Monday, September 28, 2009

there's been some action in the yarn department

since last we discussed knitting, i've been--well--knitting.

tarris heeter hat, fo

tarris heeter hat, the myspace angle

tarris heeter hat, the fit
first up, the tarris heeter hat, designed by a friend from my tuesday night knitting group. (ravelry link here) she literally followed a woman around in harris teeter until she had the woman's hat firmly in her head so she could pseudo-knock-it-off, using some information on reducing for the crown by the great and versatile ann budd. all in all, i LOVE this hat. i made it for a gift, but then caved and decided to keep it for myself when i couldn't bring myself to take it off my head. i lerve it. mine.

the yarn is lucious malabrigo, but i fear i've lost the label, so i can't tell you what colorway it is. i'm going with red. i bought it ages ago at bella filati. i have more malabrigo i picked up recently in hillsborough, and with it, i'm going to knit some more of them for actual gifts. i have plans to use some new dream in color class to knit one with a matching scarf (in the little box stitch that makes up the bottom half of the hat), my only christmas knitting so far.

bulky critter hat 2
i also made a bulky baby hat for kieran in one night from some blue sky alpacas bulky naturals. (ravelry link here) very instant gratification, and lovely and squishy in all the right ways. it was the color of this yarn that got me. and the hat fits the critter like a dream. so cute! size 15 dpns though--not my favorite. i'd knit this again bc the yarn is to die for and it's so fast, but i am not a fan of giant dpns.

making a shedir hat for the hippie's aunt. it's slow going, and there's not a lot to show yet, so i have no pictures. slow because 1) i have to concentrate on it, and 2) it makes me unspeakably sad. i'll take a picture when it's done.

almost done with a baby blanket for a woman i work with who has a tiny baby girl. i waited on this one for a bit, but now i am cooking with gas on it. it's pink and purple and fluffy and just like the hundred other fluffy baby blankets i've made in the past. i haven't take any pictures of it either--it's nothing you people haven't seen me knit before.

ball band dish cloth
made my mama a ball band dishcloth--my first one. (ravelry link here)i went home to see her a few weeks ago, and she was all bitching about how crappy all her dishcloths were. and then we had to run an errand to the super-walmart, which was FULL of peaches and cream. so--i grabbed 2 balls of it and some size 8 needles and whipped out a dishcloth for her. she reports that it's great but needs to be just a little longer than i made it. as a good daughter, i will oblige and make her some more of them. besides, it was superfun. :)

kieran's hoodie, WIP 2
let's see, what else? i've been working in fits and starts on kieran's hoodie, which now has a full body, a hood, and half a sleeve. (ravelry link here) i am 1.5 sleeves out from finishing the knitting, and then i have to sew down the casing for the drawstring, and i'll be done. if i actually keep working on it, i should have it done in time for cooler weather here. i really love it, but all the gauge problems i had with it in the beginning have worn me down. i pick it up now with a little fear in my heart every time. i'm committed now though--if the gauge goes south on me this time, i'm done. i don't have it in me to rip it out again. besides, it's so pretty!

i am sure there's something i am forgetting, and i have some new yarn to report on as well as a new and a favorite yarn store. however, i am saving those for later when i have both pictures of the yarn ready to go and more energy than i have right this minute. i am The Tired.

but really y'all--i've been missing this bloggy thing.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

cucumber mojitos

cucumber mojitos
last week we went to the beach, as we do. and we made some stuff to eat and drink, as we do. we have old favorites, and we add a few things every year. one of this year's keepers is the cucumber mojitos grant invented/made for us. i pelted him with questions about the process, stole the one picture of them that the hippie took, and i made some notes so i could share. this one's worth the trouble, folks.

3-4 cucumbers
32 oz of decent white rum
4 limes
12-ish sprigs of mint
1 cup simple syrup
lime and cucumber for garnish
fancy straws and stuff


1. ~24 hours ahead: make the cucumber infused rum. cube the cucumber and place in a large-ish bowl. pour the rum over. cover tightly and go to bed. the next night your rum will be lovely and ready to use.
NOTE: steeping it longer than ~24 hours is a mistake--it becomes overwhelming;y cucumber-y. if you aren't ready to use it after 24 hours, strain out the cucumbers and put the rum in the fridge. save some of the cucumber cubes for in-th-drink garnish if you like.

2. make simple syrup--this is just sugar and water in a 1:1 ratio. combine in a pot and boil for a few minutes. cool. voila.
NOTE: can be done up to a week ahead.

3. make you some mojitos. juice 4 limes, and pull the leaves off the mint stems. if you are making a big batch, get out the blender and do the following: combine mint leaves, lime juice, and 1 cup of simple syrup. blend briefly, but don't overblend--you aren't pureeing those mint leaves. stir in the rum. pour generous helping of this mixture into tall glasses over ice, top with seltzer, and garnish.
NOTE: if you prefer to do it glass by glass, then you want to muddle about 1/2 a lime's worth of juice, about 1.5 mint sprigs' worth of leaves, and about an ounce of simple syrup in the glass. add about 3 ounces of rum per glass, top with seltzer and garnish.

4. drink up.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

on down time, and how i don't have enough of it

we've had one of those weeks here that feels like fall. i know it's a fluke--we have one or two of these every year right before it gets hot as hell again. but man, does it ever feel awesome! i've gotten to eat lunch outside a couple of days this week, and go for a few walks outside, and best of all--the windows are open. there's something truly wonderful about having them open and hearing the crickets and frogs outside my window while i am falling asleep at night. makes the mornings delightful, snuggling under the warm comforter while a cool breeze blows in the window. it makes my house smell like my grandmother's house always smelled when i was a child.

this weekend, the critter and i are packing up and heading to my parents' house on the edge of the mountains, and i am really hoping the weather holds. i'm overdue for a walk in the woods with my little guy, kicking leaves around. i'm also looking forward to some good nighttime conversation with my mama after everyone else is in the bed. i might even get some knitting done if i am far, far away from all the household stuff that usually distracts me from doing creative things.

sometimes in the day-to-day rush of living my life, i forget how important it is for me to take some DOWN time. i need it--i think everyone does--but it's so hard to take it when there are always 1000+ things you need to do, most of which you should have gotten done yesterday. but right now, i feel so overdue for a vacation, it's not even funny. i'll get one soon, but even the week and a half till we leave for the beach feels far, far away right now. so let's think about that for a moment, shall we?

Always N Season
let's look again at the house where we will be staying this year. let's remember some of the beach trips from the past, and let's revel for a moment that this one is going to include all of the original beach group but one person--kind of a miracle after 9 years. yay! i absolutely cannot wait for a whole week of sitting, and hanging out, and walking on the beach with my hippie, and talking to friends, and cooking, and eating, and knitting, and putting that baby's feet in the sand again. maybe i should start a countdown ticker for it, so i can let the anticipation build even more--it really can't get here soon enough.