Wednesday, August 30, 2006

what i'm loving right now

monk on a chair
Originally uploaded by Needleworks, Inc..

* angel, willow, firefly, and life aquatic colorways at sweet georgia

* my cat, Monk, when he's quiet like this (which is not often)

* waking up and drinking coffee while it's still kind of dark and rainy

* the fact that this book is being delivered to me tomorrow

* the fact that I wore a jacket today (yay! fall!)

* bad penny has taken a turn and is no longer bad penny, but better!

* five days ahead of me at my parents' house filled with knitting, trips to Target and walks with Ella

Monday, August 28, 2006


stack by lamp
Originally uploaded by Needleworks, Inc..

This is a stack on my work table, next to my favorite avacado green lamp. Yes, there is only one lamp. Maybe I'll tell you that story another time.

The stack consists of (starting from the bottom) some books and magazines that are part of knitting WIPs, clothes that I can no longer wear, but don't want to part with, Tulip waiting for some adjustments, my needle roll and notions pouch. (That blue floral fabric is the first skirt I ever made, four dress sizes ago).

My weekend was cut short this week (because I'm going on vacation at the end of the week). Sunday, however, was quite lovely.

Master P and I had brunch in Williamsburg with a long ago friend. Ursula was our closest friend when we lived in Paris. She's spent the last 4 years in Cairo, working as a journalist, and is now getting her master's degree at NYU. I am so happy she's in NYC, at least for a little while!

We puttered around The Needleworks for most of the rainy afternoon and then had a very impromtu dinner with another dear friend that we don't get to see very often, because he's a very busy fella.

On the menu: white bean & celery crostini, pasta with pesto, chicken, and zucchini, the season finale of Entourage, ripe peaches and strawberries, some great wine and a few episodes of The Venture Brothers. Lovely.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

best. secret pal. ever.

from stacey's garden
Originally uploaded by Needleworks, Inc..

My secret pal, Stacey, is the coolest. She waited until the end of our secret pal exchange to send a package and, oh, what a package she sent!

This amazing person over-nighted a package that contained, not only enough yarn and goodies to make your head spin, but tomatoes from her garden! Over. Night. Tomatoes.

These tomatoes made the perfect late summer dinner. I cooked some pasta and tossed these with marinated mozzarella, kalamata olives and grated parmesan. Simple and heavenly.

(I will be posting the rest of the loot later. I didn't have enought daylight to take worthy pictures. I actually ran out of daylight. Can you believe that?)

Note: When did this become a food blog? I added basil to the pasta and it was amazing. I used a cup and a half of marinated bocconcini, along with the marinating oil and a half cup of olives, coarsely chopped. The olives added salt and the mozzarella was lovely and creamy. The basil added a sweet under tone. If I were to do it again I would have chopped the mozzarella as well - it would have melted more. By far, the best meal I've had in ages.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

tulip, at last

Tulip FO
Originally uploaded by Needleworks, Inc..

This it Tulip.

Made from: 3 skeins of Katia Jamaica

Knit on: size 5 susan bates silverados, size 3 and size 0 addi turbos

Time to knit: 3 weeks, one heat wave, one nervous breakdown

My thoughts: my excitement in knitting Tulip completely overshadowed the fact that I actually don't like cotton knits. After wearing her once, she's all stretched and mis-shapen. I don't know how much wear she'll actually get. I really struggled with my tension on Tulip (as many of you know), but learned how to knit backwards, thanks to Lisa and Jess, which helpd tremendously. I shall purl no more!

Monday, August 21, 2006

knitting, but not much else

bad penny watching tv
Originally uploaded by Needleworks, Inc..

Meet Bad Penny.

Bad Penny and I have a really great relationship. She knits along easily while allowing me to watch as much television or as many DVDs as I like. When you're knit in stockinette, entirely in round it makes for pretty smooth sailing.

Again my Fairy Yarn Father has given my an amzing gift. This is Italian cashmere. It's three strands of different colors plied together - two shades of pink and one creamy white.

I'm making some some modifications to Bad Penny. I'm not using a contrast color for the neck, arms and waistband. I'll probably do a little less ribbing and make the arms a 3/4 length, becuase cap sleeves are not so flattering on me.

OK, now I have more movies to watch (and more knitting to do)!

Friday, August 18, 2006

WIP Friday

Originally uploaded by Needleworks, Inc..

I thought I'd just throw something out there.

I haven't been posting that much, but I have been busy. Truth be told, the moment I finished Tulip (no pics yet, sorry) I picked up another project and have been knitting like a fiend ever since.

I'm thinking of finishing up these pin cushions-to-be tonight. Unless the Mystery Project lures me to the couch with her siren song.

(If you are still looking at this in Bloglines, you can't see the new progress bar and don't know what Mystery Project I'm talking about!)

Sunday, August 13, 2006

look ma - crochet!

crochet trim
Originally uploaded by Needleworks, Inc..
Tulip is nearly finished. I had so many issues with her, that she took much longer to complete than I ever intended.

I used three different needle sizes to complete Tulip. In the end, however, I was knitting back and forth on size fives. Jess tipped me in on knitting backwards to solve my tension issues. I have to say, I am getting better at it and my stitches look amazing.

I also never really crocheted before, so what you're looking at is a Needleworks, Inc. first. That's a single crochet trim, baby. Check it.

I still have to finish Tulip's trim and them block her. If all goes well, there may be a photo shoot tomorrow. Don't hold your breath.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

mid-summer dinner

peach salsa
Originally uploaded by Needleworks, Inc..
About the only thing I can find at my local grocery store is ingredients to make salsa. They often have seasonal fruit (I ate a ton of cherries in July), so I was able to get some nice peaches.

For dinner, Jerk Chicken and Peach Salsa. Chop everything and toss into a bowl!

one medium peach
one avocado
two small-ish tomatillos
half a small red onion
half a jalepeno
juice of one lime
handful of cilantro

Jerk-style Rub
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. corriander
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg

The rub is perfect for chicken or pork. I used 3 boneless chicken breasts. Pat the meat dry and pat on the rub. I used my George Foreman Grill to cook the chicken. (I know it's kind of cheesy, but when you live in an apartment in Brooklyn, it's hard to do real grilling.)

I made extra and used the left over chicken and salsa to make a great chicken salad for tomorrow's lunch. I'm not great at cooking for one, so I always cook something that can be transformed into lunch for the next day.

This is based on a Martha Stewart Living recipe from probably 6 years ago. I photocopied the pages and they don't have dates on them! The original rub included brown sugar, which I omitted, and pineapple-cilantro rice, which was the inspiration for the salsa. The great thing about a recipe like this is you can mix and match and use whatever you have on hand. Bon Appetit!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


gift from John
Originally uploaded by Needleworks, Inc..
I am a lucky So-And-So!

Look at the great knitter/crafty/blog friend I have!

Who, but a fellow knitter, would think to gift you a box of luscious pom poms? No one. That's who.

If you get the chance, go here and visit the site that Master P and Carmen have set up. (You may recognize Carmen from this post.) They have a very cool company and have cleverly added a blog to their site.

Monday, August 07, 2006

true story

tulip swatch
Originally uploaded by Needleworks, Inc..
So let me tell you. I am a crazy loose knitter. I can never get the correct gauge with the recommended needle. Never. Usually I have to use a needle at least two sizes smaller.

Now, this is a close up of my tulip tank. It's knit from Katia Jamaica. The pattern I'm using recommends using a size 7 needle. I started with a 5. On the right part of the picture is my tension, knitting in the round, on the fives.

The middle part, the white part, is where I had totart knitting back and forth and I switched to a size 3. It's still all wonky and loose knitting.

The part on the left is where I switched to Addi Turbo ZEROS! Zero. It looks a little tight, but it's cotton and I know it'll stretch over time. They were just the next smallest needles I had. I could have maybe used size ones, but they're in my Jaywalker socks and I didn't want to take them out. Hmph.

So this is why I can't handle knitting with cotton any more.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

extremely small and incredibly cute

red bootie
Originally uploaded by Needleworks, Inc..
These are booties for my friend's new nephew. Now, you know I jump at the chance to make baby stuff. I don't even have to know the baby.

In fact, sometimes I just walk up to random pregnant women on the street and ask them if I can knit them something. Unless it's a blanket. I don't do baby blankets.

These are knit from Debbie Bliss Cotton Cashmere, which is some of my favorite yarn for babies, and my mom's vinatge Susan Bates aluminium needles. I have to tell you, though, after Tulip is finished, I am DONE knitting with cotton. Forever. Well, maybe until next summer.

Stay tuned for tomorrow's post about knitting with cotton and my crazy gauge.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

too hot + birthday weekend = no progress

Originally uploaded by Needleworks, Inc..
This weather is killing me. I do not like summer. (I know I just heard a collective gasp from everyone reading my blog, but it's the truth.)

I don't like to sweat. I don' t like wearing skimpy clothes. I feel much chic-er in a lovely sweater/blazer combo and some great boots. I'm a fall/winter girl. Come on - I'm a knitter for Pete's sake!

It was Master P's birthday on Friday and we didn't stop celebrating until yesterday. It was a full, four-day-long celebration. That, combined with 101 degree heat has made me extremely lethargic. I can't even form a cohesive thought.

I managed to make my Adorn necklace. I strung it up while watching Signs, on DVD Friday night. I tried to work on Tulip, but the heat/exhaustion has fried my brain and I really screwed something up.

I finally put it down last night, turned to Master P and said, "This is thoroughly messed up." Then I went to bed. It was 9pm. No kidding.