Monday, May 26, 2014

"Holiday"

Tim is working and I'm catching up on work, so that's our holiday. But nice and quiet all the same.

This scarf is rapidly approaching completion:

And it may get done tonight or tomorrow.We'll see.

Enjoy the day.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

"Let's just cast them all on and stay here all night!"

I saw this shawl pattern and even though I don't really like shawls, I really like this one as I have a hankering to do some cabling.

But, I said to myself, I have SO MANY THINGS on the needles, shouldn't I finish them off?

And then I remembered this old Judy Garland album that I had...I think it might have been called Judy at Carnegie Hall? It is a live recording of all her hits and she sounds fantastic. Toward the end, she takes an encore and the crowd is going crazy (of course). She says (and I paraphrase)...why don't I just sing them all and we'll stay here all night?"

So with that in mind, I cast this on:





The photo does not do justice to the color, which is that rich, deep royal purple. The yarn is Matchmaker Merino DK, I have seven balls of it from long ago, and it is sadly discontinued. The amount I have is not enough for a sweater but it looks like it will be enough for this shawl.

So stay tuned, I know it doesn't look like much now but I think that will change.

We had a good paddle yesterday at the reservoir (sp?), saw many different birds and got on and off the water before the holiday crowds.

We also continue to enjoy our CSA offerings--this week we got two pints of strawberries and so had some strawberry shortcake last night. This along with lots of broccoli, carrots, lettuce, herbs, zucchini....very few things that we think 'ick'.


Friday, May 23, 2014

Sometimes the yarn just knows

This is the cuff of a sock. It may not look like anything to you right now, but it will soon.

The reason I post is that I started this cuff three times last night, with a different yarn. It just didn't 'take'. After a while, I figured out the yarn knew more than I did and gave up. This yarn seems better.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

How to Photograph lace

Or not.

This is the crescent shawl. I should probably just not plan to take pictures til it is done.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Organizing

I have two summer projects that are somewhat interrelated..hexipuffs and a wreath for the front door. I've been collecting oddments (that is a Rowan knit word, isn't it?) of sock yarn AND I belong to the koigu mini skein club and have plenty of yarn for both projects. But how to organize?

The wreath will be a base of leaves that will be 'permanent', and then I'll velcro different types of flowers depending on the season (well maybe three types: fall, spring, summer...and maybe have little Christmas ornaments too but maybe not since we usually get a pine wreath for the door for Christmas). All the leaves and flowers take little bits of yarn.

So today I organized. First, the oddments went to bags by color:
From left to right: leaves, blues, purples, pinks/reds, and fall.

Then I organized supplies (dpns, patterns and stuffings)

And then plopped in the summer colors.

Now I think I'll go knit something. But then I'll have to figure out where to put that something I knit. Argh.


Friday, May 16, 2014

Teardrop Crescent

I'm a big fan of Kieran Foley's Knit/Lab and think his designs are incredible, so  I have been planning to do Teardrop Crescent using a set of color bridge yarns from Colorshift yarns on Etsy.

Immediately upon casting on, I realized...
OH CRAP it is lace.

I've started it four times, and I think I finally 'have it' right now. Hard to photograph, pretty fun to knit and it looks great.


Saturday, May 10, 2014

Fine Tune with 'recipes'

Here is the status of Fine Tune. Short row knitting is the new...what? The new lace? The new cabling? Or maybe it isn't...but I sure enjoy knitting this pattern.

Yesterday was a bit of an odd day. It has been kind of an odd week...some not great news for me professionally (just some things I thought would happen for me ended up not happening for me, and I'm really disappointed) and piles of stuff to read that is just sort of uninteresting (obviously, I assume most of my students don't read this blog). And then at 3pm I heard a 'bang' and the electricity went out. Worst case, power outages really freak me out. Best case, I just sort of didn't know what to do with myself without the distractions of music, internet, blah blah. Anyway. It also changed my plans for dinner because I had planned to make a big salad with the ingredients in our second box (salad mix and other yummies) but I sliced my finger while trying to cut up some chicken and decided that I needed a dinner with less chopping.

And then we had no electricity. And I didn't know how to light the burners on the gas stove since I couldn't find matches (it turns out Tim uses a creme brulee torch). So I ended up making sandwiches and asparagus on the grill. So that all worked out well.

But I did make sweet potatoes and kale on Thursday. It was great...and I hate kale. Here is what I did:
-microwave one sweet potato for five minutes on high. Let it cool and dice it into smallish cubes.
-take two bunches of kale, rinse them,  and strip the leaves from the stems. Put the leaves and a cup of water in a pot, heat it to boiling, and then let it simmer for about five minutes (probably could steam it and that would work too). Then, rinse the kale in cold water, then squeeze it into a ball and squeeze all the water out. Then, chop the little ball into pieces. This is kind of fun.

-put a tablespoon or so into a saucepan with some chopped garlic. Heat the oil--saute the garlic til it starts to turn brown and then remove the garlic. Put the potatoes in, heat them through, then add the kale and heat it for about five minutes on low.

-then, add some chopped cilantro and lemon juice. heat it for a minute or so more on medium, and then serve. It makes two good sized servings, and it is really good!



Thursday, May 08, 2014

Drop stitch scarf

This seems to be going well.




Interestingly, the camera made these colors much more vibrant than they really are---there isn't a light blue and a cobalt, for example, it is more greyish blue. I wonder if I need to take the picture with a flash?

I've had a few days with no major life failures, so that's good. I guess. I'm trying to just keep focused on the work that needs to be done in the next four weeks so students can graduate and move on to their happy shiny lives, and so yeah.

The pasta turned out pretty well (but whole wheat pasta is just not. that. good) and today I'm going to make kale and sweet potatoes. I think. Or baby swiss chard and sweet potatoes. One of those two.

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Fine Tune


I started the Fine Tune scarf, and then realized I have two other scarves which are 'TV knitting' (I have to pay a bit of attention, but not a whole lot. But I can't read and knit). So now with Fine Tune I have three (yay). But I do like how this looks--I will have a third color of blue in the eyelet stripe too, so it should look good.

This isn't a great week--I feel every bit of bad energy I've generated this year is coming to back to knock me down. 

In workout news: I've been doing the workout dvd a few times and this morning added the 'flexibility and balance' workout which was a good stretch. And balance is really important, especially as you get older. So that's good. I've also been eating better. Tonight I'm making the asparagus pasta that I didn't get around to last week.

Saturday, May 03, 2014

One more summer project--and an update

I forgot about one other summer project:
I want to make a wreath for the front door--I have several patterns--one for leaves and several others for flowers. I also have a pattern for acorns and toadstools--so the plan is to make the leaves and permanently attach those to the wreath, then have velcro or some other self stick things for the flowers and toadstools and such so I can switch them out according to the season. I've ordered several sets of Loopy Cakes as well as collected all my Koigu mini skeins in this basket, so I'm ready to go (also bought a new set of dpns).

PLUS---I will also return to hexipuffing since it is all organized (I guess I need quotes around the word organized) in this basket.

Two quick updates. First, Kathy asked what DVD I was using. I bought three from Women's Health, and the one I'm starting with is 'Total Workout in Ten." It is a group of four ten-minute workouts: cardio, upper body, lower body, balance, with the idea being you can do 'anything' for ten minutes. So far, I've done both the upper and lower body twice and really like it. It moves really fast and I do feel it, so yay me.

The second update: our first CSA basket was great. Three bigs bags of greens: kale, arugula and rainbow chard. Plus, baby carrots, onions and asparagus. The farm also gives recipes--I'm going to try a whole wheat past with asparagus and chard, and also found a recipe for sweet potatoes and kale. 



Thursday, May 01, 2014

May Day--or--welcome to the first day of the rest of my life

Intriguing title, no?


 First, let's start with the knitting. The drop stitch scarf is going well--while oranges are not my favorite color, the Big Knitting Lesson from Noro yarn is "just go with the Noro flow".  The colors work, although arguably they shouldn't. While the pattern itself seems a little daunting, it is actuall easy to memorize. So I kind of love this scarf. I actually bought another Noro yarn to make another if I wanted to, and I think I want to. It might be a bit thinner though--maybe three squares instead of five. We'll see.

I also got some winding mojo back and last Monday did some winding in preparation for summer knitting. I have three projects on the list. First (and I've already cast on) is Fine Tune using Cascade Heritage in Grey and accent yarns from the stash. Second is Teardrop Crescent and I have some yarn from Color Shift to do this one (purples and blues). Finally, there's Thorntower and I bought yarn in a navy blue for that. Plus yesterday the Yarn Harlot talked about This and I think I might put that on the list too. Plus socks for Tim because some of his favorites have worn out. 

Second--and the reason for the post title--is that I'm making some positive health changes in my life. There's nothing wrong, but yesterday was my birthday and I realized that I no longer can take health for granted..the pounds creep on and the cholesterol creeps up. I can easily rationalize not eating well and not exercising, but I decided to give a gift to myself (ok, I roll my eyes as I write this) and work on being healthier. So. A few weeks ago I bought some exercise DVDs from Women's Health--one was the ten minute workout which even I could do. So this morning I did ten minutes of Lower Body. And it was fun, so I did ten minutes of Upper Body. I can do 10-20 minutes a couple of times a week. So I will.

I'm also going to focus on eating better. To THAT end--today is the first day of our CSA (community supported agriculture). We are trying a different farm (although CSAs are kind of like the stock market, you have to be in it for the long haul because one growing season might not really be representative of what the farm can do). I'm eager to see our first box and to work on USING THE ENTIRE BOX unlike our former CSA where the vast majority of the box went to feed our rabbit Louise (who shed her bunny coil several years ago).

What does all this mean for you, you ask yourself? Well, I will still be sharing lots and lots of knitting here. I will also be briefly mentioning exercise and food stuff just to keep myself honest--this will come at the bottom so you can blerp over it if you want to. Forewarned is forearmed.

Whew this was a long post!

Morning Walk