Monday, December 10, 2012

The Three E Toque - Hat Pattern

A close-fitting, brimless winter hat with a small pointy peak. Created for Renee, a West Coast friend who shaved her head and then realized it was cold without hair. She put out the call for hats, and I improvised this for her. Work up very fast in the round. She described her hat size as “big”, so I made this hat to fit my 23’ head. (People like us are the exception to “one size fits all”, hatwise.) It’s designed with no ease, and would be cozy on a person with a normal-sized bean as well. Gauge is not vital - using 10s with this bulky yarn gives a soft, cushy fabric, and works well with the self-striping rate of the Charisma. This project used less than 20 yards of Thick and Quick for the cast-on and ribbing, and a little more than half a skien of Charisma for the body and peak of the hat. The hat in my photos is Charcoal T&Q and Black Raspberry Charisma. Needles US 10 circular 5 US 10 dpns 1 stitch marker (optional) Yarn: cc: Lion Brand Woolease Thick and Quick: Charcoal; Super bulky (5) – several yards Mc: Michaeals Charisma: Black Raspberry; Bulky (4) – less than on skein Gauge: 3 st/inch in ribbing and in body at rest; 2 st/in stretched. Directions: On circulars, using Contrast Color, cast on 46 using Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Cast-on. (This blogpost has a written explanation and links to some tutorial videos: http://curiousknitter.blogspot.com/2009/09/jeny-stretchy-....) Place marker if desired. Join. Rounds 1-5: k2, p2aking about an inch of chunky ribbing. ) Round 6: break yarn and switch to Main color. Knit one round. Round 7: k4, kbf to marker. It doesn’t really matter if how many stitches you add or where you end up - you’re just working in a little volume on this and the next few rows. Round 8: k7, kfbto marker. Round 9: k5, kfb to marker. Remove marker. Rounds 10-24: knit Rounds 25-27: Purl (You’re making a ridge around the top edge of the crown.) Round 28: Pick up dpns. Knit round 28 off circs onto dpns, dividing stitches evenly between 4 needles. Round 29: knit each quarter-round on a dpn. When you come to the last 2 stitches on each needle, k2t. Take care to snug up the first stitch on each dpn by giving your working yarn a good tug before the second stitch. Round 30: knit. Repeats rounds 29 and thirty until the center/peak of your hat comes together. When you are down to 8 stitches, transfer them all to one needle and knit 2 icord rows. Bind off (I used a crochet hook to pull the working yarn through the loops and down into the center of the cord.) Weave in ends. Size: brim: 23 inches stretched; crown 5 in high including ribbing; peak 7 inches

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Sh#+ my kid said

1. "I'm going to tweet about this!!" (does my 6-year-old know what twitter is? I am confident that he does not.)

2. "I liked her at the beginning of the year, but now she's acting all like a gangsta."

3. (as we were lying on his bed, getting him to sleep, he sang me this lullaby:)
"go to sleep, Betsy Mitchell Henning.
Betsy Mitchell Henning, go to sleep
Ian's bed is so soft and com-fort-e,
And it's so quiet and peeeceful
Here in this apartment
Also called a condoooo
So go to sleep, Betsy Mitchell Henning. Betsy mitchell Henning, go to sleep. "

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Bonus Recipe Links: Broccoli Gribiche plus.

Here's a link to the recipe I made this weekend. I loved it and it was hoovered up at a potluck.

Heidi Swanson's Broccoli Gribiche

which is, strangely, not on her own really excellent and beautiful website  101 Cookbooks

(home of the infamous Golden Crusted Brussels Sprouts which could not possibly be better )

but is in her terrific second cookbook  Super Natural Every Day.

But the person who transcribed it on her own blog took some good step-by-step photos - I like step-by-step photos in a recipe, especially of the steps that make me say "Ew, that looks gross. That can't possibly be right, I must have messed something up."  For example: whisking hard-boiled egg yolk and red wine vinegar together.

Obviously I'm babbling.
The end.

Dinner tonight: Veggies, roasted, blanched and ravioli-ed

I posted this on Facebook, and the 'likes' seemed to be swarming, so I thought I would describe how I made it.

 Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

 Into a large bowl, slice half a large white onion, about a cup of grape tomatoes, 2 cloves of garlic, half a gigantic red pepper, and whatever other leftover veg you have knocking around your fridge - I had about half a yellow squash. You can slice as thickly or thinly as you like - the thinner you slice, the sooner it will be ready. You don't have to slice the tomatoes much, though. Halving or just squishing them is fine.

 Toss with a small splash of oil, either regular olive oil or flavored oil like that herby Basting Oil they were giving away at Wegman's last week. It's quite a nice thing to have around, incidentally. Sprinkle some salt in, toss to coat, and dump out onto a rimmed baking sheet. Spread out to make a mostly single layer (you don't have to be OCD about it.) Bake at 400 for about 20 minutes, and check it. You want the veggies to be soft, and some to have touches of brown but not entirely blackened. Mine took a total of 30 minutes. After the 20 minute check, put a pot of water on to boil. Once it boils, turn it down.

 Now slide a whole 8 oz package of Rising Moon Organics Frozen Feta-Hazelnut Ravioli with Butternut Squash into the hot water. The package is covered with instructions that say Never cook ravioli in rapidly boiling water and Do not overcook! and I didn't, and you probably shouldn't either.

 Immediately also drop in several big handfuls of cut kale. I bought mine in a bag at Trader Joes, and it was cut into about 1 inch pieces. So I recommend that size of bits if you have to cut your own.

 The ravioli package directions say to cook for 8 minutes, and mine weren't quite as soft as one might hope, plus the kale was still really hard, so I let mine go a little longer - probably 10 minutes. Remove your veggies from the oven and put them back in the bowl they started in. Fish out your raviolis and kale and add them to the bowl. Toss everything together to spread the fabulous oil and veg juices around onto the pasta and kale. Plate. Eat. The kale is still a little crunchy after cooking for 10 minutes; the veggies are soft and carmelized, and the pasta is creamy/silky and absorbs the garlicy juices. Plus it's gorgeous. Plus it's 30 minutes.

 My husband is constantly bugging me to 'write down that recipe!" Look, honey, I wrote it down. Go me.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

and all manner of things will be

Sausage Creole and other surprises


Sausage Creole.

Get out a lot of pans. Frying pans and saucepans.

Start with the sausage. Let’s say it’s Tuesday afternoon and you think you might whip up some spaghetti with sausage meatballs. It’s fast, and everybody likes it. And you know you have sausage in the freezer.

Pull out some sausage to defrost in the micro. Notice that your husband has picked up a pound of fresh andouille sausage links from the Giant. It was on sale. You are not sure your kid will eat this kind of sausage, but you assume you'll be able to hide it in the tomato sauce. Thaw it and rip it into small chunks, which you then roll into small balls and set to cook in you big cast iron skillet.

Being afraid to burn it, throw some water into the skillet when you’re heating the pasta water. Having put those fears to rest, feel free to go play with your kid. It’s not like you’re leaving the area or anything. You can see it from where you are. It’ll be fine.

When your son mentions that something smells burny, take the pan off the stove and remove the sausage balls. They’re pretty much done, and mostly intact. There’s a pretty bad layer of burned scum sticking to the pan. Please don’t forget to let that pan cool before you soak it.

Grab another frying pan. Chop an onion and a red pepper (or whatever else you find in the fridge) and cook that over high heat for a few minutes in olive oil. You don't need to get all the way to carmelized - just let it get a little brown and sticky, then throw some water (it’s boiled by now) on the veg and turn down the heat, and let that cook. Refresh the water every once in a while so the pan doesn’t burn dry.

The water will turn brown but it will, unfortunately, still taste like water. Stir in some Heinz Chili Sauce – not even a quarter cup. If you have a ripe tomato, squish it with your hands and add it to the pan. Add the sausage balls. Cover and simmer slowly.

This would be good with rice. Make some brown rice.

When the rice is done, stir a few big handfuls of greens – I had spinach – into the simmering pan of sauce and sausage. It’ll practically disappear in a few minutes.

Serve the creole over rice to your husband, knowing that your kid would never in a million years eat it. Realize you have no spaghetti sauce for the kid. Which is okay because you forgot to boil the spaghettti.

Offer him a hot dog. He asks to taste the red stuff you’re eating. He loves it! He eats his own portion and some of yours. He snipes sausage – the sausage that you were sure was too spicy for him– off everyone’s plate.
WINNING. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Neither Lent nor Si-Lent any longer.

Well, that was a complete bust. I was so enamored of my weird, out-of-focus empty tire swing that nothing else seemed to compare.

You'll be pleased to hear that, while I was NOT blogging and NOT painting and NOT sewing and NOT paying attention to my family and BARELY EVEN COOKING, our lenten and easter observances at church went quite well. Working to create and curate them was extremely engaging, in a way not much has been in 2012 up until that point, with the possible exception of the Bejeweled App for the iPhone.

Some web sites I like:
Dapper Lou , which I discovered just this evening in the always-questionable Blogs Of Note roll. You all know I dig The Sartorialist (yes, how desperately original of me, I know.) Dapper Lou is another street fashion blog, and I like it a lot.

Before And After I believe I happened upon this from the Pantone site.

"Because our modern world has made designers of us all (ready or not), Before & After is dedicated to making graphic design understandable, useful and even fun for everyone."

As a long-time fake designer, I must say this is some good shit.

And I really want one of these: Shutter Grip for the iPhone. Between the handle, the button and the tripod mount, I think that this could actually be worth forty of my hard-earned dollars. Or I could just start carrying my perfectly-good, more-megapixels camera again like I used to when I used to take millions of pictures. Hmmm.

In other news, I knit myself a chartreuse sweater over Lent. No one has ever been happier about a spring cold snap than I am these days. I made one damn cable and now I feel like (Knitting) Wonder Woman who can do literally any fucking thing in the (knitting) world.

So I am right now pondering yarns for a cardigan.

I bought a single stunningly beautiful (and local!) lace-weight skein dyed by the Verdant Griffinat the Homespun Yarn Party which I somehow found the cash for even though we were, um, between receivables, as we sometimes are.....but now I am anxious about what would be the PERFECT thing to make out of it. It looks like this:
except a bit smaller. But it's more than 700 yards! There must be something spectacular I can make.

I liked it so much that I dyed my hair that color a couple of weeks later.




I quite like it. I also gave myself an 80s bi-level bob, using my barber clippers, which looks great from the front, weird from the side, and I am in complete denial about the view from the back. As with the hotel mattresses and what goes on in restaurant kitchens, I'd just rather not know.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Friday, February 24, 2012

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Trying something new

okay, so it's lent.
I mean, tomorrow. Tomorrow will be Lent. You should come to the Ash Wednesday observance. I believe it will be quite interesting.

Anyway, I've been wondering a couple of things, like:
what my lenten discipline should be
why I have abandoned all my blogs, which I have enjoyed so much over the course of several years
whether Facebook is really a problem for me, or just something I like doing.

It looks rather like it is something I like doing, to the exclusion of knitting, blogging, sewing, and sometimes dealing with my family in person. So maybe that's a sort of a problem. I imagine it's precisely the same problem that every extrovert and every distractable person has had since the invention of dial-up BBSes. (Kirk was working beside me one day at the office and said "I cannot begin to imagine what sort of hell the internet is for people like you." He meant ADD people, and curious people, and the answer is: a special one, dude. One that mostly seems like heaven.

Anyway, too many words.

I'm going to try blogging regularly in only images. For Lent. Photos, doodles, videos, whatever, made by me, daily. For Lent. (which means not Sundays.)

Let's see what it's like to say things without saying anything.

I do not care to jump off FB entirely, but I'm going to try to check in less than once per day. I'm curious to see how that makes me feel. (Right now it makes me feel like there's a permanent party going on, with all the most interesting people alluding to the most interesting things, and I am deciding to just stop by for a second on the way to pick up the kid from daycare.)

Let's see what develops.