Friday, July 27, 2012

Just another Food Post

I've been doing some knitting but it needs ripping so instead I will distract you with brightly colored food.
This is one of my all time favorite meals because it's super delicious, very easy to make, colorful and low in calories. It takes very few ingredients too!

Beet and Broccoli Slaw Stir fry
1 bunch of beets
Rice, cooked
1 bag Broccoli Slaw mix
Extra Virgin Olive oil
If you haven't cooked your rice, start it right away. I usually use brown rice but I happen to have a very large bag of basmati rice from Sam's club so I used that. While the rice is going, wash and peel your beets, then julienne them. (That basically means cut them into little strips.)  A note about the beets here as well. I usually use a bunch from the store but this time I used some from my parents' garden, about 3 medium-sized beets.

I love how reddish-purple they are. I just love beets. Cover the beets in water in a pot and set them to boil for awhile. I left mine to boil while the rice was cooking and that seemed to be enough. Then you can drain them. Now you'll want to take out your wok. (If you don't have a wok you can probably just use a large frying pan and it will work just fine.) Add a tablespoon or two of the olive oil and let it heat for just a minute.

Now open up your bag of broccoli slaw mix and dump it in, add the drained beets and just stir fry it up. I waited until it looked like the broccoli parts were getting transparent around the edges so I knew it was finished.

To finish it off just put some rice on a plate or in a bowl and top with your stir fry.

The best part? This plate, with 1 cup basmati rice, and about 3 1/2 ounces of the stir fry vegetables with 1 Tablespoon of Gluten free soy sauce is only about 291 calories. It makes a fabulous lunch, leaving room for other awesome food later!

I made it for my lunch today but I've made it for supper too and just eaten a little more. It's delicious either way!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Reemerging from the Depths

Oops, a couple of weeks sort of slipped away from me there. Sorry! I have been doing some fiber pursuits but not a ton. I was in this play last week you see. It was very quick, we started rehearsals Monday and our first show was Wednesday, we did shows through Sunday and then basically collapsed.
Here are hubby and I in our costumes.

It's a little bit fuzzy, I'm sorry. We were at the historic Musser Mansion here in Little Falls. Hubby and I both said we miss the mansion. It was beautiful and so fun to spend time there. Hubby especially misses the books.

I did bring my drop spindle along. I've been working on this:

Isn't it lovely? It's Cloudlover as you can see. Merino/Silk 80/20 about 4.3 ounces. As I said, I'm spinning it on my drop spindle and I would guess I'm about half done. I'm planning to wind off the spindle soon so we can talk about that more later.

As you may also know, I'm participating in the Summer of Socks and the first month is over so it's time to cast on the second pair of socks! The focus this year is on Indie dyers/designers. This month the goal is to knit the Lotus Heart Socks from Zarzuela's yarn. Originally we were supposed to knit them out of the Chromatic Sock yarn base but her mill unexpectedly discontinued the base so she offered up a couple of other choices. I chose to purchase a skein of the Chromatic that was left off her website. It's called Sprout and I love it!

I found that the yarn (which is Superwash BFL) is a bit thinner than I'm used to so I'm knitting it on size 0 needles. This may be asking for trouble on a deadline like this but I'm still doing it.

The Lotus Heart pattern is absolutely lovely so far. You knit the cuff sideways then graft it together, pick up and knit down. I have only finished the cuff so far;

It's absolutely lovely. I'll be grafting it and picking up to knit down this afternoon. Unless I decide to spin. The tour de fleece really got me involved in my spinning again and I want to spin so much now. All the time.

Plus, I do have to make dinner at some point or the natives will get restless. Then there's the whole matter of needing to figure out what exactly I'm making for dinner, that's always an interesting question.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Would an Actual Starving Artist wear Silk?

I've been very light on the blogging lately but heavy on the actual fiber manipulation. Case in point? My new Baudelaire socks.

Aren't they lovely? This is some lovely green yarn a friend dyed for me to my specifications. I basically said, I want green and more green and bright green. I got bright green!
I knit these a few weeks ago when I wasn't feeling well. Lying in bed staring at the computer while it played video podcasts and knitting seemed like the best activities in world and so, that's what I did. (Actually, they may still be the best activities in the world. Especially now that my sinuses aren't plugged up and I can taste coffee again.)

If you've seen the Baudelaire pattern before, you probably noticed that it is knit toe-up so I took the opportunity to learn a few new techniques from Wendy Johnson's Socks from the Toe Up.
I did a short row toe with a provisional cast on for the first time, I actually (successfully!) knit a Slip Stitch Heel Flap heel and did a Russian Bind-off.
I have to say, I've never really loved toe-up socks but these gave me hope that I 'could' love them someday. They will probably never take the place of top-down to me, but I am encouraged to try toe-up more often.
Since I'm in Summer of Socks and I finished my Yarn Pirate socks already, I dug out a languishing UFO (Unfinished Object) and started working on them again.

These are my Vine Lace socks in the Sugarplum colorway, also from a friend. (This is probably the first semi-accurate picture I have taken of these socks and this lovely yarn. It's beautiful but very hard to photograph.) I cast these on a long time ago but since you have to pay attention to the pattern and can't just zone out and knit (yes, the other day I had to tink back 3 rounds because I did it wrong and couldn't rip back just that section.) they didn't get a ton of love. I decided they are beautiful and deserve to get finished so I dragged them out and started knitting again. I actually managed to finish one and cast on the second one already, I'm making decent progress although it is slow going because I've been doing lots of spinning. It is Tour de Fleece after all.
As you know, I've been working on the Grinchy yarn for quite awhile now. It's somewhat soul-sucking to spin 12 ounces of very lightweight singles in the same colors so I haven't worked on it a lot but I decided that finishing it during the tour was very possible and should definitely happen. I started working on it and Monday, I ended up with this.

Isn't it lovely? 3 skeins of light fingering weight yarn in a 3-ply. The skein on the far left is navajo plied when I ran out of one of the bobbins but I think it still works. The problem? My original plan was to knit the Wispy Cardi by Hannah Fettig. I love it and still love the idea.

The problem? I'm about 100 yards short. Disclaimer: I just estimated yardage as I wound it into hanks and I have not remeasured now that I washed the yarn.
I think though, rather than trying to fudge it, I will ask my lovely friend who dyed the Merino/Silk in the first place to dye me a braid of Merino/Silk in just the deep blue and I will spin that and use it for all the ribbing in the sweater. Meaning, I will have way more than enough yarn (I hope).

I've had a few other fiber adventures too. There's one I've been especially excited to share.
Last month's Zarzuela's Fibers club colorway was very unusual.

It's called Abundance and it's dyed on Polwarth/Silk

It had so many unusual colors in it that I was afraid it would get muddy if I spun it wrong. I decided the best thing to do would be to specifically try to keep the colors near each other, making it very colorful.
I spun a lovely chunky yarn.

The colors really looked great together. As soon as I saw the yarn, I knew what it wanted to be and I barely resisted the urge to wind it and cast on immediately! I did manage to wash the yarn first though and hung it on the fan overnight so it was dry in the morning.
I skeined it up as soon as I woke up (well, after coffee) and started knitting.

Any guesses?

It turned into a lovely Starving Artist Slouchy Beret.

(I cannot get the picture to sit up straight. I should also mention, I am super critical of all pictures of me and I specifically do not like this one. Double chin AND huge nose? Blech!)
I think the hat turned out cute but it does need some blocking. It only wants to slouch back and I think a tiny bit of volume at the top would be nice. Also, I dyed my hair. Does that look medium blond to you? (me neither, it's way too red and much darker than the picture on the box.)

I've also decided to try to be better about putting my stash up on Ravelry so I'll be uploading a few pictures today. Hopefully, if I just do a few a day, I'll have it all up in no time at all.

Monday, July 02, 2012

Summer of Socks for the Win!

You may remember that last weekend I took my Yarn Pirate socks on some adventures. This weekend was no exception. My cousin and her husband are on the fair board for the Wadena County Fair. My mom and I went up to Wadena to hang out at the fair and attend the rodeo in the evening.

It was a wonderful day. We hung out with her adorable children and watched her son compete in the kids pedal pull event. He won 3rd place for his age group and got a trophy! He was so excited. We also saw all the animals including some fiber animals.

This lovely sheep is resting because it was ridiculously hot.(Don't tell her but she may not be a fiber sheep. I think she's a meat sheep. Shhhh!)
These alpacas were pretty apathetic too.

There was an amazing petting zoo where there were tons of animals to touch and feed that looked well cared for and happy (with the exception of a very scared Wallaby). There were miniature Zebu, deer, alpaca, llamas, baby potbellied pigs, several types of goats, and a Scottish Highland calf.

Since it was the first day of the Tour de Fleece (The spinning event that follows the Tour de France) I spun some of my Baby camel and silk next to the baby camel!

We took several pictures and I am making the least weird face in this one although it looks like I have about 12 double chins, please ignore that!

Here's a little bit closer shot of my mini spindle. I ordered it on etsy a good long time ago. It was very inexpensive and fits really well in my purse, that's why I had it along.

Finally, it was time for the rodeo and we settled down to watch. Me with my socks of course!

It's pretty hard to take pictures of a sock-in-progress and a bucking horse at the same time.

These pictures turned out pretty great actually. You can sort of see the sock and definitely see the rodeo!
It was a great, if hot time.(And I'm not talking about cute cowboys.)

I actually got quite a bit of my socks done and so, Sunday evening while hubby and I were critter sitting, I managed to cast off and do the afterthought heels.

So, here they are, finished socks. I'm very happy with them, although the foot in just a tiny bit longer than I would like, it's a little difficult to plan where your heel should go if you haven't done it before.
I really love them though and I can't wait until I actually feel like wearing socks again. I'll be pulling out a hibernating pair to finish now since it's weeks until I can start my next Summer of Socks socks.

I'll share more about my spinning adventures later this week.