Monday, May 17, 2010


WANT WANT WANT. I wish hats were more fashionable.. I mean, they are in the winter, but no one wears fabulous ridiculous hats anymore! I could rock the hell out of that hat though. If I had the $100 or so to buy it. Visit this shop at your own risk.

I need to make more fascinators and find occasions to wear them as well. The one for my wedding was fun! I also need to find a source for sinamay. It would be awesome to take a haberdashery class, but I've never even seen one offered.

Monday, May 10, 2010

May better shape up...

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I got spoiled on those two beautiful weeks we had in April! It's been back to 50's and raining most days lately, or at least cloudy. It's totally put a damper on my motivation to get outside and run. In fact, I haven't run in a week! I totally suck at this. I'll have to start over with Week Two of the Couch to 5k program, even though I've already run it 4 times. I'm dreading making the leap from running from 90 seconds at a time to 3 minutes at a time. GOD I AM PATHETIC! I can do an hour and a half of Power Yoga, but I can't run a mile? ugh. Not looking forward to bikini season this year either!

I do feel a little accomplished though because despite not having a deck or even a balcony here, I managed to get a little gardening in! Our front windowsill is more than big enough for a good sized window box, and I filled mine with the traditional Geraniums and Lobelia. I'm hoping to spruce up the area around our building sometime this summer as well. There are a few stragly rose bushes, but the area needs a lot of work and some more plants.

J is going on a business trip for most of the rest of the month, provided the Iceland volcano doesn't get in the way. I have a small stockpile of stuff to keep me occupied:
-The last two Sookie Books on audiobook, Dead and Gone: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel (Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood) and I just got the new one, Dead in the Family (Sookie Stackhouse, Book 10), whoo hoo!

-Books 4, 5, 6 and 7 of The Black Dagger Brotherhood (So far #3 is my favorite, read it twice!)

-And I plan to catch up on Doctor Who, starting with Season 3, and try to get my hands on Torchwood

I'm still working on my Laminaria shawl, and plan to cast on a pair of toe-up Hederas with my new Wollmeise. Between all that, subbing, knitting group, and hopefully a night out dancing and a trip to Munich, the weeks should fly by, right? Arrgh.. I hate that he has to leave, but it could be a lot worse! Most everyone else here loses their husbands for 6 months to a year at a time!
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Thursday, May 06, 2010

My Shop is OPEN!

I FINALLY got my Etsy shop up! And I already made my first sale! I am soo excited :)
Come visit!

Here's what my studio looked like on photo day :) (More yarn behind me on the futon)
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Saturday, May 01, 2010

Playing Catch-Up

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I oscillate between having not enough going on to bother updating, and having too much to talk about!

In the last few weeks the weather has been beautiful, and I have woken up from my winter hibernation. I have discovered shortcut walking paths to the beautiful park in downtown (to which I have been 3 times now), have taken up jogging (which I suck at), and went wine tasting with friends on Thursday. I've also been doing a lot of spinning, per usual, and have a rare case of start-itis! Must be spring!

J and I had our first picnic of the year in the lovely Kurpark, near the beautiful Kurhaus and pond, under blooming magnolias and cherry trees. One of my favorite wedding gifts from my Mom was a fleece-lined picnic blanket with attached carrying strap. We took our lunch and our books and spent the afternoon soaking up the April sunshine! Unfortunately we did not have the opportunity to do it in true European style, like I had originally intended, with fresh bread and cheese and fruit from the farmers market and local wine, because J had hurt his knee and we had to drive instead of walking. Soon though I want to take a hike through the vineyards to the Niederwald Monument above the Rhine and have a proper feast!
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Last week we bought propane for the grill! Time for summer food! We made Moroccan grilled chicken, with grilled zucchini and tabbouleh salad one evening, and had Gazpacho the next. Gazpacho just screams summertime to me! Here is my recipe for the perfect meal on a hot sticky day:

Spanish Gazpacho
Serve chilled with fresh soft bread and avocado on the side. Goes perfectly with a Mojito!

1/2 small onion
2 jalapenos
2 cloves of garlic
1 cucumber, diced
2 tomatoes, diced
1/2 green or red bell pepper, diced *optional
3 Tbsp olive oil
juice of 1 lime
1-2 pints V8 juice, to taste
salt and pepper
cilantro for garnish

Combine the onion, garlic, jalapenos, lime juice, oil, and half the diced cucumber in a blender and blend until smooth. Add a little of the V8 if necessary to get it smooth. Pour into a storage bowl with a lid, add the rest of the cucumber and diced tomatoes and peppers if using, the V8, and salt and pepper. Stir to combine well then refrigerate for at least an hour. Garnish with cilantro before serving.

The semi-sweet German Auslese wine I bought on Thursday would also go really well with Gazpacho, or the Moroccan chicken! We tasted 18 different German reds and whites at the Alexander Freimuth winery, overlooking fields of grapes and yellow rapeseed blossoms. I can't believe I forgot my camera!

In craft-related news, I am very jealous of all of you who get to attend the Maryland Sheep and Wool festival this weekend! It will be the first in 5 years that I have not gotten to attend! I usually buy all my spinning fiber for the year there, so I will have to do some serious online shopping to replenish my stores. If we were not going back to the US in July for a wedding I would have flown back in a heartbeat. Maybe next year!

I finished spinning up my FatCatKnits fiber , Buster in Falkland, and Sante Fe in BFL.

Here's the BFL, navajo plied fingering weight for socks:
Santa Fe sock

And about 300m of light worsted singles from the Falkland, to be stripes in a future Malabrigo cardigan
Buster singles

from this fiber
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I also did a lot of dyeing lately, and hope to open and shop soon!

For knitting I am working on the Laminaria shawl from in some chartreuse merino laceweight, designing a fisherman sweater in Rambouillet wool, and itching to start some socks in my VERY FIRST WOLLMEISE! The color is Sonne (Sun) which is blindingly bright yellow, orange, and red. I'm torn between Hedera from Knitty, and Sam from Sock Innovation. Both by Cookie A. I just received the sock book and it is fantastic! Totally should be part of any sock knitter's collection.

What do you think? Hedera:

 Or Sam?

I like to listen to audiobooks while I knit or spin, and for the last few months I have been on a huge Vampire kick! Last fall I read all the Sookie books, and I love the True Blood TV series too (YAY for new season in June!), and then I read the Twilight books (better than expected, but the movies are hilarious in their teen-angsty-ness), the Mercy Thompson werewolf books (go well with the Sookie-verse) and now I am reading the Black Dagger Brotherhood books which I am really enjoying. I think I will read The Historian when I finish this series!

J and I wanted to take a bike ride today, but it is cloudy and threatening to rain. Maybe I will buy some new window boxes and do some planting instead.