Archive for the ‘Knitting’ Category

Better the next day

Monday, November 30th, 2009

Post-Thanksgiving gluttony, I thought it might be important to get back to basics.  I have been altering this pasta salad recipe for the last few weeks, because I think it might be the most delicious food I have ever “invented.”  I am basically turning into your Italian grandmother.  Now, bundle up and consider this.

Like a family reunion

Measurements are, fyi, purely guestimation.

  • 3 uncooked C of pasta, boiled as usual
  • 2 C of bean assortment (any will do!  go nuts!)
  • 1/4 C of white onion, diced
  • 1/2 C artichoke hearts, diced (marinated or otherwise)
  • 1/4 C sun-dried tomatoes (in my heart, I want to tell you to go all out with these, but they are expensive, unless you have a dehydrater like we did when I was a wee one.  In which case they are expensive only time-wise, or if your child is something like I was and keeps stealing them off of the racks while they are dehydrating.)
  • black olives, chopped


  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 Tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbs spicy/dijon mustard (I accidentally used ball park mustard yesterday and was worried all afternoon that my salad might taste like a hot dog, but it did not.  Have no fear.)
  • healthy dose of oregano, basil and pepper (salt is extremely unnecessary)

Mix ‘em all up and refrigerate.  Like most things in my life, this salad is better the next day.  If I ever write an autobiography, that will probably be the title.  Yields 4-5 servings.  If you are not afraid of tuna, I suspect it would be extremely delicious in this.

I spent a good part of my long weekend being tired and, as usual, a little sad, but also a good part was devoted to Alice Munro’s new Too Much Happiness.  Munro doesn’t need praise from me, so I will just say instead that a few stories from this book coincided nicely with the reading I have been doing lately on memory and its effect on older adults (this naturally is juxtaposed with public libraries, and my dear idols at StoryCorps, but that is neither here nor there).  The story “Child’s Play,” while not necessarily a happy remembrance, jogged something strange in me every time I read it.  At a time when I am worrying more than ever about losing hold of stories I’ve been told or stories I might tell, a work of fiction like “Child’s Play” (as well as the title story) have this daunting ability to  frighten and confuse a reader like, well,  me.  This shouldn’t be a discouragement.  Munro is a force to reckon with, and these stories left me somewhat hopeful (again, this isn’t about her, or the world, or something, this is about me) that someone somewhere is remembering something.  I am not 100% behind this, as far as Munro’s compilations go, but the title story alone is almost enough for this book to stand on.  I want to recommend that story to every person I know who is familiar with her writing.  Because it’s unlike her, and it’s strong (which truly isn’t at all unlike her), and it is inspirational.

Also, school is almost over, which means my life is starting to look like this again:

suburbs 136Ah, to be thankful for Tina Fey, and dogs, and new warm hats, and quilts from grandmas, and other comforting things.  I need a hug.

Kissin’ summer goodbye

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

I would tell you about the books I’ve been reading if I hadn’t been so busy reading the Gossip Girl series (so what.  it’s summer.) and snuggling with a certain Halifax-bound young man.

For other things that tend to occupy my time wonderfully, see also:

a sneaky little buddy I discovered at my parents’ house:

Little bird

Little bird

epic hat fail (this is why they say to check your gauge, people!  omgf!):

tiny hat fail

tiny hat fail

tonight might be froggin’ night.  I love this pattern but I am a tiny knitting freak so will have to start all over again.  It doesn’t even fit on my head & I have possibly the world’s littlest head.  I am in love with this yarn but I don’t know if I can stand to look at it all over again.

Other time-occupiers: resume building.  That’s right.  Here I come, world!  (I know I keep saying this, but geez, do I ever mean it!)

Because I am excited about fall!

Friday, August 14th, 2009

I am trying to get a move on my knitting right now.  I know, this is CRAZY because it is 87 million degrees out, but if I don’t get this knitting done now, when will I??!  Before you know it, Christmas will be looming and somuchstuff 257somuchstuff 286I will be scrambling to write a million terrible papers and frogging all kinds of present hats and (hopefully) packing to move to Canada and being furious at myself for not starting these kinds of things sooner.  SO, alas, my knitting frenzy.

I have made this pattern (fetching) enough that I can whip off a little glove in a couple hours of Buffy marathoning.  I love wearing these in the fall/spring.  They are good for computing, dog-walking, reading on the bus, etc.  Transitional gloves!  The turquoise are made of good ol’ Cascade that I found orphaned for $2 or something, and the weird colored ones are out of some yarn I also found orphaned for dirt cheap.  I am trying to use this weird variegated yarn up but there is always a color that I hate hidden in the skeins.  I’m looking at you, purple.  I am hereby on a yarn diet.  Seriously.  No more buying yarn until I use so much of it up.  I hate this.  For what it’s worth, I would make every person I know a pair of these because they are just that cozy and fun.  This is a hint, ladyfriends!somuchstuff 260

This is kind of fitting, given the title of the book, but I gave Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress (Susan Jane Gilman) another chance yesterday & ended up reading the entire thing.  HOWEVER, this was not out of love, I am merely trying to force myself to finish all books that I start.  I liked aspects of it well enough, but remain lukewarm on the collection as a whole.  I don’t know why I am wholly accepting & adoring of navel-gazing when some people (David Rakoff, Sarah Vowell, etc) do it, yet when others (Susan Jane Gilman) do it I end up irritated and frustrated.  Hello, I’m dead inside.

Doctor House & me

Thursday, July 30th, 2009
geez. 143

I mostly wanted to show off my fire-escape zinnias.

I have a terrible habit of checking out 15 books at once from the public library of all knitting patterns, and then am overwhelmed and can’t get around to more than one of them without freaking out and using a whole pad of post-it notes to mark things that I-omg-need-to-make.  Inevitably I return them all and just head back to my beloved ravelry for one or the other 362 other patterns in my queue.  In an attempt to tame my knitting ADD in particular, I am making a concerted effort to sloooow down.  So I only have 5 knitting books checked out (this is an all-time low for me!) and I am actually making progress experimenting with a pattern from each of them.  I so am very, very tired of scarves, but am very interested in lace, and am especially interested in using up old skeins I have lying around, so One-Skein Wonders (ed. Judith Durant) was just the thing for me last weekend.

The Stella Bamboo Lace Scarf (btw, I didn’t use bamboo, & in fact don’t know what I used because the label had fallen off so long ago) was a nice addition to my insane weekend marathon of House MD, which I discovered I have a not-so-closeted passion for.  This baby is getting mailed off today to a special friend.  SECRETS!  The Bean was quite happy to model it before it got mailed off:

geez. 189

Bean modeling!

My plans for the upcoming weekend quite possibly involve all of Firefly (!!) and maybe-just-maybe lotsa mittens.  Cannot wait.

My Fledgling love of sci-fi (bad pun)

Monday, April 20th, 2009

Sometimes when it’s insanely nice out I get a little depressed, because I would secretly rather be inside reading. This weekend was one of those times. It pained me to do so, but I forced myself outside. I went to the dog park numerous times. I went on many walks. I went to a barbecue. I sat on the fire escape. I drank beer. I obsessed over knitting lace WHILE drinking beer WHILE sitting on the fire escape:

Lace ribbon

Lace ribbon

This pattern is so fun and joyful to look at while working on it. It is like a magical surprise of happiness with every new row.

It finally turned gloomy yesterday, and I was able to sit around doing nothing to my heart’s content. I finished all of Preacher. I am sort of crushed to be done with it. I really, really savored volumes 1-6, but I FLEW through the last three because I was so excited to find out what was going to happen. I was like a little kid with this series.

Yesterday, listening to records and drinking copious amounts of coffee, I also finished Octavia Butler’s Fledgling. It’s kind of like Twilight’s sophisticated grandmother. Butler is obviously an established writer and has a greater grasp on, say, coherency and language than Stephanie Meyer can ever hope to. I don’t ever read science fiction (and I don’t really know why not–I would probably like it), but I enjoyed this immeasurably. Butler is a really sparse, meager writer, but her grasp on storytelling is phenomenal. In Fledgling she has created the fantastic, scary world of the Ina (like vampires, only not) and I was extremely sad to have left it. My finishing of Fledgling coincided with the end of the weekend: the saddest time of all, multiplied by two because I am now bookless. I don’t know where to turn. I feel empty and a little naked.

What next?!