Thursday, April 28, 2011

drive-by post

- Who wouldn't want to recreate the upcoming royal nuptials in handknits?  I love Telegraph reporter Cassandra Jardine's remark:
Perhaps whole families can work together, because otherwise I fear my balcony scene might end up with a naked Archbishop of Canterbury, as his cassock, chimere (cloak) and mitre all look fiddly.
As charming as Fiona Goble's book may be, the only pattern I might actually tackle is the corgi. Delightfully it is available for free at the Guardian's website here.
- Alicia Paulson, one of my favorite bloggers, is now accepting pre-orders for her darling Daisychain ABCs Crewelwork Sampler Kit. Too cute! This will be my first venture into the world of crewel wool. I've done plenty of embroidery with good ol' cotton embroidery floss.

- Masterpiece's upcoming broadcast of Andrew Davies' adaptation of South Riding looks as if it might be quite good!
A fiery young headmistress Sarah Burton brings her modern ideas to the conservative girls' school in depression-era Yorkshire, sparking conflict — and attraction — with Robert Carne, a stubborn, brooding landowner mired in a troubled past.
Vaguely reminiscent of Gaskell's North & South, but without the dashingly brooding Richard Armitage.  I haven't read the novel by Winifred Holtby, alas, but the Guardian has a nice piece here.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

clog socks, part II

The second pair of Turkish Bed Socks are off the needles and onto my feet!  The weather has been surprisingly lovely for the past few days, though, so I suspect that not too many wool-sock wearing days are left this spring. Not that that's a problem. ;-)

Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh Sock, "Bearded Iris," 1/2 skein
Needles: US 2.5 (3.0mm) Harmony 6" DPNs

Great pattern! It's a bit fiddly, but they're quick to knit, and the resulting socks coordinate quite nicely with my Dansko clogs. I was disappointed that the yarn pooled so dramatically, but they're still cozy.

Knitter and blogger extraordinaire Kristi recently published Masala, a gorgeous slipper pattern that looks to have a somewhat similar shape (I think -- this is just judging from the photos, as I haven't purchased the pattern yet). Masala has the most eye-catching colorwork pattern, and she has knit them up in beautiful color combinations that really POP!  Most definitely going to the top of my to-knit list once I've finished up a few more WIPs.
A certain someone always insists on helping me change sheets or make the bed.  Oh cats! I'm still loving my crocheted blanket, btw, and am just dying to start a new crochet project. Must. finish. WIPs. first.
I'm taking a night class on Tuesdays and Thursdays for the next few weeks, so I'm adjusting my cooking habits -- easy larger batches that result in tasty leftovers. After looking at a few lasagne recipes and deeming them either too much work or too heavy,  I dreamed up my own quick spinach lasagne recipe last night, and it turned out fantastic.

Spinach Lasagne

12 oven-ready (no-bake) lasagne noodles
24 oz (2.5 C.) Barilla Italian Baking Sauce
8 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded
2/3 C. Parmesan cheese, shredded ~ divided
15 oz. whole-milk ricotta cheese
dash nutmeg
1 clove garlic, pressed, or 1/2 tsp. garlic salt 
freshly ground pepper
1 egg
2 T. fresh parsley, chopped, or 1 tsp. dried parsley
3  oz. baby spinach leaves (or more!)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly spray a 13x9 baking dish with cooking spray (or lightly coat with olive oil).

2. In a medium bowl, mix 1/3 C. Parmesan, ricotta, nutmeg, freshly ground pepper, garlic, and egg. Mix in parsley and spinach.

3. Spread 1/2 C. sauce on bottom of baking dish. Top with 4 lasagne noodles; top with half of the ricotta/spinach mixture, another 1/2 C. sauce, and 3/4 C. mozzarella. Repeat layers one more time. Do another layer of 4 noodles. Pour remaining sauce over lasagne; sprinkle with the rest of the mozzarella and 1/3 C. Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil; bake 45 minutes. Remove from oven, and let it stand for 10 min. before cutting into it and serving.

Serves 6

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

FO: Xs and Os

Remember how February was devoted to a Finishing Frenzy around here?  This seems to be the theme for April, too. I dug out a little design that I had abandoned at least a year ago -- there wasn't much left to knit, so finishing really only took a couple of hours.

 pattern: love letter baby vest, by yours truly
yarn: Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran, 2 skeins
needles: US 5 and US 7 Clover bamboo 16" circs and DPNs

My favorite touch is the ribbed cable border at the hem. I'm not thrilled with the neckline, but this project had been languishing far too long, and I didn't have it in me to re-work the details.  It should be cute and cozy on a little guy!
The Noro giant granny square has also been unearthed. The natural brown border is deadly dull to work (I miss all the lovely Noro color changes), but it would be awesome to finish this up and actually use it! My fingers are just itching to start a new crochet project (ruby hexagon blanket, perhaps?), but I'll hold off for a while longer.

More baby showers are on the horizon, so expect a few wee projects as part of my April Finishing Frenzy. I seamed and blocked a little hooded cardigan early this morning!
random whatnot

- Already made it to a Cubs game this season!  A friend from my knitting circle had extra tickets to a luxury box with a great view. Oooo la la, now that's the way to watch the game. Plus the Cubs actually won. :-)

- The new Knitty is up! The Corinne cardigan is quite nice. 

- Have you seen the show Party Down? It's quite the hoot, especially the second season. A motley crew of aspiring actors and writers pay the bills by working for a catering company. Each episode centers around a catered event, and some of them can be rather off color, so consider yourself forewarned if you have delicate sensibilities. You can stream it on Netflix.

- FYI: Cascade Eco Wool is on sale at Webs this month. I ordered enough for the Dude Sweater, ostensibly for Paul (but that doesn't mean a certain knitter can't borrow it from time to time).