Monday, August 20, 2007

Cabled Hoodie, round 2?

I have been very good lately. Despite a few stops to AFY (to sign up for intarsia and toe-up sock classes!), I haven't bought any new project yarn since the eyelet cardigan train project because I don't want anything to distract me from finishing up mom's shawl (could have finished it this weekend, but got distracted by Friday's Dodgers game ... whoops!) and since I hate ripping out work, I know if I have a new fun project to make, I will never rip and fix my Sahara lace inset either. However, it is now mid-August and there are back-to-school sales everywhere and I'm thinking it might be time to finish up the brown cabled hoodie. All that's left is one sleeve before I can start seaming, then I'll need to PU stitches for the hood and then the ribbing around the edges, so it should only take me a week or so if I really get to it. Maybe I could finish all three projects before Wes and I take off for Colorado at the end of the month? Is that too ambitious?
Anyway, I found a KAL for the cabled hoodie today and signed up. There are tons of tips and suggestions from other knitters who have completed the hoodie, and I wish I would have found this a long time ago! There are tips for short row shoulders and all sorts of things that I would love to do ... it's too late now for me, but maybe I'll find some good hood tips or something :)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

stitch 'n bitch - argyle!!!!!

When I have a slow day at work, I often find myself searching for new knitting books or patterns. This is the case today as I searched Amazon to see if Debbie Stoller's new Stitch 'N Bitch book is out yet and imagine my happy happy surprise to see ARGYLE on the front cover! (I love argyle so much. I tell Wes all the time that I can't wait until we are rich so I can afford to shop at J. Crew and I have been searching in vain for almost a year for a flip-up argyle iPod case). The book doesn't come out until November, but I've already added it to my Amazon Wish List. It looks like the scarf may be double knit? which would be cool because I have read about it, but haven't ever tried that method. Lois has also mentioned that there will be a colorwork class offered at AFY in the fall, which I am planning to take and could be very helpful for the pictured pattern. I wonder if I could have a new argyle scarf in time for December in Washington DC??

Friday, August 10, 2007

reasons to buy fresh basil

more and more recipes, I'm noticing, call for fresh basil (or other herbs) instead of the old dried standbys, but buying fresh is expensive and goes bad just as fast as spinach and other bagged salads. Plus, do you really want to make that many Italian dishes in a week to use up the basil before it goes bad? (well, I do, but most people probably wouldn't). so until I have room in my home for a cute little herb garden, I usually just buy the $4 box of fresh basil and end up throwing most of it out. That was the case when I made Giada DeLaurintiis' Simple Bolognese sauce this weekend which calls for eight fresh basil leaves. It is sooooo good and a nice change from the regular spaghetti sauce that it seems like we eat every week. The Bolognese takes a little more effort, but makes a huge batch, so I like to freeze half for later. The sauce is versatile too; usually we just eat it over pasta (bowties or spirals are the best because the pieces of meat the veggies get caught in the nooks), but last night I baked a potato and dumped a whole bunch of sauce over it and that was excellent too. (The recipe is also included in Giada's Everyday Italian cookbook.)
Anyway, I still had a lot of basil left over but didn't really think much of it until the other day while farting around on, I found this delicious-sounding recipe for a mayoless tuna salad sandwich. It is called "Tuscan" which I guess is Italian, but it doesn't taste Italian to me (at least not in the lasagna, meatball, Parmesan chicken category or Italian food). I made it as instructed, except without olives, because I couldn't find them at the grocery store (what section are they in? I looked under canned veggies and by the pickles and other condiments. anyway, I didn't miss them in the sandwich so maybe it's okay!). Also, I didn't put any greenery (watercress, spinach, arugula, etc) because of the aforementioned quickness in which it goes bad, so I never buy it unless I know I'm going to eat it all at once. but it is so nice to have lunch almost ready when I am scrambling to get out the door in the morning. yesterday I put one layer of bean spread, then a layer of tuna, but it seemed like the second piece of bread was pulling away too much, so today I put bean spread on both pieces of bread with tuna in the middle and it was much better.
So, go get yourself some fresh basil and make these two delicious meals!! One more thing: unless you REALLY like basil and add extra to both dishes, you'll have some leftover so I suggest a caprese salad with marinated mozzarella and fresh sliced tomatoes to go with the extra basil ... but that might be too much Italian food for you :)
okay, two more things: both recipes also call for fresh parsley, but since parsley doesn't really have a flavor, I never buy it fresh, but use the dried stuff that is always in my cupboard. Also, it is good for adding to garlic mashed potatoes, so they look fancier, or to any dish I want to freak Wes out with and make him think there are weird spices in it.

A Note on the Knitting too: still making progress on Mom's shawl!! Worked on it for a long time last night since my dinner (leftover bolognese sauce and baked potato, remember?) was practically cooked for me by the time I got home. New deadline for myself is next weekend when I am planning to head down to HB again. Tonight should be another good night to get many more inches in! Wes will be at work and I just got a bunch of new movies in the mail!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

some enchanted shawling

well ... despite my not knitting on the shawl for 2.5 hours a day, I still thought I was getting pretty darn close to finishing it up in time for the Hollywood Bowl on Sunday. On Thursday I thought I was on my last ball of yarn and knitting like crazy on Friday too. Then Saturday morning I found two more balls of yarn! So, I guess I still have a ways to go, but it's okay. The shawl was going to be a little short if that really had been my last ball and I would have had to blocked it to shape which I haven't done before and don't know where I would block something that is supposed to be 70 inches long anyway. So, hopefully after these two last balls are added on, I won't have to block at all. but once I found them, I didn't have much time to use them up! Saturday night was a GOLD Night at Sharkeez in SB and also Fiesta! I drove up with Tia, Amanda and Marge to revel in the drunkeness (yay for being the DD ... it is so fun to chat with people who are drunk and happy!).
Then Sunday got up and made cookies to take to the Bowl for Grandma's birthday outing. I was really excited to go because I'd never been to the Hollywood Bowl before, but I just loved it! The show was South Pacific, which I didn't know much about either, but I liked the story line. Wes enjoyed it too, but we decided we are anxious to go back when there is something a little more to our tastes there. But Reba McEntire had the lead on Sunday, so it was cool to see her in person too. I've never seen her in concert. (click on the picture to see all five of us!) Mom wore her old shawl and I know she is anxious for the new one! Especially if we keep going on fun outings like to the Hollywood Bowl .. or Irvine Meadows, as Dad prefers ...