) and I had to laugh at myself. When catching up on the Moda Bakeshop and Jen Duncan's adorable alphabet quilt (good on ya Jen), at first glance at Melissa's "Personalized Birdie Pillow", I thought it said Personalized BRIDE pillow.

See, it has nothing to do with brides but that little birdie in the lower right! The designer Melissa did a wonderful job.

Being a bride wrangler and all I was so excited! On closer inspection it had nothing to do with brides, but would be a pretty cute ring pillow with some minor adjustments. The motto continues to be slooooooooooow down. :)

One of the best things about being alone is that you can eat whatever you want whenever you want it. My want yesterday was an encore performance from a favorite summer recipe, Fried Green Tomatoes. While I do enjoy a lovely ripe from the garden summer tomato I'll confess to liking the green ones best. I'm a southern girl at heart and anything fried gets my loving affection. They were SO good.

Fried Green Tomatoes

about 2 medium sized tomatoes per person (unless you eat them as the entire meal and by jiggy you might want more in that case. I do!) Nice firm green ones.

kosher salt
cracked black pepper
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teapoon cayenne pepper
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
bacon fat (sorry, refer back to southern girl)
a bit of olive oil

Slice the tomatoes in 1/2 inch slices and lay out on a paper towel
season well on both sides with kosher salt and black pepper and let sit for a few minutes then blot away any liquid that might have come to the surface

Combine the breadcrumbs and the cornmeal along with the garlic and cayenne

gently beat the eggs

Dip the tomatoes in the buttermilk and then dredge in the flour. Then repeat by dipping these tomato slices in the egg and the crumb mixture.

Melt enough bacon fat to make a nice puddle on the bottom of the pan. Being my grandmama's girl I still keep it in the back of my refrigerator, she'd be so proud! I also add a bit of olive oil. It makes me feel less guilty about the bacon and all. Fry the beauties in the melted bacon fat over medium heat until the slices are golden and crispy on both sides.

Eat 'em plain or in a dipping sauce. My favorite sauce is:

1 container of Greek yogurt
a good pinch of cayenne and/or red hot sauce if you like it rowdy
the squeeze of a lemon
a pinch of whatever herbs you love; I like a little oregano and a little thyme
a tsp. of Worcestershire Sauce
Mix it up---- yum.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Home Alone

It happens VERY rarely that I am 'home alone'. It's been almost 6 years come to think about it and I'm digging in and celebrating this rare and lovely pleasure.

I have Lexical and the Purple Nimbus in progress with hopes to work on the intarsia bag that seems to go on forever (and ever). There is wine and chocolate, a new book on tape, a few movies on the DVR and minimal work.

The only wrinkle was when dear niece requested help getting her classroom together. She's been working on her Masters in Education since graduating 2 years ago and has been waiting for a teaching job. We were thrilled when she was hired THIS PAST MONDAY (school starts next week) for her first classroom of first graders. She's of course over the moon! I met her at the fabric store last night to see her vision for curtains for her room and pillows for her reading corner. She is the visioner and I shall execute. In a hurry.

My hope is that with Thursday through Sunday evening I get lots done, enjoy the peace, cook only for myself and my wishes, sleep in the middle of the bed and operate at my own pace.

Life is good indeed!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Day One ChiTown- no knitting content

With no knitting content at all, and no remorse------- Day One of the Chicago trip was great. I lived in Chicago until 1972(yes, I am that old) and at the time of my departure there WAS no Navy Pier. So a trip to visit it was nice, as well as what is now Michigan Avenue (wow). I even rode the ferris wheel. It was not much of a true ferris wheel in my humble op but more of an opportunity to grab the bird's eye view.

Leaving the Pier it was time for a stroll up Michigan------- the people, the shops, the smells, the everything, almost overload! You can sure tell the native Chicagoans parading around in their uber chicness. I'm afraid I looked the quintessential tourist, but that's okay!

I absolutely had to stop in the American Girl store, my daughter was a huge Molly fan back in the day. The size of the store and the number of dolls blew my mind-------- seeing all of the girls in heaven made me smile!

My daughter is going through a really rough patch right now, wrenching to watch for any mother. Seeing all of the little girls and remembering the sweet and naive days was really something.

Lunch was at the W*eber Grill---------- as the weather was so fantastic we ate on the patio. The construction across the street was a small deterrent but the food was quite good. I started with the (gasp) tropical sangria. I NEVER drink Sangria, but this one was a white version made with lots of rum soaked tropical fruit. Delish. I stopped at one because I felt the need to be somewhat restrained. We split an onion strings appetizer, served with a spicy garlicky mayo and a very spicy bbq sauce. Then we split a sampler with beer can chicken (recommended to me by the tourism lady and rather disappointing), bbq shrimp, ribs and steak skewers al of which were very good. I'd heard the garlic mashed were yum and so we had some of those too. Can't go wrong with garlic mashed potatoes!

Vowing NOT to drive back to the 'burbs on any one of Chicago's highway/tollway/expressways we wandered up Lake Shore Drive to Sheridan Road and passed one of my favorite peaceful places of old, the B'* hai H*ouse of W*orship. It is as gorgeous as I remember!

The evening ended up walking the dogs, enjoying one of the fast food delights of the world NOT available locally (W*endy's) and relaxing.

I still haven't caught up and have not managed to knit more than 2 post-vacay rows on either the purple Nimbus or Lexical. Thank heavens for Knit Night!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Chi-Town with Knitting Content

Home! Always feels great to sleep in your own bed, yes? Chicago was great, not too much work and more than enough play!

The shot of the partial skyline from the north end of Navy Pier. The weather was AMAZING until the last day when it turned hot and humid. Most days were a glorious 70's with very low humidity and downright chilly nights.

While I catch up with life (and work...) I'll leave you with the travel knitting accomplishments:

Both of the fronts of the Purple Nimbus are on the needles now and they're getting ready to have their armhole decreases.

The back came off the needles shortly after checking in to the hotel room. Less knitting time after 5 hours of driving.

Trip Snippets include Navy Pier, Michigan Avenue, Frank Lloyd Wright, Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza at the Silo, Stevenson High School (go Patriots) and we'd be remiss not to add Lollapalooza to the list.............. and we missed Kings of Leon! (Hum "Charmer" anyway....)

Tender Buttons was closed due to a lost lease (very sad), and I didn't make it to ONE knit shop, and Chicagoland has so many of them!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Dusting not Knitting

I love loft living-------- it's great! The only downside is the open duct work, while very cool and loft-like, those suckers get dusty. Fast. I promised myself on the first (or thereabouts) of every month I would dust the ducts. Even on a monthly basis it is dirty work, stuff flies everywhere and requires a thorough carpet vacuuming immediately afterward. I procrastinate a bit this month because, TA DA, starting today I'm on vacation (as much as I can be) through Sunday at mids. I've been working like crazy to work through a long list of items in order to be in really good shape to kick back and enjoy the fruits a bit.

How better to kick off a vacay:
  • dust the ductwork
  • vacuum the carpet
  • as long as you are already sweaty and dirty;
  • clean the bathrooms
  • dust the furniture
  • give the kitchen a spit and polish
  • use the carpet shampooer to get those couple puppy spots
  • might as well toss in a load of laundry
Do you see how the morning has gone?

On the upside there will be:
  • freshly shampooed hair (refer back to dusting the ducts)
  • an incredibly clean loft (I not only love the look of clean but adore that really clean smell!)
and I've saved the best for last:


I'll be knitting with the girls this evening and I hear that there will be most hands on deck, projects finished, new projects started (mine among them), the new Vogue Knits as well as the new Interweave Knits on hand. Add coffee, beignets (yum) and knitting and I'm in heaven.

Monday, August 3, 2009

sleeves and swatching

Monday after a BLISSFUL weekend! No wedding last Saturday, you know what that means! Well yes, besides pretty much smiling all weekend I had a little bit of time to goof off a bit.

The sleeves are perking along, they're actually further along than the photo above shows, they're about elbow high I'd say. I'm leaving Thursday for Chicago and would love to get the pieces of Lexical off the needles by then but I'm not sure if that will actually be a reality.

In my efforts to get a well colored photo above it sort of looks like it's had a bath in grape soda, sorry about that. I swatched for the Eggplant Nimbus, my road project. The color in the photo made it look navy blue. The color here is "BETTER" but not perfect. Eggplant is a really good name for the colorway.

Francis asked how I block, and I block very much like I measure the swatch------- old school. I dampen the item, lay it down on a layer of thick towels and pin. For a swatch I pin without much distortion or pull, just a nice pat and push an then pin to insure a flat measure. For a garment I lay out a bigger layer of towels and pin to schematic. Told'ya, old school. I would love blocking boards or something like that but have not gone that far.

The swatch was done in halves, the first worked on 10 1/2's and the second on 11's. I knit the first Nimbus from Peruvia Quick on 11's, this is Valley Yarns Berkshire Bulky and it looks like 10 1/2 will be the key.

I've tucked the pattern into my traveling knit bag and wound all of the purple loveliness into center pull balls. This will the the first time (other than simple socks) that I've knit a pattern twice! That tells you how much I love the pattern!

Back to the 'goof off' bit.................. I went FISHING! Can you believe it? I was going to just sit and knit and keep everyone company but ended up joining in. No I did not bait my hook and YES I did catch something. So what if it was old line and a sunken plastic bag. They both gave me a good fight! ;)

Cocktails with the girls tonight.... my cup runneth over!