Archive for August, 2010

Foodie Friday?

Friday, August 27th, 2010

This may be a new feature on Friday’s since food and changing my diet has been on my mind so much lately. We went to Costco last Sunday. I felt very spoiled and also pretty healthy with almost no prepared food, as I was buying lamb, tilapia fillets, scallops, and chicken for my proteins. Everything but the chicken is somewhat of a specialty item for us, though I’d like to have more frozen fish on hand in general. Lamb is a special treat, though I will say it’s tons cheaper for us to fix at home then to go out and eat at a fancy restaurant.

Do you want to see what I ate for dinner this week?

Freshly picked pea pods from my garden, zucchini, and chicken on rice noodles. I wanted to make this a Thai curry dish since I wasn’t able to eat wheat this day. Evidently DH was not on board with that plan and as a result, let’s just say that rice noodles need a flavorful sauce.

Food

Dessert the day I was challenging wheat. I had a portion of Cream of Wheat cereal leftover from breakfast that I needed to eat so I put strawberries and a bit of almond milk with it, a weak attempt at a similarity to rice pudding. It was gross.

Food

Quinoa and Black Beans. I had to swap the corn for celery. I served this on a bed of greens from my garden with half an avocado on top.

Food

Crustacean challenge day! About 9 am I fixed myself half a dozen shrimp sauteed in garlic. So yummy. For dinner – shrimp again, but this time we had a few scallops too. I cheated my diet and had wheat noodles with this dish.

Food

With the seafood pasta I also had a big bowl of salad greens with avocado, sunflower seeds, and lemon juice. I’ve been eating so many salads I get sick of them. It helps to mix them up a bit with different vegetable accompaniments.

Food

Steamed fish with veggies (yellow squash, zucchini, onion). Seasoned with lemon, garlic, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Next time I’ll add a splash of white wine too. This is the first time I’ve ever cooked fish; I was very satisfied with the result.

Food

It made two smallish servings. That was no problem though because we scarfed down some sweet potato fries while waiting for the fish to finish cooking.

Food

The good news is that I had no reaction to wheat or crustaceans. I also challenged egg yolks and the result wasn’t so favorable – I had pangs of gallbladder pain both morning and evening after eating a few yolks. Coming up on my list to challenge: cheese, nightshades, and soy.

WIP Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

With Vinca done I only have one project on the needles. I’m really torn between starting a smallish project that will use up a stash yarn (still obsessed about lowering my stash count) or starting a Christmas gift project. Hmm…I guess the thing to do is find something that meets both criteria.

I’m also continuing to work on finishing up sewing projects. Guess I may as well put those on this list. 😉

1. Misti Alpaca Baktus – I’m getting a repeat or 2 done at lunch each day, but that’s about it. Hey look, it’s a new photo, but it really doesn’t look much different then last week.

Lacy Baktus

2. Bright Placemats and Coasters – these are almost done. Just one placemat left to stitch the binding down on.

Placemats

10 Shawls 2010: Vinca Shawl

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

This is actually my eleventh shawl for 10 Shawls in 2010.

Vinca Shawl

Vinca Shawl

Vinca Shawl

Vinca Shawl

Vinca Shawl

Pattern: Vinca Shawl by Miriam Felton (MimKnits), available in her book Twist & Knit.
Yarn: 3 skeins of Knit Picks Shadow, Kettle Dyed in colorway Eggplant
Needles: US #4 (3.5 mm) Addi Turbo circular and 3.5 mm double points
Notes: Wow was this one a long haul. Looking back on it, Summer simply isn’t the best time to knit a big shawl because I don’t have as much time available. I love the finished product though, it was totally worth it.

I did half an extra repeat of the chart for the counterpane, which then means my wings are a bit wider as well. This took my shawl from 940 yards specified in the pattern to a whopping 1250 yards. Since I’m tall, I also knit the wings a bit longer too.

The pattern is awesome. Miriam includes detailed instructions for the special cast on and for binding off. Then she details how to adjust the size of the pattern to suit your available yarn. Definitely do as she says and start on double point needles. My blog post about getting started is here.

Vinca Shawl

My Wee, Miniature Garden

Friday, August 20th, 2010

My garden is the laughingstock of the neighborhood. It really is quite amusing…have you ever seen zucchini so tiny? Look at the size of my soaker hose next to the plant. It’s actually been a tough year for gardening even for the professional farmers in Washington so I don’t feel too bad.

Garden

These are actually the thinned out carrots. Hopefully the remaining ones will grow.

Garden

Garden

In fact, the peas are the only thing that’s doing okay which led me to believe our soil is very low on nitrogen. After fertilizing with a high nitrogen granule the plants did perk up a bit.

Garden

Garden

Here’s the first harvest. It doesn’t help that the chipmunks ate 3 of my lettuce plants.

Garden

Oh well, this is the first year. We didn’t invest much time or effort in improving the soil. Next year things will be much better because I’ll have Miss Blondie’s composted horse manure to mix in.

WIP Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

Since I divided my time last week between knitting, spinning, and sewing I don’t have a ton of knitting progress to show you this week.

1. Vinca – I’ve completely forgotten how many repeats I did on this last week. I know I did at least one. It’s getting close to the finish line. My goal is to have it off the needles before Wednesday next week.

2. Misti Alpaca Baktus – a few repeats here and there has amounted to enough that I can at least show you a progress shot. There’s really no rush on this, it’s fulfilling it’s purpose as the easy knit that I carry along with me each day.

Lacy Baktus

More on My Diet

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

I really don’t think this is going to turn into a food blog, simply because I’m not a very good cook. However, I do want to share a bit more of my pain with you all.

THREE weeks of liver detox diet. Now I am 1 week into the next 4 weeks of food challenges. *sigh* At this point I’m getting desperate to add in other fruits and veggies just for some variety. There are some great gluten free and vegan products out there, but right now my diet is a mix of those two which makes it really difficult.

Here are some of the things I’ve been eating. Tuna melt style patties (tuna, Grey Poupon mustard, chickpea flour, onion) grilled in olive oil, on top of iceberg lettuce. A nice change from tuna straight out of the can. Technically I shouldn’t have the mustard because it has sugar, but I couldn’t help it. At least it’s sugar and not high fructose corn syrup (I wouldn’t have eaten it if it had been HFCS).

Food

Sauteed yellow squash and zucchini with olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Served on brown rice. Love the little bit of heat from the red pepper flakes. Normally I’d top this with parmesan cheese.

Food

Turkey burger (ground turkey, chickpea flour, garlic, spices) with mustard and green beans. Boring. Only saved by the mustard and onion. A hamburger sounds really good right now.

Food

Ice cream! Just kidding. Believe it or not it’s banana. Whirl a frozen banana up in the food processor and this is what you get, banana flavored soft serve. Agave nectar added for sweetness.

Food

Currently craving:
– soy sauce (still)
– ice cream
– beer (it’s really hot here!)
– bread

Currently challenging/challenged:
– dairy, probably going to be banned from my diet. You should see what it does to my skin! Cheese is tested separately.
– egg whites, undecided, may test again later.
– corn, not looking good. Itchy throat, makes me want to cough.

Seriously wondering what’s going to be left since I keep reacting negatively to things I add back. 🙁 I know I’ll feel better if I eliminate the ones I am reacting too, but please oh please let me at least keep wheat if I can’t have corn!

My Crafty Weekend

Monday, August 16th, 2010

It was way too hot to do much of anything outside or horse related this weekend so I holed up in my craft room. We’re lucky to have air conditioning that does a decent job of cooling the downstairs if you’re not going in/out or cooking too much.

I did a little spinning. It took me a few minutes to get back into the flow as it’s been a long time since I picked up a spindle.

Weekend Craftiness

Then, a little sorting through old magazines and pattern books. These were my Grandma Honey’s. It’s been quite interesting to flip through them – there are a number of baby patterns that are just as cute as any you’d find in a Debbie Bliss book today. The adult patterns though? Not so much. There are a few classic sweater patterns that I’m going to keep, but most of the patterns are big boxy, shapeless things. Or really tacky 70’s style.

(1) Here’s a couple of sweaters I liked that would only need basic alterations like shortening the length and adding waist shaping. (2) An example of the baby cuteness. (3) What the ??

Weekend Craftiness

Weekend Craftiness

Weekend Craftiness

Followed by a little machine sewing and some hand finishing. I feel like it’s a dirty word, but I’ve been mulling over Christmas gift ideas. However, before I start anything new I have several half a dozen a dozen (*sigh*) sewing projects that I need to finish up.

Weekend Craftiness

I also did some knitting on Vinca. Which I’m not going to show you because it’s the same as last time except for being 1 repeat longer.

Vinca Progress

Friday, August 13th, 2010

I couldn’t let the whole week go by until next Wednesday without showing you these photos. I knew I needed to measure my Vinca to figure out how much longer to make the wings and I wanted to see it on the dress form. It’s a bit of a guess still since it’s not blocked, but you get the idea.

Vinca

Vinca

Vinca

See how the front in the middle photo isn’t even close to being able to drape over my arm? Even when I stretch a section to see how much it’s likely to grow during blocking it’s not there yet. More knitting to be done! Three more repeats and I’ll do another size check.

WIP Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

We had a damp, rainy weekend – good for indoor projects, not so good for anything outdoors.

1. Vinca – Three repeats were completed in the last week. The measurement I’m trying to reach is at least 50 inches on the long side, maybe a touch more since I’m tall. Currently I have at least 44 inches which is exciting since it means I’m getting close to the end.

2. Misti Alpaca Baktus – a repeat here and one there, but not much to show for progress.

Can I distract you with food since I have no knitting photos? I’m also making progress on my liver detox. I completed 3 weeks of the very restricted diet and now I’m challenging some of the restricted foods to see if I have any negative reactions to them. Do you want to see more of what the restricted diet looks like?

Sweet potato, kind of plain, but they are moist, sweet, and filling. Much healthier than white potatoes too.

Food

This salad is almost entirely out of my friend Terese’s garden. She gave me the lettuce, green beans, carrots. Strawberries were offered, but I had California strawberries that needed to be used up.

Food

Not much in this salad is local, but it was pretty tasty. Something I’ve found with salads is that when I can’t have dressing, fruit makes a pretty good substitute. I’ve also been known to use some fresh squeezed lemon juice too. I’m still craving a true Waldorf salad. *sigh*

Food

Lacy Baktus

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

Finally, I have halfway decent photos to show you. This project has been so difficult to photograph. Something about the handpainted colors, the camera can’t get a good focus on them.

Lacy Baktus

Lacy Baktus

Lacy Baktus

Pattern: Lacy Baktus by Terhi Montonen with permission from Strikkelise who designed the original Baktus.
Yarn: 1 skein of Artful Ewe hand dyed merino, worsted(?)
Needles: US #5 (3.75 mm) Addi Turbo circular
Notes: This is such a lovely, easy project. I think it suits the yarn well – better than you can tell in the photos, though I had my doubts in the beginning few inches! I tried to get a few photos that show the true color of the yarn, plus the finished size of the shawl.

Overall, I liked this project enough to immediately cast on for another one. 🙂 This last photo, while poor quality, does at least show how big it turned out when knit with this yarn/needle combination.

Lacy Baktus