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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Yarn Along: The House of Chaos


I feel like I'm not really getting any knitting done. Mostly, I've been working on swatches for submission, and my knitting time has been so limited with our schedule these past few weeks, so my "striped" shawl has seen no progress, and the curiouser and curiouser socks only have a few rows on the first heel done. But I'm almost finished with my last part of my last submission. And I won't have any hard deadlines for at least a month after that.

Two proposals are ready to send, and after I sleep on them and take a look with fresher eyes tomorrow, I will do that. The last one is due this weekend, and I'm hustling. It is a long planned design, that is a little bit of a baby of mine. We'll see how the editors like it. Here's my weekly reminder to like Arabian Knits Designs on Facebook, if you haven't already. That's where I put updates and testing opportunities and other design news. Your liking it gets me more visibility with folks who may not know about my patterns and that helps me. Thank you!


MJ Yarns' Silken DK in Cerulean Twilight

I forgot to mention, in my rush last week, that my June yarn club shipment came. The preview was so lovely that I ordered a second skein to arrive with it. These are destined to become a short sleeved, hooded, cropped jacket for Amira to wear over her ballet clothes, and a matching pair of ankle warmers, also for ballet. The colors coordinate well with her class color for leotard and so on, and I thought she would like the set. The yarn came with a pattern and a nice pen for marking up patterns.

Again, this has been a light reading week. Between intensives and VBS and preparing someone for placement exams and the learner's permit test and children up at all hours and deadlines and sheer exhaustion, I've eliminated a few books that I just don't think are worth my limited time and read a few words in a book I won from the editor, Jessica Snell. It is part of a series of books on living the Church year, largely aimed at Protestants, definitely western Christians, with a few things in there that are on point for Catholics and Orthodox, though the suggestions for family activities/foods/crafts are appropriate for Christians of all backgrounds: Let Us Keep the Feast: Living the Church Year at Home (Pentecost and Ordinary Time). I have enjoyed the other books in the series, so was thrilled to win a copy of this one, and knew that I would like it as well.



Also posting to Keep Calm and Craft On, Yarn Fanatic Party, and One Project at a Time

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Monday, June 22, 2015

Menu Plan: June 21 - 27


Thank God there were numerous quick and cheap, organic, breakfast options at the Grocery Outlet this week! We are on VBS schedule, and now I get to try to rush my kids out the door every morning like the average parent who has to take kids to school. Our other challenges this week include continuing to get Alexander prepared for his placement tests to start college (concurrently with his final two years of high school)! As much as I hate teaching to the test, these tests are his ticket in so he can do what he wants, so I've been holding my nose and doing it. My little baby is grown up and it's exciting and scary and frustrating and sad and wonderful all at once.

We had a nice Father's Day with Rich. And Rich got to spend some time in our garden and in the hives, which he loves. We're hoping to improve our husbanding of our produce, animals, and property this year. In that vein, we have some friends who have been helping us tremendously on the property part and giving us advice and product recommendations. We're thrilled, because nearly six years in, our kids' play structure and swings may actually be set up in a secure and safe way! Since we'd already taken care of Rich's Father's Day present earlier this month, Rich only asked for a big pizza from a local place that makes gut buster, heart attacks on a plate and some real sugar cola in glass bottles. We also made salad so something we ate would have nutritive value. However, we learned some time back that this pizza place puts so much on top of the pizzas that you can push off the bits that are trying to fall off anyway and use them to top THREE other pizzas! So, we made pizza dough and sauce and rolled them out, sauced and cheesed them, had the oven hot and ready, and when I brought home the big guy, arranged those toppings on our pizzas and had four pretty big pizzas for the price of one with drinks and tax and tip. Not bad, and our crust and sauce is really better. Add the salad and the ice cream pucks we grabbed for dessert and we only spent about $53 for a pretty substantial dinner for 10 people, of which we still had two and a half pizzas and half the salad left for today's lunch!

Our sweet neighbors have taken pity on us for our poor fishing skills and have, essentially, taken us on as a project. They bring us fish almost whenever they go fishing now, and they also are trying to teach us so we can do it ourselves. So, we have freshly caught bass again this week. They are trying to get us some walleye, too, because we really want to try it. Dominic's birthday party is set for this weekend, we had to delay it because of our schedule and Father's Day. The reason this matters to our menu plan and the good news is that it means that dinner is party leftovers and I can just collapse after having 12 other boys aged 11-16 over in addition to our kids.

I finally, after having it on the menu several times, made the red lentil kofta. The flavor was great, but it didn't hold its shape the way we thought it should, so it ended up more like an Indian dal over our rice. Next time, I am going to put a little more of the burghul in it, and probably fry them.

Remember that the Psalms are according to eastern numbering in our daily Bible reading, also I Kings is the original designation, it is I Samuel in western Bibles (II Kings is II Samuel in the west, III Kings is I Kings, and IV Kings is II Kings).
What is on your menu this week? If you want a recipe, ask and I will provide it as soon as I can. If there are any starred recipes, I will follow up separately with a weekly recipe round up.

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Sunday, June 21, 2015

Recipe Round Up: Faux Pots de Crème


I have to tell you a secret: I had forgotten to get photos, and had already eaten about a third of this, so Rich filled the cup with more whipped cream and we turned it around so you couldn't see all the eaten away part.

This isn't the real way to make pots de crème. It is a quick and easy way to do it. This is a simple, simple, simple dessert to make, but it is delicious and rich and impressive. All you need for tools are a blender and a fridge.

12 ounces chocolate chips or chunks
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon Chambord or framboise or whatever liqueur or flavoring you like
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup (8 ounces) HOT coffee

Whipped Cream to serve (we use Chantilly cream, or chocolate whipped cream, this last time we flavored the cream with more Chambord)

Put the chocolate, the eggs, the Chambord, and the salt in the blender. Grind it all up well. Do not try to save time by pre-grinding it - it will turn into solid sludge that will not budge. Ask me how I know. While it is grinding, take out the top section of the lid and pour the screaming, scalding, burn the roof of your mouth off hot coffee in a slow, steady stream. It will foam up a little and rise in the blender. Fear not. Put the lid back together and blend until it is completely mixed and all the chocolate is melted and egg is cooked. Pour into pretty cups and glasses and refrigerate for at least a few hours. Serve with the cream on top, and maybe a dusting of cocoa, or a chocolate covered espresso bean, or chocolate shavings. Enjoy!

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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Menu Along: June 14 - 20


My "striped" shawl really only saw a few more rows done on it this week. Mostly, I've been working on swatches and my socks. It has been a crazy week, so I'm just smashing my menu plan and my yarn along into one post, and I don't even know if I'll get another post written this week. We've had ballet intensives the last two weeks, Alexander is getting ready for placements tests for Running Start, which is a program our state has for high school juniors and seniors to work concurrently on their Associate's Degree at a community college, he's also working on getting his learner's permit to drive, and we have a lot happening with our family as well: Two birthdays, trying to get some evaluations set up for one of the kids, CFI renewals, proposal deadlines, yard work, getting the late garden in the ground, and tons at Rich's work.

I did finish one more proposal and sent it in, so that is two proposals completed, one sent in, one almost finished, and another just started. Ventus still isn't ready to publish, I need better photos. Here's my weekly reminder to like Arabian Knits Designs on Facebook, if you haven't already. That's where I put updates and testing opportunities and other design news. Your liking it gets me more visibility with folks who may not know about my patterns and that helps me. Thank you!

Not much in the way of reading this week. A little in Emma with the kids was really all.



Also posting to Keep Calm and Craft On, Yarn Fanatic Party, and One Project at a Time



The heat has let up a little, so we're not sweltering each moment of the day. We do have two birthdays this week, Rich and Dominic, and that is pretty exciting. That makes half the birthdays in our family for the year, too. Not a lot in the way of repeats, I don't think, this week. I am really looking forward to the weekend, and to next week, because even though I do have to take everyone places next week, I will be able to come home with Nejat, play a little, and get her ready for nap and either nap myself or get other things done (like grading!! and finishing two more proposals!!!!). Maybe. Just maybe. Sort through some of the clutter in our house. Or just nap.

Remember that the Psalms are according to eastern numbering in our daily Bible reading, also I Kings is the original designation, it is I Samuel in western Bibles (II Kings is II Samuel in the west, III Kings is I Kings, and IV Kings is II Kings).
What is on your menu this week? If you want a recipe, ask and I will provide it as soon as I can. If there are any starred recipes, I will follow up separately with a weekly recipe round up.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Yarn Along: Hot Knitting


My "striped" shawl, in the low, sunset light and the morning light. That's the same piece of knitting, with exactly the same amount of knitting, and the same ball of yarn in both photos. You can see the purple better in the ball next to to the book than in the shawl in the second picture. The purple takes longer to show up and isn't quite as intense as the pink. It goes away sooner, when out of UV light, too. I'm curious about why, because I know they must be dying to make other colors, but purple and pink is all they have been able to do so far, and the pink is the more successful one.

It has been so hot the past several days. Not really hotter than it gets here in the summer, but a whole lot earlier than normal. I'm holding out hope that it means it will burn out sooner, and we'll have just a hot enough, but not too hot summer the rest of the time. Knitting in this heat is not too bad, because there is usually a breeze outside, and our car and activities have air conditioning. Our house doesn't, though, so that's the hardest place to knit right now. The socks are my most appealing project because of that, though they don't have as much progress to show as you might think, but I'm almost finished with a proposal swatch and have one more to complete, so those are taking up more of my knitting time. Crocheting on Nejat's blanket is also not really a priority. It's looking like it will either be a half birthday present or a Christmas present at this rate. Actually, I do think I can finish it before the end of the summer. And at least it is cotton and acrylic. It's the acrylic that makes it hard to work, really.

One of my two unfinished proposals is quite a bit closer. I'm hoping to get one more swatch finished and this proposal ready to send. I'm getting excited about Ventus! Hoping to have it published in the next week or so. Here's my weekly reminder to like Arabian Knits Designs on Facebook, if you haven't already. That's where I put updates and testing opportunities and other design news. Your liking it gets me more visibility with folks who may not know about my patterns and that helps me. Thank you!

This week's reading has been largely skimming through books I've found at the library or had recommended to me and deciding whether or not I want to read them. Largely, the answer has been no. I did start The Rhythm of Family: Discovering a Sense of Wonder through the Seasons, which I am enjoying for the sense of living seasonally and, yes, rhythmically. I do find, after so many years of living the Church year, even when we don't put as much effort into it as we could, that marking time only by the seasons and solstices and such really does seem hollow and superficial to me. There is so much deep beauty and majesty in marking time with the life of the Church, with the life and Incarnation of Christ. It surprised me how much that hit me when looking through this book. I am really enjoying their ideas for projects and food and activities with children, however, and applaud their way of looking at family life in the world.



Also posting to Keep Calm and Craft On, Yarn Fanatic Party, and One Project at a Time

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Sunday, June 07, 2015

Menu Plan: Corpus Christi

It is Corpus Christi, the celebration of the Real Presence of the Body of Christ. We did our church processional again this year, which is a beautiful public witness to this truth. I love how this feast has both the people, who are symbolically the Body of Christ on earth, proclaiming and celebrating the Eucharist, which is actually the Body of Christ on earth.

This week holds a choir concert of mine, the kids' final Lego club at the library, a garden and art tour that we've had to miss in previous years, and four days of ballet intensives. Plus our oldest boys will be doing more farm work for our neighbor. We are caving at eating out for some of that. Also it has been as hot as Dante's Inferno lately (we were over 100 at least once this weekend, which is normal for late July here). So, we're trying to do quick cooking, slow cooker cooking, and grilling. And cold foods.

Remember that the Psalms are according to eastern numbering in our daily Bible reading, also I Kings is the original designation, it is I Samuel in western Bibles (II Kings is II Samuel in the west, III Kings is I Kings, and IV Kings is II Kings).
What is on your menu this week? If you want a recipe, ask and I will provide it as soon as I can. If there are any starred recipes, I will follow up separately with a weekly recipe round up.

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Friday, June 05, 2015

Yarn Along: Little by Little (A Little Late)


This was so late, I almost didn't post it. But, that's three different colors up there! I did take my "striped" shawl to knit on at our church picnic and had a great time showing everyone my magic yarn. Having the picnic at the end of May in 88 degree weather rather than the middle or end of July and 98 degree weather was so much better! I should have gotten my photos then, but I wasn't thinking about it. Mostly, I was still exhausted from the girls' recital and resting in the shade and eating good food. I do not know how our girls do it, I'm worn out and usually sick (glory to God that I didn't get sick this year!) by the time we're finished with the recital, and I don't even dance!


Since it was recital week, I also started this pair of socks so I'd have something small to work on that didn't require my looking at it while I was at dress rehearsals, backstage, or in the audience during the shows. I really hope to have them finished by the end of this month so I can get my full credit with the yarn club. Nejat's blanket has been put on the back burner for a little while. It was too big and bulky to bring to the recital, and I really enjoy working on the shawl in the sunshine, and the sock is a little easier to carry for car knitting, and all of my other knitting time is taken up with proposal writing, sketching, graphing, swatching, and pattern writing.

I'm still plugging away at three proposals, I have one complete, one almost complete, and another that is about half finished. Ventus is also very nearly ready to publish, so keep your eyes open! Here's my weekly reminder to like Arabian Knits Designs on Facebook, if you haven't already. That's where I put updates and testing opportunities and other design news. Your liking it gets me more visibility with folks who may not know about my patterns and that helps me. Thank you!

No real reading except for brain candy. I finished The Terror of the Southlands (Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates). It was fun, a little predictable for an adult, but still interesting enough to hold my attention.



Also posting to Keep Calm and Craft On, Yarn Fanatic Party, and One Project at a Time

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Monday, June 01, 2015

What I've Kept

I have now done three fixes. Technically, I've kept four items from one and three from the other two, but the first was because I wanted the 25% discount, and they made an exception since it was my first box and I would have kept them all had it not been for a size issue with one blouse. I gave away the sweater from that box. So, the number of items I kept in my home from each fix has been three.

These are the absolute successes. Each item has inspired compliments when I wear it, each one makes me feel good with it on, and each has replaced something in my closet or dresser that didn't fit right or I didn't love. My rule when buying something new is that it needs to replace something that is too worn, or the wrong size, or that I hardly wear, or that I don't love. If that item is good enough, then I will give it away, otherwise, it goes to our rag bag for cleaning.
So, here they are.

Yumi Marina Polka Dot Belted Dress





Gilli Genna 3/4 Sleeve Faux Wrap Dress





Octavia Harlow Heart Print Infinity Scarf





41Hawthorn Dianne A-Line Skirt





Pixley Kathy Striped Fit and Flare Dress





Pixley Lucille Cascading Pearl Collar Necklace





Market & Spruce Julia Utility Jacket





Market & Spruce Adler Embroidered Shoulder Knit Top





Gilli Astra Sleeveless Maxi Dress




If you'd like to try Stitch Fix, this link gives me a credit which I use toward getting another box in the future.

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Sunday, May 31, 2015

Menu Plan: Trinity Sunday

I'm not sure how I did this when menu planning last week, but I completely forgot that it was recital week, and that from Thursday on, I would be on high alert duty and Rich would be a single father. So, lots of the meals I had planned were moved around, and there are a few repeats this week.

We had our church picnic today, and having it in nearly 90 degree weather with a breeze was so much better than our usual summer picnic of over 90 to 100 degrees, blasting sunshine, and no relief. Our priest asked how we liked the earlier date and we all encouraged him to continue this. I suggested our former church's practice of the Tongues of Flame Barbecue and having the picnic tied to Pentecost. He seemed to like the idea, so maybe?

We only have two weeks left of our school year, though the truth is we spend the summer reading and learning, too. I always end the Friday before Dominic and Rich's birthday. So, now we're cramming things in, while nobody really wants to be doing it, as well as having all the end of year recitals, games, awards' ceremonies, concerts (including my choir's concert!), and so on and so forth. Busy times.

It's also our last week of local asparagus at $0.50/lb, so we will be cooking lots of it and pickling a ton. Rich is taking time to relax and rejuvenate himself by working on our (late) garden, but we only got a few asparagus spears this year. We were gone when they were ready, and so we're letting them go to seed to spread some more. Since we have no real travel plans this summer, we are hoping to have a better grasp on our garden here, and maybe introduce a couple pigs to raise for meat.

Remember that the Psalms are according to eastern numbering in our daily Bible reading, also I Kings is the original designation, it is I Samuel in western Bibles (II Kings is II Samuel in the west, III Kings is I Kings, and IV Kings is II Kings).
What is on your menu this week? If you want a recipe, ask and I will provide it as soon as I can. If there are any starred recipes, I will follow up separately with a weekly recipe round up.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Yarn Along: Some Progress

Sadly, some of the progress made on Nejat's blanket had to be undone. Twice. I was trucking right along and doing pretty well, then I had too many stitches on one part of one arm of the star. Went back and fixed that and got to the next round (star?), then found that I had only done half the shell at the tip of one arm of the star on the previous round and had to redo that, too. I have about six rounds of the blue to go before starting the white, cloud border, then finishing off the star with the white. Then making eleventy billion yellow stars to sew on in a pleasing, random fashion. And I'm still not sure how I'm supposed to sew them on, anyway.

I started this scarf, using brioche, which I've never done. Using a youtube video, I was able to get the cast on on my first try, and I think I managed the brioche stitches pretty well just by keeping a glossary of brioche stitches up on my iPod while I worked them. I have less than a week to finish it if I want to get full credit, otherwise it's just half credit. But it's free money at a yarn store either way, so I'm not complaining.


I picked up quite a bit of yarn this week while at a conference for Rich's work. I met another director's wife at an evening event, and she drove me to the yarn shop, then we took a nice walk on the river front and talked a bit. She also lives in the same area that we do, so now I know someone else here. I kind of abused my souvenir yarn rule to get all of this but, first of all, they had some yarn that is often out of stock and hard to find, and second, they had a sale on MadelineTosh that made it 25% off, on top of my 10% off discount for being a yarn club member, and third, they had this yarn that matched exactly my ribbon that I've been holding against yarn ever since I saw it across my purple dress. It is destined to be a jacket of some sort to wear over that dress (and other things).


This makes me so happy. The pink was already turning in the first picture - I had to take it really quickly.

One of the yarns I picked up was the other color of the UV color changing yarn. I also picked up some cream yarn by the same yarn company. Both of them will be used with the other UV yarn I bought to make a "striped" shawl. When it isn't exposed to UV light, it will just look cream with some texture, but in UV light it will be cream, purple, and pink. That delights me. I plan on taking the project with me to work on at our church picnic this weekend, since I will be sitting outdoors and will be able to see which color each of the UV yarns is.

So I heard back from Knit Picks. It was a no. A nice no, in which they said that they liked the design, but that it didn't fit with the rest of the collection as they arranged it, and to submit again, but a no nonetheless. I had kind of hoped that if they didn't want it for the collection, they would make an offer for something else on the website as a single pattern. Rich and I had a conversation about whether or not these nice replies were just standard responses or if they meant what they said. We decided that it might be like if someone is unattractive, or not that smart, that you wouldn't say anything to point that out, but you wouldn't talk about how gorgeous he was or her astounding intellect either. So, we figure they are letting me down easy, but they might have just said, "Thank you for your submission. Your design does not match our needs at this time." And again, nobody has asked me never to submit again, so I figure that is a good sign. I'm going to re-knit the swatch in a different yarn (different color and weight) and submit it as a submission for a spring issue next year, and see what they say. If I get a yes from them, that would be great, and if not, I will work it up as a pattern for the fall on my own with this yarn, or for the Knit Picks IDP, using their yarn. I still have some issues to work out with my swatch for VK, but I think I have the other proposal ready to go now. There is another design I had in mind to send to IK for their spring 2016 issue, but it was a real Hail Mary type proposal, and I only have until the 17th to get it ready for them, and I'm pretty sure that they won't want it because of the type of item it is, even if they love the design, so I'm thinking of shelving it and working on it for Knit Picks' IDP for next spring, since it uses their yarn. Hint: This would be useful for next year at the Paschal Feast. So, at this point, I'm thinking that I will put my biggest effort into the other two designs, and if I finish those proposals, then work some more on this one, and if it is ready in time, send it in and see what they say, and if not, save it for next year.

Here's my weekly reminder to like Arabian Knits Designs on Facebook, if you haven't already. That's where I put updates and testing opportunities and other design news. Your liking it gets me more visibility with folks who may not know about my patterns and that helps me. Thank you!

It's been a week of slight progress on my reading as well in both The Terror of the Southlands (Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates) and A Jane Austen Education: How Six Novels Taught Me About Love, Friendship, and the Things That Really Matter. I also finally bought Coastal Knits: A Collaboration Between Friends on Opposite Shores, which is chock full of patterns that I love.



Also posting to Keep Calm and Craft On, Yarn Fanatic Party, and One Project at a Time

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Monday, May 25, 2015

Menu Plan: Week of Pentecost

This was the first year since we moved that we've hosted a Pentecost Tongues of Flame barbecue again. Lots of food and lots of fun. We're enjoying some rest today. The kids are sleeping in while Rich works on the yard and garden and I work on the blog, planning, and some design work.

We are not fasting this week, because of the feast of Pentecost. Then, we are back on our normal schedule of abstinence in our diet. Rich has been enjoying the Paschal season quite a bit and says that his pants are telling him it is time to return to some fasting and abstinence. I'm actually feeling pretty good about maintaining a good diet and exercise, even with our feasting, and have either lost weight or maintained my weight each week.

The heat is back, so we have fans going in the house and ice water in our cooler outside for the kids to drink while they play. We're doing a lot of grilling and quick meals, slow cooker meals, and so on, so as not to heat up the kitchen too much in the afternoon and evening.

Remember that the Psalms are according to eastern numbering in our daily Bible reading, also I Kings is the original designation, it is I Samuel in western Bibles (II Kings is II Samuel in the west, III Kings is I Kings, and IV Kings is II Kings).
What is on your menu this week? If you want a recipe, ask and I will provide it as soon as I can. If there are any starred recipes, I will follow up separately with a weekly recipe round up.

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Saturday, May 23, 2015

Recipe Round Up: Quick Sesame Noodles with Cabbage

I started with a recipe that was posted to a Lenten board I read on Facebook. The recipe was woefully small for this family, and relied on a few more packaged/dried/instant ingredients than I wanted to in a recipe that already had ramen noodles as its backbone. I also added a couple things to it to bulk it up for our family and changed proportions to match our tastes. This was surprisingly easy, tasty, and an excellent dish for Lenten or abstinent meals, if you aren't avoiding all oil.

10 packages ramen noodles, reserve seasoning packet for another time, or discard (substitute refrigerated or higher quality ramen as you wish)
1/3 cup safflower oil
1 large onion, finely diced
2 1/2 pounds cabbage, cored and finely shredded
1/4 cup sesame seeds
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
8 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup sesame oil
salt and pepper, to taste
1 pound fresh or frozen peas (optional)
1/2 cup chopped scallions, to garnish
Sri Racha to pass at table

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook ramen noodles until chewy and soft, about 4 minutes. Drain and rinse to remove extra starch. Set aside.

While noodles are cooking, heat oil in large skillet over medium high heat, and sauté onion and cabbage to soften, about 5 minutes. Add in cooked noodles, sesame seeds, ginger, garlic, sugar, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Cook another 2 minutes, then add peas, if using. Heat another minute or so, taste to season with salt and pepper.

Serve garnished with scallions and pass sri racha at the table.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Yarn Along: Crocheting and Yarn Club

It doesn't seem like there has been a lot of progress on Nejat's blanket. I'm further along, but I really wish I were at the white border already. We'll be doing a lot of driving this week, or rather, I'll be doing a lot of riding in vehicles while other people drive this week, so I should have more time to work on this. I also have two other projects in my knitting bag if I need to switch things up a bit.


My May yarn club shipment came this week, too: Sweet Georgia Tough Love Sock in Pavilions. I really like this yarn and I plan on making these socks with it. It came with a few beads (enough for a rather small project), an "I'd Rather Be Knitting" license plate frame, and a pattern for a beaded shawl, which is nice, but I'd rather make it in a solid or semisolid color.

I did finish one of the five UFOs from last week's photo. It was a swatch for a design proposal to Knit Picks. And I turned it in Saturday, so we shall see. I should hear back by this Saturday. I like that they tell you when you should hear from them, with an actual date. I have two more swatches to make for magazines, and a proposal to get the final editing done for another magazine submission. Also, the UFOs. And I decided to add another project to try to finish by the end of this month. Because I need more deadlines. If I finish it in time, though, I will get a credit at the yarn store, as part of our yarn club. If I finish one of those UFOs, I will also get a credit, because the yarn was from the yarn club, but it will be smaller, since it is past the deadline.

Again, if you haven't already liked Arabian Knits Designs on Facebook, please do. That's where I put updates and testing opportunities and other design news. Your liking it gets me more visibility with folks who may not know about my patterns and that helps me. Thank you!

I've done a little more reading this week in The Terror of the Southlands (Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates). I also skimmed through a couple books trying to decide if I wanted to commit. I didn't.



Also posting to Keep Calm and Craft On, Yarn Fanatic Party, and One Project at a Time

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Monday, May 18, 2015

Stitch Fix #3


Thank you everyone who has signed up using my referral link. It has helped me get these more than the once or twice I expected to be able to do so this year. If you are interested in learning more, I wrote about my first experience on the blog, and you can do a search on my Stitch Fix posts.

Some people have had different stylists, even when they were happy with the one they had had. So far, Liz has been my stylist for each fix. I'm extremely pleased with how she is doing. I think she is reading me and my style preferences pretty well, and also pushing me a little out of my comfort zone with clothing and color. This time I asked for lots of color, and she delivered. I asked for a denim jacket in either an indigo or a dark blue, and a pretty, go with everything, purse that would fit my wallet, planner, keys, phone, etc., without being monstrous. She wasn't able to find those this time, but will keep her eyes open for me.

Item #1 41Hawthorn Dita Sleeveless Ponte Dress - $68

I LOVED this color and the cut and style. The detail just above the waist keeps the dress from being boring, and while it is fitted a little in the hips and waist, it isn't a sheath, which is more flattering to actual, human women of any shape and size, especially if they have to do more than stand in one position. However, as you see below, it was too small. I couldn't zip it past the middle of my back. It technically fit over my hips and belly, and without squeezing or pain, but still doesn't fit quite right there, as you can tell from the wrinkling. If I can get this in a larger size, I will definitely buy it, but in this size, it has to go back.


Item #2 Market & Spruce Julia Utility Jacket - $78

This is one of my favorite shades of green. And the details on this are exquisite. Rich said that it looked like a boyfriend type jacket, which needs the cuffs rolled up to give the impression of wearing his clothes, rather than hers. It was feminized in subtle ways that delighted me. There is slight shaping at the waist and a little flare at the hips. This keeps the jacket from being too boxy, and follows the shape of a female body. Then there is the navy with white polka dot trim on the pockets and inside the lining. I wasn't sure about keeping it, because I am still looking for an indigo denim jacket, and this is a little too close to the same style, and I don't really need to have multiples of the same or similar style jackets, especially at this price for multiple similar items. However, Rich loved it and, even though he wasn't thrilled with price on it either, he thought it would go with more of my clothes (see my skirt above for an example) and could go with skirts, dresses and jeans.

Item #3 Market & Spruce Adler Embroidered Shoulder Knit Top - $48

Honestly, if I had seen this while shopping, I would have thought that it was nice and just moved on to the next thing. As I follow directions, though, I did try it on, and the color and cut and fit were lovely. This will be great for our hot summers, and the shoulders form a slight cap, so I think I could even wear this to church. I especially liked the lace and embroidered detail on the back and shoulders. I forgot to have Rich get a picture of that on me, though, so here it is laid out on our bed.


Item #4 Lavender Brown Blair Silk V-Neck Blouse - $78

Her note said that she knew she had included something that had a looser fit than I usually liked, but she thought the print and color might be interesting to me. It was, and it was a silk blouse, and I really wanted to give it a shot. However, it was both too loose in the shoulders and body and too tight at the hips. And it reminded me of nurses' tunics over their scrubs at the hospital. I also thought it made me look older than I am. So, sadly, this is the only thing I really hated in the box. I did like the turquoise color in both the lighter and darker shades, and she was right that I like big floral prints.

Item #5 Gilli Astra Sleeveless Maxi Dress - $74

The order sheet called this red, but I think it is more a coral, or almost mango, color. If I had seen this in a store, I would have fled. I am rather averse to orange, so anything that even tends that way makes me nervous. However, as I try everything on in the box as instructed, I was happy with both the color and the cut and fit. The ruching at the bust, the band just below and the gathering below that, are really flattering, and the coverage is such that I can wear a normal bra with it. Rich loved it on me, and the kids just said "Wow!" when they saw me in it.

The style card for this dress was the only part that hurt in this fix. I had asked for a denim jacket, either indigo or dark blue, and the style card showed this dress with almost exactly what I wanted. Only it wasn't in the box.

I think this is a success. Three items are staying, two are going back, but if the cobalt dress had fit, I would have gotten the entire box to take advantage of the 25% off discount, which would have made the silk blouse free (plus taken a little more off of everything else), and I would have given it to someone else who actually liked it.

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