Tag Archives: blankets

Of basil, beans, and blankets

borlotti finger

My garden (I can hardly call it my garden – it was a patch of dirt the previous owners planted tomatoes in, and I just threw some seeds in there in the spring) bore much more than I expected, especially after I entirely ignored it (let’s hope it just doesn’t have low self esteem and thrives on neglect).

And two of my favorite comfort foods did exceptionally well.

We had enough basil for multiple pesto dishes.

basil in garden

And some entirely lovely borlotti beans – but just a few plants’ worth since I threw just a few seeds in not expecting anything.

borlotti beans

(Yes, they are surrounded by lots and lots of weeds.)

Basil pesto reminds me of home – I grew up with the stuff over homemade spaghetti while the closest thing my classmates had to pasta was elbows and powdered cheese from a box.  I’m pretty sure one of my teen boyfriends (a boyfriend I had as a teen, and who himself was a teen) only hung around as long as he did for the food.  When I moved into my first few apartments, pesto was one of the first dishes I’d make so the place would immediately smell good.  And then I could sound even more pretentious and say the smell of fresh basil and garlic and boiling pasta immediately takes me back to my halcyon days as a college student in Firenze.

pesto dish

I didn’t think you could acquire new comfort foods as an adult, but borlotti beans came in to my life several years ago and nestled into that role.  I spent nearly all of my twenties as a vegetarian, so all beans wore out their welcome, but when N came around and started whipping up beans and greens with the speckled beauties, I became a fan.  And they also remind me of our semi-annual trips to Abruzzo.  Next year I hope to plant a gigantic bed of them so I can dry pounds and enjoy them through the winter.

borlotti-dried

And I finally finished knitting a [large-ish] baby blanket for a new member of the family.  His mother started it and I offered to finish it – boldly thinking I’d have it done in time for his birth in July, but at least it’s still technically summer.

babyblanket-dry

Though I was uncharacteristically monogamous with the project, and while knitting it made a mental list of all the other things I wanted to start (or finish) when I was done, I’m feeling a little itchy to knit a new blanket for us – one to snuggle under while eating some beans.

Isn’t that just cozy?

(Actually, I hate eating around textiles and prefer dining properly at the table…)

But wait, haven’t I already been knitting a blanket for over a decade….?

newhampshire-blanketinprogress

I finally got it back out to finish – it’s nearly done, but the cotton is still doing some ass-kicking to my wrists, so I’m dreaming about a new one in wool…

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Biggest-assed yarn bomb

It’s all over and too late to see now, but Knit the Bridge was pretty cool (and record-breaking).

We went to Pittsburgh for a little jaunt over Labor Day weekend and caught the bridge on a bright summer morning.

Knit the Bridge 1

(Got the ass-end of one of those obnoxious duck tour thingamawhats too!)

It was quite a bit more Crochet the Bridge, rather than knit, but they certainly couldn’t call it [yarn] Bomb the Bridge, which would have been more accurate, inclusive, and alliterative, but sadly we can’t say such things these days.

Knit the Bridge 2

The cheery hanging flower baskets were a nice touch too and complimented the bright acrylic yarns.

The whole thing had a campy, homey feel which was nice, but also played a bit into the knitting/crochet stereotype.

Knit the Bridge 3

But I won’t criticize that too harshly – overall it was a good thing and acrylic had to be used as the blankets will be massively laundered and donated to people and places that don’t have the knowledge, time, space, or frankly have much bigger issues rather than proper care of woolen hand-knits.

(There were actually many people out too, I just chose the pics without them.)

See also Cosy’s blog for more pics.

Knit the Bridge 4

I sadly wasn’t able to cram in a visit to Natural Stitches which is among my favorite LYSs – it carries loads of good quality stuff in good colors plus some fancy things for the occasional splurge (but not fancy-pants things that are just plain fugly).

But that doesn’t mean I didn’t acquire yarn of some sort.  We also hit a couple of thrift stores and I found a few sweaters ripe for harvesting.  Many of the thrift stores around Pittsburgh don’t take away the sweaters in summertime like they do on the East Coast.  I hate when they do that.

Pgh thrift 9-2013 4

As usual, I don’t have immediate plans for these, but they have the same sized/weight nicely heathered Shetland-like yarn, so something stripey with the two sweaters combined might be in order.  Maybe even a traditional Shetland hap shawl… Purple usually isn’t among my top favored colors though…

Pgh thrift 9-2013 3

And I pretty much swore I wouldn’t buy thin merino to unravel again, but I liked the colors of these and they’re the exact same sweater, so color work is a possibility, though I’ve fallen down the orange-green hole many times already.

Pgh thrift 9-2013 1

And one to keep as-is to wear (as if I need another).

I love the pale green – thank you late ’70s, early ’80s (and yes, I’m sure it’s probably a man’s sweater, but it fits).

Pgh thrift 9-2013 2

And I love the slogan on the label: “Wool. It’s got life.”

Amen.

Pgh thrift 9-2013 5

And I got a few to full/felt.  Only some of them didn’t.  But that’s okay, I’ll unravel them instead.

The ones that did have already become phone cozys/socks/sleeves for some smart phone wielding friends.

I’ve got leftovers for sale too.

(My Etsy shop still isn’t stocked yet though.)

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Long term UFOs – part IV

The cotton blanket pooling experiment.

Would this be an anniversary or a birthday? Regardless, I started this blanket around [actually over] 10 years ago shortly after learning to knit, shortly after making too many garter stitch scarves, so this was the same thing only sewn together to convince myself I had improved as a knitter.  I never finished it, I never cared?  I think because shortly thereafter I finally got the courage, motivation, balls to learn to move past the garter.  Also back then summers in my old city were cool, and I often needed a blanket while reading/knitting on the sofa in the evenings –  but a on a few warmer nights I needed something a little cooler than wool, so I had cotton snuggling thoughts.  But then global warming ramped up and summer blanket thoughts began to go away.  Maybe I should finish this before I’ll only need a cotton blanket in the winter, or maybe menopause will make me want it again, and shed it, and want it again, and shed it, and want it again?

DSCF3594 - Copy
I took this picture in the old house, and we don’t have this sofa anymore – it actually stayed in said house, so the whole package with the cotton blanket on the cotton sofa in a pleasing color scheme can’t be repeated anyway…  Meh.  I’m also a bit snotty about the yarn – bought before the new wave of LYSs, so it came from one of the big boxes which I generally avoid now, and I’m not a giant fan of knitting with cotton these days – too hard on my hands.  I would consider donating this or gifting it, but much still needs to be done if I finish as I envisioned it.  However, I could just finish the last green stripe, sew it together and just call it done, but then it would be an awkward size – too big for lap or crib, but too small for throw…well see… I’m not going to commit to finishing it as yet.  It might be a good project to take when I’m away somewhere and is the only thing I’ve got.

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