Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Bead Obsession

I love beads.  Especially ethnic is eye candy for YOU and ME!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Stash busting-weekend weaving by the seat of my pants

Just like many other knitters and spinners I have this constant need to clean out and use up my stash of yarn!  I don't think I'm the worst of hoarders but I do tend to buy beautiful yarn and make a lot of beautiful yarn -even though I love it as it is, eventually I would like to make something with it.  Or give it to someone, or sell it.  Also, I really enjoy knitting socks and for some reason I keep being attracted to those variegated and multi colored sock yarns in the store and when I look at patterns I discover I really want to knit solid colored socks.  So I have a lot of these types of yarns and the ones that aren't hand dyed and super special might be nice as something other than socks.
A few months ago at one of my guild meetings a fabulous weaver Deb Jarchow shared a scarf she had made on her cricket loom out of stashed sock yarn.  It was really lovely was soft and warm not too fuzzy and a great use of the many colored sock yarn.  I have kept that scarf in the back of my mind ever since.  So when I found myself done with my recent big weaving project and not ready for another big project I decided to warp up my loom for one of these scarves.       
This is a great thing to do over a weekend.  I measured the warp in less than an 1/2 an hour 72” scarf + 22 inches of waste & shrinkage. I just used up the whole skein giving me 63 ends.  This is sort of backwards of the way I normally do things, but I didn't want to get too hung up in planning.
I decided to use a set of 10epi so the piece has a width of 6+inches.

With only 2 skeins of yarn I wound the bobbins I only got 6 1/2 of them. That worried me a bit because it wasn't quite enough.  I wove one bobbin finding that would give me 6” of weaving…meaning I would get about 36” altogether not quite enough for a good scarf.  To the rescue- The Internet!   I found another skein & ordered it for $8. Ok not too much expense but is it really stash busting if I have to buy one more skein?

I have concluded that the next round of yarn stash busting, if doing a scarf, I will be more careful with how much yarn I use for the warp. Maybe make it a bit shorter, thinner, maybe blend some left overs from sock knitting that matches there are many options.  It's all a good experience for me.  Making mistakes does allow for a lot of growth.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Road Home and the Kitchen

The last few months have been challenging to me mostly because I've had some health issues that have taken most of my time.  I started having a pain in my neck that made it more and more difficult to teach my dance classes and I was experiencing an incredible amount of fatigue.  Instead of winding you through the entire process, I'll advance you to where I am now.  I have a large nodular goiter which is consistent with Hashimoto's Disease -that is an auto immune disease that attacks the thyroid.  Anyway, I'm going to have surgery and I'll be on meds.  I feel good about all my choices to get back on the road to health especially to learn to rest more, practice more meditation and heal any emotional spiritual issues that may be at the root of developing a disease that has your body attacking itself.  All good.

Even though I haven't been blogging I still took lots of pictures...I'll just take the time over the next few days/weeks to document all that fun stuff that happens between doctor appointments and sleep.

Did I ever mention that my husband is of Portugese Hawaiian ancestory on his father's side of the family?  Probably not.  One of the first things we did together when we started dating was to make french toast with "Hawaiian Sweet Bread"  he loved that stuff because it reminded him of the Portugese Sweet Bread that his grandmother used to make when he was a little boy visiting her in Hawaii.  And I've always wanted to see if I could replicate that for him.

It turns out that the packaged bread they called Hawaiian Sweet Bread is indeed one and the same as Portugese Sweet Bread, brought to Hawaiian culture by those long ago whalers and sugar plantation workers from Portugal.  I learned this from the Bread Baker's Apprentice by Peter Reinhart.  My intention is to work my way through this book and learn to be a fabulous bread maker.  Even though I shouldn't eat large amounts of wheat, I'm still fascinated by the process of bread baking-fortunately other people will help eat my experiments!

So I made Robert a lovely loaf of homemade Portugese Sweet Bread and to round it out I also made him a pot of one of our favorite soups also Portugese Soup (looks like it was ravaged before my camera got there).

Here is my recipe for Portugese Soup:

Saute 1 finely chopped onion & 4 crushed cloves of garlic in some (maybe a 3- 4 tablespoons) olive oil and if you are not vegan a pat of butter.

When those are nice & clear and not burned at all toss in 5 medium chopped potatoes.
Coat that all with the oil for a minute.

Then add about 8 cups of broth (I use the boxed kind from Trader Joe's) or add 2 bullion cubes, allow to soften for a minute and then add 8 cups of water.  Sometimes I use a mixture of both of these things.

After the potatoes are nicely cooked, about 15 minutes, you can use your immersion blender to blend everything.  I never completely pulverize everything because Robert likes some potato chunks.

Then add a package of Soyrizo (vegetarian sausage) and a big bunch of chopped kale.  Let the soyrizo get warm & the kale get lightly cooked.

Taste before adding salt.
My family loves this stuff...I'm going to make them some right now!  If you want to make the bread too you should look it up in the Bread Baker's Apprentice I bought my copy from

Here's my happy Hawaiian Portugese man!