Monday, August 30, 2010

More Pi

Wendy posted the 4th part of the Shetland Pi Shawl yesterday and I am happily knitting away on it.....576 stitches on the needle! Whew!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Fall Cleaning.....a bit early

It must be the lower temperatures. I have been enjoying working in the yard for the past few days and playing catchup with my cleanup chores outdoors.

Two words: Pine needles. Tons and tons of em. Love the sound of the wind in the pines, but don't care for raking up the dead needles. In late August we can count on a massive pine needle drop. The trees will be loaded with brown needles, then all of a sudden.....whomp! They are on the ground and need to be gathered. The piles in the photo came off of the roof!

I got the mass of honeysuckle away from the base of the largest pine and now, when it comes back out, it will be more manageable.

Friday, August 27, 2010

A New Look

I was playing around with template designs earlier and decided it was time for a change. I like the new look of my blog. Hope ya'll do too!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Friday, August 20, 2010

Black Bean Soup

My mom introduced me to black bean soup several years ago and now I make it on a regular basis. I have soaked dried beans and used them, but I have found that canned organic beans make the best soup. Kroger carries a brand I like, Private Selection. The only ingredients are organic black beans, water and sea salt. One 15 oz can contains 130 mg of sodium.

I start by sauteing chopped onion, celery, carrots and garlic in olive oil. Then I add a cup of red wine and let it simmer until the wine reduces. I add 4 cans of beans, a 10 oz can of Ro*Tel Diced Tomatoes and Green Chilies after draining the liquid (if you like it hotter just add the liquid), a 15 oz can of Private Selection Organic Sweet Corn and 1 qt of Imagine Organic Free Range Low Sodium Chicken Broth. Grind a little black pepper and sea salt to taste. A little salt is needed since the ingredients are low sodium. Sea salt is best since it has trace minerals and lower sodium content.

Let the whole thing simmer uncovered for about an hour until it reduces to a good consistency. Serve with whole grain bread and some raw carrots for munchies and you have a feast!

Old Shale

I have used Old Shale several times in knitting shawls and decided to knit a triangular shawl with two different colorways of Malabrigo sock yarn. I have almost finished with the first skein and the garter stitch section and will be figuring out my repeats for Old Shale with the other skein.

Note: It couldn't have turned out better! I got to the end of the skein of Cordovan and counted my stitches.....I have one extra stitch on either side of the center stitch after my 12 st repeats of Old Shale. Not bad! I have 13 repeats on either side of the center.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

On the Subject of Stitch Markers

For those of you who like pretty stitch markers except for the not so pretty price.....they are quite easy to make. I use left over beads from rosary making for mine. I use 10mm jump rings and size 6 seed beads for plain rings. Just open the ring up, slide on a bead, close the ring and super glue the bead over the split in the ring. You can use the longer pins in the jewelry making section of your local craft store to make dangles for your markers if you like. Just thread on 2 or 3 beads, make a loop in the end and secure it over the jump ring with a couple of wraps. TA DA!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Shetland Pi Shawl

I had frogged another project multiple times and the yarn has been lurking in my stash for some time. I discovered Wendy Knits and saw that there is a KAL on Ravelry for her Shetland Pi Shawl and I have enough yarn for the project, so I cast on last night. She just posted the second section and I am working on that now.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Flora & Fauna

As I was leaving the house this morning I spied a white thistle alongside our drive and stopped to snap a photo. I was also fortunate enough to get a couple of shots of butterflies on purple thistles. It pays to stick the camera in my knitting bag before leaving the house!

Note: I looked up butterflies online and discovered that these photos are of a male (yellow) and female (dark) Eastern Tiger Swallowtail. Cool!

Modified Trifolium

I have lost track of how many times I have frogged this project and started over because I didn't like the pattern I was playing around with at the time. THIS time it really seems to be working out. I decided to modify Marianne Kinzel's 'Trifolium' from the Second Book of Modern Lace Knitting and use charts A, D and E. In effect, I am leaving out the actual trifolium itself and using the ground pattern with the edge design. I want something open and lacy that will allow me to get the maximum yardage out of two skeins of hand dyed Classic Merino by Patons'.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Done!

After battling migraines for over a week I am finally finished with the Stonington Shawl. Whew! It blocked out to 59 inches square. The blocking wires made the whole thing painless and very quickly done. I will not dread blocking any more.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

4th side to go

Getting ready to begin knitting the edging on the 4th side of the Stonington Shawl. I love this piece, but I am so ready to be done with it and move on to another project.