Monday, October 26, 2009

What I'm working on...

My first knitted project!

I recently learned to knit, and made a swatch in garter stitch.
I ended up not having enough yarn to continue, so I switched to a bulky multi-colored yarn, and started to garter stitch a length of that.
The yarn ended up being too stiff for a scarf (and my needles too small), so I decided to re-use that yarn for a future project (probably a hat).

Then I learned how to purl, and followed the advice from Stitch 'n Bitch, and am making a ribbed scarf.
I love the yarn at Tuesday morning, but quantities are limited, so I chose three muted colors that I thought worked well together and am doing a simple stripe.

The effect is somewhat masculine, so I intend to finish with an edge stitch all around in burgundy, and embroider some flowers (also with the burgundy yarn) on the taupe.
It's fun!

The yarn is a wool/acrylic blend, so the scarf should be nice and warm.
I'm about to the half way point right now.
Then the pattern will reverse so it matches.

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Friday, October 16, 2009

Quilting Inspiration

My mom and I drove up to the north county (inland) of San Diego today, to California State University San Marcos, and attended the El Camino Quilters (guild) Fall Festival of Quilts show.
The theme of the show was "Journeys", where quilters were introspective about their designs.
Some quilts were tributes to their mothers, while others represented their passage through empty nest syndrome, or having a loved one stationed in Iraq.
One lady did an applique quilt of shoes--representing all the years of her life, from baby shoes, to saddle shoes, to platforms.

I was intrigued by quilts made by copying old newspaper articles onto fabric, book excerpts, postcards, and things like the lined cursive writing samples in elementary schools.
Perfect items to describe one's journey, and influences, and struggles.
Personalized art, and memorabilia in art are my favorite things.

It killed me that my camera was recently stolen and I couldn't take photos.

I did buy a few goodies though :)
Redwork embroidery pattern of a Maypole (the shop's example was actually stitched in multi-colors of floss).
Pattern by Quilting Bee Designs
Maypole pattern
I love Maypoles.
Somewhere in the back of my mind, a design is brewing for either a multi-media Maypole, or a quilted one.
This vintage purse design by Enid Collins inspires also, and therefore fits into the puzzle somehow
I'm too broke to buy much, but did come away with a fat quater of fairytale fabric
fairytale fabric

and a yard of this luscious pig fabric
Pig Fabric

I was intrigued by a scrap quilt in which the scraps were arranged crazy-quilt-style in circular shapes atop a white background.
Hmmmm...would be a great way to use scraps.
Maybe even necktie scraps.

Speaking of circular shapes, I've always wanted to make this denim quilt using the lid of a large coffee can as the template (I have tons of jeans saved).
It looks simple to do, but comes out looking like a mock Cathedral Window pattern (a design so complicated that my mom and I both call it "that dreaded pattern" after attempting a class and neither of us ever finishing even one block)
Today I learned about a guild in Orange County called Camp Watch-a-Patcher that holds quilting retreats in Costa Mesa.

But what I'm most excited about is finally having met
Karen Cunagin--a name I have seen over and over again as inspiration behind the quilts I've seen in recent shows.
Karen, of Millefleur Fiber Arts, teaches classes, most often at Palomar College.
I am SO going to attend one of her classes or workshops!
How fun is that idea?!
Note she also has patterns for sale, and a blog, all accessible via the link above.

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Tuesday, October 06, 2009

My horoscope

Considering I'm a pet sitter, my horoscope for today is right on target


Saturday, October 03, 2009

Waffle/Pancake Recipe

You probably make waffles or pancakes with Bisquick or a boxed pancake mix.
But taking a little extra time to make a batter with yeast yields a really tasty treat.
It's super easy if you make the batter the night before, then just take it out of the refrigerator and make up the waffles or pancakes in the morning.
I highly recommend you try these.
I'm not a syrup fan, so I eat mine with butter and raw sugar, or I use the pancakes like bread with a fried egg sandwiched between.

Weekend Waffles

2+1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 envelope FLEISCHMANN’S RapidRise Yeast
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups warm milk (120 to 130 degrees F)
3 large eggs
3 tablespoons butter, melted, or vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a large bowl, combine flour, undissolved yeast, sugar, and salt.
Add warm milk, eggs, butter, and vanilla, stirring just until blended.
Cover and let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 45 minutes (or leave in refrigerator overnight).

Bake batter in heated waffle iron according to manufacturer’s directions.
Serve immediately with your favorite toppings such as butter, syrup, preserves, fresh fruit, whipped or sour cream.
Makes 16 (4-inch) waffles

Note: if you prefer using Active Dry Yeast, dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees F), then reduce milk in recipe to 1+3/4 cups.
Prepare batter as directed above, adding dissolved yeast along with milk.

Note: to make pancakes instead of waffles, prepare batter with only one egg, and only 1+3/4 warm milk.
Let rise as for waffle batter, then cook pancakes on buttered griddle over medium heat.
If desired, as pancakes cook on first side, add fresh blueberries to top side while it is still wet, then flip to cook.
Makes 20 (4-inch) pancakes.

Nutritional Information:

Per Serving:
Serving size: 1 waffle
Serving weight: 2.3 ounces (64 grams)
Calories 120; Total fat 4 g; Saturated fat 2 g;
Cholesterol 50 mg; Sodium 190 mg; Carbohydrates 18 g; Dietary fiber less than 1 g; Sugars 4 g; Protein 4 g

Recipe from Fleishmann's Yeast


Friday, October 02, 2009

Regrettable Goodness

I love you Etsy, I do.
I support handmade and crafters.
But even you have some, um, questionable offerings.

Sorry Etsy, but my new favorite website, Regretsy, brought this to my attention.
I'm so glad someone thought of this (uh, the site, not the stuff. You know what I mean).

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Thursday, October 01, 2009

So true

"Things were different fifty odd years ago, when the general public had a good knowledge of cooking...
It always amazes me how these days people can be totally up-to-speed and knowledgeable about so many different things--computers, music, fashion--but they don't give a toss about what they put in their mouths every day. If it's meat, they don't care where the animal has come from, how it's been reared or what it's been fed on. If you walk round your average supermarket, even though big efforts have been made, there are still lots of products riddled with additives, hydrogenated fats, and a whole catalogue of fillers--fake food."

~Jamie Oliver
from "Cooking with Jamie: My guide to Making You a Better Cook"