Thursday, June 21, 2007

preoccupied with food

spent some more lunch-time knit-time working on mom's shawl and trying to distract myself from the delicious turkey, cheddar, pickle, spinach and mustard on wheat in the fridge until 2pm - three hours before running, which as I discovered in high school track is the perfect amount of time to span between turkey sandwich and running. but my stomach was hungry and kept reminding me of the great new book I bought last night when Wes and I stopped at B&N before date night - a whole book of risotto! I am very anxious to try some of the new recipes, but until then, click on this little picture to get my current favorite risotto recipe. It is adapted from Giada DeLaurentiis' Dirty Risotto from her book Giada's Family Dinners, but I made a couple of alterations to Giada's recipe - I call mine "Contradictory" because I put real meat (Italian bacon - pancetta) and fake meat (Morningstar Farms breakfast links) in it. Also, I have made this lots of times with different price ranges of white wine (from two buck chuck and up ...), but the best by far is Hangtime Chardonnay. It comes from San Luis Obispo and we've gotten it at restaurants here in Ventura, but also bought it at some of the bigger liquor stores. It is a delicious addition to the risotto flavor and also tastes great to drink with the finished dish!
p.s. all this food talk - i definitely didn't make it until 2pm. I came in from lunch 20 minutes early and stopped by the fridge on my way back to my desk.
p.p.s. who picked that movie last night? umm, I think I did. but I don't recommend it.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Wonder Woman!

Dad sent over this picture of my sister-in-law, Kristen, wearing the Wonder Woman knucks I made for her for Christmas. Isn't it sad that she is wearing them in June? This is why I don't live in Seattle! (though I am glad she's getting good use out of them!) Click on the photo to see a picture of Luke and his lovely wife at her graduation from Seattle University last weekend. For a more detailed view of the knucks, click here.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

shawl overload

worked my butt off on the shawl last week ... Wednesday after work while I waited for Wes to meet me for Date Night (no sense in going all the way home first), Thursday and Friday lunches, then all Friday night while we watched the Angels at the Dodgers ... but glad I got a lot done then, because the rest of the weekend was busy! Saturday night we headed down to the Staples Center to see Keith Urban rock the house. I think every time I see him (this was my fourth!) it gets better ... break for history lesson: in Keith's video for "Days Go By," the concert at the end of the video was at the Ventura County Fair three summers ago (2004) and that was the first time I saw Keith Urban live. The other two times were last December (2005), Wes and I went on a Tuesday night at the Gibson Amphitheater, then Lissa, Courtney and I flew to Vegas that weekend to catch him at Mandalay Bay. End of history lesson.
No more knitting on Sunday, we went out to Casitas with Matt and Casey for some frisbee golf, then passed out from the heat. Last night I cooked fish for dinner (Parmesan crusted with Citrus/Spinach salad on the side, soooo delicious) and I didn't want the fish smell to rub off on the yarn. I need to get one of those magic smell erasers from Crate & Barrel, I think.
Don't know how much night-time knitting I'll get done this week. We're having a little party on Saturday night and we need to do some work around the apartment before I let people inside. I'm thinking of making another run to BB's on Saturday after running with Tia, so that means I need to get all the housework done during the week. But I'm heading out for lunch-time knitting now and I'll have plenty of time for knitting while Wes is on ridealongs next weekend ...

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

starting the stash ...

Every time a read about another knitter's out-of-control stash (Yarn Harlot has a whole chapter about how to hide your stash from your family), I am a little smug. Proud of myself for (most of the time) controlling my urges to buy yarn until I have a firm project in mind, and the time to devote to the project. I do have one plastic bin of knitting stuff, but aside from housing my extra needles, pattern books and other tools, mostly it is extra yarn left over from finished projects and one or two rejected WIPs that I got bored of (2x2 rib scarf? come on!) or I tried on before the final finishes and realized it didn't fit, but couldn't bring myself to start over. All that smugness when straight out the window on Saturday when I drove up to Santa Barbara to visit BB's Knits retirement sale. Everything in the store was 50% off and my stash is well on it's way to getting out of control unless I take a few months off work to knit my butt off. Unfortunately, "stash reducing" is not a viable reason to call in sick.
I initially went to BB's because the store was listed on Jordana Paige's website for places to buy her knitters satchel. I am drooling over the ocean blue version, but it is a little pricey and I wanted to see the bag in person before purchasing. When I looked at BB's website for directions to the store, lo and behold! 50% off sale! I thought I could get my satchel at a well-reduced price ... of course by the time I got up there, the bags were sold out (some at 50% she said! bummer!), but there were plenty of other goodies left, and I certainly didn't leave empty handed. BB herself even took a peek in my bag as I was winding down and said I did a good job!!
Here's what I left with:
Patterns - Two (2) Fiber Trends sock patterns, Winter issue of Knit.1 magazine with some way cute patterns I had been drooling over since January, Miss Bea's Rainy Day patterns for Rowan yarns by Louisa Harding, Cabin Fever #153 (baby socks!)
Yarn - Eight (8) balls of Classic Elite Bamboo in China blue (hoping to use it for Sizzle, but I didn't have the pattern with me and guessed too low on yardage so will save the bamboo for something else glorious), Four (4) balls of Regia Silk sock yarn (two balls each yellow and pink), Six (6) balls of Rowan All-Seasons Cotton in Dusk (actual yarn is more purple than on website) to make a coat from Miss Bea's pattern book for my someday daughter, Four (4) balls of Whispers sock yarn in colors 04 and 08, One (1) ball of Artful Yarns - Olympic in color Atlanta, which I am going to try and make the baby socks out of for cousin Sheila's baby girl on the way. I am not really sure if that is supposed to be sock yarn though ...
Also - six abalone star shaped buttons for the little girl's coat and six sparkly pink buttons to adorn these socks, once I make them ...
wow! that's a lot of yarn to stash away while I finish up Sahara and mom's shawl ... but it was fun to visit a new store, even if I probably won't ever go back, and especially nice to have lunch with my handsome husband at work :) maybe I'll have to make another trip to BB's before the end of the month (to get more Bamboo, perhaps?) ... I do love to see Wes in uniform! yowza!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Grandma's socks

a few weeks ago Wes and I spent the weekend in Orange County for golfing, Ducks games and general family and friend togetherness and I was able to get Grandma to sit still for a minute so I could capture the bittersweet socks on her feet and on camera! I am so pleased that they fit her and that she seems to love them, since each time I showed up at her house over the long weekend, she had the socks on!
to recap: the yarn is Lorna's Laces worsted weight yarn in bittersweet and the pattern is also from Lorna's Laces, the Liberty Sock pattern that Lois used in sock class and the only sock pattern I've ever used ... but that is soon to change!!!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Ducks! Ducks! Ducks! Ducks!

just in case you didn't notice, the Ducks dominated the Senators last night 6-2 to be the FIRST CALIFORNIA TEAM TO WIN THE STANLEY CUP! (suck on that Kings and Sharks!) I almost cried at the first goal because I wanted to be AT the game sooooooo bad, but we couldn't afford the crazy ticket prices, so Wes and I settled down in the bar of J.J. Brewski's and had a grand old time in Camarillo.
who says the Neidermayers are the first siblings to win the cup since 1982? Check out me and Luke!

but at least Wes and Dad and I made it to one awesome game, the Western Conference clincher against the Red Wings. Best game ever, except for last night's of course, but I wasn't there so I can't claim it.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

lazy = more knitting

had a mostly sit around the house and be lazy weekend (with some hockey! go Ducks!) so I got lots of knitting done on Sahara. the two sides of the front were knit with two different balls of yarn, so progress was often impeded by untangling of the yarn, but it is turning out really nice (looooooooove the smoothness of the yarn) and so far the gauge/fit seems to be right too ... I knit down the front to the arm shaping and attached the back to the front, but only on the sides under the armholes, and am now knitting flat (with only one ball of yarn!) for a few inches before waist decreases. after a few inches of decreases, I'll have to cast-on 20 stitches in the middle of the front and then attach to knit the rest of the top in the round.
on the picture to the right, I blacked out the stuff I haven't done yet. doesn't look like I've gotten very far, but the back is being completed at the same time, so it is really twice as much as is showing. the trim on the sleeves and neckline will be added after the rest of top is knit. the amount of cleavage showing is customizable too, just sew the center seam higher up or lower, I guess! ha.

Friday, June 01, 2007

inviting Murphy and his laws

after dinner last night Wes settled down in front of the NBA Eastern Conference finals and so I took the opportunity to get back to work on Sahara! picking up stitches from the preliminary crochet cast on was pleasantly easy and I was able to make good progress on the two halves of the front. the game went into double OT so I had even more knitting time ... I was hoping to get far enough along to attach the back to the fronts and start knitting in the round (only one ball of yarn attached instead of the current two for two sides of the front), but that would have taken a marathon knitting night, and I only do that when Wes is on night shift. he switches again July 2, so give it a few more weeks and I'll be back to my old habits :)
this pattern offers measurements in inches as well as row counts, so since I didn't do a gauge swatch (what! did I learn nothing in all of the AFY classes!), I have been measuring and counting very carefully as I go along. The gauge was the same as Mom's pink shell ... although it is different yarn, the yarn thickness is the same for both. The pattern for the pink shell suggested size 6 needles, but when I did my gauge swatches for that project I ended up using size 8 to get gauge, so I just picked up my size 8s for Sahara too and so far all my measurements have been exact to the pattern and gauge is right too. Now that I have gotten all cocky and braggy about perfection without a swatch, something is sure to go wrong ...