Tuesday, January 26, 2010
For the sleeves, I'm employing one of my favorite tricksy knitting techniques: Barbara Walker's seamless, set-in sleeve caps from the top down. It's spelled out in Knitting From the Top and is GENIUS for perfectly fitted set-in sleeves. Basically, you pick up stitches around the armhole (she tells you to figure out how many you need and pick up exactly that many. I pick up 3 out of every 4 stitches and then work a round to adjust the number — less crazy-making, less chance of gaps or bulges) and then work short rows. Sounds complicated, but isn't. Granted, even with some interesting techniques thrown in, black stockinette isn't the most thrilling knitting experience a girl can have, but I want this damn sweater — this exact one — and I will have it. The end.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
I start with frozen fruit, the same amount of each every day:
Then some ground flax seed and yogurt. I've started making my own yogurt, which sounds all time-consuming and hippie-ish, but it's really not any more taxing than making a cup of tea.
Cover it all with calcium-enriched orange juice:
Blend, and take it into a room with natural light:
1 banana, fresh or frozen
6 frozen strawberries
6 frozen mango chunks
2 handfuls of frozen blueberries
2 T flaxmeal
1/2 c or so of yogurt
orange juice to cover.
Blend. Drink. Feel smug about how awesome and health-supporting your habits are.
2 1/2 c. milk (any fat level works. as always, I'm a 1% girl.)
1 T. yogurt (the best you can buy for your first round. after that, just use some of your previous batch)
Bring the milk to a boil, then let it cool until you can hold your finger in it for 10 seconds (aka 110F). Put the yogurt in a small bowl and whisk in a little of the hot milk. Add the yogurt slurry to the rest of the milk and whisk. Pour it all into a glass jar, wrap it in a towel or old sweater and put it somewhere warm overnight. In the morning, stick it in the fridge. By afternoon, you'll have a jar full of incredibly fresh, perfectly perfect yogurt.
I've also been making large batches of steel-cut oats and portioning them out for the week, then bringing one to work every day and heating it up in the late morning. Even though I love it the regular way with maple syrup or brown sugar, a bit of butter and milk, I've gotten kind of addicted to this recipe from The Kitchn for oatmeal with dried apricots and buttermilk. I just do it on the stovetop though instead of in a CrockPot, and even though the write-up thinks it's too sour, I love the (pretty mild, really) tanginess of the buttermilk. As a matter of fact, I eat it with extra buttermilk on top. And I add some ground flax seeds, since I seem to do that to everything I eat these days. I love it with the apricots, which swell into jammy, juicy little nuggets when cooked, but I'm looking forward to trying other fruit too -- picked up some dried cherries and blueberries yesterday just for this. Ground or chopped nuts would be nice too.
Oatmeal with Apricots and Buttermilk
1 cup steel-cut oats
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup dried apricots, snipped into small pieces
3 1/2 cups water
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons wheat bran (optional)
2 T flaxmeal
Bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Add all of the dry ingredients and stir. Pour in the buttermilk and vanilla, then another half cup of water (gets every drop of buttermilk out of the measuring cup). Turn the heat down and cook for 30 minutes. Serve with extra buttermilk and sugar.
Monday, January 18, 2010
I finally got around to weaving in the ends on this handspun sweater. (I sewed and cut the steek too, but that deserves a post of its own.)
I made my new favorite lunch, 101 Cookbooks' caramelized tofu on shredded brussels sprouts. I left out the pecans and cilantro and added some crushed red pepper. One pan, a handful of ingredients, crispy, sweet-spicy-sprouty deliciousness.
And a big batch of spaghetti carbonara for dinner on Saturday. No real recipe: while the pasta cooks, crisp up some bacon, add some garlic and white wine. In a bowl, beat a couple of eggs and some parmesan together. Drain the pasta, mix the hot bacon/wine into it, then add the egg mixture and stir very briskly until the heat of the pasta cooks the eggs into the silkiest, dreamiest sauce imaginable. I threw some frozen peas in with the pasta when it was almost done for a little extra flavor and texture.
Not pictured: a batch of sadly but truly inedible bread (too much other stuff — wheat germ, bran, flaxmeal, ground oats — not enough flour). I didn't actually try to hammer a nail with it, but I bet I could have. And I made a big batch of oatmeal to bring to work for breakfast all week, and a big batch of lentil/barley soup with all of the vegetables that were circling the drain in the fridge (carrots, red cabbage, fennel, spinach, mushrooms) that I portioned out for lunches.
It had been a while since I had taken a long walk with a camera and since I needed ("needed;" I always wince internally when I use that word in this context) some things from Ikea, I burned some shoe leather trekking over to Red Hook on Sunday.
And back at the home front, I haz a cat now. She came with the new apartment (long story).
Internet, meet Luz. She is in no small part evil and sometimes tries to steal my soul when I'm falling asleep, but I like her awfully.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
And from this (weird poochiness at the chest/neck, no matter how many times I steamed or blocked it):
to this (Karabella Magritte, their dk cashmere/merino):And from this (handspun alpaca/silk, not wholly comfortable next to the skin, plus I knit this back before I knew much about the finer points of fit, so the neck wasn't shaped at all and I was always pulling at it):
to this:I know it's not for everyone, but I find ripping out something that didn't work — even years after the fact — to be incredibly satisfying. Fresh starts are my favorite.
Thursday, January 7, 2010
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 t. coriander
1 t. tumeric
2 t. cumin
1 med. sweet potato, peeled and chopped into roughly 1" pieces
half a head of cauliflower, chopped
juice of one lemon
1 c. quinoa
2 c. water
Brown the onion in olive oil, then add garlic and spices and stir for 30 seconds or so, until fragrant. Add the sweet potato to the pan and cook until about half done. Add the caulifower and half a cup of water or so. Cover and let cook until vegetables are done to your taste.
In the meantime, put the water on to boil, add the quinoa and simmer for 15 minutes. Add to the vegetables, squeeze a lemon over, and mix it all into a glorious, healthful mess.
This was enough for me for dinner last night and two lunch portions. Since quinoa has a a lot of protein on its own, I didn't add anything else, but if I were using a different grain, I would have thrown a can of garbanzo beans or black-eyed peas in at some point.
Monday, January 4, 2010
A lot of the drapey and ruffly qualities were lost when I washed it (in the pattern, she warns not to block it, but it desperately needed to be washed and I didn't do anything more strenuous than soak, blot dry and lay out flat) The shape is on the long and narrow end of the spectrum even though I increased to 49 stitches instead of 36. I prefer my scarves to be wider and less long, but it's still very nice and comes to a fetching little point at the back.
I did happen to finish another scarf project on Sunday, which still needs to be blocked, but has been such a long-term off-again-on-again project (at least a year, likely closer to two) that I'm just thrilled to have it off the needles. Modified North Sea Shawl in Knitpicks Gloss.