28 February 2011

Thoughts on movies and a little spinning on the side

Ok....so a brief nod to 'The King's Speech'...amazing film and worthy of the awards received.  I am a little disappointed that 'True Grit' didn't get a thing....another wonderful film. 

Yesterday I decided it would be good to get out a bit (Saturday was tax day here).....and went to see 'The Eagle'.  Now, the film isn't great and the history is way off base, but it was two hours of losing myself in one of my favorite pastimes.....and looking at the Scottish countryside...well, that was fine....oh and did I mention Roman soldiers....  Anyway, I have known for a long time that I have a movie ritual....small popcorn layered and a diet coke....napkins under the popcorn while holding it so butter doesn't get all over me (happened too many times to count)...and chocolate if possible.  Yesterday I realized that every time.....I mean every time I go to a movie, whether with someone or alone....I think of Uncle Nick, because he has the same ritual, even though we live a country apart.  If you were to watch us, the motions are the same.  We discovered this a few years ago and even though I have tried to change it up, I still come back to the same thing.  Now, Uncle Nick and I are not related by blood so it's not genetic, but he is like a father to me....so maybe I absorbed this.  Who knows?  But each time I do this (which is often)...I think of him and smile.  Can't wait until the next time we can see a flick together.

So, I have been wheel spinning...on Jan's borrowed Journey Wheel.  I have been afraid of the wheel since I tried a few times and failed miserably.  But on February 19th....Darlene and Jan were kind enough to host a spin in for me personally.....and I was off.  The first few rounds were like rubber bands they were so over twisted, but slowly but surely, they have become a little more even.  I'm now working on thinning out the fibre and consistency.  Can I just say....I LOVE IT!!!!!  Of course you all knew I would...but I was not so sure.  So, now the quest for a wheel begins.  I have my eye on a Matchless...we shall see.  I leave you with some pics of my wheel spun yarn....do you believe it?

26 February 2011

An Indian Feast

Samosa filling
Ok.....so Wednesday evening...Jan, Darlene, Meredith and I took and Indian cooking class at The Viking Store.  What fun and what great food and lessons.  We worked in a team together to make Curried Vegetable Pastries (Samosas), Cucumber Yogurt Dip (Raita), Split Pea Curry (Dhal), Chicken with Roasted Coriander in a Coconut Curry Sauce (Dakshini Murgh) all with Basmati Rice and then had a wonderful treat of Spiced Tea (Masala Chai).  We packed at lot into three short hours, but much fun was had and so much learning.  You can only imagine how wonderful the place smelled with three teams cooking this wonderful and aromatic food. 

Darlene grating cucs for the Raita

I have always been afraid to cook Indian because I thought it was too complicated or involved too much (lazy), but that is not the case at all....yes, it takes a little more prep, but it came together so quickly.  Let me add here that Jessica (friendly class assistant) had everything prepped and was constantly cleaning up behind us and bring us what we needed. 

Spices and garlic simmering for the Dhal

So, we cooked, we tasted.....was that a hot pepper, eeek.....mmmmm to all the spices and smells and I have to say sounds in the kitchen....roasting spices is amazing...they dance and sing to you...love it.  After all the cook and tasting we ate.  You thought we would clean up like at home?  Ha...no way....there was the lovely Jessica once again.

Chicken in Coconut Curry

I loved the Samosas and will do them again.  The Dhal was well balanced and delightful and the chicken, well  seriously, how can curry be bad.  And finally, the crowning touch on a great fun evening....Masala Chai....oh my....

Filling prep.....who cut those potatoes too big?

To our instructor Sandra....thank you and yum...hope to see you soon again in the kitchen.  To Jessica....I looked for you in the shop, but could not purchase you for my own home.  And to my fellow kitchen mates....what fun...let's do it again soon.

PS....thank you to Jan for the pictures and Darlene for the email.  Do you believe I forgot my camera?

22 February 2011

Knitting in Alpaca

Ok....so I have eyed and fondled Cascade's Eco-Duo for so long and finally picked up a couple of hanks.  Then, this pattern came along and I realized the two were meant to be together. I'm very happy with the result.  The pattern is Shawl-Collar Shawl by Carol Sunday.  Love this pattern and highly recommend it.  I did take out one of the repeats which made it smaller, but the measurements are a little goofy from the pattern.  Pattern said it would be 10 x 82, mine is 12 x 66.... 

18 February 2011


Ok....so some of you know red is my favorite color; flowers, clothing, shoes, yarn....home decor....love the red.  These flowers were from the boys (Dan and David) for my birthday and I couldn't resist taking a few shots.  Enjoy!

16 February 2011


Ok....I have added a tab to the site for my patterns (upper left under the header).  I intend to start writing these down.  So feel free to take a look.  Only one there so far.  I just finished Ashlyn's Chullo made with Raggi Sock Yarn.  Love the way it looks, love the way it knit up and I think Ashlyn will appreciate that she can wash and dry it.  She'll be stylin' on campus and warm.

So... I'm often struck by something someone says, maybe a line, maybe a fragment of a thought....that stands out....seems to have a life of it's own, or....is just plain funny.  Oddly enough, many of these phrases sound like perfect starters to a painful country song.  So here we go, a couple from this weekend...

Jan - 2.11 - Al killed my Gremlin. (while discussing first cars)

Kendall - 2.12 - I wish it would get warm.  I got cigars for Christmas and it's too damn cold to sit outside and smoke them.

15 February 2011

On Weaving and Valentines

Ok....so yesterday was Valentine's day...hope everyone felt loved and happy.  On that note, I was running errands yesterday afternoon, one stop being Walgreens and the other Publix....and while the men shopping there might have felt loved and happy by the end of the day, all they were feeling was anxiety at that moment.  I had gone to Walgreens to pick up a birthday card for my little man and the aisle was full of men last minute shopping (this was at 2pm).  Their poor faces were strained as they paced back and forth reaching for card after card.  The checkout line was draped with men carrying balloons, heart shaped boxes of chocolates, cards and my favorite...stuffed animals. 
So, I as I wait my turn I'm torn between feeling sorry for these poor guys and thinking they should have planned a little better.  My guess is that Valentine's day means more to women than men.  However, a male friend pointed out that Valentine's doesn't mean anything to men until they have someone to whom it does mean something to.  Touche and well put.

Last night, my Valentine and I went to see 'True Grit'.  I wasn't sure I wanted to see this movie, but when it was nominated for best picture, I was curious about the hype.  Well, it's all true.  Well made, very well acted and truly gritty.  I enjoyed it.  The performance by Hailee Steinfeld was a pleasure to watch.  Now I haven't seen all of the nominated films and don't know if I will before the Oscars, but 'The King's Speech' still has my vote.

I have been weaving on the Ashford again and trying new ideas and fibres.  This is a white (as you can see) rayon wrap with a lace stitch.  Love the look and feel.

I have also started weaving with Katia Linen, which is a cotton, linen blend.  I like the look so far, but it's a bit stiff.  We'll see after the washing if it makes me happier.  I do love the olive color and have blue and beige to work with yet.

12 February 2011

Birthday Stuff

Ok....so today was the day....started out a little questionable, end up much better.  I did see 'The King's Speech'....run do not walk to the theatre to see this.  Amazing film, acting and shooting...the cinematography was beautiful.  Hands down the best film I've seen in a long time.

The Yellow Porch....pretty much my favourite restaurant in Nashville and they didn't even mind that we hung around for a long time on a Valentine's weekend.  And can I say Passion Fruit Tart ....Holy crap....YUMMMMMM!!!!!   Thank you to everyone for the birthday wishes and to Jan for hanging with me all day and Kendall for joining the dinner party.  And the lovely flowers from Dan and David and Chocolates from Kelly....mmmmmmmm........

I had intended to write about getting older and what I have learned, blah, blah, blah.....but I had two great glasses of Mettler Petite Sirah at dinner and the philosophy has left me.  I'm older and all I know is that each year, I realize I know less and less and have so much to learn.  THAT, is an exciting thought.  Cheers to 2011.

PS....I did buy roving again...it's a sickness.

10 February 2011

Sunny Winter Morning

Ok....so one of the things I like the most about my house is the direction is faces and the sun in the backyard.  Because of the way the trees are and the way the sun rises sort of over the house....the sun hits the tops of the trees in the back and they're golden when everything else is still blue from dawn, shaded and shadows.  I've seen it so many times and it still stops me each time I walk by the windows.  It's beautiful.

And the wonderful wet snow that clings to each branch outlines everything outdoors.

I have been weaving and spinning and knitting, but today, just pictures of snow and flowers from Mum.  I've been enjoying this special treat all week.  I do love my Mum....she's a cool chick.

04 February 2011

Still Weaving

Ok...seriously this could be the title of many a post so I'll try not to repeat myself...but it's true...more weaving.

I got out to Haus of Yarn last night for Knit Night...first time in a couple of weeks because of the illness.  Soooooooooooo good to get out of the house...   Soooooooooo good to be able to see what everyone is working on in person....    Sooooooooo good to see the knit gals.  Soooooooooo good to knit and relax among the fibres. 

01 February 2011

More Weaving

Ok....I know you don't believe me, but I have been knitting too, just nothing to show yet....  On that note, here is a little more weaving....  The funky black eyelash and mohair scarf was and experiment and I'm just not sure about it yet.  The taupe scarves are learning stitches with the same Kudo yarn and I'm pretty pleased with the result and of course really love the Kudo.  I have a little more I'm going to weave with.  I'm trying my hand at weaving with mohair and it's not as bad as I thought it would be.  I love experimenting with different fibre types....has been interesting.  Of course, a big change has been lace weight which was one of the reasons I purchased a bigger loom.  This completely changes how you think about weaving and how you work the project....slower, more patience needed and fun!!!!

PS.....hope everyone in the greater Nashville Metro area enjoyed the weather over the weekend.  And for you poor people in the new Arctic circle (Michigan, Ontario and New England)....I'm sorry you have 50 ft of snow and have to shovel more.  It is pretty, but I'm sure you're all sick of it.

PSS......I've noticed on all the blogs and ravelry that everyone seems to be in this mode to finish the UFOs....is that like a New Year's resolution that is sweeping the country and I missed the memo?  I don't think I have any UFOs....that said, my problem isn't finishing projects, my problem is there are so many projects I want to make and they talk to me, that I freeze.  I stare at Masterpiece Theatre all night because I really don't know what to do first.  This is just silly, but it happens at my house.  This is my resolution....stop the voices....don't listen to the projects....don't believe them when they tell me they have to be first....buy all their little mouths duct-tape.....  But it's just hard to say do whatever hits your interest at that moment because they all do.  They all smile at me through their duct-taped little labels and there I go again.  In love with too many projects, too many yarns and never enough time.

PSSS......Is there such thing?  Thanks for all the well wishes.  I'm still battling this...whatever it is....but it's getting a little better.