Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Sometimes other people make me drinks.

This is my friend Sarah, who is particularly good at doing so.

She's wearing a kind of awesome 70s jumpsuit thing, which just reinforces the fabulous entertaining and hostess theme she has going on.  We went over to her place for dinner a few nights ago, and she made a delicious cocktail with blackberries and lime and gin.   While wearing the awesome jumpsuit thing.   Plus, she told me how to make my own.

I just did. 

6oz of blackberries
1/2 cup of sugar
1 cup of fresh squeezed lime juice
2 cups of gin

Blend the above in a blender.  Blend and then strain it.   Put this in a pitcher to pour later.

Put glasses out, ice, and a small plate of lime slices and basil leaves.
You need a bottle of soda water. 

In each glass, add ice, a lime and some basil. Muddle them a bit.
Pour about a 1/2 glass of the mixture over the ice and add soda water to top it off.


The recipe makes enough for 8 drinks, and it's easy to prepare ahead of time, so it's a great party plan.   Unfortunately for me, Sarah lives a whole town away and none of my neighbor guinea pigs are home right now, so there's enough for 7 more in the kitchen.
Who's bored and can help a girl out?  Hurry, the ice is melting...

Sunday, July 22, 2012

I imagine you are, since I have given you nothing to drink for ages!  We are just back from the beach and have a few hours to spend on the back deck, so I have actually made something, photographed it, AND have time to tell you about it.  

This one is quick, easy and refreshing after a salty, sandy day.  

2 oz tequila
fill glass with San Pellegrino Limonata (lemon soda) and ice cubes
toss in a slice of lime (and squeeze)
add a few springs of cilantro, smushed between your fingers before you toss it in


I apologize for the lame blogging schedule these days.  Summer.  I am not home a lot, I am barely on the computer, and I don't have a fancy phone with internet access, so if you don't find me in my office, you don't find me at all.  

 In addition to the current schedule, I have little to share knitwise.  My main project right now is secret and the one waiting to be done, is doing just that, waiting -- since it doesn't have a deadline and no one needs to see it till Fall.   There are a few more things sketching around, but little to show.   That will all change in August, when the girls go to camp and this first deadline passes.  I'll be able to spent a few weeks doing nothing but knitting and writing all day and you'll be sick of me online all the time.

In the meantime, I  have one almost-ready-to-publish project, and just need a little time to work final edits and  schedule a time to take some pics of it with Caro

 I was debating holding onto it till Spring, but as the test knitters weight in, I know I won't be able to wait. I'm not good at that at all.   It's a feminine vest in a wool cotton yarn from Green Mountain Spinnery - in a color begging to be named Champagne.  And it can be worn in August with a tank and then later in Sept with long sleeves.  Something to get  you over the season-change, right?  

A little tease:

Stay tuned!

Monday, July 16, 2012

 Just a few.   We started up in San Francisco and worked our way down to LA.   There was knitting, but it's secret stuff, so I'm keeping it under wraps for now.   However, we've been back three days, so time to blog and get organized, right?


We started North of SF, and did some hiking in Marin, where the views are great from the hilltops, and the grass is not as soft as it looks from the 101  


Spent a day in San Francisco proper, where we were reminded how beautiful our old home is and were amused to find that the Muni still breaks down, and you still end up walking everywhere, which is more fun anyways.

Found a hidden beach near Monterey with beautiful shells and seals in the water.  We never stopped in Monterey itself, since it's turned into a batch of tee shirt shops and Bubba Gumps.


Found a random beach on the coastline down south, with flowers in full bloom.  This path went down to the beach and I may have taken 100 photos of these flowers while hiking down there. 

Used the bathroom at the Madonna Inn, where we spent the night.   Last time I was here, it was blue, gold and mosaic.  The men's room had a stone grotto instead of a urinal, and was decorated accordingly. 

Liberace would also like the dining room down the hall. 

We stayed in the Pony Room.   I do have photos of us on the pony.   

After the Madonna Inn, my camera gave up the ghost and I forgot the charger.  So I have nothing to show you from the boat ride in Laguna, an afternoon in  Hollywood, a day at Zuma Beach, avoiding rush hour traffic on the rides at the Santa Monica Pier -- or of the days spent at my inlaws' sweet hilltop pool in Calabasas.   However, I am tan and now rested and have much knitting to do.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Congrats Jewleigh!  

Am still on vacation in CA, and you were picked by a special team of my in-law relatives, who gave you credit for both following directions AND including a drink recipe.  They are also still gathered around the laptop, correcting my punctuation and watching me type, which is annoying.   Ahem.  

But they made me vodka and limeade drinks that they call Green Yummys.  (Yep, that's what they call them.)  We drank them around a lovely pool in Calabasas, down the street from LA proper.   Am being  corrected again, NOT down the street from LA proper, but the Valley.   Ahem again.

I'll be in touch on Ravelry to get your info.


What Jewleigh said in her entry was:

my favorite vacation is always camping. My fiance's mom brimgs the fixings for what she calls "Ruby Junes." It is made of rhubarb syrup, tequila, soda water and a lime wedge. It is soooo refreshimg in the summer. Thanks for the giveaway!

Thanks so much to all of you for your entries - it was so much fun to read about your travels while I am on mine.  

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Photos courtesy of Caro Sheridan, aka Splityarn - who took time out of our TNNA weekend in Columbus to shoot these!!
 Introducing Planter's Punch, a pullover that can be knit as either an easygoing summer top -- OR -- if you are starting to yearn for Fall, a great layering piece for colder weather!  Planter's Punch is a simple design with a delicate cable motif on the yoke, and a little fun with knit and purl panels.  The sketch began with the idea of tiny, twisted cables in a gorgeous deep shade of red.

Blue Sky Alpaca's Skinny Dyed Cotton in Cherry did the trick.  Short sleeves, a loose easy fit, and a deep, bright, color go perfect with shorts and a summer tan.  You already know how much I love the BSA cotton -- it's perfect in the cables, plus a lovely weight for a little summer evening warmth.  I chose Cherry since it's spot on for both the drink and the vision at hand, but Skinny Cotton comes in a batch of great summer shades, any of which would be beautiful  - and can be yours, so read below!

I had a batch of Rowan DK Tweed in a thematically complimentary Planter's colorway, so I designed a second version of the top for cooler weather.  (Thanks to TanteJ who sample knit version 2!)  This one has 3/4 sleeves and a deep ribbing at the waist (which to me, always feels cozy).  Same yoke detail, same easy fit, and voila!  Same design, but perfect for fall layering - and I think the bright tweed looks lovely in the twisted cables.

Like most of my designs, this one is easy to modify for your figure.  Since it's a top down sweater, you can alter the fit for your bust, waist, or hips as you like, and it can be as long or short as you need.  The pattern contains directions for either short or 3/4 length sleeves, plus a little explanation on how to create long ones if you prefer.  Plus, I have included notes about playing with the yoke and cables if you want to make things specific for your bust.  It's a very accomodating design.

The pattern is for sale on the sidebar to the left or on Ravelry for $6.50.


Some details are below, and the rest of the information is on my Ravelry page:

Sizing:  32(34,36,28,40,42,44,46,48,50)
Gauge:  5.5 sts and 7.5 rows per 1"' in stockinette, lightly blocked
Needles:  #5/3.75mm (cotton) or #6/4mm (tweed), or size to get gauge.  One needle size up for neckline bind off.
Yarn:  Summer Version:  Blue Sky Alpacas Skinny Dyed Cotton n Cherry:  800(850,900,950,1000,1050,1100,1150,1200,1250) yds
Yarn: Winter Version: Rowan Scottish Tweed DK in #011 900(950,1000,1050,1100,1150,1200,1250,1300,1350) yds


And, as promised -- a contest!!

 You could a sweater's worth of  Blue Sky's Skinny Cotton to make your own Planter's Punch!    

When I think of Planter's Punch, I remember a long afternoon in Negril, Jamaica with 12 college friends, a sunburn, way too many braids for a white girl to have, and pretty much not a care in the world.  It was a good day.   Leave me a comment about your favorite spring or other vacation around-the-table memory.  Where you were, who were with, and what drink or snack was on the table.

   You have until July 7 to comment,  and then I'll pick a winner at random from the list.  Include your email or Ravelry name so I can find you, as blogger does not always give me a link back. 

And since this post is quite long enough already,  I'll give you my Planter's Punch recipe when I announce the winner!