Saturday, May 23, 2009

radishes radishes everywhere!

What do you do if you have tons of radishes (and if you've planted radishes, it's a pretty sure bet that you've got tons of them right about now) and the only thing you know to do with them is to put them on salads?  (which by the way, uses radishes at that rate of about 1 per day! not exactly acceptable when you have 4 rows of them!)  First you ask your friend Jen, who, from past experience, you know will make something up if she doesn't know, and convince you that she knows what she's talking about even though she's totally pulling it out of her ass!  Well, said friend did come through with some suggestions that were actually based on experience (like a potato salad with radishes and green olives - oh sounds great!)  Then I looked up "radishes" on RecipeSource and got tons more!  Even cooked dishes - like radishes, peas, and carrots with a lemon butter sauce.  I didn't think you could cook radishes, but apparently so.  I decided to go with a green bean and radish salad - it's kind of like your basic marinated veggie salad with a dressing of balsamic, olive oil, dijon mustard, and garlic.  I think it's going to be swell - and I used up a mess of radishes!  

The other thing that I have even more of than radishes is sock yarn, and sticking to my plan of having a pair of socks on the needles at all times, I cast on yesterday for a pair of Herringbone Rib socks, from Interweave, using my Knit Picks Imagination.  This will be the last you ever see of them:

Why?  because I flubbed up the herringbone pattern (it's pretty obvious in person - like when you flub up the stitch pattern on the My So Called Scarf - the rows just don't line up and you have weird columns of holes) and also because I just don't think this yarn wants to be socks.  It's got alpaca in it which makes it a bit fuzzy and I think that loveliness will be hidden in socks, will blur this stitch pattern, and might possibly look better at a looser gauge.  I'm thinking either a chevron scarf, or maybe legwarmers.  Of course I also have to find a stitch pattern that will work with the variegated colors, which always gives me problems (and that's why I used a pattern from the Knitting Socks with Handpainted Yarns book!)  Ooh - what about legwarmers using a chevron stitch pattern - like Jaywalker legwarmers?  or a chevron stitch beret?  Is there anything a chevron can't do?  

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Springy yard, springy hat!

Maybe the morning after a night of rain isn't the best time to take pictures of flowers in the yard - they get a little slumped over, but I wanted to get a picture of my poppy "field" (ok, small patch is probably a better description) before they were all gone.  

I've always wanted poppies, but for years it seemed like it wasn't going to be in the stars for me - I tried them from seed, from plants, from bigger plants - never worked!  In my last house, I had squirrels that would eat the big kiwi-looking buds!  aaargh!  There's a house on my way home from work with an amazing yard - and tons of orange poppies!  I stopped one day when the lady was in the yard, just to tell her how pretty it all was, and before I knew it she'd filled a bunch of pots with divisions of all kinds of stuff and filled the back of my truck!  A perfect stranger!  She kept saying, "do you have some of this?"  "here, take some of this!"  it was amazing!  So anyway - she gave me poppies and they have been thriving for several years now!!  Oh they make me so happy!  All this rain has made everything look great.  My false indigo is doing better than ever!

And my irises, which also sometimes refuse to bloom, are incredible!

In addition to flowers blooming, a spring hat appeared almost overnight!  When the Adrienne Vittadini yarn was being marked down all over the place, I got in on the deal with my friend Emily (because I can't stand for someone to get stuff that I didn't!  my stash is filled with childish jealousy-driven purchases!)  and decided that this yellow cotton blend would be perfect for a spring Meret (because Sam's Meret was soo great!)  And by gum it is! 

 Although I suppose I don't wear a ton of hats in the spring (and according to Emily, I don't wear hats ever - but she's just trying to make me question my queue of like 50 hats, and I'm not going to! ;) but if I want to wear a hat in the spring, this cotton will be perfect!  I love how the size turned out, even though I was kind of winging it.  The pattern says to do an extra lace repeat to make it slouchier (and that's what Sam did, and I loved the shape of hers) so I did that, but I also did a full repeat for the first row, though it was supposed to be only the top part - I didn't read ahead, and by the time I realized it it was too late - it'd be ridiculous to rip back since it wasn't' going to affect anything adversely, or make it turn into something other than a hat in the end.  I love it!

And you know my obsessive love of farm fresh eggs?  It's still raging. 

 I constantly have at least two dozen in my fridge because I get them from a guy at work who somehow farms, AND works as a grain merchant!  It's amazingly convenient because he just comes to my office and says "do you need any eggs?"  and I tell him that's a stupid question, because I think he knows I'll buy all he's got!  and I typically do.  We had breakfast burritos for dinner last night because I brought home two cartons and had eggs on the brain!  I've also been craving soft boiled eggs like my mom used to make - she was so good at whacking to top off with a spoon and scooping it out with one little swoosh around the edge.  I put some eggs in to hard boil this morning and tried to time one for soft (according to my Joy of Cooking instructions and everything) but I was a little short of quite done and the whites were still a little loose, which is pretty gross.  having to pop it in the microwave for 20 seconds after you scoop it out isn't at all cool, but it worked.  I'm on a hunt down for egg cups now (I'm sure you could see that coming!) so I spent forever this morning looking through ebay and etsy - nothing yet, but I will find the perfect specimen and will try, to some probably not very aggressive extent, to keep it from becoming another collection.  ;)  I can see this becoming the replacement obsession for vintage S&P shakers though, which I've forbid myself from purchasing because I can see that there'd be no climbing out of that spiral once I started!  You know, if they didn't want me to collect stuff, they shouldn't have made it so darn cute!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Look what else I dun maked!

I got an 8 dent reed for my loom a few months ago - so that I could use worsted weight yarn instead of just fingering like with my 12 dent reed.  So what do I do for my first project?  Use fingering weight! 

 I got a bunch of Noro sock yarn and thought it'd look amazing woven, so I had to do it.  

I love the fact that with the 8 dent I can make an airier fabric - and I warped it so that there were skipped spots to make it almost like dropped stitches in knitting.  

I love it!  I soaked it after I was done and the Kureyon did soften up quite a bit.  Then I put on fringed and used my new fringe twister to twist it up!  geesh - that took nearly as long as weaving the damn thing!  

Me and Amelia - besties!

"Besties" - what a ridiculous word.  thanks Mylie.  But honestly, it's how much I love my newly finished Amelia cardigan!  

Blocked and buttons sewn on - finally!  It really couldn't fit better if it tried.  Perhaps my best fitting garment ever.  I love it, I love it, I love it!  The only mod I made was to put button holes all the way down the front, instead of just the ones at the top. 

 I had less yarn in my stash than the pattern called for, but I ended up with half a skein, or more, left over - I knew it'd be ok!!  

I spent Saturday with my mother because there was an auction that she wanted to go to, and she's only been to one other auction before - meaning that she's still freaked out about trying to bid on anything, and also freaked out that she'll accidentally bid on something without meaning to.  Since I was going to go on Sunday anyway, we figured we could have a girl's day on Saturday instead - we went to the auction (where I picked up a couple Pyrex bowls, natch, and a Hall casserole dish), then to a garage sale that we passed on the way, then to her favorite thrift shop. It was a fantastic day - great weather, fun times all around!  She went bonkers over her terrarium, and the crock, and I told her the story of her knit-gift that never was.  She seemed to really like the idea of the flutter sleeve cardigan, so maybe I'll  have to take some serious measurements on her and try again for another holiday!  

Monday, May 4, 2009


Without a doubt, the most beautiful pie I've ever produced!  

Ya know why?  Because I wore an apron!  I swear that if you wear a cute apron while baking, it like channels your grandmother or something and everything turns out!  Oh, and I also used a vintage pie plate that I picked up at the Antique Barn.

Tomorrow is the fella's birthday and he requested a pie instead of a cake.  I made the crust and everything because I kinda kick ass like that.  ;)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Sorry mom - no Gabriella for you!

 This has just been the most ridiculous mother's day knitting experience ever.  After thinking I'd found the perfect pattern to switch to (Gabriella) after frogging the Flutter Sleeve Cardigan, I've again given up!  I've been pretty much hating Gabriella for a while.  I think alot of it was me, but some of it was the pattern too, which kind of blows me away because I know Ann Weaver is a great designer - she's done a lot and has patterns in Knitty, etc.  One problem was that the only picture available just didn't show the detail enough for me to see if what I was doing (and questioning) was what she intended.  Maybe had I not been so intent on following all the different charts, and just made an interpretation of the look, I'd have been happier, but I kept doing the charts and thinking "man, this just doesn't seem right."  I finally decided that continuing with it just wasn't in the cards - like I wasn't really knitting love into the gift anymore!  So screw it!  Instead, I decided to make my mom a terrarium, because she saw mine and really liked them (and plants are always a pretty sure fired gift for my mom!)

Look how steamy it's getting already!

So I'll give her the terrarium, and a great pottery jug that she eyed at the antique barn the last time she visited, and I'll have an amusing knitting story to tell her!

With the Gabriella off my shoulders, I've been putting more time into Amelia and I'm almost finished!!  whee!  I'll post pictures when she's done!  

Also, since this is the time of year that I get all gung ho about gardening, I've been going plant crazy!  I got my raised beds planted with tomatoes, peppers, basil, carrots, wax beans, radishes, chard, and spinach!  Please avert your eyes from the weeds growing up the fence - pulling weeds isn't really part of the springtime gardening fun!  unfortunately, because if it was I'd be in hog heaven - I kind of have a lot of them.  

Then last night I went to the Mayfair plant sale at Wegerzyn - one of our local metroparks, that I just couldn't love more!  It's where I rented my community garden plot when I first moved to Dayton.  Every year they have this sale as a fundraiser, and I decided to spring for a membership that would get me in for members-only-preview-night, and 10% off what I got!  Plus it also gets me 10% off at North Dayton Garden Center, which is my favorite -and on top of that, the whole metropark membership thing sort of makes me feel adult, and like a good person.  I don't know why.  Anyway, my favorite part of this sale every year is the "Pass along plants" - it's stuff that people have divided and dug up from their own yards, so generally it's stuff that grows well around here, and it pretty darn hardy!  and they're cheap!  My best find is actually a house plant, which I've seen online and only once in real life - a Clivia.  This is what it looks like blooming (and no - that's not mine.  It's a google image pic.  for one thing, I don't think my stairs have EVER been so entirely free of cat hair!)

And this is mine now.  They're generally crazy expensive - like $50 or something, but this one was $10 and I got to talk to the old lady who grew it for a long time, which was great!  I just loved her, and I wish I'd gotten her name.  

I got a couple flats of other assorted stuff - some of which I'd never even heard of, but that's half the fun!  

Some things, like the pincushion flower, had a scientific name on the tag and the folks there tried to describe how it looked, but until I Googled it, I didn't realize what I had!  I which now that I'd gotten more.  duh, why couldn't they have just given me the common name?  So I've been out planting some of it, and half heartedly pulling weeds to make room for them.   I have to do as much as I can now, because give me a couple months (maybe less!) and it'll be 95 degrees and I won't want to step foot outside the house!  it all goes to hell, and I tell myself "ok, next year I'm going to be better!"  but honestly, I'm not kidding anyone.