I feel like a total Scrooge McDuck this holiday season. The tree is actually up, the lights and ornaments on. The first holiday party of the season has already come and gone, but I'm just not in the mood. I am only knitting three holiday gifts, and not one of them is done despite efforts to start and finish them all last month. In fact, I don't have a single holiday gift purchased or completed and I'm busy almost every single day until Christmas Eve, and Hanukah starts this Friday!!!! Bah Humbug indeed.
So the philosoknitter changed her look. After nearly 3 years I've decided to change things up here and go with a bolder, more modern look. What do you think? The new colors are inspired by my recently ordered business cards! That's right the philosoknitter is going professional and apparently referring to herself exclusively in the 3rd person.
Details on the baby knits
Pictures of the first non-scarf item I have ever successfully knit my husband
And a review of my addi clicks!
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So, apparently Tracy Raver's baby photos are all the rage, and I can totally see why, they are adorable, natural and so sweet. But what amazes me are the handknits in many of the photos. They are spectacular, especially the baby "pouches." Where does she get them? And how does one make them? I sent her an email on flickr, so if I am very lucky maybe she'll let me know. Stay tuned. Update: I found two patterns on ravelry. Baby cocoon pea pod and egg, and hanging cocoon. Also Tracy Raver's site is back up, so here's the link. I'm going to keep working on this mystery. These would make perfect gifts.
The fall 2009 interweave knits preview is out - and it's gorgeous! I am no longer subscribing because of too much dissapointment, but I am actually going to go out and buy this issue. It is filled with loverly knits and items to inspire. Drool:
Apparently I am in the midst of another baby deluge. Everyone I know is pregnant, again. And apparently I am obsessed with garter stitch - so squishy, it just screams "wrap me around a little teeny tiny person!" My first baby project is all finished except for those pesky ends to weave in and a quick wash. It's the log cabin above in knitpicks swish bulky. I really like that yarn, especially for a superwash. So squishy. I need to get it all finished and off in the mail because that little one will be here any day now.
And now, I am on to my first attempt at EZ's baby surprise jacket (ravelry link). So far I like it. It's odd not really understanding the construction, but I'm trying to just go with it. I am happy with my yarn choice as well, Mission Falls 1824 Cotton Whirl in a fun pink/orange/purple mix called dusk. It's for my cousin's baby girl due in October, who's parents are the artsy creative type. I hope it turns out, because I think it will be really cute. I still need to pick up supplies for Emmet's little brother Sawyer's present. He's actually next up for arrival, but I didn't have the yarn on hand and the project shouldn't take too much time. After that there are the two November babies, one boy, one girl, and another baby in January. Luckily no December babies because I have special project for my mom for x-mass this year. With all this knitting, school starting back up next month, and my dissertation trucking along, I should be able to keep out of trouble - mostly.
The giant zucchini plants continue to churn out zucchinis. I'm still trying to figure out something to make with the two larger ones... Below, are three of my beets. I'm not sure if I harvested them at the right time, but whatever. The baby carrots are thinnings. The green beans were more plentiful than I expected from our relatively small little plants. I blanched the beans. Sautéed the smaller zucchs. And did this with the beet greens. It was all really tasty. The beet greens were a new thing for us. I really liked the recipe (linked above) and would make it again, although I may skip the bacon and go for olive oil. It's been fun trying out all sorts of new recipes to accommodate our fresh garden goods and I have to say that the zucchini from our garden is the best I have ever had - the flavor is just amazing. Now I'm hungry again.
Our garden has several giant zucchini plants. We have already harvested and had a full dinner of zucchini fruits, but I was looking for more recipes for the delicious veggie, when I came across recipes for fried zucchini blossoms. Apparently they are quite the delicacy and so I decided to try it.
Above the zucchini plants in our garden and below the lovely zucchini blossoms (one girl, up front, and the rest boys) I followed the this recipe and tutorial to make the ricotta and garlic stuffed zucchini blossoms . Matt helped, and it was really pretty easy. They were really delicious with a nice zucchini taste, but we're thinking the next time we'll just batter and fry the flowers instead of stuffing them because the filling sort of overwhelmed the delicateness of the blooms. The batter in this recipe is awesome - light and cripsy. We used the leftover batter and oil to make fried cheese and onion rings, yummy. (It's salads for the rest of the week - we swear).
If you have zucchini in blossom in your garden I would strongly recommend frying up and eating the blossoms, both male and female are edible and really what else are the boys good for?
For the first time in 4 years I was able to join my mother's extended family for their annual trip to Door County (the thumb of the mitten that is Wisconsin for those who are unfamiliar). We had a great time. The weather was fabulous and the sunsets were decent. While the picture of myself below is not at all flattering, it does prove that this was not a knit free vacation. I cast-on for my first BSJ in mission falls cotton. I'll update that soon (or so I say). Fun for everyone:
I need a present for our friends baby and I need it fast, so it was time to dust off the old knitting needles. I used my new swift and ball winder my husband got me for my birthday to wind the newly purchased knitpicks swish bulky into perfect balls. Then I started building:I love the log cabin concept. It's so fun for baby blankets and it's even better with bulky yarn - instant gratification! I sort of wish I'd of done something different, but with each of these I do I learn something new and I'm pretty sure I'll never get sick of making them. I need to catch the knitting fever again, I've been such a slacker.
Things are going well over at our little garden. We've harvested a ton of spinach and many radishes. The carrot tops are looking lush and the pea plants are growing like weeds. By next week we'll have to cut down the lettuce. Tomato and pepper plants are in and growing. Stay tuned.
Starting a new knitting group - we're calling it "knit lit" because it's a hybrid knitting/book club - we're meeting on Sundays.
Gardening - we have a CSA plot over at the Urban Ecology Center just a block from our house. We're growing spinach, lettuce, radishes, peas, carrots, cucumbers, and zucchini; we are failing to grow green onions (not enough sun?), beans (perhaps a squirrel or bird ate the seeds?), and beets (damn rabbit or gopher or deer); we are about to plant peppers and tomatoes; later we're going to try growing ochre.
Going to California to visit friends and family and important dissertation advisor people.
Going to Colorado for a graduation, to see family and have an awesome time.
Reading, writing, revising, repeating.
Wishing I were knitting more.
Taking Scarlet to the dog park to hang out with Sprocket, Pearl, Mogli, and her myriad of other dog friends and their parents, who are fast becoming our friends.
Today is my birthday. Birthdays, unless they are big ones (like last year's), have for a long time been less about parties, cake, and presents and more about quiet reflection for me. When I lived in CA, Matthew and I would spend my birthday quietly at the beach. Today's not so much beach weather here in Milwaukee, it's more misty memory weather. So I wanted to make a list of people I am thankful for.
1. My husband - who despite not being perfect, is the perfect husband.
2. My mother - who is my best friend.
3. My father - who is an eternal optimist.
4. My sisters and my girflfriends - I don't see them enough, call them enough, tell them enough - I love them
5. My dog - who is the best damn dog a girl could ever want
6. My family
7. Anyone who still reads my blog after such neglect and such self-indulgance
Let's review some fun times with all of the "moms" in my life in celebration of mother's day:
Beers at the ballpark with my mom: Drinks with my sisters and step-mom: Too much drinking with my mom-in-law Happy Mother's day to all my favorite moms, including all the ladies above, the grandmas Alyce, Rita, and Margaret, to my sister-in-law and all of the Aunties too; and too all my fabulous mommy friends out there. I hope you all had days as wonderful as the one's pictured above.
Our household has been busy using up gift cards. We went to Crate and Barrel and bought a bowl and a glass to replace ones we've broken, a salad spinner to wash the lettuce and spinach we will be harvesting from our garden in a month or so, and a cookie press for me; Bed Bath and Beyond found us the owners of many new kitchen gadgets; and in that same spirit I used a Barnes and Noble giftcard I had for forever to buy myself Wendy Bernard's Custom Knits and it is the BEST KNITTING BOOK EVER!!! There are some really nice basic patterns and two simple recipes for top down sweaters as well as all sorts of good information on customization (duh). She also tells you how to make a dress form out of duct tape! So much excellent information and so perfect for making sweaters I'll actually wear. I can tell I will go to it over, and over again.
I went over to Loop yesterday to check out their sale, which was pretty lame as far as yarn sales go, but they carry so many lovely colors of malabrigo - lace, worsted, and silk blend - that I couldn't leave without just one skein. And since it was snowing I decided to make a winterized version of the spring time beret. I finished it last night, wore it today, and love, love, love it! I still plan to block it to open up the lace and de-bump it a bit, but overall I am very happy with this easy, quick, and ever so practical knit.