Needle Tart

If I'm not knitting or sewing something, I must be cooking something!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Odds and Ends

As I was returning all the stuff to the sewing room (after The Baby's roommate used it overnight) I decided to take a look in the storage couch. Look what I found! Yes, a whole basket full of yarn. Many years ago I found a whole bunch of Bernat yarn for fifty cents a skein. You know I bought most of it. The yarn in the upper left is a lovely peach-colored mercerized cotton. Sadly, my skin is sort of peach-colored and if I knit the sweater I like out of it, I will look naked, but lacier.
Notice the two balls of roving. Apparently, I was once under the delusion that I could teach myself to spin. It is still roving. (sidebar: this weekend was a Daniel Boone marathon and watching Becky Boone spin was just pitiful. Even I knew her roving hadn't been carded properly, but Mingo looked great).
The fuschia Red Heart in the upper right corner is destined to be either a lacy Adrienne Vitadini tank top (at least I'm not fuschia colored!) or a copy of a sweater I saw in a catalog (that did not come in my size, so there!). Swatching has begun.

Remember my new car?

With its cool,40s styling, I needed a cool,40s bumper sticker. The best one I found came from Socks for Soldiers . This is a Yahoo group that believes all American soldiers should have at least one pair of hand-knit socks. I signed up and as soon as I have the cash to get the approved-of yarn, I will send in a pair. How shallow am I? I can't bring myself to use the bumper sticker (I have to buy it, too) until I have knit the socks.

Yesterday, The Husband and I went to the nearest Barnes and Noble to return some things [A Subversive cross stitch calendar, funny,but foul and a skipping CD (hmmmm, Having reread that bit, I feel the need to clarify: the CD had skips in it, it didn't teach us how to skip)] and while we were there The Husband bought me this:

It has the coolest Hannukah designs in it. Usually when a book offers designs for the winter holidays they mean Christmas .......oh, and way at the end, .... a Hannukah project. This book, however, has stuff you might want to knit just for the winter and the author/editor even includes Winter Solstice.
There's a pattern from Annie Modesitt that is soooo out there, I have to try it. It is a wire and bead, knitted menorah!

Sorry that it is sideways, but I can't figure out how to rotate it, even in Kodak. Just twist your head to the left and pretend it's larger. There are over 1300 beads in this project. What fun!

In other news, Elder Son gave me an ipod for Mother's Day this year and I have been having some fun listening to podcasts. If you want to look for interesting podcasts try Pod Cast Alley . They have a great search engine and you will find lots more than through iTunes. I also found LibriVox . A place to download free books. The books have to be in the public domain, but there are many, many of them. And if you are adventurous, you can read a (approved) book into the site. How cool is that?!
Question of the week: I have a lot of pain in my right hand and have found that shaking hands with professional people is so not fun. Is there a polite way to not shake hands? So far I have tried just saying, "Sorry, I can't shake hands, I have arthritis and it hurts too much." Any better ideas out there? Thanks!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

No, Really! I'm still here!

It's been an interesting two weeks. The Baby had wisdom teeth removed (6, yes 6!) and the very next week he left for college. Luckily the college is nearby so we can check on him if he calls in a lather.

Now for some catching up:
Here are the pictures of the salads in the last post:

This is the Salade Nicoise. Notice that the dressing is a little pale. I ran out of basil and only used about half the called for amount. It was still pretty good, but I do love basil.

This is the Panzella Salad. I think I would have liked some extra tomatoes, but these were all I had. Still yummy!

Ta-Da! The Baby's quilt is finished. If this is the first time you are seeing it, it has fabric from before he was even born. The light blue fabric in the upper right corner is from the jacket he wore at his naming. There are 270 different printed triangles in this quilt. Some have special picutures on them.

On some of the patches, I wrote a little note explaining why I choose that fabric. I read one to The Baby and showed him how they related. The rest are for him to look at when he is feeling homesick. As you can see, I added a little encouragement, too.

This is a car-zuzzah. A mezuzzah for the car. We are supposed to make a little box with a prayer in it to hang in our doorways to remind us to follow the laws. Not too long ago someone put mezzuzahs for your car on the market. After all, we are supposed to discuss the law "on our way". Now for the funny part. Notice that my car-zuzzah is stuck next to the radio and not on the doorpost of the car. I first put it up (on the doorpost) during the heat wave. That evening I went to pick up The Baby and we couldn't find the car-zuzzah. We searched the whole car and all the ground around it (in the dark). After about twenty minutes we gave up and were heading up the steps to the house. "Hey, Mom!" says The Baby, "I found the car-zuzzah!" It was stuck to the seat of my shorts. Now whenever we are searching for something he makes me turn around. One more car picture: Apparently Blogger is having some issues with pictures at this point. Oh, well, gives me a reason to post again sooner than two weeks.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Salad Days

Yes, it has cooled down in PA but last week when we visited the local Farmer's Market we picked up a bunch of veggies and it was Salad Week, OK , Salad Two Days. The Boys were out on Friday so The Husband and I had Salade Nicoise. It was really pretty, but you will have to take my word for it as the camera was in the sewing room and we were hungry. Suprisingly, for a salad, I really had to heat up the kitchen. How, you ask? Like this:

Salade Nicoise

Salad greens
Hard cooked eggs
Tomatoes (cut in pretty sixths)
Black olives (The Husband likes oil-cured)
Roasted Red Peppers cut into strips
Here's the part that heats up the kitchen
Steamed green beans
Boiled new potatoes (cut into quarters if large)
Tuna canned in olive oil (drained)

Pile the above in pretty much the order given, just make it pretty. Now make the dressing:
1/2 cup fresh basil
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 grated parmesan cheese
1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard (say it with a French Accent)
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar

Mix all of this in the food processor until it looks like salad dressing. Pour over the first stuff and serve with a nice crusty bread.

Speaking of crusty bread, on Sunday I made Panzella for me! It is one of my favorite salads, how can you go wrong with something based on bread?


Dressing (make this first and let it cool)
1/2 cup Olive Oil
3-4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
2 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

Heat the oil, garlic and pepper flakes just until the garlic starts to turn golden. Remove from heat and stir in the rest of the ingredients. Set aside while you prepare the rest.

4 cups of sourdough bread cut in smallish cubes
5-6 tomatoes (use a variety: red, yellow, plum, heirloom, etc) cut into cubes the same size as the bread
1 shallot, thinly sliced
Small can of sliced black olives
Fresh basil and whatever other herbs you have in the garden (some oregano, parsley, chives maybe?) chopped or you could make a chiffonade. OOhh!

Toast the bread cubes at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes (I did mine the night before so I wouldn't heat up the kitchen this time). Once the bread cools mix it with the tomatoes, shallot, olives and herbs. Pour the cooled dressing over the rest, toss, and, here's the hard part, let it sit for an hour to mix the flavors. Yummmmm!

The Baby's quilt is at a momentary stand-still until the weather and my schedule allow for 2-4 hours outside. My quilting frame is ten feet by eight feet and you know there are too many books in the house for that amount of room to be available inside. I will post pictures of the basting in progress ASAP.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Baby's Quilt

OK, so I haven't finished piecing the top of The Baby's college quilt, but here it is so far:

I was about to add the outer sashing when I realized that I had commited "Bad Math"! I thought 8 rows of geese would be wide enough. However, when I measured the "finished" middle it was only 65" wide (and 92" long. What can I say, he's a tall Baby) somehow that seemed a little out of balance, so yesterday I took a trip to JoAnn Fabrics and bought 12 more fat quarters of fabric (because, ya know, I didn't have enough) and added on an extra row. Now the balance is better, but the quilt still doesn't have outer borders. That's for today (in the air-conditioned sewing room!)

Every once in a while The Husband opens the checkbook and goes a little berserk. This week he decided that we need a new car. As I am the middle-sized one in the family, I get to decide if a vehicle is large enough for all of us. Elder Child is 6'5", The Baby is 6'1" and The Husband is 5'8". Guess where the boys got their height genes? Any who, this is Lauren Bacar:

Love that 1940s styling with the 2002 gadgets. I picked up The Baby and his Girlfriend before he knew we had a new car and when I told them the car's name, both said they had no idea who Lauren Bacall is. *sigh* I really hope The Baby was just trying to make the Girlfriend feel better. We did (and sometimes still do) force him to watch black and white classic movies, but some things stick better than others.

Ha! These are the socks I knit for Elder Child that Blogger wouldn't let me load last week. They are knit from Lang brand Jawoll. The pattern came from HelloYarns with a few changes. I knit my standard socks but tried intarsia in the round. It can be done, but I wouldn't want to make fair isle socks!

Update: Blogger had some issues with pictures this morning so I went to the sewing room and completed the quilt. The (270) patches in this quilt are from fabric I have used for The Baby's clothes and toys over his whole life. There is a patch from the jacket he wore at his naming ceremony, some with Pinky and The Brain on it, and patches from the different quilts I have made for him. Also some picture prints that are special to him.