Monday, October 18, 2010

Other avenues

Hi there,
I've been out of touch lately and frankly, there are only so many hours in the day. If you're looking to keep up with me on a more regular basis, check out my flickr stream. I'll be back to check in, though. Don't you worry!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Wordless Friday?

Okay, so I haven't gone missing altogether.
I started a new job on Monday and while I think I'm really going to like it... dudes, I'm tired!
Friends keep getting pregnant:
(Offset wraplan in STR Medium "Spacedust")

Friends keep getting Married

(Alyssa and Uzo, Labor Day weekend)

And I keep working on my sewing skills
(Project bag for Kim, a going away present at my old job)

I'll be back, I promise, life is just a bit chaotic right now!

Friday, August 27, 2010

It's not all knitting...

but it's crafty!
As I mentioned in passing, I was coerced into joining a "NewBee" via Twitter friends. The first month's blocks are complete and mailed out...
They may not look square, but trust me, they are. 12.5x12.5 inches! I'm no quilting expert, but I think I did okay!
Speaking of quilting and fabric (whoo boy, my fabric stash may soon outpace my yarn one...don't tell the Tall Guy!), I just discovered yesterday (in time for free swatch day). If you have any great fabric websites you'd like to share, please feel free!

In the meantime, I'm continuing to churn out the baby knits as friends are coming up on their due dates...
Technically, you're spose' to turn down the cuff, but I like the full length look myself!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Saturday adventure

Last Saturday, the Tall Guy and I took a road trip to Richmond. I'd never been there, except when passing through on the way south and was pleasantly surprised with the city we found!

The reason for our trip was to go to the Virginia Museum of Fine Art for a special exhibit of Tiffany Glass. We realized at the last minute that it was leaving on Sunday, so we made quick plans and headed down.

The museum itself was quite nice and I'm pretty much in love with most pieces that came out of the Tiffany collection (I'm a glass medium fan in general).

Here's one of my favorites:

(Photo credit noted: from the VMFA website, saved to my server)

And some other great examples are here. I love it all...

After we finished at the museum, we wandered down the street and found ourselves in Carytown. We had a nice lunch at an Italian Deli, did some window shopping, found a yarn shop(while shopping around a bit, I didn't actually buy anything!)

And the Tall Guy bought me a new necklace! Pretty cute, huh?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Stormy morning

The Tall Guy and I got ready for work this morning as the sky went black and thunder rumbled. By the time my teeth were brushed hail was coming down with full force! It was quite an exciting way to start the morning! Of course, without coffee, I didn't even think to try to take a photo. Right now, we're both working from home as we wait for the Red Line delays to go away and we can make our way into the office.
I don't know about you, but early morning thunder storms are always a funny way to start the day. You would think with the crazy summer we were having, we would be ready for anything! Earthquakes, tornadoes, snowstorms...we've had it all this year!
I was going through my photos this morning and ran into the below video... Yes. Our dog is insane. Especially when you've just put her "Frontline" flea and tick repellent on her. Never a dull moment around here, folks!
Happy Thursday!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Babies, sewing and a special guest hello...

All my friends are pregnant.
Okay, that's not quite true. I should say, it would seem that a majority of my female friends that live in my neighborhood are expecting. As in, four in five months! The first one in a few weeks and downhill from there!

As a result, I'm doing a lot of baby knitting. At this point, it's sort of scattered, a pair of booties here, a hat there, but it's coming together so that all of my friends will be getting nice little bundles of handknits in bright, cheery, gender neutral colors. So much fun!

In my spare time (ha!), I've started playing with sewing again and have even joined a "New Bee" Quilting group. I sewed this bag a few weeks ago to test out my skills.
The verdict? I need to practice more, but that's okay!

And... Annie says hello.
This is her "New Hampshire" bandanna. My sister wears a lot of tie dye and I make fun of her for this alllll the time. She retaliated by putting some of her style on my poor dog. Annie seems to like it a bit more than the Harley Davidson one my dad bought for her. Bright orange isn't really her color.

Friday, August 6, 2010

A few more Midwest comments

Have you ever had frozen custard? It's amazing. I mean, I've never met a frozen dairy treat I didn't like, but this stuff? Tasty!

The Tall Guy's uncle, upon hearing my lack of frozen custard knowledge brought us straight to Kopp's.
It comes out of machines like this: I love it.
And, finally, my last comment about my Midwest adventure:

After passing through security at the Milwaukee Airport, you see this sign where there are a number of benches etc. At that moment, I fell deep in love with Wisconsin. Not only do they have an area for you to put your belt and shoes back on, but they made up a name for it. LOVE.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Playing tourist

It seems that most people that actually live/work in the DC area never actually go to the hot spots in the Nation's Capital (unless we're talking about a new bar or restaurant!) The Tall Guy's sister and her husband were in town earlier this summer from Seattle so, we took advantage of their time in town to do a bit of exploring. We have a friend that works on the Hill and he hooked us up with a tour and gallery passes. Very cool indeed even for those of us desensitized to the "Big P politics" in DC.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Midwest adventures

The Tall Guy and I took a trip out to the burbs of Chicago and Milwaukee recently.

Mostly, the trip was about visiting family, but I must say I have the best husband and Mother-in-Law around because guess where this girl got to go? You got it....
I must say, if you're ever in the neighborhood, you need to stop in to The Fold...what a great yarn shop! Though, truth be told, I'm not sure how anyone would be in the neighborhood, the shop is in the middle of a corn field and is miles from the nearest town. But, it's still worth the drive out of your way. I came way with a variety of good stuff and a canvas tote bag to boot!

After The Fold, we drove up to Lake Geneva and stopped in Williams Bay for lunch at this place.

After growing up on the Maine border my entire life, I have never seen such a contraption. I had to go to Wisconsin. Bizarre, no? Yes, it's a claw game where you catch a lobster that they'll cook for you. In Wisconsin. I'm still perplexed.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Howdy! How's your summer going? I can't believe it's August already. Pretty sure last I checked it was May!
Things have been moving right along around here, so don't mind the lack of chatter!

These are a few pics from the garden... we've had the most luck with hot peppers and tomatoes this year.

Friday, June 11, 2010

I don't have a whole lot to say today, so in case you haven't seen them's a few quick photos from our trip to see family on Memorial Day.
Our niece...she never.stops.moving. Except while sleeping. I adore her.

The Tall Guy (yes, he's wearing a Rav T, isn't he awesome?) and I at the Reynolda Gardens . They were so pretty!

Baby H. is awesome. I really didn't want to put him down all weekend.
Happy Friday ya'll! Stay cool!!!!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The world's fastest sock and a recipe

I've been working on a variety of projects that I've either a) been too lazy to take a picture of or b) are gifts that will remain un-blogged until the intended receiver has the goods. So, in the meantime, I've been working on a sock that seems to be knitting itself!

Strange angle, I know, but that's what you get when I take a picture at work with my phone... I'll try harder in the future... if you're looking closely you'll notice that I'm using a Knitpicks harmony needle (birthday gift). My first time using one and so far, so good! I like how sharp the needle is and the join is smooth! Thanks Kim!
I'll share all the details when the socks are complete, but I must say, my friend Woolarina hit this color/base combo out of the park! I love it!

Other things that are making me happy at the moment are the fruits of our "farm". The Tall Guy is most assuredly in charge, but I've been having fun cooking with the veggies that come out of our garden. The broccoli came from our neighbor's garden and the radishes and snap peas from ours.

I improvise recipes a lot... probably why I'm a better cook then baker, but here's the gist of what I did.

Summer Salad
Sugar snap peas
sliced almonds
I used about a full head of broccoli, 1/2 cup of snap peas, a reallllly big radish and about 1/2 cup of almonds... It was what I had on hand and I went with it!
I'm guessing on the amounts, like with any homemade dressing, taste as you go!
1/4 cup vegetable oil (I normally use olive oil, but sometimes the flavor is too overpowering and I wanted the focus to be on the veggies)
1/8 cup rice wine vinegar (I like how "bright" this vinegar tastes, you could also use apple cider vinegar)
1 teaspoon honey (Also locally sourced! This old guy down the street has bee hives! And yes, we do live in a city environment!)
Lawry's seasoning salt and garlic powder. I added these until I liked the taste.. a few shakes of the salt and about the same for the garlic. You can use fresh minced garlic too, but I was being lazy.

What to do...

*Boil some water, throw in the broccoli and peas until they turn bright green.. truly, no more then 30 seconds.
*Drain and rinse w/cold water or plunge into an ice bath to chill very quickly.
*Slice the radish thinly
*Toast the almonds until brown (I use our toaster oven for everything!)
*Toss all the veggies/almonds together and then whisk the dressing together, pour over and serve or chill until time to eat!

This is a pretty forgiving recipe which I think I'll be using a lot this summer as various veggies come up in the garden. Are you gardening this summer? Do you prefer flowers to veggies? I'm always curious what others are up to!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Nom nom nom

So, for a moment we'll depart from our normal crafty talk and focus on one of my other loves. Food. Or food and beer...or food and beer and coffee. And by talk, really I mean show with a few needed captions. It's that sort of day.

Redhook went and stopped making my favorite beer this year (Sun Rye). It's been replaced by Rope Swing. I'm not happy, but it's not stopping me from drinking it. (Pretty tasty)

The Tall Guy and I walked into a coffee shop last week and this was on the front entrance. I was mesmerized by the idea of a bacon latte. While you may or may not be aware that bacon is the one thing that will always keep me from being vegetarian, I couldn't bring myself to order it. Plain ol' iced skim latte for this girl.

This is the said caffe, if you're interested in getting one yourself.
A few weeks ago I made dinner and I thought it was pretty, so I took a picture.

Potato leek soup and a green salad with toasted almonds and sauteed lemon soy tempeh. Pretty tasty!
Which then leads me to my final thought for the day... I'm in love with this cookbook, called Clean Food. The website is here. I don't normally push products, but this one is a winner. My HLP sent it to me for my birthday and I've spent quite a bit of time reading it the past few months. The maple mustard tempeh was a hit and there are plenty of other "normal" but, still vegetarian dishes in there for those that are not quite down with tofu/tempeh etc.
The Tall Guy and I are off on an adventure this weekend to see a bunch of family. I'm happy to report this includes the two cutest little ones on the planet! (As proven here).

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

And the summer begins...

Summer is always a crazy time around here for us. The bed and breakfast (our guest room) opens and it's non stop from May til November with traveling and visitors. This year, things started a little early with a trip to Aruba for Jessie and K's wedding. Mentally, I'm still there!

Here's a photo of the Tall Guy and I from the rehearsal dinner. The light was amazing that evening and our new friend Brian was an amazing photographer!
En route to Aruba I started the Traveling Woman shawl-ette. It seemed fitting for the travel that will be happening this spring and I thought it would be a good take-along project. Frankly, it's going faster then expected, so it may not be making it on to any other planes!

I've knit another 5 or 6 rows since this photo.

The yarn is The Sanguine Gryphon Bugga! in Cowkiller (I really don't like the name...) and let me tell you something. This is the first time I've knit with Bugga! and I can say that I understand the hype. Holy amazing yarn. I can't say I've ever understood what people meant when they said a yarn felt amazing to knit with until this shawl.

In the meantime, we have the Tall Guys's sister and her husband in town for a few days. I'm looking forward to good food, some tourist visiting and then this weekend? Nothing. A nice quiet weekend ahead and one of the few of this sort for a very, very long time. Hurray Summer!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Knit knit knit

This project has been a slow-going sort of knit.
The Featherweight Cardigan! I just got through the shoulder increases today and divided for the sleeves. At this point, I hope to have it done before it gets chilly again! I'm knitting with Malabrigo sock (the pattern calls for lace).

Monday, April 12, 2010

Me? Obsess? Never....

So, a few of you asked me about what sort of material I'm using for my napkin quest. I made my decision on this one pretty easily and for a few reasons... 100% cotton all the way! Basically, it's easy to care for, I like the way cotton feels, there are a million and one fabric choices out there and, it's a bit more friendly on the enviornment then poly blends. Sure, poly blends don't wrinkle and may not hold a stain as quick but, cotton is more absorbent and doesn't have that weird smell and feel a lot of other materials have. I'm going with wild prints to hide any stains that may pop up in time.

This little project is also a great excuse for me to purchase really cute and random fabric. Or at least use the cute and random fabric I've purchased in the past....
And if you happen to be keeping count, I'm up to 10... I haven't decided what my goal is at this point, we'll have to see...

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Exhausted, but in that good Sunday evening sort of way

It's been a busy weekend from beginning to end, celebrating the Tall Guy's birthday, playing outside, going for my first run/jog in a verrrrrry long time and even doing some crafting. Frankly I'm too tired to tell you a ton, so I'll just show you a few highlights instead. I hope everyone enjoyed the nice weather, wherever you are!

This Damson is for Jessie. She's getting married in a few weeks and I helped her out by knitting this up in the yarn of her choice (Neighborhood Fiber Co. sock in Palisades). As always this is one of my favorite little shawl patterns.

And after a very long hiatus away from a sewing machine, I pulled one out and hemmed some "fat quarters" today... Taa Daa, we have napkins!
While far from perfect, these will do just the job I want them to... I've been obsessing over how much paper we toss, so I made a plan to buy up a bunch of fun fabric to make everyday napkins. This blog was my inspiration awhile ago Four down and I have a stack of fabric to go! I used this tutorial here.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

A year later...

One of my resolutions this year was to work my way through the UFO's (unfinished objects) that were floating around the house.

A few weeks ago when digging around, looking for something else, I found a one completed sock and one at the heel turn. I had bought this wee skeins kit at last year's Homespun Yarn Party! I quickly recalled that about a year ago I had thrown down the second sock, completely annoyed by the short row heel.
Picking back up and taking my time, I found this to be a super easy issue to overcome and yes, they look crazy, but fun, right? Right?

I love our garden gnome! (Yes, he's riding a pig, no idea why)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Gratuitous kid shot

It's been awhile since I've shown off my adorable niece, long enough that you haven't seen my equally handsome new nephew.

Pretty sure they are reason alone for the Tall Guy and I to stick to a dog... really, how can our potential offspring be any more gorgeous then these two!?!?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Embracing the world in wool...

It seems I've lamented time and again, that while I do have some amazingly cool friends in DC, my nearest and dearest are spread all over the country and world nowadays... this caused me to realize recently that since I don't see these friends as often as I'd like (as in, they're not at my house for dinner nightly and I'm not meeting them for happy hour every Thursday) I've subconsciously started to wrap them in wool as a long distance hug when I'm missing them. Sometimes I don't even realize what I'm doing as I cast on a project and decide "this is going to X" with no holiday in mind. It simply means I miss them and this is the best way I can show it.
The point of my little ramble is this "shawl-ette".

As you may have noticed, I'm not really a purple person, but my best friend is and she lives in San Francisco. One of the great things about being a knitter is that that city is a place where you can always use a little light something around your neck, even in the "warmest" of months. Details:
Pattern: Citron
Yarn: Malabrigo Lace in Velvet Grapes. Took about 3/4 of a skein
Needles: Size 5
Mods: None.
Comments: This pattern went fairly fast when I put my mind to it, but the last repeat has a sort of out of control stitch count, so it took awhile to get through them!

So, HLP, here's a hug for you, and can't wait to see you soon-ish!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Embracing the pink

Last year, around this time, I had a new favorite sweater. Shortly after finishing, I ran into a deal on the Dizzy Sheep and bought another sweater's worth in a different colorway. It's only taken a year for me to knit it again, with just a few modifications!
Over time I realize that my favorite sweater construction not just for its ease of knitting, but how it also fits me is the top-down raglan. It has everything I like in a sweater...clean, classic lines, easy knit and a million ways to customize it!
Pattern: Francis revisited
Yarn: Berroco Ultra Alpaca, about 3.9 skeins
Needles: Size 10.5
Modifications: I knit the body about 3 inches longer the the pattern called for and only one increase/decrease on the body. I knit the sleeves a bit longer as well. In addition, I didn't do any increasing on the sleeves and did a garter ridge on the sleeves, collar and hemline instead of seed stitch. The most obvious mod, of course is that I left the cowl neck off on this one.

I've already started another top down raglan again! This time, it will be a v-neck. What can I say, for my day-t0-day clothes I am nothing, if not a creature of habit.