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Coast, Kool-Aid and Kale


I don't ever recall Thanksgiving being particularly stressful, as a kid, but really, what's there to be stressed about other than the inevitable battle for that first slice of turkey breast with the big piece of crispy skin.* I'm sure it was much harder for the adults with all the cooking, cleaning and kid/drunk in-law wrangling, but as a kid, it always just seemed like lots of good food and playing with the cousins. As adults, I think Leo and I have kept a lot of the same relaxed attitude. We don't tend to make a production of the holiday, thought we do like some good lumpy mashed potatoes and crispy bird skin on a plate. Since we have yet to really put our new kitchen through the paces, we did (and by we, I mean me) a whole chicken, garlic mashed potatoes, dressing and cranberry sauce and dug in at our leisure. I'm still working through the last of the starchiest bits.

And being the long weekend that Thanksgiving is, we had plenty of time to fit in a trip to the ocean on Saturday. It was brisk but dry and that's pretty much good enough for us. I don't think the dogs have ever been put out by a little cold weather.

Manzanita Oregon -- November 27, 2009 Mosaic
1. Leo got frenched by a puppy, 2. Thea takes a victory lap, 3. Birds, 4. Throw it again, 5. Lift off, 6. Manzanita Oregon November 27, 2009, 7. Manzanita Oregon November 27, 2009, 8. Manzanita Oregon November 27, 2009, 9. More birds, 10. Manzanita Oregon November 27, 2009, 11. Manzanita Oregon November 27, 2009, 12. Manzanita Oregon November 27, 2009, 13. Where'd it go?
Created with fd's Flickr Toys

I also finished spinning about 200 yards of some angora, alpaca and soy silk I hand carded together. Using a bit of Kool-Aid, I dyed it in three successive dye baths to get a rich orange shade.

Bath 1: 1 orange + 1 lemon aid packet

Kool Aid dyeing

Bath 2: 2 orange + 1 lemon aid packet

Kool-Aid dyed Handspun Yarn

Bath 3: 1 tropical punch packet

Kool-Aid dyed Handspun Yarn

I love the color and it smells so sweet. I find dyeing really stressful, because you can't really undo it if you blow it, but this time seem to work out great.

To finish off the long weekend, I made a big batch of lemon garlic crispy kale.

Crispy Kale Chips Crispy Kale Chips

Click either image for the recipe, inasmuch as it is one.

I hope all of you had a lovely weekend too.

*Most of my teen and college years, I did thanksgiving at friends houses and I watched in horror, one year as my friend's mother whipped her mashed potatoes (no lumps!) and removed the skin from the turkey after cooking. I've never fully recovered from the memory.

Jamison Square


I'm happy to announce the release of Jamison Square, formerly known as the slouchy cowl.

Click on the image or right here to see all the details about this pattern.

Price $9.00

Thanks to all of you who encouraged me to finish the pattern. Here's hoping you enjoy knitting it as much as I enjoyed designing it.

And since I know not everyone has $9 to throw at a pattern, here's a picture of my petulant little pup.


See, a little something for everyone.

Total slouch


Sometimes being a slouch is just fine. Normally, I love knitting fitted, figure hugging designs that appreciate all the fantastic curves we women have to offer but occasionally, all I want is something comfy and slouchy and relaxed while still being appropriate for human interaction. (I've heard it's frowned upon to go out in public in your robe. Go figure.)

Remember Freudian Stitch? Long since ripped, it's now become this.

Slouchy Silky Wool Pullover w/Fireplace Slouchy Silky Wool Pullover w/Fireplace

It's a simple design with plenty of ease and a huge scoop neck that can be worn on or off the shoulders. The cowl is gently flared to allow it to drape loosely at the neck or be worn across the shoulders, as desired.

The simple cable running up the front and back has been scaled down to run along the sleeves as well.

As I've noted in the past, I just love working with Silky Wool. The tweedy color, subtle texture and crisp hand, make for a lovely fabric and the light weight doesn't add bulk and is suitable for most seasons.

I'm not sure if I'll offer a pattern or not, that'll depend on time and customer interest. It's not a complicated piece but I would be offering several different cable charts to ensure that the scale of the cables fits the larger sizes so the cost in time and tech editing would be a little higher than usual.

But hey, this is my first official knitting photoshoot in the new home. It's silly but it feels a little momentous to me. Even the girls got in on the fun.

Slouchy Silky Wool Pullover in Yard

Pleading Patients Overlooked


I can't quite decide what my the PPO portion of my medical insurance is referring to. I thought it was shorthand for "the world is your medical oyster" but I'm finding myself a tad frustrated today. The short story is that I need to get some inoculations so I can take a business trip to India in July, which is a very cool opportunity but is involving a lot of effort I hadn't originally considered. I think I've sorted most of the confusion out in what appears to be the first instance of my insurance company being more helpful than the doctor's office. Who knew? Anyway, I have two sore upper arms and a yellow card detailing my immunities to some rather icky viruses. There was also a bit of time to knit on Leo's sleeves.

I will still need some boosters and a tetanus shot, as well as a few prescriptions, but I've got the stuff that needed a lot of lead time out of the way.

Working on Leo's sweater, I've given myself little leeway to do much else. Obviously, I knit Gir but there really hasn't been much else. I occasionally pick up my spindle which has some lovely alpaca on it.

It's not that I'm not enjoying spinning it, it's just that I really want to crank through Leo's sweater and I cannot spin and knit at the same time. But, imagine if I could...oh my own vision of Valhalla.

Knitting miles of ribbing does give me ample time to consider what comes next. I'll definitely be working on the clown hat, but what should I do in India. July = monsoon season in the area. Temperatures, apparently, can average around 120 degrees though I'm told it's quite a bit cooler where we'll be. Even so, I'm thinking small, portable, and able to be worked on mindlessly. All signs point to socks. I'm not a huge sock knitter, but I am feeling that 2 socks on 2 circs will prevent second sock syndrome AND be more likely to survive a trip through security and customs without a lot of explanation. I like working on DPNs, but having a preference for metal to wood means that's probably a bad idea.

So last night I ripped out a partially knit, now abandoned project that was started with some Socks that Rock in colorway, Carbon. It needed a bath and hanging to get the kinky bits out but now looks as good as new.

I also have some solid shades of koigu around and plenty of self patterning sock yarn, all of which will only take up a small amount of space in my luggage but which should easily entertain me for my 24 hour long commutes to and from India as well as the small amount of down time I'll have during the trip.

More flippin' yarn

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Yup, that's right, more yarn. I might as well just admit it. I bought more yarn.
Do you know who's at fault? Well, I won't name any names, but it starts with "J" and ends in "ulia". Really, though, I don't mind. I got a pretty good deal on it.

Yesterday, we went to Michael Levine in downtown LA. It's right in the middle of the fashion district, which, in LA, is not nearly as cool and trendy as one would imagine. Nestled snuggly between skid row and the skid row suburbs (skurbs?), this is not a place one would venture after dark. But on a Sunday afternoon a few weeks before Christmas (don't even get me started on that fact) the area was alive.

Two good bloggers might have taken a few pictures to document the event, but two bloggers did not. This blogger, though, has plans to go back. Michael Levine is amazing. For a store devoted primarily to sewing supplies, the yarn selection is amazing. And, just to show their good judgment, the Red Heart yarns are kept in an entirely separate section from the rest of the yarn.

Ultimately, despite the fact that I saw many yarns which made my heart go pitter-pat, I only bought enough yarn for one garment for me and one "commissioned" piece for my brother (that's in quotes because he has paid with the years of torment I've heaped upon him for my own entertainment).
For me, some Cascade 220 in a tweedy sage green.

I have 5 skeins so I should be able to make a little something warm for myself.

And Matt will be getting a Dragon Hoodie for a friend's baby.

This will be my first time using Berroco Lullaby, but I think it'll be a nice substitute, especially since it's machine washable.

I've been working on another piece for a book that I can't show here, and a bunch of spinning that looks pretty much like the spinning I've been showing you, so, nothing more to show today.

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