Tuesday, October 30, 2012

We survived the hurricane!

It's still raining, but the wind has subsided and we've made it to the other side. I love to watch intense weather. But when it happens at night, there is nothing to see :( We did go outside and listen to the wind roar. Our house is in a hollow and it felt like the wind was high above us and not touching us too much, except for occasional gusts whipping leaves and broken branches against the house.

This morning I got to see what the aftermath looks like...drum roll, please:

Tada! I know...a bit anti-climatic. This is our pond. It overflowed. That's about it.

It reminded me of the earthquake we experienced 2 weeks ago. That was super exciting. The earth really doesn't move in Maine, and on that Tuesday night, I heard 2 loud booms and the whole house moved. Everyone, including me, thought their furnace blew up.

And this is what the aftermath of that looked like:

Last night, we lost power at exactly the time the local news were listing the power outages on television. Great timing, As of this morning, we are still in the dark at home. I am writing this from the office. No day off for me.

I didn't do any knitting last night. I know I could have using my baseball cap with the built in lights in the bill. But I exercised considerable restraint. Figured it would be good for my arm to give it a rest for one night. I did however think about a new design using 2 colors of Ty-Dy Wool.

It's Desert Camo (on left) and Chili Mocha. When I select multicolor yarns  to use together, I often look for a common color, brown in this case. That ties them together. I am thinking about some type of shawl/scarf/cowl design. I have a faint idea of shape in my mind, and will try something tonight. Even if the power is still out...

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Batten down the hatches...

A hurricane is on its way, and the sun is on vacation for a few days. Perfect knitting weather! I'm still moving along on the shawlette for a magazine editorial and have gotten to the meat of it...the pretty floral lace pattern.
Love the way it's coming out. Unfortunately, my arm is still hurting a lot. I think I'd have to not do a thing (and I mean nothing) with my left arm for at least a week to get it to stop hurting. How the heck am I supposed to do that?? Frustrating...

Gray weather also inspires in the kitchen. Made a yummy, calorie-intense (:-( crusted apple fritter bread French toast, drizzled with a wee bit of pure maple syrup.
A few tips about the way I make this:
  • Use a seasoned bread like raisin bread, or cinnamon bread. I buy an "apple fritter" bread. Sorta like those others with intense swirls of cinnamon. 
  • Instead of mixing milk with the eggs, I use yogurt. Can be plain, or vanilla flavored, or even sour cream. It makes a custard type batter that really stick to the bread. 
  • Lastly, dip in crumbs before frying in a pan. I've used panko crumbs before, but today I used Corn Flakes crumbs (actually comes in a box already crushed). 

Eating this is "almost" as good as knitting.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Cheating Pie

The weather is getting colder, and as we gear up for fall knitting, we begin craving those wonderful comfort foods. Nothing like turning on the oven to take the chill out of the kitchen.

I've been craving chicken pot pie. Love chicken pot pie. And over the years, I've gone from making my own dough, peeling carrots and potatoes, roasting a whole chicken, to this much more time-saving version.

And because I cheat to get the same yummy results, I call it my "cheating pie."

I start with a ready-made pie crust.
I buy a fresh roasted chicken and de-bone it in advance.
I use a can of mixed vegetables (or frozen blend).
I use frozen cubed hash brown potatoes (these also work great in chowder!).
I make a simple white sauce (1 1/2 cup milk, one heaping tablespoon each butter and flour, season with herbs and spices to taste).
Assemble the whole thing and bake at 425° until golden brown.

Couldn't help myself and had to decorate it using the dough trimmed from around the edges.

Quick and deeeelicious. And most importantly, leaves more time for knitting!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

We just finished putting together our sales rep presentation, which means that for several weeks, I've been "knit cramming" to finish all the new designs for springs. And for the first time in my 30+ years of knitting, my left arm is killing me! I was advised to go on a regiment of ibuprofen (400mg x 3 times/day) which I more or less did. And now that the cramming is over, I am "trying" to cut down on my knitting, at least for a few days, to get my arm to stop hurting. Easier said then done.

The idea of not knitting, even for a few days, quite frankly, stresses me out. And that's a bit disturbing. It feels like trying to kick a bad habit. But knitting is a good thing!!

So last night, my arm was feeling better...soooo, I did a little of knitting...just a little. And here it is.

This is the start of a small shawl. The main section will be picked up on the upper edge and worked in short rows to give it a shallow, semi-circular shape. The color is called amber (hard to see in this back lighting) and the yarn is Cozette, a new yarn we are introducing for spring, a super-soft to the touch blend of silk and cotton (will be in stores mid-December). Can I hear a "yummmmmy?" I am designing this shawl for Creative Knitting magazine.

Here's another shawl with the same shape that is part of our spring collection, also working with Cozette. I call this one "Lace Owls Shawl" because the center lace pattern looks like owl faces. This pattern will be in the April 2013 issue of Knit'n Style magazine, and will also be available as a single pattern through retailers and on our website next week.

For the record, I also did a bit of knitting (like 1/2 hour) this morning...and now my arm hurts. Damn you body-that-is-falling-apart-with-time...

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Most days when I get to work, I have a "show-and-tell" session. I show off the project I worked on the night before. Sometimes it's to lament an idea that didn't turn out the way my imagination thought. And sometimes I whip out a still-on-the-needle project in triumph 'cause I know it's a winner! This is what this blog is about. Mostly. I may throw in other thoughts and ideas, and maybe even some mouth watering food photos. I plan to keep it short and sweet (hoping to actually post most days). I should only bite as much as I can chew, right? (Is that how the saying goes??) My French is showing... :)

This is one of my current projects (started it 2 nights ago). This is the center section of a scarf/shawlette. The next step will be to pick up stitches along the lower shaped edge and work down in a yet-to-be-determined lace pattern. The yarn used is Crock-O-Dye, in 2 colors: 535 olive (the lighter green), and a new color (will be in stock late winter) 573 sprucewood. I did several swatches before settling on this pattern. I like the way the lighter green pops in the elongated stitches.

Stay tuned...