Monday, May 29, 2006

Happy Memorial Day

What a beautiful sunny day this is to honor our veterans.

Thanks for the comments, Tey and Sharon. No, Tey I do not spin. I would love to, but there are not enough hours in the day for me to add yet another project. I can barely find time to practice and make reeds!

Sharon - the attention of a goldfish????? That's funny (how did you know we have fish!) I think I am right there in the tank with you :-)

Today we are going to East Texas, a small town called Mt. Vernon to a fundraiser for the Mt. Vernon Music Association ( Friends of ours bought a small church and are renovating it for a performing arts venue. They already have a nice Steinway grand (housed at Steinway Hall in Dallas) that cannot be put in the church yet. They are installing heat and air conditioning, handicap accessible ramps and bathrooms and the wood floors all need refinishing.

Today's event is a Cajun Buffet at the Veranda Bed and Breakfast ( that should be lots of fun. Water is in the fridge cooling and the folding chairs and straw hats are ready to put in the car.

Walking with my neighbor is first on the course for today. See you later-

Friday, May 26, 2006

Fern Lace

Fern Lace Wrap has doubled in size since the last posting. This is a slow go ..... I must pay very careful attention or I goof up.

I think I'll get my sweater back out for some good old stockinette stitch!

Regarding my last acrylic liking post:

I do knit with other fibers. I also *very much* like cotton blends, silks and alpaca. I think any yarn, be it a blend, a natural fiber or a man-made one should be regarded for it's qualities that we feel are good. I just get tired of many of the nice affordable yarns having wool content and I have to search and search for something I can wear. And I am not ready to justify spending $75-100 on a scarf or $30 on a pair of socks - no matter how lovely the yarn is. Now on a sweater - that is a different story.

100% cotton makes my wrists hurt, so I only knit a few face clothes once in a while.

Thanks Tey for your soy silk and bamboo suggestions. I will look into them. And yes, I am allergic - itching, breaking out in hives, etc. I cannot even wear lined wool slacks or skirts.

Alpaca seems okay so far, and I have a pair of cashmere lined gloves that are okay too. I would love to knit with cashmere or cashmere and silk blend, but I don't think my pockets are deep enough for that!

I think there are many good fibers available and not all of them are natural. Give some a try you would normally walk past- you might be pleasantly surprised.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Acrylic is my friend

I read so many people's forum entries who hate acrylic.
Is it fine silk, cashmere, mohair or alpaca? No, of course not.
Is it soft? Yes.
Machine washable? Yes.
Cost effective? Yes.
Am I able to run to the local craft store and get some? Yes.
That said, of course some of it is indeed horrid
as are some expensive wools!
It can be scratchy, squeaky on the needles, stiff, wirey nasty stuff.

But some brands and types are quite lovely - Here is the proof:

The pattern is Fern Lace Wrap from the Little Box of Scarves.

The yarn is Red Heart Luster Sheen (100% acrylic) in a fine gauge (26 sts=4", needle size US 5), the color is Ocean and the needles I am using are Lantern Moon #5.
It feels nice and soft and is easy to work with.

It is very difficult to find nice yarns with no wool content (for those of us unable to wear wool), especially difficult in sock and lace weights. So I will continue on my quest for non-wool yarns for whatever project look interesting.

I won't let a little wool stand in my way!

Friday, May 19, 2006

Matching Hat

Here is the hat to match the baby sweater:

This pattern is called Bev's Baby Seed Cap that I found here:

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Finished Placket Sweater

Aw, girls, you are really kind - I am blushing. Thanks again for your ever-supportive comments. I must say I am lucky because I was always mechanically able and crafty with my hands. My Dad was a remarkable wood-worker in his spare time and could build just about anything. My brother and I are lucky in that we were given the gift of the tactile mechanical genes. And Mom and her female relatives were always knitting, crocheting, cross stitching or sewing. As I said - I am a very lucky woman. Grandpa was a classically trained musician; he soloed on piano with the New Jersey Symphony when he was 15 years old! - so there is the rest of the story.
But here is the best part:
The Child's Placket Neck Sweater from Last Minute Knitted Gifts came off the needles tonight. You are right Tey - once my teacher (Thank You Mary!!!) showed me how to attach the sleeves it all made sense!

I used Lion Brand (discontinued) Cotton Ease yarn on #7 CP circs and dpns. The gauge came out more like the next size up (1 yr old) but that is fine since it gets very steamy here very soon. It should fit the baby by December. This little girl is due May 21. She is the daughter of the sister of two former students.

I even found a hat pattern that matches perfectly - the very same seed stitch edge. Guess I'll start that tomorrow.

Have a perfectly lovely evening all-

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Next in the Queue

Now that my most favorite (so far) socks are done, here is the next project: the child's placket neck sweater from Last Minute Knitted Gifts.
I am just about to attach the first sleeve - after I go the the Sit and Stitch and see my teacher.
I have no clue how to do this!

A while back I found some discontinued Lion Brand Cotton Ease at a close-out store and bought 3 bags (three skeins in each) of orange, yellow and turquoise. My husband told me orange was the one to use. And since I always listen to him (grin) here we are!

The needles are Crystal Palace #7. Since I started with those for the body, I thought it would be better to use the same brand DPNs for the sleeves. Oh darn, had to make another trip to my most favorite LYS!

Although I am using the pattern for newborn - 6 months, the gauge is a bit large. But we are beginning the hot part of our year so I am hoping this little baby gift will fit her when she really needs it - late fall or early winter.

(Typing with fingers crossed!)

To all who have commented on my posts:

I wanted to say thank you and tell you how much I appreciate your thoughts. I still am a new knitter (2 1/2 years) who feels like a novice but I keep trying to push my limits and learn something new on each project.

You are all so encouraging and inspiring! Thank you.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

FO for today!

WooHoo ~ Finished!

I love the star toe ~ it was easy!! And the French heel ~ also easy and so pretty.

The pattern is Embossed Leaves from Interweave Knits Winter '05.

Yarn is Senso (crochet) cotton/acrylic blend from Hobby Lobby and the needles were Addi #0 circs.

The pattern translated perfectly from DPNs to circs.

I have a size 6-6 1/2 shoe size, and the pattern was written for a larger foot, so I knit one less pattern repeat on the foot (thanks for the input, Mer) and it is a perfect fit!

So has anyone tried the Grilled Veggie recipe I put up a few posts ago?

It is one of our favorites - I usually keep the Blue cheese dressing in the fridge.


Sunday, May 07, 2006

Ahhh, the day of rest

After an insanely busy day yesterday, today is one of rest. (sigh)
Here are some pictures from last night's concert:

Preconcert, not too many musicians there yet.

Dear friend Laura (harpist and fellow foodie).

And me.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Saturday? Again?

I can't believe it is already Saturday! This week flew by way too fast. Lots of students and rehearsals this week, rehearsal this morning, music club meeting this afternoon and a concert tonight!
The second Embossed Leaves is on the 3rd repeat, but progress has been slow. I have just been too busy and too tired at night to knit for any lenght of time. So sorry , no pictures. Soon though because next week looks a bit more relaxed (for a change).
Yes, Sharon - go for the heel and toe - they really add something special! And Tey - I look forward to seeing your progress,

How about a recipe instead?

Grilled Vegetable Salad with Creamy Blue Cheese Dressing

This is a smart make-ahead dish because the vegetables can be grilled a few hours prior to assembling the salads.

1/3 cup low-fat mayonnaise
1/3 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1/4 cup (1 ounce) crumbled blue cheese (I usually double this)
1/4 cup 1% low-fat milk
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt

1/4 pound green beans, trimmed
1/4 pound sugar snap peas, trimmed
1/4 pound carrots, peeled and cut diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick pieces
1 cup (1/2-inch-thick) slices red onion
Cooking spray
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
6 cups torn romaine lettuce
1/2 cup thinly sliced radishes

To prepare dressing, combine Mayo through salt, stirring with a whisk until well blended. Cover and chill.

Prepare grill to medium heat.
To prepare salad, cook beans, peas, and carrots in boiling water 3 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain and plunge into ice water; drain.
Place mixture in a large bowl, and add onion slices.
Lightly coat vegetable mixture with cooking spray.
Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon pepper and garlic salt; gently toss to coat.
Place vegetable mixture in a wire grilling basket coated with cooking spray.
Place grilling basket on grill rack, and grill 7 minutes on each side or until lightly browned.

Arrange 1 1/2 cups of lettuce on each of 4 salad plates. Divide the grilled vegetables and radishes evenly among servings. Serve 1/4 cup dressing with each salad. Yield: 4 servings