take one

Have you ever made something, that you thought was too tight, so you block the you know what out of it, and then it is too big?  Yeah.  Me, too.  I'll be back after I re-block with all the specifics.
Have a great day!

a kicker

The beginning of the summer pretty much kicks my butt every year.  I have visions of days like this saturday... but they are anything but that.  I will get used to all this running soon.  I am sure of it.
Last Sunday was a bit of what I had been wanting.  A day at home.  I mean ALL day at home.  I spent most of the day in the kitchen, with an occasional helper floating in and out.  There was a fathers day breakfast of challah french toast, granola and bagels (didn't make them) with vegetable cream cheese. Then, hummus, pita chips, lots of  raw vegetables, grilled shrimp with mango salsa, grilled vegetables, a huge salad, corn on the cob, sour dough bread with garlic scape pesto, and warm peach cobbler.
I marinated the shrimp in lime juice, olive oil and cilantro.  For the mango salsa, I used 2 mangos diced, 1/2 red onion, minced, lime juice and a pinch of cayenne.
My absolute favorite was the bread.  I posted a photo on flickr asking what it was.  I have never seen a scape.  Seriously! I know! And Julie mentioned Brian's post and the next thing I knew I was making this.  I spread the scape pesto on sour dough bread, sprinkled feta cheese and criss crossed roasted red peppers on top.  Baked at 350˚ for 20 minutes.  Sliced on the diagonal about every 1 1/2 inches.  Seriously delicious.  My sister makes this bread with an Italian loaf,  basil pesto and jack cheese.  Still including the red peppers.
It stayed light until around 9:15 pm.  Love that.  It was just long enough to knit two rows before falling into bed.  Not nearly enough knitting time, but I plan on changing that this week.
A great day to kick off the beginning of summer.

girls weekend

Last friday, after I put my kids on the bus, I hopped in the car and headed for Columbus, OH, for TNNA. Meeting my sister and mother there for the same reasons as before.  If you don't know anything about TNNA, it is where the retailers go to buy for their shops.  When I tell people where I am going, most look at me like I have lost my mind.  They can't believe I actually enjoy this sort of thing.  My kids call it the "knitting show" and I do believe they still think that I am on the stage, knitting.
But you all.  I KNOW you all would LOVE this.  So, I thought I would share a few things from the weekend.
Larissa, from Offhand Designs.  She is wonderful, as are her knitting bags.  They are stylish and sturdy with lots and lots of pockets. 
I just had to see the new line from Blue Sky Alpaca, Spud & Chloe.  Ali is designing patterns for them.  The yarn and patterns are absolutely wonderful.  The packaging of the patterns is adorable.  Like a sewing pattern.  You know, in its own envelope, and you pull it out and unfold it just like a sewing pattern.  LOVED it.
There are always a lot of book signings.  Nicky Epstein couldn't have been more lovely.  She stood and chatted with my mom and sister about her inspiration for her books.
I think you know how much I love Classic Elite.  Their combination of yarn/pattern is truly my favorite.  A couple of designers have joined their strong team.  Veronik Avery is launching her line of yarn along with a magazine. 
St-Denis yarn.  A soft wool in a fantastic range of colors.  I'd like to make several of her designs, and I have one in mind for Libby.  I'll have to wait though, as the yarn will not even hit stores until later in the summer.
And you all know mr. brooklynntweed.  He has a collection of gorgeous patterns that he has designed for them.  I got to get my photo with him.  However, I decided to take a nap while smiling.  The look just wasn't becoming.  But that really is Jared Flood, I promise.  And he is adorable.
I fell in love with a sweater in the fall '09 issue of VOGUEknitting.  Actually, there were a couple I liked.  Oh! And do you know about VK360˚?  Seeing the garment from every angle. Genius, if you ask me.  
Oh!  And another thing.  Interweave Knits also had some really cute patterns in their Fall 2009.  There is one in particular where the cable collar comes around and makes pockets.  Sounds weird?  I know.  Look for it though, I got to try it on and it was really cute.
All that yarn handling just made us want to knit.  And knit.  And knit.
Enjoy your day!

summer '09

Andrew's pick for cookie of the week. "Chocolate", was all he said.  I found this recipe.
Hit our s'more stash for the chocolate.
And voila, chocolate cookies.  My dough was a little like brownie batter.  You know, a little thinner than cookie dough.  So it required a couple of hours in the refrigerator.  Also, the recipe said it will make 3 dozen.  I got 16 cookies out of it.  They were chewy in the middle and crispy on the outside.  And if we had more would have been seriously delicious with ice cream. Unfortunately, those sixteen disappeared before they even had a chance to be served with ice cream.  Maybe next time.
This was the last "official" cookie of the week.  Not that there won't be cookies, there will.  Just not for a while.  We will be busy doing other things.  
Like jumping for joy.  Today is the last day of school..... welcome Summer of '09!

the other five

Don't you just love being the first one up in your home? Nothing but the birds and your coffee and the sunrise. And to steal a couple of moments alone to knit or read or be. I know! It is the best.
So, here they are.  The remaining five.
Katie on the left, Beki on the right.
Melissa on the left, Jona on the right.
I absolutely love how this quilt will have a part of these eleven women and I am forever grateful.  An added piece of their fabric, an embroidery detail, a french knot, an idea, a thought, a moment in their life.  And I will bring them all together and hopefully Libby will always be reminded of the love of giving and caring and creating.  As my friend, Ana, put it "Libby will most certainly love the quilt for the story that is 12 women sharing their talent and time becoming one little girls whispers and dreams".  I love that.

six of the twelve

I wanted to share the squares that I received from the other participants of the twelve square. Remember the concept?
Back in January I mailed out little bundles of fabric to eleven women.  I told them that the finished quilt will be for Libby and that "anything goes".  Just have fun.
Look what they came up with!
Autumn on left, Kathryn on right.
Jessica on left, Kristena on right.
Can you believe it?!  You can only imagine how great it was to receive these packages.
Back tomorrow with the other five.

you can

Wow. You guys are the absolute best.   Thank you so much for all the plisse love.
Here is the thing though.  If you can make a knit stitch.  And you can make a purl stitch.  And okay, maybe fix a dropped stitch.  Then YOU can make anything.  Honestly.  YOU can.  
The hardest thing about knitting is reading the pattern.  And I guess actually knowing what it means.  However, if you have someone that can help you decipher a pattern, then you can make anything.  
The first thing I ever knit was a sweater.  I learned how to cast on, knit and purl, all within that first project.  My mother helped me and I actually had her sitting next to me every step of the way. (Blessed and lucky, I know.) I was in college on my three week winter break.  Cold weather in Florida meant movie time and okay maybe I should learn to knit time.  I did.  And actually headed back to college wearing my new sweater. 
So, I say, don't let a project intimidate you.  If you have someone that can help, then go for it.
Last weeks cookie:  Lemon-poppy seed wafers.  Powdered sugar optional.  But playing with powdered sugar and wearing white lips is fun.  (Crazies.)
1 cup unsalted butter, softened :: 3/4 c sugar :: 2 egg yolks :: 2 Tbls lemon peel :: 1 tsp vanilla extract :: 1 1/2 c flour :: 1/4 cup poppy seeds 
Cream butter, sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg yolks, lemon peel, vanilla.  Gradually beat in flour and seeds.   Place dough on wax-paper.  Fold paper over and form log.  Refrigerate for 1 hour or freeze for 30 minutes.  Cut dough into 1/4 inch thick slices.  Place on cookie sheet about 1 inch apart.  Bake at 350˚ for about 15 minutes.