Friday, March 27, 2015

Welcome to Florida.


I'm here for a long weekend, visiting my parents. Looking forward to plenty of college basketball, a few games, much knitting and a lot of fun!

Leaving you with this video. It's a quick watch, guaranteed to make you feel warm and loved - whether you knit for others, or they knit for you! (Thanks to Martha for the link!)

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Being Present.


The Practice of Being Present
Attend the breath.
Let the rhythm
slow and settle.
Filling, emptying,
draw the outside 
in, and then release.
Simplicity and ease.
Nothing to do but
breathe, relax and
feel the free
movement of air
and life force,
watch the play
of energy and 
sensation, all
everything to be,
without the need 
to change or fix or
make it different.
This moment, you
can listen to your
soul. This breath,
you can have no
goal but being. You 
are already complete.
This, just this, is 
what it means
to be whole.

- Danna Faulds

Last Friday morning, my yoga teacher read this poem to us at the beginning of our practice. She's shared poems by Danna Faulds before and I've always loved them, but this one made me buy a book. This collection is titled One Soul - More Poems from the Heart of Yoga. I'm looking forward to savoring it, a poem or two at a time.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Ten on Tuesday | The Perfect Cheese Plate.

...this week, Carole's asked us to share our ten favorite cheeses. Scrolling through my photos and previous blog posts, I don't see a lot of "just" cheese, but there are a quite a few cheese plates. Including this one, from last May's visit to Florence.

A cheese plate is one of my favorite things to order out...and make in. So I'm expanding on Carole's topic to list ten things that make my perfect cheese plate:

1. a good platter. my favorites include a wooden tray, an ironwork tray with a glass bottom and a slate tile.

2. an assortment of cheeses. hard and soft. cow, sheep and goat. mild and strong. spicy and sweet. my go-to's are an extra sharp cheddar and/or manchego, a blue and a semi-soft, like a fresh goat cheese, maybe rolled in herbs.

3. fruit. grapes. pomegranate seeds. apple or pear slices, especially nice with a fresh goat cheese or creme cheese, like brie or camembert.

4. greens. I shared an amazing plate last week that had a tiny mound of spring greens tossed with the lightest vinaigrette. loved the fresh healthy tastes. (especially on a cheese plate :-)

5. olives. salt goes so well with cheese. and fruit.

6. nuts. marcona almonds are my all-time favorite. with walnuts, regular almonds and lightly toasted pecans coming second. the key here is to balance salty/sweet with the rest of the plate.

7. bread. thinking of this broadly to cover crackers and toasts and crisps... the crisper the better, in my opinion. and I love mixing savory and sweet here, too.

8. condiments. fig jam (awesome with manchego), cranberry compote or another savory jam. that amazing plate from last week also included pickled radish. and a house-made coarse mustard.

9. wine. of course.

10. friends. the best cheese plates have a lot of variety, which means larger quantities. and really, all food is best enjoyed with friends...and wine!

And there you have it...at least my version of it. I'd love to hear what you'd do differently. Any and all suggestions welcome!

Click here to join the Ten on Tuesday fun. You won't be disappointed!

 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Pigs Are Flying.

...I'm crocheting. an afghan. with 13 colors. because* stash.

I bought in big to both of Rowan's Pure Wool Worsted Mystery Afghans last summer/fall. "Big" as in I bought the yarn (18 skeins, 17 colors, nearly 4,000 yards) for the first one, and then swapped out a few colors so I had yarn to knit the second one. Yeah, yikes! I think it was 27 or so balls, in 25 colors. Unfortunately, as much as I love both of the finished projects, I realized too late that I don't have the patience to knit - or sew up - either one. That's close to 6,000 yards of worsted weight yarn sitting in my stash. It's been nagging me for months.

So last Wednesday when I stumbled across 70 Sunday, I thought I'd found the answer. But 36 hours later and a few wonky test squares (with even some great advice in Ravelry's Granny Squares forum) later...I was still looking.

Gotta love Ravelry! I searched crochet, afghan, more than six colors...and stumbled across the Vintage Crocheted Afghan. We've had a black and white sample in the shop for ages and I've always admired it. My friend Melody crocheted one for her mother last fall and it landed in my favorites.

Saturday morning I dove in. The pattern calls for seven colors; I'm using 13. (in short, I'm using two colors for every alternate color that the pattern calls for...I'll report back on how successful that is!) I laid out the colors for the first repeat and liked it.

Then spent way more time than I wanted being sure I could remember which color was which and which order they appeared. (note that all this work hasn't been that useful - I mixed up the 5th and 6th colors...but I can't imagine it matters!)

By Saturday afternoon I had this.
Tonight I have this. (and almost ALL of the in-between time was spent doing lots of other things).

Not that I think an afghan is going to happen in a week (or even a month) - I still have about 80 rows (and a LOT of ends) to go. but this is a good start. and hey, flying pigs are always good for a smile!

...and P.S. because I've forgotton to post about this for weeks (oops!) my leftover Ulura is in the mail to Bonny. I only hope this little bit of winter yarn isn't the reason winter is holding on tight to y'all up North!

Bonny, I hope you like it - and I hope it's too warm to wear your Polar Opposites when you finish it!

*huge thank you to Kym for sharing this most-necessary grammar news update last week!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Distracted.

...mostly by all these good reasons! hope to post soon with more details...and maybe even an update on the crochet adventure.

Wishing you the best of weekends. and many happy distractions!