Sunday, August 16, 2009

Knitting on the edge

See I still knit lace. I'm on the edge of the Simurgh stole already...

Ok, it's just the first edge of the first half, but I've still been knitting my head off. This thing has grown into a beast and I love it. I made a mistake (of course) where instead of knitting 4 repeats of the middle section, I knit 8. Oh well, I just won't knit the other 4 when I pick up the middle for the second half. I know this means it won't be symmetrical but I don't care. I'll love it anyway.

Another big thing I've been doing a lot of lately is cooking. A. Lot. I've always loved to cook, but lately I feel like I'm starting to COOK. In a new way. I read The Omnivore's Dilemma earlier this summer. Wow. Between that and a way more successful recession garden this year my thoughts about food and where it comes from and what's good to eat have been changing significantly. I pay attention more. Our meals have been much more veggie-centered and there's a lot less red meat and processed foods around. And I think it's great. And it's changed the act of cooking itself for me. Earlier today I was cooking and thinking that I'm starting to cook the way I knit. I think about it, just like I always think about knitting so much. And it's not unusual for me to find myself in the kitchen for long stretches of time, kind of just finding my way along something involved, but totally enjoying it. I've abandoned almost all of the frozen stuff I used to rely on for quick midweek dinners and found ways to whip up a quick pizza, or stack a bunch of veggies and hummus in a wrap for a veggie sandwich. On the weekends I try to snatch longer stretches of time trying out the new recipes I came across during the week that I've been thinking about. Which brings me to this weekend- last night the husband grilled up some lamb chops (yes there is still some meat, I cannot give it up entirely) and I made the Summer Squash Gratin from my new favorite food blog 101 Cookbooks. I adore this blog and the recipe came out decent-I think some of my modifications might not have been that helpful. Oh well, can't win them all, husband liked it a lot though. Then this afternoon I whipped up The Cream of Fresh Tomato Soup from Barefoot Contessa, just to try it out and to stash in the fridge for some lunches this week. That was a big success-yummy and it helped me cut down the surplus of tomatoes from the garden that was starting to build up! Then for dinner this evening I continued my ongoing summer of 2009 experiment of pizza on the grill.

Yum. This one I'm still getting the hang of-hence the one unintentionally heart-shaped pizza and the other one that's kind of shaped like a kidney. Every time I make the pizza on the grill I start out thinking it will be the last, I'm still struggling with the dough a little, it always seems like it's going to just fall to shreds until I actually get it on the grill and cooking. But then once it's there it's just so easy, it gets so nicely charred and crispy. And it's soooo tasty that when we finally do get to eat it we always wonder why we don't eat these all the time. Here the big one and the heart shaped one are BBQ chicken pizza-BBQ sauce, chicken, monterey jack cheese and red onion. The other 2 are simple-homemade pesto and feta cheese. All were delicious. Enough to make me keep trying I suppose!

Sunday, August 09, 2009

More like the Summer of Infrequent Blogging....

Oh gosh, no posts since June! Talk about a busy summer. It's been bbq's and weekend trips and fun stuff as far as the eye can see. Which is great, but doesn't fair well for the knitting blog. Well, I am still knitting, and I am still knitting lace, but there have been other things too.

Pattern: Easy Baby Cardigan from Knitting Pure and Simple
Yarn: Vanna's Choice by Lion Brand

Simple yarn and a simple pattern equals a great gift! This was for a baby shower I went to in July. The mom to be is a great knitted gift recipient, so sweet and appreciative, I knew I had to make something. Now, when they say Easy Baby Cardigan, it sure was easy. I added the button and button holes to the pattern, I like them better than the ties and this came out so cute! Vanna's Choice is simple acrylic, nothing that's going to set the fiber world on fire, true, but a good baby yarn powerhouse-machine washable and will hold up through and through. And the color is Dusty Purple. It's sweet for a little girl but not too froufy. Perfect.

Also meet Absorba, the bathmat from the first Mason Dixon knitting book. This came about one night when I went to knitting group and literally finished the yarn I had for the project I was working on. I went and bought 16 balls of Sugar and Cream cotton, and a new Size 15 circular and was on my way with this one. It is so squishy and wonderful. I'm going to love having the versatility of the cotton washcloths as a bathmat. It's also my specified garter stitch knitting for those tv dance shows I love where I just can't look away from the screen that much. A must have.

In addition to knitting, there is a new hobby which will I'll wait to talk about in a later post, and also gardening is back in fashion this year. The Recession Garden lives again it sure does have me on my toes!

Back and bigger than ever, at 20' by 30' it is a big garden. It has to be big to accommodate my wide margin of error! Well, so far only the pepper plants have been a big mistake this year. A ton of rain and cold weather in June just knocked them right out with some type of devastating black spot yuckiness. But other than that things have pretty much been so far so good.

This might not look like a huge harvest but lately it's been about this much that I've been bringing in every other day. Even the zucchini is abundant! And I'm way past the squash borer season at this point so I think I've made it. I injected the stems with BT this year regularly and it seems to have worked. The tomatoes are now coming in full swing and oh yeah, there are quite a few green beans. Summer, it's what's for dinner.