Tuesday, July 31, 2012
My fruit basket on the island decided to help me with the photo shoot of this hat. The pattern is fantastic because it uses fingerweight yarn which I love and it is so versatile. I was one inch short in the body and it doesn't really matter because hat knitting is oh so forgivable and flexible. I'm thrilled that I can use up all the left over sock yarn bits and ends to make a scrappy hat like last time.
This lovely orange yarn is left over from this project. So far I think it is my hat. For now. This morning I mused over how to photo the hat without doing my gymnastic feats of self portraits. I don't know about you but I find hats and socks hard to photograph. Even when they are on a body. Something for me to think about I guess. So guess who was wearing the above hat?
Why a lovely ceramic chicken "helped" with the photo shoot. I LOVE his beady eye :)
Sunday, July 29, 2012
My weekend contained:
-shopping for back to campus supplies-my favorite item-post it notes for post it mosaic wall art (this is one of my son's many hobbies)
-relaxing on Saturday waiting for my husband to return from a trip
-ordering pizza out! (very lazy this weekend)
-Oh the laundry!! I am still working on it but the end is near
-meeting with friends for knitting, laughing, and catching up
-feeling a scratchy throat as soon as my husband declares having one
-wondering if it's germophobia or not
-finding THE perfect pair of casual sneakers to replace a four year old pair that I adore
-looking at the budget and gearing up for the great "no spend" mind set once the kids leave
-husband cooking curry today even though he feels icky, hence the photo above.
How was your weekend?
Friday, July 27, 2012
I could not resist snapping this photo. It is such a rarity to see Frodo relaxing because of those rotten bunnies that taunt him on the outside of the fence. The neighborhood rabbits are growing up. It is my belief that their fat little bodies are unable to fit under or through our fence. Frodo is not catching a whiff of their scent and can relax while patrolling his domain. Fingers are crossed that the worst seems to be over since he is laying on his stoop.
Do you call it a stoop? I grew up in the big city in a row house and everyone would sit on the stoop at any part of the day to watch the neighborhood. There were quite a few that sat on the stoop unless they worked. If you were walking to the corner store (remember those?) you would stop and say "hey" to the stoop sitters-I just coined that phrase. On summer evenings people would escaped their hot stuffy homes to try to catch a tiny breeze outside. During a neighborhood walk as a child, I would get the brilliant idea of wanting ice pops, or a cold soda, or running the garden hose to cool off.
Currently I do not sit on my front stoop which is really a small porch. There is no one to stop and visit while walking because I live on four acres. But watching Frodo reminds me of my childhood days.
And truly, I could not give up my air conditioning.
Have a lovely weekend!!
Thursday, July 26, 2012
I think I am way better and taking photos of yarn than food, but I wanted to share my go to recipe for risotto. It is something that I make at least once every two weeks. Before I start telling you my secret recipe, do you see those peppers in the green bowl? I stir fried all of them for my husband and everyone was coughing and sneezing from the fumes. We all had to leave the first floor to get fresh air! So the peppers will only be grilled outside from now on. Funny, Frodo did not cough once, he has super powers (or he is low to the ground).
1 box of sliced mushrooms your choice
1 1/2 cups of risotto (rice)
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cups of vegetable broth
2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese
saute the mushrooms in a frying pan with the oil until nearly soft. Add all the rice then half of the broth (2 cups) bring to a boil over medium heat stirring every time you walk by, do not cover with a lid! Once the two cups are absorbed by the rice add the rest of the broth and stir occasionally. When rice is done (I taste test) add the parmesan cheese and stir in. Ready to eat!!
It looks very pretty with some sprinkled parsley as well.
Remember you have to buy risotto rice for the creaminess factor.
Do you have a favorite rice dish?
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
On the left (at least I think it's the left) is my hat that is at the decreasing part-it should be done by the end of today. I've knit that pattern many times and it is a great easy knit. On the right is my second citron shawl, the yarn is half silk and half wool and it is wonderful! It has more of a woolly bloom than I expected-a pleasure to knit and I bet it will block perfectly!
I am thrilled to report that my featherweight cardigan is complete and I posted about it yesterday. I had to rework the button band which ended up to be a minor setback. But it felt like a major setback! So I have a cardigan just sitting and waiting to be worn when the weather is a bit cooler.
I continue to read The Language of Flowers and I continue to enjoy it. It is an excellent story and well written about the foster care system and relationships. The main character has trouble attaching herself emotionally to other people. Overall the book is sad but there is always a thread of hopefulness that keeps me reading. It's fun that there are many flowers mentioned and intertwined in the plot-clever! I still recommend the book-it's one of those that will not be a disappointing ending. I love books like that. When I was at the bookstore over the weekend, I picked up An Everlasting Meal. I flipped through and saw a chapter about boiling water! Now that is something that caught my interest and cannot wait to see if I'm doing it right or wrong ;)
What are you knitting and reading this week?
Monday, July 23, 2012
I bet you are wondering why I haven't mentioned my featherweight being done and showing it off. The first two photos show the sweater completed before blocking and shaping. I was quite pleased with how it turned out. Very very pleased.
Then I blocked it. I soaked it and wished I would gain an inch in length. Well-I gained many inches!! Silk has little to no memory and it just stretched long. So I did get my length but in the process I lost my width of the button band! I also did a stretchy bind off (do not do this on a button band) so it was wavy and quite ugly.
I undid the bind off and knit another 2+ inches with a smaller needle size and bound off the regular way. I just finished today and ran upstairs to steam block the button band.
I am so happy now!! I am happy that I slept on what I wanted to achieve and how I was going to do it. Now I can wear it without being grumpy :) I am also happy that I have ravelry friends who helped give advice on silk handling-steam blocking seems to be the way to work with silk.
In case you are wondering, I believe this will be my only silk sweater, it caused too much stress!!
Sunday, July 22, 2012
My weekend was filled with:
-cooler weather (yay!)
-car rides for errands and daydreaming
-re-fudging the buttonband of my featherweight cardigan-for the better
-wishing oh so wishing that I was not re-fudging the buttonband
-meeting with a friend who loves to knit and comparing projects
-burgers and french fries
-starting to buy back to campus supplies-notebooks, binders and notepaper
-a happiness to see these aisles pop up in every store
-a trip to Barnes and Noble, inhaling the coffee-book print air!!
How was your weekend?
Friday, July 20, 2012
Yesterday it started to rain-finally! Ordinarily I do not like rain because it makes my hair frizz up but I will accept some rain that comes with a cold front. Today it is supposed to be around 72 degrees-brrrr. It might be a jean-wearing, shoes and socks kind of day.
I am happy to report that Frodo has not caught any rabbits this week. I think they're just lucky. They still manage to squeeze into the fenced in area and he still manages to find them. Frodo is FAST. I always cheer for the rabbit's escape.
Makes me happy list this week:
-first cucumbers from the garden
-sister conversations nearly every morning this week
-feet dangling in the pool with my family while sitting and talking
-pumpkin seeds on my salad
-my positive thinking schnauzer
What's on your list?
Thursday, July 19, 2012
Big day here at my house! Yesterday I went out to our little garden patch and picked the first two cucumbers. By the looks of it, there will be so many more to follow. I think this might be the time to call up my dad and get his cucumber salad recipe :) I think in the next week we will be able to pick some tomatoes. The peppers look "pickable" to me but that is my husband's food-he loves hot peppers!!
How do you like to eat your cucumbers? Any delicious recipes?
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
I started reading The Language of Flowers and it's a book that is hard to put down. From the very first page the story has been engaging and I eagerly want to read more. The book is about a woman who turns eighteen years old and the american foster system has failed repeatedly her during her childhood. She has attachment issues because her mother abandoned her and the foster parents she was placed with were not the best. I think what makes this a compelling read is that the author was a foster parent and has adopted a foster child (could be children, not sure). So even though I have no idea how this book will end, I highly recommend it.
My knitting has been focused on three knits-two are photoed above. My husband's socks-one done with the other on the needles. My second citron shawl! Oh how I love to knit this pattern and I love picking up this project, it does give me great joy. My third knit not in the photo is the orange hat that is my knit and read hat. I am thinking of always having a hat on the needles so I can do two things at the same time. Then I feel productive and I get a piece of clothing in the process!
Yesterday I finished my sock tutorial on how I knit socks from the cuff down on four double pointed needles. It's very old school but it's my go to way of how I knit socks. Check it out if you are interested.
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
We are near the end of the sock posts and hasn't it be fun?? I think so! I have knit the foot of my husband's sock so that it measures 8 inches from the edge of the heel. This is because that is the length that I use for it to fit him. My son is 8 1/2 inches, my daughter is 7 inches, and I am 7 1/2 inches. (all memorized)
To begin toe decreasing, you will start in the middle of the bottom foot, as photoed above. Needle #1 is on the left. There are many ways to decrease for a toe. I use several, but this one is the easiest.
*Knit across needle #1 to last three stitches-k2tog, k1. Beginning of needle #2 -k1, ssk,knit across to end. Needle #3-same as needle #1. Needle #4-same as needle #2.* Repeat ** every other row until there are nine stitches on each needle (total 36 stitches) then decrease EVERY row until there are four stitches on each needle (total 16 stitches).
Close up toe using the kitchener's stitch.
And there you have it- one glorious sock.......now I just have to knit one more!!
Sunday, July 15, 2012
My weekend was filled with:
-dinner out with my husband on Friday night
-lots of knitting
-and finishing a book!
-listening to the cicadas while swinging
-puzzling over what animal is breaking off all the liatris (in photo)
-assuming it's the rabbits-Frodo's mortal enemies
-my husband bringing in EVERY flower that is broken
-cloudy skies and very little drizzle-wishing it would just pour down
How was your weekend?
Friday, July 13, 2012
My husband spotted this praying mantis yesterday and I ran to get the camera. I probably would have never seen it. I took at least 10 photos and the first one was the best. He was looking right at me for each snap! (probably a little annoyed as well)
I finished the featherweight cardigan yesterday. I know I keep saying it is the last lace weight cardigan but I really think it is the last one. Really.
I've cut back on the sugar intake this past week and already notice a difference. My go to sweet snacks are dried apricots-super sweet and good for you!
My condensed "makes me happy list" for this week :
-coffee in the morning, alone with my journal
-finishing a knitting project
-sauteed summer squash and snow peas :)
-the cicadas have started
-my to do pile of papers shrinking considerably
What is your "makes me happy" list?
Thursday, July 12, 2012
I was going to name this post "A Tail of Woe" but my daughter who reads this blog would just groan. So I didn't-but I mentioned it so it exists. Life has been quite exciting for us the past two days. Especially for Frodo. You remember last year on how Frodo was escaping the compound . I am happy to say that we have successfully kept him safely inside the fenced in back yard.
Frodo loves to patrol, it is one of his traits as well as hunt vermin, that's what terriers do. So every day he looks out those tiny diamond fence holes seeking a rabbit. When he spots one, he barks like mad. We then pick him up and take him inside for a while. It's been on going and slightly annoying. But he's inside right?
Well.....two days ago, I went to check on him outside and I saw him with a very floppy rabbit in his mouth. It was not full grown and I was pretty sure it was not alive. I skillfully had Frodo inside the house and the poor little rabbit outside for my son to move when he returned from classes. I was too sad to look.
Yesterday, while Frodo was out, I heard squealing and yes, he caught another one! This time the rabbit was saved by us, he lives :) I felt so happy!! Later that day, my husband boarded up the fence behind our little flower bed where they might be coming in. He also cleaned up the flower bed which was mainly lemon balm gone wild.
See how sad the gnome is? He is hanging his head in shame.....We have our fingers crossed that Frodo's playmates will chose another place to linger. Fingers are crossed. Oh Frodo....your adventures are endless!
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
After yesterday's post I could not resist starting another citron. I have been working so diligently on my feather weight cardigan that I am a little tired of it. Just winding up the skein into a lovely yarn cake and casting on those three little stitches made me so happy. I know the featherweight cardigan will be done sometime today. It is that close to being done. This shawl will be a lovely diversion for the rest of my summer.
I picked up this magazine while out and about with the family a week ago. I love almost all of the patterns. There are quite a few shawls that caught my eye and are begging to be knit up. I just have to see what are the yardage requirements and then check out what is in my yarn stash. Hmm. What would the chances be that I would need to go yarn shopping? Oh the cruel demands this hobby of mine makes of me!
I am still reading I Capture the Castle, nearly finished! It is a good book and well worth the read especially if you like the process of writing or keeping a journal. The story is set in England and I enjoy the American characters and their mannerisms.
What are you knitting and reading?
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Oh I am laboring away at my current projects. Mainly my featherweight cardi has been the focus of my knitting time. Once again, I am swearing off this long project. Knowing full well I will knit it again when my memory dims at how long it takes. There is something about lace weight yarn that draws me in.
Today I'm sharing some lovely ideas that float around in my head of future possible projects. I say possible because I change my mind so much. Or I wait so long to start a new project that I don't feel like doing that project (It's like picking out what to wear in the morning). The top photo is Madelinetosh merino light. The colorway name is "wicked". LOVE IT! The bright pink yarn (that I have shown here before) is araucania itala. I have three skeins of this fingering weight yarn for a sweater as well
My sweater pattern that I chose is Same Same. It is a top down construction but instead of a yoke or raglan sleeve, this pattern creates a set in sleeve!!! I am so excited to try this new method. I am a huge fan of top down construction and thought why not. It feels so Elizabeth Zimmerannish to embark on a new knitting technique.
So as you plug away at your current knits, do you have day dreams of what you want to start?
(psst. I will talk about sock construction next week as I finish up the foot of the sock and the toe-I must finish my featherweight!)
Sunday, July 8, 2012
My weekend was filled with:
-a delicious meal! On Friday my daughter and I had basil pesto on pasta, the first of the season.
-patiently waiting for the weather to break-storms clouds rolled in yesterday evening and so many leaves landed in the pool. We are happy that the trees on our property escaped damage.
-focusing on the sleeves of my cardigan. Oh please be done soon :)
-wondering why it is still very hot after the thunderstorms.
-being thankful I have electricity, surrounding us are neighborhoods without power
-an afternoon with knitting friends
-a curry dinner made by my husband (I love when he cooks it tastes so much better)
-grocery list making and menu planning for the week
2/3 cup of olive oil
2/3 cup of parmesan cheese
1 cup of basil leaves
2 tbs of pine nuts (so worth the money!)
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp of salt
whiz all of the ingredients in a food processor and pour on hot pasta. A clove of garlic is nice to add in. (my daughter and I like it without garlic).
How was your weekend?
Friday, July 6, 2012
I am smack dab in the middle of the summer break with the kids home. Our daughter returns to her apartment in five weeks to prepare for her second year of law school. Our son returns to his second year of undergraduate studies at the end of August. It's fun having them home and I think I'm used to cooking for four people. Oh how I long to cook for two people-so much easier and cheaper! My husband and I could eat the same meal every day :)
I was thinking what of what I would like to accomplish by the time school starts. I love lists and I love goals so here it is:
-finish my featherweight cardigan (that is going to happen soon)
-finish knitting my hat and socks
-start another sweater
-come up with a getaway for the two of us to celebrate 25 years of marriage
-map out all the fiber festivals and TRY to attend Rhinebeck Oh the fiber!
-maybe combine the getaway with a fiber festival??? Hmmmm.
-get back to eating foods that are good for me
-quit eating so much sugar. Seriously.
-find another pair of sandals that are as good as the pair worn in the photo (I love them!)
-outlet shopping with my daughter for some tees and camis and whatever strikes my fancy
-make a Christmas list and compile a knit worthy list
Have a great weekend everyone :)
Thursday, July 5, 2012
The liatris is blooming and I'm so glad we planted it last year. The butterflies love to visit. They flutter about and seem to enjoy the blossoms. I really love the purple color and I think it would make a superb sweater, right?
In the above photo, Frodo had to be in it, he is attracted to fame and the camera. Whenever he sees me pick up my camera he is alert and ready to a) strike a pose, b) runaway from being photoed-probably a bad hair day for him, or c) accompany me outdoors which he loves to be!
Yep, that's his little body in this photo as well. I've mentioned this before but I am so lucky that my husband loves to water and tend our garden. I just document the growth, harvest, and cook, my kind of partnership! I'm thinking of making some basil pesto and tossing it with some noodles. Yum!
Are you eating from your gardens yet? If so what?
Wednesday, July 4, 2012
My featherweight cardigan is making steady progress. I finished the ribbing and started with the button bands. I'm leaving the sleeves last because I only have 1100 yards. I wanted to make the button band as wide to my liking so sleeve length has been compromised if I am running short. I'm at peace with my decision. My focus has been this cardigan and I want to finish it soon. Until I do-no more new projects. (I just said that with my fingers crossed, ha ha).
My other knitted project is a pair of socks for my husband in that lovely shade of gray! I have been doing a sock knitting tutorial here here and here! I love making socks cuff down and if you do as well check out the tutorials.
This week I am reading I Capture the Castle and it's a nice comfortable read. It's about a girl and her journal and her documenting her life in the country-my daughter is correct, I do like reading it. I'm enjoying the journal format of the book and the descriptive countryside.
A little housekeeping note: I have changed my domain name to pumpkinsunrise.com. All of the redirects are supposed to be automatic but just thought I would bring it to your attention if you needed to know.
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
It's gusset time!!! As you may recall I am making a pair of socks for my husband. I will quickly review the numbers so far. I cast on 68 stitches (17 stitches per needle for four needles). Last week I made the heel flap then turned the heel.
I have fourteen stitches after turning the heel. Knit across seven and now you have seven stitches on two needles and 17 stitches on two needles. Here comes the fun gusset part and some magical math. I'm sure you're wondering how many stitches to pick up across the flap edge. Easy! You pick up 1/4 of your cast on number. This number for me is 17. Starting on needle #1-knit seven stitches from heel turning, pick up 17 stitches. needles #2 and #3 knit across and resume sock pattern, needle #4 pick up 17 stitches and knit across seven heel turning stitches.
For the second row I knit through the back loop of all the picked up heel flap stitches to make a tighter edge-I also think it looks pretty.
Gusset shaping is more magical math. How many stitches do I need to decrease? Well again, easy, you want to get back to your original number of cast on stitches which for me is 68 stitches. How fast you do your decreases is a personal preference. I decrease at the end of needle #1 (k2 tog) and the beginning of needles #4 (SSK) every three rows. Some people prefer every other row. All you need to remember is what you do for the first sock so you can repeat exactly what you did on the second sock.
Happy knitting everyone!
Sunday, July 1, 2012
My weekend was filled to the brim with:
-family visiting-sister, brother in law, and nephew
-desserts and desserts and more desserts* **
-swimming in a cool pool on a hot day
-reading and knitting
-being sad that a private health food store is closing :(
-the above store gave information on where to shop for my favorite items :)
-thankfulness that my family came for the weekend
-saying goodbye this morning and then tackling the cleaning
-writing a big big big to-do list for myself-so many things swimming in my head needing to be documented
-feeling so accomplished just with my list!
How was your weekend? Joining Amanda
*the above dessert is called a hummingbird cake that my sister made, it is gluten free and dairy free. The bottom dessert is the betty crocker gluten free brownie mix made by me......guess which sister LOVES to bake???
** the recipe is found in this book Easy Gluten Free Baking