Friday, August 31, 2012

More Socks, Of Course!

Hello! I've been missing you!

Believe me, I would much rather have been here chatting with you than doing all the editing I've been doing, but edit I must! And I must be thorough and brutal. We are getting the new Figheadh site ready to launch and I have been polishing up almost all of the sock patterns for this event. This turned out to be a very good summer activity. Socks make good summer knitting, what with all the warm weather and travelling.

The next three Figheadh sock patterns that I've just put up new versions of on Ravelry are...
in Sundara Sock in South Seas


in Schaefer Nichole in Clara Barton

Natalie and I shot these at the Northwest Native Garden in Point Defiance Park recently.
I know, I know...you want the outtakes!

Not exactly the look we were going for, but, hey! Why not try it?

I kept trying to work in my Celery Waxy Danskos because they are dear to me, but...no.

Nice idea, but we can't see the feets!

We knitters have to see all the details, right?

Need some new socks to knit? Try some of these updated patterns of mine. 
They are much, much better now. And I have so enjoyed knitting them again with all these beautiful hand-dyed yarns. Props to Hazel Knits, Schaefer, Cephalopod, Kollage, and Sundara!




Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Summer of Socks

So I know I've told you that we are in the midst of a site redesign and a lot of sock knitting as a result. That's been taking some energy. Also the gardening. Lots of gardening! But you have been patient with me and my absences the past few weeks, so I thought I'd let you see some of the new socks in some of their new pictures as captured by Natalie and modeled by the not-so-dainty-ankled...me!
The updated Red Rover Cabled Socks pattern is all edited and ready for purchase.
These are made with Hazel Knits Artisan Sock in Pacific.
As is the Vertigo Socks pattern...
made with Cephalopod Yarns Skinny Bugga in Figeater
and the Seagull Socks pattern.
made with Schaefer Audrey in Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

And now for some bloopers!
Yeah, I thought this shot would look nice. No. My left foot looks like a big old ham hock.
Here's a tip: if you already know you don't have the skinniest of ankles, trying to pose on tippy-toe will only make your ankles look more chunky. That's what I found out.

Thanks to Nat for indulging me. I know sometimes she must know I have funny notions and she doesn't let on, sweet girl.

Now, I would like for you to go and visit the present Figheadh site, because I want you to remember how last decade's hairstyle it looks. In a couple of weeks you're going to see something much better at www.figheadh.com!  I'll keep you updated.





Thursday, August 16, 2012

Courgettes!

Julia Child's Courgettes Sautées à la Provenҫale was a hit in the Hagan household last night!

I must admit I wanted to skip the blanching step and just cut the zucchini right up and get to it, but I decided to trust Julia and blanch away. I was rewarded with a wonderful aroma that took me back to memories of being with my granny in her kitchen as she blanched mountains of summer squash for freezing. And the dish turned out so good that I'm glad, so glad I did it completely as directed. The bread crumbs look a little too moist because I had to let them sit too long. Adding the minced garlic, salt, pepper, parsley and bread crumbs is supposed to be done just before serving, but these things aren't always easy to time perfectly. 

It was good anyway! So perfect and basic. Just zucchini, olive oil, salt, pepper, bread crumbs, and parsley. I will definitely make this again, probably with some grilled chicken and a good Chardonnay.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Happy 100 to Julia!

Long before Dan Akroyd portrayed Julia Child's quirky kitchen manner on SNL, I enjoyed her shows on PBS. I loved her nonchalant skill with something as intimidating as French cooking. But it wasn't until recently that I dared to attempt any of her recipes. A couple of years ago I made her Beef Bourguignon and it was delicious! Fred loved it, but it was too rich for me and resulted in a little stomachache--probably from the large amounts of bacon fat and butter that I am no longer used to. I grew up with lots of that (my granny's grits swimming in butter come to mind--fondly), but now I can't handle it so well.  

Then I made Bouillabaisse, but used Cathal Armstrong's recipe. I don't know why. Maybe I was mesmerized by the rouille--an aioli-like sauce which involves potato and harissa. I love harissa and am always looking for ways to use it. After making rouille, however, I think I'm basically over it. The recipe made tons and I ended up throwing most of it out. Next time I will use Julia's Bouillabaisse a la Marseillaise recipe with fish heads and all and just serve the lovely fish stew with French bread. Good and simple! I happen to be reading the part in My Life in France where Julia tells of their time in Marseille and how the making of this fish stew is such a big controversy there that you hear a different story from each person about how to make it. Sounds like the controversy over Irish soda bread (with currants? without?) and some Southern foods I grew up with, things as simple as biscuits or banana pudding. Controversy abounds!

I wanted to remember Julia Child today by making something from one of her cookbooks. I own this one that I nabbed from Half Price Books. Now I need Volume One!
I wish I could tell you that I will be whipping up a batch of croissants (love!) but after reading the eight pages of instructions involved, I have ever more respect for those who do make them authentically and I will just savor those whenever I can, thank you very much.
I think I can manage to do something with these courgettes from our garden.
Actually, one of the biggest ones is going to make this Zucchini Coconut Bread, one is going to be sliced to go with a hummus plate for tonight's dinner, but one could be Courgettes Sautées à la Provenҫale, which is just blanched zucchini sauteed with olive oil, garlic and parsley. As I said, simple is best!

Have you ever tried any of Julia Child's recipes? I'd love to know!
Will you celebrate Julia's 100th today? At least with a croissant?



Friday, August 10, 2012

Friday FO: Wanda Nell #4

I made it! I finished the latest Wanda Nell in time for Friday FO! Hurrah!
A couple of you may remember about this time last year when we investigated sock yarns for pairing in these two posts.
I barely started this version of the Wanda Nell Cardigan with Hazel Knits Artisan Sock in Sailor's Delight and Wool in the Woods Cherub back then and just picked it back up last month to finish her up. Giving her all my attention over the past couple of weeks allowed me to get the job done. 
I love her!
This one has short little sleeves as opposed to the second one I made. Aunt Wanda now has that one (well, it was named for her!) that I made with Pagewood Farm Yukon in Sea Breeze.

And this one (my third one) has super long sleeves, because I just wanted to try it. Here is the post that tells how I adapted the pattern. 
You see I also added some crochet flower embellishment. This one was made with Hazel Knits Artisan Sock in Chocolatier and Schaefer Nichole in Julia Child. Very foodie cardi! And a very comfy one, I might add.

The very first Wanda Nell that I made with Claudia Hand Painted Yarns Fingering in Shells on the Beach and Maple Leaf was experimental and came out too short. Not only that, but the waist shaping was too close together so it doesn't fit as well as all the others. You'd think I'd have figured that out before I added the button band, the buttonhole band, the collar and the buttons. Boy am I balking at taking out all those parts and adding some length to it, but I must! This one is smooshy comfy too and I want to be able to actually wear it.
Sigh...the more time passes, the easier it will be to rip. I will need to take off the buttons, rip off the collar, pull off the bands and the ribbed hem, and yank her all the way back to the first set of decreases for the waist. Misery, folks. But there's always a bright side--at least I don't have to take out the sleeves!  
Still, I think I'll wait a little longer. 

And sadly, I have no time to make a whole other Wanda Nell, a fifth one, because I would love to! 
Gotta move on to the next project. Can't dally. However, I won't promise not to ever, ever make another one. Someday I'll revisit her. She's one of my very favorites.




Friday, August 03, 2012

Friday FO: More Socks!

Hello, Folks! Happy Friday and I hope your August is good so far. I am mostly done with my summer of socks (two small pair to go) and I thought I'd bring you up to date on my progress.
I showed you these socks in a group shot last week, but wanted to focus on these last two pair more closely...
This is the latest pair of Lace & Lattice Socks in Kollage Sock-a-Licious Heather. This is the same yarn I used for the Weekender Tank for Creative Knitting. I had a whole skein left and asked Susan at Kollage if I could keep it and use it. I'm so glad I did, because it was a great knit! These socks are so soft and comfy, besides being rather glamorous.

All blocked and spiffed up. The little ball is what was left of the 350-yd skein.
(Instagram edit) 

Here is another Instagram edit of the Snow Lake Socks in Schaefer Nichole before I blocked the second sock. See the contrast? It's good to block socks! 
This is the lovely Clara Barton colorway (she founded the Red Cross and this yarn has every color red as tribute--pinky red, winey red, tomatoey red--you name it!)

And here I am trying them on--so warm and comfy! I was settling in with my new copy of Knit Wear and the Jane Austen 2012, both from Interweave and both fabulous, by the way.

Enough sock (and magazine) talk--I gotta get back to work on my fourth Wanda Nell Cardigan!
Hopefully I'll be able to make her next week's Friday FO.
Cheers, all! Enjoy your weekend.