Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Hectic Last Two Days

The last two days have been busy. Yesterday I sat down for a bit and did some writing. I didn't have the time to clean it up and publish it so I am adding it to today's blog. Come to think of it, last Tuesday was the same way. Let's see what happens next week.

I worked like crazy on my design for the Scarlet Letter contest. After eliminating a bunch of ideas that just wouldn't work with the yarn specs we're supposed to use I finally settled on two ideas. I'm going to spend some time on both over the next few days and see which one I like better. There is nothing in the rules to say we can't enter more than one design. For the sake of my own paranoia I am not going to talk about specifications until I've submitted them and the deadline for entry submission passes. Then I will regale you with all my stories, thought processes and woes.

I also finished my Knithulu. I'm a bit underwhelmed. It's just gay. I made some adjustments to the pattern that work better but in the process I made the monster bigger. I followed her design for the wings and they look like, well, have you ever see A Bug's Life? do you remember Heimlich the caterpillar? At the end of the movie he comes out of his cocoon with these really tiny wings that just won't lift his fat ass off the ground. That and the fact that he's perpetually happy throughout the whole movie. Well here are some pictures of my Knithulu.

Cthulu as a vegetarian. There's just something wrong with that. See those lettuce like wings? Are they gay or what?

He's such a wimp he needs a five year old to help him down a slide.

Damn tree huggers. If you look close enough you can see the decreases I made on his snout. They look like he's smiling. Tentacles like those don't come from an Elder God who is smiling! Gah!

Whatever. When I get back from Chicago I am going to work on this pattern.

Today was a busy day too. Don't know about you but when I go away, even for a weekend, I like to come home to a clean house. I spent the morning cleaning up and doing laundry. This afternoon I did my banking, picked up a few things at the grocery store and grabbed a suitcase and backpack my mother is loaning me. I'm only going for four days, everything I need can fit into a carry-on and a backpack. The funny thing is, I'm taking more knitting than clothes. Hey, I know where my priorities are!

This evening Rachel, Miriam's friend Devorah and I worked in the garden. Lookee:

On the left are my tomatoes, plum and cherry, cuces and eggplant.

Rachel is watering the squash, zucchini, acorn and spaghetti. And the bed in front of the compost is the onions and lettuce. I will be planting collard greens once the onions are harvested. The lettuce will be rotating all summer. Yum!

Here is this week's recipe:

Never use pancake mix from a box again!
1C flour
3 TBS corn meal (optional, but it just makes them taste better)
1tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 TBS sugar

Mix in bowl until blended. Make a well in the middle.

1C milk, room temperature, or a bit warmer
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 TBS oil

Mix together until blended. Pour into well in dry ingredients. Mix together with as few strokes as possible. Lumps are fine, in fact they are great. If you have no lumps you mixed too much, honest. Set aside and let the batter rest while pan heats up. Cast iron is best for these, a non-stick heavy pan works too but I don't like non-stick coatings. Too much off-gassing. Anyway, heat your pan on medium. Lightly coat with oil. You will know your pan is ready when water bounces off of it. If the water spits then your pan is too hot, you just want it to bounce. Using a ladle or dry measuring cup pour 1/3 to 1/2 cup of batter into pan. Turn when edges look dry and bubbles start to appear on surface. Cook one minute more. Makes about 6 or 8 pancakes depending on how big you make them. The recipe doubles and triples very well.

Tomorrow I will be blogging from Chicago!

"I have learned that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours." Henry David Thoreau.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Open Your Mouth and...

Close your eyes and I will give you a big surprise! Could you resist that face? Do you see what's on the plate? Aside from the chicken nuggets that is. Do you see that lettuce???? Do you see it? That, my friends is our very first harvested crop of the season! That is the reason for Rachel's cheesy grin.

That and the fact that she is completely irrepressible.

I've started following a podcast recently. is the website, you can click on the spinning wheel to the right or the link I've added to my Places to Go sidebar. Heather Ordover speaks weekly from her home in upstate NY. She is an English Lit teacher and loves to read, but like most of us who craft with our hands, we can't read at the same time. Audio books are a boon but there is a limited selection of what is out there. Heather has managed to put together a wonderful series of classic literature combined with her insights into the narrative, her enthusiasm for knitting and spinning and some fantastic reviews of yarn, websites and books. I'm enjoying listening to my hour a week with her. A few weeks ago we started reading The Scarlett Letter. Not one of my favorites but still a good story for reflection. Heather and the Craftlit crew have dyed up an amazing deep red wool and silk blend yarn and have challenged their listeners to create a pattern using that yarn, the themes in TSL, the time period of the novel and of course the 'A' that Hester wears. The designs have to be entered by the time the last chapter is podcasted.

I've been thinking over the last few days that it is time to push myself into another one of my goals. I want to learn to design. I've been doing a lot of reading about design. You should see what I checked out of the library. I am also putting together a wishlist that I will post to my blog. (Just in case you're out of ideas about what to buy me for Channukah.) Anyway, I drew up a few designs yesterday and today have started to do a few sample swatches and such. I'm actually pretty excited. Even if I don't win, the experience of putting something together inside a deadline will be good for me.

I will tell you more about what I'm working on once I've got more done on my samples.
As for my trip on Thursday, I have charged all the batteries for my camera. Made sure all the cords and stuff are in one place. I loaded my ipod with music and podcasts. Now I just Have to go through which projects I'm bringing to show off and which I'm bringing to work on. I'll worry about clothes later.


"I have learned that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours." Henry David Thoreau.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Two Week Anniversary

I have been writing for two weeks. Pretty good for a college drop-out no?

Okay, remember when I said I wouldn't start another project? I cheated. All the cleaning and sorting and ripping and salvaging of yarn that I did last week got me taking a look at my stash. I've got a pile of one or less skeins of all different weights and fibers.

That's not even all of it. Can you tell I like green? Anyway back to my confession. I started another project. Just a quick one. One itsy bitsy toy. It'll be finished by today. Honest. I mean really, look at all the half skeins of yarn I have, I really need to use up some of it, no? But it's so cute and Larry will love it! It's not every day one gets to work up a knitted Cthulu, or to use the vernacular, a Knithulu. I'm going to make one for my brother too. Better watch out or I'll make an Elder God for you too!

There's his head. That was the hardest part. The body will be a breeze. Look at him in all his tentacled glory. Must... Knit... Elder... God...

Here he is reading my blog. Looks kind of like a cockroach. I have to make his body today, then he'll look like himself. But that gives me an idea. Think anyone would like a knitted cockroach? A knitted ladybug would be so much nicer. Hmmm... Oh all the stash-busting ideas I'm having. Larry will be so happy, it's not going to cost him a dime. Just his sanity as he listens to me jabber about my designs. What about a Flying Spaghetti Monster?

Speaking of Larry. He's in Chicago this week meeting with his business partner and two prospective clients. I'm flying out there Thursday to visit my brother, meet Larry's family, romp around the Windy City as I've never been there before and generally wreak havoc. Sunday and Monday we are driving Larry's car home and he will be officially moved in. This marks our first ever Blog Road Trip! I can't wait to be your Knit-centric, yarn spinning, roving reporter. (bad, bad puns) To continue with my habit of writing every day I will be regaling you with tales of my adventures while traveling and visiting Chicago. Unbeknownst to Larry, I'm hoping to sneak in a visit to a LYS while there, just to keep on topic of this blog, one of them anyway. His mother likes to shop, I think I shall enlist her help. Muwhahaha.

The thot plickens.


"I have learned that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours." Henry David Thoreau.

Friday, May 15, 2009

As Promised... drum roll please...

THOSE purple socks! Snazzy no? I did it, I did it, I posted pictures to my blog like I said I would, and by the end of the week. Doing my silly dance...

As you can see I took this picture before I started the heel flap. I will take more this weekend when I have more time so you can see how far I've gotten.

Here is another picture of one of the most challenging projects I'm working on. It's the Hooded Shawl from Nicky Epstein's Knitting Beyond the Edge. I absolutely love her books and projects. They have inspired me to create my own things. This shawl is only about 1/10th of the way done. The cables are easy it's just that I have to move stitches every row for the center pattern. I've repeated the pattern almost enough times to have it memorized. As soon as I do have it embedded in my brain I should be able to go a bit faster.

And here is an 'oops' project that turned out just fine. I made a sock for Rachel and it's just a tad short. I was going to rip it but there is still enough yarn on the skein to make a pair of child's socks so I decided to use this sock for my iPod. I am going to make an I-cord for the handle. I am a genius. ;)

I have to go gather library books now and pick up the kids in an hour. Busy busy weekend.

I'll post more pictures soon, I promise.


"I have learned that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours." Henry David Thoreau.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Oh Soggy Day...

Rachel has occupied herself so nicely today. Therefore one would think one could get a lot done wouldn't one?

I actually did get a lot done, it just doesn't look like it. I've pulled myself back to Flylady routines and worked on the bathroom today. Yech. It's not spotless, but that wasn't my goal, I just needed to start clearing off the counter and clearing out the clutter in my linen closet. I'll do a cleaning while I'm stuck in there when I bathe Rachel. Yay me. The kitchen is on par and the dining room is doing fine too, a bit of clutter on the table but I'll get that tonight when I do my hot spot fire drill. The living room on the other hand is a mess. I've got my toys and Rachel's yarn everywhere. (That was a typo but is so freaking funny I'm going to leave it!)

I ripped (frogged, just trying to see if I can add it to my jargon without cracking myself up..... giggle, snort... That's a no.) two more projects. One was a poncho I started a few years ago when ponchos were all the rage. The yarn is gorgous but I just don't need a poncho right now. So that's ripped and balled and put in my stash. I also ripped a rug I had started, I was making the pattern up as I knit. Not always the smartest thing, one day I'll learn. Um... Moving right along... It was all inxepensive acrylic yarn that I would never make anything to wear from. What on Earth possed me to purchase it will forever remain a mystery. Anyway, I will make a rug out of it but this time I will find a pattern.

I feel a little better now about the number of projects I've currently got on needles. Unfortunately these two weren't included in the count. Now before you all start rolling your eyes at me, just for the record, I didn't include them in the count because when I counted projects I had intended to rip them, honest.

Another good thing came out of this. While cleaning out the next to last of my big plastic bins of yarn and projects I found a sock I had made for Rachel and never made the match because the first sock was too small. There should still be enough yarn to make a pair for her, just not a pair for me. Which is a good thing because my socks and fingering gague take too darn long. Anyway, the sock I found is perfect for my mp3 player and my cords and earphones. I'll make a quick I-cord for it this weekend and voilla! Again, yay me.

Meanwhile I keep uncovering yummy yarn that I've purchased over the years and never made anything with. I spent an hour or so searching Ravelry for patterns for the weights and yardages I've got. Hey, it's not the same as actually starting a new project, really. Found some cute ideas that I queued for later. I'll knit some more of my purple socks tonight. I'm on the home stretch.


"I have learned that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours." Henry David Thoreau.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Rachel's Birthday

For anyone who has never been with a child as they discover their birthday, you have no idea what you're missing. Rachel woke up this morning and climbed into bed with me. I hugged her and asked her if she knew what today was. Obviously she should have because we've been talking about it for weeks but she still took a moment to think about it and then in a questioning voice asked, "Is it my birthday?" I nodded. Incredulous she said, "Really? Really, really? For Real it's my birthday?" At this point I'm trying not to crack up. Again, as if she doesn't believe me, "For real mommy? Is it really my birthday, like yesterday I was four and today I'm five? Am I five right now? All day?" At this point I'm stifling my laughter in my pillow, I don't want to take away her joy. She sits up and looks at her legs and says, "You know mommy, when I was four my legs used to be this long (pointing somewhere just above her ankle,) and now that I'm five they're this long! (pointing to the very tip of her toes)" Her exuberance astounds me. She has such verve that it rubs off on everyone she meets. To my princess, I wish you the best this world has to offer and may your optimism never falter.

Now for those of you who have been following my habit building, I did write yesterday, I just never finished it and therefore didn't publish it. I am going to continue it now and publish it today.

Another award winning recipe:

Couscous, Israeli Style

1 Box Israeli couscous, Trader Joe's is the best and least expensive
1/2 medium red onion, diced small
1/4 C pine nuts
1 C Edemame, frozen (soybeans), you can substitute peas, I just happen not to like peas
4oz Feta cheese
2TBS olive oil
1 3/4C boiling water
Salt and pepper to taste

In 2 quart pan saute onion in olive oil until clear, pour in couscous and stir until toasty brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Pour in boiling water and cover pot. Simmer for 6 minutes then add edemame and stir. Cover and simmer another 6 minutes or until water is absorbed. Meanwhile in a dry heavy skillet, cast iron is great for this, toast the pine nuts until brown, set aside. Once couscous is done remove from heat and crumble feta into pot, pour in pine nuts. Mix well and season to taste.

This makes a fantastic side dish for fresh grilled salmon or tuna. It also makes a great lunch by itself or with a salad. It's pretty good cold too.

My socks are coming along famously. I've turned the heel and am now working on the gusset decreases and will need to start my new ball of yarn soon! It came just in time. I'm going to try the Renaissance stockings after I finish these. I found another yarn that I think will work better. We'll see. Meanwhile I finally got all the projects I'm supposedly currently working on listed in my profile on Ravelry. There are nine, yes, nine of them. I am putting a moratorium on starting any new project until I've finished at least half of them. So there!

I emptied the memory cards for my camera and will take pictures tomorrow. Then I have to figure out how to put them in my blog. I will tackle that tomorrow too.


"I have learned that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours." Henry David Thoreau.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Grand Plans

Step one: By the end of this week I will be including pictures in my blog.

Step two: I am going to do some research about designing patterns and start making sketches of some of my ideas.

Step three: I am going to continue to write, working toward building the habit of writing daily.

There we have it. More later as the rest of my ideas are still a bit rough.

I learned a new knitting term. I've been knitting for over 9 years and have mastered many skills. I have learned a lot of the vocabulary of knitting and occasionally run across a term that I've never heard before. But this one had me in stitches, to use the vernacular.

Frog or Frogging: To undo or rip out stitches in order to correct an error. It comes from the expression 'rip it.' Say 'rip it' several times. I don't know if I could use this term with a straight face.

My mother bought me a cook book for Mother's Day, The Great Country Inns of America Cook Book. It includes descriptions of inns all over the country and some of their recipes. It's pretty neat. I love to cook and I love to entertain and have thought about running my own Bed and Breakfast for a while now. Several months ago Larry was pitching his plans for a theatre to me and I mentioned that I wanted to run a B&B and a CSA: Community Sustainable Agriculture Co-op. After a few contemplative moments we both did one of those 'Ah Ha!' things. All three would fit incredibly well together. And so our business is born.

Larry already has most of his business plan for the theatre competed. I've been doing research about B&B's and am starting to write my business plan for that. And of course in typical Yakira fashion I am already developing my menu and designing and decorating the guest rooms. Talk about putting the cart before the horse. I also am brainstorming about what our 'catch' is going to be; what is going to make us stand out and make folks choose us over other options. Ideas are always welcome and I would love to hear about experiences at B&B's, good and bad.

Enough writing for today, I am off to work on my purple socks. I will post pictures, I promise.


"I have learned that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours." Henry David Thoreau.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

Oh glorious day! I've opened all the windows in the house. The garden seems to have grown three inches overnight. So have the weeds but let's not talk about those.

I've got a passel of little girls in my back yard playing on the climby thingie. I love listening to their silly stories.

Now I'm sitting here laughing my butt off at something my 14 year old said. Here's the joke: What did the farmer say when he lost his chicken? Answer: Where's my chicken?

I'm not going to find too much time to knit today. I've got some laundry to do. Then shopping for our cook-out at mom's.

Tomorrow I will reveal some of my grand plans for this blog. I've been doing a lot of thinking and brainstorming about where I want this blog to go and it's time to put some ideas into action. Sounds like a great Pinky and the Brain episode...

Keep coming back! I want to hear what you think too.


"I have learned that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours." Henry David Thoreau.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Spritual Renewal

I spent time relaxing today. Rachel played outside most of the day. It was a marvelous day.

Tomorrow is Mother's Day. We're having dinner with my mother and celebrating Chana's B-day, 5/8, and Rachel's B-day, 5/13, and Mother's Day. That's a lot of celebrating to fit into a few hours.


Friday, May 8, 2009

Addendum to Hubris

My yarn is here. I'm going to hang the 'Gone Knitting' sign.

Don't bother me kids, mommy's in a knitting frenzy.

New socks ahoy! I see purple socks on the horizon.


Ahhh Hubris or We Have Found the Enemy...

A few things hit me last night and I'm swamped with a whole bunch of stuff to write about. Sorting through my thoughts is going to be a challenging but worthy exercise.

Larry and I have earnestly started working towards our goals and have been doing research and talking over ideas and such. It's an exhilarating experience to finally have someone in my life who not only has the skills and ability to accomplish what he wants but has the drive. He's really been an inspiration to me.

Last night found us sitting at our computers, not two feet apart. I was reading a blog post published by Steve Pavlina that Larry had emailed to me. It talked about how to make money with your blog and led to another article about how to create a high traffic blog which led to another article about 10 reasons to never get a job, all by the same author. Aside from the fact that I am now a Steve Pavlina addict it led Larry and I into a discussion on how each of us defines success. I learned some interesting things about that guy next to me.

We both believe that successful people have strong family values, integrity and a desire to make the world a better place.

Notice anything missing? If you don't see it, email me and I'll fill you in.

Well, we have the qualities of successful people but what are their habits?

I can think of about a dozen right off the bat; think and see the positive, solution and goal oriented, follow through and finish what you start, see failure as another step in the right direction, take time to play and relax, to name a few. I'm sure you can think of more to add to the list.

Enough about the serious stuff, speaking of balance. Rachel is behind me playing with her princess dolls and her horses and of course her invisible friends the kitty magoos. She's got about ten balls of yarn that I told her I would make into a sweater for her. They're all lined up with a princess and a horse next to each. As for the kitty magoos, apparently they're being bad and are in time out.

Rachel and I spent half an hour last night weeding and today looks as if I might have enough sun to do some planting. And of course I eagerly await my purple yarn!

The other thing that I did last night, inspired by the How to Make Money from Your Blog article, was to google other knitting blogs. I found a few links to blog review pages where the author listed their top ten picks. I spent about three hours reading those blogs and making notes. There are a bunch of common themes. They are chatty but not long winded. They are well written with proper grammar and spelling. They all have pictures of WiP and FO. They talk about their successes and their failures. Most of them are designers and have patterns and yarn for sale on their blog. This is a tall list but at least I now have a direction in which to aim this blog.

And about the title of today's blog, I woke up this morning and went to Google Analytics to see how many visitors I've had in the last two days. It was a whopping 20! I was so thrilled. I immediately clicked on the page that allows you to see the URLs of the folks who visited. Sixteen of them were my URL. Thusly, ahhh hubris. At least I like my writing. LOL


"I have learned that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours." Henry David Thoreau.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Procrastination is makin' me wait... makin' me wait...

Today is the first morning since I've started building my habit of writing daily that I've no idea what to write about. I will just plow through anyway and if I wander you'll know why.

I got a little weeding done yesterday but it was just too damp to do too much. Everything is doing well so I just got the bigger, most annoying weeds out of the garden. Mother's day is supposed to be sunny I should be able to get out there on Sunday. I still have some planting to do too.

Flylady's zone for the week is the kitchen. I've been doing pretty well on that front. The dishes are getting done every night, mostly. The counters are decluttered and wiped down. The fridge was cleaned out. I need to scrub my stove top, that's what I'll probably do today.

I didn't do too much knitting yesterday. I've been going through some of my plastic bins in the basement. I found a few projects I never finished for one reason or another. One is a sweater I made for Chana when she was about 8. That was 5 years ago. The sweater is done it just needs to be blocked and have buttons sewn on. Why didn't I finish? Two reasons/excuses: I was pregnant with Rachel and I hadn't learned how to block a sweater. I'll get the sweater on the blocking board by the end of this week and I'll take Rachel button shopping next week and she will have a brand new dressy cardigan.

I also found a sweater that I had started at least two years before that one. Back when I was learning how to make short rows, decreases and increases. I never finished it because I had made so many mistakes that I got frustrated. I ripped the sweater yesterday and salvaged the yarn. I put it in a zipper bag with the pattern and when I finish my purple socks I will make the sweater for Rachel for next winter.

I've kinda stalled on my Etsy campaign. Partly because I've got a lot of stunning things to sell but they all need something. None of them are finished. They either need ends woven in, to be blocked, handles sewn on, finishing embroidery, fringe tied on, ironing, washing... I should start a Procrastinators anonymous group. I'll do that later. I'm frustrated. I think I'll apply Flylady to this project and use my timer. You can do anything for 15 minutes, she says.

Rachel is sitting behind me watching Sesame Street. Am I the only one who finds Elmo's voice irritating?

Larry has started blogging again, inspired by me. We've both got these grand plans and I'm actually getting excited about things. I finally feel like there's a real possibility that I may reach some of my goals. We'll keep an eye on Larry's blog and once I've got this habit thing down I may just start a companion blog to his as we're working on the same projects. Baby steps, baby steps...


"I have learned that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours." Henry David Thoreau.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Lessons of an Intrepid Knitter

Lesson: New or better knowledge, some useful or better knowledge that results from direct experience.

There comes a time when every artist must cut bait or fish. When one must look at a creation and make the decision to continue work or stop wasting time and materials. I ripped my Renaissance sock last night. I have learned over the years that even if it's turning out fine, if I don't love it, it won't get worn.

Perfectionism: Demand for perfection, rigorous rejection of anything less than perfect.

I have been accused of perfectionism by myself and others. Again I refute this. I learned embroidery from my grandmother. I didn't realize until much later, too late to say thank you, that I learned much much more. My grandmother was not a perfectionist, she excelled at what she did.

Excellence: Superiority, the quality or state of being outstanding and superior.

I have several pieces of my grandmother's embroidery and without exception each piece of art is as beautiful on the back as it is on the front. Anything worth doing is worth doing well. From start to finish I strive to emulate my grandmother in my art. Weaving in the ends and proper blocking are just as important as the initial cast on.

And so, I ripped my socks. Why? It wasn't because my workmanship was poor, quite the opposite. The sock was gorgeous, yummy and warm. I ripped it because I knew I would not be happy with the finished product. It was a bunch of little things, but I knew I wouldn't wear them.

This lesson I share with everyone: Be excellent at what you do. If it doesn't make you happy, then it's not worth your time and energy.

On the other hand it stopped raining. I am going to play in my garden today. Yay!


PS The lady with whom I'm exchanging sock yarn put my purple yarn in the mail yesterday. I should have it by the end of the week. Whoohoo!

"I have learned that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours." Henry David Thoreau.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Rain, rain go away...

I want to weed my garden already! It rained all weekend while my kids were here. I was hoping to use my built in slave labor to weed the garden and wash the car. Alas and alack I will have to do it myself. The good news is the stuff I planted is big enough now that I can tell plants from weeds. The bad news is the weeds are still bigger with stronger roots.

Our garden this year is going to be glorious. I have Shasta daises, marigolds, sweet peas, hollyhocks, and nasturtium in the front bed and I have three big pots on the steps up to the porch and another huge pot on the porch. The onions and lettuce I planted in late April are doing well. That is the bed that needs weeding. This week I'm going to plant the zucchini, spaghetti squash, acorn squash and watermelon. I also have plum and cherry tomatoes, eggplant and cuces that are almost big enough to plant. I bought pea and beet seeds too but I'm not sure I'm going to be able to make room for them. We'll see. I have to turn the compost too. It's attracting flies so I have to turn the newer kitchen refuse under.

Now about my promise from yesterday. I mailed the yarn and came home. Then I made lunch and spent time cleaning the kitchen. I spent the afternoon on my stockings. I finished the heel turn and pulled it on just to make sure it would fit. It fits but I'm not sure I really like it. I'm going to stare at it for a while longer before I make up my mind. Meanwhile I can't wait for my purple yarn to get here so I can finish another pair of socks.

Flylady is in the kitchen all this week. Trust me, there's plenty for me to find to do in there.

Last night's dinner was amazing, by the way. I made gravel lox a few weeks ago and we've been slowly nibbling away. But yesterday I found some nori that I had purchased a while back. Inspiration struck and I put up a pot of sticky rice. I sliced cucumbers and avocado. I sliced the lox really thin. I spread the rice on the nori with cuces and avocado and fish and rolled them up tight. Homemade maki rolls! Yum!

My recipe for gravel lox:

2 3lb or larger fillets of salmon, double check to be sure they are boneless
2 Tbs kosher salt
1 1/2 Tbs sugar
1 tsp ground black pepper
chopped dill, about a small handful, fresh is best

Combine salt sugar pepper and dill. Rinse fillets well and dry. Rub dill mixture on flesh side of fillets. Place fish flesh sides together, head to tail in a glass or ceramic dish. Cover with plastic wrap and place a weight on top. Leave in the refrigerator for three days. Flip fillets every 12 hours and baste with juice from pan. Once cured rinse the fish to remove excess dill. Wrap fillets separately in plastic wrap and place in freezer. They will keep for three months in the freezer. They are also easy to slice when partially frozen. I take my lox out of the freezer about half an hour before I'm going to serve it and slice it while partially frozen. You can wrap up what you didn't slice and stick it back in the freezer.

I don't have a glass baking dish big enough for the salmon I bought so I used a metal roasting pan that I lined at least three times with plastic wrap. I covered the fish with plastic wrap and then laid three one liter bottles of seltzer on top of it. They just fit, it was the perfect weight too. You can use a plate with a brick or several bags of beans. Enjoy! If you have any questions just ask.

Well it's day three and I'm still writing. This is good.


"I have learned that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours." Henry David Thoreau.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Look mom, I'm writing!

I'm in a bit of a quandary. I'm obsessed with this pair of Renaissance stockings I'm working on. And the house is a mess. And I've got to finish putting some things together to get up on Etsy to sell.

So about these stockings. I'm almost up to the heel turn on the first sock. I'm making them out of this really pretty gray merino that has a pearly sheen to it. The pattern calls for a DK weight yarn so the socks are turning out pretty thick, warm and yummy. Why am I making woolly socks in May one might ask. Ask all you want, the only answer I've got is 'because!'

As for the house, the Flylady zone for the week is the kitchen. At least I've a room to focus on otherwise I wouldn't know where to start. I love Flylady.

My sister introduced me to Etsy. She sells her hand spun and hand painted yarn there. My inventory so far includes an amazing baby blanket made from Velvet Touch yarn in a creamy white. It's got hearts all over it in a knit and purl pattern. It's yummy. I've got about a dozen rayon scarves I dyed in various colors and about 2 dozen silk sashes also in many colors. I also have two felted handbags, a green woolly hat, several scarves and an entrelac shawl in sunset colors. Mom is going to take the pictures this week and I should have it all up on Etsy by the end of the week. Yay me.

Now back to socks. About a year ago I bought a heathered purple super wash wool sock yarn and started a pair of socks. I used my own pattern and made the leg longer. Now just because I've been knitting for years does not mean I remember things like changing the pattern changes the required yardage. At the time I was a novice sock maker and what I thought was a minor change wasn't. Needless to say I got halfway through the second sock and ran out of yarn. A few phone calls later spelled doom. None of the local yarn shops carried my yarn. I didn't have the heart to rip out the socks so I put them in the back on my closet.

Calm down, we have a happy ending here.

My fellow knitting friends started talking about this website called Ravelry. It's a Facebook for knitters and other yarn crafts. I decided to join and made my profile. One of the applications on the site makes it possible for you to list your own yarn stash, patterns, needles and projects. It also makes it possible for you to search other members' yarn stashes, patterns, etc.

I found it! Five other folks on Ravelry had my yarn in their stash. How dare they, right? One of the ladies I emailed was willing to do a straight up trade. As soon as I finish here I am heading to the post office to send her a ball of super wash sock wool in another color. She's putting my yarn in the mail today too. Yay us!

Okay, off to the post office. Then the kitchen. And then and only then, my Renaissance socks. I promise.


"I have learned that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours." Henry David Thoreau.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

To knit or not to knit...

So I'll start a blog instead.

Adventure: A bold undertaking, an undertaking involving uncertainty or risk; exciting experience, an exciting or extraordinary event or series of events.

Intrepid: Courageous and bold.

Knitter: To interlock loops of yarn using long needles; to bring people or things together in a close association.

That's a fine thing.

Science has proven that it takes 21 days to form a habit. My first goal for this blog is to form the habit of writing every day. Self improvement gurus and motivational speakers tell us to state our goals as if we have already accomplished them.

And so: I am an accomplished writer. I write every day. It is worthwhile to me to take time every day to express myself in my writing. It is important to me to share with others my thoughts, aspirations and experience on a daily basis.


"I have learned that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours." Henry David Thoreau.