Tuesday, May 31, 2011

10 favorite things to put into a salad.

...looking again to flickr, since it was such a help last time, I searched my photostream for "salad". wow. apparently, I love salad. I love to photograph salad. I eat a lot of salad. (all true. no new learnings there!) this topic should be an easy one. a good thing as it's evening already on a tuesday that feels somewhat like a monday except that there are just three weekdays left (yikes!!)
my favorite salad (recipe blogged by sara, here)
1. to start, lettuce. yes, I love salads based on pasta, potatoes, rice, green beans, etc. but my first love is lettuce. romaine, mixed baby greens and spinach are special favorites.

2. tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers (like the mix pictured above) or

3. sauteed mushrooms or

4. sauteed pears or

5. sliced oranges, clementines or tangerines. I like to peel the fruit and slice it (parallel to its equator) - think it's prettier that way - and easier to eat. citrus pairs well with strawberries and spinach. or with cucumbers and baby greens. or with whatever lettuce we happen to have the day we have just one orange lying alone in the fruit drawer.

6. cheese. depending on the other ingredients, blue, parmesan or jack.

7. nuts. again, depending on the other ingredients, sliced almonds, sugared pecans or walnuts.

8. bread. cubed and toasted. and even better if it's tossed with garlic and herbs.

9. vinaigrette. I'm partial to ina's version from the paris cookbook (I substitute a scant tablespoon of mayonnaise for the egg). love that it works with any kind of vinegar, so I can craft a version that shows off another ingredient (think blood orange with citrus, pear with pears, balsamic with mushrooms).

10. salt and pepper. too often overused - or overlooked - I think it's critical to use at least a bit of both to bring out the best of whatever ingredients I've used.

Friday, May 27, 2011

focused friday. linen liesl. finished.

...now after 8pm and I feel like I'm coming in just under the wire. but that's ok. I really (really!!) wanted to do an FO Friday* post... my version of course has no capital letters, and since it's friday (in 2011) starts with focused.

yep liesl (fka zola) is done!

once I got going (on the right number of stitches :-) it was easy-peasy. a good bit of knitting, but not too hard. I love the bias bind-off and having the shoulder seams sit on the back side of the tunic.

I was a little bit nervous yesterday when I tried it on. finished, but unlaundered.**

um.

but then I washed it. and dried it. and wow!

this is after wearing it all day. yes, I think it grew a little, but I know that a little spritz and a few minutes in the dryer will get it right back into shape.

LOVE! (raveled here).

*FO Friday = "finished object Friday" - an opportunity for knitters to show off completed projects on their blogs. 
**(I almost didn't do this post because the photos are just ... so... you know, not knitterly.... but oh well - did you see up above where this is my FIRST "fo friday" post??!!)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

words.

...I just saw cup of jo's great post about annoying words (btw - there were 203 comments when I finished reading them - I don't usually read comments, but since I was linking the post I felt like I should - and there are lots of opinions about what's annoying...and also about what's not and I love that her husband commented too!)

just yesterday I was talking with martha about words. my favorite is "exacerbate" - it's just so fun to say - but since I left the corporate world I don't get to use it much. in that former life, I found at least a few times a week to work it into normal conversation. (hum, don't judge!)

vocabulary, vernacular, slang, etc. ... I love how it changes. I love how words can take on so much more than just the definitions in the dictionary. and I love how we respond ... how our own vocabularies adapt (or not!) and shift.

I've signed up twice for cathy zielse's A to Z class. (no, I haven't made a book. yet) as part of the class preparation, I have two tab books - one from 2009 and one from 2010 that capture my life at those moments. A to Z. and maybe because "V" is a tough letter for me, I wrote vocabulary entries in both of them.

from 2009...

and 2010
I think I need to make a 2011 list. and it would definitely include lovely, yummy, stunning, oh my, amazing, and .... hopefully not too many words that would make anyone's annoying list! what are your favorite words? (or words you wish you didn't use quite so much, "um", "like", "really")

Monday, May 23, 2011

currents.



listening: room with a view - elizabeth klett is a fantastic reader; I think I may try under the lilacs next

eating: cottage cheese with a bit of cinnamon and a handful of blueberries

drinking: water, lots and lots of water!

wearing: leggings and a sports bra - it's housecleaning day!

feeling: inspired about summer sweater knitting - my sunday afternoon workshop is going to knit white sangria and vitamin D in june; and we're going to have a KAL for the nantucket vest

weather: 73 degrees at 9 am - summer has arrived!

wanting: to spend time this week on may's OLW prompt

needing: a good night's sleep (marc arrived home thursday from ten days in china and it takes him a few days to adjust back to our timezone...which means poor sleep for both of us)

thinking: about my big picture. it doesn't feel "right" yet - still....

enjoying: planning for a beach trip in september with karen and katie (and holly); we're thinking four nights in a cottage in rosemary beach - woo hoo!

wondering: what other surprises my backyard might hold this summer - like the oak leaf hydrangea above - I had no idea it was even there, let alone covered in beautiful white blooms!

Friday, May 20, 2011

deja vu all over again.

...the liesl tunic was finally starting to look like something. I was just about done with the first ball of yarn and had the brilliant idea to count the stitches. I'd just completed round 46 and that meant I'd done 16 sets of decreases. I counted the decreases and found 16 of them - making a lovely mitered edge along each side.

and then I counted the first side. 105 stitches. (yay! that's the right number). I counted the second side. (can you tell where this story is going?)

yep, not a match. 106 stitches.

I took holly for a walk and thought about all the ways I could end up with one extra stitch on one side. and the only way that made sense was that I must have started with the wrong number.

then I thought about making the back one stitch wider. but no, I don't knit like that.

so I put the end of the yarn on my ballwinder and started winding/ripping.

and an hour and a half later I had this.

here's hoping the third time knitting this yarn is the charm!

and to take "luck" out of the picture a little bit, I'm using markers - 4 of them, 2 surrounding each decrease point. they started out 10 stitches from those center stitches and now, after 3 sets of decreases, they're 7 stitches away. I figure making it easy to count will encourage me to count more often. so far so good!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

10 favorite things to do outside.

...as I start this post, I'm honestly not sure I even have 10 favorite things to do outside, since I don't consider myself much of an outdoors kind of girl. I don't like to get dirty, or hot, and when you live in georgia, it's hard to stay clean and cool outside! but as a I scroll through my blog and flickr images, I see a lot of outside. so here goes!
click photo to see more info on flickr
1, 2, 3, 4. knit, eat, drink, visit with friends. (maybe getting to 10 isn't going to be hard at all, is it?!)

5. walk in the park.

(and now I'm stuck...ok, more photos will help...)

6. find my shadow. and photograph it.

7. follow the changing seasons.

8. watch the birds (apparently I love cardinals - probably because it's easy to spot that red).

9. enjoy "evening sunshine".

10. photograph knitting, finished or unfinished or not even started, it all looks better outside!

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Monday, May 16, 2011

focus on knitting.

...this was supposed to be a focus friday update, but blogger had all kinds of issues, and then on saturday, the back of zola, which was going so well

became this
the cast-on cottage ballwinder made quick work of my 10 days of knitting!
and now it's this
cocoknits liesl, just begun
honestly, I made the decision to frog the zola because I really wanted to knit liesl instead (I have never unraveled an in-process sweater, especially one that was nearly half done!, to knit it into something else...and I doubt I'll make a habit of it, but I feel good about making use of yarn I already had!), but now that I've swatched for liesl, including the very important steps of laundering the swatch and drying it, I realize zola would've been way too small - the yarn shrinks a LOT.

the braided hood tunic I started while watching the wedding is coming along nicely. it's a nice balance to all the stockinette in liesl (formerly zola :-).

so...once again I find myself trying to knit two sweaters at once (last time it was cassis and once in a blue moon). and realizing once again that I have only so much knitting time and if I spread it across two projects, I make no slow progress. last time, I intentionally set one of sweaters aside to finish the other. this time, I'm going to try knitting intentionally on both. the liesl "socially" and the tunic at home. my goal is to finish one before memorial day so I can start a new project when we're in dillard. I have a whole weekend between now and then and it seems doable. if I stay focused.

because come june, I'm starting this. to knit along with my sunday sweater class who love this design as much as I do.  keeping up with - let alone staying ahead of! - my sweater students is becoming a challenge!
heidi kirrmaier's vitamin d


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

currents*.

mother's day flowers from sara
listening: the whirr of the fan blades and the ticking of the clock (but in my car, I'm all about the age of innocence)

eating: pretzels, cashews and almonds - my go-to early evening snack

drinking: columbia crest two vines vineyard 10 white wine (I've also tried their chardonnay...sadly I don't think it's as good...)

wearing: white t-shirt, blue skirt, sandals, and ishbel

feeling: stressed about being three lessons behind in kim k's photoshop essentials class

weather: 90 degrees and blue skies - trying very hard to not complain that it's hot (but it's hot!)

wanting: to get the containers on my deck and porch re-planted for summer

needing: a to-do list application for my iphone & mac; I abandoned the paper calendar a few weeks ago and now I don't have a place for those paper to-do lists!

thinking: about my big picture. it doesn't feel "right" yet

enjoying: a new morning routine now that sara's home (and working!) - the tv is on from 6:30 - 8:00 am, which means news, the today show...and knitting!

wondering: what knitting project I should take to dillard (this time I'm planning to take something new!)

*inspired by http://lifelovepaper.typepad.com/just_a_girl_who_likes_pap/

Sunday, May 8, 2011

happy mother's day.

my mom, making friends with holly. gainesville, april 2011
I love that my mom made friends with holly when she met her for the first time last month. my sister and I left to run a quick errand and when we got back, my mom shouted "not yet, I need your father to get my picture". this picture*. thank you, mother, for loving my dog! happy mother's day!

*I did tweak the coloring a bit. and added ali edwards' new awakening overlay. but the rest of it is all my dad!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

debbie macomber book signing.

sharon, debbie, me, sylvia (love that sylvia wore her beautiful february lady sweater - the one she knit in a class I taught last year...that's when we met :-)
...tuesday night, I attended a book signing for one of my new-favorite authors, debbie macomber (pronounced so it rhymes with "cucumber"). sharon introduced debbie's books to me in january when she gave me a copy of twenty wishes and told me I must read it. I did, and completely enjoyed it - a well-told story, characters I could relate to (and even love!), and even a bit of knitting - what's not to love about that?!

so I was really excited to have an opportunity to see debbie in person. sharon made the reservations - and obtained copies  of debbie's latest book - we were all set!  before the signing, debbie spoke for about 20 minutes...about her start as a writer - it took FIVE years for her to sell her first book (nearly 30 years ago) - and her calling to write. I love that she is just as funny and smart and moving in person as the stories she writes. and oh my she's prolific too! she writes two and a half books a year. sharon thinks she's probably published over sixty books. I'm looking forward to reading all of them. but I'm going to start with the blossom street series. twenty wishes is part of that and now that I know a bit about those characters, I want to know everything!

here's the inscription debbie wrote in my book. I love the 2 timothy reference. it really seems like debbie's life mantra. and a good one for me, too!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

10 favorite birds.

on an early morning walk at the beach, january, 2010
1. seagulls. weird, I know. I mean they're scavengers and they're noisy and messy. but they mean "beach" to me. and that's what I love about them.

2. cardinals. the bright red of the males and the softer coloring of the females is beautiful.

3. flamingos. just because they're fun!

4. penguins. fun and amazing, given where they live...I mean brrrrrr...

5. hummingbirds.


6. blue jays. for their coloring.


7. hawks. make me wish I could fly...

8. bald eagles. I haven't seen many of these, but they are simply majestic.

9. owls. they keep the critter population under control.

10. warblers. love their songs.

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Sunday, May 1, 2011

custom knits 2.

...is available for pre-order. I'm really excited about this book. wendy's first book, custom knits, is one of my favorite pattern books. her designs really take "seamless" to a whole new level - and assure me I can knit all my sweaters seamlessly without sacrificing anything!

check out her blog post about the book here.