29 April 2009

This 'n' that

Today I'm feeling kinda random.

Last Sunday, we went sailing on SF bay on a friend's boat. It was gorgeous. Pics soon!

Monday, my book was featured on the Knitting Daily blog! I had a great time being interviewed by Sandi Wiseheart. She is awesome!

I had a knitter's nightmare last night. I dreamed that I had almost finished a stole (I'm pretty sure it was the Kimono Shawl from Cheryl Oberle's Folk Shawls out of Royale Hare hard twist sock yarn). When I looked down and stretched it out a little to see the lace pattern, I found all sorts of moth holes in it. It was awful! Thankfully, I woke up soon after.

This is a poem my 9 year old son wrote and read for his swim team's potluck and talent night. He wrote it by himself; I am blown away by him!

The 50 Free

The whistle sounds.
Up on the block I hop,
the clock going tick-tock.
The starter says “Take you mark.”
and the buzzer goes off – “BEEP!"

I bound off the block
like a mad man can.

The splash and dash
cut a gash
of whitewater through the pool.
All throughout the valiant duel
the water so cool.

A trail of whitewater as long as a snake’s tail
slashes through the pool.

He did a great job reading it too!

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27 April 2009

Monday's Musing

"Always look on the bright side of life." - Monty Python

"Just direct your feet to the sunny side of the street." - Dorothy Fields

Have a great week, everyone! :)


22 April 2009


Yarnover, that is: a once a year mini knitting and fiber festival in Minneapolis. And I got to teach there this past weekend! I admit to feeling fairly very insecure when I found out who my fellow teachers were to be: Lily Chen, Sally Melville, Susanna Hansson and Ginger Luters, to name a few. Thankfully, I got over it and had a ball teaching beginning lace and a beaded lace scarf. I am now totally in love with Minnesota and Minnesotans. I got to meet Kerry (my chauffeur!), Susan and Kendra, who I had known online for some time, and then I was fortunate to meet a whole host of other wonderful people (hi Shelley!). Everyone was incredibly kind and welcoming.

Okay. I have to stop here and ask. Did you all know that yarn is not taxed in MN? Yep! So, of course, I had to partake. :)

Yarnover was Saturday, but I got in Thursday evening and had dinner with Kerry and Kendra, before Kendra flew out the next day. It was just amazing luck that we overlapped a half day! Friday, Kerry took me out to a few yarn stores in the area. The area was like yarn heaven. Really. There were so many things that I had only seen online. So, without further ado, here are my goodies!

This laceweight merino/silk from Karabella is an amazing shade of eggplanty-grey. It's difficult to capture. I'm thinking of a shoulder shawlette.

Next up, this gorgeous blend of rayon/linen/silk/nylon by Berroco, aptly named "Seduce."

Kerry and I had lunch with Susan and then...Minnesota has beads, too. Lots of beads. :drool: Next stop was Bead Monkey, where I got some beads to go on a chain. Then I saw a juice glass full of old keys. One of them followed me home.

And just look at this incredibly cool glass pendant I found!

Then Kerry and I were off to dinner with all the teachers. Saturday was the event, and it was sooooo well run. I taught all day (my students were all kinds of awesome), but I did have time to run down to the vendor area to meet Jennie the Potter and drool over her wares. I came away with a button, afraid that any of her bigger creations wouldn't survive the trip back.

Isn't this a cool button, though?

At lunch, Susan gave me a gorgeous beaded ball she made me.

And Kerry gave me two spindles! I had been spinning on one of them the evening before at her place.

And just look at that sliver she added.

Aren't those amazing colors? See what I mean? Minnesotans are the best.

On the way out after teaching, I spotted this yarn.

It is sooooo gorgeous. It's mohair/Polwarth wool from Rovings in Canada.

All the teachers and the Guild board had dinner together that evening. And really? I just can't say enough about how wonderful everyone was. Thank you all SO much for such a fantastic time.

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20 April 2009

Monday's Musing

"Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another steppingstone to greatness.” - Oprah Winfrey

Have a great week, everyone! :)


16 April 2009


I'm off to teach at Yarnover in Minneapolis! See you all soon. :) And some of you sooner!


13 April 2009

Monday's Musing

Bring the past only if you are going to build from it. - Doménico Cieri Estrada

Here's to moving forward! Have a great week, everyone!!


09 April 2009


Last week I tweeted about my dinner of Thai Masaman curry and was asked for the recipe. So here we go!

I would love to pretend that I cooked it completely from scratch, grinding my own spices and making my own curry blend, (and perhaps milking a coconut?). But truth be told, I actually found this incredible brand of Thai curry spices when searching for practical stocking stuffers one year, and have been using the different blends ever since. The brand name is Maesri, and the blends come in small cans that hold enough spice for one dinner. Well, actually, for my family of four, we get two dinners out of one can of spices. This is how the can looks:

We get it at the quasi-local Asian market.

To make what turned out to be (IMHO) the perfect Masaman curry (feeds 6-8), you will need:

1 can Maesri masaman curry paste
4 chicken thighs
1 large Yukon Gold potato
5 green onions
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp tamarind paste (also from the local Asian market)
1 can coconut milk (full fat version, not the skinny stuff from Trader Joe's)
(ETA: the low fat coconut milk doesn't give a rich enough flavor, IMHO, and I end up using two cans of it rather than one of the full fat milk and one can of water)
water to fill coconut milk can

steamed Jasmin rice (4 cups water, 2 3/4 cups rice in rice cooker)

Cut the 4 chicken thighs into 1/2 inch x 2 inch strips, cut potato into 1/2 inch cubes and set aside, slice green onions thin and then cut the tops into 1 pieces. Set everything aside.

In a saute pan, combine curry paste, coconut milk, sugar and tamarind. Make sure to scrape the can of coconut milk for the sediment - that's the best part! Fill the can with water and swish it around to get the last of the sediment. Set water aside to use later. Stir the mixture in the pan until it is bubbling. At this point, if you taste it, it will be awful. It needs to cook more to bring out the flavor. Let simmer for about 7 minutes. Add chicken, potato and green onions. Stir. Add water from can. Stir mixture and simmer. Reduce heat (mixture should still be bubbling) and let simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until potato is soft. The mixture will become a little thicker. Now is the time to taste. If it is too sweet, add a bit more tamarind (but don't over-do - it's sour!). If it's not sweet enough, add a bit more sugar.

Serve over Jasmin rice. Enjoy!!

The curry leftovers keep really really well in the refrigerator, and actually taste even better after a day or two. We keep some and have it when no one feels like cooking!

In other news, I haven't heard from Lisa in Western MA about the book she won, so on next Tuesday (I'm waiting a week), I'll randomly choose a different name and someone else will get the Fiber Gathering book!

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06 April 2009


And the winner of my blog contest is...Lisa in Western MA! You've won a copy of Fiber Gathering by Joanne Seiff! I don't know how to contact you, so I hope you stop by again!!!

Method: there were 51 qualified comments (that is comments that came in before the deadline). I went to random.org and had the random number generator choose a number between 1 and 51, inclusive. 49 was the lucky number!

Congratulations, Lisa!


05 April 2009

Monday's Musing

"The key to your joy, success and freedom lies within you. No one else can give it to you. There are no magic beans. Dream the dream and then be willing to do the hard work it takes to make it real." - Margot Potter

Have a wonderful week, everyone! Tomorrow, I'll announce the winner in my blog contest!


01 April 2009

Fiber Gathering! Blog contest!

Today, I am honored to be participating in my dear friend Joanne's first blog book tour! Her book, Fiber Gathering, just started shipping last month, and I got my long-awaited copy a couple of weeks ago. Since then, I've been savoring it slowly: the smell of the new printing, the beautiful photos of fiber festivals, the sheep breeds, the food, the yarn, the fleeces.... You see, I've never actually been to any of the festivals in her book. Due to young kids, small budgets and other commitments, I've just never been able to take the time and resources (this year may be different!), but now I'm able to play armchair traveler and live vicariously through her! In all, Joanne visited 11 fiber festivals with her husband the professor and photographer in tow. Looking at the pictures, I can easily imagine I'm there!

The book is organized into geographic areas, and each chapter includes one or two patterns reminiscent of the particular flavor of the featured festival. And I was lucky enough to participate! Since I am a born and raised Californian and have spent a fair amount of time in Oregon, Joanne and I chose the Black Sheep Gathering in Eugene, OR for my pattern contribution. As a bonus, I got to share the festival with my dear friend Terri Shea, author of Selbuvotter!

My pattern, the Evergreen lace stole, uses my favorite mohair and silk blend yarn (in this case, Kid Seta) for a lovely and delicate lace pattern that reminds me of the evergreen trees in the Pacific Northwest. It is a relaxing and simple knit and a truly wonderful wrap for cool nights.

The sample was knitted by my friend Vanessa, aka Flamefingers, and when I received the stole, I almost could not part with it! It feels like a big hug. Vanessa did an amazing job, and I think it took her about two or three hours. ;) (ETA: yes, I really am joking! Vanessa is amazing, but cannot yet warp the space/time continuum. She's working on it, though, with her amazing knitting skillz! In reality, it took less than a week; I think it was about 4 days.) :)

The Evergreen pattern was chosen by Joanne's publisher as a free download on the amazon.com site, and is listed as a "bonus pattern" on that site. You can cue Evergreen here on Ravelry.

To celebrate Joanne's book, I'm having a blog contest! So leave me a comment (ETA: by midnight PST April 03) to be entered to win! I'll be drawing a winner randomly, and that person will receive a copy of the Fiber Gathering book!

Thank you for stopping by! Please tune in for the rest of the bloggers in the tour. :)

March 31st: Joanne Seiff, author - Yarn Spinner

April 1st: Kim Guzman, designer - WIPs N’Chains

April 2nd: Rosemary Hill, designer - rosemary-go-round

April 3rd: Donna Druchunas, tech editor - Donna Druchunas’ Blog

April 4th: Cathy Adair-Clark, designer - Catena Expressions

April 5th: Terri Shea, designer - spinningwheel.net

April 6th: Chrissy Gardiner, designer - Knittin’ Mom

April 7th: Jeff Marcus photographer - Yarn Spinner

April 8th: JoLene Treace, designer - JoLene Treace Unraveled

April 9th: Cindy Moore, designer - fitterknitter

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