Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Garden of Good and EVIL

Okay, there was no evil in the garden---- only good. Knit night with the ladies was at Silvana's charming home last night. She'd had a party last weekend and had food (and beer) leftover. Did I mention cake? And the garden? It was charming, and really more than wonderful.

I knit a total of two rows, cussed too much after family life issues and swore I'd stay home and keep the drama out of the mix.

There are photos............ really. Unfortunately I took them with my new phone (which I love) and can't figure out for the life of me how to get them out. I'm generally not so tech stupid. This time I am.

Knitting-- not much.
Working-- too much.
Crabby? Youbetcha!

I wish I were wandering the streets of Santa Fe (like Francis will be doing tomorrow) and eating a big bowl of green chili stew.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

New Phone Love

Who knew that getting a new phone was so fabulous? I had no idea! Of course my previous phones have been for ringing and texting (and ignoring). When the last phone rolled over and died, the replacement is the most fabulous thing ever! Touch screen, qwerty keyboard (a must for me) and a really fab blue cover! A "Moment"........... love it! I can tweet and facebook, text and photograph, troll the web and even yelp. I feel kind of like a kid about the whole thing, I mean who knew?

On the practical front I'm putting together a color board with likely candidates for the new digs, coming up the middle of July. Even with a recent walk through and photos of the house I have NO idea past the knowledge that the present colors pretty much have to go! I'm currently loving the colorways inspired by "Frolic", Sandy Gervais and the muted palette from Fresh Figs, especially the upcoming Tiffany blue from the not yet released Breakfast at Tiffany's collection. My fear is that I won't have any idea what I want where until I'm fully in. With a couple of weeks as an empty box freebie I hate to waste the time that I could be so much more easily painting.

Knitting? Not much- although my knit time of late has been pretty much singularly devoted to Damson. Maybe another 10 rows until the edging gets underway.

Crafting? So much to do, to try to make. And no time to do much besides look at the pile(s) sitting here and there.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Twit or Twat

So............... Twitter. I've had to tweet for work and have managed not to succumb personally.

I gave in. See what happens when you are trying to avoid a desk piled high, can't get to your knitting or your sewing machine and are pouting about not being at quilt market in MSP??????

Uh huh. KnittingContess----------- at Twitter. Had to drop the "A". Does that mean it is now shorthand? More familiar? Maybe. Not (thankfully) as my Mother says...."I just don't understand the twat". I mean really? What can you say to that?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Waitress Choice & Minimal Knitting

What happens when one returns from a quick trip in between rain drops to the #1 Fine Arts Fair in the good old USA? Hungry, of course.............. and in between lunch and dinner?

Art Fair first---- it was really lots of fun, beautiful treasures to look at. I have to say that if I had a big budget I wouldn't have actually come home with anything. Lots of beautiful glass this year, in delicious colors------- some fabric art at maybe one or two booths. The photography didn't jump out at me (it takes a LOT) although I might have come home with a dreamy photo of a French lavender field. The ceramics were interesting but again, nothing jumped into my heart.

So we decided we'd stop for a late lunch/early dinner and eat hearty enough so that there would be no need to actually rattle pots and pans for the remainder of the day. I do like that! We went to a favorite place, very southern foodie, too much food always and a non-chain kind of joint. Upon being seated (it was packed) I told the waitress that I normally went the chicken fried steak route but wanted her to bring me her favorite thing on the menu. There really is NO bad food.

She brought me this:

Sitting there in a field of french fries that can only be described as dinner for a small country was a burger. Not just any burger the waitress tells me, this is the most delicious thing EVER! A patty just pink on a bun, topped with (I am not lying I swear) a deep fried patty of macaroni and cheese! Yes, you read that right. Armed with a knife and fork I think I managed maybe half of it. It was pretty darned good but in all fairness, this is just not something you eat everyday. That little waitress (who was not svelte and that should have been my first clue) then asked after bringing boxes if I wanted desert. Uh................. no, but thanks!

I managed a whopping 8 rows or so on Damson. On it plods. That would be the extent of any knitting or creative endeavors that I've accomplished the past few days.

Damson is sitting on a book of paint chips------------ I'm moving (again) and pretty excited about it. Mid-July, paint colors to come.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Upcycle Somethin'

In a week of madness I did manage to play a little bit. The resulting loveliness is a bit of upcycled somethin' somethin'............. a project I'm working on to be revealed a bit later.

I'm loving vintage more and more and more, I'm sure it has nothing to do with my own increasing vintageosity!

And as I remembered, the bad (BAD!!) thing about having too many things on your needles, at least for me, is that nothing seems to really get done on anything!! The cardi has had maybe 6 rows added (not much in a cabled project of that magnitude), the mittens are sitting at exactly the same spot of readiness, and the Damson is sitting there taunting me with her plummy eyes. What? No shots of Damson? In all her 15 small rows of glory?????

Well, I can fix that!

Not much to see but there she is. I'd promised myself something easy peasy as a respite against the mittens and cardi------- and instead I find myself sloppy with the markers (frog one) and sort of disinterested.

It's going to be a rainy weekend here---- hope things are gorgeous on your side of the screen!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Let Them Eat Cake (and knitting....who would guess?)

A bit of the new yarn has been caked up (using the Standard Size Dirter, hee)----- and ready to go. My daughters gave me a gift certificate for Mother's Day with instructions to purchase a swift----- yay, I'm pretty excited about it! The yummy yarn below is a Stroll Tonal from KnitPicks in the blue-violet colorway and it is going to be fabulous I think! Now to find time to cast on. Yes, for another project, rather out of character for me! But I need a calmer simpler knit because the two projects I have going need a lot of concentration, sigh.

The cake of Stroll looks wonderful posing with some Iris in the kitchen!

I haven't had a ton of time to knit lately but have managed 2/3 of the cuff on the Hiroshige mittens. The white and blue design is framed by two rows of Latvian Braid, which was a pain only because in dk gauge it is fiddly. I think it would be lovelier with much nicer impact in a fatter yarn! Of course I got the mirror image of the braid going the wrong way about half way into it............... ack.

And the vintage recipe, the Mother's Day cake.......................... omg it was so good you have NO idea! It was so good I'm going to give you the recipe and you have to try it. A cake recipe like this one couldn't be easier and the results are phenomenal. Sweet, sticky........... glorious!!!


2 c. unsifted flour (I used unbleached organic)
1 1/2 c. sugar (why yes, that IS a lot of sugar, don't think about it!)
2 scant tsp. soda
Pinch of salt
2 beaten eggs
1 (15 ounce.) can fruit cocktail (I used double cherry from Sam's)
1 tsp. vanilla

Sift together flour, sugar, soda, and salt. Dump in that can of fruit cocktail with all of the juice. Beat well. Bake in greased and floured 13 x 9 x 2 inch pan at 300 degrees for 4-50 minutes. The cake will be light brown in color when you take it out of the oven. As the fragrant cake emerges from the oven, pour over the icing, assuming you haven't eaten it all! If cake batter looks thin, you can add a little more flour using your judgment....some fruit cocktail has more juice than others. I hear that the cake freezes well but frankly I've never had the opportunity to test this out.

ICING FOR FRUIT COCKTAIL CAKE (similar to the frosting on a German Chocolate Cake)

1 stick butter (again, don't think about it)
1/2 c. evaporated milk
1 c. sugar
1 c. coconut (I used a combination of plain coconut and Angel Flake)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. chopped pecans or walnuts (I used pecans because they are my favorite)

Cook together the ingredients, the icing will thicken a bit and get a very light brown color. When the cake is out of the oven, immediately pour the icing over the top.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mothers Day--- and knitting...

Let me offer a happy Mothers Day to those motherly. I've really always hated this day for a lot of reasons, most neurotic I'm sure. It seems ugly to me to force a day to be nice to the one person who made you, loved you since "go" and will be there for you. My crazy, not yours and I apologize! This MD will be spent with the "other mother" and I decided to go vintage. Good old fashioned hamburgers on the barbie on some nice toasty onion buns. She's bringing deviled eggs and I'll add some beans and a salad. The star (because desert is always the star) will be the super vintage Fruit Cocktail cake with the yummy icing that is kind of like you use on German Chocolate Cake. My Grams used to make this cake and I haven't had it in a zillion years. I think the Other Mother will really appreciate it.

The Hiroshige mitten number one is ready for Latvian Braids. Oh my. Internet research and I'll plug along.......... but not today! The color above is bluer than the actual yarn which is more lavender'ish.

And the Everyday Cardi is moving along, I'm in the pattern groove now with the help of a lot of stitch markers and a triple row counter. I really do enjoy the knit of it and love the row comprised of wrap stitches. It is certainly going to be a long haul this sweater but really, it's May and good grief we've not even had summer yet!

I was updating my Ravelry bits and forgot that I had never put a final pic of the Bella Bella's mittens here. Love these things---------- like opera gloves and mittens all in one!

Hugs to you all, motherly and not so much--- hope it is the very best of days! Now, get knittin!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Happy Wednesday.... or Not

So it's Wednesday and I have no idea how that happened. I swear there is a time thief and he sneaks in when I'm sleeping and pulls the rug out from under me!

It was a great weekend............ Saturday had an impromptu day trip to New Harmony for the Spring Fest there. You know how I love that little town so off we went. Not much to report in the arts & crafts front from there. What I loved I couldn't afford and there weren't many things from that category. But time away, including car knitting and lunch on arrival can't be all bad. I finished the Bella's Mittens and they're folded and waiting for a holiday recipient. Throw in a bride-free day and it was pretty good.

Look at the size of those yarn cakes! They aren't even cakes, more like enormous gigundo yarn balls! They weigh a ton!

There is SOME square-ness that has the yarn cake look, but as you can see, not much.

I wound them directly from the swift (yay for the swift!) and wanted a center pull hugenoid ball. The regular "dirter" didn't work, just too small. So instead of winding on a toilet paper tube (so thrifty am I) I used a paper towel tube. Fabulous, it worked great. I might use them for all my ball winding as the end of the tube makes a fab handle.

I'm still on the second row of the cable pattern of the cardi. Do not ask me why I knit the first row like, 9 times. What is it with me lately?? I think I've re-screwed my brain but can't make promises.

Sunday was another great day. Jen was in town having been in attendance at the Mary Engelbreit workshop. I reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally wanted to go but it just didn't happen. Regardless, I had the opportunity to hang with Jen for the afternoon. We had lunch in the Loop at Blueberry Hill and after a down and dirty tour of STL ended up at the cafe where the knit girls meet on Tuesday and sat and chatted over coffee and chocolate beignets. It was not only great to have the chance to get to know each other but the highlight was definitely to hear all about her weekend with Mary and creative souls and to see her finished ob's. They were tres cool---- check 'em out on her blog! That tray, man am I crazy about that tray! If the time thief would stop visiting I might have a shot at actually making one!!!!

So here we are at Wednesday------------ the rest of the week is effectively shot and crammed to crazyness. So it goes!

There is a yarn order en route, nothing like the smell of fresh new fibers to light a fire and re-prioritize what can be shuffled. After finishing the Bella's Mittens I'm ready to cast on for another (way different) pair of mittenly goodness.