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2012 April

Yesterday I woke up and decided “today is the day, I am finally going to yarn-bomb something.”  This is something I have been wanting to do for years, but never really had the guts to do it.  I have always been afraid that I might get arrested.  Ha!  Unfortunately I hardly ever have time for personal knitting…. so knitting for a yarn-bombing is something that wasn’t a high priority.  But I looked through a box of swatches I had and found a few that would work.  These were swatches that were submitted to books and magazines that I didn’t end up needing anymore.

So I drove around looking for a quiet little corner…. I didn’t go very far, two blocks away (I could have walked).  So I took my little swatch a decided I was going to sew it onto this stop sign.  So I start seaming… and I want a really good and strong mattress stitch, it’s gotta be perfect.  All of a sudden this quiet little street corner becomes the most popular and buzzing corner in the world.  What the hell?!  I think about 50 people walked, biked, and drove by this corner in the 5-7 minutes it took me to stitch this piece.  One lady in her car just stopped and stared at me- but I a was professional & focused bomber, I wasn’t going to look up.  It was pretty awesome, and I felt like such a rebel with a cause.  The cause of knitting!  Here is my little stop sign covered in love.

 

If you are wondering which yarn I used, of course they have both been discontinued.  The light green is Pagewood Farm Cheechako and the dark green is Noro Cash Iroha.  That’s my little bit for earth day.

 

Then I went home (drove the two blocks back- happy earth day!) and felt such a rush.  I wanted to do more.  So Rory and I decided that he will be my lookout and I will bomb it up!  Woohoo!  First we decided to drive over to the historic Miracle Mile for inspiration where there was recently a bombing incident in front of the Craft & Folk Art Museum.  Here are some photos of the bombing there.

 

 

 

 

After looking at these massive yarn-bombing pieces I felt empowered to bomb a big street… like Wilshire Blvd.  So I took out a huge red swatch I had made years ago and found a spot near the lamp post that was crocheted and bombed a bike rack.  At first I was thinking I might add to the original yarn-bombing but I didn’t want to show any disrespect and start a turf war.  Here are a couple images of the bombing in progress.  What a rush!!!  Wilshire Blvd!!!

 

 

 

Remember, when yarn-bombing a good seam is very important!  This was by far one of the coolest experiences ever.  I didn’t get stopped by any cops or anyone… and way less people walked by here (even though I am right across the street from the Tar Pits Museum- as you can see behind me in the photo) than did on my quiet little street corner. Here is a photo of my yarn-bombing, the original bombers and LACMA in the background.

 

 

Then Rory and I were pretty hungry so we headed back in the direction of home over to Tacos Por Favor for some tacos!  After lunch I was still feeling the high of bombing and wanted to bomb just one more thing.  It just happened to workout that we were two blocks away from Wildfiber… I thought, “Lets go bomb in front of Wildfiber!”

I found the perfect place right in front of the shop- a neighborhood watch sign, how perfect is that?!  So I pulled out another swatch, this time it was Noro Silk Garden – with cables… reversible ones in case someone lifts up the bombing to take a peek underneath.  Here are a few photos of the bombing in progress.

 

 

 

After I got the piece sewn together I had to shimmy it up the pole and sew it in place so that no one moves it (I did the same with the first one on the stop-sign with the green hearts).  This was a fun day and I think I will be doing much more of this when I can spare a little bit of time, and Rory really enjoyed it too.  I have a few swatches on the needles for a future blog post… maybe they will become bombings in the near future!

 

 

I just wanted to update you like I promised.  I have been working on these granny squares like its going out of style.  I have over 130 done now and have added a few new yarns…. you knew it was coming.  Remember, last time I posted I mentioned that I had Koigu on the brain?   Well sure enough the very next day I went and got myself some Koigu.

 

 

I have also added a few other yarns, such as:  Sincere Sheep Keen (100% BFL sock yarn- LOVE IT!), three colors of Twisted Sisters Petite Voodoo (a gorgeous silk and merino blend), Madeilinetosh Tosh Merino Light, Elizabeth Lavold Silky Wool, some more colors of Louet Gems Sport (leftover from my Sweetheart Cardigan), Wollmeise (leftover from yet another Olga’s Vest) and some unknown white sport weight wool.

So now it seems as though I have expanded my color palate into shades eggplant purple (or aubergine if you’re feeling fancy).  At first I wasn’t sure about the purple- more so because I wasn’t sure how I felt about having a blanket (for the home) knit in a gender specific color… like purple.  But even Rory thought that the eggplants were a a nice addition.  We decided together (with the opinions of some others) that the additional colors brought the color palate to another level.

 

 

A few weeks while ago my sister was over and started playing with all the squares.  She arranged them (after a couple of glasses of wine) and then said to me “okay, now this is good, sew them like that.”  Yeah!  Okay… I’ll remember it exactly. Then every time I see my pile of squares I think to my self that I really want to start seaming them together.  The only thing stopping me is, “What if I want to add another shade of grey or brown?!  Then it will be too late!”  We can’t have that.  I need my freedom of color choice!

 

 

Then I look at my squares (which I LOVE), but think… “Does this really count towards my goal for 2012?”  I can’t decide if I want it to count… maybe I just need to start a knit blanket!  But then I think that it might be a good idea to add knitting to the crochet.  “Why not?  I’ve done it before (in the 1920s Style Cloche).”  We shall see what I end up doing… you never know.  I never know!

So for now I will keep on trekking along with my little squares… I still have to make about 734 (no joke!) or something like that.  I think that number is right…. but it’s likely that my math is wrong… it’s happened before.  Like that one time I failed math in 10th grade (that was not a fun summer).  Ugh!  I hated summer school.  Anyway, I digress… keep reading to stay posted on my progress.

 

 

And don’t forget-  If you are going to Stitches South, make sure to stop at booth #516 – In the Making will have both my Janna’s Tunic & Olga’s Vest on display.  Happy knitting!

Well, looks like I just couldn’t help myself.  I had to start another Olga’s Vest.  I love knitting this pattern! It’s so versatile.  Below are 4 of the 12 ways this pattern can be worn.  And that’s only 12 ways that we know about…. maybe there’s more.

 

I was at home thinking about what I wanted to make it out of.  “I am going to use up my stash!  Ooooh, Habu Cotton Gima,  that would make a really cool lookin’ Olga’s Vest.”  What I didn’t really think about was that I only had one skein in my stash!  Bummer, huh?  Oh well, I am still very happy with my yarn choice.  So I swatched up the little skein I had in my stash, first I started with the yarn single and thought it looked a little flimsy, so I doubled it.  It was perrrrfeeeect!  See how pretty it is all blocked?!  Hint, hint – you must block your swatches!

 

 

So I went to the shop the next day and picked my colors, I went with color #7 Mustard.  I thought the color I swatched with #19 Umber was really nice too, just not the right color for me for this project.  But let me say it made for a wonderful swatch!  So here I am… I am about 1/4 of the way through my vest with my doubled cones, take a look-

 

 

I love that color!  This particular dye lot of Mustard is a little dustier than usual.  But I still love it, I think I’ll wear it a lot.

Now- we all know that I don’t follow patterns right?!  So what am I doing different?  Ah, I’m glad you asked.  Well, of course when I cast on I wasn’t really paying attention (typical me) and I accidentally cast on 10 stitches too many.  Luckily this pattern is knit side-to-side…. so it wont be too big… it will be too long.  But I don think I mind.  The problem is, do I have enough yarn?

When I started this version of Olga’s Vest I knew I wanted to omit the cowl part (I know this part can be a bit confusing for some and I wanted to show that if you feel like leaving it out- it can be done).  So that’s a nice chunk of yarn that I don’t have to worry about.  Also since you do a provisional cast on, I thought maybe I’ll do the button bands in #20 Gray Taupe.  Then I have my favorite color combination “Grellow.”  Yes!  I was also thinking about putting a grey stripe in the middle instead of the cowl, but someone suggested I put a few stripes…. I am still toying with those ideas.  I have a total of 6 cones and I am still on my first two…. I will see how far those two take me before I decide.  Tell me your thoughts, what do you think I should do?  Stripes?  Bands?  1/2 yellow & 1/2 grey (woah! that might be really cool).

So far these are the only modifications I have made to the pattern, but I am sure there is more to come…. I am thinking about adding a slit on the right bottom edge…. maybe with a little decorative button, like Janna’s Tunic.  We’ll see what I come up with.  In the meantime here are a couple more images of my newest Olga’s VestWIP.

 

 

 

If you are anywhere near Elk Grove, Ca in the next week and would like to take a look at the Olga’s Vest in person, as well as some other samples make sure you visit Knitique, they are hosting my trunk show.

Also, if you happen to find your self at Stitches South, make sure to stop at booth #516 – In the Making will have both my Janna’s Tunic & Olga’s Vest on display.  Happy knitting!

Every now an then the planets align and I get in the mood for making my own salsa and have all the ingredients to make it as well.  I have been getting a bit lazy when it comes to my cooking and I am in my “roasting phase.”  Pretty much everything I cook goes into the oven… easy to do and easy to clean-up (especially since I’m not the one doing the dishes).

So what do you need?  Please keep in mind that I eye-ball every time I cook, so there are no amounts and measurements and I encourage eye-balling everything yourself as well!

tomatoes (of course)

onion

garlic

spicy peppers of some sort (this time I had Thai chilies)

fresh cilantro

lemon or lime

oil of course

and then all your usual seasonings, like salt, pepper, & dried oregano

 

 

First thing (after you clean all your veggies) cut your tomatoes and onion into quarter pieces.  Lay them out on your baking sheet along with your garlic, onion, and peppers.  Drizzle with oil, in this case I used avocado oil and olive oil.  Then sprinkle with salt, pepper and dried oregano.  Now- lets talk about these chili peppers for a bit.  I have never used Thai chilies for salsa before (but spicy is spicy right?!) so I wasn’t sure how many to use.  So what did I do?  I roasted all of them.  You don’t have to add them all to your salsa, you can taste as you blend.

 

 

Pop it into the 350 degree oven (uncovered) until it looks like this:

 

 

Then put all the roasted ingredients in a bowl and add a little more oil, olive or avocado, you choose… maybe you want to mix it up this time and add garlic oil….. ooooooooh… aaaaaaaaaah….

 

 

Then with a handy hand-blender (love this tool!) just blend the ingredients until it reaches the texture you desire.  Make sure you pulverize out all the bits of chili, you don’t wanna get a mouth full of that.  Hot!  If you don’t have a hand-lender don’t worry- you can use a food processor.  If you don’t have a food processor, don’t worry- you can use a blender (but it gets a bit foamy, so pulse it instead of blending it.  If you don’t have a blender, don’t worry- you can use a hand-blender.

Then squeeze in a generous amount of lime or lemon (to taste), make sure there is enough salt and the flavor is good.  I love fresh herbs so I piled it on with chopped cilantro and scallions, yum!  Serve with your favorite bowl of chips.  I just discovered these yummy quinoua tortilla chips at Trader Joe’s.  What a combo!

 

 

I hope you enjoy my lazy roasting salsa recipe!