Friday, October 16, 2009

When Life Gives You Jam

You make biscuits!

At least that's what I had to do when life gave Julie figs and I hinted for some of her jam and whaddya know? She sent me some! Sometimes you get what you ask (i.e. hint largely) for. I don't want to make you guys jealous or anything, but she also sent some fig-pear preserves, some Satsuma plum chutney, and some peach ginger marmalade. Precious, delicious stuff. I oughta know--I come from a long line of jam eaters. Not only did my granny Kate make the best plum and apple jelly, but also the best pear preserves and syrup this side of the Chattahoochee. We also had Callaway Gardens right up the road (I even lived there for a time) where you could acquire some mighty tasty muscadine jelly and fig preserves. Oh no--I just found out that they have an online store. I'm in trouble!
In the South, we pretty much make jam, jelly, preserves and chutney out of everything that grows. My mom calls it the "make do" mentality. I even made some watermelon rind preserves once. You never throw out anything you can transform into something remotely edible!
Well, Julie's concoctions are way more than edible--they are divine. We are savoring every bit. I'm "cooking" up ideas to pay her back.
And speaking of "making do," not too long ago when I found out that a design I worked on for Clara Parkes was cut from her book, I was disappointed, of course. I want to be a part of anything Clara does--I've been a fan of Knitter's Review for years. A couple of years ago I got to meet Clara in person, which just made me more convinced. She's a card. She's the kind of gal who comes across all sedate and brainy (which she is--brainy, that is) and wham! She shoots a zinger joke at ya and then you're having fun.
Clara's book, The Knitter's Book of Wool (the sequel to The Knitter's Book of Yarn) came out this week, and instead of leaving me all bummed that I don't get to be a part of the hoopla, well, she went ahead and made me part of the party by posting my design as a freebie to help announce the book! Sweet!

I'll get it added to the sidebar so you can come and print one out whenever you want. Kelli and I had a lot of fun doing the photo shoot of the sweaters with Georgie and Mia, who've gotten a lot of nice comments about how cute they are. Yep--and fun to take pics of, as well. They just both ran around their yard having fun and basically ignoring us while we tried to get details of the sweaters.

So some pretty sweet jam came out of that whole fig pile, as well. I am well pleased.
Thanks, Clara, and I hope your book's first printing sells out, or, um, break a keyboard or something. Well, what do you say to wish good fortune to an author? If they broke a leg, they could still write....
(Okay, I think I had too much coffee and I can't seg my way outta this post. I'll just say goodbye now!)

Friday, October 09, 2009

Drum Roll Please!

Woodjah look at that! Isn't that gorgeous? We have the amazing Sandy to thank for this delicious field of blue yumminess.

And to prove it, here she is showing it off for me. Sandy knit this Big Easy Blanket in Dream in Color Classy in Nightwatch or Midnight Derby (let me know if you know, because Sandy didn't have her yarn label with her). Thanks so much to her for sharing her beautiful work. This was made as a wedding present, by the way. Lucky bride & groom!

I have a couple of FO's of my own to report. Here's a new Raibeart made with Cascade 220 Superwash in the heathery green color #867. I had some help from youngest offspring--Natalie worked the section from the garter edging to just before the underarm gusset. I did some major tweaking of the pattern as I finished it up (as usual.) This one will eventually be a present as well. It's a secret!

I owe this expanse of Merino-Rambouillet sheepiness to Marr Haven Yarn. Clara Parkes just reviewed this yarn as a build-up to the impending release of her new book--go and see! (Can't wait for this book!) I bought this batch of worsted weight Marr Haven yarn in Medium Grey at least 4 years ago and started this top-down pullover as what I thought was to be part of a KAL kicked off by a class I taught in spring 2008 (as far as I know, I'm the only one who finished). The sweater sat in its basket as just a top half until recently when Nat did a few rounds and then I finished up. It's mine all mine! I want cold weather to come just so's I can wear him! It's like a teddy bear you can wear and smells so wonderful with its unprocessed sheepy goodness. Now Fred wants one. If I have enough yarn left, darling. Fingers crossed.

Here's a full shot of Big Marr Haven hugging on a little Marr Haven in progress. That's a cone of the sport weight in Lilac Heather. I'm making a sample of the upcoming Fundamental Watch Cap.

On with the fun!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

A Day at the Beach

A couple of weeks ago Fred, Natalie, and I spent a very pleasant Sunday afternoon just strolling down on the Commencement Bay waterfront, enjoying the new fall weather and snapping some shots. Look at that perfect blue sky.
Fred got this shot of one of the oldest restaurants here. You can still get authentic 50's food at The Harbor Lights--good ol' heart-attack-on-a-plate type food.

This is Mt Rainier from the grassy spot in Cummings Park (which I never knew was so called until then). Yes, that's snow up there, and if you hiked just a little way up there at Paradise you could walk in the snow--all summer long! I don't know how that happens, but I love living in a place where you can see this big guy several times a day.
Natalie caught Fred and me looking across the bay...

...and Fred caught Natalie watching me snatch a second to knit a couple of rounds on a sock.

And there should be more days like this.