Sunday, November 29, 2009


Sunday means family dinner in this neck of the woods. Literally, considering I pretty much live in a commune.

This Sunday we're celebrating my brother in law's birthday. His name, coincidentally, is Kevin.

Family dinner is potluck, and I made birthday cupcakes. Keenan, my nephew, told me his dad's favorite color is blue, so I went with it. Why not?

Our gift to him? A hat, of course. Meathead, to be specific.

As soon as I saw this hat, I knew I had to make it for him. He is a social worker and he enjoys entertaining his clients with his crazy hats. This one fits the bill.

The yarn is Mirasol Sulka, a blend of merino, alpaca and silk. It's incredible-so soft and warm. I am in love with every Mirasol yarn I have touched. Hope Kevin likes it, too.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Busy Times

Oh, this fall. This fall has been so busy, I have hardly had a chance to breathe. It seems like there is something going on every single day, and many days, there are multiple things. Which is why I haven't posted anything in 2 weeks.

I have been working on this leaf beret for a long time-maybe two months! See how it's finished here? What you can't tell is that it is gigantic. I tried it on and it was at least 2 inches too big around. It fell into my eyes and looked so ridiculous.

And so I ripped it out. I unraveled the whole thing and wound the yarn into a ball so I could start over. And now I am almost done with take 2. And it is so much better! It fits like it should, which is lovely.

If you click on the photo, you can see it much larger. Which you should do, so you can see the leaf pattern. This was my very first time knitting from a chart! And while it was a little weird at first, I kind of love it now. It makes sense for something like this, where every round is different than the one before it. My mother in law bought me a really cool metal board and magnet set, so I can put the chart on the board and hold it in place with the magnets. There's one really long magnet to mark your spot with. So great, this set. I am not in love with the leaf pattern, but I do like knitting it and I love the yarn. So much. It's Mirasol Tupa, and it's half merino and half silk. It is so soft and it has this sheen to it. I love it.

And this is my new yarn for my new project, which I will begin as soon as the beret is done. It's Manos Del Uruguay Rittenhouse, which is a plied merino. It is incredible! So soft, so lovely, and the tag for every skein has the name of the woman who spun it written on it.

I am about to embark on the biggest knitting adventure I have had: my first sweater. Well, technically my second sweater, but my first sweater was size 6-12 months and was for Baby Dana. It took me 9 months to knit that tiny thing! This sweater is for me, and it will be significantly larger and more complicated. It's the Central Park Hoodie, and if you look at the pattern you will notice it is cabled. I am both terrified and excited to be starting this. Thank you to Tracy, who invited me and Dana over to wind my skeins into cakes on her swift. THAT was fun!

And a little bit of sewing has happened, too. Just a bit. I made Dana a skirt out of scraps. She loves it! Even though it isn't pink or purple, her two approved colors. She had no shirts to go with it, so I found a tank and a long sleeved shirt at Old Navy and spiced them up with the Amy Butler print and some Wonder Under.

Clearly she has had her photo taken before. Little ham!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Random Produce

My parents have a Granny Smith tree in their yard. It is a prolific tree that produces gigantic fruit. Unfortunately, the apples are dry and sour and not useful for anything other than baking. And really, you can only bake so many apple treats at once.

So today my dad called. He was working outside and caught a glimpse of the Granny Smith tree, leafless but heavy with fruit. And he thought he would taste one. Just for the heck of it. And they are delicious! He suggested I come over and pick a bunch, not for baking but for eating.

So we put on parkas, hats, mittens and boots because it was cold out, and we trekked next door with a bag. We each tasted an apple, and WOW-my dad wasn't kidding! They are awesome! Juicy, sweet and delicious. Apparently they need to freeze 30 times or so before they are edible. So we picked a tote full, which probably weighs 20 pounds.

And then we picked some carrots. Check out the size of this one! That is MY hand, not a child's hand. Just ignore the Littlest Pet Shop bandage. I had a run-in with a paring knife while prepping the carrots.

And at dinner tonight, we finished off the first jar of pickles. Remember back in August when I made pickles? They are finally done and are amazing. What a relief!

So remember way back in January, when I made vanilla out of beans my parents brought back from Huahine? I've been using it for a couple of months now and it is so very nice. I split this into 5 smaller bottles for easier use, and I have already finished one of them. There's a teeny bit left in this bottle, as you can see. But do you see that brown stuff all over the bottle? That's the vanilla caviar. It is lovely stuff.

I am finishing up a small knitting project, and hopefully I can post that tomorrow. Things have been crazy busy around here for the last 2 months. I am thrilled that things may slow down. Even with the holidays approaching, it can't be as nuts as September and October were.