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Thursday, April 27, 2006

my radishes have sprouted!

really! They're such cute little sprouts too! I also bought some packets of sunflower seeds (teddy bear, and some reddish variety) to start sprouting for my mom. She's away this week, but she's been wanting sunflowers in her garden for her to snip during the summer to have beautiful flowers for the kitchen. For mother's day, we're going to be planting things in her garden so I figure I can start the sprouts now and transplant them on mother's day.

I've been a pretty busy bee updating the Bay Area Knitters ring. I FINALLY placed links to everyone's blog on the main page (man, 117 people! phew!). I then invited them all to be a member of the blog so that they could add posts about activities in the area. But Blogger only lets you invite each member individually, three people each time. So that was a bit slow too!

On the plus side, I enjoyed hopping around the ring and I found Celadon Cupcake inspired me to dress my dish soap:

This was a quick and dirty version I whipped up minutes before ervy came home. I plan to make my dish soap a couple outfits. I also think my mom and ervy's mom would enjoy one for mother's day. How adorable! It makes me smile every time I wash dishes :)

Look! I also finished up another long lostforgotten UFO! My Hooray for Me Gloves done up in that silvery/beige israeli yarn I found thrifting! I would have been done Tuesday night, but as I finished up the thumb gusset on the second glove I had an "OH CRAP!" moment. I was making a second left handed glove! Poop! So I had to rip it back and redo it. I tried to take multiple pictures to capture the cabling, but that darn flash just loves to wash it out! (Pssst.. can you tell what show is on in the back?)

I've been planning for more spinning too--lest you think I've just been knitting/sewing and neglecting poor Wally. Here are a couple bags of merino x locks lined up to get ready for a bath :) I saw this technique on a couple people's blogs recently, but I can't remember whom. I hadn't spent the time to maintain the lock structure before, but we'll see if that makes a difference.

Monday, April 24, 2006


Click on the photo to go to the NY Times article. Business is paying to keep sheep covered... it's like a spinner's dream.

This weekend was Tony-The-Tiger-great. Friday night, the erv and I stayed home to watch the 1953 movie How to Marry a Millionaire with Lauren Bacall and Marilyn Monroe. We learned a new phrase to say something is wonderful. They kept saying, "I think it's just CREAMY!"

We also opened up my new scrabble set (my old one was missing a few letters, and I picked up a new set at Target on sale for $7.50!). I lost to ervy :( but it's okay, I beat fufu and ervy Saturday night :). I also finished my lap blanket from weekend knitting.... I know, I know.. you're saying, "what lap blanket?" As well you should. I believe it was a little under a year ago that I was knitting this. See, it's here in this post. It's about time to start finishing up my UFOs.

I do have to admit, I started a Nautie. They're just so darn cute. This one is greenish for the May colorswap. I'm trying to use up some lionbrand homespun I bought when I first started knitting (I hate this stuff now, the yarn always seems to bunch around its binder thread as i'm knitting with it!)

Sunday ervy, fu, adam, and I went to the farmers market where I picked up some pretty baby artichokes so that I could make this delicious looking thing. We then headed over to Chef Liu's for lunch, but I veered over to the Mountain View Tea Village and Gallery to see if they had Blue Spring Oolong tea. I ended up walking out of there with some Ah Lee Peak Oolong. Ervy walked out with $30/oz 1965 Pu-erh, which by the way, was absolutely amazing.

The owner offered to have us try some new teas right there in the store. She sat us all down at their beautiful redwood trunk table and did a lovely tea serving of Drunken Princess Oolong and their amazing 1965 Pu-erh (as well as this Pu-chong mix they always keep warm for themselves from a mix of the pu-erh teas people have tasted along with some chrysanthemum flowers -- she said it was the way their master had taught them.) Goodness, it was so wonderful.

Friday, April 21, 2006



I'm so excited! Lynne emailed me and said there's an opening for May Colorswap. May's color is green, and I ADORE green!!!

Here's my colorswap questionnaire:

Are you crafty?
Hell yeah!

Would you enjoy things like: Buttons, ribbons and
Yes! I especially love ribbon and buttons... so I'd probably like whatever other embellishments come my way :)

Do you dye your own wool?

Do you like to scrapbook or make homemade cards?
I don't scrap book, but I sometimes make homemade cards. I never seem to like the special occasion cards you can buy in a store...

What are your favorite scents?
vanilla, clean laundry, gardenia

Do you like stationary and cards?
I love cute stationary. Having stationary has really come in handy since I've become a knit blogger. Sort of a wonderful self-perpetuating thing.

Do you like to sew or embroider items?
I sew . I tried to embroider wasn't pretty

Do you like beads?

What kind of candy do you like?
candy innovation! Candy I haven't tried before! But a safe bet is always chocolate--especially dark chocolate!

Do you like hand lotions or soaps?
I find I always have a surplus of scented lotions, but I love yummy smelling soaps

Do you like to wear costume jewelry? Necklace,
earrings, bracelets etc.
costume? I like jewelry... does that count?

Do you like to make/or use stitch markers?
I do both. One of the best parts is giving them to someone though...

Do you collect anything?
unfortunately, my dad gave me the 'collecting bug.' He always collected stamps and coins (still does) and tried to get me to do the same as a kid. So nowadays, I think about starting a collection of things (shot glasses, cookie jars, gravy boats, etc) but I find I just don't keep collecting

Do you have any allergies?: Smoke, food, fiber, pets,
not allergic to smoke, but I don't love the smell :)

Do you have any hobbies?
knitting, sewing, spinning, cooking/baking

Do you like scented or unscented candles?

Are you a fiber snob?
no. but I don't like the really scratchy acrylics. And I do love natural fibers

Do you like to play cards or board games?
yes! both!

Do you like neon colors, pastel, light or medium
ranges in the color of the month?
for green, I like either really vibrant I'm-gonna-knock-your-socks-off green or very earthy greens. But green is such a pretty color in general

Do you like kitchen magnets or key rings?
not particularly

Do you like picture frames?


Did you know that radishes can mature in a month after planting them? Some varieties take longer like the black spanish radish (yum!) and watermelon radish (double yum!)

In the whole vegetable garden theme of things, this sounds almost like 'instant' gratification for me... I mean it's not truely instant, but I'm just fascinated by how quickly they are ready for harvest. I plan on planting a bunch of varieties when I go up to Seattle. Some varieties are okay for warmer weather, but I think it's more of a cold weather crop. Still, I decided I might as well give it a try before I leave sunny CA, and I planted a few in one of the big wine barrel planters I have. I may only get tops and not bottoms if it's too warm, but c'est la vie. It's just fun to try.

knitting question

I would love to start knitting some socks out of some beautiful Opal yarn I have, but I don't have size 1 needles. Would you sock knitters out there recommend I get dpns or do that thing with two socks on a circular?

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

actual knitting content!

I've been knitting again! How absolutely wonderful to actually complete a project! I started a small my-so-called scarf around Valentine's Day when ervy got me some beautiful pink yarn from Full Thread Ahead

Asha was ecstatic that I picked up my knitting. I left it for a moment on Monday and she curled up with it to nap.

I finished it and blocked it. I spoke previously about the ridges I was getting in the pattern. I think this was due to the fact that the original pattern calls for 30 CO stitches, and I decided to cast on 18 to make a narrower longer scarf with the pretty pink yarn ervy gave me. This did create some spaces in the knitting, but I ended up using it as part of the design to add some contrasting color. I wove some of the beautiful handspun my sp6 gave me to add some flair. Then I dressed the sleeping Nikko in my scarf:

"mom, i'm trying to sleeeeeeeepppp...."

aww cute kitty overload!

I joined a new swap. My last secret pal flaked on me, so I've been tentative about my thoughts in joining up in new swaps... but really, this new swap is so perfect for me... it's the Knitter's Tea Swap, started by Suzie.

foodie related

I've been meaning to blog about the very tasty restaurant the erv and I found down in the Santa Barbara area. We ended up driving to nearby Carpenteria to Clementine's Steakhouse.

We loved this place. For $20 you get a humongous dinner complete with soup, homemade bread, salad, pickles, a main course (I got fried chicken), and homemade pie!

The place is dressed up to look like someone's grandmother's house.

It's amazingly comforting, and our waitress (I think Clementine's daughter) was wonderfully nice. If you're in the area, you should try to stop by here for dinner.

Clementine's Steakhouse
4631 Carpinteria Ave, Carpinteria
Phone: (805) 684-5119

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

breathing & chocolate chip coconut cookies

Today, I feel I deserve cookies. As you all may have noticed, I have been rather absent on and off these past four or so months. At the end of last year, I applied to PhD programs in social psychology. January I waited and went to the big conference in my field. February I began to hear back from schools. I thought, "hey, wonderful! I'm going somewhere..." But I have honestly been going insane the past two months trying to decide with Ervy WHERE we will be spending the next 5-6 yrs of our lives.

Well, the wait is over. Today, I accepted University of Washington's offer of admission, and then, after sending all the appropriate emails and filling out several forms in triplicate, I made cookies. Because I DO deserve cookies.

You might notice the two vitamin C bottles on my kitchen counter. That's actually only 2 out of 3, the third is still packed in luggage from my last minute trip to Santa Barbara last weekend (I was visiting UCSB again with Evan). The last few months have seen the erv and me go from sick to sort of sickly, so we're stocked on the vitamin C.

Celebration Cookies
this is really just the chocolate chip cookie recipe off the toll house chocolate chip wrapper. I added 1/2 cup of coconut to half the dough for today's cookies and froze the dough without coconut for another day when I deserve cookies

2 1/4 C flour
3/4 C white Sugar
3/4 C light brown sugar
1 t vanilla extract
1 t baking soda
2 eggs
1 t salt
2 sticks butter
2 cups chocolate chips
1/2 cup dried coconut flakes (the big kind)

Mix flour, salt, and baking soda together in a bowl and set aside.

In a mixer, beat butter with sugars and vanilla extract. Add eggs one at a time. Beat in dry ingredients slowly. Mix in chocolate chips (do not over beat, just stir them in). At this point I froze half my dough in a roll to make another day. I then mixed coconut into the remaining dough and used a medium cookie dough scoop to get them the same size. Bake at 375 F for 11 to 13 min. When you take them out, they'll still be quite soft. Let them rest for two minutes before you move them to a wire cooling rack.

Monday, April 10, 2006

it's that season again!

Every year, the spiders come in droves, and I start having nightmares about the darn crawlers. Last night I dreamt I went to yoga and while I was in some ridiculous pose, a hoard of spiders started swarming around me.

ok. but seriously, it's not just spider season. It's the season where I get the bug to start planting. This year, I've planted three tomato varieties: Oregon Spring (a short season tomato, so I should get some early tomatoes), Old German (a beautiful bicolor tomato), and Brandywine. Now you might be thinking, "gah lori! it's a bit early/cold still to be planting tomatoes, doncha know!" But to you, I say "phhhhhhhhhbtt!"
I don't know when I'm going to start moving away to grad school, and I want to get the possibility of tomaters in this season. Plus, I've got my wall-o-water. See:

I saw these at Wegman's last year, but by then I didn't need them. It's basically just some plastic tubes you fill with water that help retain the heat around the plant during the early season. Here's a pic of one of my tomatoes in the wall:

I've also decided this year I would try companion planting more. Hence the marigolds around my tomato plants. They're supposed to help ward off pests... we'll see how that goes. Apparently, mint and basil also are great companions to tomatoes, so those have now been added to a couple of the barrels.

I've also convinced my mom to let me plant a bunch of tomatoes, veggies, and herbs in her backyard this year. They get a TON of sun, and have a lot of space so I think it will be perfect, and a good way for me to plant other varieties in hopes of harvest. I'm planning on planting Stupice, Hawaiian Pineapple, Green Zebra, Early girl, and Marvel Stripe. I'll also probably do a big boy or better boy for them.

I found this photo on my camera. It's of an amazing chickpea stew. This was absolutely delicious, although I edited the recipe slightly and added the whole can of diced tomatoes (i think 28 oz... Cook's Illustrateds says Muir Glen is the best brand)and all of the chickpea broth. It was so tasty, economic, and would feed an army!

Here's evan's bro, Sean, and his Tufts girly (i can't remember her name) sitting down to our vegetarian dinner:

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Back-to-work blues…

**Twang** Oh yeah, I got the back-to-work blues **oh yeah**. (How appropriate that it was country night on American Idol). Ya know—those deep sighs that come with having to step back into the real world after living a different life for a week. Our vacation ended with the erv and me getting back at midnight last night to find two needy (and a bit fat—or at least asha has gotten pretty tubular and popped her collar off due to a chubbier neck) kitties.

Evvie and I took Stanford’s Spring Break off to visit my Aunt and Uncle at their house on Lake Washington. We went to coffee shops (between my meetings at the U) and met up with our friend Henry at the Malay Hut near Microsoft’s campus. Despite all weather reports that said it would rain the whole week, every morning we woke up to a beautiful view of the sun on the lake. Evan managed to find the local 99 Ranch, and cooked up some delicious tendon and oxtail stew for all of us to enjoy.

The oxtail and tendon were superbly done, and they tasted much better than the fusion/pan-asian cuisine we had for lunch the first day of vacation at Chinoise when we went to Wallingford. I had a hankerin’ for sushi that day, but after heading toward the sushi restaurant, we decided to try the fusion restaurant next door.

The food was Vietnamese/Japanese.

Evan liked his curry, but I really found my noodle dish rather lacking. It did look pretty though:

Overall the trip was actually fairly busy during the week last week. But Sunday, evan and I kicked back and popped Spongebob Squarepants the movie into the dvd player. Much to our surprise and enjoyment, my uncle (quite a busy man these days) jetted upstairs to join us on the couch, as this movie has been on his netflix queue for a while as well. I found the movie really funny/weird. I can’t really see how children would have enjoyed it as much as adults, in fact, if I were a child, I think it would have confused and frightened me. As it was, I really enjoyed Spongebob’s references to public radio and weird hangovers.

Here’s a couple of pics I’ve been meaning to post from my travels over the past couple of months:

Evvie braving the cold cold Chicago weather:

The numbers pavilion in front of the math department in Columbus:

The fun/dorky café in the physics building in Seattle: