Friday, June 27, 2014

June Giveaway #2: Sock yarn and a Sock project bag

Remember those grand plans I had for a second June giveaway? Sheesh Christmas, June is just about over!

So here we go my friends, nothing too fancy, but a party favor of affection for any knitter interested. One project bag from Knitterly. It's a cow from Petaluma, where they are very proud of the dairy cows. Everyone likes the Jersey cows but I love the little dark brown ones, where they look auburn in the sunshine. One ball of Lang Yarns Jawoll color. I like this colorway, it reminds me of June a bit, like swimming pools and floaties and cartwheels in a grassy park or neighbor's lawn.

Leave a way of reaching you in the comments and I'll pick a winner in a week.

Happy Knitting.

Hey I Saw That!

I took this picture the other day when I was running errands in the neighborhood with The Kid. This is painted on the side of a local bar/eatery, The Willows.

It's good to look up from the path every now and again. You see some nifty stuff.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Weekending Leftovers

Karen at Pumpkin Sunrise is sharing her weekend again and everyone is sharing theirs as well. I love seeing everyone's happy and busy.

Woolythyme and I both had dough a'risin' on the brain. I love lifting that lid and seeing the bubble and rise. If that doesn't bring out the inner kid grin, I dunno what does.

The dough went towards my leftover pies. The Manfriend made a wonderful roast chicken dinner and it had already fed us for 2.5 meals, but I could not let that lovely meal go. So I decided to make roast chicken pies.

Left over steamed potatoes.

Chopped garlic butter green beans.

Diced roast chicken, of course! (you can't see the jus/gravy mixed in. Mmmm.)

I also had too many berries of various sorts kicking around that I was afraid wouldn't last much longer. So I decided to make berry cheesecake squares. It took longer to set than I expected, but it seemed to please. Not the prettiest of photos, but you get the gist of it :)

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Slow Growing Rainbow

did cast on my summer rainbow socks.

They are very cheery and I look forward to knitting them which is what I need with  other unsatisfying knits lying around.

What are you knitting that is making you smile?

Friday, June 20, 2014

A Fortunate Birthday. A Grateful Me.

I mentioned in an earlier post the boys took me out for an early birthday dinner which was wonderful. I have to say thank you to everyone and their kindness and generosity they've shown me with well wishes and gifts or PM on ravelry. I feel like I'm just receiving so much good with or without it being due to my birthday.

Evidence #1: Andi sent me this pattern I have been coveting! Overwhelmingly generous! I am hoping not to wait too long to cast this on. I have this yarn I got from Saco River Dyehouse that I got from reading about their kickstarter fund from Knitting in Beantown. A soft looking grey for a uniform cardigan. I think it'll be perfect! fingers crossed!

Evidence #2: I won some yarn from Two Cables n' a Frapp! How lucky am I?

Evidence #3: While I was in Petaluma I tried to visit a yarn store that always seems to be closed when I was passing through. Well guess what? They just started being open on Mondays! Happy Birthday to me! So I treated myself to some yarn (Madelinetosh is apparently a problem for me, a good problem, but a problem nonetheless). I also got myself some US1 karbonz dpns. I really like these. My bamboo ones are too long and the karbonz have a surprising amount of give to them when knitting. yay! Oh I also got this nifty project bag. Can't have enough project bags. Petaluma is known for it's free range chickens and organic eggs, hence the rooster.

So you see? I'm pretty lucky. I got another project bag with a cow on that I will raffle off with some sock yarn for our second June give away. Stay tuned!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Beach Walk

Dillon Beach is pretty. I've only been there a handful of times. West of Petaluma, it's a cold and windy place. The fog can sometimes make it romantic or sometimes ... creepy. I like it. The ocean feels raw, the breakers look savage and it takes either recklessness or a hangover to decide to go in at 7:15 in the morning.

It's a much more agreeable place for a walk. It also allows for the dogs. They were probably more tuckered out than the Kids. ha! This was one of the dogs that we spent the weekend with. The Kid was over the moon,  since he loves animals and we have none. This one especially loves children. And everyone loves Ms. Mabel.

Dunes before the beach make for big smiles. The Kid kept a close eye on his little cousin.

A morning walk on Monday allowed us to catch the pretty in the tide pools at the end of the beach that had been covered my last evening walk. But in the low tide there were many things to see.

The air smelled so good. At the edge of it all with our barefeet in the water and the kids laughing and the locals hand in hand picking up floating trash, the hermit crabs narrowly being squashed by lumbering humans, it was another moment that hope and the good in life could not be denied.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Eating Well at Dillon Beach

This past weekend was all about family good times. 4 families with the same sur name went to Dillon Beach to be together, and celebrate the family my father in law left behind.  It was very informal, and was as he would've appreciated.

We enjoyed each other, some who flew in and some who drove in.  Because of work schedules, 2 of the brothers had to overlap. One had Saturday off and one had Monday off and Sunday we were all together, all day long. 

We had a great luncheon.

The house we rented had a magnificent long table, perfect for a family retreat (and lots of tasty treats).

 Look at my people, aren't they cute?

SIL H is a master at bbq ribs. Her dry rub is delish, her method of preparation with a steam at the end to completely tenderize every morsel? AMAZING.

BBQ chicken always a crowd pleaser. The Middle BIL was overly apologetic, since he's used to a gas grill opposed to charcoal, but I tell you, this was some tasty chicken. No complaints to be found.

Grilled squash and zucchini. Probably my favorite vegetables grilled.
Favorite, except for um asparagus.

Grilled peppers go with everything. I do not partake of grilled jalapenos. My stomach cannot handle them as it matures (my stomach that is). However if you grill the peppers whole with the seeds in, they are delicious and the heat it exudes is so impressive. Ah, the glory days. Mom can still take these down though. She would've loved this meal.

From my husband and "The Middle One".  Fresh and Hot. Truly hot. Use sparingly. Be warned there is no control spout, so don't pour it all crazy style like Auntie did. hehe.

Potato salad, we admit, it was an after thought. The potatoes weren't cooked enough, but hey, it was a good idea and it looked really nice.

This is probably my favorite summer salad. I prefer this over the Caprese. Tomato and Avocado (we mixed in green beans from the salad the night before) with vinagrette and red onion. 

Good times.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Winner Winner! Oysters for Dinner!

Last night the boys took me out for an early birthday dinner. Celebrating with some Anglophilia they made reservations at Cavalier downtown.

Per usual we started with oysters. The Kid commandeered mine, so we had to order a few more.

The Manfriend tried a few baked ones sharing with The Kid, while I stuck with my Walker Creeks (I forgot the name of the other ones.

I'm not an egg person so these were all The Manfriend's. "Quail Egg Mayonnaise"

We shared this simple salad of seasonal greens and citrus vinaigrette and herbs. It was so lovely we ordered a second.

The Kid had the classic Fish and Chips. Malt Vinegar was enjoyed but he ignored both ketchup and aioli. The batter on this was so light and crisp. I was really impressed. The side dish is of peas, pea tendrils and mint in the same citrus vinaigrette as the salad. This was a huge family SWOON.

The Manfriend opted Lamb with a salsa verde for his entree.

He shared my beef dripping chips which were very .. beefy. Delicious, but it made me feel ... dirty. I will have to do an extra day of cardio ... next week.

Dessert was indecisive so we shared the steamed rhubarb pudding, and the Chocolate Delice which was a little too much like eating frosting. It needed whipped cream and or some kind of texture to cut it more.

That concludes the "Oyster Dinner" which means now we have the winners!

The Random # generator gave us 3 & 9 which is Deborah and Brenda Cooper! Thanks for coming by and participating. I'll be sending you your new patterns via Ravelry today!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

WIP Wednesday: A Summer of Socks

This is my 5th pair of socks since giving sock knitting a spin last year. And let me tell you ... I. AM. SMITTEN ... with sock knitting, that is.

This basic ribbed sock  recommended to me by Andi as a beginner pattern has been a good gateway pattern for me. However taking this puppy for a spin for a fourth time, it's time to move on. I prefer a reinforced slip stitch heel and I am not thrilled with the elflike toe this "decrease to 8 stitches and pull-through to finish" has. Maybe if I grafted the last 8 instead? hmm. Are there a lot of different ways to do a toe if you knit cuff down? Just wondering.

Anyways I have not learned yet to identify the correct part of patterning yarn to get the second sock to match the first. Good thing I'm not too worried about it  ... yet ;)

I dream in sock yarn.

I get excited when anyone tells me they like handknit socks. These will be my summer 2014 pair. What do you think, happy rainbows and magical unicorns dance along pixie filled meadows?!?

I love this sock yarn, it's Top Cat by Wandering Cat Yarns and I think I will need to keep this awesome softness as a regular in my life. Truthfully I've barely knit an inch since I last showed you this sock. The problem is this pattern. I have to ... think. Therefore I ignore the project. I think if I don't get at least one sock done at the end of the summer with non monstrous results I will pull it out. However, this colorway is just another big happy Hello Kitty hug, if I'm too impatient I may need to knit it up with something else, even just a vanilla sock to show off the yarn.

I have another non sock project I'm prepping to cast on for this upcoming weekend. We'll see how it goes.

In the meantime Knit Strong and tell me do you have any sock preferences? Patterns, methods, toes and or heels etc?

Oh and you have one more day to enter the Ainsley pattern give away here!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

June Giveaway 1: Shawlette/Scarf pattern by Delusional Knitter

Ainsley copyright Delusional Knitter from

I was visiting blogland and ravelry the other day (they go hand in hand during my internet tour) and saw that the Delusional Knitter had a new shawlette/scarf pattern available. I thought how great is this for a quick (we all know how slow I knit) gift? Something that can be used with a spare hank of variegated fingering cluttering the stash?

Well I got mine in prep for the gift giving season. (Yes, I am that slow a knitter, it will take me a while to cast on. Shh, mock me gently.)

And I thought, why not share the goods.

So for the first June giveaway, I'm gifting 2 copies (that means 2 winners!) of Delusional Knitter's Ainsely pattern.

Leave a comment with your Ravelry handle or a way to contact you by end of day June 12th and we'll pick a winner!

Thanks for stopping by :) We'll do some yarn later this month.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Summer Starts: Finished Mother & Son YA read

The San Francisco Unified School District has officially ended it's regular school year. The last week was a great and grand time. The Kid managed a field trip to see some UCSF Labratories and the one with me (since some of you asked) at Golden Gate Park for the combined 5th grade class field trip. It was a glorious day. Grownups and Kids alike enjoyed. My pal FogLady took this fantastic photo of The Kid and I simply have to share it. Childhood shenanigans at work. Love it.
Also I read something to start the summer:

I read Legend by Marie Lu, per The Kid's request/suggestion. Taking the advice from both Kepanie (a former fifth grade teacher and current PTA Mom extraordinaire) and The Kid's actual 5th grade teacher, I am continuing to try and read what he reads, especially when he asks, just to have something else to relate to and discuss. We are all also hoping that it will improve his comprehension skills.
                                                             Front Cover
Yes, another Dystopian society book. This one like, the final book in the Divergent series, vacillates between the narration of 2 main characters. One male, one female. Again I enjoyed the story for the most part, but the writing style was a little thin for me. For example, there were some character deaths that I understood the impact of to the other characters in the storiy, and how it may have guided or supported the story, but I didn't feel the impact.  Sometimes the construction of both sentence and story would temporarily confuse me. (Perhaps it's more of a reflection of my personal intelligence, it's possible, I'm no Einstein.) Perhaps I am becoming disillusioned and tired of this genre?

Perhaps I could blame  Bella's Dad and also CM, The Kid's pal (with lots of reading recommendations) for pointing out the weakness of grammar in the dystopian and the new fantasy genres. 

I will continue to read the series though. The Kid has already read through the series twice for fun and is waiting for me to catch up. He has more suggestions, he says ... but I may have to read some grown up fiction first. Maybe a nice fluffy formulaic mystery? Escapism, comforting and a fairly quick read, this is what I want.

June, June. I will try to write some decent posts this month. We have the double give away! I am debating on having one giveaway post with two wins or two separate giveaway posts. Thoughts?

I have some photos from some nice dinners recent and further back that I've been meaning to share. So that will be coming.

And fer reals, back to the wool, it's slower than pond water, but there is sock knitting happening. In fact I have to show you some new sock yarn I recently acquired and we have to discuss personal themes in self striping yarn.