Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Stalled Out on Shawls

Ten shawls.  Four down, six to go, and two of them are on the needles.  And I'm just not feeling it.  While lots of people like to knit shawls and socks in the summer, I always find myself with a lapful of large, cozy sweater. Right now I'm thinking of either another Brigid, or the Fireside Sweater.  Maybe it will be done in time for nice, cool weather...

But!  I got a new sewing machine, and it works, and I totally made a little, lined zippered bag!  I used this tutorial, and it was fantastic.  I don't even have the zipper foot, yet, but it turned out really well.
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I needed a new change/cash/usb key bag to toss in my purse and this is it!  I didn't have any interfacing, so I threw in some quilt batting to give it some heft.  It's a little big, so I'm planning another one, with a smaller zipper.  Since every Joann Fabric store that I've visited in the area has been totally off-putting, I dove into our rag-bag and removed some zippers from old jeans and khakis.  I sense a wealth of little zippered pockets in my future!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Recipe Countdown: The Plunge!

I've decided, thanks to your votes (hi girls!) to take the plunge.  I've created a little page on the blog for finished recipes and have been diligently keeping track of what I cook.  I'm toying with different organization ideas but, for now, you can find the finished recipes in the side bar and the ticker under 'Dopamine Circuit'.  I hardly want to bombard my few but loyal readers with daily recipes, but I'll link to some of the more interesting ones.

Phew.  Commitment to excel.  Gotta love it.

So far the best night has been a 3 recipe Chicken Parmesan night that involved the whole family.  Sweet Pea couldn't stop dredging the chicken in parmesan and she declared the result better than chicken nuggets.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Felici Set

I like the idea of self-striping yarns, but I often find that the joins between the colors to be too jarring.  I also needed to knit up a quick gift, and am nearly out of worsted weight yarn.  So I tried holding this Felici doubled and.... ta da!  Much subtler color shifts, very light but bouncy fabric and the whole set knit up in 3 days.

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The set is 450 yards of Felici in Dakota, with a smidge of Essential (now Stroll) in Grass thrown in to make the hat long enough.  The Dakota is long discontinued now, I think.  The set is for the Little Dude's teacher.  They've already had their last day of school but, luckily, she'll be at the summer camp as well because I didn't manage to finish it on time.

In other news; I'm just about to get another sewing machine!  My Huskystar C10 is a few years old and I completely hate it.  I won't go into a full review here, but the beast and I do not get along.  I think I'm moving up to an Emerald 183 from my adorable local sewing store.  Anyone have experience with that line?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Recipe Countdown

I've started a new project.  There are no needles, no gauge, no plying.  The plan is to make 365 recipes in a year, beginning june 1. The point is to write down the recipes that I make all the time, and try all the new ones that I find.  I think about my mom's little plexigas recipe box, filled with snippings and 3x5 cards, and I want a place like that to keep mine.  I've tried in the past and (guess what?) not finished.  So, here's to the finishing of projects!

The feasibility analysis has quickly turned into actually starting the project.  I hit the kitchen on June 1st with some initial jam making. Let's be clear. This is not a commitment to make a full dinner, at home, every night.  Really. I am not going to turn into a food blogger.  I will not try 30 iterations of a recipe in one week until I get the right one. I will not take pictures of everything I make.  But I did go out tonight and buy a mandoline and a meat tenderizer tonight.

So, what do you think?  Anyone interested in a few recipes here and there?  Anyone?  Anyone?  Bueller?

Friday, June 4, 2010

Celtic Knot

This week has been a crazy week, but last ee was a productive week here and Chez Book! Not only do I have a completed shawl and a completed handspun project, but my carpal tunnel syndrome is killing me!

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Celtic Knit stole. 854  yards of Knit Picks Gloss Lace in Stirling.  I'm not wild about the pictures, but I'm still getting the hang of the new camera.  And that's 4 of 10 shawls for 2010.  This one went pretty quickly, and the pattern seemed fairly intuitive to me.  Again, I cut out a repeat.  I did three knots, rather than four.  It huge and I was running out of yarn.

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This is the Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang batt from CorgiHillFarm. I swear I'll spin something not from her again, but I'm not sure when.  I've already got another braid (cashmere blend - yum!) on the wheel right now.  For this batt, however, I got two skeins of singles, for a total yardage of 327 yards.  I made an effort to keep this thicker than the laceweight singles that I've been getting.  As a result it's pretty rustic looking.  It's my first attempt to spin for a specific project.