Wednesday, August 27, 2008

White Dogs, Cream Bag & Gray Hair

Another gratuitous blog post featuring my babies.

Can you believe how high Prince the wonder dog can jump? He's chasing squirrels (dastardly creatures if you ask him) up a tree. Prince's idea of heaven is a yard with lots of trees brimming with squirrels--- even if they do tease him unmercifully!

One of these days he is going to manage to land up in the fork of that tree trunk and be really, REALLY surprised!

You can see Hana, supervising from the ground. "Go Prince, GO!" She really offers no help at all in the squirrel department except barking. She is very good at that. She is also good at biting her brother in the butt when he lands.

Fresh from their grooming session, clean and cute as pie! That is Prince above, he really hates to wear that bandanna.

And Miss Hana, smiling for her photo. You can see a peek of her little green bows, how cute is that dog???? Who knew that I would be so madly in love with these guys, sigh.

Brea Bag photos at long last:

I need to finish the moss stitch gusset and get this baby stitched together. No idea yet what to do for handles but in a couple short weeks it needs to be finished, lined, handled and wrapped for giving so I'd best get on it. LOVE this pattern, I can't even tell you what a pleasure it was to knit the front and back. Moss stitch, not nearly as much fun and seemingly endless. Norah my dear, I am NOT worthy!

With any luck I'll be knitting on something-or-other this evening watching the Democratic convention. This was another surprise, how much I have enjoyed it! Who knew? Hillary rocked it last night, that was probably the finest speech I've heard in a long time. Bill tonight----- while I'm not a huge Bill fan, he is arguably one of the most intelligent men in politics.

Politics aside............. have I mentioned MY HAIR? For those who see me around and about you know that I have been growing out the gray. Yes, gray! Having been gray since 23, I guess it is time to see if maybe it might be time to give up the whole hair coloring thing. It's been a battle and a half let me tell you, there is no graceful way to grow it out short of buzzing that baby off and my stylist wouldn't let me go that far. So I've been growing and cutting short, growing and cutting short, et al. Tomorrow is the day I think that I might not look like white trash having a bad day, that is it should be the final haircut to get rid of the leftover color. The color that is left below those lovely gray locks used to be auburn. It is now seriously faded out, dead dry awful looking nasty hair. The only place I now have dark hair is in Second Life, bless Rhonda anyway! With a bit of luck after my cut it will be cute and textured and a little spiky and edgy and fun. If I look like some tired old hag------------ my first stop will be the drugstore!!

News at 11.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Horrid photo---- Sweet bag

The photo is not at all good. Sorry about that, dark, late, rush. Never a great combination! It was sent to me as a giftie, a hug from afar! I actually 'won' it on friend Sharon's blog! Well, even if the photo is not cute, the bag surely is and I'm most appreciative------ thanks Sharon! The best news is that Sharon and her hubby are moving HERE, just outside of St. Louis to be accurate and within 45 minutes of me! I've already told her that I'm putting on the teapot and teaching her quilting butt to KNIT!!!!!!!!!!! How great is that????

The studio is a bit mad at the moment, getting back from back to back wedding shows means putting away and cleaning up. It is sort of like coming home from vacation with dirty laundry--- never good. And while one website is done, the other has only just been started so things will be kind of intense again for awhile.

I haven't gotten much further on Wisteria and I would so like to. Maybe tonight I can sit and watch the Democrats for awhile and knit away.

Has anyone thought about that? The Olympics are just over and the Democratic and Republican conventions are televised on it's heels. It is almost like--------- hey, watch this, who gets the gold, who cheated at the events and who can win the viewers over with style, grace and charm????

I'm all about the charm!

Above is my "medal" from the Ravely knitting Olympics. I am completely excited over it, perhaps the pin I've ordered that commemorates the first annual ravelympics should be worn on the collar?

I'm saving the photo of my NEW BAG from Green Mountain for later. It is GORGEOUS SMORGEOUS------ and I can't wait to prance it to knitting group this Sunday. Surely it will make Wisteria even more fun to knit???

Friday, August 22, 2008

Medal Please!

Woo and Hoo!

Photos of Cable Luxe and I, taken when the humidity is about a gazillion and I can't wait to get this wool sweater OFF. For those who are Cable Luxe purists you will note that the drop stitch line is absent, I was more of a purist I guess you would say. I am giving thought to perhaps embellishing with a line of embroidery stitches, but now that it is done I think I may just be done done done. I'm very glad it is done (to say the least) and have posted the final photo on Ravelry so that I may receive my medal for WIP Wrestling. Yay.

And for the wistful, pensive, looking out the window shot.............

The khaki pants really aren't workin' with this. I'm sweating to beat the band during this photo so be gentle with me!

While the photographer was photi-ographing there is a shot of Liesl as well.

We will NOT mention my neck, shall we? Or my butt as seen so beautifully in the shot above. You blitters know the rules and this is at the TOP of the list forevermore.

What did I do to celebrate? Besides a bit of the Starbucks? MMMMMMMMM, I'm so excited I'm giddy! I've been stalking Green Mountain Knitting Bags for a LONG time now and last night at precisely 7:28 CST I was logged in and READY. You see, Martha makes these incredible bags and they are always sold out within mere moments of posting--- which happens each Thursday night at 8:30 EST. It's like freakin' Etsy on crack!! I even had dinner guests and baby, I pushed back from the table, walked right out and came in to log on. My bag? It is SMORGEOUS------- and MINE!!!! It is not only to celebrate the end of Cable Luxe, fresh off the blocking table and ready to wear (when it is not as hot as a monkeys butt) but also to celebrate the casting on of "Wisteria". As I told Martha, I make lovely bags, I really do! So why would I want to buy one? I think the analogy is that your mama makes all of your clothes and sometimes the biggest perk in the world is when you can have something 'storebought'! Martha makes lovely bags and is a tremendous success as well, she has graciously consented to an interview this December for the second annual Knitting Contrisstmas--- I'm looking forward to it!

That is MY bag above, is she not gorgeous? I think that while I will treasure my Ravelry medal for WIP Wrestling, I'll dig the bag even more!

Lastly, funny Norah (THE Norah Gaughan--ha!) emails me this morning after I left a comment on the awesome Berocco blog Notes from Norah. I had mentioned that I love her new sweater that is a bit of an exclusive for a knitalong---- "Wedgette" but that I was not going to be able to knit it at this very moment. So Norah the wiseacre says "maybe you can get a bride to knit it for you!" HA! Ain't happenin' Miss Norah, but thank you for playing. You know those brides are not only non-knitters but selfish little white wearing creatures who think nothing of my own personal happiness!

I'm casting on for Wisteria----------- the afternoon stretches ahead of me as alllllll mine! Let there be tea and gold medals!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Still the World Turns

Yup.............. blogposts have been few and far between as I struggle with a full plate. Looking around the blogosphere I see that there are many of us with the same issues.

Still no photos of Liesl and Cable Luxe while finished is waiting impatiently to be blocked. Personally I don't know what her foot stomping rush is, I mean she waited long enough to be DONE, didn't she?

After a long search to decide what to knit next I've arrived at an answer. With a stop at the lovely Kirkwood Knittery (a happily open on Monday knit establishment here in St. Louis) knowing without a doubt that I wanted to knit the Chevron Ruana by Iris Schreier, from Lacy Little Knits. But after finding that some dastardly knitter had snagged the book and I couldn't come to a conclusion about yarn anyway one thing was abundantly clear to me. This was simply NOT the project at this time. I've found in my life that things need to 'line up' as it were, and when roadblocks are in front of me this means that this is not the route to take. So after bidding a fond adieu to the helpful ladies in the shop I dropped back to reconsider.

And reconsider I did. Surrounded by all of the latest fall knit mags and my Ravelry favorites in front of me I read and pondered, oogled and considered. After long thought, and a row or two on Pi Are Square I have made a decision.

I can't wait to cast on for "Wisteria" by Kate Gilbert, found in the new Twist Collective!

I love the shaping, and those fabulous twisted cables on the lovely neckline, hem and sleeves are gorgeous. After purchasing the pattern late last night from the Twist Collective website I sniffled a bit at the challenge before me. Challenging because I am a big fat wussy and do not read charts. At all. Wisteria is full of charts---------- sigh, moan, groan. I guess it is time to cowboy up and get on with it. Learn and grow and move on.

As my time out and about has come to a screeching halt and another job has landed on my desk this morning I'll be availing myself of yarn that comes to my door, delivered by my always cordial mail lady. Wisteria will be knit in KnitPicks Wool of the Andes in Amber Heather, a yummy golden brown.

While I wait impatiently for the doorbell to ring I'll plod away on Pi Are Square and get Cable Luxe blocked. I might even do some quilting, it has been far too long. The reality is that I will do little of either and merely put my head down and work on the website(s) that are not getting done nearly fast enough.

This blitters, is the story of my life.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Madness, Knitting, More Madness

In a totally surprise move, there is actually knitting. Really! Being glued to the computer working on websites has taken it's toll and I'm officially drooling on myself---- and knitting has proven to be a lovely respite for mind and soul. So have M&M's but that is beside the point.

So here she is............... Liesl! Finished and lovely! This is her front...... minus the button. I bought a great button and now I can't find it. I've looked everywhere, high and low. As blame must be attached, I'm chalking it up to the fact that I can't find much of anything right now and so it goes. I've worn her anyway over a cute little white t shirt and closed her there at the top with a fun pin.

And here is her back, do you just love that feather and fan stitch? Looks pretty great. I know a photo actually WEARING her would be wonderful, suffice it to say that I'd have to take a photo of myself and that would just stir up a whole other thing that I'm not in the mood for. So you will have to enjoy her gorgeousness on the sewing room door.

And check THAT out wouldja???? Cable Luxe in all her glory! I have finished the gussety things and merged them to the underarm area of the sweater. I've also spent lovely mindless hours joining the underarm seam and weaving in the ends. I work from the right side, not the wrong side when I seam and this particular sweater is quite lovely although it does kind of look blobbily shaped while lounging on the chaise! The last bit is that the yoke has been picked up and the lovely bit of garter will march its way up to the neckline. Well, soon enough.

For the moment I'm back to the website, more drooling to come. I have made a vow to myself that real food will come out of my very own kitchen tonight. That seems to perk a girl up if you know what I mean. I'm thinking panko crusted chicken breasts, a medley of fresh veggies, some rice pilaf and a nice green salad. It might make the difference between drooling forever and being able to turn the tide!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

No Photos to Prove it!

No photos of Liesl. Which is finished.
No photos of my Ravelympics WIP, Cable Luxe----- which actually LOOKS like a sweater with both arms completed on the lovely cabled body.

I'm ready for the yoke and the yet to be completed gussety thing to be devised for the underarms.

Back to the two websites under construction.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Knitting Olympically..... or something....

The best laid plans always trip me up. Almost every single time! It was my plan to run home yesterday, run through the butcher's for his signature cheddar burgers for the grill, cook and be in my seat in time for the opening ceremonies from Beijing by 6:30. Needless to say, I managed to sit down at 8. So it goes.

I did have a fabulous afternoon yesterday, my 'niece' has moved into her first home alone and it is just cute as pie. We went on a scouting trip for fabric for the window treatments (which I will be making). Once I got her to commit to a color palette she loves for the house that all coordinates together, we finally found great fabrics for the living room, her bedroom, the bathroom and the kitchen is still to come. The problem was that she needed CHEAP and that is not always easy to pull off. Being the queen of cheap decorating I was able to pull out a trick or two and she came in on fabric at less than 90 dollars so we were thrilled. Over lunch she filled me in on her life and once again I am very glad not to be 23. It's just too hard and very complicated!

I'm a proud member of Team St. Louis for the Ravelympics and WILL complete my gray cabled sweater in the WIP Wrestling category. Again, in the best laid plans--- I wanted to sit down with it last night and begin to tackle it but didn't have a chance to knit on it until this morning while watching the US women take on Japan in volleyball. Great game, 1 inch accomplished! There is not a huge amount left to do on the sweater, I just knew that I wanted to finish it, and couldn't handle the stress of a huge project hanging over my head for the next 17 days, too much other stuff on my plate.

Saturday means it is a wedding day again, and we'll be out in winery country on a pleasant day. There of course will be a knitting bride with any luck at all.

What are YOU doing while watching the Olympics?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Chit Chat No Knit

photo RAC Public Art

We had the opportunity to attend the St. L*ouis M*agazine's S*oiree last evening, held to launch their latest issue. I have to say we had a fabulous time, it was so nice to be able to connect with old friends and vendors and meet new people as well. Normally, I absolutely hate events like that---- bad food, people trying to be something they are not, and the endless chit chat that goes on forever when I could be home in my jammies knitting or something! Perhaps it was the wonderful venue, or maybe the free wine I'm not sure---- what a nice night! The wine was indeed provided by a vendor, and while not my favorite certainly not in the category of swill or anything. I confess to having enjoyed 3 glasses so how bad could it have been? The food was provided by two local caterers and on the table were skewers of ripe cherry tomatoes and fresh mozzarella, one large shrimp in a shotglass of a spicy tomato bisque rimmed with pepper (fabulous), a little turnover of sorts stuffed with black beans and potatoes with a mint coulee, and my favorite of the evening an outstanding and wonderfully garlicky white gazpacho. Nothing like a little nosh to soak up a bit of booze.

The best part (for me, the history freak) was that it was held at the Old Post Office here in St. Louis. The building is nothing short of spectacular and showcases an enormous sculpture in the center atrium. (photo above) This extraordinary work is "Peace and Vigilance" by Daniel Chester French one of the most notable of American sculptors. Begun in 1879 and completed in 1882, then sent to Philadelphia to be taken from the mockup to the final magnificent piece it was shipped by rail to St. Louis. Initially the original was outside of the Old Post Office until 1990 when the entire building was rescued. The statue was recreated and the 'new' statue is now outside with the restored original hanging inside the structure. It is incredible, as is the entire building itself, a real must see in St. Louis. There is a nice museum about the restoration on the second floor of the building if you are into that sort of thing. The sculptor created this piece and went on to become very well known, among his creations is Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C.

In the no rest for the weary category is the report that at soiree's end, there was no jammies and no home. Certainly no knitting. We met family at dinner, late dinner that is, and paid the check. Sigh. It is Wednesday and Liesl is getting no closer to completion. I am in fact my own worst critic!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Knitting Bride on Fire

Okay..... not exactly on fire. Last week's knitting bride (yet another non-knitter) is now married to a firefighter. They naturally had to have photos taken on the fire truck---- so where better to have a knitting bride??
She's holding Liesl. Still. I do have hopes of getting it off my needles before knitting olympics Ravelry style kicks off this Friday evening. That is ridiculous, but still I hold hope.

Ignore my blathering I have two new websites to work on before they go live next week and I'm seriously brainmush.

Friday, August 1, 2008

National Girlfriend Day

Did you have any idea that August 1st was National Girlfriend Day? Me either! And in the name of fair play I think we should expand that to International Girlfriend/Boyfriend Day! I'm all about equality y'know! Happy, Happy IGBD!!!!!!!!!!!

I've spent IGBD catching up on paperwork, making a zillion phone calls, getting ready to launch two new websites next week (no pressure there) and preparing for tomorrows wedding. I even waxed the hardwoods at o'dark'thirty because I was in a non sleeping mode last night.

Doesn't THAT look yummy? Pretty simple fare, and nourishing the body as well as the soul; Coconut Crusted Tofu with peach mango salsa. Delish:

For those of you that would like to celebrate IGBD with me the simple recipe follows.

  • 1 package panko breadcrumbs, toast gently in a dry sautepan, stirring constantly until lightly browned
  • 1 block firm tofu, drained and sliced into 1 inch planks. Drain on weighted toweling for half an hour
  • 1/2 cup coconut
  • 1 egg (sorry vegans), beaten
  • 1 ripe peach
  • 1 ripe mango
  • red pepper flakes to taste
  • 2 tbs. red onion
  • 2 tbs. chopped parsley or my favorite, cilantro
  • a squeeze of fresh lemon
  • 4 tbs. good quality balsamic vinegar

While the tofu is draining, mix the panko and the coconut. Into the egg, dredge the drained/tofu. Then dredge through the panko mixture, coating both sides well.

In a saute pan with 'just enough' olive oil, saute the tofu, fast enough to give it a nice crust, slow enough not to cook too quickly and become really tough. Maybe 3-4 minutes a side on medium.

While that is sauteing cut up the peach and mango in to small dice and squeeze a lemon over to keep them from browning and adding a little tang. Finely chop the red onion and mix well with the parsley and red pepper flakes to taste. I use 1/2 tsp. Splash on the balsamic and give it a turn in the bowl.

When the tofu is done, arrange on a plate with the salsa and have a go at it. This should serve 4, with a nice salad and maybe some brown rice you've got it made. Personally, I'm not wild about leftover tofu when it has been sauteed; I think the texture goes a little wonky, but that is just me. So share!

Slowly, Liesl is progressing. My plan is to knit her as long as I have yarn. Since it was stash yarn and quite vintage there is no hope of getting more but I think it will be quite perfect just wherever it lands. There are 4 50 g balls left, each ball seems to add about 2 inches.

Because it will be 97 tomorrow with heat indexes approaching 110 for the weekend and into early next week I think there is plenty of time left to wear a cap sleeved sweater over a little tank--- ever so it is time to Get Knittin'!