Thursday, March 27, 2008


I did it! I finally got my short rows right for my citrine socks. I truly think that I made at least ten attempts with those socks. I'd completely given up and then I was looking at Moon Tea's blog, and what do you know, she'd just knit some herself. She told me to just take it slow, and that I could do it. I "rested" a few more days, and then gave it a try. Yay! I'm very happy and will cast on my second sock tonight. The toe is especially interesting to me. It was done in short rows too. You use Kitchern'ers Stitch to finish them off. I've never been able to memorize how to do Kitchner's Stitch, but I discovered a helpful "mantra' in a a little reference book I got from the Loopy Ewe. It seems so easy now. I don't know why I did't think of something like that myself.

"knitoff/purl on, purl off/knit on"

I gave my little "pink" rabbit to my cousin's little girl on Easter Sunday. My cousin has four children, teaches school, and is a generally busy person, but guess what I received in the mail on Tuesday? A thank you note from her little girl. They had to have written it on Sunday night!

I already have another bunny finished. "She" started out as a boy since I knit her with blue pants, but I love making the dresses, so she's a girl. She's going to be yet another gift for a co-worker's baby. Keep those babies coming. I need an excuse to knit bunnies. I laughed when I read one of Marit's recent posts because she had knit a cute, little teddy bear and one of her kids had called her childish for doing it. Sounds like my kids. They just don't see the point of a mother of teens knitting little toys.

I had planned to start posting some of my favorite recipes on my blog, but since I wasn't doing much cooking until now, I've been "recipeless." We barbequed almost everyday during Spring Break. I grilled fish to make fish tacos, chicken to make chicken salad, and eggplant to make...baba ghanoush. My son is not an adventuresome eater, but the rest of my family is. We love Greek food, and I make hummus all of the time. Baba ghanoush is a lot like hummus. My daughter's friends love it although I didn't immediately share with them that its main ingredient was eggplant.

Baba Ghanoush (from Cook's Illustrated Best International Recipe Cookbook)

2 pounds eggplant (about 2 large globes)
2 tablespoons tahini
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 small garlic clove, minced
salt and pepper
1 tablesppon olive oil
2 tablespoon fresh parsley

Poke each eggplant all over with a fork. Grill eggplant on high until the skin darkens and wrinkles on all sides, about 25 minutes. Remove eggplant from flame, and let cool for 5 minutes. Cut eggplant open and scoop contents into a colander and letthe pulp drain for about three minutes. Spoon pulp into a food processor.

Add tahini, lemon juice, garlic,1/2 tsp. salt, and1/4 tsp. pepper. Process until mixture has a course, chunky texture. Chill for 45 to 60 minutes. To serve, use a spoon to make a trough in the center of the dip and spoon the olive oil into it. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Our neighbors went to Hawaii for Spring Break; my running partner and her husband went skiing in Banff; another friend rode his motorcycle to Arizona. with some friends, but I still think we had the best Spring Break of them all though. What did we do? Absolutely nothing. That's not exactly true. We doggysat one of Rowdy's puppies for the weekend; Russ built a new fence; my kids faithfully went to swim practice everyday; and I knit Easter stuff.

"There is nothing like
staying at home for real comfort."     -- Jane Austen

I found a pattern on The Purl Bee for Easter eggs knit in the round, but I never got around to trying it. I still might. They're so cherrful.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Ten Times Still Wasn't the Charm seems that I have taken another month-long break from blogging... but not from knitting. In fact, it was knitting itself that precipitated my break. I love last year's Interweave Knits Holiday Gifts, and I've had plans to knit many of the patterns in there, especially the sock patterns. Last month I decided to give the citrine socks a try. I was slightly intimidated when I discovered that it calls for a short-row heal. I've been perfectly happy knitting "regular" heals with no real problems,so I wasn't excited about venturing beyond my comfort zone. I began with my typical approach of not paying close enough attention and had to restart several times, but the pattern itself wasn't the problem. It is very easy....until you get to the heal. I just couldn't get it. I unravelled the entire sock at least five times, hoping that I'd have better luck each time. Finally, I kind of started understanding the process, but I still kept getting a hole in the gusset. Awwwwww! I finally gave up...not forever, but for now. Somehow that experience just made me disinterested in blogging. I didn't even want to check on all of my cyber friends who were probably happily knitting hole-less" heals. I know Tracy was because her socks are always beautiful, and she likes those short-rows!

I did have success with another bunny. I was a little too excited about getting finished and notice from my picture that she really needs to have her dress pressed, but otherwise I'm very happy with her. I knit her with the rest of the angora yarn that I used for the little boy rabbit in my last post. I didn't quite have enough, but I just made her look like she had on some pantaloons and ended up with about a yard of yarn left. I wasn't even nervous...well maybe just a little. I still use the Easter bunny pattern that I bought from Barbara Prime at Fuzzy Thoughts I've altered it some, knitting the head, body, and part of the legs in the round; and shortening the body. I'm not even pretending that I'm making the pattern my own.
I readily admit that I'm totally copying Julie's style. She's in a class by herself as far as I'm concerned. t is fun to have something so unique to give as a baby gift, and I've had a load of co-workers having babies lately. The Easter egg is from Julie's free pattern. I'm not completely happy with it. Maybe I need to get some styrofoam inserts as she suggests.

I have eight days of freedom before me, so I should get a lot of knitting done! We're thinking of making some short trips, maybe taking a boat trip to one of the islands off the coast near Santa Barbara. Should be FUN.