Wednesday, May 26, 2010

What did your pheasant do today?

An evening alone while the honey is golfing with his buddies.  It started with pulling up to our driveway to see two rooster pheasants fighting in our front yard.  I have to say this was a first.  No, not the first pheasant in our yard.  We have had a pheasant family in our neighborhood for several years and I awake almost every morning to the male pheasant's call.  In fact, while Charlie feels the need to chase almost every bird out of our yard he has come to accept the male pheasant of the clan as he seems to particularly like our yard and is almost as big as Charlie.  So for the most part Charlie ignores him, for which I am thankful because I think he is beautiful and get a kick out of occasionaly seeing him on our garage roof standing sentry.  However, I have never seen more than one rooster pheasant at a time and certainly not in our yard, and most definitely not fighting.  It was quite the sight.

Since there was nobody else to decide dinner with I decided to experiment.  I baked a couple of cod fillets in the oven with the typical seasonings, but I decided to create a caper and dill sauce from scratch with no recipe and with never having actually made it before.  I used a little mayo, a little sour cream, capers and some of their brine, dill, lemon juice, and salt and pepper.  I must say it turned out pretty good, though all the experimenting to get the flavors right resulted in way too much sauce.  Good thing I planned to have it on the side.  I will decide another day what to do with the leftovers. 

For the side I decided to make some miso soup.  I used my favorite brand of miso paste, Westbrae Natural (white is my favorite, but they make all the colors).  I usually add onion and thinly sliced potatoes, but we used the last of the potatoes for Sunday's breakfast.  So I added onion and red pepper instead.  Divine.

This last photo is actually from yesterday, but I have to share.  Charlie loves laying on blankets.  He has recently fallen in love with this one fleece blanket I made this winter (it has colorful little owls on it and I love it too).  Usually it has been left on the couch by yours truly from using it the night before.  Well some efficient soul (that would be Mark) decided to fold it and place it in the metal tub I use to hold lap afghans and blankets in the living room.  Apparently this just would not do for Charlie once he was left alone the next day while Mark and I were at work.  He must have decided to pull the blanket out of the tub and out onto the floor and promptly turn it into the perfect bed because this is what Mark found when he got home first.

I actually had the honors of taking the picture approximately two hours later though because Mark left it for me because he knew I would want to see first hand what our industrious little dog had done.  He was right!  The top right hand corner shows the tub where the blanket was once neatly folded and laying peacefully.  If you look close at Charlie's bed you can see what was probably the curve of his adorable little body pressing down the perfect blanket bed.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Fall Creek Fibers

My friend Brie is transitioning her perfect little etsy shop, theurchiness, into Fall Creek Fibers.  In her own words it is theurchiness all grown up.  Those of you who are already fans of theurchiness, do not fret. She is taking everything her shop already is (warm, cozy, friendly, and colorful) and adding to it and making it so much more.  I have been a fan of her eye for color from day one and it is the reason she is my main source of handspun yarns and handpainted rovings.  She is simply the best!  She has taken her unfaltering knack for color and has developed a new line of handpainted yarn as Fall Creek Fibers.  You can get a sneak peak at her developing beauty in theurchiness shop now at a discounted price before Fall Creek Fibers goes into full swing.  I assure you I have taken full advantage of these preview prices. 

First there is Fall Creek Fibers Monarch Worsted.  It is 100% Superwash Merino and has all the bounce and softness you would expect from merino wool.  I snagged the Geoffrey colorway.

218 yards, worsted weight

I also snatched the Buckeye colorway of the new Fall Creek Fibers Meadow Sock.  This is a delectable mix of superwash merino wool, cashmere (and all the silky softness it is known for), and a touch of nylon for strength.  These will soon become my favorite pair of socks, I have no doubt.

435 yards, fingering weight

My stash also now includes two glorious hanks of the Fall Creek Fibers Powder Mill Sock yarn.  This luscious yarn is a 50% Superwash Merino and 50% Silk and oh yes, it is just as soft as your imagnation tells you to expect.  I could not pass up the Sookie colorway as much as because it is an excellent blend of colors as because I am a True Blood fan through and through.  This includes all the books as well as the series.  What can I say, I have a soft spot for sexy vampires.  I am now in search of the perfect pattern and am taking suggestions.

437 yards, fingering weight

Last, but certainly not least, I added Fall Creek Fibers River Sport (50% Merino and 50% Suri Alpaca) in the Chantel colorway to my collection.  That's right, she named one of her colorways after me and I cannot tell you how flattered I am!  The colors are a perfect representation of me and I have a roving to match just waiting for me to spin it up.  Alpaca is also one of my favorite fibers as it is super warm and soft with a gorgeous drape.  The merino in this yarn will allow all of the lovely attributes of the alpaca to shine while helping it hold its shape. 

327 yards, sport weight

I have already cast on this yarn using a pattern from one of my favorite designers, Ysolda Teague. I am creating the Scroll Lace Scarf and I think the two are a perfect compliment to each other.  (picture above better represents the colors)

So, what are you waiting for?  I have shared with you my Fall Creek Fibers treasures, but there are many more for the taking and loving.  Get going!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

American Craft Beer Week

Well, there is not much around these parts going on to celebrate American Craft Beer Week so I decided to make my own mini-celebration after stopping by opening night of my neighborhood's farmer's market.  I made a homemade BBQ Chicken Pizza on a wheat crust and am drinking Twin Stag Scottish Ale by Yakima Brewing Company.  I decided to pop this baby open tonight because my Beer and Fiber Swap buddy received her package today and this was one of the brews I shared with her! 

For the crust on my pizza I use a french bread recipe and use half whole wheat flour and half all-purpose flour.  While Mark had the grill going for our steaks last night I added on a couple chicken breasts and some big slices of purple onion.  Then today I spread the dough out on the pan, added our favorite BBQ sauce (Sweet Baby Rays), the grilled chicken, grilled onion, mushrooms, and some cheddar cheese.  Bake at 350 degrees until toasty brown and there you have it. 

I hope you are enjoying your American Craft Beer Week as much (if not more) than I.  Cheers!!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Something to make you smile

Last night Charlie Bear and I decided we were tired and were going to bed without Marky.  He could just catch up with us later.  Well, sure enough he did and apparently this is what he saw...

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Happy Birthday Sister!

It is this lovely woman's birthday today.

That is my sister, Summer, with her newest bundle of joy, Jacob.  I hate that we live in different states and at least a 7 hour drive apart.  I get to see her and meet Jacob for the first time over Memorial Day weekend though and that is not so far away at least. 

I still think of Summer as my little sister (hey she is 6 inches shorter than me - you know I had to get a big sister jab in there somewhere right), but she has grown into a wonderful woman and mother of four.  We are only 16 months apart so growing up we swung back and forth between best friends and confidants to embroiled enemies over some "borrowed" shirt, but one thing never changed.  We have always loved each other passionately and could always rely on each other when the need arose.  Now we are adult woman revovling around our seperate worlds, in seperate states, in seperate cities.  I miss getting to laugh with her, cry with her, and of course tease her (hey I told you I was the big sister) in person on a regular basis, but I still know that Summer would be there for me in a heartbeat and I there for her.  We are sisters.

I love you Summer!  Happy Birthday!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

FO Roll Call

Projects have been flying off my needles as I have at long last been able to knit items that only I wanted.  (Read: no more hats to make for a shop in Sandpoint.)  So how about a little roll call...

Waffle Stitch Cowl
Designer: Me (see pattern below)
Yarn: theurchiness (or should I start saying Fall Creek Fibers?) handspun
Colorway: Eric No. 2

Pattern: CO 104 with size 6 circular and complete the waffle stitch until your cowl is as tall as you like.
Waffle Stitch:
Rows 1 & 2 - K2,P2
Row 3 - K
Row 4 - P

Horseshoe Clutch
Designer: Me (free pattern coming soon)
Yarn: Patons Classic Merino Wool
Colorway: Cognac Heather

October Leaves Fingerless Mitts
Designer: Abbie Tilden
Yarn: Alchemy Juniper (love this yarn!)
Colorway: Koi Pond

I already know what I am going to cast on next (doesn't every knitter).  198 yards of Heaven by Christy Verity using Mirasol Miski and Shroom from the Winter 2009 Knitty issue using Malabrigo Chunky (so excited to try this yarn) are about to find their way onto my needles.  I really want to cast on My Vampire Boyfriend, but alas the KAL does not begin until June.  Do you think anyone will care if I cast on early?