Tuesday, April 30, 2013

April Month End Report


My monthly purchase this month consisted of some stuff from Dharma Trading. I totally fell in love with the silk scarf dyeing that I did at the Texas Retreat so I went and ordered a few pieces of raw silk to dye.  

While I was there I noticed that they had some leather and leather paint.
I bought these items to fix the three-panel screen that my aunt painted for me since the leather strips holding the panels together have harden and cracked.  Now I have to get painting.

My order for silk reeling equipment also came in so I am ready to start my silk work.

Knitting - Finished my painted tam in one piece and started the painted tam in wedges; finished knitting the sleeves on my celtic cable sweater and joined the sleeves to the sweater; and frogged my abalone sweater as well as the teal shalom sweater.  I also started the knit community college project.  My progress has been great on the Less is More sweater as well.

Spinning - continued spinning the merino/angora fiber that I got from Jude on my Malcolm Fielding spindle.  I also contemplated what I would spin next on my wheel and have not yet made any decisions.

Weaving - I finished weaving the color and weave dishtowels.  I got three towels out of the pattern and have enough yarn to make at least three more.

Organizing and Purging

I sold my Strauch Petite drum carder to Suzanne at my spin group.  I also sold a rosewood russian spindle and bowl set to a fellow Raveler.  The Majacraft Suzie Pro also found a new home with Shelly.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Spinach Quiche

Last week at spin group, Margie brought a spinach quiche and I have not been able to get that off my mind.  A bit of searching on the inter webs found an easy recipe from the Smitten Kitchen.

I acquired all the ingredients and decided to make one for eating this week.  I couldn't decide on the pie crust but I knew I did not want to make one from scratch.  I bought a Keebler ready made which was in the baking aisle and a two pack from Marie Calendar which was in the freezer case.
I have a mexican shredded cheese blend, plus the parmesan so I added a package of frozen spinach to the cart.

I assembled the ingredients and added some chopped mushrooms as I had those in the fridge.  It smelled very good while mixing.
After baking for 25 minutes, it came out of the oven and rested.
Looks great and I hope it tastes as good as it looks.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Poway Train Song Festival

My friend Jeri invited me along to hang at the weaver's booth for the Vista Steam Engine at the Poway Train Song Festival.

I have never been to the park so it was pretty interesting and reminded me of Old Town in Sacramento.

There is a Poway rail station with a passenger train that goes around the park with some narration.
There were quite a few booths with stuff for sale as well as food vendors.  There were people in period costumes as well as these guys with their funky bikes and steam punk looks.
Jeri was spinning and giving instructions and descriptions to participants but mostly those interested were kids who were enthralled with her big bump of fiber.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Backwards Progress

As I said before, I have been on a major knitting kick and have multiple projects on the needles and have the desire to cast on more projects.  It may because spring has sprung and the days seem to be longer and I can see my plumeria start to leaf.

However, with all these on-going projects, mistakes are being made.  Row counts have been off necessitating the dreaded unknitting.  I may have to be more monogamous for a bit and work through one project at a time until they are all at the correct place before moving forward for more progress.

It must be a sign to stop and smell the roses instead of rushing through the garden.  My hands and wrists are feeling the strain as well so I might have to switch to another hobby for a bit.

Also, today I will be getting a new boss so a new adventure starts at work as well.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Carrot Soup

I made another batch of a carrot soup.  I changed up the recipe and used carrots, celery, and onions as the base.

These were sauteed with butter and oil and I then added a carton of chicken broth with a quarter teaspoon of cayenne and a tablespoon and a half of Penzey's sweet curry.

After boiling for a bit, it moved the entire pot to my Vitamix and blended the soup.  It was a bit spicy so I added two cartons of greek yogurt and added some chives as a garnish.
Very nice flavor.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Juicy Roasted Chicken

Vons was having a sale on whole chickens and I haven't made one in quite a while.  I miss having that Costco coupon deal where you get 4 chickens for the price of 2.  I had always had a chicken or two in the freezer before.

So I went ahead and bought a chicken and pulled out my chicken roasting recipe, but decided to do some net surfing to see if I could find a better one.

I happened upon this recipe and it sounded great.  I mean who doesn't want juicy chicken?  I substituted garlic granules for the onion powder and placed 4 pieces of celery in the cavity with margarine and swiped margarine all over the front of the chicken.  I also roasted it on a tray so the bird would not be sitting in juice and fat.  I had the bird face up with the breast on top.

In the 350 degree oven for an hour and 15 minutes and then out with a foil tarp for another 30 minutes.  The skin was crispy and it smelled delicious.
Great recipe and the meat was falling off the bones.  Very tasty!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Spin Group

We met for spin group at Suzanne's and had a great time.  I opted to knit as I have my sweater mojo going.

Combing was being accomplished as well as carding.  I brought my drum carder for Suzanne to try out and I'm happy to say it has a new home.  Suzanne carded up some merino and her dog Molly's fur.  Very nice fluffy batts.
I was also able to find a new home for my Suzie Pro wheel and it went home with Shelly.  I'm glad these are getting love and a new home.

Food was awesome as usual.  I brought a spinach/strawberry salad, there was quiche, fresh fruit, chips and dip, scones and the best garlic rice and lentil stew.
Cosmo came by to say hi and hang out for a while after tending to his chickens.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Less is More Sweater

I have been feeling the sweater love lately.  I finished my Hoaloha sweater and am almost finished with my Featherweight cardigan so I decided that I must start on a new sweater.  Granted that I still have at least another sweater in the works that I haven't touched in way too long, but I did frog two other sweaters.

I had spun yarn for this less is more sweater endeavor and it is soft and fluffy.  I discussed it here and here.  The colors are a bit "out there" but I really wanted a sweater to wear in the mornings at my desk since it has been a bit chilly.

I balled up one skein of the two on my new ball winder.  I am also using my yarn holder since the skein is giant and weighs 8 ounces.
I swatched and came up with the correct gauge with US 8 needles.  
I cast on the sweater with US 7 needles for the rolled collar and went to town.  I have been catching up on my movie watching in the evenings and have been knitting like crazy.

I finished up the first skein of yarn after finishing the decrease and increase for the body.  Now I just need to join and knit another 4 inches or so before changing to the smaller needles and binding off.
I'm holding that in reserve until I knit the sleeves.  Second ball of yarn wound and first sleeve stitches picked up.
There is still the i-cord edge for the front edges and the trickiness of adding a zipper closure, but this sweater may be done before Black Sheep Gathering.

The colors are a bit funky, but I really like it.

Friday, April 19, 2013

A New Baby

Meet Tyler Seto Hansen.  He is 5 days old in this picture.
My cousin Angie's new baby boy.  He weighed in at 8 pounds 8 ounces and was 21.5" long.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Dinner Date

Since supper club has been disbanded, Janet and I decided to just go out to dinner occasionally.

We hit Monello which is in Little Italy.
It is a new place and right next door is Underbelly.  We had eaten there before.

Cool restaurant with super service.  I ordered the Neri - squid inked pasta with octopus.
Janet had the Monello pizza.
The little appetizer of lupini beans was said to be similar to soy beans but the texture was pretty dense and it was a bit problematic for me to remove the "skin."
Had a bit of room for dessert of pannacotta al cioccolato - yum.
Janet filled out a ticket so maybe we can win another dinner here.  We decided that it was a repeater.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Next Weaving in the Queue

I have two more kits from the Yarn Barn that are ready to go.

One is a napkin set.  I bought the cones of yarn instead of just the kit so I could double the number of napkins I could weave.
The other is a bath mat set where I already have wound the warp.
Hmm....which to go next?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

More Woven Towel

My loom got some action and weaving was accomplished on some dish towels.  I can't exactly recall, but I think I followed the instructions so there should be a yield of 3 towels at the end.

Here it is on the first towel.
Here is the progress at the second towel.
I got three towels altogether with extra waste.  Here is a finished towel.
I think I have enough yarn to make another set.  Maybe in the alternate pattern.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Abalone Sweater Revisited

I knit this abalone sweater during a knit-a-long.  I never quite finished it with the ends woven in nor washed and block it.  I tried it on again and am not too happy with the length of the sweater so I decided to frog the entire sweater and reknit it again with the plan to add longer sleeves.

Here is the reclaimed yarn.....
Ready to be knit again.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Painted Tam Finished

Well, my first painted tam knitting in one piece is complete.  The knitting was fairly fast and I had time to knit waiting around as usual.

The color trending was interesting.  Here is the tam flat.
Here are some of the shots from different angles.
The tam is a bit smaller than I expected.  The gauge was to be 7 stitches per inch and I got 8 stitches per inch.  I'm hoping that it will block out a bit bigger.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

KCC - Foundation Fun

I am participating in the Knitting Community College by Mel of the Singlehanded Knits.  She is leading a knitting course and it sounds like a good way to think about knitting.  

The first assignment consists of:

Foundation Work

1) What Yarn am I using?  What can the ball band tell me? (fiber content, maker/dyer, care instructions, where is the yarn from, etc.).

2) Using as many of the 4 senses as possible (without actually taste testing) explain your yarn.

3) Using resources such as books, magazines, on-line read up on and investigate your fiber or fiber-blend.  Jot down some things you learned.

4) HANDS ON ACTIVITY: Using a needle recommended for gauge on your ball band, case on enough stitches to create a 4" square.  Repeat this using a needle 2 sizes larger than the first attempt or at least one size larger than recommended on the ball band.

5) Once the squares are done, check them out!  Measure them.  Record our stitches and rows per inch.  What do you see?  Do you like one more that the other?  Why?  Why not?  How do they feel?  How does how they feel compare/differ from each other?  Be as detailed as you want when you are recording your observations.

6) Soak and block each.  For blocking purposes, we are simply smoothing them out and not forcing a size.  The important focus is what can you learn and see and observe from your swatches?  Did soaking alter either?

7) EXTRA CREDIT:  Go Big!  Use a size needle you think is MUCH larger than you should and knit a small 20 by 20 sample.  Describe it in the same way as you did the others.  Compare and contrast it to the other two.

Since it is the year of buying no yarn, I dug through the stash and came up with two skeins of Kona Bay Cotton in a red color.  I think I bought this yarn the first year I started knitting when I didn't know what I was doing.  Combined, there are only 212 yards.
Part is this assignment is to journal in a notebook, but I decided to journal here so I don't have to keep track of something else.  I hope this will be a great learning experience.  I will post my progress as I make it.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Painted Tam

As I posted here, I want to knit two painted tams.  One will be knit in the round with commercial yarn, and the other in wedges in bare yarn for dyeing.

My original choice was some tonal green yarn from Alisha Goes Around, but I was looking at my yarn cabinet and saw this great yarn from the Three Irish Girls in the color Aiden.
I changed my mind because after looking at the pattern picture, I assume that this assignment is a color study and I decided that I needed some colors instead of a tonal.

The balled yarn looks quite different from the skein.
And the knitting from the brim took on some cool color transitions.