(I just couldn’t resist another P alliteration)
You know the expression that money burns a hole in your pocket? Well, I never really seem to have that problem… perhaps because money doesn’t linger in my pockets for all that long. Gorgeous unused fabric, however, is another story. It calls to me tauntingly, always catching my eye when I’m too busy to actually do anything with it. Even worse when it’s beautifully wrapped into a fat quarter pack, all coordinated and nicely folded. Remember that trip to Portsmouth Fabric a few weeks ago, and the Kafe Fassett packet that I bought there? I didn’t either until a few days ago, when I realized it had remained shamefully untouched for far too long. Fortunately, a gloriously unbooked Sunday afternoon rolled around so I decided to do something about it. My first instinct was a skirt, but I have lots of skirts (truth be told, I have lots of anything that can be made out of fabric) so I decided to mix it up a bit. Some of my most random—but successful—ideas come to me while I’m swimming, and this one was no exception. Mid-stroke, I suddenly decided to make loose capris with these colorful striped prints. Since my vision was very precise, I made the pattern myself. This isn’t that impressive; it consisted of one piece which I modeled off of a favorite pair of pants I already owned:
Naturally, I patchworked the fabrics together before cutting out the pattern piece four times (two for each leg). The waste is simply a thick strip of fabric with a 2″ elastic in between.
Every now and then, a sewing project turns out exactly how you imagined. This was one of those projects. They’re super comfy—which I attribute in large part to the thick elastic, something I will definitely use more of in the future—and colorful…and the kind of crazy thing that I love to wear. They’ll be perfect in warmer weather but, with tights underneath, they’ll see me through the fall and winter as well.
Fortunately, I had just enough fabric leftover to squeeze out this week’s nine-patch:
I’m also pleased to announce The Return of Knitting. Yes, I hadn’t been hitting the needles much for the past few weeks—except to pass the time in bad traffic. For one thing, warm weather doesn’t exactly make me crave knitwear. And I guess I just fell out of the habit. But all that changed when a couple of knitting books were randomly sent to the Quilting Arts office (this is the kind of wonderful thing that happens when you work at a quilting magazine) and since I’m the only knitter there (!), I was told to take them home. As you may have realized by now, I’m only so-so on strictly following knitting patterns, so I used these books for general inspiration. In particular, Hattitude by Cathy Carron, caught my eye and motivated me to fulfill my long-held ambition to create a floppy beanie. I dug through my yarn stash and rediscovered the lovely Australian wool that I’d purchased in Tasmania, and a few hours later, completed this:
It’s a promising reentrance into the Knitting Season. I’m pleased and inspired, and reminded of what I love about knitting. It’s slow and sensual (yes, I’d really use that word). On a shallower note, it’s perfect after a long day at work, when you’re tired and ready to park yourself in front of the TV to watch the latest episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm. Knitting is officially back in my life.
Thanks to big Saturday night dinner of chicken, root vegetables, and sweet potato gnocchi—and a fresh supply of green tomatoes for frying—I spent the week working away at leftovers, which means no new pasta to speak of for now. On the other hand, I had a particularly successful fool: Kiwi-Grape. Turns out, these two fruits are as close to ideal as it comes for fool. The kiwis get very soft, and disperse themselves nicely throughout the whipped cream, while the grapes stay a little more intact and add a lovely bit of crunch.
I wish I’d have the foresight to save a couple slices of kiwi for garnish, since the grapes don’t do much decoratively. But trust me, it tasted good.
Finally, my latest bread-baking adventure was also a great success. As a housewarming gift, my mother bought me La Cloche, by Sassafras. This is a glorious stone dome that can be used to bake bread, among other things (including a roast beef recipe that I’m eager to try out). Aside from simply being a beautiful piece of kitchenware, this thing really creates a lovely loaf. I made Honey Whole Wheat that came in the box, a pretty standard, simple recipe. So many factors go into the bread-baking process, it’s hard to know whether or not to give La Cloche full credit (I do believe my milk was at a perfect 105 degrees before I dissolved the yeast, and that I kneaded just the right amount, stopping before the dough became too firm), but it no doubt had something to do with it. The curst was just right, the inside fluffy and soft.
I’d highly recommend this to anyone vaguely interested in bread baking. And if you’re not interested in bread baking, now’s the season to start…the same goes for knitting. Hence why I love this time of year.