Tuesday, January 24, 2012

in the works

Another little design is in the works. I'm using a lovely shade of gold that has (sadly) been discontinued by Knit Picks. I'm off the semisolids and indie dyers lately... not sure what's up with that, but I'm loving the stitch definition of solid colored yarn, and I'm enjoying the soft, fuzzy heather blue-green of my Aidez cardigan.
Don't these shades of aqua, gold, and cream go beautifully together? I think this may be the perfect color palette for my study. Now to visit the paint store!
Even though I'm spending more time wearing my editor hat rather than my researcher cap these days, I still get to work from home fairly often. Wow, is that great. I especially enjoy eating a healthy lunch at home while reading a good book. I tried this easy recipe for cornbread, and it is yummy. Basic, no frills, but delicious. Much better than the Jiffy corn muffin mixes of my childhood.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

all wrapped up in handknits

Last Valentine's Day I gave Paul the promise of a Doctor Who scarf, something he had been requesting for years.
Many, many rows of garter stitch and eight skeins of yarn later, it is complete! I selected a rather more subtle palette of colors than the original and didn't make it nearly as long, as I wanted it to be something Paul would actually wear rather than a costume piece.

Doctor Who scarf
needles: US 6 Clover bamboo straights
cobblestone heather 
garnet heather 
lemongrass heather 
squirrel heather

I cast on 44 stitches and loosely followed this pattern until I ran out of yarn. One skein of each color, except for two skeins of squirrel heather. Paul's also sporting the Armando hat I knit for him.
Rue kindly sent me a wee bit of ginger Madelintosh tosh merino light  so that I can bind off my live oak shawlette. Hooray! Many thanks, Rue.


- Inc. has a thought-provoking piece on entrepreneurs in Norway (a country near and dear to my heart)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

winter at last

Winter is finally here, blanketing Chicago in beautiful snow.
This afternoon I hung the suet feeder in my backyard, and I expect to be inundated with juncos, kinglets, siskens, tanagers, and titmice at any moment. These are just a few species of songbirds that Garfield's Energy Suet claims to attract.
Indeed. I'll keep you posted as to how that goes! One might guess that bird-watching and urban settings don't mix terribly well, but there are some pretty decent bird preserves along Lake Michigan (such as the Jarvis Migratory Bird Sanctuary), and this has been a record year for snowy owl sightings in Chicago.
The back of my Aidez cardigan is complete, and I've just done the ribbing for the left front! I have visions of wearing Aidez while sipping a mug of coffee and peacefully gazing upon my snowy backyard full of cheerful tanagers and titmice. A girl can dream...
in the kitchen

Alicia recently highlighted this curried lentil soup recipe, so I gave it a try. Delicious! Hearty and substantial, with plenty of flavor but not too spicy. This is one of those lentil soups that gets a little mushy (if you don't like that quality, you could substitute French lentils). I really appreciate that this is different from our standby curried lentil soup recipe, which has lots of tomatoes and balsamic vinegar to make it tangy. (I use chicken stock instead of water and add a couple of carrots, diced, to that recipe.)

Monday, January 09, 2012


I spent part of the weekend curled up with my knitting needles and many cups of coffee from my new bestie, the Nespresso machine. Blissful! Aidez is coming along quite nicely. The first few rows juggling the cable patterns were tough going, but it became easier with practice, as most things do. I *know* I'm doing one of the narrow cross-stitch cables wrong (they're supposed to be mirrored), but I wasn't about to change my methods midstream. I'm certainly not picky enough to rip way back and make them perfect (so not the point of knitting for me).
in the kitchen

- Curried tofu with tomatoes, with coconut rice

- My buffalo chicken chili recipe is a part of Pottery Barn's latest theme party feature, Big Game Party!

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

hello, 2012!

New year, fresh start. 2011 had its strikes and gutters, ups and downs, and I for one am very happy to be moving forward. Don't get me wrong -- there were good things about 2011, like my new position at the Press and our terrific new digs, but overall there was a certain too-muchness. We spent New Year's Eve with friends, the first time with little ones in tow, and it was delightful. I made Heidi's recipe for gougères, which were delicious but difficult to pronounce.
2011's diagonal box-stitch afghan is still growing:
The stitch pattern has become second nature, and the superwash merino wool is soft and cushy (which is good, since I'm on my ninth skein of the stuff). If only the crochet hook hadn't fallen behind a heavy dresser yesterday! Note to self: must enlist Paul's help in moving that behemoth.
There's a new project for 2012 in the works, too:
I cast on for Aidez at knit night, and the ribbing is going swimmingly. The cross-stitch cable instructions, however, aren't for the faint of heart, so I'm pleased that we're doing it as a knitalong

I'm not really one for setting goals with my hobbies. For me the point is to relax and go with the flow. I get stressed out enough already -- no need for extra anxiety. I suppose one goal is to use the supplies I have! We're at maximum crafty storage capacity at the moment. I'd also like to finish my sadly neglected Shalder cardigan, knit Aidez in time to wear it this winter, finish a quilt that's been on the back burner far too long... oh wait, that's a whole bunch of goals. Onward and upward!

May health, happiness, and good times greet you each day of the new year.