Tuesday, May 24

Shoes & more Sock Summit

 If you're in the North East and like me you probably need some color right now.  The picture above is yarn my booth set up at Clermont a few weeks ago. I realized I had nothing but bright happy colors to combat the grey days we've been having.

Wow! This Spring has been flying by.  I've barely put away Winter stuff and it's practically June already!

I've finished one sweater to wear at Squam, (you can buy the pattern on Ravelry if you want to make your own) have a few inches of new knee socks done. Oh, I can't believe I haven't shared these beauties yet...

Yup, I know.
They are divine. They are HANDMADE by the fabulous Ren at Fairysteps.  I could honestly go on for at least an hour about how fantastic these shoes are. If you are one of my real life friends you have probably already heard about them in detail.  After a few weeks wait while they were carefully crafted they showed up at my door & I was absolutely thrilled.  The sky blue leather is so soft and buttery and they are so incredibly well made they were well worth every penny. I'm not sure I've ever loved shoes so much.

I've been trying to wrap my head around the fact that Cal & I are teaching at SOCK SUMMIT and on top of that I might get the rare treat of international buddy Alisa joining us in Portland!! I am so happy.  So happy, in fact, that I nerdily typed into the map (original version here) the Summitistas so generously provided all the vendor names on their places. Is this crazy? Kind of.  BUT I'm teaching & having a booth so my actual shopping time is going to be really limited, which means I need to come up with an organized plan so I don't miss anything!

Wanna take advantage of my dorkiness? You can! Below is a link to the 2 page black & white pdf you can download & print yourself.  This is just how the layout stands now, things can always change so about a week before Sock Summit I'll update this file with any changes.
Sock Summit 2011 Vendor Map

What are your "can't miss" stops at Sock Summit?

Thursday, May 19

Spring has sprung, but it's a little rusty

Yay! First strawberry. Well, almost.

Unexpected tulip. I didn't plant any pink ones, thanks squirrels!

The backyard now smells fantastic! Lilac & Honeysuckle in bloom.

Admittedly these photos are a little over a week old. Why? Well, because it has been raining for what feels like forever!

In the intervening weeks since my last post I've gone to Philly for a family wedding. Which was fun but of no interest to you guys. While in Philly though, I made time to stop at the fascinating Mütter Museum - if you are planning a trip to Philadelphia or live nearby I highly suggest stopping here. BUT only if you are not easily "creeped out" it is a medical museum at the College of Physicians  so there is some stuff that I guess some most might find a little gross. There is no photography allowed inside like most museums, so I guess you are going to have to see it for yourselves.

I will say though they had a plaster cast of Chang & Eng the "original" Siamese twins, that I loved seeing.  I read a great novel about their lives and have been sort of obsessed ever since. They fathered 21 children between them! No pun intended.

I have been busily preparing for my week at Squam Art Workshops.  Getting excited and trying to make lots yarn for the Squam Art Fair, which by the way is open to all, not just Squam attendees. Oh! And there is free beer :)
I have a waaay too long list of projects I hoping to complete while at Squam. Wish me luck! I did complete something *for me* to wear there.  It just so happens I'm also teaching a class on said "thing" starting this weekend at Wing & Clover. I think there are still a few spots left, details on Double Knot.  It a pretty quick & easy knit with no shaping and barely any purling. Okay, there is purling in the ribbing and once you separate the front & back but not too much :)

I have been rabidly following waaay too many discussions of Sock Summit on Ravelry. I still can't believe Cal & I are going!  I mean, seriously check out this list of classes.  I could happily attend ANY of the classes on this roster & learn something from each one.
My classes are here and Cal's are here, come have socky fun with us!!!

I better get back to dyeing yarn. Let's all keep our fingers and toes crossed for some sunny days.

Thursday, May 5

Dinner as the sun sets

Two posts in one week, that might be record breaking for this blogger!

As the weather here in Upstate NY starts to warm up and the days stretch longer and longer I often find myself still working away as the suns sets, only now it's after 7 instead of after 5.  So, I'm always looking for quick fix dinners that are healthy, unfussy and don't have me at the grocery store starved looking for some arcane ingredient.  What the heck is sorrel anyway?

In the Spring and Summer this is one of my "go to" quick dinners. Oh, and if you are a fussy weights & measures type, this isn't for you.  I use "ish" as a unit of measure.

Grilled Trout
You will need one trout per person, the lovely local market here has fresh, boned & gutted trout that are absolutely perfect, the only thing that could be more perfect, for the more intrepid among you, is if you catch & clean them yourselves

You will also need;
1 large lemon or two small lemons (this is for two servings)
a handful of fresh herbs, I used dill in this round but I usually use whatever is up in my herb garden, parsley & thyme are also super delicious
olive oil
salt & pepper, I have to say here you really should use kosher salt & freshly ground pepper, I don't want to sound all food snobby but it does make a difference

Part of what makes this dinner so good is the smoke from a charcoal grill, you could (I guess) cook inside but it's so nice out why not pour a glass of wine & sit on the deck.

Wash herbs, arugula & asparagus and trim off the hard ends from the asparagus.  Set aside while you start your charcoal.

While charcoal is getting ready, soak kitchen string in water for tying your trout up. 
Salt & pepper insides & outsides of the fish and insert thin slices of lemon (about 1/4"), some lemon zest and add lots of herbs.  Sometimes here I sneak a little butter in to, why, because butter makes everything better! But it isn't necessary.

Tie up your fish, I use some method -I think- I learned from watching Martha Stewart tie up a roast.
Rub olive oil on both skin sides of the fish and put it in a pan made for using on the grill.  Once the charcoals are at that beautiful glowing but not flaming stage, put the pan on.
Toss your asparagus with a little olive oil, salt & pepper and put around the pan directly on the grate, keep turning as necessary and take off as soon as they are tender crisp.

After about 5-7 minutes flip the fish, it will take about the same time on the other side.
Plate your trout, grilled asparagus & dress your arugula in a nice mustard vinaigrette and dinner is ready to go!

Enjoy outside, with crisp, white wine or lemony wheat beer.
So that's my quick fix, go to dinner, what about you? I'd love to hear what you make when you realize it's dinner time & have nothing planned.

Tuesday, May 3

Socks, Sheep & Squam

I really don't have a thing for the letter S it just keeps popping up! If you've read (or heard, even though this is the internet I would believe from wherever you are reading this you might have heard me, I'm so excited) my squealing on Facebook & Ravelry but the fantastic Cal Patch & I will both be teaching at this year's Sock Summit and we've been jumping up and down, calling each other & making sure "it is real" and  in a general state of giddiness for months.  FINALLY the classes have been announced and registration starts tomorrow at 12pm PDT!  I will have a booth at the marketplace there as well and the ONLY bad part about teaching & having a booth is I don't think I'll have time to take any classes.  Which truly is a shame because there are some of my knitting heroes, (new & longstanding) teaching amazing classes!

Cal is teaching Embroidery & Applique for Socks and Fanciful Crochet Edgings for Socks  both of which, to this mainly 'plain vanilla' sock knitter, sound perfect!
Franklin Habit, Amy Singer, Lucy Neatby and Cookie A all have classes scheduled that sound so interesting and completely unique.  I could blab on about them but I'm sure they describe them best themselves, go read the descriptions!  Let me know in the comments what you've signed up for so I can "knit" vicariously through you.

On the sheepy front, there is a Fiber market day scheduled at The Clermont Historic Site on May 14th from 12 - 4pm.  I'll be there with gobs of yarn in tow and hopefully we'll have the beautiful, dreamy weather we should be having in May! I hope to see some of you there.

I do all my scheduling on a google calendar and recently the monthly view started showing Sqaum!! That means it's less than a month away. I can't believe it. I am so thrilled to be going, a week by a lake in NH with friends and crafty, fibery, people and classes - even yoga, honestly, what could be better?  Cal & I will be drving from Upstate NY and need travel mix suggestions.  What are your favorite songs or albums to drive to? One of my all time favorites is Nebraska, if you've never heard this album (really? where have you been living?), please, go to your local record store & pick it up.   In preparation for Squam I have been reading a Ravelry thread, called "what are you making to wear at Squam", and feeling panicky about not having enough handmade clothing to wear when there...

But then I finished this sweater. Yay! It was started for a class I'm teaching at Wing & Clover, and it fits me perfectly, I am so happy with my color choice and it's even season appropriate!

I'll keep you updated as my Squam projects progress, keep your fingers crossed for me that I keep crossing "to-be-mades" off my list.