Sunday, June 22, 2008

Recipe and Baby Pattern Suggestions Welcome!

Forgive the gratuitous kitten shot but they're really cute. The kittens have been growing like weeds.

The other thing grown like weeds? The weeds in the recession garden. I'm plugging away, I think I'm a week or so away from the first red tomato (Take that salmonella!) of the season. And if it doesn't happen at least I know I was able to grow basil and oregano like a rock star.

Although the basil and oregano are very eager for their friend tomato to make an appearance on our dinner plates. Anyone have good non-tomato based recipes for these other than pesto? I know it sounds odd but I'm really not a pesto person... Tonight I'm making some tilapia with a lemon/oregano type of seasoning, hopefully it comes out ok.

The other cool thing I grew this week, this beautiful morning glory.

Chris gave me these seed for my birthday and I love how they've taken off and wound themselves around the banister of our front steps. With really very little care to them, just water mainly. Unfortunately the blooms only seem to last only a day-they come out in the morning and are pretty wilty by the next. But there are lots of closed pods growing on here so hopefully we'll see more soon.

On the knitting front, I can't believe I'm actually typing this but the Mason Dixon Log Cabin baby blanket is almost done. I originally thought it was going to be 5 rows of 4 blocks, but from where I'm at now it's clear, 4 rows of 4 blocks is more than enough.

I'm attaching the blocks using single crochet which surprised me. I usually don't like to attach with single crochet because it can produce kind of a bulky ridge on the wrong side at the seams. But this yarn has just enough drape to still let it lay pretty flat, and I can only imagine it will lay flatter with blocking and time and use. So I think it's working. Once I have the squares all attached I'm just going to do an applied i-cord border and call it a day.

Which leaves me of course with the leftovers... Can you believe it looks like I will only be using half of the yarn I ordered for this project? We were talking about buying yarn at our little knitting group the other night and unlike the folks that felt like sometimes they have a tendency to under-buy I confessed that I think my problem is that when I do buy yarn I buy it like I'm preparing for the apocalypse. The thought of running out of yarn really scares me! So I have a slight tendency to over-buy. How much did I over-buy with this project? Well, using only half the yarn for this baby blanket means I probably could have knit 2 of them if I wanted. Or (it's a pretty big baby blanket) I really probably could have just used all of it to make a full sized adult throw. Seriously. I over bought that much.

So here's a question. I will probably have 8 balls of Comfy left. About 200 yarns of each color. Which is ok-because I do have babies to knit for and this is a great worsted baby yarn. So what are your favorite baby patterns right now? I don't know if I have enough for a sweater, maybe one of those baby kimonos from Mason Dixon? I think I might want to try those. And some hats and booties. Any suggestions? I hear those are little and they go fast. Works for me!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Take some time and grow the tomatoes

Check this out
!!! Looks like I'm not that only person around with a Recession Garden! Can you believe saying sales of seeds and plants are up 40%? 40%! Who says there's no recession? And if finances aren't enough reason to grow your own now it looks like it might be one of the best ways to avoid getting salmonella this summer. I figure at this rate by the time the FDA figures out what happened hopefully I'll be sliding slices of one of these in between some whole wheat bread and mayo. Yum!

Monday, June 09, 2008

Cute Time vs. Knitting Time

Sigh... As if having 2 new kittens around wasn't enough cuteness, I think the house reached cute overload this week when my sister and my niece came to visit.

That's my mom and my adorable niece and this was her first ice cream cone ever! I don't think it will be her last. So there's been ice cream, and eating watermelon, and running through the sprinkler, and having tea parties, and all that fun summer stuff that makes the world seem absolutely huge when you're two years old. It's been exhilarating and exhausting and I know I'll miss the heck out of her and my sister when it's time for them to go back home to Florida. She'll be getting a baby brother in the fall and she'll also be turning 3 and after that she'll never be an only child or 2 years old again. Which is ok, those are things we're all looking forward to. But for now these are times to be savored. So if there hasn't been much knitting this week, I think I'll let it slide.

But that does not mean I haven't been watching the glimpses of knitting I've caught here and there on the horizon. I got the Berrocco KnitBits email the other week with the Fall/Winter collection and just fell head over heels for the new patterns. My absolute favorite, Cosina.

Gorgeous! I don't even know if this would look acceptable on bigger/bustier girls like me but I still adore it. I love the yoke styling and the drapey shape of it. I'll have to stalk it on Ravelry and see how other people do with it.

The other knitting thing I'm into big time this week is the Knitmore Girls Podcast. Jasmin and Gigi are a mother daughter team and I think they're utterly adorable and entertaining and informative. I especially love Gigi's (the mom's) accent. Her accent and voice sound exactly like my husband's aunt Sylvia who is also a knitter. I could close my eyes and swear it was her! And she loves the color red which is a fave of mine too so I can really relate!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Good things are happening...

Sorry not to post for so long, things have been mega busy around here lately, and I think by the end of this post you'll understand. Yes, we did finally make it to Maine and it was absolutely beautiful.

Somehow, going the week before Memorial Day we timed it just right with the weather and the crowds. It was beautiful and idyllic and relaxing. We spent most of our time exploring Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor and eating lobster, blueberries and ice cream. It was a great trip that was a nice break for us. I even got some knitting done there and the Mason Dixon Blanket is coming along nicely.

This pattern is awesome. I know some people find garter stitch boring but I do not, not at all. And the color changes with this pattern keep it just interesting enough. I'm hoping to finish a few more squares soon, finalize how I'm going to lay the squares out and eventually, start seaming. Another project of mine is also moving along nicely. The Recession Garden has finally made it to Garden Status and is no longer just a box of funny plants on my porch!

Approximately 5 minutes after I walked away from this after the first day of planting I walked back to it and found 10 birds happily milling about. Ack! So I consulted my "Gardening for Dummies" book, grabbed the aluminum foil and that's why there are funny bunches of foil all over those stakes. It ain't pretty but it's survived some nasty thunderstorms this week and so far still no birds, so it's staying. And we know we have rabbits around too so that's what the wire fencing is for. The tomato plants I started from seed were looking a little yellow when I planted them. A week later they were officially dead. So I bought some tomato plants from a local garden center and we'll see how that goes. I also got strawberry plants and they even have some tiny green berries already. But the pepper plants I started from seed are doing great, and my herbs I started from seed are doing good. I also planted zucchini, lettuce, cucumber and beans, I'll let you know how those work out.

In other news, the husband and I are once again happy to be new pet parents! Meet Ella.

And Louis.

Giant Husband has been provided for scale. If anyone else reading this is a jazz fan you might pick up on the fact that they are named after Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong. Two of our faves. Ella is now 9 weeks old and Louis is 7 weeks old. They were a little timid when we brought them home last weekend, that's all over now. Now they are friends chasing each other all over the place, play fighting over who gets their favorite fish toy, and falling asleep on anyone's shoulder/lap/chest that will give them the time of day. I'll be honest it was a little bittersweet for me, going to pick out new cat food and cat toys and supplies for a new cat. I still miss our old friend Allister. But these two are nothing but joy. You can't help but smile when they tumble around chasing each other tails. Playing with an empty cardboard box they discovered. We are definitely so happy to be pet owners again!