Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Hot Off the Needles!

Without further delay, the Super-Natural Stripes Sweater:

The ticking of the clock
and the clicking of the needles clash;
Not in rhythm.
I think of you; will it fit?
What color are your eyes, your hair?
The finished sweater waits
to envelop you.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Game of cribbage?

Nature Boy doesn't like me to post his photos. He says he doesn't want to find his face has been superimposed into a pornographic photo somewhere on the internet because of me featuring it here. So, I can only post those that showcase another, though none less lovely, feature of his:

That's right, the Craftorium is being slowly transformed into a nursery and Madison Penelope has been involved with every step, as she is the official Investigator and Inspector of Knitsburgh. We bought the crib and the mattress and the mattress cover and the bedding and Nature Boy assembled the crib. I have moved all of the fibre out and into the spare bedroom. The craft cabinet Nature Boy made for me lives there too now, along with the sewing table and machine. I would be sad about it but since it's for such a good reason, I'm dealing well with it all, despite the soft playing of the pipes in the background. Nature Boy has also done a fabulous job transforming the storage closet into a proper Closet for Wee One Things. Thank goodness I found me a handy guy!

I finished one sleeve on the Super Natural Stripes sweater. One more to go and the trim and voila, the Wee One's very first sweater! Then I can get to those other ideas popping about in my brain. Maybe then I will have room for the normal everyday things I am forgetting, like turning off my car lights so the battery isn't dead when I come out of work after a 10 hour day and it's dark and cold outside. Yeah, that was called Yesterday. Today was much brighter!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's!

Here is what Valentine's Day looked like at Knitsburgh:

My gift from Nature Boy--an orchid! It's huge! I hope I don't kill it, I'm very neglectful towards my indoor plants. I haven't named him/her yet.

Homemade vegan sugar cookies with some improvised strawberry mousse-like icing. I used some frozen berries and pureed them in the food processor, then added them to 1/4 cup of Earth Balance and 1/4 cup veggie shortening that was already whipped together. I added a ton of powdered sugar, between 3-4 cups and next time will cut back on the amount of berries I used as it made it more runny than I had hoped.

Homemade vegan candy. The strawberry mousse stuff was so good and I had so much left, I decided to make some filled candies. I melted some of the Whole Foods vegan chocolate chips in the double boiler, then coated the bottom and sides of each candy mold with the chocolate. I popped it in the fridge for a few minutes, then filled with the berry stuff and sealed the top with more chocolate. I had no idea making candy was this easy, I think I am in big trouble over here! Nature Boy really liked them too. Both of the above are good when berries aren't in season and you need to use the frozen stuff. I had wanted to make some strawberry tarts but when I couldn't get any good fresh berries, abandoned that idea for the cookies with icing.

Here was my vegan dinner: portabella "steak" with chivey mashed taters and some stir fried red and green peppers with onions.

I gifted Nature Boy a little watering can for the 'maters we started (to replace his tennis ball canister watering system--don't ask). I also splurged a little and gave him a book and a kit for Pysanka (Ukrainian egg decorating). His grandmother always made them with him and would take them on Easter to the Russian Orthodox church she belonged to for blessings. The story goes last year, the priest picked one of his eggs but his back was to the family and traditionally, you are supposed to nod that it's ok for the priest to take it if it's yours. Well no one saw it was his so the priest put it back and picked another. Nature Boy intends to try again this year. Stay tuned.
Happy Valentine's everyone!!!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Break in the Weather

Today felt like spring! I didn't get to spend much time out of doors, due to the whole working thing, but I enjoyed it as best I could nevertheless.

When I got home, I found a package in the letterbox. It was from Nature Boy's mother.

Here is what was in it, along with a new pic of the Natural Stitches sweater:

The pattern book on the left was printed in 1946, the one on the right in 1950. They belonged to Nature Boy's grandmother and were marked with little written comments by Nature Boy's mother. Apparently, she was an avid knitter and made countless sweaters, bonnets, booties and mittens in her lifetime. I was so touched to receive something like this! It's fun to look through the patterns at what was "in style" then and what is "in style" now. The colors, the types of yarn available, the price of the books (25 and 50 cents, respectively),the classics that we still wear today like argyle cardigans. There are also those strange things, like knit snowsuits and bathing suits, that make me itch and chuckle at the same time.

The Natural Stitches sweater body is almost done except from the trim along the opening. The sleeves are next, hopefully I will pick up and start one sleeve tonight. I am really taking my time on this which is probably not the best, since I still have many other things I want to make as well.

We also started our 'mater seeds on Monday. They are the ones we save year to year, the heirloom seeds my father grows and saves as well. They originally came from an Italian friend of my father's whose mother brought them from the Old Country. I blessed them in a small ritual first, then Nature Boy and I planted them in flats in the basement. I was tired but really wanted to get them started on the full moon. We both made guesses as to when the first sprouts will emerge.

Tomorrow brings snow again but I almost don't mind. I leave you with a view of the The Iz (Isabella Maria) monitoring the estate grounds, which is her job as the official Knitsburgh Estate Guard: