Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Going green...

I'm leaving for Ireland in just a few hours. Can't wait for a break from New York. I'll be staying in the village of Baltimore, West Cork, on the rocky shores and I have no idea what is in store. Photos when I get back.

As for knitting, I'm taking 2 skeins of Knit Picks Essential to make Veronik Avery's Lace Ribbon Scarf from the spring 2008 Knitty. I'm taking the monkey sock along with me as a back up project, but plan to focus on the scarf unless I run out of yarn.

After watching the first disc of Into the West, here is the current progress on the Drops cardi:

Friday, May 23, 2008

Foodie Friday: Belated Cinco de Mayo Editon

Recipe: Fish Tacos
I made these delicious fish tacos a couple of weeks ago for Cinco de Mayo (and another time since then). The fresh, crunchy ingredients are perfect for a non-heavy meal in the warmer weather.
I got the recipe from Serious Eats, but it was adapted from Everyday Food: Great Food Fast. I included the additions that I made. In this case, I used frozen Sole from Whole Foods. I like the spicyness of the recipe, but I'm not a huge fan of tons of jalapeno flavor, so I reduced the original amount of jalapeno and added cayenne for some extra heat.

Fish Tacos
-serves 4-


1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream or plain yogurt
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Coarse salt and fresh ground pepper
1/4 small red cabbage, thinly shredded (about 2 1/2 cups)
2 scallions, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cu)
1 jalapeno chile, halved lengthwise, one quarter finely minced
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound tilapia fillets (or other firm white fish), cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 cup flour
8 flour tortillas (6-inch)
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
2 ripe avocados


1). In a large bowl, combine the sour cream and lime juice; season with salt and pepper. Transfer half the mixture to another container; set aside for serving. Toss the cabbage, scallions, cayenne, and minced jalapeno with the remaining sour-cream mixture. Season again with salt and pepper.

2). Warm the tortillas. I do this in the oven between 2 heat-safe plates.

3). In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil and remaining jalapeno half over medium-high heat; swirl to coat the bottom of the pan and allow the jalapeno to infuse the oil. Season the fish on both sides with salt and pepper. Dredge each piece of fish in the flour. Cook the fish until golden brown on all sides, 5 to 6 minutes. Discard the jalapeno.

4). Fill the tortillas with slaw, fish, fresh cilantro leaves, and avocado. Drizzle with the reserved sour-cream mixture and serve immediately.

Recipe Library
In A Hurry Green Curry, Heather's Farro- 101 Cookbooks
Chocolate-Filled Double Delight Peanut Butter Cookies (a homemade take on the Pillsbury Bake-off grand prize recipe) - Baking Bites
Curried Tofu with Soy Sauce; Pasta with Butter, Sage, & Tarragon; Fast Tandoori Chicken - Mark Bittman/NYT
Green Beans with Walnut-Miso Sauce - The Kitchen
Dan Barber's Brussels Sprouts; Fish Tacos - Serious Eats

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

what to do?

What to do when you don’t know what to do?

Decor8 had a series of posts a few weeks ago of interviews with some entrepreneurs who have managed to find their way and carve out niches in the wide world of design and craft. For me it’s encouraging to read about the different ways people end up where they are – some who tried out different things, and some fell into their creative endeavors after a long time spent in a completely different field, and some who subsidize their day-to-day jobs with creative endeavors in their “off-hours.”

There are 7 interviews:

Marcia Zia-Priven (Zia-Priven Design); lighting designer

Lisa Congdon (Lisa Congdon); artist/illustrator

Irene Hoofs (Bloesem, Bloesem Kids); professional blogger, on things crafty and creative

Thorsten Becker (Thorsten’s Flickr); a guy’s perspective from someone who does a bit of everything

Fernanda Bourlot (Simplemente Blanco); interior designer, product designer, and boutique co-owner

Paola Thomas (MirrorMirror); blogger and online shop owner

Heather Moore (SkinnyLaMinx); surface pattern designer and writer

I love the design world, and I’ve been trying to hone in on what it is that I like the best about it, and in which aspects I might have (or could develop) some talent. I like pattern, paper, textiles, and printing, and am trying to figure out where I can be unique within those boundaries. At the same time, though, I have some guilt about waste and promoting consumerism, so how to rectify that? Would I be happy to just do it as a side hobby, or would I start to hate ANYTHING once it becomes something I HAVE to do? I feel like I’ve been batting around these questions forever (don’t most of us?) -- the answer is there somewhere…

Or maybe this is the answer: on a different note, and also a topic I find intriguing, Ethan Brook over at the Epicurious blog has started writing a series on How to Become a Farmer . I'm enjoying these articles. The preconceived notion is that farming is a simpler life, although it’s clear this isn’t the case. Besides the fact that farming itself takes a lot of work, a lot of people also maintain full-time jobs outside of their farm life. Okay, so I’m pretty darn sure I’m not going to all-out go and start a farm anyways, but I do hope one day to have some property where I can raise a few animals, grow some vegetables, and maybe even have a hammock (all it takes it TWO trees.).

We'll now return to our regularly scheduled pondering... now.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

oh, alas...

I spoke too soon! Misti Pima Cotton/Silk = bad yarn for Barbarella. Look:

Not cute. It just doesn't have the polished feel that the sweater really needs. I love the yarn, I love the pattern, but the yarn and pattern do not love each other. I tried out some various swatching with different needle sizes, and it's just not coming together. I'll keep an eye on the pattern, but since I have all this yarn so it's to the internet to search for patterns.

I found and cast on for another Drops sweater. This time it is Drops 105-5.

I've liked these little flared swing jackets that have been popping up, and in cotton it will be a nice cover up for the office and chilly evenings. Also, it's worked in once piece starting with the moss stitch band in the middle. Hardly any seaming! Sounds like a plan.

Back to what to do about Barbarella... I have this Turquoise Tunic which was one of the first sweaters I ever knit. I don't wear it and am thinking about reclaiming the yarn and trying to overdye some of it for a main color. It's Knit Picks Shine (sport weight, I think), and I want to turn it darker and probably more blue. I'm not real picky about how the color comes out, I just don't care for the teal color. Anyone have experience dying Cotton yarn? It also has some Modal in it. I hear that Procion MX will be a good type of dye to test out -- anyone have experience with it? Procion MX is for cellulose fibers and should work on cotton...

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Hello, pretty pretty

Images from Knit on the Net, Issue 5.

I've made a start on Barbarella, (Ravelry link) from Just Call Me Ruby via Knit on the Net. Her original uses a beautiful silk from the UK. I decided to go for something I could get domestically, and ordered some Misti Alpaca Pima Cotton/Silk and some Blue Sky Alpaca Dyed Cotton from Webs. I'm starting on the lace pattern at the hem and I've tried out a few needle sizes and settled on something I like (US 6 and US 7). I'm worried that the yarn might become a bit fuzzy, but the cotton and silk is a nice, soft combination and will feel good to wear.

The main color will be the burgundy on the left, and the contrasting color will be the gunmetal color in the middle. The cream I bought as a safety color in case I didn't like the grey, so I'll just save it for another project.

Oh my gosh - Barbarella pretty much has the best memorable quotes ever. Just prepare for some cheezball references in the upcoming weeks... I mean, what can you expect from a movie with a character named Dildano?

Telephone Sheep

I saw these on the Craft blog last week, and kept them marked because I thought they were so great. The link goes to some sort of photo hosting (I think) site in Spanish, so I couldn't really figure out where they came from. I searched around today and the artist is Jean-Luc (I can't find an artist's website), and the exhibit is up at the Museum of Telecommunication in Frankfurt, Germany.

These guys are fantastic! They have so much personality and it seems like if you wait long enough, one of them will move. And the way that the cord is wound to suggest the muscular structure is really well done. They are so clever, I just can't stop looking at them! I do wish I could find some more info out about the artist.

More images from Flickr.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

jaywalkin' to monkeyville

Thanks everyone for the lovely comments on the Gathered Pullover. It's two weeks later and I'm still really happy with it, so that's a milestone. Have I turned a corner in my knitting and finishing skills? Let's hope so. Now I'm working on deciding what large project to tackle next.

In the meantime, while waiting for some yarn to come in to finish on my languishing Jaywalkers, I started on the other most-popular-sock-pattern-in-the-universe, the Monkey Socks from Knitty.


I'm using this absolutely gorgeous Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Merino that I purchased from the Hillsborough Yarn Shop last year.

Cherry Tree Hill - "Wild Berry"

I'm not huge on the Summer knitting. I haven't even bothered to peek into my Interweave Knits that arrived last week, as I saw the preview online and none of the projects really spoke to me this time around. I plan to try to tackle some summer knits though, since we're only just skimming the surface of the warm weather to come in the next couple of months.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Foodie Friday

Recipes bookmarked this week (and last):
Lemon Roasted Beets with Feta - 28 Cooks
Homemade Creme Fraiche - Gluten-Free Girl
Low-Fat Lemon Curd, Soft Yogurt Sandwich Rolls - Baking Bites
Salad recipes, especially Savory Barley, Wild Rice, and Asparagus Salad - Salty/Savory/Sweet
Happy May everyone! Summer is just around the corner.
Photo from Flickr user SpacePotato.