La Cumparsita

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The pattern for La Cumparsita is now available for purchase. Get all the details about the pattern here.


Though I've shown it as a shawl, this pattern is the perfect size to wrap around your neck as a versatile scarf, easily unfurled to cover those chilly arms or shoulders, when you are out for a nice meal or at the theater.

The pattern is made up of two simple lace motifs that grow down and out from the top center point. A simple picot bind off adds a charming touch to the hem of the shawl. The pattern will beautifully showcase your favorite kettle dyed, and nearly solid hand-painted sock yarns, or would look striking in a silk or mohair yarn.

Out of towners

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My brother and his girlfriend came up from So Cal to visit. It was great to see them.

Matt and Aileen Visit

We took them to our favorite fancy pantsy sushi restaurant, then out for cocktails and some dancing.

Matt and Aileen Visit

In case you were wondering, Leo's still shaving his head.

Ooh and Matt brought along an awesome belated birthday present; a whole POUND of undyed soy silk fiber. That's just half of it, there.

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I plan to hand card it with some wool. I was playing around with it a little on my spindle and I really like the way the soft creamy color plays against the cool purple.

It's always nice to have a little spinning project when I'm also working on a knitting project, like, say, another super secret publication piece.

New project

What-o-what will it be?

By the way, my tech editor for La Cumparsita has been the awesome and we're already ahead of schedule so I'm hoping to have the final pattern available for sale in the next week or so.

La Cumparsita -- Coming Soon

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La Cumparsita is arguably the most famous tango. We may not all be masters of those intricate yet subtle steps and intimate grips, turns and dips, but we can surely feel as sultry, wrapped in an airy and soft lacy shawl.

La Cumparsita

Sometimes finishing a project is an act of pure willpower and sometimes projects are a joy from conception to completion. This project fell into the latter, for me. I had no other pending deadlines, so this wasn't even a procrastination project, it was simply fun to knit.

La Cumparsita La Cumparsita La Cumparsita

  • Pattern: My own (to be released soon!)
  • Size: 62”/157.5 cm wide by 31”/70 cm deep
  • Yarn: Dizzy Blonde Yarns Super Sock in Farrah
  • Yardage: 550 of the 560 yards in the skein (WOOHOO!)
  • Needle: US#5/3.75mm

I am nearly done writing the draft of this pattern and am looking for a tech editor to finalize it. I hope to have the pattern available for sale by next month (fingers crossed.)

La Cumparsita

And for the gentleman

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I got Leo's scarf all warped up. I haven't spent as much time weaving as I'd like to, but when I do, it's completely entrancing.

So far, I've been kinda winging it with my weaving projects, but since this is for someone else, I wanted to carefully plan what I did. I had two possible accent colors; red and blue. The blue was fine but both Leo and I liked the red better. So I went through three stages of plotting the pattern, shown below. I did this all in Illustrator. The first shows a very small scale plaid, which would be fine but I have found that stripes that are less than 4 rows long don't look as nice because you have to weave in the ends and they take up as much extra space as the rows themselves. So the second version shows the same plaid but with all the rows doubled. The last version has the plaid slightly modified and offset so the center stripe is the accent color. You can click each of the swatches to embiggen.

As much as I like the plaid, I might make a version for me that's thinner and has just the vertical stripes. I think that'd look pretty nifty, and I'll have plenty of the yarn left over.

The dynamics of working a weaving project is pretty different than knitting. With knitting, if I get a little bored with a project, it can go into a black hole of solitude, never to be seen again (or at least until the yarn or needles are required for something else.) But with weaving, I can't start my next project until I finish the one on the loom, which means that my constant startitis is handily defeated. It's not that weaving isn't fun it's that I have a dozen different ideas I want to execute and I can't do them all at once so I have to do crazy things like prioritize and time manage. Whoda thunkit?

Brown and red plaid scarf

I'm awaiting yarn for a publication piece so in the interim, my knitting time has been spent on some brown lace

Prett brown lacy something

I don't yet know if this will be submitted somewhere or self published so I'm just showing this little teaser for now. Notice the lifeline running through. Lifelines are like car insurance, damn inconvenient when everything is going fine and totally worth it when you actually need it. Ask me how I know.

Also, I think this blog needs some dog

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For some reason, they'd much much rather lie on our bed than on their own.

Domestic

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I'm not so much the domestic type, especially in the kitchen, I have a few decent dishes I can pull out in a pinch but mostly I classify my cooking style is "faux-made," whereby I spruce up ready-made dishes. But hey, I can do things to ramen that would rock your world.

Still, there are a few things that are easy enough that even I can make them from scratch (I get a pass on broth and canned tomatoes, right?) and stews are top on that list. I love stew, with its big chunks of yummy goodness and lots of veggies and some sort of starch. (I have a love for carbs that knows no bounds.)

Lately, I've been exploring lentils. I don't much care for beans but I wanted to get more legumes into my life, so, lentils it is. A little reading online and what I discovered (no attempt has been made to determine the veracity of these claims) about lentils is:

  • Don't cook your lentils with salt, they get tough
  • Standard lentils are better for soups than the various color ones because they stay firmer
  • The "best" lentils for soups are the French Green
  • Hard water can make lentils tough
  • You don't have to soak the lentils ahead of time but it's often recommended anyway.
  • Otherwise, you really can't mess them up

So, with that in mind, I created this fairly simple concoction.

Not Quite Vegetarian -- but could be -- Veggie Lentil Soup

I'll make note of how you could make this vegan, were you so inclined.

Ingredients 1 Ingredients 2
a whole lotta stuff

Makes oodles, halve or quarter if you don't plan to freeze some of it.

Ingredients

Stew
  • 1 c. - dry standard lentils
  • 1 c. - dry french green lentils
  • 1 - sweet onion
  • 1 - head of garlic
  • 2Tbs - fresh thyme
  • 3lbs - fingerling potatoes (I really like taters, adjust to your taste)
  • 1.5lb - carrots
  • 3 c. - mushrooms
  • 3 oz - pancetta (1 package, give or take) leave out for vegetarian
  • olive oil
  • 2 cans - diced tomatoes
  • 1 quart - chicken broth replace with vegetable broth for vegetarian
  • 2Tbs - tomato sauce (or to taste)
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste

Garnish
Garnish goodness. Use some or all.

Garnish
  • olive oil
  • fresh cilantro or parsley
  • fresh thyme
  • fresh grated parmesan omit for vegan

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