Friday, May 9, 2014

watermelon salsa


Watermelon Salsa 

One of our family's summer faves; a fresh twist on a picnic and barbecue staple!

4 cups finely chopped watermelon (no seeds)
1 cup finely chopped cucumber (no peel, no seeds)
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1/2 cup finely chopped sweet pepper - red, or your favorite color
2 tablespoons finely minced fresh basil
2 tablespoons finely minced fresh mint leaves

4 tablespoons honey
1 lime, juice of, that is (no seeds)

1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro

Combine honey and lime juice.  Combine all fruits and herbs; toss in honey and lime juice to coat. Refrigerate at least 2 hours.  Serve with tortilla chips. 

Make more!!  

Thursday, May 1, 2014

off the needles

I recently finished this shawl... for myself.  This yarn languished more than a year in my stash, as I contemplated whether I should write a pattern for it.  I go to all these yarn shows, wearing store-bought sweaters and my favorite hoodie; I'm a great knitter, and I looked like a scrub.  So in the end, I decided knitting it and wearing it was more of a priority than being able to say I designed it myself.  

Yarn:  Pure Qiviut from Windy Valley Muskox, 3-ish skeins of Red Valor, one skein of Scarlet
Pattern:  NoFa Shawl from La Maison Rililie - great pattern, easy to follow.
Mods:  I did modify the striping sequence because I did not know for sure how much qiviut I had, and I wanted to use it ALL!  

I think I finished this last week, but hadn't taken time to block it, which made me sad every time I went somewhere and thought, "I could be wearing my shawl if I'd block it already!!"  This week, I did finish a sample knit, as well as a sweater that was commissioned, and will NEVER be posted on my blog.  What we do for friends. 

I also planted a lilac this week!  Maybe it's time for a new header picture...  

Monday, March 24, 2014

tea cup

I collect tea cups but they're in a box, sadly.  They need a more illustrious home.  Maybe this year?  In the meantime, this one caught my eye at a local antique booth: 

114in2014 #62 cup or mug

And coincidentally (or not?) I am knitting with a similar color, something from Cheryl Oberle's Folk Shawls book.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

My mom wants to know what I'm up to!

I know, it's been a long time since I have blogged.  In the meantime, I have:

...gone to Vogue Knitting Live in New York!  
I was excited to go; I've been to New York City but it's been upwards of 20 years.  Plus a few more.  I was excited, but I was afraid of being mugged, I tell you.  I went with Dianne, from Windy Valley yarns.  

  • We stayed in Times Square - I loved it.  You can take pictures all night and they look like daytime; it was bright! 
  • Our luggage arrived a day late - after our free day for sight-seeing.  We waited for hours, and by the time we finally decided to go without make-up or clean clothes, we didn't have time to see much. 
  • I spent $33 on eyeliner, deodorant and aspirin.  Don't shop at the hotel.   
  • I did not get mugged, and after a day or two, I went outside and up and down a few blocks, by myself.  
  • There are so many places to eat!  We ate at Carnegie Deli, and I had a hot dog from a street vendor.
  • Central Park was disappointing; I'm assuming that's because it's winter, there was no snow, and I hardly had time to look around.  Maybe next time, it'll live up to all the expectations Hollywood has built up for me.
  • The highlight of the show was seeing my friend Allison, who moved from Denver to New York last year, and meeting her friend Michele Wang, who was very nice. 
All in all, I would love to go back with my little family, and see a lot more.  

As for the show, it was short - nice; colder and darker - bad.  If you were there to buy qiviut, it was great!  We did also walk over to the Qiviut Boutique, near the Plaza Hotel.  Gorgeous stuff in there; it's like Windy Valley yarns for people who have lots more money than knitting skills.

New York City in winter

...gone to Stitches West in Santa Clara, California.
I enjoy going to the Stitches conventions; I know what's going on, I know the staff, I have a little time each morning to peruse the market.  I get to visit friends I've made during the last several shows.  It was a lot like the first and second time I went.
  • This time, I roomed with my friend Julie; it was fun to hang out with her.  She's actually how I met Dianne.
  • My one big purchase was sweater-quantity of Plucky yarn for a sweater.  I got there early; I hear it was brutal in that booth - lots of people, little space.  I guess that's good for Plucky?
  • Julie was also my sounding board for a lot of knitting ideas I needed to get out of my head.  
  • Maybe next time, I can sneak in time for a class.
Sorry, no great picture. 

...decided to be less of a photographer and more of an artist.  
I've got some photo projects to get out of my head, but I'm cutting back on what I do for other people, and waiting for warmer days.  I hate being outside in the dead of winter, trying to get the perfect shot with numb fingers.  And I'm kinda done with people who either don't get my point of view, or just don't want to pay for it.  I invest a lot of emotion - too much, really, in my photography, and sometimes I feel like I should have charged ten times more to put up with the people who hired me.  I don't always feel that way; sometimes I feel like I charged way to much to be part of a magical moment with beautiful souls.  So now, I'm just doing what I want to do, because it's what I believe in.  
I'm doing 114 in 2014, the Karen version.  In other words, not sweating the pictures I don't want to take.  I never get them all done, anyway, but it keeps me seeing new subjects in fresh ways. 

...been teaching and working more at my LYS (local yarn shop) and I'm updating their Facebook page.
Both of these take more time than they say on my calendar, but are rewarding creative outlets.  I love updating the cover photo on the Facebook page.  I could take pictures of yarn all day long!  Oh, wait, sometimes I do.  


...I've been knitting a lot. A LOT.
I made a list of 10 (really 14 or 16) designers whose work I admire, and whose patterns I would like to knit. That included Michele even before I met her - bonus!  Will I get to any of them this year?  Not so far.  Because... 
I'm knitting for hire; that sounds weird.  Knitting for money?  Whatever.  You know what I mean.  
I'm also working on some of my own designs, which includes some R&D, so I'm doing a lot of swatching, measuring, writing.  I was thinking of designing a shawl so I've knit several recently.  I don't know if lace is something I'm meant to design.  We'll see.

And I'm spending a few hours a week volunteering at schools.  I'm in charge of Friday Folders, and straightening up bookshelves in the library.  I love old books.  And I would like to tell you I do a lot of laundry but that would be a lie.  I do what I have to.  And...  this week, if I get a chance, I will be starting some seeds. 

Well, I think that brings us up to today, and hopefully it won't be so long before next time!!

Friday, January 17, 2014

113 pictures in 2013

For the 113-in-2013 photo challenge, I did not manage to get a great shot of each item that I was pleased with.  However, it did inspire me to get out and take pictures of things I would otherwise pass by, and that's the reason I do it.  Here are three of my favorites, all shots which I actually took specifically for this challenge.

#5 one word

#41 trees in a row

#99 somewhere to sit

You can see the whole set here.  I'm pleased that I got as many as I did - 74.  Better than the previous year.  I signed up for the next group, 114 in 2014.  I'm not sure how much I like this list.  In the past year, I found my self struggling to go out and shoot things, like "a baby picture of yourself."  I just don't find much room for creativity there, unless I spend an inordinate amount of time coming up with a crazy concept.  On the other hand, I know it stretches my thinking, and I enjoy the camaraderie of the group.  

One item I struggled with the whole year was 'bird on water.'  I couldn't decide whether to take the straight-forward approach, or whether I should find a more artistic view.  I also don't have a great lens for shooting wildlife.  I did rent a telephoto lens for a wedding in August, and took the opportunity to find some "birds on water."  Here's what I ended up with for my final entry.  

bird on water

I really like the color of the water, as well as the ripple of light on the left side of the frame, and the softness of the gray feathers.  I ended up making a whole set of my 'bird on water' shots.  I would love to know, which one would you have picked?  

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Christmas Traditions, Christmas Knitting

Just one more on Christmas, for my mom. 

Christmas traditions from my childhood that we've adopted into our home include the Advent Wreath, which I previously wrote about, wow, three years ago.  This year we finally incorporated the Thanksgiving Chain.  Each day in November, we each write something we're thankful for on a slip of paper, a link in the chain.  Guests for dinner also get to write something, and become part of our chain.  In December, we hang up the chain around the room and attach Christmas cards we receive on it.  It's a festive addition to the decor, and cards don't get lost!  In January, we take down the chain and put all the cards in a basket.  Each night at bedtime, a card or cards are drawn out, and we pray for the sender.  I like that we talk about who these people are, since my kids don't know all of our distant friends and family, and I like that they are so good about praying for other people.  It's very easy to ask for things for ourselves, it is nice to see they appreciate that other people need things too, and sometimes we don't even know what that may be, but we can still help. 

I wish I had the time for a whole post on what I knitted for Christmas, not to mention keeping up on my list of things I knitted this year!  Now that I look at my Ravelry projects page, it doesn't appear that I knit too much for Christmas, but I did make a few things.  I knitted a cowl for my sister-in-law, who is always cold; a hat for a special teacher, who mentioned several times how much she liked mine - she was thrilled; a hat for my mother-in-law, and I was pleased she wore it the rest of the day - it was beautiful yarn, too, if I say so myself.  And finally, the most pleasing project was a hat for BFJ.  I'd knitted a hat for some guy who came into the shop I work at, and wanted a hat but didn't knit.  I had yarn left over, and BFJ had modeled this original hat for me, and declared that he'd also like one.  However, he kept working from home and had days off, so I had to keep taking it to the yarn shop to work on it.  I was gratified on Christmas morning, though, when he was so surprised I'd actually made it!

hat for mother-in-law

BFJ is horrified that I try on hats and things that I knit for other people.  Hey, I have to make sure they work, don't I?  Actually, I do sometimes have to make sure they'll fit, but also I like finished pictures for Ravelry.  Seeing other people's projects is one of my favorite parts of Ravelry.

Monday, January 13, 2014

End of December

Rounding out the end of December so that I can move on to other things...!

One of the things we did in December that I enjoyed, was getting up early a couple of mornings for some frosty, wintry pictures.  It's cold; people complain, but then the fresh air takes over and we see magical things.  Unfortunately, we did not have a white Christmas, even at my parents' in the mountains; the frost and snow was all gone by then.