Monthly Archives: February 2010

A Good Student and Bad Behavior

A lot of my sewing and other crafting endeavors are improvisational and self-taught. This fly-by-the-seat-of-your pants approach certainly has its benefits. I would hate to create nothing but step-by-step projects that leave little or no room for your own interpretation; conjuring up your own ideas is empowering. On the other hand, I’ve also been developing a greater appreciation for the rules; that is, the procedures and know-hows that ensure a successful outcome. I’ve learned that doing some by-the-book projects every now and then is good for my technique, and need not stifle my personal creativity.

So this weekend, in addition to finishing my gigantic Mexican napkin pillow, I made a dress using the formal pattern cutting, measuring, and proper sewing procedures that one should. One of the many benefits of working at a quilting magazine is being sent free copies of books like this one:

 

Without getting too far into product-review territory, I’ll just say that this book is awesome and full of very doable, very adorable dress patterns that are based on just a few basic designs. For instance, “Rock the Boatneck”:

 

Do you recognize the fabrics by any chance? They’re from the stash that my mom gave me after cleaning out our basement a few weeks ago. The combination of four different fabrics is Wendy’s idea, but of course I couldn’t stick with plain old solids.

Basically, I woke up this past Sunday morning with the urge for a little machine sewing and a break from the hand-stitched applique that I’ve been so focused on. I then remembered that my house guest rarely wakes up before noon (actually, she woke up at 1 pm when her alarm went off) so I used the time to cut out the necessary pattern pieces. Later that evening, it took me about 2 hours to sew it all together, hem the seams, etc. I realize the fabric looks a tad wrinkly even though I’ve ironed it to death so some steaming might be in order. It also looks shapeless, but I promise it’s very cute when it’s on. It’s quite short, which complements the looser fit; fun, but not overly scandalous 😉 There isn’t a dress in this book that I’m not dying to make so you can expect to see many more frocks in my future.

On Tuesday night, I tried out something a little different: fabric-based, of course, but no sewing required. It recently came to my attention that Lexington Community Education offers random winter classes in a variety of fields, including Fine and Fabric Arts. A couple of months ago I signed up for French memo boards. The class took place in my old high school (weird!) and included myself, the instructor, and two other women. Small classes are the best since there’s no jockeying for the teacher’s attention. It was informal, fun, and oh-so-gratifying. After an hour and a half, I had created this:

 

I’ll just cut to the chase and say that I’m completely hooked and my mind is already swarming with ideas for more memo boards. I mean, they’re a very practical room accessory, good for keeping track of all the little fliers and postcards that accumulate along the way:

 

But they’re also beautiful and not overly time-consuming. I have a new crafting love and have already informed my family and friends that they will be receiving memo boards whether they like it or not (fortunately, they mostly seem to like it).

It’s a good thing I’ve been getting my fabric fix these days because tomorrow morning Kyle and I leave for Las Vegas (we have a 6 am flight—early even for me) where I doubt I’ll be doing much sewing (I have my knitting, don’t worry). This is fine: I’m in for a different sort of trip. I feel like if you’re going to go to Vegas, you might as well go all out, and in preparation for the potential madness, I’ve been taking it easy this week with plenty of sleep and simple meals made out of whatever needs to be used up in the fridge. It’s been quite a while since I’ve really grocery shopped and am at the point where there isn’t too much left to work with so I’ve been eating lots of  cheese sandwiches for lunch. This isn’t as sad as it sounds: lots of gooey, melted cheese can be just as satisfying as any combination of multiple fancy ingredients. Dinners have been a hodgepodge of random foods but fortunately, my mom recently restocked my collection of fresh chicken eggs which are my new favorite dinner ingredient.

There is nothing like fresh eggs. Once you’ve had them, it’s hard to go back. Their yokes really are yellow, and they really are loaded with flavor; store-bought eggs are pale and bland in comparison. The other wonderful thing about fresh eggs is the frequent appearance of double yokes:

 

The first time I got one of these, I was so excited that I took a picture on my phone and sent it to my mom. I’ve had several by now, but I still texted her last night as soon as I saw two happy yellow yokes floating in my skillet. It just never gets old. A quick Google search turns up no real consensus on what a double yoke actually means—everything from good luck to the likelihood of giving birth to evil twins. All I know is it gives me an inexplicably good feeling. Double yokes makes me feel blessed—and even if I’m wrong about the good luck, at least I’m getting the double the nutrients in one go.

One of my favorite ways to have eggs is over easy on top of…pretty much anything: stir-fried veggies and rice, polenta, pasta—but last night, I decided to try something a little different. I broke into a long-forgotten carton of oats and made myself some savory oatmeal:

 

Yes, it looks like regular oatmeal, but it’s made with chicken broth, lots of cheese, and a bit of salt. My morning oatmeal of choice is loaded with milk, cinnamon and brown sugar—but this was equally delicious in a different way, and served as a lovely base for my eggs. That, plus a roasted acorn squash (which I planned on eating half of, but just couldn’t resist), and some green veggies for good measure, made for a satisfying and saintly dinner:

 

Being good can be such fun, but so is a healthy dose of bad behavior…Vegas, here I come.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under clothing, cooking, sewing

Chicken feet, pretzels, and one big pillow

I had one of those really good, really random weekends. First and foremost, one of my favorite people ever came to visit! Sally and I were roommates for all four years of college but she moved back to New York to study design at Pratt so I’ve been missing her badly. If anyone was happier to see her than I, it was Shuffle:

 

They’ve always had a special bond.

Anyway, we had a far too brief reunion weekend. This involved some delicious Dim Sum at Windsor Cafe—which inspired me to add another item to my ever-expanding list of things to create: those miraculously cloud-like dumplings. Oh. So. Good. Sorry, I was too busy inhaling them to take a picture.

We also tried chicken feet:

 

Turns out, chicken feet are pretty much just bone and skin. They’re actually not bad, but, well, kind of what you would expect when eating a foot.

Saturday night involved drinks at Upstairs on the Square, a Harvard classic that apparently serves delicious egg white cocktails, with my sister Charlie (who, by the way, is in the midst of creating her own blog! If you are a runner/fitness enthusiast or admirer of those who are, you are in for a treat. I’ll post the link as soon as it’s up.)

 

(Charlie took the picture which is why she isn’t actually in it.)

Let’s just say that the rest of the evening involved more friends and fabulous, college-like behavior which I either 1. Didn’t photograph or 2. Am not going to post pictures of. Let’s just say bacon burgers were enjoyed, 40s were imbibed, and good friends got even friendlier than normal.

Somehow, amidst all this, I managed to finish up a project that you probably thought I’d forgotten about. Actually, I kind of had—or, at least, I’d temporarily lost interest. But shortly after starting my red and blue quilt, I felt a pang of guilt for having abandoned my Mexican napkin project. So I decided to finish this up before it devolved into UFO territory.

First off, I realized that too much wonkiness really is possible, and I wanted my stitching lines to be somewhat straight, so I decided to place strips of masking tape as guides. Several hours of hand stitching (running, zigaag, cross stitch) later, and the napkins were complete.

But, as I mentioned before, I only bought nine which amount to about 60″ x 60″, an odd in-between size. This is too small for a quilt, but I decided it was just right for a giant pillow:

Oh yes, I went there. And I felt legit insane the whole time I was putting this together, but it has made me happier than any of my creations have in a long time. I mean, think about it. What is more glorious than a giant, bed-like pillow? It’s basically a doggy bed for human beings.

I stuffed it with a grand total of eight bags of polyester fiber fill ($2 a pop at Sewfisticated, but don’t try to get your own any time soon since I depleted their supply.) I was so excited when I finished it, I emailed my brother a picture (he’s away at Princeton but has always had a strange understanding of my wacky crafty ways). His reply pretty much sums this one up:

So I first read this email a couple days ago. I’m napping in my bed, my phone makes its little notification tone, I wake up and semi-consciously read about a human-sized, Mexican napkin pillow. At the time I was sure I’d misunderstood something, so I went back to sleep. But no, it seems I understood clearly. Ironically, I’m surprised by how little surprised I was to see this. Pippa makes a Mexican napkin pillow? Yeah, it happens. Right on. – Gordon

Sunday night’s dinner was the perfect combination of fun and comfort. After what feels like a too-long break from yeasty bread baking, I decided to try something a little different: soft pretzels. I followed this recipe pretty closely (but substituted whole wheat flour) since this was my first attempt and experimenting would  have been unwise.

The first stage is not so different from other breads—and oh how I’ve missed the delicious smell of rising dough as it doubles in size and transforms into a big, soft, spongy mass.

But then things get a little tricky, and I had to really psych myself up for the next part. After rolling the dough into ropes, then pretzel-like shapes (incidentally, I had to do a Google Image search for pretzels to make sure I got the right shape and this turned up some very odd images, including a pretzel-legged merman, worth checking out if you have some spare time), you plop each pretzel into a sauce pan of boiling water + baking soda for 30 seconds. I was very, very dubious that this was going to be a successful operation. But, thanks to my mother’s superb kitchen setup skills, I happen to own a large, flat spatula-like object that was perfect for this procedure. Turns out, pretzels really do float:

 

Once boiled, the pretzels have to bake for about 10-12 minutes (12-14 according to the recipe but I think I have a hotter-than-average oven). And voila:

 

I’m just going to come right out and say it: I am super proud of these! Baking or cooking something that you were fairly convinced was out of your league is a very gratifying endeavor. Fresh, warm pretzels dipped in homemade butternut squash and bacon soup (which was really more like mashed squash since I like uber-thick soups):

 

Pretty much the best possible way to end the weekend. Well, maybe second best. This felt pretty darn good, too:

 

3 Comments

Filed under Bread, cooking, sewing

The Frugal Life is Fun

These past few weeks, Kyle and I have been trying to cut back a bit on expenses to save for our fast-approaching weekend in Vegas (I’ve never been to Vegas but my understanding is that it’s like entering a black hole/alternate universe where all better judgment, especially that which causes you to keep track of money, evaporates). Now, I’ll be the first to admit we’re hardly deprived, but we are trying to be more conscious—and I’m discovering that this is actually quite fun. Yes, shopping at Whole Foods is lovely, but getting massive amounts of veggies and canned food at Costco is gratifying in a different sort of way. When it comes to my most essential needs, I’d have to break it down to: food, fitness (which is free when you can run outside, but the gym membership is non-negotiable, even if it primarily functions as a pool pass), and of course, fabric (not necessarily in that order).

Being frugal hasn’t meant giving up any of these; in fact, frugality doesn’t result in scarcity as much as simplicity, and we could all use a bit more of that in our lives.

For instance, the rest of my V-day was lovely and low-key. Kyle and I lounged in our flannel PJ bottoms and he made the most delicious meal. We split pesto shrimp to start, followed by ginger miso salmon, baked sweet potatoes, and artichokes.

 

 Turns out, the boy can cook! This was a delicious, satisfying meal—and I’m going to encourage him to cultivate his culinary skills. We ended the night with homemade whole wheat waffle cones made with my Chef’s Choice waffle cone maker (plus passion fruit ice cream, but when you’re eating a freshly made cone, the ice cream could be grass-flavored and it wouldn’t really matter).

The next day, I had the most delightful brunch with my sisters. Charlie brought champagne and cranberry juice plus homemade chocolate macaroons, Z brought a fruit salad, and I made scrambled eggs (from my mother’s hens), bacon, and heart-shaped waffles (made with my Chef’s Choice waffle maker):

 

All easy—and all cheap. Plus, when you’re eating in celebration—even if it’s only to celebrate the fact that you’re sisters—the food isn’t the most important part. We ate for 20 minutes, but we talked for about 2 hours.

As for fabrics, I’m blessed to live approximately 8 minutes away from one of the most delightful discount fabric stores: Sewfisticated. OK, I’ll be the first to admit that the place is a tad grungy, massively disorganized, and hardly reliable—but that’s part of the fun. You can’t conjure up your dream quilt and walk in expecting to find the exact right fabrics, but you can enter with a vague plan—or better yet no plan at all—and let the fabrics be your guide. Having finished my Onion Quilt, I decided to take this approach and walked away with yards and yards of fabrics that came to about $20:

 

Basically, I’m turning these into another Onion-like quilt (appliqué, reverse appliqué, lots of hand stitching) but I decided to start this one with a patchwork base. Blue and red is my go-to favorite color combination—but I soon realized that this is rather like the American flag, so without meaning to I’m making a very patriotic-looking quilt (Z, who has “Made in the USA” tattooed across the side of her upper ribcage, was delighted).  

 

Even while working with limited materials (incidentally, my last Onion Quilt was made entirely from leftovers in my stash; I only purchased the backing fabric), I’ve stumbled upon an aesthetic that feels very natural to me. There’s something I love about the freedom of appliqué (still combined with a bit of patchwork, of course), the added visual texture of embroidery floss, and the relaxation of slow hand stitching. Sometimes I feel like I’m always coming up with the next idea, but I think I’ll be taking this approach for quite a while.

I also inherited some free fabrics the other day. I come from a family of savers—but we’re also cleansers. Fortunately, my Mom recently decided to do some cleaning and came across a big plastic bag of random fabrics. They needed a serious washing, but I’ve picked through and discovered some pretty fun patterns:

 

What I love about inheriting fabrics is you end up with something you wouldn’t normally select, but unexpectedly love—and limited means always sparks true creativity. Who knows what I’ll conjure up with these.

This is turning into a rather lengthy blog post but I feel like sharing one of my favorite, super-easy and cheap recipes: baked acorn squash stuffed with baked beans. This is an extremely simplified version of baked beans but, you know what, it tastes delicious and it’s low maintenance, staple qualities of the frugal life 😉

Acorn Squash and Baked Beans

  • 1 acorn squash
  • 2 T butter
  • Salt
  • Chili pepper
  • 1 cup red beans
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 1 T ketchup
  • 2 strips of bacon, broken into little bits (optional)

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Carefully cut the acorn squash in half and scrape out the seeds and stringy buts with a spoon. Rub the inside of each half with 1 T of butter and sprinkle with salt and chili pepper. Place the halves flesh-side up in a baking dish filled with a ¼ inch of water. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the molasses and ketchup in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Stir for about 3-5 minutes. Add the beans and continue to stir for another 5 minutes. Ad this point, you can add the bacon bits if you are including them.

Divide the beans evenly and add to the cavities of the acorn squash. Bake for another 35-40 minutes, until the squash is soft when pierced with a fork—but you’ll want to eat this dish with a spoon.

                I find this to be a seriously satisfying meal—plus beans are a bargain as well as a nutritional powerhouse.

                Of course, sometimes you still feel like going out for dinner and enjoying some fresh air while wandering around Davis Square—but who says a night on the town can’t involve burritos from Blue Shirt Café and JP Licks ice cream?

 

                Sometimes that’s just as good as a super-fancy 5-course meal. That being said, I was delighted to receive a phone call from EVOO last night inviting Kyle and I to attend their final dinner this evening. This is both delightful and sad since you’ve probably noticed I have a disproportionate fondness for this restaurant—it’s the perfect balance of class, casualness, and comfortingly delicious food. In fact, I’m sure we got the invite because the wonderful folks who work there know the serious withdrawal that I’m in for while they switch locations. Where else can you get “Turf in Surf” (soft-shell crab stuffed with chicken sausage) or cornmeal fried oysters with goat cheese dipping sauce—where else will the waitress sit and chat with you at the table for 15 minutes while you wait for your perpetually late boyfriend?

               I’m thankful they’re not closing altogether, but I’ll always have a special affection for their little nook on Beacon St. Then again, less easy access to EVOO could be good news for my bank account.

2 Comments

Filed under cooking, quilting, sewing

Binding and Bonding

‘Tis the weekend of love. Yes, I’m one of those people who gets totally into Valentine’s Day—and no, not because I’ve been happily coupled up for going on seven years (wow that makes me feel old!) I’ve always loved Valentine’s Day because I’ve always been blessed with lots of love in my life—family, friends..hey, sewing counts too, right? 😉

Naturally, I’m spending tonight with Kyle (he’s making dinner, let the culinary adventures begin!). He’s camera shy so a shot of the gorgeous roses that he sent to my office this week will have to do:

 

But yesterday was a celebration of some of my other loves. I spent most of the day cutting up scrappy strips and turning them into binding for my Onion Quilt.

 To be honest, I don’t know if I can really call this part of the quilting process a love since hours spent ironing bias binding aren’t really that much fun, but I do enjoy all that slip stitching. Anyway, I have officially finished the Onion Quilt:

 

 Hooray! Naturally, I love finishing a quilt—but it’s also a tad sad, like letting go of an old companion. I really enjoyed working on this one too, and have to force myself to stop adding lines of running stitch lest I overwhelm it.

What better way to celebrate a completed quilt than with an evening of love? First, pre-dinner drinks at Grafton St. (and delicious truffled mac and cheese) with a friend:

 

Apparently Alicia and I need as many ‘last’ get togethers as possible before she moves to Connecticut. The official move is on Tuesday and I’m going to miss her so, but am consoled by the fact that we already have plans for an NYC reunion.

Then dinner (and some pretty fabulous cocktails) with another dear friend:

 

My darling Welton. Doesn’t he look like a model? We went to a new restaurant called East by Northeast which serves tapas-style Asian fusion. Mmmm sweet potato fritters, butternut squash dumplings…my belly was quite content.

Welton had to hit the books post-dinner (Harvard Law School ain’t easy) so I spent the rest of the night with the boys:

 

That’s Mikey on the right, my surrogate big brother whom I’ve known for more than ten years, and Brecher Bear (Andrew Brecher) on the left who gets his nickname from the fact that he’s about 6’8” and gigantic (keep in mind, I’m pretty tall myself):

 

And, of course, Lucas (the only person I know to have made a living off of gambling for about two years):

 

Now, I’m not much of a beer drinker but I love these boys enough to get into the spirit of it all:

 

Ah, the things we’ll do for love. Of course, in the end, a girl’s first and truest love will always be one man:

 

 Me and my Dad at the end of a lovely dinner at EVOO on Thursday, which ended with another great love:

 

Oh Warm Chocolate Truffle Cake. Why are you so good?!

 And tomorrow? A Valentine’s Day brunch with my sisters–and, of course, so much more sewing. Love really is all around.

1 Comment

Filed under quilting

Me Time

Even though Boston had been bracing itself for the worst, we got effectively no snow in the end. Schools were let out early or canceled altogether—my boss even insisted that I leave around 1 pm when the flurries started coming down, but by the time I was home, the flurries had stopped and not much more came along.

It’s kind of odd to have all that anticipation and, in the end, no heaping piles of snow to show for it. I have mixed feelings since:

  1. I love the snow! It’s beautiful and a good excuse to stay huddled indoors (read: sew), but
  2. Snow makes for treacherous driving and I have a Prius (an older model that hasn’t been recalled but I still don’t trust it in bad weather) and I’ve been enjoying my outdoor runs these days.

Anyway, this storm-that-wasn’t did mean that I found myself home early. Kyle had a business dinner to attend to, so I cozied up with my Onion Quilt (running stitch is flowing from fingers uncontrollably) and had the time to make myself a leisurely dinner.

Now, I love my boyfriend, but I also love those evenings all to myself where I can indulge in my SSB: secret single behavior (I hope at least some of you get the Sex and the City reference—incidentally, watching Sex and the City is one of my secret single behaviors, but it’s the least strange of them all …)

I also love making dinner for one. You get to eat exactly what you want and sometimes enjoy the leftovers for days to come. On the other hand, I don’t always want leftovers, especially if I know I’ll be out for a few days. I experience enormous guilt when food goes bad. So last night I came up with a wonderful solo dining solution that was delicious, fun, easy to make, and leftovers-free.

Pizza for One

  • 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • ½ T baking powder
  • Pinch of salt*
  • Pinch of oregano
  • ¼ cup room temperature water
  • Dollop of EVOO

Combine the whole wheat flour, baking powder, salt, and oregano in a medium bowl. Form a well in the middle of the flour mixture and add the water and EVOO. Fold in the flour until you have a kneadable dough (you may need slightly more water; add just a bit at a time).

Knead the dough for about 4-6 minutes (yes, this is slightly tricky since it’s such a small amount, but you can still press it with the heel of your hand, rotate, etc.). Allow the dough to rest in an airtight plastic bag for about an hour.

Meanwhile, prepare your ingredients. For this pizza, I steamed a few broccoli florets and roasted some butternut squash.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.

Grease a pizza stone (I use the bottom of my La Cloche) or baking sheet. Press the dough into an approximately 8″ circle (or larger if you prefer a thinner crust). Cover with your toppings. I topped mine with tomato sauce, the broccoli and butternut squash, chopped dates, feta cheese, and sharp cheddar.

Bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until the crust starts to brown slightly and the cheese has melted.

*It used to drive me crazy when recipes had vague terms like “pinch” and “dollop” in them—but honestly, that’s how real cooking happens. You’ll get the feel for these amounts soon enough, and then you’ll really be enjoying the process.

So I was a happy lady last night with homemade pizza and hand sewing to keep me company. On the other hand, I’m also looking forward to another dinner at EVOO tonight. Maybe this time I’ll remember to snag a snapshot of my glorious, favorite chocolate cake in the world before I polish it off.

The one thing about lots of hand sewing is my fingers get a bit tender after a couple of hours, which is when I switch over to a more finger-friendly activity: knitting. Check out these scrappy socks that I’m working on with all my little bits of Cascade:

 

I have no pattern or plan for these babies; it’s just one stripe at a time. Improvisation seems to be my working method of choice these days. It’s making these socks such fun to work on, and it keeps me on my toes, so to speak!

Leave a comment

Filed under Bread, clothing, cooking, knitting, quilting

Lucky Number 3

Sometimes I like to look for patterns in my life. More often than not, whatever I pick up on is arbitrary or a bit of a stretch, but it’s still kind of fun to think about—as if there’s some underlying cosmic  order making sense of my seemingly random endeavors. On that note…

I’ve decided that 3 was a good number for me this weekend. After attending a welcome reception with Kyle at Harvard Business School on Friday night, we went to my favorite burger place where I devoured my go-to meal:

I almost always get the same 3 things at BGood: Westside burger, sweet potato fries, and crisp veggies.

But the best 3 of all was my 3 cousins who visited from St. Louis and Providence:

Amy, Erica, Charlotte (sister), Jamie (and me).

Such gorgeous ladies 😉 We spent Saturday night out on the town, from drinks at Eastern Standard to delicious Mexican food and margaritas at La Verdad (where, incidentally, I got the combo of 3 different kinds of tacos) and more drinks at the Foundation Lounge. Cousins are just marvelous.

As for Sunday, well, as far as I’m concerned the Superbowl = an excuse to eat chili and get in some quality knitting time. By the end of the first quarter, I had completed my 3-block hat:

I don’t have the size 1 circular needles that the pattern called for so I improvised with size 5 and a 3×3 rib. Somehow, despite the fact that I totally winged this and didn’t count stitches/check gauge/measure my head…it fits! And, as luck would have it, my stash of Cascade is still relatively plentiful. I may have even cast on some socks to keep me occupied for the rest of the game. How I love football.

I also added the 3rd layer to my onion quilt. At Sewfisticated (incidentally, owned by the mother of the guy who owns BGood–how random is that!) I found this green plaid fabric, which does and doesn’t match to just the right degree:

Now I’m working on adding long running stitches to hold it all together.

Finally, I kicked off my Monday with one last 3. Much to my own surprise, I have registered for a triathlon. A super short (and hopefully easy) one, but a triathlon none the less. I’m equally terrified and excited. I’m one of those people who actually enjoys working out (sorry) so I happen to be decent at running and swimming (biking…not so much, though I manage to pant my way through spinning classes every now and then). But I’ve never competed in any kind of athletic event so my goal is quite simply to complete this crazy endeavor without any major mishaps or embarrassments.  My boss somehow pursuaded me, and while my first instinct was a big fat resounding ‘no,’ the idea is really growing on me. Either way, I don’t plan on coming home with any medals which takes some of the pressure off 😉

So far, all I really know about training for these types of events is that you get to ‘carbo load.’ I know, I have many months before I really need to be doing this, but isn’t that just the best excuse to re-devote some attention to my bread baking? I think so.

2 Comments

Filed under clothing, knitting, quilting

KISS

Up until two days ago, I was sure that I was going to a wedding in Baltimore this weekend—an anticipated 20″ of snow put an end to that (which is sad, I love weddings!)

 Any amount of travel requires me to make some adjustments to my fabric-related goals. Obviously, I don’t expect to get much sewing done—and even my recent hand sewing obsession would be hard to whip out on an airplane. In other words, travel = knitting.

But when I realized I wouldn’t be traveling this weekend, I instantly started making all kinds of plans—Saturday night dancing, Sunday brunch—and all kinds of crafting goals. Maybe I’ll finish my onion quilt! Maybe I’ll start another, even bigger onion quilt and complete the first layer! Maybe I’ll also finish my giant Mexican napkin pillow…I can be a bit overambitious.

Then I try to remember a simple little phrase: Keep It Simple Silly. Or, KISS. Yes, I know, this is rather hokey—but worth keeping in mind as well. Productivity is certainly gratifying, and Lord knows I’ll enjoy some sewing time this weekend. But perhaps I won’t make any goals. Perhaps I’ll stick to the original plan, which was to slowly work away at my latest knitting project.

I’ve been making the Three Block Cap from Vivian Hoxbro’s “Knit to be Square”, using my own color combinations, of course. I love the funky construction of domino knitting (even though I’m rather mediocre at picking up stitches) and this hat is put together in a particularly odd way. It’s basically composed of three nine-patches which are connected into a bowl-like shape:

 

 Right now, it looks like some kind of weird octopus creature. I’m in the process of filling in those gaps.

And, oh, the colors!

 

I seem to have a never-ending supply of leftover Cascade yarn. Not that I’m complaining.

 

 I’ve been working on this hat for months—it’s the project I squeeze in at odd moments on the subway, in line at the grocery store, etc. And I have no real ambitions about when I want to complete it. So, inspired by Soule Mama’s Slow Knitting, I’m going to stick with the original plan and take it easy this weekend. Oh, sure, I’ll probably pay a visit to Sewfisticated and squeeze in some hand stitching–and I wouldn’t mind finding the time to make Jessica’s Creamy White Bean Dip; this girl and her amazing recipes are my latest blog crush–but I have no goals. I’m just going to knit, one triangle at a time.

Come to think of it, KISS could also be: Knitting In Slow Steps, Knitting Is Slow & Steady… or something like that…

3 Comments

Filed under knitting