Edited to add this super-cute modeled picture:
Or what passes for extravaganza around here these days :) I suddenly realized that Lilah has only one hat, and it got cold here! She has no mittens whatsoever. Ack! And with a mother who knits. So I picked out a number of patterns and yarns to knock off a few of each. Here's the beginning:
Earflap Hat from Knitting for Baby by Melanie Falick and Kristin Nicholas
Yarn: Brooks Farm Four Play in Poppies (rescued from the ill-fated T-Twist)
Needles: Size 9 dpns and circular
Notes: This hat ended up huge, even on Lilah's big melon. I made the large (12-24 months), and skipped the earflaps since the hat itself covers Lilah's ears. I used i-cord instead of the three-row garter stitch thing in the pattern, because I think it looks neater. I like the way it turned out. I got it on her head once, but didn't have the camera. I will post a photo when I can. I love these colors (which are more Neapolitan Ice Cream than Poppies) for baby stuff. I have enough to do a baby sweater, so I'll have to find a pattern in a worsted weight. I'll need to make her hats on smaller needles, as this won't be super warm, but it's cute and it'll work here most of the season.
Toddler Mittens from Knitting for Baby
Yarn: Brooks Farm Four Play in Poppies
Needles: Size 5 and 8 dpns
Notes: This was a cute, quick, easy pattern, and as above, I love the yarn. I like this book, which has several lovely patterns, but the organization is a bit odd. It's organized by knitting technique (garter, circular, cable, and my favorite, the lovely vague "exploring the possibilities," where I found this pattern). There's an index, though, which has patterns organized into hats, etc.
Comments from last time: I love you guys! I love that I can point out what, to me, are perfectly visible errors or wonkiness, and you guys swear it's fine. Thank you! Tim, still working on the mystery revision--I've got a boatload of notes, which will hopefully make revision go faster. Maybe I'll give up sleeping. Marie, yes it's Rowanspun 4-ply, with which I have a love-hate relationship. But knitting this sweater is making me lean toward the "love" end of the spectrum. Thank you for recommending Three Bags Full! Sounds great! Knitpastis, I know there are some people who just will never like tofu, and you might be one. That's cool. But I converted Matt to tofu--he'd never had it prepared properly. What you have to remember is that it has little flavor of it's own, but marinate it in something yummy and grill or stir-fry it, and it's nice. Matt had only ever had it fried to death, which makes it spongy and unappealing. If you ever come here, I'll make you some :)
Reading: I read Peter and the Secret of Rundoon, the third installment in the Peter Pan prequel trilogy by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson. I loved it! I really enjoyed the whole series. They make no attempt to mimic Barrie's style--it's written in contemporary language. This is perfectly fine. Start with the first, Peter and the Starcatchers. The adventures of Peter, Molly, and the others are a rollicking, fun adventure in their own right, and that they explain occurrences in the novel Peter Pan is a bonus. I am now reading Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl, and loving it. I really want people to just leave me alone so I can finish it, and I'm usually pretty resigned to the stop-start reading I do nowadays by necessity.
Writing: See above.
Cooking: We were traveling, but last night I made a pasta sauce chock full of mushrooms. Matt liked it, but (diplomatically) said he prefers my usual Pasta Della Casa (a bright, tomato-based sauce with various herbs and veggies, depending on my mood). He compared it to Bolognese sauce, and I think that's probably accurate. I enjoyed it quite a bit with its depth of flavor and mushrooms galore, but don't try it if you only tolerate mushrooms.
Pasta Con Pomodori e Funghi
1 pound penne pasta, cooked according to package directions and drained
1 oz. dried porcini mushrooms
1 oz. sundried tomatoes
2 cups boiling water
1 TBL olive oil
1 TBL minced garlic
8 oz. white mushrooms, rinsed, trimmed, and sliced
8 oz. cremini (baby bella) mushrooms, rinsed, trimmed, and sliced
1/3 cup red wine
1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
2 tsp dried basil
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp crushed chiles
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Soak porcini and sundried tomatoes in water for 20 minutes. Drain (reserve liquid for another use--it's a flavorful broth) and chop. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and mushrooms and saute until mushrooms begin to give up liquid. Add wine, bring to a boil, and reduce heat to maintain a simmer, cooking until wine is visibly reduced. Add remaining ingredients (including soaked tomatoes and mushrooms) and simmer over low to moderate heat (as needed to maintain a light simmer), uncovered for 30 minutes or more. Taste and adjust seasonings. Remove bay leaf. Serve over penne, topped with freshly grated pecorino cheese. Serves 4-6.