March 2012


I feel like I had a whirlwind of a weekend: we had friends over for dinner Friday night, I spent Saturday running errands, and Sunday we took our annual Maine Maple Sunday trip, which I followed up with an up-close viewing of the Hunger Games with some of my knitting buddies.

One of the things I love about Maine is it’s seasonality, there’s a time for syrup, and a time for apples, a time for shrimp, and a time for blueberries.

So in spite of the unseasonably warm weather we’d had the previous week, Maine Maple Sunday stayed true to form and was cold (and rainy!), but it didn’t dampen our spirits as we drove to Sebago for a pancake breakfast and some sugar shack tours. (Though a bad map did cause some frustration).

We picked up a pint of syrup and a bag of maple candies, but the variety of maple products is always fun to see.

I’m thinking I need to make a batch of my maple walnut granola soon – do you have any favorite maple syrup recipes? Or do you save it for pancakes and waffles only?

P.S.: Check out this preview from the upcoming Knitscene summer issue – it hits newsstands April 17th, but if you live in Portland be warned, I’m so excited about my first print publication that I may buy all the copies. ;)

Decisions, Decisions

I’ve made my choice, but which would you choose?

Tabouleh

Spinach Basil Pesto

(to borrow from Soulemama)
Right Now I’m…

  • nearly a month into this Lent thing and trying out a new recipe or two a week;
  • two buttons bands away from finishing up a new design sample;
  • into running again, signed up for a 5k and everything;
  • enjoying the increasing hours of daylight;
  • loving the unseasonably warm March weather we’re having; and
  • obsessing over a new music find: darlingside

What are you up to?

Mr. Cleaver and I tried quinoa for the first time this morning, we used the Warm and Nutty Cinnamon Quinoa Recipe from Chef MD’s Big Book of Culinary Medicine via 101 Cookbooks and it was definitely tasty and filling. I’m looking forward to trying quinoa in more savory and salad dishes too.

In other news, it looks like spring is finally making it’s way to Maine!

I was pleasantly surprised when I was told that Quince & Co. would be releasing my newest design this week, as I didn’t expect it to see the light of day until the fall knitting releases, so while this isn’t the springiest sweater, it’s without a doubt one my favorite designs.

Quince Osprey Sweater Sketch 10 17 11I wanted Kaeryn to be one of those cozy weekend sweaters that you could just throw on, be comfy and still look good.  I wanted it to be something infinitely wearable and a go-to item. My knitting buddy Karen must have thought so, because ever since I pulled out the sketch for the first time, she was encouraging me to hurry up and finish it so she could knit one of her own.  And since Karen served as my design-approver throughout the process, I named it after her (though I changed the spelling to look more knitting-pattern-y)(though technically, I think the new spelling would be pronounced kay-ren, but I’m cool with however you want to pronounce it).

In many ways, this is a very basic raglan, a-line sweater, but I think I’ve added a few details that make it pretty special. Perhaps the most noticeable are the moss-stitch panel and its seamless kangaroo pocket.  I also like the clean lines of the turned hems at the collar and hem. I discovered the decrease bind-off while working on this sweater and it’s perfect for keeping the hem sketchy.

kaeryn collar

kaeryn hem

Also of note are the moss-stitch cuffs, which are decreased into a soft point.

The sweater is knit in Quince & Co’s worsted weight Lark yarn, in Frank’s Plum.

When possible, I strive to write my patterns for a while range of sizes and this comes in a bunch: 30½ (32¾, 34¾, 36¾, 39, 41, 43¼, 45¼, 47¼, 49½, 51½, 53½, 55½, 57¾, 59¾)”

To purchase the pattern, visit the Quince & Co. website or you can queue it up on Ravelry.

Like I said, I love this sweater and totally want one in my own size, so I’m up for a knit-along nearer toward fall if anyone’s interested!

[All photos with model © Carrie Bostick Hoge, courtesy of Quince & Co; all other photos by me]

This is the last one of these for a while, as I’ve finally run through all the fabric I purchased to make School House Tunics, so I’ll be moving onto other patterns in the near future, I promise!

For this take on the School House Tunic, I added 4 inches to the tunic-length to make it dress-length for me; added a series of three pintucks to each side of yoke; and made it short-sleeved, because I ran out of fabric.

The fabric itself is a cotton/linen blend in a color Bristol will want to steal from me, that I picked up at Z Fabrics.

I think this version will get a ton of wear in the warmer months, but for now I’m pairing it up with some tights, boots and a long-sleeved tee.

While I failed at my last cookie baking attempt, I’ve had a bit more luck in the vegetarian cooking department. First off I wanted to thank everyone for their recipe suggestions, I’m still looking through some of the ones posted last week, but there are several I can’t wait to try – keep ‘em coming!

Two things I’ve learned quickly, chickpeas (and beans in general) are my veggie-cooking friends and that taking pictures of food in my kitchen lighting at night is less than ideal.

Also, not specifically related to the vegetarian-eating thing, but banana and nutella on toast may be my new favorite breakfast.

Recipes used this week:

  • Chilaquiles vegetarianos! (first photo). I’d definitely make this one again. It was delicious, it reheated well and I’m a sucker for avocados.
  • Baked falafel (second photo). This one I’m a little less enthused by, the falafel seemed  bit too mushy, but it could be because I under baked it or that I’m just more used to the fried version.

Also made (not-photograghed) Chana Masala, which I improvised with a bunch of veggies, chickpeas and a jar of Masala sauce from Trader Joes.

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