Saturday, November 28, 2009
Remembering when my brother Ian ate a whole pumpkin pie, and the times we would drive my dad crazy with the fingers running around the rims of our wine glasses, making the (annoying) humming noise. The smells in the house with the turkey in the oven, I even miss the mad woman my mom would become when she got on her cleaning jag just before any major holiday. But alas, families do not always stay close and these are only memories.
For the past 12 years I have been making new memories with my husband, the turkey wrestler, he always helps me get the bird into the sink for his final bath, pats him down and helps me prepare him for stuffing and roasting. This year my turkey came out beautiful, the stuffing perfect, and dessert was delightful. I made the Pumpkin Pie Crunch, you can Google that if you like, I topped it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of homemade cranberry with orange sauce. I think this is my new holiday tradition! It was pretty, tasty and above all, stress free.
Recently my life has been a bit rough; my mom had another stroke and spent about 3 months in a rehab hospital. She is home now and doing really well, albeit, we have a new normal around Casa Clarkson, but taking care of her is not the hard or rough part. I realize I’m still not ready to talk about it, but it has made my life really difficult and made my heart very heavy. Family can be the best, bar none, and it can be the worst, bar none. What I am thankful for this thanksgiving is my loving and supportive husband, and that my mom is still with me and still has her mind and humor.
Go forth and be thankful!
Thursday, November 19, 2009
I have been busy knitting socks, they are such a portable project... I don't know what I was so afraid of for so long, but now I love knitting them. I picked up some Patons Stretch Socks in color way, Kelp. I think this color should have been named Sand and Surf, or Sunny day at the Beach... Light blue, sea blue, sand color and pale green... really pretty color way.
I've also been cooking and planning my Thanksgiving feast. Thanksgiving is probably my favorite meal to prepare, I think it's the tradition of it. Remembering my mom in the kitchen cooking and all the wonderful aromas coming from the kitchen... She would make cornbread and cashew stuffing... I never liked stuffing until she started making it... now I love stuffing! I have changed tradition a bit, I don't make mashed potatoes anymore, I roast up a bunch of winter root veggies. So yummy and fantastic when you add the leftovers to the turkey soup... I'm just saying...
Well that's it for today...
Friday, June 19, 2009
Spring was fantastic and busy! Mom and I attended the Machine Knitting Guilds retreat at the Sonoma Orchid Inn. We relaxed, visited, knit, ate and generally had a great time. Mom had a lovely time visiting and getting to know some of our guild members. I actually began and finished a sweater over the weekend. I brought along some yarn that I found on Ebay a few years ago. It’s now a lovely sweater that mom and I both wear!
I finished a UFO! Woo hoo! The apricot cable sweater is finished! I had purchased the yarn from a yarn shop in San Carlos in the early 90’s. The yarn is/was Kitten by Reynolds. In 2001, I started the sweater from a Pingoin pattern magazine I had. I love those Pingoin patterns from France, they seem to be somewhat timeless in design. Anyway, I started it and stopped, the reason for the stop after finishing the back and nearly both of the fronts is that I was looking for the yarn needed to finish it, I was sure I had misplaced the remainder of the yarn, I just couldn’t think where. Skip ahead to 2008, I find the sweater and think, well, how many balls of yarn am I looking for? I count the balls used so far and realize that there are no more balls of yarn and after all that work, it looks like I’m stuck with part of a sweater.
More spring activity to tell you about. Mom and I were also lucky enough to attend a Wool dyeing workshop. We had three fabulous days with fun people, wool, knitting and lots of color. We couldn’t have had a better time, surrounded by all things we love. The wool I dyed turned out wonderful and I’m looking forward to the opportunity to set up my own dye space in the back yard where mom and I can hand paint yarn till our hearts content.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
A few items came to mind this morning that I wanted to take the time to share. I met a lady on Ravelry, we share some items in common and in our exchange of emails, she told me about her book club, and the books she was reading. I mentioned that I wish I had time to read, that is when she told me about her Ipod and audio books. What a concept, I went in search of my own MP3 player. I did some research and found that I liked the Creative Zen X-Fi 8GB. I have listened to several books already; Angels and Demons, Bone Garden, and now I'm listening to Choices. I now have time to read while doing things, I must admit I am really enjoying the abilty to read some of the many books that I have wanted to read.
Knit One Below samples;
I'm afraid that the photos don't really show the depth of color that the sample in person shows, but this is the best I can do at this point. I think I mentioned that I bought the book titled "Knit One Below". I did some samples, I showed one a few weeks ago with the blues and greens, knit in the two strand method. This sample is also knit with merino wool in varigated colors of rich autum colors, golds, and greens and some caramel colored mohiar from my extensive stash in the single strand method.
I'm so impressed with the feel of the knitted fabric and the colors are so amazing in this sample. The two yarns used beautiful all on their own, but together the colors are richer and the size of the stitch seems to show off the beauty of the yarns, each stitch almost looks like a different color of yarn was used.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
I have a very small collection of garden bunnies, I'm always on the lookout for more, I love to nestle them in around my potted plants. I used to have a real bunny named Harvey, a lovely little mini lop. I now have this thing for bunnies and since I have too many sheepies, bunnies are out. So I now look for little garden variety bunnies found at your local Ross or Marshalls.
Here is a little tease! A sample of some yarns I'm using for a baby sweater that I'm currently working on publishing for you to all enjoy. It's a quick little knit for the baby in your family or that will be arriving soon. Be patient it will be done soon.
Sunday, March 1, 2009
I have all this beautiful mohair, and it's like, what was I thinking? I can't wear fuzzy mohair sweaters for so many reasons, one is that I'm not a thin, tiny person, also, I hate to be over heated... but then there is the issue of my many, many mohair purchases over the years. I'm telling you, I have some mohair. You can probably imagine what it would be like for an adict when they see their drug of choice... then you can imagine what happens when I see mohair. As an artist, I think it is the color saturation that you get with mohair, even with light colors, the color is still saturated without being dark or muddy. So back to the concept with Knit One Below. I took the mohair in the photo above and then looked (yes at Stitches) for a complementary yarn to knit with it....
Is this merino just perfect or what? So I swatched to see if they would indeed come out and indeed they did or at least I think the combo is amazing. I'm not sure what I will do, a sweater or a what. Oh, look at the next photo and check out my swatch...
I think I'm in love... the swatch feels so good and I get to use my mohair and it's soft and has a minimal halo from the mohair, I think I can wear this.....
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
In my efforts to become more efficient and have more time to knit, I have enlisted the use of my crock pot. When I first hauled it out, I had no idea what to cook, how long to cook, how much liquid to add, what temperature to cook, essentially I had no idea of what to do with it, I only knew that I needed to use it to be more time efficient.
My first foray was pot roast, I had never much liked pot roast, but thought my husband and mom would enjoy it, so I tried it. With much success, even I liked the results. I made several of these and then I tried chicken stew, as I don’t much like beef stew but do like stewed poultry. Again, much success, so I tried my version of Mexican chicken. That one blew the socks off of everyone! So last night after several meals of poached salmon (it was on sale), I decided to make my Mexican Chicken except with beef…. So here goes.
1 2 to 3lb chuck roast
1 Jar Southwest Salsa (you pick the heat) I used mild
1 Lg. can diced tomatoes, all the liquid
1 can black beans, all the liquid
1 cup frozen corn
1 Pk. Burrito seasoning
Dump all the ingredients into the crock pot and put on high for 6 hours.
Serve with steamed flour tortillas, and taco fixings; shredded lettuce, sour cream, shredded cheese, onions, cilantro, diced avocado and tomatoes.
Came out really yummy and probably will make about 8 meals
The cost per meal came out to around $2.75 per.
Friday, January 30, 2009
A close up of that sweet little face. When my mom wanted a sheepdog like mine I looked all over and finally found her in Southern California at an animal care center. When I brought her home to mom, it was love at first site. We now all live together and all three dogs get along fine. Daisy remains the funny girl she was when we got her and she is still mom's dog.
This is Daisy wide awake, her bangs were so long, I had to give her little pony tails so we could see her eyes and so she could see too.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
The biggest mistake I made was not having enough yarn for the sweater. I started this sweater around 2001 and must have put it aside thinking I had misplaced the remainder of the yarn. When I pulled it out last year to finish it, I made the discovery that there was no more yarn, it had all been used in the progress.
Thankfully I had become a member of Ravelry, an online knitting community. I posted that I was looking for this really old yarn in apricot color. I didn't get just one, but two people who had the yarn and in the right color. I forgot to mention that I had purchased the yarn some 10 years earlier and bought it on sale, so it was probably no longer being made when I got it. Back to the story, I made a simple donation and the yarn was sent to me. While the yarn that was sent was a different dye lot it was pretty close and I had some of the original yarn to blend the knitting.
The button band with some buttons that I found at Britex in San Francisco, they are lucite from France... I thought it was perfect as the patten is one from the French yarn company (sadly no longer with us) Pinguoin. I have knit a couple of items that I found in their pattern books, I love the style and the patterns for the most part were well written and frankly if you knit classics, you can weare the garment for decades or until you wear them out...
Sunday, January 18, 2009
I started this sweater on December 10 2008, It is a Kristin Nicholas design. As you can see it is very textural. I love cable knitting, more cables the more I enjoy the process. I finished the back on December 27th, and now the fronts are cast off and the sleeves have been cast on and an inch or so is knit.
I had in my extensive stash, some beautiful merino wool. This is in wine color and is really beautiful. I cast on and knit the fronts on one circular needle. This sweater has a wonderful knotted rib knit
Here are the fronts on one needle just before I did the decreases for the neck edge and sleeve edge. This pattern went fast. I love all the cables and interest.
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Goodbye 2008! Anyone else happy to see 2008 behind them? I know I'm happy, it was a tough year.... I'm not one for new year resolutions, and this will not be a year for exceptions. However, I have decided to embrace this year differently, to start each day with expectations of a wonderful day, do what is needed to do in order to have a good day. I was reading the blog of Bonne Marie Burns, of ChicKnit fame, and she talks of looking up this year, I think I too will be looking up and in more ways than to just lift my chin...
I'm going to;
- take more random photos
- post once per week to my blog (at minimum)
- design more baby sweaters
- write the patterns for what I have designed
- look for the good in people
- be the person I would like to meet and know
- be nicer to my husband
- knit out of my stash
- continue my yarn diet
- look for something each morning to be grateful about to start my day with a smile
- bring my lunch to work more days than not
- take more classes, knitting, jewelry making, self improvement
- start my water aerobics class again
- be better to myself
- dress better regardless of my size... I'm not where I would like to be, but heck, I'm what I am and I should enjoy
I will continue to add to this as I see more that I want to do in 2009 or change for that matter...