Thursday, June 28, 2007

renewal

I'm back from visiting my parents in North Carolina feeling much more relaxed and refreshed. There was a bit of a rocky start when my plane was cancelled due to thunderstorms on the night of my intended departure. However, I was rescheduled for uber-early the following morning and ended up not losing too much time from my visit.

I was spoiled with so much good food, both cooked at home and out at a few restaurants. I helped a bit in the garden. I picked some blueberries... and was bit by chiggers (not many! But if you've spent some time in humid rural areas I'm sure you know what I'm talking about). My dad showed me how to fire raku pottery (photos to come in the next post). I dorkily documented some of the animals spied in my parents' yard:

Some Animals seen in NC


My mom had heard about a yarn store in Hillsborough, so on Saturday she, my dad, my Oma and I all piled into the car for a mini trip out to go and find it (which was not difficult as it is on one of the main streets). The Hillsborough Yarn Shop is by far the nicest yarn store I've seen in the area. The displays were gorgeous and the staff were extremely helpful in trying to help my mom figure out the name of a ribbon yarn she was searching for (spur-of-the-moment trip and we had forgotten the book -- fyi, it was Jodi and Co.). They had a nice little seating area and it looked like they had a few regulars who just come to sit, knit and talk. I made a purchase:

Cherry Tree Hill - "Wild Berry"

Some sexy Cherry Tree Hill in Wild Berry.

Turns out the Hillsborough Yarn Shop is owned by the mother of two girls I both went to school and did some violin groups with! I have to say, that if I lived closer, this would definitely be my yarn store of choice. My whole family really enjoyed it - my dad and oma were very interested in the ball winder (winding yarn is performance art!). They also have some really interesting-sounding classes. So go there and buy lots of yarn and keep them in business forever and ever, so that they will always be around when I come back home.

Monday, June 18, 2007

next up

220tweed1

Last weekend I stopped by the post office to pick up my package of yarn to start the Textured Tunic from Fitted Knits. I'm going to try it with Cascade 220 Tweed. The color is Persimmon -- I think it would be fun to try something bright. I really like this yarn, but I'm not sure if I'll get gauge with it as recommended in the pattern. It'll take some swatching to figure it out, otherwise there are a number of other patterns in the book that look really great so I could always re-purpose.

I'll wind this up at the airport, because tomorrow after work I am off to North Carolina for a few days to see my family. I haven't seen my parents or Oma in about a year and I CANNOT WAIT to get down there. I'm in desperate need of a vacation.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

i'm always hungry

I tend to eat a mostly vegetarian diet, but there are a few things that I just can't deny...

The Big Apple Barbecue led me to really embrace my omnivore-ness. Michelle and I went to the festival last weekend (I'm behind in my posting). We had a map and a gameplan. Unfortunately, or stomachs didn't allow us to sample even a fraction of the different kinds of barbecue from all over the US and we were overstuffed after two of the stands plus a Brunswick stew shared between the two of us. We did get a plate of the pulled pork from Ubon's (Yazoo, Mississippi), and a plate of the brisket from Baker's (Dallas, Texas). The Brunswick Stew was from Proclamation Stew Crew (Lawrenceville, Virginia). All of it was delicious, but the clear winner for both Michelle and I was the brisket. My only regret was not getting to try Mitchell's BBQ from Wilson, NC, which was a favorite with the reviewers. Not to worry, I will definitely be back next year...

Last night I made Otsu for us. A truly delicious cold and spicy soba dish that I found a recipe for on The Amateur Gourmet. The recipe makes a huge amount, and between the two of us, Michelle and I completely annihilated it.

otsu1

Really a refreshing dish for the hot summer months, and I can see myself making it a million more times this summer.

But not to be outdone by the treats that Michelle brought over:

cupcake3

Cupcakes from Sweet Sweet Sugar Sunshine. Rich and delicious... makes me go into a blissful sugar-coma just thinking of them...

cupcake2

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

pie

I've started on my cousin's Baby G's sweater. I had settled on the Zimmermann February Jacket, but couldn't find book in time to start -- that's internal clock-time, as the baby isn't due for awhile yet -- and I feel like I've hit my quota for mail order for this month (too much packaging makes me feel guilty!).

Instead I started on Pie, a free pattern from Berroco. Looking at the pattern itself didn't really excite me, but through Ravelry, I got to see this one from A Journey Beyond Boredom. I really like the simplicity of it. Plus, with Baby G. not due until September, there's still time to work on some other patterns if I manage to run into the EZ Almanac before then.

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I picked out some Cotton Fleece thinking it could be machine washed, though now that I've read the label at home I think I'm mistaken. I swear it said so at the yarn store, though. Anyone have any experience with washing garments made from this yarn?

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

a bit of a lull

Thanks for the comments on my last post on the Shopping Tunic! I definitely am very happy when people take the time to comment and spend some time on my blog.

I don't have any projects on the needles right now. I'm waiting on yarn for the Textured Tunic out of Fitted Knits to arrive, and I'm trying to decide on a more summery knit to work on at the same time. I also have a bit of baby gift knitting to do and am looking for the perfect pattern, which will probably be the baby kimono from Mason-Dixon Knitting.

In the meantime, I've been spending a lot of time getting to know Ravelry! I'm sure everyone has heard about it by now, but I can tell it is going to be an invaluable tool for organization and reference. I love seeing my projects all set out in a perfect grid. They are still working on sending out invites for beta testers, and I know that the waiting list is really long right now. I signed up the moment I heard about it a few weeks ago and it took until last week for me to get my invite, so if you're waiting, just be patient a bit longer. It will be well worth it.