Monday, June 28, 2010

One of my favorite things is a good trashpick. The competition's fierce in here in my town (a friend once snagged a chaise lounge right out from under me when I asked her to watch it so I could drag two chairs down the street!) - but persistence pays off, and I've managed to create an entire outdoor "room" for free this summer.

The weekend was spent fixing our finds up for some summer relaxing on the big ol' concrete slab we call a patio. These chairs got a scrubbing and two cans of orange Rustoleum. I got orange sneakers, an unfortunate side effect. The wooden glider bench behind got a new batch of screws and a tighten-up, and the redwood recliners got some new cushions.

I could not love this spot more.

And yes, I should have taken a better pic of the comfy redwood chairs.

But we brought a few of these out, and the camera got left upstairs.

I'm still in need of an outdoor coffee table to hold all the various refreshments, so I'll continue to troll the curbs, but in the meantime, we have a few small tables and a platform behind the big chairs that serves as a perfect shelf .

And about the Tom Collinses? Another perfect summer drink. You can get this little box of mix at your supermarket and follow the directions. Or, you can follow the link I added to make a homemade version. I've done both. Both are great. But the box is easier!

Also in the Collins family, are these cool little boxes. They will be given away as part of the cocktail kits in my little Ravelry photo posting contest. It's been great to see all the new pics appearing -- keep it up! Remember, the photos can be of projects in progress - who knows what pics will grab the judges' attention? And you have until July 12th.

Fun, huh? Everyone needs drink umbrellas.

I'm about to begin a few new WIPs myself. And these won't be cardigans of the heavy wool variety. I'm not entirely sure what they'll end up as, but there's 1800 yds of the burnt orange laceweight (which I'll double) and 250 yds of the sport weight green.

Both projects will be small and very portable, I promise!

Since this no longer qualifies as such.

Friday, June 25, 2010

to knitting with aran weight yarn on the beach is to work your sweater in pieces. Then nothing's too big on the lap. Also helps if you're beginning a front on a cardigan, so it's small and narrow! I spent a few hours with the left front here (and chatting) in the sun and sand, and then retired to this grassy shady section for a bit. It was pretty perfect - and I'm almost to the armholes.

If only I had a cold, frosty beer with me.

The other night we had an end of school party in the same location and I brought something hugely yummy to share. It's based on a drink called a greyhound, and it's an amazing summer beach option. I put it in a big pitcher thingy, so forgive the amounts here.

One gallon container of Simply Grapefruit juice.
8 oz vodka (1 oz per person)
a few glugs of triple sec
sliced and squeezed 3 limes.

I shared with the other parents and they all agreed it was a keeper.

Summer's officially begun!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Maybe not so different, but a variation on the theme around here. Tonight we'll be bottling our first batch of beer! We made it a couple of weeks ago and have been watching the stuff bloop away in a big 5 gallon jug ever since -- which has been kind of fun for the whole family.

Today it's done, and by tomorrow it'll be fun for only Craig and I. Am thinking it's the perfect way to start off summer - with a batch of homemade cold ones.


To start your cocktail-y summer (or winter if you're on the other side of the globe) off right, I announced a little contest on Ravelry this week.

Recently there has been a batch of great new photos of your projects popping up, and I you know how really really love seeing your pictures! (These links are some of the most recent ones.)
In progress or finished, it's fun to see them evolve. But I know so many of us don't actually get around to posting the shots, and a lot of them get up but don't get linked to the Babycocktails group, so I thought maybe I could encourage more of you to make my day with a little carrot.

Let's give a week extra too, shall we? Post and link your project shots to the Babycocktails group page on Ravelry (just see the share bar on the side of the detail page). Any of my patterns, whether it's new or you knit it a while ago. Just slap it up there!

On July 12, I'll have a panel of 4 - two knitters, two non-knitters, none of them me - pick their 4 faves. And each of you will get a cocktail package of fun stuff to play with at home.

See? win, win. I get new pics to look at and you get a few drinks!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

This was from last weeks' 5th grade graduation. Throwing their rose petals in the air. Afterwards, they were all bitter because they couldn't play "loves me, loves me not" like the girls who didn't throw their petals up in the air.

When I was young, we did the watermelon seeds. You name each one, put them on your forehead and whoever falls off last is your future boyfriend. You do look a little goofy with the black dots on your forehead, but I say it's time tested and true. Maya won't do it.

Instead, we have that glow in the dark Ouija board, which has the same fortune telling abilities and has been getting lots of use in the yard. Apparently we have 3 ghosts.

As long as they aren't moths, I'm good with them.


Because they might get into this, and then I'd be pissed.

I have finally, finally, finally begun re-doing and writing up the brown wrap cardigan from last Fall. I think I'm going to love it in tweed, but I'm a little unsure I've picked the right yarn for June beach knitting. Rowan Aran Tweed. At least this one is worked in pieces, so it won't all be on my lap at once! Today's our first beach day, and it's coming along with me, so we'll see how it goes.

But first, I need to find a babysitter or pawn my kids off for the night. Off to make calls.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

to being done with this! Moody and Broody and Gray. All I have is a half sleeve left, and then I'll be ready to spend next week writing it up. I need to get moving, since school's out next Wednesday and after that, I'll be hard pressed to find chunks of time when the house is quiet and I can get into the writing and the math end of things.

Work, shmerk though. There's lots of time before fall! Summer's just about here, and I have a way summery item on the menu for you. Craig brought this home for me last week - an unexpected and welcome purchase, yes? Points for the boy.

Pink grapefruit vodka - not exactly the manliest booze to pick off the shelf, but hey, I shouldn't mock those who bring me gifts, no matter how open they leave themselves.

In this glass was a basic gin and tonic - grapefruit vodka and lime juice.

However, even better was a grapefruit vodka and sprite with lime and crushed up mint leaves.


Before I get back to my sleeve, I'll leave you with a shot of my new yarn, which just arrived in the mail. I now have 1300 yards of this in the wings. It's deep purple, it has cashmere in it, and it's from The Plucky Knitter again. Mmmmm. Are you sensing a theme?

(I promise two of my fall designs are not in Plucky, but it really is great stuff!)

It's almost the same shade of purple as my front door and my kitchen cabinets, which I love. The girls have pointed out that if I make a sweater of this and stand still in either of those spots, I'll be perfectly camouflaged - like the grandmaflage socks.

I'm not so sure about that, but will give it a try when I'm done. Which won't be for a while.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

It was time.

Let's be honest. It was waaaaaay past time.

One last listen to my all time favorite mix tape - (titled "Heinousness is Next to Godliness and Real Jobs are Buzzkills" and thoughtfully mixed/gifted to me by my all-time best friend Steph). I carefully put the whole setup on the top shelf of the stereo cabinet. In case I get sentimental, right? For the different levels of volume, the pauses between songs, or that little click and shuffley noise between Like a Virgin and Whip It.

As I've mentioned before, I'm a runner, but a really cheap one. My shorts, my tee shirts - and usually my running bras - have all been with me from the beginning. What can I say? I'm a creature of habit. And yeah, again, cheap - so, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. (The bra hooks work just fine once the snaps fall off, you know.)

My walkman wasn't broke and the tape still worked, so yep, I was the only one out there on the bike trail trucking along with a big square box in my hand. But I started borrowing Maya's ipod and well... it's kind of awesome. And she wants it back.

So yesterday I dropped $50 at the Apple store and today I get to figure this guy out and download me some of my own tunes. I got 500 slots to fill!

First, the new Katy Perry song with the daisy dukes and bikinis on top... So catchy.

Anyways, it's the perfect thing to do while working down the body on this guy.

Looks like a bigger version of that swatch, huh?

And I can keep thinking of moody gray old man drinks while I knit and tap my feet.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

How about these? Some big ass skeins of what looks to be Silky Wool in a deep purpley blue and someone's Rowan Denim bag kit. $4. Woo Hoo!

However, I earned my little bargain in sweat equity over the weekend. We're having a big budget crisis in our town and there's a drive to raise $1 million to save all the programs and teachers we'll lose due to the budget gap. There are all kinds of things going on to make the cash, and one of my good friends had the big idea to put an email out to the the town saying she'd be happy to yard sale anything anyone wanted to drop off in her yard before June 5.

You cannot imagine what was dropped off in her yard. She caught the moron who tried to leave a washer and dryer on the lawn and turned them away. But others got through the security net. We were, at times: horrified, amused and amazed. She is a saint.

Anyways, I didn't get much knitting done over the weekend, as we were sifting through the piles on Thursday and Friday nights till late, and the sale was Saturday morning.

I also went home with a glow in the dark Ouija board, a set of backyard chairs and a new batch of vintage cocktail glasses. You'll see those later.

But now it's over, $3,000 was raised, and I am back in my little office here with Grandpa's cardigan. Will have something to show before the week is out! Depending on how much I get to show, that is.....

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Old man sweaters. Cables and big collars and pipes. Something Jimmy Stewart would have slipped on for his martini after work, mid-winter, in his gorgeous Connecticut mansion. That's where my head's been the past week.

I won't say much about the swatch above, except that it's all part of the same conversation. And that it's soft and squishy and I kind of love it. My desk is full of these little cabley squares and ideas right now, and my head is full of Grampa-esque men.

(BIG switch from the porn, huh?)

On the one hand, there's Jimmy Stewart and Clark Gable ( they were pre-grampa at the time) sitting on their gorgeous 1960's era sofas with Whiskey Sours and Martinis, shawl collared cardigans buttoned smartly up. Or Fred Astaire or Gene Kelley, also wearing their cables with a pressed shirt and slacks, while dancing around the city.

Then, on the other hand, there's my actual Grandpa, who keeps shoving Fred and Clark and Jimmy aside in my thoughts.

He was awesome and hilarious, but not so much a style maven. No dancing, no martinis, and no mansion. He was a NYC cab driver from the Bronx named Irving. And he wore his cardigan in his uglychair, with a seltzer. Maybe a bowl of pickles or some chopped liver on Saltines. Same general sweater, just a little pillier and not so buttoned up. He wore it with elastic waist slacks or the bottoms from his velour track suit. (See, the glamour just disappears, doesn't it?)

Oy.! So distracting.

And all this thinking about Grandpa had me going back to the liquor cabinet, where you'll remember I have all his old booze. See that tax stamp? 1957.

We mixed up some Whiskey Sours last night - a little Essence of Grandpa Irving.

He'd be happy to know that his $5 (or whatever this cost in '57) wasn't wasted.

No really, he would be.