Friday, April 30, 2010

Rock On!



The Blog Week question for today is: Where do you like to indulge in your craft?


My favorite place to knit and crochet is this rocking chair. It currently resides in the bedroom, but sometimes it is by the fireplace. My chair was hand made by Gary Weeks, an awesome furniture designer and builder. This one is made of pecan wood, and it fits my back like a glove... but it works just as well for other folks of other shapes, and kitties too.

Since I have RLS (restless leg syndrome), the rocking chair helps a lot, because it allows me to keep moving while doing a sedentary task. And knitting or crocheting helps too because just that small amount of physical activity can keep the antsies away for a while.

If you want to see more posts from other bloggers participating in Blog Week, click here to find links:
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&source=hp&q=knitcroblo5&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=

(Blog Week Day 5 tag: knitcroblo5)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Stranded Color Work, I'm Ready!



The Blog Week question for today is: Is there a skill related to your hobby that you hope to learn one day?



Here is my knit answer: Uh, really? Am I really ready for this?? Well, I simply must know how to do this beautiful edge on Ceres... and to do that, I’m going to have to break my vow never to do stranded-color work.

Of course, when I was a teenager, I vowed also never to knit with skinny yarn and itty bitty needles, and what do I have on the needles now? You guessed it: dress socks in fingering yarn on size 0 needles. So I suppose I could go back on another one of those teen-aged vows and learn stranded-color.

If you want to see more posts from other bloggers participating in Blog Week, click here to find links:
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&source=hp&q=knitcroblo4&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=

(Blog Week Day 4 tag: knitcroblo4)

A Beautiful Drape, Please



The Blog Week question for today is: Is there a skill related to your hobby that you hope to learn one day?


Here is my crochet answer: I want to be able to crochet a beautifully draped fabric that will make for a lovely-fitting shawl. I don’t want it to feel like being wrapped with a quilt or cardboard. I want fluidity, I want stretch and give, I want a crochet version of Cheryl’s Prayer Shawl, which is knitted and pictured above. I have tried using a big hook with skinny yarn, and it came out too stretchy. Next time, I’ll use the same yarn and a slightly smaller but still oversized hook. Wish me luck!

If you want to see more posts from other bloggers participating in Blog Week, click here to find links:
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&source=hp&q=knitcroblo4&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=

(Blog Week Day 4 tag: knitcroblo4)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Sasha Evans... One Great Knitter!



The Blog Week question for today is: Who is a great knitter or crocheter that you admire?



Here is my knit answer: This young woman is a designer of knit patterns. A few years after learning to knit, she produced her first for-sale pattern, Bluebonnets, which was lace! But wait, it wasn’t just lace, it was an image of a bluebonnet flower (a lupine) that she worked out and incorporated into a knitted headband. Then on to stranded-color stitch creation for the edges of Ceres, which I mentioned in yesterday’s post.

Holy cow, what’s next?? She’s not sayin’, but she’s got it in the works. You can keep tabs by visiting her blog, Sasha’s Blue Carpet, which is a fun-to-read romp through crafting, cooking, feminism, and other interesting stuff.

Yup, that’s my girl!

If you want to see more posts from other bloggers participating in Blog Week, click here to find links:
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&source=hp&q=knitcroblo3&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=

(Blog Week Day 3 tag: knitcroblo3)

My Favorite Crocheter... Absinthia!


The Blog Week question for today is: Who is a great knitter or crocheter that you admire?

Absinthia's Dog

Here is my crochet answer: No, not the dog... I love Absinthia!! She is a brilliant Swedish crocheter, who is innovative, clever, and just a lot of fun. She has been a pattern tester for me on Witch Warmers in Crochet, and she suggested a huge improvement in the way the stripes join up. I had tried and tried to make those stripes jogless, and the combination of stitches just wasn’t allowing it for me. Absinthia to the rescue! She suggested a fix that was perfect... I would never have thought of it on my own. Check out her work on Ravelry.

The photo above shows Absinthia’s child-sized version of the Gypsy Turban in Crochet, modeled by her little dog. How cute is that?? She made the turban for her kindergartener-niece, who wears it when she takes on the character of Scheherazade, spinning tales for her friends.

If you want to see more posts from other bloggers participating in Blog Week, click here to find links:
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&source=hp&q=knitcroblo3&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=

(Blog Week Day 3 tag: knitcroblo3)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Inspired by Ceres



The Blog Week question for today is: What pattern or project do you aspire to?



Here is my knit answer: There’s a beautiful pattern that came out late last year. It has a narrow “braid” detail along the edges of the hat and mitts. The name of the pattern is Ceres, and for the first time in my life, I am inspired to try stranded-color work, which is how the “braid” is made. It’s just lovely!

If you want to see more posts from other bloggers participating in Blog Week, click here to find links:
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&source=hp&q=knitcroblo2&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=

(Blog Week Day 2 tag: knitcroblo2)

Aspiring to Crochet Socks



The Blog Week question for today is: What pattern or project do you aspire to?

floofle's socks on Ravelry

Here is my crochet answer: I want to crochet socks! So far, I’m still looking for a pattern that I like, and Linda Diak’s Toe-Up Crocheted Socks might be the one to start with. I know it will be challenging to make comfortable, adequately stretchy socks in crochet, and I hope I’m up to the task.

If you want to see more posts from other bloggers participating in Blog Week, click here to find links:
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&source=hp&q=knitcroblo2&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=

(Blog Week Day 2 tag: knitcroblo2)

Monday, April 26, 2010

A Legacy Passed from Mother to Daughter



The Blog Week question for today is: How and when did you begin knitting/crocheting?

I actually don’t remember learning to knit and crochet... I was so young when my mother taught me. She was an awesome knitter, and there were wonderful hand-knitted garments in our house. She had a cherry-red cabled cardigan that she knitted for herself in the 1950’s, and my father had hand-knit-by-her socks and an incredible tweedy cardigan, which I wore quite a bit in high school. I wore the cabled sweater when I was in college--it was to die for!


The houndstooth swatch pictured above was knitted by her, with itty bitty stitches. She was a much better knitter than I will ever be.

Funny thing, though, when the time came for our Girl Scout troop to do the needlework badge, some of the mothers taught us various skills like knitting, crochet, embroidery, etc., every week for about a month. My patrol (small group) went to the home of a mother from Germany, and a different patrol went to my house to learn from my mother. Well, not only did I already know how to do all the needleworking things we were learning, but the German mom was surprised that I used the German technique of holding my crochet hook. Oddly, I had changed my grip-style as a child to suit my own preference so I ended up crocheting like that instead of like my mother and grandmother. Go figure.

As for knitting style, I did my own thing, too. My mother showed me how to knit, and I couldn’t do the wrap-around-your-finger thing, so I just grabbed the working yarn and threw it over instead for each stitch. To this day, I still knit that way, and so does my daughter! I find that it goes fast, I can control the tension just fine, and I don’t have any problems with my wrists.

So when my daughter came home from college in her first semester and she wanted to learn to knit, I happily showed her how. I’m quite sure my mother learned from her mother too.

If you want to see more posts from other bloggers participating in Blog Week, click here to find links:
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&source=hp&q=knitcroblo1&btnG=Google+Search&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=

(Blog Week Day 1 tag: knitcroblo1)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Get Ready for Knit & Crochet Blog Week!


Starting tomorrow, I will be participating in Knit & Crochet Blog Week, which, to quote the foundress, Eskimimi, “is a week of blogging for knitters and crocheters, where individual bloggers will all simultaneously post about the same topics over the course of seven days, so that for one week readers might be able to read from blog to blog and enjoy a community of bloggers all talking about elements of their craft in their own unique way.”

Each day of the week has a special topic to be discussed in the context of knitting or crocheting. The topics are going to be fun to read for all the different blogger-knitter-crocheters.

You can find out more about Blog Week here:

http://eskimimiknits.com/2010/04/knitting-and-crochet-blog-week-countdown-to-april-26th/

I’m off to snap some pictures for next week’s posts!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Kitty!


We have adopted a sweet, old manx kitty. He loves being outside, having lived indoors for the last 6 years with his previous owner (he is 14 years old). In fact, he refuses to come into the house for more than about a minute, since he has discovered our back yard. He is certainly in his feline element.

UPDATE: At our new house, Tuffer stays indoors most of the time. He makes brief visits to the patio, and occasionally chases a butterfly in the yard. But he spends most of his time sleeping inside, these days.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Barely Borscht


This recipe happened accidentally one day when I was concocting a soup made with vegetables I had just bought at the Farmers' Market. Having already put the veggies in, I wondered what kind of seasoning would work, and I looked up soups with beets... bringing me to borscht, of course! All I had to add was cabbage and a bit of vinegar, followed by a slab of cream cheese in the bowl, and I got a nice borscht, made mellow by the squash. Mmmm.

BARELY BORSCHT

1 Tbsp. butter
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 med. beet, peeled and chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
1/2 med. onion, chopped
1/4 med. head cabbage, chopped
2 yellow squashes, cubed (or substitute 2 cups peeled winter squash)
5 cups vegetable stock
1-1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cider vinegar
cream cheese

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In a soup pot, melt the butter with black pepper added. Sauté the beet, celery, and onion until softened. Add the cabbage and sauté briefly.

Add the stock, squash, salt, and vinegar. Bring to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer until squash and beets are tender.

When serving, add 1 Tbsp. cream cheese to each bowl. You can substitute sour cream or yogurt, if you prefer.

Serves 6


For more of my favorite cabbage recipes, see
How to Cook Non-Yucky Cabbage
Cabbage Soup
Colcannon
Maple-Pecan Fried Slaw
Onion Pie

This recipe appears on
Barely Borscht on Foodista