Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Socks for Kiana Paz

Kiana's Socks
I've been working on these socks for Kiana using a Magic Loop pattern.  My BFF Kathy G. and I took a sock-knitting class a couple of years back and this is the pattern we were given for that class.  The socks are knit on a circular needle where both socks are knitted on a big loop continuously, one after the other.  The end result?  Both socks are finished at the same time.  Following the pattern instructions without a teacher to guide your every step is tedious at first; however, her instruction sheet is clear enough and I was able to work through the confusing parts.  See?  Kiana's socks are nearly done, then I'll start on Kristen's.  Kiana and Kristen, our nieces from New Mexico, chose their colors from a big bag of sock yarn from my stash when they came to visit during last Christmas/New Year.  These will be Christmas gifts, I think.  As for the dusty purple knitted handbag that I showcased in an earlier blog, the knitting is complete and now all I have to do is sew it together.  I'll post pictures when it's all done.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

About Those Tomatoes...

It's the end of tomato growing season at the Casita.  The very large grape-type tomato is of the Juliet variety and provided a bountiful harvest.  I have read that the Juliet is somewhere between a plum tomato and the smaller grape tomato; meaty, excellent flavor, keeps well for a long time after picking.  The other tomatoes pictured are Brandywines, picked from my garden; See them ripening?  These Brandywines are almost ready.  I only grew one plant of each kind so there would not be an overload of tomatoes to deal with; I had only enough to do small batches of this and that.  From the Juliet I put up a Spicy Tomato Jam as well as making oven-dried herbed tomatoes packed in olive oil.  We also roasted the Juliets, skewered shishkebob-style, on the BBQ.  Mmmm good!  I'll definitely look to grow the Juliets again next season.  The Brandywines ended up in a Beef Tomato dish, using my alltime favorite recipe from Madame Wu's Chinese Cookbook.   Also cooked up some Fried Green Tomatoes for dipping in Ranch dressing.  The Brandywines were delicious in sandwiches, too; I fixed mine very simple; sliced tomato w/a little salt and pepper, bacon and mayo on toasted bread.  This is truly a yummy tomato but it is an heirloom variety and therefore subject to the persnickety variances that are the hallmark of old-fashioned tomatoes.  So there you go; my homegrown tomato season is coming to a close.  I'll be thinking and planning for next year's bounty.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Know what you love...

A person will dedicate a good chunk of time and money to those things closest to his/her heart or things he/she loves to do.  Think about it.  I know my passion.  Do you know yours?

Hobbit Shoes

In pursuit of cozy house slippers to wear, I sewed up a soft shoe from a free pattern I found on the internet; soft denim, calico lining, applique flower and covered button to match.  It is adorable I think, but not a good fit.  Never give up says me!  So I tried another pattern "Oma's Slippers," a crochet slipper which I think is very nice.  See the result?  I have made only one side of each of these...prototypes.  Result?  Another loose and goosey fit.  What's up?  Not to worry; simply size down the crochet needle, tighten the stitch and work it until proper fit is achieved.  I'll try again.  Friends and relatives beware; these could be gifts in the making.

Creativity Reigns

A chaotic blend of creativity reigns at the Casita.  Quilt sew quilt sew knit knit crochet embroider sew draw/paint carve gourds quilt sew sew read read read quilt sew sew quilt embroider; research research research; hunt down patterns; hunt down recipes; put up preserves bake bake cook; grow tomatoes grow herbs; blog a bit; draw a bit; paint a little; Netflix documentaries and PBS series.  Out of all of this comes bits and pieces of artwork complete.  There is no schedule; this then is creative chaos; I think my sis thinks I am crazy.  I think I am.  It is my most recent goal to quiet the mind and continue with what I do.  Today and for two days past I am knitting a purse in a lovely cable pattern; the color...dusty purple.  It will be done soon.