twist and shout

Because I just never shut up

Reconnecting With Lost Loves June 24, 2013

Where have you been hiding...?

Where have you been hiding…?

That’s right…the lost loves I’m talking about are all UFOs. UnFinished Objects, for those few non-knitters who are reading this blog.

For the last few days, I’ve felt this overwhelming urge to get in touch with some of my previous fibery liaisons.

Sometimes I start a project and because the yarn, the styling, or the pattern stitch aren’t working, I grit my teeth and rip it out. Well honestly, sometimes I have to have a cooling off period before I frog stuff so I can come to terms with ripping out (throwing away) all those hours of work.

But a UFO?

In this case, I can’t imagine what happened to make me abandon these knitted affaire de coeurs. When I first started each of these projects, I was deeply in love. Whether it was the pattern, the yarn, or what I call a match made in heaven—being in love with both—I was inspired to start and get a good bit into the piece. These weren’t intended to be mere flings. What made me love them and leave them?

Looking back over the projects I’ve listed on Ravelry, I have to conclude that more often than not, I’m side-tracked by making presents. I do love to make and give handknit gifts. Especially for the 2 guys in my life: Captain Romance and Pops. They’re tough to buy gifts for—they usually just go and buy the stuff they want—and they actually appreciate and use what I make for them. Bliss for a knitter.

So after I finished those 2 Purl Soho Bandana Cowls and the Windschief Hat, I went through my WIP (Work In Progress) basket and looked through my individual project bags. It was kinda like Christmas with yarn. Lookie what I found:

This "Orchid Thief Shawl" by Ysolda is such a gorgeous shawl!

This “Orchid Thief Shawl” by Ysolda is such a gorgeous shawl!

It’s my “Punkinhead Thief Shawl.” It features the most delectable yarn I’ve ever slid between my fingers: Handmaiden Swiss Mountain Cashmere and Silk. Gorgeous doesn’t even begin to describe this amazing yarn. How can I have started it nearly, ahem, 2 years ago, and just set it aside half finished? I know there were some errata issues with the charts, but I got those worked out. Touching this yarn, I can’t imagine. Again, it appears that a variety of gifts, and then that really interesting Swirl Cardigan pushed my heart in another direction. Oh yeah, and then there was that “Global Cable Coat.”

I must tell you I smiled when I pulled the little project bag from the WIP basket and took a peek inside. That did it.ย I rescued itย this past Thursday, and at this moment, I have just about 24 more rows to go. Thats about 4000 to 6500 stitches left before I can block and wear this gorgeous shawl. ๐Ÿ™‚

With any luck, I’ll be on a roll to reconnect with the rest of my lost loves, and bring each love story to a happy ending.

 

Strawberry Boobs Forever June 19, 2013

Filed under: life — kathy @ 12:20 pm
Tags: , ,
After an hour of picking, you cannot believe how heavy and overflowing this box was. I think it was 6.5 lbs of berries.

After an hour of picking, you cannot believe how heavy and overflowing this box was. I think it was 6.5 lbs of berries.

Yes, I said the b word. Sorry.

 

But there’s no better way to illustrate how much fun Bug and I had on yet another trip out to Swanton Berry Farms in Davenport, CA for our annual late springย  U-pick celebration of strawberry bountifulness.

What an amazing setting...out on the horizon, there? That's the Pacific.

What an amazing setting…out on the horizon, there? That’s the Pacific.

What a charming little place; perched on a high plain at the edge of the Pacific, it was the perfect spot to escape the 90 degree day that was predicted for us last Friday. It’s always so much cooler there. The blasting ocean wind required a warm wooly hat–for me anyway…with all those curls, Bug has built in ear protection–and the bright sun required big dark sunglasses. Don’t I look silly? And layers were necessary, since we’d be driving back home to the warmth of the valley, after all.

Still, I suppose I wasn’t thinking when I selected that white top. On the other hand, the big blot of strawberry juice on the front of my shirt perfectly illustrates how great the picking was this year. It was like a treasure hunt, with some of the very best berries hidden away under broad leaves at the tops of their raised mounds.

Found it!

Found it!

DSCN0041As a midwestern girl, ย the way they grow strawberries here along the ocean always intrigues me: long rows of 2-foot-high mounds filled with sandy dark soil, all covered by blankets of black plastic to keep the roots of the little plants happy and toasty. And believe it, the sun over the open field really heats up those rows. Just placing my hand on the side of the mound to help steady myself as I crossed over the row, I could feel how warm it must be inside those cozy little beds.

Because of this TLC, the strawberries were amazing. And at some point, as the two of us crept through the rows, picking, lost in thought, breathing the intoxicating scent of warm strawberries on a cold ocean wind, we realized the heavy boxes we clutched so tight to our chests (or in my case, boobs), were just not going to hold one more berry. Indeed, there were berries falling out onto the ground, those boxes were so full.

Which is why I had “strawberry boobs.”

This is more adorable than   I can capture in any photo. There are couches and picnic tables on the other side of the room where you can enjoy your lunch or your pie, and games and storybooks for the kiddos, too.

This is more adorable than I can capture in any photo. There are couches and picnic tables on the other side of the room where you can enjoy your lunch or your pie, and games and storybooks for the kiddos, too.

Anyway, at that point it was time to go inside the adorable farm stand and pay for our berries. It always blows my mind that everyone pays on the honor system there.

 

U pick, U weigh, U pay.DSCN0011

 

And after a quick stop in Pescadero to pick up a delicious sandwich and couple of loves of Artichoke Garlic Focaccia at Arcangeli Grocery (thank goodness you can only get this amazing, addictive bread there or online…I made the most amazing crostini out of it for appetizers the next night, but I digress), and some delicious tree-ripened organic plums and fresh corn from another local farm stand, we made our way back over the hills to our hot little house.

 

 

YUM!

YUM!

And after yet another day covered in strawberries, I now have a pantry once again full of jewel-colored jars brimming with fresh jam, and a freezer full of strawberries for smoothies, or even another batch of jam (here’s a great recipe and website for recipes and how-tos of making jam–especially the low sugar version I make). Yeah, it’s a little work, a little mess, but believe me, opening a sunny jar of strawberry jam on a stormy winter day is well worth suffering through a strawberry boob. ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

I wish my day had an elastic waistband June 12, 2013

Filed under: knitting,life — kathy @ 9:02 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Every morning I get up bright and early, a list of things I’d like accomplish in hand. On the face of it, everything I put on that list the night before seems to be doable. But in reality, time rarely cooperates with my plans.

Okay, so I should know that this is how it goes, and that I’m not the only one who struggles with fitting everything into my day. Still, I try. Call me Pollyanna, but I try.

So at the risk of sounding like a big whiner, this is what happens:

This:

Two lovely PurlSoho Bandana Cowls in squooshy Malabrigo Rios, fell off my needles in about 4 to 5 days of knitting. One's a B-day pressie for Captain Romance, the other, a Father's Day pressie for Poppa.

Two lovely PurlSoho Bandana Cowls in squooshy Malabrigo Rios, fell off my needles in about 4 to 5 days of knitting. One’s a B-day pressie for Captain Romance, the other, a Father’s Day pressie for Poppa.

But NOT this:

That Dang Jaywalker sock. Slowly but surely coming along. Good thing I love the yarn

That Dang Jaywalker sock. Slowly but surely coming along. Good thing I love the yarn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This:

A cool old chair found at the end of someone's driveway in NJ (Yes, I've had it that llong) painted a wild color and filled up with bright flowers. Okay, CR hates the color. But it makes me and the Bug smile.

A cool old chair found at the end of someone’s driveway in NJ (Yes, I’ve had it that llong) painted a wild color and filled up with bright flowers. Okay, CR hates the color. But it makes me and the Bug smile.

But NOT this:

This is supposed to be my heavenly little patch of tomatoes, basil, and zucchini. There is nothing I can say...

This is supposed to be my heavenly little patch of tomatoes, basil, and zucchini. There is nothing I can say…

But then, I’m sure you all know what I mean. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I’d love to know your “this, but not this” choices.

 

 
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