Friday, October 29, 2010

I don't know why this seems spooky and Halloween-y to me, but it does. Maybe it's the weird combination. And tequila's just scary. Or the Amaretto, which is a very goth or vampirey liquor to me. It's a strangely fancy and old fashioned ingredient. Could be the musketeer on the label, but that's how I feel about it. A baroque spirit, maybe?

Absinthe would seem even more appropriate, but I don't have any of that around here.

So anyways, here's a tasty and weird Halloween-y cocktail for you.

and it's super easy.

1.5 oz amaretto
1.5 oz tequila
toss in a maraschino cherry
add a few ice cubes

I've added vampire teeth shaped ice cubes, because we have them.
And they come in a coffin shaped ice cube tray. Very spooky.

For those of you liking my Halloween theme, I'll also point out the blood red yarn in the photo. I'm finally getting somewhere on my Plucky Capelet, and hope to have it done in a week or so. And the yarn is this gorgeous, deep, deep, deeeeeep red. I'm gonna say bloody for now. (Near the holidays, I'll switch to cranberry, another good drink ingredient...)

Very appropriate for any holiday! Anyways, Happy Halloween :-)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Yesterday was that kind of day.

I won't go into ALL the ridiculous events, that in truth aren't even terrible things, but I'll summarize with the facts: my Ipod hates me, this drink sucked, I shouldn't make last minute (oh it's so teeny it won't matter) revisions to patterns that have already been tech edited just before I publish them, I have a big old zit that won't go away, and jeeezus, do I need to get back into my running habits. I'm going to ignore the spray of water coming out of the showerhead hose for now, and yes, we need more googly eyes for the Halloween party tomorrow but I don't seem to be getting in the car, do I?


That drink, by the way? - don't mix rum, tonic and a splash of apple cider. It's not the (droids) fabulous fall libation you're looking for. My bartender friend is coming over tonight for Chinese takeout so we'll give it a better go after dinner.

Now that I've listed my various peeves, I'll try to redeem myself and keep you reading with something a little more pretty, yes? That light blue number is my SHELTER. And it's still soft and lofty and fun to play with. I'm about halfway done with my creation here, and have yet to decide how it's going to end. These cables are kinda fun, and it's flying by.

The green guy in the side is actually me giving in on another project. A day like yesterday was what I needed to realize that maybe, just maybe I WAS WRONG. The idea I kept trying to make work, you know, after 2 weeks and about 13 swatches, probably just wasn't gonna.

So, a new direction - this is actually a cable I've loved for a while - and one of the ones I almost used on Dark and Stormy - Sarah might even recognize it from the original swatches and drawings we talked about. It was a little too flowy for that, but I'm thinking it's going to be just perfect for this. I stumbled back across it yesterday while flipping through books and being peeved about everything else. How fortunate, right? Peeved pays off!

So, here's hoping for later today - with a new drink, a new cable, a new PDF sent out on Collins.

Maybe I'll run and maybe I'll get in the car for those googly eyes. There's a slim chance I'll figure out why my ipod will only sync 7 of the songs in my library before I go nuts listening to them over and over, and there's an even slimmer chance the zit will go away. (but I'm be a witch on Sunday, so maybe that's a good thing?)

If you're wondering about the shower, I'm still going with ignore.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Since Rhinebeck, I've had much to do away from the screen and a rise in the amount of stuff to do ON the screen, so I'll apologize in advance. Things will even out soon. I am a bad commenter, emailer, responder, etc. But October in New England has always been a month to cram stuff in as the leaves change and the weather stays nice., and I've been cramming.

Here's a little recap of my week since Rhinebeck.

Monday, I shopped, did laundry, put away my new stuff, and managed to do all the other crap that didn't happen on the weekend while I was in NY State.

Tuesday's my day to volunteer at the elementary school, after which 4 kids came over for the afternoon. I got a few emails sent and might have even read a blog. Maybe.

And Wednesday?

Maya informed me that I was a chaperone for the sixth grade's big trip to the Mega Corn Maze. News to me, but hey. At least I had good company. ( You may recognize Amy from previous posts - she's one of my Wednesday knitters, now with a daughter in M's class).

Here was my little team.

And here's a portion of the 10 acre maze. Imagine it full of hundreds of 11 and 12 year olds, which is an awesome sight, and makes for a hilarious day. Our little team finished in 1.5 hours, putting us solidly in the middle. Way to go.

I knit striped legwarmers in the car on the way there and back.


Thursday, I started the pattern for the Mulled Cider sweater coat while they were in school, and then celebrated my 15th wedding anniversary with Craig at Zoe's 1st grade Open House that night. Afterwards, we had a bottle of champagne, as we should.

Friday, I finished writing the Mulled Cider pattern, helped with the school book fair and shopped for Halloween duds. Then we made cookies.

Saturday, we were off to King Richard's Faire. And for the first time ever, we rented costumes. You haven't lived until you've had 5 oblivious pre teen girls in the costume hut at a crowded fair, in front of the mirrors, for an hour. And that's before they helped ME find an outfit.

They met lovely people.

Then they made sure I met lovely people. Look at the charming knitter they found for my photo opp. They insisted I introduce myself and sit for a spell. Because they are funny kids.

I'm betting you don't even notice the project in her lap, right? Because, yeah, you might be distracted. Good thing those shoelaces were sturdy.

Luckily, we had our choice of beverages all day.

Lastly, on Sunday, I sat at a rainy soccer game, did the shopping, and got a new cellphone so that the next time Amy leaves me a message on Sunday, I may get it before Tuesday.

And then, finally, I sat down to play with my SHELTER.

with a glass of wine from the wine fairy.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Even without the yarn festival, driving out to the country is awesome. Stuff you just don't see in the big city, right?

But when you throw in just about every knitter you've ever met or read or heard about online, and create a big shopping/knitting/eating/drinking playground for us, it makes for a pretty amazing weekend.

There is nothing cooler than meeting the folks you talk to All The Time in person!
This would be me and Sarah, my plucky knitting partner!

Seeing a few of your patterns out in the world is also kind of amazing, and never has happened to me before. I'm only showing a little of this one, since it's not offically out yet ;-)


I'll leave most the Rhinebeck photos to the people who take the good ones, and say that it was a great weekend. I had an incredible time meeting so many of you, seeing a a ton of new faces, and making new friends. I spent time with the Boston knitters who I love and unexplicably never do see here at home (but yes, we'll be better this year!), and I got some vacation time with my usual buddies, away from home. I even managed to wander around alone for a bit, which seems never to happen in real life and was a complete and total treat.

But now, the burbon's gone, the laundry's in and the new yarn is incubating upstairs.
It's time to get back to real life.

With that in mind, here's Collins, as promised.

I wore it all day on Sat, and changed only when it was time to setup for the Rav party in the late afternoon. The ties don't lend themselves to table and chair setup and cupcake table assembly, but they they did stay closed and tied all day at the fair, so I'm good. Thanks to everyone who approached me with comments and compliments on it, as you guys made my day!

This pattern is a twist on the classic aran cardigan. I think it's a little more fun and modern than a buttoned sweater, and I have been dying to throw it on with boots and jeans ever since I began messing with it two years ago! Tweedy aran yarn, long vertical cables, and a deep V.

More notes and pics are on the pattern page, since I know you're all scrolling around for Rhinebeck photos and barely reading anymore :-). Instead, I leave you with the cocktail.


You need a tall glass for this one - 8 oz is good

Pour in 2 oz of either gin or vodka.

Add equal parts lemon juice and simple syrup

Add ice cubes

fill remainder of glass with club soda and drink!


Now you can go and find all those photos you're dying to see from the fair.

PS. These photos are, as always, taken by the lovely Caro of Splityarn - all copyrighty 2010.
I'll be waiting to peruse her Rhinebeck flickr set when it pops up!

Monday, October 11, 2010

We picked yesterday. Two bags and $60 later, we've Got Apples.

And as much as we love apples, anyone who lives in New England and does the apple picking thing knows what I'm talking about. You can eat your fill, make a pie, can applesauce to last you the remainder of the winter, and make gift bags for your neighbors (we've done all that already), and still you'll have apples coming out of the rafters if you've done the picking thing right.

I also bought a big hunk of cheddar this year, and am planning an apple pork risotto for tomorrow night, which is a new thing, but all the appley intentions in the world aren't going to make a dent in the batch we picked.

(see that red yarn? More on that soon...)

So, anyways, I got creative. And man, THIS just might make a dent. Apple Lemon Gin and Tonics. Lisa, who you may remember from cocktails past, also agreed after she tried hers. You could go through a few with this new spin on apple usage!

Place 3-4 pieces of sliced apple in a glass.
Add a slice of lemon and gently muddle together in the bottom
Add 2 oz gin
Fill remainder of glass with tonic water
Add ice cubes


We had Macintosh and Cortlands, for any of you purists out there. Both work great.


In Rhinebeck news, and for any Bingo players, my status has changed.

My planned Rhinebeck buddy Carol has made a crazy scheduling snafu and volunteered to host a 50 person dinner at her home next weekend. Yep, NEXT WEEKEND. She realized her folly when I called to make plans for the Friday drive. She was not happy, but she couldn't convince her husband to host it solo. So she'll be here in Boston snacking on canapes and wishing she was with the llamas while we yuck it up in NY State.

Now, for anyone hoping to find me for their Bingo Cards, I may be getting easier to spot.

I'll be with my buddies Erin and Diana and two adorable little dark haired girls.

On Sat, I'll be sporting my Collins.

And Sunday's looking like Mulled Cider, formerly known as the tweedy leafy coat jacket.

Find me and I'll give you a paper drink umbrella when you check off your square!

Because, yes, I carry them around.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Rhinebeck's still a week away and, yes, I have satisfied the requirement. Between the white drapey cardi and this one, I've used up my yarn batches, and am ready for some purchasing.

woo hoo! I ended up with two new designs to boot, so I'm going to say I'm extra justified in spending a few bucks. The white drapey number is about to go into test knitting, and this guy is getting worn around the house so I can decide if I want to change anything before copying my scattered pages of notes into some semblance of a pattern.

So far, I'm having a hmmm moment about the collar, which you'll notice is NOT in the pics. I love it in theory. In practice, it's needing a little more attention. I am seriously loving the twisted button toggles and the leaves, and the color. The funky brown reminds me of mulled cider, don't you think? It's a brownish gray tweed, with tons of little teal and red and blue and green flecks.

It's Bartlett Yarn, from the NH Sheep and Wool festival. Kind of sheepy and wooly. Honestly, if I had been thinking when I ordered my SHELTER, I'd have knit this out of that (which would not have helped me in the purchase goal dept...) but by the time the yarn came along, I was already up my ill-fated fronts, and my order was neither the right color nor the right amount. However, this is on gauge for SHELTER, and the pattern will be written with that and a few other tweed options you can find at your LYS included in the yarn recommendations.

Below, another pic of the twisted button toggles. I'm seriously happy about these. Even sewed them down in the twist position. And they exist all because the first toggle was a bit long. The question was to either reknit or play with it. I played with it.

This could be my Sunday sweater at the festival, if I happen to figure out the collar.

while drinking spiked cider.
I'll save a mulled recipe for when I show you the whole cardigan!

Spiked Cider

2 oz Burbon
shot of lemon
1 oz cointreau
fill the remainder of the cup, either with hot or cold cider.

(at the fair, I'll have to do without the lemon...)

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

I am waaaaay distracted these days. And a mail delivery like THIS doesn't help the situation. I can't stop touching it. It's soft. So soft. I ordered 8, in Faded Quilt, and I have no plans for it yet. But I love it. And I can't stop touching it.

That's PART of the distraction problem, but not the whole thing. It's not that I'm not knitting, mind you, but I cannot keep the focus on what I need to be focused ON. I"m divided, scattered, kind of restless. And there's a lot going on, so I kind of can't be.

First off, I got ALL the way through the fronts on my
yes-I-can-design-and-knit-another-sweater-for-Rhinebeck project, only to realize that I'd flipped them and worked the armholes and designs where they wouldn't meet up with the back. And yep, I did that sober. Diana can vouch, since she was there to mock me when I laid the finished fronts on the back for the big reveal. So yes, that's about 20 years knitting and I'm still an idiot.

I have two sweaters in editing and testing, one in writing, and one in knitting. Plus 2 new designs in sketching, and a gorgeous pile of Red Plucky yarn that'll get its own post soon. However, I spend like 15 minutes on each project before I find myself jumping back into another. What is that? Knitters ADD. Is it Rhinebeck? October? Being off the Nyquil after 2 months of yuck? Or that I need to get back to the steady cocktails?

I'm going to go with the steady cocktails for now, as I also need to find the perfect Collins recipe for this, the already-finished-with the fronts-on-correctly Rhinebeck sweater. This is called Collins, (hence the drink quest) and it'll be published right about festival time.


Speaking of Rhinebeck - do you all know about Rhinebeck Bingo?

I've never done it before, but it sounds hilarious. You get a bingo card and check off the bloggers you see as you wander around the fair. Stitchy McYarnpants is organizing, and it gives us all an excuse to go up and say hi and meet the peeps on your card. I think there is a lot of pointing and hugging and photo taking involved. There could be squealing if you're the reason someone gets a win. I'm not so sure how I feel about the squealing, but I'm going to be a square, and I'm going to be a player as well. Playing will be interestng, since I'm blind as a bat and my festival buddy Carol will have to identify my squares for me and point me in the correct direction across the field. Depending on how much burbon we've added to our cider, she might mess with me.

Anyone can sign up to play, but you need to be on Ravelry or have a blog to be a square. Depending on your stalker/stalkee preferences, you can do either/or.

Of course, the more people who sign up, the more fun it is. So far, theres 123 players in the Rav group! Check out Stitchy's page for the details and get in on it! Signups close on 10/9.


In other Rhinebeck preparation news, I got a new haircut with bangs again. Hats look so much better with bangs on my head. And they cover those forehead stripes, also important.

What's your Rhinebeck hat going to be?? I'm thinking beret.