Monday, September 01, 2008


I had really meant to start posting more frequent, shorter entries, but my constant state these days is one of distraction. Lately it's been the world of book blogging. My friend Holly and I have been posting book reviews and we've both gotten into some early reviewing, and we've even got book giveaways in the works. So I've been reading more book blogs and brainstorming about how to get more than five people to frequent our site :) Add to that that I kept thinking I was just an hour away from finishing my Placket Neck Pullover, and I've gone too long without posting again. it is!

Pattern: Placket Neck Pullover from Last Minute Knitted Gifts (size 6-12 months)
Yarn: Sirdar Snuggly Baby Bamboo
Needles: Size 6 dpns and 16" circular
Notes: This is an easy-peasy pattern. The only thing I do is add buttonholes because I think the beads pushed between stitches looks tacky. I do a yo, k2tog on the last two stitches on rows 4, 12, and 20, and I think it works out well. This pattern overestimates the heck out of your yarn needs. I bought four skeins (436 yds) of yarn and used about two and a half. The buttons came from The Button Drawer, which has such cute buttons and fast shipping. I got a few more, little ducks for Lilah and even a penguin button, along with a few different flowers.

Other knitting: I'm looking for a cardigan pattern for Lilah that would use some Debbie Bliss Baby Alpaca DK in pink. I haven't found what I'm looking for. I definitely want buttons, and a gauge swatch shows I'm getting 6 stitches to the inch on size 6s. I'm happy with that fabric, but I still need a pattern. I'm trying for simple, but a little girly. I may attempt to design something, but that may be beyond my ability right now.

I also have these:

I want to make a placket neck pullover for a two year old boy, but I don't have any particular yarn for it. I noticed these hanging around the stash, and was thinking it might be just the ticket...if I can come up with a stripe pattern that looks okay. I may just cast on with the dark blue and get started. Or I may finally try to finish Tiger Sock #2 while I deliberate.

Reading: Tons and tons. I'm going to send you to On My Bookshelf for reviews again. I'm having trouble settling to a book at the moment. I just read two memoirs (Wife in the North and Queen of the Road, both about women relocating for their husbands--Wife in the North from London to the country; Queen of the Road from a house to a converted bus for a year), and I'm working on Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict, but it's not really doing it for me. I have mysteries to read, a huge stack of kids' books, a pile of Jane Austen-related books, and so much more. I may carry on with this one for a bit to see if it grows on me.

Writing: A bit of futzing with the backstory, at least, if not full-scale writing.

Cooking: It's been so long since I posted, let's see. Ah, the baking for the playground build was great. I made three kinds of muffins: the Blue Blueberry Muffins from Blueberry Muffin Murder by Joanne Fluke (fun mystery, fantastic muffins), my Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins (recipe in the link at the left), and Raspberry Cheesecake Muffins, only with blackberry jam. The muffin for the Raspberry Cheesecake was kind of blah, but the cheesecake/jam filling really kicked it up. Unfortunately, the blackberry jam also erupted from the muffins like lava, leaving my oven coated in charred jam. I'm not sure if I need to vent the muffins or make sure to more thoroughly cover them.

I made Gallo Pinto for brunch last Sunday to celebrate the build (recipe at left). This week, I made Baba Ghanosh (recipe from World of the East Vegetarian Cooking by Madhur Jaffrey), Classic Hummus (recipe at left), and Ful Medames. The only change I make is to mash the fava beans coarsely with a potato masher. Then I make pita chips for a feast: Cut pita into wedges, spray and brush with olive oil, and stick under the broiler for about 2 minutes, WATCHING CAREFULLY. Turn, spray or brush with oil, then sprinkle with sea salt, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, and dried thyme. Pop under the broiler a minute or two.

I also made Strawberry Vanilla Jam. Again, just following the recipe on the box of pectin, except scraping the seeds of one vanilla bean (split lengthwise) into the pot. I had a half-flat of strawberries, which ended up making 19 jars of jam between the two batches! It's yummy.

Housekeeping update: I finally switched over to Blogger's new Layout thing instead of my old template. I've been re-adding my old links (what a pain). I haven't gotten my web rings added back in, and since I can't seem to log into ring surf, that might take a while...


YarnThrower said...

That sweater is just adorable! I love the seed stitch collar and the buttons! Very cute!

Perhaps by the time you finish writing your murder mystery, I'll actually have time to read it. (How does April 2011 sound?)

Blogger's new Layout thing? I'm going to have to check it out. I've been messing with my template a little bit, too, and not really knowing much about HTML, it's a trial and error mystery to me...

mle said...

What a cute little sweater! I have that one on my to-do list but I haven't found the right yarn for it in my stash yet. Glad to know it used less yarn than called for!

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness, where do I start?

1. The sweater is perfect. Great color. Couldn't love the buttons more; I used some very similar for a niece sweater last year. Have bookmarked Button Drawer with enthusiasm. Will have to keep myself from buying something there unnecessarily right now.

2. Your shades of blue in Debbie Bliss wool/cotton are gorgeous. Dig in and design your vision!

3. Love the use of "futzing" - it sounds like what it means, doesn't it?

4. Actively salivating over the Mediterranean recipes, and dying to try fresh Ful Medames.

You rock! Thanks for the inspired post.

Oh, and the new Layout...nice.

KnitPastis said...

Sweet buttons! I know she must be tickled. Everytime I come across that pattern in my book, I wish they would have come out with an adult version.

Making me hungry:)