Friday, September 16, 2005

beautiful day with the animals

i have been trying to find time all week to get some pictures posted from the trip to the zoo we took last weekend with this hippie's friend, eric. heh, i guess eric counts as my friend, too at this point--funny how i still lable him as "the hippie's friend." but i digress... so we went last saturday--it was GORGEOUS outside and a perfect zoo day. windy and sunny, not too hot or humid or crowded... plus this particular trip to the zoo was kind of cool because i was not as focussed on getting so many pictures--i just took a few of some of the details i liked about the foliage and some of the birds, things i generally neglect at the zoo. the result is that i dig almost every picture i took. check them out here on flickr.


yay for the return of hockey! after last year's idiocy and lack of a season, it's great to have the canes back! tonight we went to the first pre-season carolina hurricanes game. as we were walking in, i said to the hippie--what i want to see for this return game is for the canes to beat the capitals seven to nothing. and well--i ALMOST got my wish. it was a six to nothing shut-out! go canes! it's kind of weird watching this team, with so many unfamiliar faces, but they certainly look promising--the new goalie in particular (#30 cam ward) seems just awesome. should make for an interesting season--i am sure we will go to many more games. meanwhile--what's my favorite thing about hockey? why, the zambonis of course! so--i took an illegal pic of them with my phone. :)

Thursday, September 08, 2005

playing with pliers

last night i went to meet emily and ann to knit, but instead i ended up whipping out this little ankle bracelet as a birthday gift for tina, my coworker. tina has long envied the ankle bracelet my friend rita (who designs GORGEOUS jewelry) made for me, so i decided that i would see if i could kind of knock off rita's design. granted, i would have just bought one from rita, but she had to go and take a day job and stop supplying me with a constant stream of fabulous jewelry. anyway--i was pleased to discover i could still make something cute. this is sterling silver and little teardrop shaped glass miyuki beads in irridescent black. it's always fun making something simple and tiny--i haven't had the pliers out since i made the earrings for kimmie's wedding last spring. maybe i should make some more of this stuff...

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Southern Card® in tact for now

a few months ago, my friend sam threatened to revoke my Southern Card® because i had never made a cobbler of any kind. well--now i have! whoo hoo!

this past saturday, the hippie and i went out for the big breakfast at big ed's, and discovered a tiny farmer's market in the middle of downtown raleigh. there were these big beautiful peaches outside the door just calling to us. we investigated, and i walked away with peaches, baby lima beans, corn, a big fat gorgeous tomato, and plans to cook all weekend long! if i cooked this way every weekend, i would be as big as a house! but the late summer fruits and vegetables were just too much to resist. i made shrimp and grits and biscuits, a big breakfast with lots of bacon (food of the gods) and cheese grits and more biscuits, my own version of fried chicken, lima beans with onions and thyme, boiled corn, and i just sliced that tomato up and ate it plain--delicious. last night we ate leftovers, and i wasn't even sorry about it.

the weather this weekend was also just perfect--warm windy sunny days and cool nights, lower humidity than we have seen in months. nothing makes me want to nest more. the house is clean, the laundry is almost caught up, and i am ahead on christmas present making. got in some good quality porch time, too. i need about 8 more of these weekends, and i will be set.

oh, and let me say one note about bill neal's southern cooking, one of the greatest cookbooks of all time. he had a little write-up about making cobbler, and how his children grew up calling it "pig pie" because he always used pig-shaped cookie cutters to cut the biscuit dough to put on top of the fruit. i used a star--we can't ALL be bill neal.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

the price of relief

hey. in spite of a fantastic weekend, i remain pensive. some is PMS i am sure, but mostly it's becasue i keep getting distracted by thoughts of new orleans. what a totally shitty situation. i feel like the government response time was slow, but i am sure glad they are in there now, restoring some form of order. general honore should run for president. i feel terrible for the people whole lives are pretty well destroyed and who will have to rebuild everything, both physically and emotionally. i worry constantly about the streams of children who are separated from their parents, whose parents may well be dead. i am proud to know and hear stories of people who have already done so much to help, and equally horrified by those who have done all they can to impede the efforts of others. snipers especially. and i keep thinking--how would i feel if that were me... yuck.

i gave some money to the red cross, but it felt so abstract that i still wanted to do more. there is a local business here sending specifically requested supplies to the woman coodrinating the sheltering of about 15k people at LSU, so i decided to help out with that, too. i made up some easily distributable packets of toiletries so that people taking shelter at LSU can at least wash the grime away. i went to target and i bought all the small sized bottles of shampoo and conditioner and all that kind of stuff that i could afford, went home, made up some packets for men and some for women. over a hundred dollars and two hours later, it is still only enough for 10 people, and it will only last those people a few days. few things have brought home for me the cost of the relief effort like doing that one small thing. this is just going to be, as my mother would say, along row to hoe. i can't even imagine how much it's going to cost before it's all said and done!

the good news is that since friday, this one local business has already sent 104 boxes of supplies and $9000 to LSU's relief fund. things like this really do bring out the best and worst in people--thank god the best usually wins out.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

at last, the long awaited knitting update

NEW YARN!!! YAY!!! i absolutely adore the cashmere i got from axelle at two pointy sticks. she gave a heads up that cashmere prices were about to increase, so i went ahead and ordered the yarn i want to make a clapotis out of. it's going to be a little while before i get to actually use this yarn--i have promised myself that i am going to finish crumpets and get at least half my christmas knitting done before i cast on anything that is just for me. this is my version of self-dicipline. but isn't it GORGEOUS?? don't you love the color??? i think axelle's colors are so beautiful, pretty much across the board. never mind my coworker who had obviously been smoking the crack pipe when she said to me, "i don't know--i don't really like this color. why not just get black if you are going to make something out of cashmere? and really--this just feels like yarn to me--i guess i don't get it." i love her, but she doesn't get it.

this stuff is all pretty fresh off my needles. a new blue felted bag--i am planning to make quite a few of these; a ribbed alpaca scarf in a lucious charcoal color--so soft and warm it makes me want snow; a frilly ribony hot pink scarf with drop stitches i actually figured out how to do all my byself; a purple baby hat for an un-named baby, and a crazy pink and yellow and orange baby hat for ella, who has outgrown the pink one i made for her earier this summer (before the Evil Lead Incident). i really really love both of these scarves. i have a ton of scarves i will be whipping out for christmas, but these two are for me.

the grey scarf is made from two skeins of this bulky alpaca yarn called jay, from goddess yarns. out of all the yarns i have knitted up so far, this one is probably my favorite. it feels fabulous and it is a joy to knit with. depressingly enough, this company is going away. you can still get the yarn online, but once it's gone, it's gone. figures. the ribbing pattern is something i stole from my friend jennifer who is making a ribbed poncho out of this yarn. can't wait to see that when she's done!

the pink scarf is made from one skein of a yarn called cinema--it was an orphan in a sale bin, and i loved the color so much i just bought it with no plan. then when the hippie gave be some size 15 ebony needles from lantern moon for my birthday, i couldn't wait to use them, so i cast that pink yarn onto them. the drop stitch thing seemed like it would show off the yarn well, so i just decided to see if it was done the way i thought i might be. and apparently it was! i absolutely love how this came out, and now i have similar plans for another ribbon-y yarn i have from prism, only i want to do longer drops with that one and maybe pair it with a fine cored fuzzy mohair... we'll see. (note--that cinema yarn is now discontinued, which just figures--i think my love for a yarn is may well be its kiss of death. the same can be said of perfumes and bath products.)

and last, but SO not least, i finally got crumpets off the needles last night. as you see, i still need to weave in the ends, add the croched trimon the bottome, and add the ribbons for the straps and the tie at the waist. this thing has taught me a TON, but it has certainly been a trial by fire. i will never use this yarn again, even though i think it's beautiful. it splits if you look at it hard, snags on ANYTHING, and the knots in it will NOT stay tied. i am going to have to put some glue or something on those if a kid is going to be able to wear this. that said, however, i am really proud of this little top. it is by far the most complicated thing i have tired, and i think it has come out really beautifully so far. i have learned to add beads to my work, to make a cable, to increase stitches, and why it is important to knit with two strands of variegated yarn at one if you are doing straight stockinette. just look at all the unintended patterning in that skirt--you can tell every time i changed yarns. i will know better how to deal with that in the future. i will post another picture when it is done done, but i was so excited to get it bound off--i could not wait to share!

now, i have one more scarf to finish up for me, and then it's christmas and baby gift central for me until further notice. the bad thing about that is that i won't be able to put up a lot of knitting pics until all these gifts are given. oh well--you guys can wait.