Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Monday, June 13, 2011

A Couple Sweater and such

A little bit of this and that.
I finished this lovely sweater by the Brown Stitch (you can find the pattern here) just in time for New York City to hit the high 90’s. I had to wait for it to cool down a bit so that I could bear to put it on for the picture.

I also made this little guy for a friend’s newborn, my gauge was a bit on the small size so it is a good thing it went in the mail on Friday.

And because I couldn’t not share this ridiculousness…

Only in NYC do you get a guy selling drift wood on the sidewalk. $50 to $100 bucks a pop, makes me think I am in the wrong business. Of course I didn’t see anyone actually buy anything.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Mango, Onion and Apple Salad with Lime Dressing, oh my!

Did you all have a lovely long memorial day weekend…wait let me revise…did everyone in the US have a nice long weekend? We had a bit of a super sized weekend with my guy actually taking Friday off as well, four days off in a row, together- unheard of.

It was also my guys post birthday weekend. And because he loves nothing more than cooking things over open fire we had several BBQs, in fact there were 3 in total, although one was at his mother’s house so we didn’t actually cook.

For one of the many events I made a mango/apple/onion salad with a lovely lime sauce. It was simple and almost like eating summer. I thought you might like to try it so here is what I did:

1 medium sized red onion sliced thin

3 mangos cut into match in long strips (this is a bit tricky and a little easier if the mango isn’t super ripe)

1 grannysmith apple cut in long strips

For the lime dressing whisk together the juice of 2 limes, ¼ cup of olive oil, 2 tbsp white vinegar, a pinch of salt- and because my limes were a bit on the very tart side 1tsp sugar (you could use maple syrup or agave or even apple juice)

Toss everything together and chill in the fridge until you are ready to eat- the lime juice will keep the apples from browning. I think I might try it again adding nuts, just a thought.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

a wee sweater for a wee girl

It has been a heck of a few months. Both my guy and I lost grandmothers, we had a birth in the family (more on this), a whole bunch of family drama unrelated to the passing and coming of folks and because I think I may be crazy I decided to apply to a graduate school program. It has been a few months of complete chaos. The kind of chaos where you can barely manage to get yourself out the door in the morning and you find you need to check that you are wearing shoes if you do.
So in the middle of all of this chaos we had a wee one enter with a big splash. I was prepared for her arrival and made this in advance.

But she had to come early, really early. My guy’s cousin was induced 2 months early because of complications. I am happy to report that baby and mama are doing well. The little one is the smallest little one I have ever met just over 3 lbs when she came into the world. I felt like she needed all the extra love she could get which means a wee so small you can’t believe this isn’t for a teddy bear sweater and hat. Maybe the only good thing I can say about someone being so wee is that you can actually worry knit an entire sweater in a day.

I have to give heaps of complements now to Bev of Bev’s Country Cottage who has a whole bunch of patterns for premies of all sizes. Thank you Bev for providing such an important service!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

T.T.T.B. (to tired to blog)

Sorry to be missing in action, we had a bit sadness in our lives and have been sticking close to family lately which has made me T.T.T.B., otherwise known as to tired to blog syndrome. Plus my wee nephew did his best to give me his not so wee cold. How can someone so small be packed with something so contagious?
I have things to share, but most of them involve downloading photos, which involves me being awake when I get home at night. Rather than have us all collectively hold our breath for that moment I thought I would pass on this greatness that I came across awhile back.

Did you know that Lego has a whole line of architecturally inspired kits? I always knew Lego's were cool but Lego Frank Lloyd Wright- how cool is that!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Monday, March 28, 2011


The American Folk Art Museum has an amazing exhibit of Redwork quilts right now through Wednesday. This show is up for less than a week, as if that could possibly be enough time to absorb all that loveliness. Molly and I spent our Friday afternoon getting lost amongst the quilts. As I doubt people who live in NYC will have a chance to make it to the show let alone those of you outside the city, I thought I would show you all some of the photos. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Nick of Time

In the nick of time I finished the last swirl. Baby Finn was born last week and I am happy to report that the swirl blanket is currently being blocked into submission. I have never been a big fan of blocking, partially because I don’t knit a lot of lace but it also always seems like an extra step that I can skip. Well I am here to report that this project might make me a convert. The blocking has done so much for this blanket: 1) it increased the size thus decreasing my need to knit more swirls; 2) it opened up the pattern so you can really see how lovely the swirls are; 3) it helps hide the heptagon in the middle.

What’s that you say? You have forgotten your geometry, don’t fret clearly so have I. Each swirl is actually a hexagon with 60 stitches- 10 stitches per side. Each swirl except one that is, yup smack in the middle of everything is one seven sided monster that made the count come out all weird. As I was nearing the end of this blanket I couldn’t figure out why it was so hard to make it an even shape, so my guy and I laid it out to have a good look. There in the center mocking me was the heptagon (mind you I only know that a seven sided object is called a heptagon because my guy was a total math geek way back when). A friend’s husband tried to convince me to cut it open and fix it. Amazingly he is still alive, unharmed even. And I am chalking the heptagon up to the beauty of imperfection…rest assured it has plenty of company in the rest of the blanket.

For those not convinced of blocking consider this photo.

I had to block the blanket in two parts (cause it was big and I was planning on using my bed to sleep). The top half of the blanket has been blocked, the bottom hasn’t. Cool huh?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Depending on how you look at it I have either missed the boat or am tempting fate with this blog post. I was going to post this a few weeks back but we hit a warm spell in New York that turned into a warming trend and the rest is history. But this is far too cool not to post and I am sure it is snowing somewhere in the world and there is a darn good chance it will snow here again.

Sarah over at Quince and Quire figured out how to photograph snowflakes. (Come on admit it you’re so impressed by the photo that you forgive me for tempting the snow gods.)

photos by Quince and Quire

You can view here tutorial here (check out her great blog while you’re at it). And let’s face it, if it is going to snow more this session don’t we all need a snow project to help get us through?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Letterpress Love

Do you love letterpress? Really how could you not.

There is a great project up on Kickstarter right now which is to help create an app for the iPad (and other products) that will let you print in letterpress type set. You can arrange and change type the way you would with old letterpress printing.

My father, who is a bigger tech geek than your 7 year old nephew and avid lover of old letterpress insisted that I should post something about this project. You can check it out here on Kickstarter. Go ahead give him a few bucks and help keep letterpress alive!

Monday, February 28, 2011

I decided that the best thing I can do these days is keep my hands busy. In practical terms this meant I bounced between three projects this weekend: I started a delightful dog toy from Hop Skip Jump and made this hat from Jane Richmond Designs and I worked on a project that has been feeling like work.

Yes, I have been holding back on you all with this one, I swear I didn’t mean to it just sorta slipped through the cracks. I started this way back, a year ago or so after going to Maryland sheep and wool. The pattern is for a scarf or shawl but of course mine morphed into something else: a baby blanket. If there were such things as guardian angels surely I should sign up for the one that keeps you from biting off more than you can chew.

The wee one that this is intended for is due in the next two weeks which means I have had to majorly step things up. Trouble is this pattern does not lend itself to speed knitting, it is a bit fiddly with each hexagons knit in the round outside in. Each hexagon takes 35 minutes, with no ifs ands or buts about it. I can’t seem to shave any more time off (although I am comforted to read on raverly that I am not the only one with this problem). The real sticky part is that you can’t put the work down in mid swirl or all the yarnovers will pull loose or worse a dropped stitch will take out the whole swirl, there is no picking up once lost. And so I work 35 minutes at a time on this baby blanket. Keep your fingers, toes and nose crossed that I get it done before the kid goes to college!
Of course I didn't help the progress any by jumping ship for shinny new crafts, but sometimes you need to knit something fun and easy to get you through the hard and complicated.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A Fair Well to Avice

On Monday my adopted grandmother passed away. Although her death was not a surprise, she was 93 and in failing health, it has still left me with a heavy heart. My sister and I were very lucky to have her as part of our lives, she taught us about what it truly means to be a creative person and has nurtured our creativity. She is in large part the reason I started this blog, as a means of sharing my projects with her even though she lived many states away.

After I got the news on Monday I was somewhat at a loss of what to do with myself. I was filled with relief and sadness. She would have been horrified with sadness and tears and so my guy asked what she would want me to do at that moment, and the answer was simple, make something. And so I got out my sewing machine and finally made a cover for my heating pad. Admittedly there was still sadness and tears but there was also sewing, and I think she would have liked that. In order to be a true memorial to her I should have covered it in Black and Whites (her favorite color combination) but I used what I had on hand.

Sorry for the poor picture, I pulled it out of my bed this morning to take a picture before heading to work so I guess it has the equivalent of bed head in the heating pad world.

Friday, February 11, 2011


My dear friend Rob and his lady recently had a little one join their lives. Rob and I met in high school when we were both interns at the Museum of Natural History. Being a high school student with full access to the Museum was a real treat, we would spend hours roaming the halls and looking at the exhibits.
So the arrival of Hayden (personally I wonder if there isn’t a connection to the planetarium) called for something special: dinosaur stencils. 

I am really please with how well these turned out. I think everything needs a dinosaur stencil now. Of course all this is leading up to a stencil tutorial, promise.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Hello long lost blog world. I am just rejoining the world post stomach flu. Even though it was only last week that I was healthy it feels like an eternity. I am trying to focus on the good things post illness, like how soft your hair is after you wash it for the first time, or the fact that all my pants are looser. Of course I am still pretty uneasy about the food thing but I am sure that will right itself soon enough.

 Before succumbing to illness we made dumplings, I promise the two things have nothing to do with each other. We went on a bit of a dumpling kick making meat and two different types of veggie dumplings- steamed and fried. Basically for a week all my guy and I did was think, make, eat dumplings. They are surprisingly easy to make. You buy the wanton wrappers, in the city you can get them at most Asian markets, I am sure you can mail order them too. There are a ton of recipes on-line. My guy (of course) marinated the meat for the meat dumplings for 24 hours first. All recipes seem to call for napa cabbage, but I am pretty sure you could use regular cabbage too. We made a standard veggie option and then a mushroom dumpling, sautéing the mushrooms first and then sticking them into the food processor with some cabbage and carrots.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Legwamers: fashion forward or fashion Flashdance?

Last weekend I headed down to NC for some time with my adopted grandmother and let’s face it highs in the 50’s was a welcome weather change. The trip gave me a chance for some quality knitting time and I was able to finish up my legwarmers.

These are based on this pair over at pearl bee. There pattern is for a size small (and they aren’t kidding) so I added 2 repeats. I started following the alternating rib pattern but I guess I got distracted because pretty quickly it became a floating rib creating this great diagonal pattern. It is a 3 row repeat of k2p2- which means you knit 2 purl 2 for three rows and then move over one stitch. At the transition some rows may only have 2 rows and some may have 4 but don’t worry it all works itself out.

So now you all have to be honest with me, are they too 80’s? I may be a working girl but I don’t want to relive the movie! I am thinking that between the color and the fact that I plan on having them cover my legs and not slouch down over my ankles I’m okay, but be honest with me people am I bring Flashdance style back?

Thursday, January 27, 2011


New York has been cold and snowy (as I write this I look out at the new 12” of snow that fell last night). All this cold and snowiness has got me missing my skirts and got me thinking about legwarmers.

I walked by a fancy village shop the other week and saw these

they got me thinking, and my fingers are itching for some needles...question can one wear legwarmers and not be immediately transformed into the 80's?

Monday, January 24, 2011

January is Kicking My Behind

So it turns out that January is kicking my behind. Work went from slow to high speed in the blink of an eye. That plus it turns out that existing in a city under snow, garbage and freezing chills takes a lot out of me. I feel like I am just coming to the surface for air. But rest assured I have been making, creating, thinking of creating and all that good stuff.

The post holiday snowstorm was really lovely, and don’t get me wrong grown-up snow days are just as good as when you were a kid but the joy of 2 plus feet of snow wears off once you try to exist in it. For all you non cold weather city folk here is the dirty (and I mean dirty) secrete of snow in a big city, the sanitation department runs the plows, this means that when the plows are running there is no garbage or recycling pick up. As you might imagine this gets gross pretty fast. We had our first garbage pickup since before Christmas last Thursday. I am almost ashamed to admit that I did a little dance when I came home from work to see the mound of trash outside my apartment gone. This weekend we tackled recycling which was threatening to take over the living room.

We did other good home things this weekend like seal the windows with plastic and put up curtains. But by far the best weekend project was making no knead bread, which I think should be renamed patience bread cause it takes 16 plus hours. It is however completely worth it. It is crusty on the outside and soft in the center and the best bread I have ever made hands down. It will now be on regular rotation in our house.

I have a ton of projects to share with you all in the next couple weeks. I have been working on legwarmers and an interesting knit swirl baby blanket. I am also gearing myself up for another tutorial on stencils- cause folks I am glad you all love freezer paper stencils so much but it is time to graduate to plastic stencils which can be used hundreds of times and take about the same amount of work as freezer paper, I kid you not!

I promise to share lots more soon.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

More Appreciation Photos

Now that the deed is done I can reveal the mystery quilt recipient, my mother.

My mom spends more time in or around her bed then she would like these days so it seemed only right that she have something yummy on it. I finished the quilt up on the 24th and she unwrapped it on the 25th. Good timing all around. I confess that I still haven’t mastered the finishing join of the diagonal binding. In fact I got myself, and my faithful crafting buddy Molly completely confused, until I gave in and did a straight line. I didn’t really make a New Year’s resolution this year, after all there are still several left from a few years ago…but if I was going to make a resolution it would be to master that darn diagonal join! Anyone that knows a good tutorial or video out there don’t keep it to yourself!!!