Monday, August 31, 2009

Doll Quilt Swap 7


Here's the doll quilt that I made for my secret partner. In her list of preferences, she said that she loves all colors (except purple) and that she studied fibers in art school. It sounds like an awesome field to study, doesn't it?






I based the quilt for her on these two pictures she favorite-ed in her flickr photostream: here and here. I used a combination of 2" and 4" mitered squares to come up with the quilt design. Four of the smaller blocks are equal to the size of one large block. 
The final quilt size is about 16" x 20".



For the backing, I used leftover mini squares from the front (these squares were cut to 1.5") and leftover fabric. I attached a "label" using this (adapted) method seen at Lady Harvatine last year.

I hope my partner likes it! It was a lot of fun to put together a quilt on this small scale!





Thursday, August 27, 2009

We're going to Europe!







Jon and I are so excited to go on
vacation and we leave in about 6 weeks. Our last big trip was in
February 2008 to Nicaragua and we were starting to get a bit stir crazy
around here. We had originally planned to go next spring, but we pulled
the trip forward. This was definitely the fastest we've ever planned a vacation.

We've been doing lots of reading and researching and have planned a
tentative itinerary that includes stops in Brussels, Amsterdam, Paris,
Berlin and southern Germany. We're really fortunate to have two great
friends to visit while we're in Europe: Jodi in Brussels and Catherine
in southern Germany.

We're definitely open to suggestions of must-see things to do, eat
or visit. It's our first time to Europe and we'll take all of the
travel advice we can get. If you have anything to recommend, I would
love to hear about it!



Wednesday, August 26, 2009

fresh food


Jon and I have recently started going to the local farmer's market every weekend. I hate grocery shopping with a vengeance, so this is a fun way to for us to buy fresh fruits and veggies for the week without the hassle of a wayward cart and long checkout lines.




We stock up on veggies and then spend the afternoon cleaning, peeling and chopping up vegetables for the week. It's been fun trying out new recipes to use up the food. Our garden has been doing pretty well for us this summer, although the crazy weather has made for some stunted growth in our cucumbers and zucchini. We just planted a second crop of daikon radishes, scallions, radishes and lettuce for a fall harvest and have been enjoying plenty of eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, and green beans .

We've been transitioning to a plant-based diet lately after I discovered The Vegan Table Cookbook via Lolly Knitting Around. Whether or not you're vegetarian or vegan, this book is excellent for finding fresh new ways to use vegetables, mainly because of its thorough index. We made Kale and Cauliflower Salad after wondering what to do with the gorgeous purple cauliflower that we purchased last weekend. And, we also made a delicious batch of Potato Leek Soup to use the potatoes and leeks we bought. The book has been getting great reviews and we have really enjoyed expanding our food horizons.



Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Cranbrook Gardens


Jon and I went on a photo adventure to Cranbrook gardens on Sunday afternoon. We used to go to Cranbrook all the time when we were dating and just recently realized that it had been a while since we visited. They have a beautiful Bog Garden and Oriental Garden on the property. We spent most of our time in the Oriental Garden enjoying the views.




gingko leaves




Japanese anenome





requisite shot of Jon filming

We're looking forward to more trips to the gardens this fall and in the wintertime. The gardens are really well maintained and remind us a lot of our time in Kyoto, Japan.






yellow japanese anenome



You can see the rest of the photos from our afternoon here.



Monday, August 24, 2009

Happy Anniversary Mom & Dad!



Last weekend, my sisters and I threw my parents a surprise anniversary party for their 30th anniversary. My parents were completely surprised and we all had a wonderful time. To celebrate their anniversary, I put together a blurb book of photos from their dating years all the way up until now. The book turned out really nice and I cannot recommend blurb books enough. I will definitely be making more of these in the future.







garden cupcakes • made by my mom (I couldn't figure out how to ask her over for dinner for the afternoon and not have her bring any food, so she whipped these up for us).

The party went off without a hitch, but there was a bit of drama beforehand. My mom's beloved indoor cat, Isabelle, ran away about a month ago and my mom's been searching for her ever since. The morning of the party my sister, Ruth, found a cat that looked strikingly similar to Isabelle on the local Humane Society website. The catch: the kitty had recently been through a traumatic accident and suffered the lost of her back leg. After a few tears and disagreements about what to do with the injured kitty, Ruth ended up going to the Humane Society to adopt the cat (thinking all along that the cat was Isabelle). Isabelle was dropped off at my family's house just as everyone left to come over to our house for the party and she made herself right at home by running off to her favorite hiding spot in the basement.

After the party, my sister, Rachel, was the first person back home and as soon as she looked at Isabelle, she realized that Ruth had adopted the wrong cat. The wrong eye color, tail length, weight and markings all clued her in.

So, basically, my family was stuck with the reality that Isabelle was still missing from home and that they would now have to take care of and raise this new three legged kitty in Isabelle's place.

Flash forward one week...not-Isabelle, now officially named Sophie (unofficially, Stumpy), is settling into life at my family's house and is charming the heck out of my dad, the lone holdout on "finalizing" the adoption. ...and people say that cats don't know what you're thinking!



Ahh...the crazy, drama-filled times of life in our family!



Sunday, August 23, 2009

Bring on the owls

Our house has been a tad bit owl obsessed lately...





First off...I
started this sweater (ravelry link) in June and I finally managed to sew on all 44
buttons and weave in the ends at the beginning of August. Thank goodness for a sewing machine that sews on buttons! I don't know what I would have done if I had to sew on all of those buttons by hand. Instead of
following the pattern, I followed Elizabeth Zimmerman's recipe for a
yoked sweater and then used the owl pattern in the yoke section
(modified to use purl stitches in the owl's body). I shortened the sleeves on the pattern too, because wool sweaters just get too warm for me in the winter. It either has to be a cardigan or short-sleeved for a wool sweater to work for me. This was a quick
knit and it was so nice to knit with thick, sheepy, Cascade Eco Wool!





• • •

PICT1228

Next, my youngest sister, Rachel, and I got together for another sewing lesson. She found this bag
on etsy and we copied the design to a T. Rachel did all of the applique
on this with a zig zag stitch and she did such a great job on it! It's
been a lot of fun having a fellow crafter over to make projects
together.

PICT1229


When we were younger, we pretended we were on Martha Stewart's cooking
show whenever we cooked together. We would stand behind the peninsula
in my parents' kitchen, talk to the camera and set up all of our
ingredients in miniature bowls so that we could toss them into the
bowl (just like on tv). If she keeps up with these mad sewing skills, we'll be ready to start our own "crafting show" on the side too. :)

PICT1231



Thursday, August 6, 2009

Hat extravaganza




Since I don't knit socks, I've been using hats as my portable summer knitting projects. They've been a fun way to try out some new cables and techniques and make a dent in the single skein section of my stash. I've really enjoyed being able to sit outside and knit this summer. I'm definitely going to miss this when winter returns.

Here are the hats, in no particular order:






Hurricane




Pattern: Hurricane
Yarn: The Plucky Knitter Merino Worsted "Best of Blue"
Rav link: craftr's Hurricane






Trilobite




Pattern: Trilobite

Yarn: The Plucky Knitter Merino Worsted "Unglazed"

Rav link: craftr's Trilobite






Koolhaas




Pattern: Koolhaas

Yarn: The Plucky Knitter Merino Worsted "Lime Crush"

Rav link: craftr's Koolhaas

This is my all time favorite hat pattern. I hope to make a few more of these. The lattice pattern is so addiction. See my first version, here.



Dorothea




Pattern: Dorothea

Yarn: The Plucky Knitter Merino Worsted "Blue Goodness"

Rav link: craftr's Dorothea



Anemoon




Pattern: Anemoon

Yarn: The Plucky Knitter Merino Worsted "True Love"

Rav link: craftr's Anemoon

I test knit this for Lucy at { a black pepper }. She always does amazing work with cables and this pattern is no exception!








Narragansett




Pattern: Narragansett

Yarn: Pigeonroof Studios DK Superwash "Crepe Myrtle"

Rav link: craftr's Narragansett



• • •

And a scarf to mix things up

Opera Scarf




Pattern: Opera Scarf

Yarn: The Plucky Knitter Merino Cashmere Nylon Sport "Forever in Jeans"

Rav link: craftr's Opera Scarf

If I were to make this again, I would add one or two more pattern repeats and go up a needle size or so. It was a little too narrow and the sample has more holes in the lace pattern.

Now that I've made a sizable dent in my single skeins, I'm tackling my the sweater yarn portion of my stash...just in time for fall.