Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Polwarth to Scarf Therapy

Sometimes people ask my why I knit.  Maybe it's because it's the new nerdy.  Sometimes its meticulous and appeals to my OCD.  Sometimes it's soothing, pretty, and demands nothing.  This is one of the latter:
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That's a brainless, nameless, garter stitch scarf that got me through last week. We'll skip over most of the details, but I killed an iPod, had several family members through various health-blahs, knit four socks that didn't fit, and cried about stats.  This scarf was my fall back.

It's about 200 yards of handspun.  It even has adorable little Celtic Knot buttons so it can be worn as a cowl like this:
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(Please ignore the squinting and the sun :)


I knit it from this:
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220 yards of chain plied Polwarth.  I had heard Polwarth has the softness of merino without all that pesky pilling that comes from short staple length.  I found it to be lofty and soft, but much easier to spin than merino.   The colorway is Time Wars, and its from (where else?) Corgi Hill Farms.  Seriously, I have an addiction to her colorsense and range of fibers.  I'm even picking out the fiber for this year's Tour de Fleece....

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Key Lime - Both Pie and Socks!

For St Patrick's day we indulged in a bit of Key Lime Pie.  I hatched the plan on International Pi Day, as it was a great chance to bake something in my pi plate, and make something green!
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After a bit of eating...
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The pie is from Dorie Greenspan's Florida Pie recipe, only without the meringue.  If you don't have the book you can see the recipe here (as well as some other tasty treats from a neat food blogger).  While I enjoy meringue on its own, there were enough flavors in this by itself!  I also made the crust myself, from stale bunny crackers in the food processor.  This earned it the name pureed bunny crust - but don't let that stop you!  It's a great way to use up crackers a bit past their prime.

I also finished up these socks.
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259 yards of yet another sock blank.  I can't get over these things - I just love the way the colors dye up into the machine-knit yarns.  This time we had a combination of limey yellow-greens with just a bit of brown for the graham cracker crust.  I love them.

They don't fit me.

I knit them in a tube, from the toe up, and did an afterthought heel a la Elizabeth Zimmerman via Yarn Harlot. Great idea.  Heel is in the wrong place entirely.  I'm in search of a petite-footed friend on whom to bestow them.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Summer is Coming

And I've got a sweater for it!
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The pattern is Hannah Fettig's Featherweight Cardi, with a few mods.  Mostly I extended the arms and body to make it a little warmer against summer AC.  It's 1082 yards of knit Picks Shadow.  This has taken months to finish, and it falls under both the 'Queued for longer than a year' and sweater category!
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I also modded the collar/front/edging a bit, in the style of the Forestry (which is still one of my all time fave sweaters).  While that collar worked for the relatively heavy City Tweed, it was not perfect for the shadow.  It's a bit floppy, which you can see in the above picture.  I may or may not tack it down.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Grab and Go Veggie and Egg Breakfasts

When I started eating healthier several years ago, breakfast was one of my biggest struggles.  Everyone seemed to agree that eating breakfast was important, but the morning time crunch makes it hard!  Plain cereal just made me more hungry and premade frozen breakfast burritos or biscuits were loaded with all kinds of things I was trying to avoid.

I needed something quick (or premade) and portable that I could eat in the car/train or reheat once I got to work.  Preferably something with vegetables, lots of flavor, and some protein.  I finally worked it out, and thought some of you might be interested!  For those of you interested, these are all Phase I appropriate for the South Beach Diet.  For those of you who don't care, they're just really good.

I make these mostly with frozen broccoli florets, which I buy from Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, and Costco.  I've also made them with frozen Brussel sprouts and fresh broccoli.

A note on the jars:  I use 16 ounce canning jars for this recipe (and many other things).  I think they're beautiful, useful, and the glass is non-reactive and safe at high temperatures which is great for the oven or microwave (unlike plastic).  Also, their lids fit really tightly and I don't have to worry about the food spilling all over my bag on the way to work.  You can see them here.  I found them both at Target (in the kitchen section) and my local grocery store (in the canning section).

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Grab and Go Veggie and Egg Breakfasts
Needed Ingredients:
5 heat-proof jars
5 c frozen broccoli (1 cup for each jar)
10 eggs

Optionional Ingredients (to taste):
a) Cheddar cheese and garlic salt
b) Soy sauce, sesame oil, and cashews
c) Garlic, thyme, and a triangle of laughing cow cheese
d) Pepper, thyme, and lemon juice
e) Oregano, garlic, spponful of tomato sauce, and Mozzarella (I often use string cheese)

Make ahead version:
Put jars on cookie sheet and preheat oven to 325F.  Put 1 c of broccoli in each jar,  Put 2 eggs in each jar, and optional ingredients on top.  Bake for about 20 minutes, stpulling out to stir once or twice to get the flavors mixed in.

Hurried, 'that morning' version:
I'll be honest and tell you that this is generally the one that I end up making despite my plans to plan ahead.  Dump broccoli in jar.  Microwave for two minutes.  (Go brush your teeth or start getting dressed!)  Crack in two eggs.  Microwave for two minutes (finish getting dressed!).  Add rest of ingredients, throw on the lid and go!