Friday, July 30, 2010

Or should I say sleight of hand... See this cool dragon glass? It was a "gift" from a Chinese restaurant we went to earlier this year. "Gifted" to me by a very surprising source. My penchant for Chinese restaurant souvenirs is a sad but well-documented state of affairs going back to college, and for better or for worse, it's somewhat of a family joke.

Apparently, it might be a hereditary skill.

We were in DC over spring vacation (as you may recall) and popped into a great looking Chinese restaurant after a long day of museums and monuments and the open top tour bus. They were packed and we had to wait around a bit for a table -- right next to the bar. So of course, Craig sees the flat of cool dragon glasses and points them out to me, but the dude's right there and he just won't go away, so we discuss options, but we figure we've missed our shot.

I order myself a mai tai, figuring it'll come in one of these and I can slip it in my bag, but no. It shows up in a lame plain glass cup. Craig orders a Suffering Bastard and gets the same. It became kind of a game, and no one at our table could get a cool glass - but the more we ordered, the more determined we became. Not so hard to believe, huh?

Until the girls ordered lemonades. And they both came in dragons. But I figure I'm a parent and this is a bad example and they'll wonder where their dragon glasses went, and then there's the whole stealing aspect of the thing, so I let it go. We are all amused, and sadly I leave the table, glasses intact.

But when we get outside the place, I'm handed a set of two. And as cool as they were on their own merit, they're even more amazing knowing my Mom slipped them into her bag for me!


On the subject of smoke and mirrors, an hourglass design on the front of a cardigan also pulls off a little trick of its own. Especially when there are a few attention-getting buttons in the very center of your waist to draw the eye in.

It was finished up today.

And yes, it has sucked having it on my lap at the beach, but after an entire month in a few small bits of lycra tied together with string that doesn't hide a damn thing, I'm ready for the magic of 900 yards of worsted in an hourglass design.

Few people love their summer more than me. But... Mmmm, fall. It's almost time. I cannot wait to squeeze my ass into some figure flattering jeans and a cardigan again!

Stay tuned. The fall patterns will begin soon -- and the first one's a freebie.

OOoops. I almost forgot to tell you about the drink -- yesterday, a friend put an unopened Nestea into my cold bag, as it was closer to the water than hers. Then she forgot about it, and I am a HUGE white trash iced tea fan, although my big thing of it got all clumped together and I haven't bought a new one.

I was so happy - it got a few ounces of peach vodka, a few mint leaves and some ice cubes.

And the little palm tree looks kind of perfect with the dragon, doesn't it?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Despite a ridiculous lack of effort on my part this week, my cardigan continues to grow. This surprises me as I have barely sat down to work on it, but here I am separating for arms, and having to use Maya's bright blue lanyard strings to hold the live stitches as I left my notions kit back in Boston. Lucky for me she's crafty.

The drink is rum and ginger ale, cut with a little soda water. I added sliced lime and orange, and it was kind of perfect. We spent most the day in the water and on the sand, so the half hour here on the porch, at an actual table, with my drink and project were kind of awesome.

Since it's Cape Cod, there has also been mini golf. How cool are Maya's new shades? They're from one of the giant Cape crap stores with floaty animals tacked to the roof. You can't even imagine how much she digs them.

And, in addition to the swimming and golfing, we've also been boating. This little craft came with the house and Zoe is navigating the tidal river that appears every afternoon under our dune area. It's a challenge.

When I get in the raft, my butt scrapes the bottom for much of the trip and I have to use the paddles to unbeach my ass, so I can only float in this thing when the water reaches the deep tide point.

It gets a little embarrassing, so I opted for photography instead.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

It was Rum and Tonics with lime. On my front porch.

I did bring a little knitting.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

First I owe you the Winners of the photo contest - and a thank you to the knitter judges, Diana and Erin, with whom I spent a lovely, long and rainy Wednesday. The non knitter judges were Maya and Craig, who I've already thanked and probably owe ME a few thank yous... yes?

Anyways, without further ado - congrats!

SweetMama, for her gorgeous golden Calvados.
Sassy Leo for her lovely chocolate Nantucket Red.
Doodle for her adorable take on the Snaps and Lace Cardigan.
ReluctantMango for her cream Blackberry Surprise, posted in the cutest mama/son pics.

Once we trade addresses, your cocktail kits will hit the mail!


Around here, it was a cozy, cool, and rainy summer Wednesday.

Plans to go to the beach were cancelled and instead, we spent the day with a table's worth of yarn and four busy girls, which means the knitting endeavors were extra productive. The rain made things green outside and got me going with a few greens in here.

First, I repainted my toes bright orange. It was way past time.

Then I got to the yarn. The two skeins on top of the book pile are Madeline Tosh that have been hanging in stash ever since SPA, when I saw them next to each other at Purl Diva and absolutely HAD to create something that would forever keep them together. Sketches are done and a swatch is underway -- in the bright green Arcaunia leftover bit, since I'm not about to frog and ruin that MT when I change my mind forty times. Which I know I will.

The other green - the aran tweedy one - is one you've been seeing in piles around the blog for a while. But it's about to disappear for a bit, since it's DONE. Done, done, done. Well, the entire design is not completely done, as it still needs to be written, edited, and tested. But it's done knitting. And its been blocked, and tried on and snuggled (as much as you want to snuggle Yorkshire Tweed anyways), and is soon to be folded and stored for a bit.

Which is good, because when the rain stops and the sun comes out again, I don't really want it on my lap anymore. But I do love it - and I'm glad to have reknit the design - the tweed is a vast improvement on the original yarn, and of course, when reknitting, other details also get a revamp, don't they? It's all good. It's better.

It just might get worn at Rhinebeck.

This productive jaunt didn't just end with contest judging, design swatching, and cardigan finishing. (and socializing...) I also had a little fun with these two skeins and worked up a little something that combines both colors and has a little fun with the textures. Something that's NOT a sweater and may be an OK size to bring to the Cape next week.

Because I'll be in a house on a beach. For an entire week. In less than 48 hours!

PS, and Oh yes, I have no new drinks. I can't stop making those cu-collinses. I promise to experiment again soon.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

you can win!

If you've got any pics of your Babycocktails projects in progress or finished, be sure to put them on Ravelry and link them to the Babycocktails Group before Tuesday.

I have four sets of fun cocktail-y treats to send out to the knitters whose photos are picked by my little band of judges on Tuesday as their faves.

Friday, July 09, 2010

And yes, it matches the sweater again. I'm that talented.

It even matches the table. (maybe not exactly, but green - green. You get it.)

It's called a Cu-Collins, which is a totally stupid name, but the other night at around 11pm, Craig and I were beyond tired and flipping around the food channel (because we've been married 15 years and yep, we'll do that instead of going upstairs, as it doesn't require moving).

Anyways, we found a cocktail show we'd never seen before. We tuned in, and this guy was visiting a bar in NY that specializes in gin, and he made one of these guys. It looked so good on TV that we found we could ignore the corny name. And when C was actually (for like the first time in a jillion years) able to TAKE the half day he had promised to him, he walked in, looked at me, and and found the gin.

Stay with me, as it's totally worth it.

Cu collins

3-4 cucumber slices
handful of aromatic herbs (parsley, basil, dill, cilantro - we used parsley and a bit of dill)
I also added a bit of lemon zest

Muddle the cucumber, zest and herbs a bit at the bottom of a glass.

2 oz fresh lemon juice
2 oz simple syrup
1.5 oz gin
ice cubes

Put all the above in a jigger and shake.

Pour into a tall glass and add soda water. Seriously refreshing. And kind of different.

(PS - we made my sister's with dark rum. Also very good!)

Below is the green sweater it matches. Finally ready to be seamed and collared. Today the girls said, "Can we NOT go anywhere?" and I said yes. They went upstairs for hours, and I sat at the dining room table finishing up another pattern and working on the sleeves for this guy. Done.

Which was perfect.

Because my good friend Lisa invited me to swim and then run with her at 5am this morning. We drove over to Walden Pond and I managed not to die or embarrass myself too badly - I even kept up with the sporty chicks. But there was the fact that I have no sport-appropriate bathing suit and figured my sports bra would do as a top. Just so you know, a sports bra doesn't perform so well in water - it kind of stretches out a bit. More than a bit, really. Lucky for me, none of the other swimmers there could see past their little goggles and I was able to dry it off and wear a tee shirt for the run portion of the workout.

And right about now (which would be 4pm), I'm happy to be in the house, where the AC unit is on and the sofa is nearby and this magazine still has a few pages left to flip.

Aaaaah. Right? Happy 9th.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Maya and I decided to make something red, white and blue to sip in our new Outdoor Living Room, which has been getting lots of airtime. It's lovely to hang out back where nobody can see us and the shade kicks in early in the day. I broke down and actually bought a coffee table to complete the whole thing, but I'll consider the whole "room" a bargain since I got it all for the price of one table. And it'll be properly christened with many ribs and a few friends tonight!

We'll call the drink an Independence Day.

Fill glass halfway with black cherry soda.
Add 2 oz vanilla vodka
Add black cherry seltzer almost to the top
Slice lime and squeeze, add two cherries
Add ice cubes and stir

(Maya had hers without the vodka)

Good thing we have a fun drink since the summer heat's getting to a few of us around here.

Maya's coping much better with a good book, don't you think? She digs rocking on that glider.

In the background, I'm so about to give in to the summer doldrums myself. Dragging my knitting self around, and dreading the next cardigan project is a sure sign it's time to take a break. So, I'm wrapping up the green project here and about to begun a fun and easy manscarf. My next few endeavors will NOT be for publishing, but for fun. Listening to my inner knitter, who wants a little therapeutic, brainless needlework.

And the first is a gift, because even fairies need presents.

Any long time readers know who it's for?