Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I love stripey socks. I love the knitpicks Felici self-striping sock yarn. and they have new colors! squeee!!! (note the feet of my faithful velcro-Dober.)

This wool is special to me. It is from a neighbor’s Jacobs X sheep. We watched the sheep being sheared, then she gave us the fleece. We skirted, washed, carded, spun, and dyed the wool. It’s springy! I cast on 24 stitches, on size 13 needles, and did a basic farrow rib (I think that is what it is called?) knit, knit, purl every row. All the wool was dyed in one pot - sort of random blues and greens, and then spun randomly. I knit it so the greenest bit was at one end and the darkest blues on the other, so it naturally graduates from greens to blues.

Last but not least: this week's edition of Freezer and Pantry Soup!

A sort of veggie-stew but "dressed up" a little.

4-5 large carrots, chopped (I cannot believe how well they CSA carrots from this fall are keeping)
1 onion, chopped
one head garlic (yes, really), chopped
1/2 head celery, chopped
1 pint bag frozen local corn
1 quart bag frozen local tomatoes
1 quart jar canned tomato juice

Put all in the crock pot on high for 8-10 hours. Then we added a bit of red wine, some local cream, loads of thyme and basil, some sea salt and cracked black pepper. That's it! it was lovely.

On day 2 we cooked up some homemade pasta and ladeled some of this soup over it. Added a bit more cream, some leftover brie, and some local gouda (YUM). Pasta! We took the letovers of THAT, added some more soup and a load of sauteed mushrooms and onions, topped it with cheese, and baked it for lunch the next day. This is how we cook - leftovers are eaten or made into something else.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Knitting pics! These are some wristwarmers I made for a friend of mine, with a funky self-striping soy/wool yarn (rowan tapestry). I used this pattern, which I LOVE. it was interesting, but not difficult, and went super-fast.

Last night I whipped up this "Fourteen" in, like, an hour. INSTANT KNITTING GRATIFICATION rules! Especially when it is something this cute! Now I need to make, like, 8 of these. Seriously. I used my own handspun handdyed yarn (leftovers from the shawl project shown below). This is one of those projects that can be adapted to any gauge and any yarn - if you don't believe me, just check out the Ravelry info on this project - amazing! And perfect for spinners, because you need less than 100 yard - probably less than 75 or even maybe less than 60, so it's perfect for those gorgeous bits of handspun you're just not sure what to do with.
On an unrelated note - I LOVE THIS SKIRT. I got it at goodwill for about $3. I just love the pattern. it is a wrap-around, and if anyone has any idea where I can find a pattern like this, or even another skirt with a similar cut and shape, I will love you forever. (Bonne??? you are a pattern goddess!) I have thought about putting it on the floor and sort of figuring out how it works and trying to construct a pattern from that, but frankly that is probably beyond my clothing construction/deconstructions skills at this point.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

This post is going to be long and random. You have been warned.

First of all. Have you heard of National Soup Swap day? I LOVE THIS IDEA. I eat soup like it's going out of style (as the three people who read my blog already know). This explains it pretty well - but the basic idea is, you make a huge vat-o-soup - and package in in standard-sized freezable containers,a nd get together with your firends and family, and trade around. And you all go home with fantastic homemade soups to put in your freezer!

The thing about food it - well, it's yummy, and we need it. Like, to live. BUT. It can also be magical and special and fun. For example, cooking a meal for someone is a fantastic way to show you care about them - that you know their tastes, and want to take the time to make something you know that they will love. Nourishment on all levels. Also - in my past year of learning to eat local, I have discovered a whole new relationship to food. The potatoes and garlic in my house? They are grown by my friend John, and everytime I use them, I think of him, and what a cool and thoughtful person he is. I have loads of amazing foods (pasta, jams, cordials and dried tomatoes) from my friend Jill, and without fail - every meal I make that includes something from her garden makes me think of her, and how generous and funny she is. And so forth and so on - only now that I eat food almost entirely grown/made/or processed by folks I actually KNOW - well it's like I have a little chorus of friendly farmers chattering away at me in my kitchen every time I cook. There are no words to explain how cool that is!!!

So the idea of having homemade soups, made by actual folks you know, is just too fun. It might be too late to organize such and event locally this year, but....I bet I can talk my cool farming/spinning friends into it next year.

Now time for some yarn porn. I spent a bit of time (okay, hours) before New Year's rearranging and organizing my yarn stash and fiber stuff. This basket was, I believe, $3.49 at Goodwill - doesn't it look as though it was MADE to hold sock yarn? Yeah, I thought so too.

The room where my yarn lives is also where I keep my martial arts books and weapons. Doesn't EVERYONE have a shelf full of drop spindles, yarn and tarot cards (wooden bowl on right) directly below their rack of weapons? (for those of you that don't know what you're looking at - there a few jo - some bokken, and some iaito. Girlwithasword is not just a clever name).

My sister gave me this lovely over-the-door basket organizer thingie. Again, more sock yarn. I think I have a sock yarn fetish.
And here is a basket of my handspun. I cannot open it if there is a cat in the vicinity (and with 8 cats in the house, that's REALLY difficult) because they immediately jump in there, lay down, and fall aleep - with 2.3 nanoseconds. They LOVE handspun - apparently, it makes the most divine napping surface ever invented, with the exception of actual roving.

I do have a whole hamper of commercial yarns too - all neat and tidy in their own bags. :) yay fiber!

Last but not least, my friend Marrie posted about doing charity knitting for this organization:

Warm Woolies

I love that they want to use actual natural fibers (many charity organizations want acrylic items, due to their washability....while I understand that, I really prefer working with natural fibers. Plus they are so much warmer!). I am going to pledge to knit several items for them this year.