Sadly, this blog is a bit sleepier than I'd like these days. Pop over here if you'd like to know why.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Oh Woe...Yoga Bag

I've been working on this yoga bag for a week or so. It was my first lace pattern and it wasn't hard. But it is driving me crazy. I dropped a stitch somewhere and my first four inches unraveled. So I started over. Then something kept happening whenever the pattern would start over... as in the lacework didn't match up. Grrr...

Currently seeking a new yoga bag pattern.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Pixelated Pictures

It has come to my attention that the photos on my blog look very pixelated and icky. I'm sorry. They don't look that way on my computer. I'm working on it!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Le Slouch Deux

Originally uploaded by pilliebee

About a month ago a friend came for a visit. As I was showing off my newly knit hat, Le Slouch, to the videostore clerk (a friend I'd made a different hat for before, so not entirely weird), my friend took notice. I think there was a conversation that went something like:

"You made that? Make me one."

"Buy me yarn."

She picked out this really pretty color, don't remember the code. She tells me "jewel tones" are in style. The yarn is Cascade 220.

I'm not exactly sure what happened when I knit it...I started with the right number of stitches, then after the band and all the increases, I was a few stitches off, on the small side. I guessed it would be ok because my Slouch as stretched out A LOT. But... It didn't seem to have quite the right amount of slouchy-ness when she tried it on. I think she just needs to treat it like her favorite hat, and get it all nice and slouchy.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Quick Knits: Scarves & Ear Warmers

Originally uploaded by pilliebee

A friend gifted me this pretty coral colored yarn for Christmas. It didn't fit the bill for any upcoming projects, and I was feeling really horrible that my charity knitting was non-existent... so I spent a weekend whipping up four quick knits. A scarf and ear warmer in seed stitch, and a scarf and ear warmer in garter stitch. And voila, four pieces of charity knitting complete and one skein less in the stash!

Pieces will be donated to the Whatcom Volunteer Center's Project Warm-Up.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Cherry Heart Tarts: How They Came to Be

Read the title. That's a combination of my week last week. I made some cherry heart tarts, and I taught a lesson on subtitles. ("They give us a little more information, so we really have a good idea of what the book will be about...") 4th grade is the best grade, sidenote.

So Cherry Heart Tarts and How They Came to Be... I could really back this story up and take you to several months ago, but I won't. Here's the slightly shortened version...

I came across this photo (below) from Bakerella on flickr when I was creating a V-Day mosaic. Click here to see finished mosaic.

That got me totally in the mood for cherry pie...a mood I hadn't particularly been in for roughly a year, since last year's International Women's Day cake contest (below, far left). I don't think I need to explain why. (Don't get me wrong, totally into the art of the vagina-cake, but some "decoration" is just too much for me.)

International Women's Day Cake Contest

Then I happened upon this post at Not Martha, "to make: tiny pies." This comment in particular got my mental-pie-making-wheels spinning,

"I think you could do more free form pies without the shallow, gentle-sloping muffin tine. Cut larger circles of dough, either with a circle or free-form, and fold the edges over to make mini "rustic tarts." You can bake these on a cookie sheet then! Comment by Anastasia"

I'm just going to be honest and say I had a hard time getting the temptation of cherry pies out of my head. Then I was all, "Oh they could be shaped like hearts." AND I had to make them in time for the weekend because I had some out of town guests I could easily force feed if necessary. Do you understand how the universe was making me bake cherry pies?

I could only resist so long.

Cherry Heart Tarts
Cherry Heart Tarts

They turned out pretty nice. I didn't exactly know how long to bake them, especially considering our oven is fickle. About 9 minutes seemed to do it.

That's pretty much the story of Cherry Heart Tarts.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Diamond Handwarmers

Finally, another secret project can be revealed!

Diamond Handwarmers

A lovely friend, DickDawg, had a birthday last week. She's one of those totally beautiful girls with a good sense of humor, a degree that will earn a (good) living, and a boyfriend from Hawaii. Yet, despite it all she remembers her roots and still maintains contact with her friend from high school whose degree will not earn a (good) living and has no boyfriend from Hawaii (referring to myself here). What more could I do than send her a hand-knit pair of handwarmers?

I loved knitting up this pattern. The instructions were clear and easy to follow. The thumb technique was hassle free... no picking up stitches, yay! I followed the updated pattern from the pdf file using the "A" size. They turned out a bit tight around the fingers, but will stretch as she wears them. Thanks to Ruth at KnittingBloggyBlog for the pattern.

And if you ever want to gaze upon many pairs of fingerless mitts/handwarmers at once, take a peek at this KAL: Fingerless Mitts for Fall.

I should also add, the lovely lady at NW Handspun Yarns gave me a tutorial on how to wind yarn using the wool winder and swift with the yarn for these handwarmers. I'm surprised I'd never done it before... and now that I've made it through the horribly embarrassing taking her words too literally ("ok you might have to flip the yarn over..." and then I dismantle the whole thing to take the skein off, flip over, and remount the swift "oh...I just meant lift this piece up.") I'm very excited to wind all my yarn. Maybe I'll take the reserves home and wind it on my sister's contraption... Enough.

Hello? Hello!

Gazing lovingly at my clustrmap, I'm noticing people in places from all over taking peeks at my blog! This is exciting. If you have a minute, let me know who you are and how you got here. Blog-love.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Bluth Banana Cookies

While browsing through flickr/blogs, I came across Joyful Abode. Totally fun. I was intrigued by her recipe for Chewy Oatmeal Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies, aka "Curious George Cookies." I couldn't stop thinking about them for a few days... a good sign I should go to the grocery store and get started. So, I did.

I made a few adjustments. The big one: My version is vegan. The little ones: Deleted cloves, reduced flour, more chocolate chips

I think my adjustments are such that this cookie could actually be considered a version, or cousin of "Curious George" and therefore deserve a new name... hence, "Bluth Banana Cookies."

Bluth Banana Cookies

1 cup vegan sugar (no cane sugar)
1 cup vegan butter, slightly less, Earth Balance is my favorite
3 teaspoons Ener-G egg replacer
4 1/2 tablespoons warm water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, slightly less
5 ripe bananas, mashed
2 1/2 cup roll oats (not quick oats)
1 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat Oven to 375

In a large bowl, cream together sugar and "butter"

In a small bowl, combine egg replacer and warm water, whisk until frothy and no lumps

Add egg replacer and vanilla to sugar/"butter" combo, stir to evenly distribute

Sift in flour, baking soda, and cinnamon

Stir well until blended

Mix in bananas and oats until well combined.

Mix in chocolate chips.*

Drop onto baking sheet, smoosh them down if you like flatter cookies, they won't spread much during baking.

Bake approximately 10 minutes. Remove while still "raw" looking for chewy cookies.

For GOB Bluth Banana Cookies, reduce oatmeal to 2 cups, add 3/4 cups chopped peanuts

*The dough for these cookies is highly delicious, please consider that it is also vegan and will not kill you with salmonella. Please indulge.

Bluth Banana Cookies Mosaic