Saturday, May 26, 2012

Red Camo Hat

In February, Main Street Art held their first annual Knit In.

They provided a meeting place, yarn (including donated yarn from Riverslea Farm), knitting patterns, camaraderie and excellent snacks from private sources and the Newfields General Store.

The drop-in knitters provided our labor and good company.

From those ingredients, this red camo hat was created.

Inspiration & Motivation:
What I liked about this project:
  • Knitting in good company for a good cause
  • It really is possible to knit a hat in a day
  • It's a luxury when some one else makes all the decisions on a project for me
  • I actually started and finished a project within unusual for me!
What I'd do differently next time:
  • I didn't use Riverslea yarn which bums me out because I'm curious about what it's like to work with
  • I didn't set aside as much of that day as I'd have I had hat homework!
  • Something about the decreases at the top of this pattern doesn't sit well with me.
  • I messed up, and forgot to make the "turn up" row, where instead of rib, it's a row of all knit. Ooops!!

Needles: US 7 double-pointed bamboo needles
Yarn: Takhi yarn from the 1980's, probably Takhi tweed of some sort
Pattern: Camo Hat by Merri Fromm from Blue Sky Alpacas Pattern Leaflet: Traveler's Series

Have you noticed that you can sing "Red Camo Hat" to the tune of "Red Solo Cup"? (For some reason, that song is such an earworm for me....maddening! Luckily I didn't name this hat til I was done knitting, or I would have been singing that song in my head the whole time!)

Related posts:
On Ravelry
Announcing the Knit-In

Friday, May 25, 2012

M&M Cookies

In the mood for a bit of baking over the weekend?

These cookies with mini M&M's are shockingly, seriously good!! I just had to share!


I am knitting up a storm, so hopefully I'll be blogging about that soon too!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Old Bay Steamed Shrimp

My favorite way to prepare Gulf shrimp, in case anyone is travelling south!!!

OLD BAY Steamed Shrimp with Cocktail Sauce
1/2 cup cider vinegar or beer
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons OLD BAY® Seasoning
1 pound large shrimp, deveined

In a medium saucepan, mix vinegar, water and OLD BAY. Bring to boil on medium heat. Gently stir in shrimp, then cover.

Steam 2 to 3 minutes or just until shrimp turn pink. Drain well.

Serve immediately or refrigerate until hungry guests arrive. Best served with punchy cocktail sauce and lively conversation.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

"Love is something eternal; the aspect may change, but not the essence." -Vincent van Gogh

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Green Banana Silk

  • Feel excited about this yarn and about doing a quick project that's for me
  • I loved receiving this yarn as an unexpected gift, and wanted to complete this project before the next time I see the giver
  • I wanted to get back into a satisfying creative routine

  • A weaving buddy gave me this yarn at a spring weavers guild meeting. I was so touched. I don't get surprises very often! (Especially not pleasant yarn surprises!!)
  • I would love to create an open, spring-like scarf to wear in spring and fall indoors (not my usual, keeps-me-warm-in-winter scarf!)

What I liked about this project:

  • I really like how the yarn and pattern work together to show off the luster and irregularities of this yarn.
  • I tried lots of dropped stitch patterns, and really like that this one combines knits and purls with the dropped stitches to make a more interesting scarf.

Pattern: Opera Scarf by Laurie Kimmelstiel

Yarn: Frabjous Fibers Banana Silk Yarn

Just under 1 skein of yarn used.

Needles: US 10 3/4

Finished size: 5 1/2 x 56 inches

On Ravelry

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Wake Up Call

Yesterday morning, when I was walking down the stairs, I noticed a weird brown thing in our yard.

I can't believe it was a fox!!!!

Scratching its neck

Getting up

Shaking his head, just like Bailey does


Gotta stretch those back legs too

Ready for the day

Heading out

We watched it for about 10 minutes, when it finally got up and trotted away. During that time, several cars passed on the road (about 50 feet in front of the fox). It would pick up its head and look around when that happened, but then puts its head back down.

It was 18° F (-8° C) while we watched the fox. I would never have guessed that a fox would sleep out in the open like that. We watched from slightly before 7 a.m. until about 7:10. The sun was up the whole time.

Sorry that I've included some blurry photos....This was pretty much at the limit of what my camera and lens could do in that limited light through the window into the sun.

It was just so cool to see a fox wake up for the day. A lot of his actions, like the stretching and shaking his head, totally remind me of what Bailey does when he wakes up.

On New Year's Day, Acorn to Oak asked if I had any fox photos yet. Finally, I can say YES!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

DPS: Street Photography

Digital Photo School Weekly Challenge: Street Photography

Pictures taken in Chinatown, Boston during Chinese New Year Celebration, January 2012

My favorites are the pink hair, the two little kids sporting great textiles and the mahjong players (who were playing for hours outside even though it's winter here!)

Which photo(s) do you like best - and why, if you want to share that too?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Knit-In: Feb. 7 at Main St Art in Newfields, NH

If you're in the Seacoast of New Hampshire (USA) during the first week of February, there are two yarn-y events you might enjoy!

First, from Main Street Art in Newfields, NH:

Knit for a cause! Please join us at Main Street Art as we knit warm hats and mittens for the residents of New Horizons, a homeless shelter, soup kitchen and food pantry located in Manchester, New Hampshire.

When: Tuesday, February 7TH from 8AM -8PM

Where: Main Street Art

75 Main Street, Newfields, New Hampshire, USA

What: Patterns and yarn will be provided. (Optional-Bring your own yarn stash to share or trade.)

Bring: Your own knitting needles and nimble fingers! (Size 7 needles or whatever you like with worsted weight yarn)

On any given day in New Hampshire, there are 2,248 people who are homeless. -NH Coalition to End Homelessness

I plan to be there for part of the afternoon and hopefully evening. I have no idea if I can knit a hat in a day, but I'll try!!!! Let me know if you plan to be there too!!

Another local event of interest to knitters and weavers:
Fuzz Fest on Feb. 4 in Exeter, NH

I'll try to pop in there too!!! Last year there was some local angora yarn that was so gorgeous. It's still tempting me!!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sunday Shot of Color

On a cold day like today, I'll take warmth wherever I find it!

Stay warm!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Diagonal Scarf

My backup knitting project for the last few years (gasp!) has been this multi-directional diagonal scarf.

What I liked about this project:
  • Easy, but still interesting
  • Fun to see how the two variegated yarns I used interact
  • The scarf is noticeably different from other things I've knit

What I learned from this project:
  • When my intuition says "you don't have enough yarn", it's usually right!
What I'd do differently next time:
  • Have enough yarn to begin with!!

Yarn: Classic Elite Desert and Regia 4 ply
Pattern: Multidirectional Diagonal Scarf
Needles: Size 7
Amount of yarn: 2 skeins Desert and less than 1 of Regia

Finishing: Wash for 3 minutes in warm water with Woolite. Dry flat.

Finished size: 6.25 x 63 inches

Pattern modifications: Cast on 63 stitches

I haven't decided yet whether to keep this scarf, or give it as a gift. Maybe it will head to my gift bin for a while.

Or maybe, since we finally have snow on the ground, and sleet still falling, I'll bundle up in this scarf next time I go out!

Related posts:
On Ravelry
Getting started (in March 2009)
Out of yarn!
Yarn Shopping
Unraveling this scarf
Starting over

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Finished Cowl

Very soft, very cushy, very warm.

Notice how the wrong side of the cowl looks like large sections of knit woven together.

I finally finished my first cowl. I do have a fleece cowl that I use a lot in the woods when it's really cold. This knitted cowl will be prettier and could be worn around town.

Quick to knit, but I couldn't knit this while chatting. I don't know if other people count lace in a different way than I do, but I was counting in my head....and definitely got confused if I stopped mid-row.

Needles: US 8 wooden double-pointed needles
Yarn: 1.5 oz (.85 of a skein) of Princess by Classic Elite
40% merino, 28% viscose, 10% cashmere, 15% nylon, 7% angora
Color 3432
Pattern: Lush-ious Swirl Cowl by Linda Frydl

We're having an unusually warm winter so far, so I've barely had the chance to use my new cowl. I'll bet I'll get a chance to use it soon though!

Related posts:
Starting this cowl
On ravelry

Monday, January 2, 2012

Yule Log Cake

I know on the day after New Year's, when everyone is trying to be healthy, the last thing you all want to see is a giant chocolate cake! I'm sorry!!!

At Christmas, for the first time ever, I made a chocolate Yule log cake. I had to save a picture of it here so I can find it again another year.

Meringue mushrooms are surprisingly tasty!! (The cake is delicious too....although I'm in more of a salad mood today!)

The recipe (a giant tutorial from King Arthur Flour) is here.

I hope your holidays were wonderful and that 2012 brings so much light, laughter and love into our lives!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!!!

Meg at Unravelling has a New Year's tradition of posting photos of her looms to get the year off to a good inviting weavers around the world to join her.

So here's my Toika, poised for me to get these towels woven!!

My baby wolf (temporarily naked) has been pushed aside so that we can try to snap a quick photo of a fox that has been frequenting our yard.

Don't worry....the loom will win out in 2012!!!

Wishing you all the 2012 of your dreams!! Happy New Year!