Thursday, June 25, 2009

Beach Socks

It's that time again. It was time to pick yarn and plan to knit on the beach. I shopped my stash and came up with this sock yarn procured from my favorite LYS, Woolbearers of Mount Holly, NJ. However, I bought the yarn from them all the way down in Baltimore, MD, at Stitches East in 2007. The colorway drew me in. It reminded me of sea, sand, seagulls and rocks. It's superwash wool dyed by Woolbearers and although my Beach Socks* usually have some cotton content, these colors are begging to become my 2009 Beach Socks.

Sooooo, here is my last cake for awhile . . . a yarn cake!

This picture, taken with a little daylight filtering through the kitchen window, brings out the blue better than last night's picture taken in complete artificial light. Yes, it's the colors of Breakwater Beach in Brewster, MA, on the bay side of Cape Cod where I'll be knitting.

Bona Fide Knitter

*Beach Socks are not socks to wear on the beach. They are socks to knit on the beach.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Happy Anniversary to Me?

My spouse had a hypoglycemic episode yesterday afternoon which thwarted plans for a celebration today, our wedding anniversary--more years than I care to make public and many, many more years than I thought I could bear. To commemorate the occasion I bought myself a gift. That's one way to make sure I get what I want.

I'd been wanting this ever since I saw it right after the inauguration. I finally came up with a reason for buying it other than "I deserve it" . . .

. . . although I certainly do deserve it.

The Obama Clutch Bag is by a fabulous Etsy seller who is an artisan in leather trading as ArmandoJavierDesign. My pictures are unstaged, taken in a hurry on a cloudly day with flash too bright. Even thrown on the bed and using no flash this bag still looks good!

And again, this time with the flash.

Both the workmanship and the message the headlines bring make this a bag to have! Yes, beautiful, wearable art at its most topical. A keepsake for sure.

Bona Fide Knitter

Monday, June 22, 2009

Wanna Cookie? Not While I'm Knitting!

My latest baking masterpiece came out of the oven on Saturday...

What a cake! It looked just like a giant, Double Stuff Oreo cookie and tasted like one as well.

I'm using the past tense because it was all gone by Sunday afternoon. I had to give more than half away. It was not conducive to the health of my diabetic spouse who has no self control. I, on the other hand, could only take so much of the butter cream icing. It did not appeal to me. The word SWEET hardly describes it. Four and a half cups of confectioner's sugar and a stick of butter with a little vanilla extract whipped together until it becomes a fluffy froth makes a lovely filling for the cake, giving it that Oreo look, but is more than a little too sweet for me. Next time I will bake the cake, fill it with softened vanilla ice cream, then freeze it to firm it up. I can hardly wait. Ice cream sandwich heaven! And it will still look like a giant Oreo.

The pans that create the big chocolate cookies for top and bottom are a Williams Sonoma exclusive. The recipe comes with and is a winner. It's a cross between chocolate cake and a brownie. Delish!

The knitting pace is picking up. Unfortunately I'm having to do more tinking than I would like. How could I, also known as "The Sock Lady," possibly screw up heel flaps on plain vanilla socks! Twice! I tell you knitting two at once on one circular needle is not all it's cracked up to be. When you screw up there is a possibility that you will screw up twice. (1 screw up x 2 socks at once on one circular = 2 screw ups) Ask me how I know.

Yep, I started doing Eye of Partridge flaps and in the midst of it my brain had a blip and it became a hot mess. Tink! Then I decided to make them plain stockinette, something I never do. It was much too much plain-ness. Tink! I'm now knitting away in waiting rooms doing the old tried and true Dutch heel.

The Seaside Shrug, which in my case will be more of a "Sunset on the Sea" Shrug,

is coming along nicely. It's almost time to start knitting in earnest. Vacay is only hours away. That means I need to get cracking and get those plain vanilla socks off the needles to be replaced by beach socks, i.e., socks knit solely (no pun intended) on the beach while listening to audio books. Aaaah, blis!

Bona Fide Knitter, definitely back

Monday, June 8, 2009

Bona Fide Knitter . . . BACK!

I'm ba-ack! I'm a knitter again. No baking for a week now, although I did just order two new pans yesterday. But I digress.

I've been knitting. Here's the evidence.

Okay, so it's not the Great American Afghan. It's a dishcloth. Whadidya expect? It's a start. While looking through my cotton yarn stash for something suitable with which to make facecloths, I found this lone ball of Lily Sugar 'n Cream in a colorway I remember buying because it said "Cape Cod" to me. The colors fit right in with the decor up there. Actually they also match my powder room here . . . hmmmmm . . .

Anyway, you will notice in the picture that although I am at the end, I did not bind off. You might also have been able to gloam in on a couple of mistakes. My tinge of OCD reared its ugly head and I just might frog the whole thing and do it over. It only takes a couple of nights in front of the TV. We'll see.

However, on a more substantial knitting note, my copy of the new Knitter's (Summer 2009, K95) arrived last week and I actually got an urge to knit, really knit. The magazine had been leaving me cold luke warm in recent issues. Even the big Soxx contest didn't stir me much. This time I have actually ordered yarn to start one of the sweaters pictured. It's the butt ugly shrug pictured on pages 74 and 75. Ooops, perhaps somebody who reads this intends to knit it as is. I'm sorry. It's not "butt ugly." It's just that the colors as combined are not to my liking. But (to use a different "but"), it is exactly the kind of shrug pattern I looked for during last winter. I even faved a few on Ravelry and never went farther because they just weren't it. I'd been looking for a BIG shrug and did not find the right one. I think this is it. I want something big to wrap up in and a shrug, at least any I'd ever seen before, was more of a skimpy shoulder and arm cover. Hmmmm, I guess that's why it is called a "shrug"--because it's for your shoulders--shrug your shoulders. Get it?

I think this more substantial one in Knitter's is just what I was looking for and I have ordered yarn for it from KnitPicks. I changed the colors trying for color harmony using a color scheme based on warm analogous colors. I can picture myself keeping the heat down low next winter wearing some flannel pajama bottoms (which I am going to make from my fabric stash) with coordinating tees (which I will buy from Chico's on sale) and wearing my coordinating hand knit or machine knit socks with Fit Flops (if I ever knit a pair of thong socks) or Birkenstocks, while working in my newly completed garage-turned-studio. I have just created an image that should get my knit back on for sure!

Hurry, KnitPicks! I need that yarn yesterday!

Bona Fide Knitter (needing instant gratification)

Monday, June 1, 2009

No Knitting and a Little Baking

My weekend knitting, which was to be a Sunday washcloth marathon, turned into a day of searching the Internet for just the right cloth pattern for the, Coto Canapone (52 % cotton/48% hemp) yarn that arrived last week just a few days after I ordered it. It is the closest I could find to a worsted weight linen or cotton-linen blend at a price I was willing to pay. I ordered color #3, White Sand. The nice oatmeal color is just what I had in mind for my washcloths. I envisioned spa-like color, not quite as soft as Peaches & Creme, perfect for the bath. Instead I got really nice yarn with a soft hand, slightly thinner than the worsted weight I expected and maybe too nice for washcloths. That being the case, the yarn called for a special pattern because it will become washcloths anyway.

Yesterday I found HIS and HERS at Etsy for $4. I'm still waiting for the email with the pattern PDF. Today I found His Cloth and Her Cloth for FREE (my favorite four-letter word). I also found free Easy Peasy Dischcloths which are knit on large needles using double yarn. That might be the answer for this slightly thinner yarn. I don't I want to go as high as 9 mm (US 13) needles as suggested though. I feel a swatch coming on.

Baking is happening much easier than knitting these days. This past weekend's masterpiece was a cake baked in my newest pan, a Lemon Tea Cake. Yes, it tastes as good as it looks and was "easy peasy" to make. I feel another cake pan purchase coming on.

Bona Fide Knitter . . . really