I finally finished the Chevron Baby Blanket from Purl Soho. Finally! The pictures hardly do the vibrant colors justice.
My intentions were to write up a clever little post with the kind of quips that would have made Dorothy Parker proud. Though I doubt anyone busted out knitting needles and worked on a scarf at the Algonquin Round Table meet-ups. I suppose it could have happened but I imagine they were all to busy being witty to cable four of anything.
Luckily, I don't fancy myself much an intellectual these days so I have time to engage in activities like knitting or watching Top Chef Masters. On good days, I do both at the same time. On a fabulous day there is also chocolate. My mental failings mean that the latest little babe on it's way will have a wonderful heirloom.
7 skeins of Blue Sky Cotton, 100% Cotton in Lemongrass, Lemonade, Bone, Tulip, Drift, Sleet, and Graphite
Rating - Quick and easy knit with an easy to remember stitch pattern.
My crafting eyes are so much bigger than my crafting tummy. That explains the stash of counted cross stitch projects, beading supplies, oodles of yarn, fabric and Rowan magazines crammed into my tv room closet. Clearly, I have a problem and need to destash. Let't put a pin in that as a topic for another day.
My real problem this day is my Ravellenic Games project. I am behind.......waaaaay behind.
My project: Chevron Baby Blanket
Deadline: August 12th before the fat lady or pasty Brit person sings the last note of the closing ceremony.
That is it folks. I'd love to write more but I need to get my arse a'knittin'.
If my blog were a child the Department of Child Welfare would have taken it from long ago.
In my defense, I've been busy. Work and home have kept busier than ever. Trust me when I say I would rather be blogging. Of course, that requires that I write a few times a week with purpose and direction. A quick scan of my previous entries shows, I have no focus.
Some days I blog about vegetarian or vegan food and others about some crafting nonesense or other. I am all over the map. It doesn't make for good reading but it is an accurate reflection of my life.
Now what? I plan to keep blogging. And it will continue to be about anything and everything that makes me want to write. This isn't the kind of content that get popular or lures in book offers. But I like the idea of buckng the trend and having a blog just because. Though that won't stop me from secretly envying every blogger that scores a book deal. For me that is fair enough.
Recently, my mother-in-law mentioned that between her children and stepchildren she has 11 grandkids. Thinking of Christmas she let out a heavy sigh and said she was hoping everyone was done having kids. She should know better than to tempt fate because shortly after my husband's brother told everyone he and his wife were expecting baby #2. Or as my I like to call the little booger "Dozen." As in you make it complete dozen. If there is a baby #13 I shall call it Baker. As in a baker's dozen.
Since we don't plan to have kids, if I happen to be the proud mama of baby #13 I am going to call it "What the...." The way I see if the little free loader wants to hang out in body rent free for 9 plus months I reserve the right to call it whatever I want and humilitate it with embrassing baby pics during those teen years. Trust me, if I have a kid, this would be the least of their many problems.
We recently visited Mr. English's family and his brother's wife, Tara, told me she still had the bootie and baby hat set lovingly knit for their first born. I was touched. My now ex-sister-in-law never acknowledged let alone thanked me for the handknits sent to her adorable babies. And Debbie Stoller herself complimented said booties.
Needless, to say I was a bit bent out shape and have never forgiven the slight. Generally, I don't tend to hold grudges. But my feelings were hurt because what meant so much to me held zero value for her. So I was more than a bit verklempt when I realized Tara truly appreciated the gift. I decided right then and there that a baby blanket had to be made.
The current contender is the Chevron Baby Blanket from The PurlBee. Since the parents to be want to be surprised about the sex I need something gender neutral. The mom to be is a bit traditional so the design is perfect. Having never been a fan of traditional baby pastels I am drawn to the colorway.
I toyed with buying Knitpicks Simply Worsted Cotton. It would certainly lower the cost. But I am making a keepsake so for now I am leaning towards Blue Sky Alplacas. I would love to hear what you have to say.
Before blogging about the Ravelympics kerfuffle I decided to let my thoughts marinate a'la Jennifer Stein. I lacked that level of restraint on twitter because it was easy to spout off 140 characters when I am hot under the collar. After a good night's sleep and a little thought I feel ready to weigh in with my two cents.
For those who don't know (though in my world I imagine everyone has heard and are equally outraged), the U.S. Olympics Committee (USOC) sent a cease-and-desist letter to Ravelry. That is a knitting social network whose members organize a knitting event called "Ravelympics." Members are called ravelers and I proud to count among their numbers.
Ravelympics is an activity not a competition that is a global watching party paired with a crafty endeavor. Knitters and crocheters challenge themselves to complete a project in the 16-day time period of the Olympics. Projects are cast-on during the opening ceremony and hopefully completed before the closing ceremony ends. It is a challenge but also a way to encourage members of the 2 million plus community to support the Olympic games.
It appears the USOC feels very differently. The cease and desist letter made that very clear by characterizing the event as insulting to the athletes;
"We believe using the name "Ravelympics" for a competition that involves an afghan marathon, scarf hockey and sweater triathlon, among others, tends to denigrate the true nature of the Olympic Games. In a sense, it is disrespectful to our country's finest athletes and fails to recognize or appreciate their hard work."
I, like many others understand they want to protect their trademark. They have a history of being aggressive in their efforts consider Olympic Cellars (a winery at the foot of the Olympic Mountains) or the Gay Olympics now called the Gay Games. We Ravelers would have understood and being a creative lot come up with a different name. The sticky widget has been the tone of the letter. Though the USOC maintains it was a standard cease and desist no one is buying it.
Eventually, a non-apology apology was issued followed by a second apology;
"We apologize for any insult and appreciate your support. We embrace hand-crafted American goods as we currently have the Annin Flagmakers of New Jersey stitching a custom-made American flag to accompany our team to the Olympic Games in London. To show our support of the Ravelry community, we would welcome any handmade items that you would like to create to travel with, and motivate, our team at the 2012 Games.”
The request for the sane handmade goods which were such an insult sent athletes was for lack of a better term pretty damn ballsy.
The USOC, taking a play from the Susan G. Komen PR playbook, has shot themselves in the foot by angering the knitters and crocheter who planned to watch the Olympic games while working on their project. That includes watching commercials from sponsors such as McDonald's, Pampers, Tide, DeVry University (not lying, I swear), Coca-Cola and many more.
Seriously, isn't McDonald's as the official restaurant insulting to athletes and frankly, restaurants.
And don't get me started on the daiper. Too late! Yes folks there is an official USOC approved daiper. So to be clear knitters and crocheters watching the game while engaging in ther craft is deningrating. A child literally pooping on a US Olympic team logo and being called an athlete not the least bit demeaning.
As an American living overseas I loved that the Ravelympics brought the veiwing party with all it's enthusiasm across the miles to my home. I felt connected with fellow countrymen and women but also enjoyed hearing from others as they root for country or their favorite athlete. It truly embodied the spirit of the games.
I am sad that the USOC's actions have robbed me of that joy this year. I am even sadder to know they don't care. As a supporter of various charities I can assure you and the USOC that they lost a potential supporter.
For the record, I did not get the USOC's permission to use the words Olympics or Ravelry in my post. If they have a problem with it they can sue me.
It recently occurred to me that I have written very little about Costa Rican food. A bit odd when you consider that not only do I live in Costa Rica but I am also half-Costa Rican and grew up eating Tico food. It may be cliché but for me beans and especially rice is the ultimate comfort food. In the next few weeks I plan to share my culinary heritage by posting Tico recipes, that with some help from other talented cooks, have been tweaked to maintain traditional tastes while being vegetarian or vegan.
Today we start with a seasonal ingredient, Flor de Itabo which are yucca flowers. If you live in the southwest no doubt you seem them everyday. The petals of this beautiful white flower is edible. In Costa Rica markets and roadside full of Flor de Itabo branches mark the coming of Easter known here as Semana Santa since it blooms March though April.
Flor de Itabo is an excellent source of vitamin C and contains iron, phosphorus and niacin, as well as fiber. The petals are edible but the rest of the flower is bitter. Petals can become bitter if pinched, damaged or too old. Sort of like an old maid on Downton Abbey.
Most recipes are egg based such omelets (torta in Costa Rica). I have heard there are non-Costa Rican recipes for tomato-based soups that call for yucca flowers. For me eggs and Flor de Itabo go together like peanut butter and jelly. They naturally complement one another so why mess with generations of tradition? Plus how can you resist the chance to eat what is literally scrambled eggs and flowers?
Torta de Flor de Itabo
Peel 5 small potatoes and boil. Then roughly mash and set aside.
Nearly a year ago things went topsy-turvy and I could no longer access Typead from Costa Rica. Rather incovenient considering it is my home. Proxies provided access but hardly a reasonable solution. Eventually, I walked away and tried to accept being relegated to blogspot while spammers cluttered my precious blog with viagra links.
Well, sellers of diazepam, mail order brides and counterfiet jeans your reign of tacky tyranny over my blog is over. Ov-ah!
The title says it all, I am feeling flumoxed. I've been at the jewelry game for over 2 years now with little to no traction. The competition is stiff and I am not appropriately geographically located to participate in craft fairs. But these excuses are nothing more than challenges. My work, if I do say so myself, is lovely and has a wee bit of whimsy.
Jewelry making isn't my only hobby. I also bake and for the thirds time in the past few months someone has asked about buying one of the yummies I whip up in my kitchen. I love making my vegan cupcakes and am about to start experimenting with scones and brownies too.
So I feel flumoxed. Do I got one or the other? Both? My head is spinning from possible fun, failure or success.
My brain has been stuck in neutral for over a week. I want to blog but I get blogger's block and nothing gets done. Rather than continue to post bupkus, I decided to grab a picture from my library at random and blog about it. Whatever "it" maybe. So here goes....... The lucky winner is a cat in lazing in front of a shop in Essaouira, Morocco.
This year the hubby and I high tailed to Morocco for a 15 day tour called The Colours of Morocco with Intrepid travel.
So when we arrived in laid back Essaouira on day 11 we were ready for a break. The fresh ocean breeze was a welcome change from stifling dry desert air. It smelled and felt different.
The old town area near the beach preserves Essaouira's place in Moroccan and European history as an important port that linked the Sahara and Morocco with Europe.
The old town has impressive fortified walls built in the 18th century based on European military architecture in a North African. To me it felt like an English coastal town. It made me think of a Jane Austen novel. Upon entering the impressive city gates all European similarities go out the window.
Cafes, stalls and shops occupy every nook and cranny. You see faded white walls, blue doors and golden yellow Moroccan slippers everywhere. There are the typical labyrinthine streets and alleys. You cannot escape that fact that you are in Morocco with a different flavor.