Thursday, December 24, 2009
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Awesome Vegan Gravy
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
3 Tablespoons soy sauce or gluten-free tamari
1 1/2 cups water (you can use stock but I think it makes the gravy too salty)
2 Tablespoons tahini
In a saucepan over medium-high heat, whisk together the cornstarch and soy sauce until there are no lumps. Add the water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until mixture thickens, stirring frequently. (The stirring is really important, if you don't stir frequently enough you'll get gross cornstarch lumpy-burny stuff at the bottom.) Remove from heat and add tahini, stirring until a consistent color and thickness is achieved. This gravy thickens a lot if left standing so you can do it a while beforehand so it gets nice and thick and then reheat and serve.
We've also tried this with the addition of sauteed mushrooms which is quite yummy and adds a little more texture. Enjoy over mashed potatoes, turkey or turkey substitute, biscuits, and anything else that needs some gravy love.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Tofurkey - the most famous to non-veggies and perhaps the least appetizing. It's got a tough "skin" on the outside and is rubbery and flavorless on the inside. Not too bad if you have absolutely no alternative.
Field Roast - Local to Seattle, and perhaps hard to find elsewhere, this comes in medium sausage-like packaging or a larger "celebration roast" portion. Made from a blend of grains and legumes, it has a nice texture and flavor. This one is best steamed on the stove top rather than baked since it can dry out quickly. It is also available in sandwich slices and regular sausages (we like the ones with fennel).
Quorn Turk'y Roast - My absolute favorite. You can find it in the freezer section and it comes in a fat sausage shape. This one has the best texture and flavor. It's made from mycoprotein which is derived, somehow, from mushrooms. It's also soy-free. It can go straight from the freezer into a hot oven and is done in about 45 minutes. My Goth ex-roomates, all voracious meat eaters, loved this and declared it "Just as good as turkey". This brand also carries cutlets, chik'n pieces, ground "beef" and a whole lot more.
I think those are the most common ones I see in my supermarket although there are probably more out there. Sadly, most all contain gluten, soy, or eggs or a combination of those ingredients so it's hard to find one for people with food allergies. Family gatherings can be difficult in more ways than just the food, I've found that telling my hosts waaay beforehand that I'm a vegetarian allows for menu mediation and I always offer to bring my own main dish and gravy. It relieves some of the stress from the host and I know I can at least eat something if not everything on the table.
I've got a kick-ass gravy recipe that I'll share in another post. It's gluten-free, lactose-free, and super duper tasty!
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Little One around feral holiday shoppers doesn't really sound that great. I busted out a pair of Evangeline in a day. Knit in Malabrigo Worsted these guys take very little yarn, I think the pattern calls for 80 yards, and knit up soo quick. I do an extra repeat of the cable pattern to make them a tad longer so I'm guessing ~100 yards total. I'm not sure of the color I got it as a partial skein from a swap at my knitting group.
I also knit up a Theory Shawlette which is incredibly soft and beautiful. I'm already thinking about one for me! The cast on and subsequent 4 to 5 rows are a big huge pain in the rear but totally worth it. The cast on (backwards loop) makes a very nice finished edge to work from. I love the garter short rows in the Silky Malabrigo, they're so sproingy and texturey and everything garter should be. Oh, and the color is Plum Blossom. Pretty!
Last night I cast on for the Bodhi Mittens (and Fingerless Mitts) for me! Despite the number of mitts I've knit they all seem to have disappeared. Gifted? Lost? Dunno. We got the new Malabrigo Twist yarn at the shop recently and I thought it would be perfect for these. The pattern is pretty straightforward. I like the elongated stitches that make the flowery-looking things. The yarn is awesome and has great stitch definition. I finished up all but the thumb of the first one last night. My only issue is that the first one is fairly long. I'm not going to frog back but if I knit these again I would stop at a pattern row 8, just after a fancy stitch pattern row, and work either stockinette or seed stitch for a couple of rows before binding off. I don't mind the stockinette rolling at the fingers but I think seed stitch (which is on the cuff of the palm side) would make a more finished-looking edge. The color is Sealing Wax.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
I'm finally back from the last round of vacation craziness. California was lovely and the weather? Oh, 70-ish most of the time I was there. Ate at my favorite place (the Buddhist Temple restaurant complete with working monastery) and hung out with my family and even got an evening sans Little One so I could hit up a midnight movie which I haven't done in forever. But I'm home and I have lots of knitting to share but my batteries in my camera are dead and I have to get some more before I can snap and upload.
I'm about 99.5% finished with NaKniSweMoDo with just a little bit of blocking and finishing left to do on the last sweater. I had started a little shawl called Caricia out of this gorgeous skein of Hazel Knits, lost it, found it again, and realized there was a mistake in the setup chart. I frogged and restarted and am halfway done with the main chart. Well, I have 4 out of 9 repeats done in any case. It's a pretty flower basket lace pattern and it works well with the deep color of my yarn. The yarn itself is awesome to work with and for once the blue is not rubbing off on my fingers.
Monday, October 19, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
Experience Music Project - oral history room had awesome interviews with people like Michael Azerrad, Sleater-Kinney, Exene Cervenka, and more.
Science Fiction Museum - surprisingly good and I loved all of the Blade Runner items.
Dahlia Bakery - tasty iced tea, we didn't do treats since we were saving ourselves for....
SERIOUS PIE. Yes. I ate a very serious amount of pie. My fave was the chanterelle & truffled cheese pizza. Even better, they have happy hour!!! 3$ pints of Maritime Lager and 5$ mini pizzas. The mini pizzas are half the size of the regular pizzas and include all the flava-flaves from their regular menu.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
I have been doing more socializing though. I went to my knitting group as usual on Monday and last night I went to Theo for a stitch & bitch with chocolate tasting and yarn from Earthues. They had some sample yarn that was just gorgeous and squishy and it made me want to snatch up the whole load and run for the door. I learned about natural dyes and worked on the Man's boring boring brown socks. After picking up some Ghost Chile Caramels I headed over to El Camino with Jessica where I proceeded to drink two very strong but tasty margaritas and eat some guac with plantain chips. !!! Easily more tasty than tortilla chips because they don't get soggy plus they hold a lot of guac and salsa. I'll definitely be heading back there, preferably by bus, so I can stuff myself full of deliciousness.
Saturday, October 3, 2009
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
Today has been rough. The Little One is changing her nap times and/or not napping at all (or briefly) and driving me bonkers. Her first group play with other kids went well except for the one kid who was either trying to kiss her or bite her cheek off. I'm not quite sure. It was fun to see her interact with other kids although I could use a nap right about now.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
I don't want this to be an album of finished projects but I've been doing a lot of knitting lately with very few pitfalls. I think that has to do with about a billion other people knitting a pattern before I get to it so all bugs have been worked out of the pattern. This is Ishbel by Ysolda in Malabrigo. Seems like I've been knitting a ton of stuff with it lately but I've really just got a few skeins in stash that lend themselves well to little lacy things. I've got one skein left and I'm debating whether or not that will be a little shawl or some actual socks. I've also got two (#9 & #10) sweaters on the needles at varying degrees of completion. I switch back and forth on them since #9 is in black and hard to see in dim light and #10 is on big needles and has a tendency to hurt my hands after cabling all of the cabley bits. That leaves 2 more in my NaKniSweMoDo challenge with a few months left for completion. My last two planned sweaters are on little needles so I may need the full time to finish up but I'm about 99% sure I can do it. Go me. Nothing very exciting is happening until the end of September when I'm off to visit my brother and his family in Kansas for a little family reunion.
Baby Update: The Little One has her first two teeth in and they're very cute. She's also started crawling on all fours instead of her soldier crawl. I believe this is in preparation for standing on her own since she has also been kneeling a lot. We are definitely not ready for more mobility, especially the cat who already fears for her life.
Monday, August 17, 2009
I knit some pretty over the weekend. I actually had two whole days off in a row! Unbelievable. We took the Little One to the zoo, I made a crazy amount of cornmeal pancakes both sweet and savory, and I cleaned the house. Yep. As of this morning all laundry was washed and put away, the bed was made, and the floor was swept and vacuumed. The rest of the place is starting to finally recover from our first 6+ months of parenthood. I like this upward swing in cleanliness it makes me less crazy. So, yeah, knitting. Ysolda released her first pattern in Whimsical Little Knits 2 which I cast on for immediately. Not to the detriment of other projects, mind you, I was between sweaters at the time and only had a pair of socks on the needles. I dug a skein of Malabrigo sock yarn in Ochre out of deep stash (really deep, it wasn't even entered in Ravelry!) and knit it up over the course of my weekend, binding off at about 8 last night. Yellow is not really my color but I'm loving this mustardy goodness. It makes me want to dip into a big jar of fancy french mustard - the kind that sears your nostrils a little bit. Specs: Damson by Ysolda in Malabrigo Sock Yarn in the Ocher colorway on size 6 addi turbo lace needles. 4 days!
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Miss Babs - She had sock yarn in tiny skeins which is enough for a pair of socks for the little one. Above - Yummy Toes Periwinkle
Miss Babs - 2-ply sock yarn in Oyster.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
I also got these super-cute ceramic buttons at a couple of other booths. The ones with the fancy packaging are from an etsy shop at really great prices and lots and lots of sizes and colors. It was really hard to make a decision. The larger green button is from Jennie the Potter and I thought it would be great for one of those single button hats or sweaters. I also bought a nifty pair of earrings from her with knit stitches on them. Cute! Everyone at the Ravelry meet-up was sporting their Jennie-ware on Saturday night. Seriously, there were so many vendors at the marketplace it was hard to make decisions. Knitters aren't the best people to keep you on a budget either. Rebecca and I co-enabled although she did keep me from purchasing duplicate colors of yarn. I would have walked away with a whole bag of gray-blue-lavendar sock yarn if it weren't for her. This is just the tip of the iceberg, more to come in the next few days.
Monday, August 10, 2009
Monday, August 3, 2009
Thursday, July 30, 2009
It has been uber hot in Seattle the past few days. I mean, almost Ukiah hot and that is pretty darn spicy. The heat wave has led to an abhorrence of all things sweatery since a pile of wool in the lap is equal to another ten degrees of heat. With Sock Summit looming I decided to cast on for these beauties. The Cycling or Golf Stockings (of which I do neither) from Knitting Vintage Socks. It's my first go with Spud & Chloe Fine which is a new yarn line from Blue Sky Alpacas and which we now carry at the shop. The yarn is lovely to work with although the label says size 1 to 3 needlewise and I think if I went any higher than a 2.5 mm (that's a 1 & 1/2 US) the fabric would be very loosey goosey. I was a little surprised that there was no calf circumference measurement in the pattern since there was a measurement for just about everything else. The colorwork is pretty snug on my calf but not unwearable, if my calves were any larger I'd make the socks shorter to accomodate the pretty cuff. Spec wise the Spud & Chloe color is Anemone, the brown is Lorna's Laces in Chocolate, and the pink is some unlabeled koigu leftover from another project. I've already moved on to another sock project. The pattern is Sunshine from Sock Innovation in STR Mediumweight. The color is Hoofle Foofle which I thought would be appropriate for a pattern name Sunshine. The pattern is working up very quickly and is nice and squishy. This is yarn from my first ever Blue Moon purchase and has been languishing in my stash for a couple of years. It's nice to finally dig it out and see it as a project.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
We didn't do anything for the 4th. It has to be the worst holiday ever for moms with babies. As soon as it gets dark every idiot on the block sets off firecrackers in the street and starts yelling "Whoooooooo!" underneath the windows. Yeah. Not so baby friendly. The Little One was amazing and slept through all but the loudest bangs and then settled right down again. I don't even know why I tried to go to sleep before midnight since every bang woke me right up again. That was wasted knitting time for sure.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Friday night I finished up my sixth sweater in six months. Whoo! I'm super happy with it even though I basically knit it twice. Much better the second time around.
Pattern: Button Me Up Pullover
Yarn: Eco + in Vandyke Brown
Needles: #9 Harmony
Mods: I got a gauge of 4 st to the inch instead of 3.75 so I cast on for zero ease. Sleeves are my usual 15 inches and I knit the body 3/4 inch longer. I also did 2.5 inches of ribbing at the bottom of the sweater instead of 5 inches.
This is a good basic sweater and I really really like the way it fits.
The little one turned six months old this past week. !!! Time has flown. I'm getting ready for her to just get up and walk around and start speaking in sentences, she's growing so quickly!
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
I've also been knitting a little lace. Well, not so little. It's the Icicle Dream Stole from the 2008 Winter Twist Collective. So far, so good. I'm on the third chart of four on the first half of the stole. (You knit the two halves separately and then graft them together.) The yarn is Dream in Color Smooshy in the color Midnight Derby. We got a few very darkish skeins in at the shop and I just had to knit something with the last couple. The pattern calls for a laceweight but I'm not such a fan, hence a sock-yarn stole. I'm excited to see the end product, it's my largest lace project so far.
This is what I'm doing right now. Eating some watermelon and knitting the body of my sweater, again. That small disaster from the other day? Yeah, this is it. After ripping out the ribbing I decided to try it on again to see how much longer I wanted to knit it. I decided it was a bit too snug. :: sigh::
So I cast on and just started knitting the dang thing over, directly from the frogged sweater. The man came in while I started this and looked really confused. "Why are you knitting that sweater into the same sweater?" I'm pretty sure daggers flew. "For fun." A couple days later and I've got a little over 13 inches reknit and should still be able to finish up by the end of the month. Probably to the detriment of my mom's birthday gift (her birthday was last Saturday). Sorry, mom!
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
PS I probably would have thrown the stupid sweater across the room and had a crying fit if it hadn't only been a week on the needles. I'll still make my 6 sweaters in 6 months deadline.
Monday, June 15, 2009
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
I received a lovely and unexpected gift in this afternoon's mail. It cured my recent homesickness for the time being. My best friend sent me some honey made by a friend of ours, a pear shaped candle & holder from the local Mendocino Bounty store, and an awesome kids' book called "The Tenth Good Thing About Barney". The card in back is a woman holding up a sweater with a heart/thought bubble that says World Wide Knitting. Awww. Ever since the little one has arrived I miss my hometown more and more, which is weird considering how ready I was to leave when I moved to Seattle. However, the incredibly hot summers are not missed nor the even-more-depressed-than-Seattle job market. This cheered me up big time. Thanks, lady!
Sunday, June 7, 2009
I knit most of this while I was pregnant so all I had to do was knit the button bands, weave in some ends, and sew on buttons.
Yarn: Elann Incense in Cypress
Needles: #8 harmony, I think
The sleeves are really frickin' long on this. I'm pretty sure I even made them shorter than the pattern calls for and they still go over my fingertips. It's also a little over-sized and I'm not sure if that's because I knit a larger size than I needed since I was prego or if my gauge was off. It's more of a hang around the house, want to be comfortable, don't care much about the fit kind of sweater. I also didn't knit the hood, I just decreased until I liked the neckline and then did the same ribbing that is on the bottom of the sweater to match. Actually, I like this better now than when I was knitting it last Fall. Maybe letting it marinate in it's own juices for a while did something for it. Dunno. This is #4 for NaKniSweMoDo & #5 is blocking as I blog. I've almost hit the 6 in 6 months goal I set for myself. There are also a couple hats (both green as well) blocking and a pretty little scarf on the needles. Now I just need to decide on #6. Hmmm....
Friday, June 5, 2009
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Saturday, May 30, 2009
This is #3 for NaKniSweMoDo. Silk Cocoon Cardigan from the Spring 09 Interweave Knits. I knit it in the yarn called for, Blue Sky Alpacas Alpaca & Silk (gorgeous stuff) in the color Peacock. I love it but holy crap was there a lot of finishing on this puppy. Seaming, grafting, reverse single crochet, buttons, button loops, and more seaming. Yeah. Won't ever knit it again but I love the finished thing, a little warm for the gorgeous weather we're having lately.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Monday, May 25, 2009
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Monday, May 11, 2009
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Time for a nap.
Monday, May 4, 2009
I feel weird about posting pictures or anything of my little one on my blog but she is so darn cute lately that I can't help myself. She was four months last week and is growing like a weed. Rolling over is her new favorite past time beside vocalizing to her heart's content.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Pattern: Little Liza Jane from the Spring Twist Collective
Yarn: Elann Callista (cotton/linen/viscose blend) in Boysenberry
Needles: #4 Knitpicks Harmony
I knit the 6 month size which fits the little one perfectly with a tiny bit of room to grow. She's already in 6 month size clothes in general since she's so long and has the extra bulk of cloth diapers. Baby sizing seems to be even more random than adult sizing. The pattern is well-written and edited and easy to follow, which is great since it's my first pattern from the Twist Collective and they've made a great first impression (awesome patterns aside). The yarn isn't bad to work with either, although it does have cotton & linen, my hands weren't screaming at me to stop after knitting the first couple of inches. I have yarn to knit another one in the 3T size and I'm actually looking forward to knitting this pattern again. It's been really fun knitting for Audrey since I don't normally knit brightly colored things for myself, it's a good change of pace from my dark tones and jewel tones. Hooray for babies to knit things for.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
I think I finished this back in January? Yep, sure did. But I finally got some pictures taken, very tired, post-work pictures, but still. I wear this sweater a lot and it made me decide to just knit most of my sweaters with 3/4 or bracelet length sleeves since I push them all up to that length anyway. It also has the added bonus of not taking as much time or yarn to knit longer sleeves. I used just over 5 skeins of Cascade 220 in a medium gray color on size 7 needles. I have an idea to sew some clear flat buttons to the inside & knit button loops since the cardi is kind of double-breasted and has a tendency to open up in an unflattering way. Make sure to follow the measurements for centimeters since some people had issues with the conversions to inches. Centimeters are more exact any-who.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Despite airport security's attempts to foil my knitting mojo I have triumphed over the GIANT HOLE IN THE CUFF and finished my socks. Yay! Malabrigo sock yarn is so silky and squishy and gorgeous. I'm really glad I have two more skeins in my stash to knit socks for myself. These are the Fancy Silk Socks from Knitting Vintage Socks. Knit from Malabrigo Sock Yarn in African Violet on size #1 needles. The cuff of the first one took me three tries to set up the pattern but once I got going it was pretty easy. Make sure you choose a nice stretchy cast on for these since there isn't really any ribbing to make the tops more elastic. I used the Old Norwegian cast on and it worked like a charm. Finishing these made me want to knit more socks (half my stash is sock yarn- I've only knit about 4 or 5 pair!) but I've decided to put my focus back on my Cardigan for Arwen which now has a complete body and the cuff of one sleeve done. I think I'm at the tipping point for that one and just want to go go go to the finish.
PS - The weather in Seattle is gorgeous today and I just want to throw all the windows open and dance a little jig. Preferably with knitting in one hand!
Saturday, March 28, 2009
I finished knitting this back at the beginning of the month but it took me a while to block it and decide on a closure. It's the Matinee Coat from Debbie Bliss' Simply Baby in yarn I picked up at Madrona. Tactile Fiber Arts Superwash Sportweight Merino Sock Yarn in the color Wisteria. Pretty pretty. It took about 1 & 2/3 balls for the 6-9 month size. The way Audrey is growing she'll be in it lickety split. I like the way the color worked up - a little bit of pooling but nothing really crazy. The lace section at the bottom is especially pretty. I've been knitting regularly for 2+ hours a night since the little one goes to bed between 730 and 8. I just have to remember to go to bed as well or I stay up waaay too late and am cranky and groggy when she wakes up in the morning. Bad mommy! But it's really nice to have that crafty time again. Hooray!
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Sunday, March 1, 2009
*Baby note- Audrey had her 2 month check up on Friday and she is 24 inches long and a whopping 13 pounds! She's also almost sleeping through the night. I'm feeling more clear-headed than I have in the past two months. Hooray!
Thursday, February 26, 2009
It frickin' snowed last night. Yeah. This is especially nice since I'm headed to California week after next and that really looks good right now. Really. Was there really talk about Spring at my knitting group on Monday? Seriously?
I've finished a few things up lately. My sweater is done and I love it but haven't taken pictures of myself actually wearing it to post. But I finished this super-cute baby knit. The pattern is Design H from Little Sweet Peas (a sirdar booklet). I used leftover Cascade 220 superwash (off-white) which I thought would be enough but I ended up having to buy a second skein just for the sleeves. Poop. The edging is in leftover Cashsoft DK and the awesome little button is a tagua nut button we carry at the shop. Perfect match. I really like this pattern and the way the edging looks crocheted but isn't. I'll definitely be making more of these.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Sunday, February 8, 2009
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Friday, January 9, 2009
Betcha didn't know I'm an Elvis freak. Yep. Yesterday was his birthday and I spent some time listening to my records and indoctrinating the little one. She seems to like Patsy Cline too. We'll see how she responds to Big Mama Thornton's version of this song.