Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Sweater Song

Two-ish weeks in, and here's what we've got ... me standing on a coffee table, oh yeah and a nearly finished sweater, the back view anyway.  So I'm following the Lionbrand pattern #L0613, if you're a knitter or interested in following along or trying it out yourself.  It's slated to be knit with wool yarn, which totally was not going to work for me, instead I swapped it out for 9 skeins of this (color: oatmeal) which turned out to be a perfect trade off gauge wise. 

I'm not exactly sure why I fell in love with this pattern, or wanted it to be my first sweater, but there was just something about it that made it a bit timeless to me anyway - a little bit now, a little bit '70s, a little kimono-ish like a shrunken down Poiret opera coat all in one, so I thought I'd give it a shot.  And I'm not disappointed I did, I've learned a lot of things I didn't know before to tuck into my repertoire so I can move on making garments of my own design, and that's never a bad thing!

The sweater bug first bit me back in 2009 when this was gracing news stands everywhere I looked.  You'll notice what I'm knitting now is nothing like it, BUT it is a sweater, and once I'm finished I think I'll be able to step it up and figure out how to create my very own variation of that hot-pink dream come true!  We'll see, but before that day comes I've got one collar, and two front ribbed bands to finish on this guy ... stay tuned!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

What Are You Doing?

Knitting a sweater.  Best line from a mediocre film with great dancing, and terrible writing
otherwise known as Center Stage.  Anyway it's what I'm doing right now ... or attempting, at least. 

This is my first ever sweater, from a real life pattern, not just something I've made up in my head and try to force into existence even though I don't know what I'm doing.  I thought I'd try one pattern before going and doing all that this time.  Day one (Monday) I was already confused by the pattern instructions and went ahead emailing the company for clarification after googling around like a maniac unable to find an answer.  The response I received was very cordial, but to cut to the chase, it basically told me to read the front page of the instructions, and I'd find my answer leaving me shocked and amazed that I had just, in fact, asked the dumbest question ever.  A pretty strong statement considering I don't believe ANY question is stupid ... that is, unless the answer can be found on the FIRST page of the instruction sheet, and you just emailed the company for an in-depth explanation that, you guessed it, is perfectly illustrated ON THE FRONT PAGE of the pattern instructions. 

If nothing else I gave myself a good laugh, and I'd like to imagine the customer service rep responsible for emailing the response to me won some kind of office pool for dumbest question ever answered and she was, in turn, the recipient of a free round of drinks after work.  At least that's how it goes in my head. 

By day two the back panel was finished ... I get a little obsessive like that when I start something new.  Wednesday I found myself resting what is best described as my knitting "claw" ... I couldn't hold out for a classic seventh day rest, but I'm convinced God was never a knitter, however late in the evening I found myself casting on 50 new stitches to start one of the front panels.  I know, I know, I'm taking it easy this time though.  I figure by the time you have to drag out the minty scented sports cream for your knuckles you're over doing it just a bit!

So far so good though, I'm a bit excited, maybe a little too excited for something the color of oatmeal, but I believe there's no such thing as boring neutrals, only boring people.  Hopefully I still believe that when this is finished!

xoxo 

Friday, April 1, 2011

Still Waiting for the Out Like a Lamb Part...

*Looks outside* 

Well here we are in April (already?) and for all you faithful readers I regret to inform you I'm still waiting for my monthly prank call from my mother - she didn't even leave me any instant messenger bombs!- if nothing happens in the next couple of hours I'll have to file a missing persons report. 

I figure today's as good as any to share a couple of recipes.  Yay you!  Ok, so you're looking at the picture and asking, "Girl, do you really drink your breakfast from a champagne flute with a heart shaped fun-straw, and eat strawberries from a crystal bowl all served on a little silver platter?"  Not every breakfast.  Thing is, my 7/11 big gulp cup with a female wrestler on it didn't exactly visually translate.  I do, however, make a fruit smoothie most days for my breakfast, and not one of those icky ones with wacky junk that tastes like it should be served in a feed bag.  No dear, mine taste like they could be served at a beach resort, and if you close your eyes you can almost make out the faint tinkling of a friendly little steel drum.  The point, while it may not be drink your breakfast from a champagne flute, is most definitely to take a moment to spoil yourself, and do special things to make your day a little more magical.  Besides, who doesn't want an excuse to sing about putting limes in coconuts?  So, get out your blender - here we go!

Stormy's Super Awesome Morning Beverage Extravaganza!
(Title subject to change)
Serves 2
(or one very thirsty girl!)

8 - Ice cubes
2 - Large bananas (or 3 small)
3 oz- Blackberries (enough to fit in your palm)
4 - Strawberries quartered
1 - Orange juiced
1- tsp Lime juice
1 inch piece - Ginger root grated
1 pinch - Stevia or any natural sweetener
depending on how sweet you like it.
1/4 cup - Coconut milk

Fill the rest of the blender pitcher with water almost to the top of the fruit, pulse a few times, and liquefy, and that's it!  This exact recipe makes almost 5 cups, or 1.25 litres. 

Once you get comfy making these, play around with what's in your fridge!  Switch out the berries, try more water, less water, more ice ... customize it to fit your morning needs.  Another great addition is 1 Tbs Aloe Vera juice to aide in digestion.  The combos, and possibilities are really endless, but I've found after much trial and error that this recipe really is a simple and tasty jumping off point, and is perfect for anyone with dairy allergies, or not interested in using yogurt. 

This next recipe is even simpler, and excellent for relieving cold and flu symptoms.  So get out your favorite mug, and get your water heating!

1 - Orange juiced
1 inch piece - Ginger root, grated
1 tap of cinnamon

Put your water on to heat just below a boil, while it's doing its thing juice your orange into your favorite mug for a vitamin C blast, and mild sweetener (let's face it, we all turn into big babies when we're sick, and don't want to drink anything "icky"), add just a tap of ground cinnamon (not a full shake on your shaker, but just tip it and give it a little tap with your finger - just a sprinkle), next grate your ginger root into the mug.  If grated ginger bits are going to bug you, grate it into a small strainer, and once your water is hot pour it into your mug through the strainer filling your cup the rest of the way. 

Now here's what you need to know about this recipe, downing this concoction is like having Chuck Norris kicking the stuffing out of your congestion, and you'll be coughing things out as if you're waking out of an exorcism in no time!  Which is excellent for getting well, but something you want to be ready for. 

Bottoms up!