Monday, March 30, 2009

Music to my ears!

The blue bee shawl is done!

blue bee shawl--all done!

Ends woven in, but still needs to be blocked. This will have to wait until after the move. Even unblocked, this shawl is bigger than either of my 2 previous--and I made the "petite" size. Good thing I didn't go for the "tall" size. This is all the yarn that was left over:

What remained

Only 5 grams!

I made broccoli onion quiche for dinner tonight.

Onion broccoli quiche

I used Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian for the crust recipe and for guidance with the fillings. Here's what went into the filling:
  • 5 smallish eggs
  • A little less than 2 cups of minced white onion--sauteed until super soft
  • 3 cloves of pressed garlic
  • 2ish cups of broccoli (originally frozen, then thawed in the microwave), cut into small pieces
  • <1>
  • ~1/2 tsp each of salt, pepper and dry thyme
As directed by the recipe, I used the food processor to make the dough, and it turned out great! I (heart) quiche.

Onion broccoli quiche

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Contingency laugh

Just in case you haven't chuckled yet today...

I won!

I just bought yarn on ebay for the first time! 5 skeins of Noro Kureyon color 159 so that I can make this lovely sweater. I already have the yarn for the body and sleeves of the sweater. The magazine with the pattern, however, remains packed away in a box. Guess I'll have to wait until April to start what should have been my March sweater.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

This Tornado Loves You

And now, as promised...

What I've been listening to: Neko Case's new album, Middle Cyclone, has been my constant soundtrack for the past week or so. The music is a perfect blend of country, folk and rock. The lyrics are pure poetry. Nature is a recurrent theme, as is love. Neko's voice is perfectly showcased throughout.

I'm having a hard time picking just one favorite song. The title track, Middle Cyclone, is in the running for my favorite. I love the slow, mellowness of it; the simplicity of the guitar; the music box-like tingling sounds. And this song contains my favorite lyric from the whole album:

Can't scrape together quite enough to ride the bus to the outskirts of the fact that I need love.

The album contains 14 songs, then a 30 minute track of quiet bird chirping. I love this little addition. In my head, their thought processes went something like:

Music exec 1: "Well, this is sure a great album, but there's all this leftover space on the disc."
Music exec 2: "I know! Let's put in 30 minutes of quiet bird chirping!"
Music exec 1: "Awesome idea. You deserve a promotion."


What I've been reading: After finishing David Sedaris's underwhelming book, I was pleased to discover such humor in Sloane Crosley's gem, I Was Told There'd Be Cake. The author is a woman only a couple years older than me who lives in New York. Her essays reflect what it's like growing up in suburbia in the 80s and 90s, and what it's like living in the city now. You might not appreciate the humorous situations if you're, say, a 50 year old woman living in a moderately sized city. But if you're an almost-thirtysomething living in NYC, this might be just the book for you.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Bzzz Bzzz

I had an Aha! moment the other day, plugging away at this Bee Fields Shawl. After working about 1/2 of the first repeat of the bee swarm section, suddenly--I saw the bees!

Bee Fields Shawl

Do you see them?

Bee Fields Shawl

How about now?

Bee Fields Shawl

They're so cute! I'm onto the second repeat of the bee swarm section of the shawl. Still in love. Though I keep being reminded of a cardinal rule of charted lace knitting: do not try to knit lace when you're super sleepy. You WILL make mistakes! Thankfully, none of my mistakes have required much more than ticking back 10 or 20 stitches.

What I've been cooking: I've been cooking a lot lately, but I always neglect to take photos of the yumminess I craft. Today I made some of my Grandma Vernie's super yummy triple chocolate cake-ies.

Triple Chocolate Cake-ies

Ingredients: 1 package of moist chocolate cake mix. 2 eggs. 1/2 cup butter or margerine. 1 tsp vanilla (I forgot this, and they were still tasty). 6oz chocolate chips (1/2 bag). 1/2 cup walnut pieces. Mix together. Bake rounded teaspoons on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes. Frost if desired. They're super yummy.

Triple Chocolate Cake-ies

Today, I emraced my inner nerd and went to the main branch of the library to watch The Great Debate.

The Great Debate

Harry Potter vs. Twilight. The debate was conducted between 2 teams of 3 high school girls. Now, it's obvious to me that Harry Potter is the better fantasy series for so many reasons. I just went for the spectacle. And spectacle it was! Hehe.

Stay tuned, coming up next on Bird About Town, a review of Neko Case's new CD, and a bit about what I've been reading. :)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Socks, and other knitting

Sittin' Knittin': I finished those Traveler's Stockings from Knitting on the Road. I think they turned out just lovely.

Traveler's Stockings

When I finished the second sock, I did a regular toe, liked it this way better, and went back and changed sock #1.

Traveler's Stockings

Still plugging away at those brown socks I showed you last time. #2 is almost half way done. I started a new pair of socks out of some Noro Kureyon sock yarn I purchased a couple weeks ago up at Hilltop Yarn. I just love Noro Kureyon sock yarn. People complain about it. But I would happily knit with it every day for the rest of my life. The first pair of socks I made out of this stuff, I used 2.5mm needles. But I'm using 3.0mm needles for this pair. And I think it's working out just fine. I'm about a 1/4 of the way through sock #2. No pics of these, sorry.

As I mentioned, I'd been seriously missing my stash the past couple of weeks. So this past weekend I went to my mom's office, where all the boxes of my stuff are being held until I get to move into my apartment (everyone cross your fingers for this weekend!), and went rummaging for yarn. It was like shopping! I pulled out enough yarn to keep me set for at least a month, plus my trusty ball winder and swift. I pulled out mostly sock yarn, but I also pulled out a few skeins of laceweight. After some browsing through ravelry, I found a beautiful lace shawl pattern and went to it. I'm using some pale blue merino wool I found on etsy. And let me just be honest: I'm in love.

Bee Fields Shawl beginning

I did cheat on the lace for a one night stand with some kitchen cotton to make this bag:

Hoppin' shoppin' bag

The pattern is availabe in the second Mason-Dixon book, or free online. While going through my mounds of junk in mom and dad's attic, I found a couple of bags I'd crocheted many years ago (back before I was a knitter), and decided to repurpose them into some awesome shopping bags. There are a few nifty stitches in the pattern for this bag that give it a take-any-shape expandable mesh.

Hoppin' shoppin' bag

I'm gonna take a quick sec and talk about books. I've been reading David Sedaris's newest book, When You Are Engulfed in Flames. I hate to say this, but I've been underwhelmed by the whole thing. For probably 90% of the stuff in this book, I feel like I've read some version of it before. Probably in the New Yorker, possibly he's had some of them on This American Life. And the stuff just isn't as funny the second time around. If you don't read the New Yorker of listen to TAL, you might like this book better than I do. I'm glad that it's a library book and not a purchase.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Sun and socks

On the needles: Since my stash remains packed in boxes in Edgewood, I've been plugging away at a couple of pairs of socks. Still working on the Traveler's Stockings. Just turned the heal of #2, so these should be done soon.

Travelers Stockings progress

I really like these socks. The yarn is great, just the right size for the 2.5mm needles, in my opinion. The ADD patterning of the cuff is great, but it's nice to have the stockinette of the rest of the sock to help these cruise along. Not sure about the toe, though. I did the toe as called for in the pattern, but I think it wold have looked better with a plain ol' regular toe.

Travelers Stockings

Started a new pair a couple days ago. I'm doing a toe-up adaptation of the Paraphernalia pattern. The yarn is Trekking Pro Natura. I like this yarn, but think it might have done better on smaller needles. I'm using some Addi 2.5mm, the smallest Addis I have (note to self: buy smaller Addis). The cabling of the Paraphernalia pattern is just what I needed to keep myself interested in knitting more socks. I love how the cable is off-center.

Paraphernalia progress

I decided to do these toe-up so that I could use as much of the yarn as possible. With the aid of my trusty new yarn scale (thanks mom!!), I'll know just when to stop sock #1 so that I'll have enough yarn to make its match. To accomodate some potentially tall socks, I'm doing some calf increases along the center of the back, increasing 2 stitches every 6 rows. I don't really like the K3P1 ribbing pattern on these socks. It looks sloppy to me. If I was to start over with these socks, I'd keep the cable pattern the same but knit the rest of the stitches as plain stockinette. Oh well. I'll probably give these away so that I won't be perpetually reminded of how they could have been better.

Paraphernalia progress

Something unusual happened this morning. The sun came up. I know what you're thinking, This happens every day, dummy. But not here. Most days, the sky just gets progressively lighter shades of gray, the sun doesn't actually make an appearance. But today the sun rose! It's sooooo sunny here already that I'm about to get dressed and head out for a walk so that I can synthesize some vitamin D. Who knows when this opportunity is going to present itself again!

Sunny morning

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


As someone who was has battled with her SSKs to make them look as nice as her K2togs, this video is a REVELATION!

Thank you, Cat Bordhi.

Monday, March 2, 2009

A day late

I was sooooo close to finishing this red tee by my goal: 2/28. Only 1 day late, which is acceptable considering that I wasted a week on this thing. I opted for shorter sleeves--I like it like it like this:

Red sixteen-point tee

Red sixteen-point tee

Now that my February sweater is done, I'm antsy to get started on my March sweater. Unfortunately, the yarn is packed away in one of the 19 boxes at my mom's office. I only have one ball of sock yarn here, and I tried to cast on for a pair of socks, but the needle I should use with this yarn is currently being used by another project, so that will have to wait. What's a girl to do without yarn for a project??? Go scope out one of the local yarn stores, of course! I hiked (literally) up to the top of Queen Anne Hill to check out Hilltop Yarn. It's a cute little shop in an old house. I wasn't too impressed with their selection. But I did get a skein of Noro Kureyon sock yarn (color 236--gray, green, teal). I think I'm just going to make plain socks with this; no pattern to distract from the colors.

While up on QA, I stopped by the library and signed up for a library card. I really like it up there--it would be awesome to live there, though it's a bit out of the way. It was a gorgeous today! I know you Eastcoasters are experiencing the lion-y aspects of March's entrance, but here, it's full-on lamb. Shops were leaving their doors and windows open. I saw people in shorts and tank tops!

Blue skies! 2

In addition to my wanderings at the top of QA, I also spent some time browsing the offerings of Easy Street at the bottom of the hill. Right now I'm listening to one of my finds: Rufus sings Judy (Rufus Wainwright at Carnegie Hall). :D Fun stuff.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

I (heart) DCFC

New Death Cab video :D

Grapevine Fires

Westlake Wildlife

Wildlife outside the apartment this morning:

Wildlife inside the apartment this morning: