Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Santa Rosa Sweater Part 1

After swatching with the Blue Moon Yarn and getting gauge, the start of the sweater commences with the yoke.

I have made many of Carol's sweaters and have a few more in my queue.

The pattern comes out in parts and the first is to start and knit up the yoke.  Since this is a top down raglan sweater (I love this kind), the cast on was easy and then the increasing with the lace pattern commenced.  Part A ends like this.
It is tricky to try to remember to make the buttonhole as I go along and I have notes all over my pattern.  It is challenging and engaging at the same time.

The next section is a slower increase to shape the shoulders of the raglan following the same pattern.
I also initiated the color change to the next skein and I had about 6 grams left of the first skein.  The color change is very subtle.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Opera for Breakfast

Grace and I met up for breakfast at Opera.  We ate outside since Gus came along.
Almond croissant that we shared and I took home for the next day.
Croissant sandwich with bacon, eggs, cheese, and tomatoes for me.
Omelet for Grace.

Nice place with patio seating and wasn't crowded.

Friday, June 24, 2016


Grace and I met for dinner at 8Elements on Mira Mesa Blvd.  The traffic was the pits as usual but the food was good.
We had the garlic naan which wasn't overwhelming.
We had a chicken dish and a potato cauliflower dish which was kind of spicy.
And rounded out with a lamb kabob.
Tasty with leftovers for lunch.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Pomegranate Restaurant

Jon and Karen invited me out to a Russian place called Pomegranate for dinner.

We arrived at opening on Sunday and we were the first to be seated.

After looking over the menu, we ordered a variety of dishes and shared.
First was the salad sampler.
I would not have pegged any of these as Russian.  The potato salad was kind of German with dill, then the beets and carrots with the tomato eggplant which was kind of Italian leaning.  The center bean mix was spicy and was reminiscent of Mexican.
Next was a special dumpling dish (just like xiao lung bao but way bigger).  The yogurt dill and pepper spread was very tasty with it.
Next was the shashlik with pork.  It came out on a huge skewer and was coated with pomegranate sauce with a carrot rice mix and pickled onions.  The pork was tender and moist.
We also tried the Siberian meat dumplings which was kind of Italian.
And the cheese potato dumpling which were very tasty.
Dessert was ice cream with a habanero sauce which was too spicy.  The waitress came back with some pomegranate sauce which added a nice tang.

Delicious food but more geared to cold weather.  I worked up a sweat eating but it was all so good.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Bailey Impersonating a Cat

I never figured Bailey for the swiftest in anything as he is kind of clumsy.  He tries to sneak to catch the squirrels in the back but he makes such a racket they always get away.

I was getting ready for bed and found a dead mouse on the floor near the kitchen.  After disposing of it and lecturing him on the nastiness of rodents, we went to bed.

I then find this the next day.
I can't believe he actually caught something let alone two things in two days.  More lecturing and hopefully that will be the last of it.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Santa Rosa Sweater

I'm knitting a new sweater called the Santa Rosa by Carol Feller, one of my favorite designers.  I have made a few of her sweaters and have a few still on the needles.

I'm in the process of culling and sorting all of my works in progress but this sweater was calling my name.

The yarn is a silk, sea cell, merino blend and it so soft to the touch.  The sweater is knitted in a gradient so these are the colors I got from Blue Moon Fiber Arts.
You start with the lightest color and move to the darkest color and I watched with the darkest color.
I can't wait until it starts.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Off the Grid Quilt

I finally got this quilt finished as I got the pattern from Moda Bakeshop.  I think the fabric came in a kit and it is not exactly my style, but I liked the overall pattern.

I must have gotten the measurements a bit messed up as I had to do math and wing it at the end with the leftover pieces.  Another quilt top finished.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Vegas Food

Lance again took me to a few places for food that I hadn't tried before.  Lunch on the first day was order in sandwiches which the restaurant delivered.

The next day, we walked a short distance to Zydeco.  On the way, I saw this place.
We ordered a bunch of items including a special.  Really hot and yummy.
I also shared the gumbo with potato salad which you mix into the gumbo.
I also order the shrimp po boy with cajun fries which was delicious.  I was totally stuffed and ready for a nap.
Lance ordered the special and had the onion rings instead of fries.
Before I left, Lance took me out for tamales at Dona Maria's.
Old fashion with these great stained glass doors.
I had chicken and pork tamales and the chips and salsa were great.
I have to wait until fall to visit Vegas again.  It seems to be the beginning of a hot summer.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Hot Vegas

I had to head to Vegas for a follow up field trip and was dismayed when I looked at the weather and saw that it would be a scorcher.  I arrived in the morning and immediately had to take clothes off from the mild 60 degree weather at home.

At 4:30 when I was driving to the hotel, this is what registered in the car.
When I checked in, I was the guest of the day and received bonus points for my stay.  The view from my room.  I didn't know that there was a faux London eye here.
The hotel was even offering a 5K run down the strip at 5:30 pm which I thought was crazy!

The temperatures hovered over 100 the entire time I was there and the sun was super hot.  I was lucky that I had underground parking so getting into the car at the end of the day was comfortable.  I didn't linger anywhere outside but it was very uncomfortable.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Another Attempt at Burgers

After my first attempt at burgers with bacon which didn't turn out exactly as I expected, I decided to try one more time with guests.

I pulled out 3 packages of the ground beef from J&J Grassfed Beef (my local CSA cooperative) and 2 packages of Trader Joe's apple smoked bacon.

I also looked up moist burger recipes and cobbled together what I thought would work.

I ground up the bacon in the food processor and added it to the meat and mixed that by hand for a bit.  I then added 3 tablespoons of evaporated milk, which I had some leftover from something else, 2 tablespoons of worcestershire sauce and 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper and a handful of shakes of some ground garlic.  I also added 3/4 cups of panko bread crumbs and an egg.  The meat weight was about 2 pounds.

After hand mixing the ingredient together, I used my trusty tupperware burger press mold for perfect burger patties.
On the grill covered and only flipping once.  The bacon fat produced quite a bit of smoke but the smell was great.
A burger with all the fixings and they were claimed a success and should be repeated.

We also a dessert after gorging on burgers.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Catching Up with Jeri

Jeri and I caught up after I got home.  I went by her place and picked her up to go shopping at Sewing Machines Plus for their big sale.  I had to go by to pick up my machines that were serviced and looked over some items.

I ended up buying a fabric guide for my serger which finally was produced.

Jeri and I ended up having lunch at Umai Sushi not far from the store and we had a few rolls of sushi and a poke bowl which was delicious.
We caught up on the news and she filled me in on the Trump rally she attended and I showed her all the stuff I learned from my retreat.

Fun times that lasted all day and a renewed conviction to get together more often to spin.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

New Weaving Project

After the retreat, I went though all my stuff and found a towel kit that I bought a while ago.  I pulled it out and there was no instructions so I went off and e-mailed Lunatic Fringe for a copy.
They were nice enough to send me the pattern called In the Buff towels and I consulted Jane about it and she recommended a sett of 10.  She also helped me determine how many ends my warp needed to be.

Winding the warp took three sections and you can see the veg matter in the twist.
I ended up with 3 bouts using 2 full cones and about half of another.
One of the cones had a ton of knots and I had this leftover from cutting and winding.
Next, the bobbins were wound.
The smaller gauge yarn is for the hems.

Taking everything to the loom and preparing the paper took some doing.  I warped back to front and it was an ordeal which took me most of one day to get that warp wound on.  My back was aching by the time it was done.

Next came the heddles which I spaced since the warp took the entire width of the loom.  Another half a day threading the heddles and the reed with some corrections along the way.  More shoulder and back fatigue.
Next came the tie on the front beam.
My warp was not even at this point so I had to cut off the excess to line everything up.  I ended up with this much waste at the beginning of the project.
Weaving with waste yarn to spread out the warp was the next step.
I can see I already have an error, but I'm over it now and that will just be a design element.  I also figured out that my warp tension was not quite even especially on the edges so I put a bobbin under the warp at the paper to add a bit more tension.
The 3" hem went on next and it seems pretty even now.
One sequence of the weave pattern and I'm done for the day.  The pattern weaves for 52" and then another 3" of hem to be repeated 3 more times.  I'm crossing my fingers and hoping to finish this project before putting the loom up for sale.