knitting it up in a big way

Monthly Archives: April 2013

cheap daffodils from the grocery store

before: stool
i decided to pull the old paint splattered burgundy canvas off of this little stool.

after: stool
ah, much better! this picture makes me want to re-paint the trim in the kitchen, though. okay, let’s be honest. looking at the trim in the kitchen makes me want to re-paint it.

i made smitten kitchen‘s tomato and italian sausage risotto the other night. it was incredible. i’d never made risotto before. i could barely believe that i had made it, it tasted so good! ‘surely,’ i says to myself, ‘this is beyond my culinary ken!’ ‘apparently not,’ i responded, ‘and don’t call me shirley.’

… sometimes the oddest things happen when i sit down to type up a blog post.

the days are getting warmer and sunnier, but i just got an exciting belated birthday present that has me wishing for some rain! but i’ve been so pleased to just throw the windows open and let in the fresh air. i’ve been doing some spring cleaning, which also feels great.

what’s been going on with you lately?


i was hoping to get to the ocean while we were in california, but we didn’t have any particular oceanside destination in mind. as we drove up the pacific coast highway, we were looking for a place to eat. we passed a good looking place, and decided to try to turn around and go back to it. the place we found to turn around ended up being a parking lot for el pescador state beach, and we decided our stomachs could wait. i’m really glad we did.


i love it when plants thrive in places they probably shouldn’t. it makes me want to wag my finger around and shout cliches ‘LIFE WILL FIND A WAY!’ or ‘NATURE! TRIUMPHING! OVER ADVERSITY!’ because, you know, i am a huge nerd.

the curl of a wave

cliffs and sand and sea oh my!

who wouldn’t want such a charming little doorway?

rocks, pitted by time. again, i just love that as strong as rock is, water and time together are stronger. NATURE!

there’s loads of pictures, click through to see the rest!

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in this case, i guess i won the… flea market? reigning champ of the flea market! (where’s my matching purse and belt?) jill and i have gone twice, and both times i’ve walked away totally elated with my purchases and ready to re-enact the last shot of the breakfast club:


anyways, wanna see my spoils?


i found this great flour tin. you can’t really tell the size of it from that pic, but here’s a little more context, in case it’s bugging you. i haven’t decided if this is staying with me or not. i might use it as a gift box for an event on the horizon, but i haven’t bought the gift yet, so it will depend on whether or not the gift will fit inside the tin or not. i sure wouldn’t be bummed to keep it, but i’m trying not to get too attached in case it works perfectly for it’s intended purpose.

in case it does work as a gift box, i bought this little faucet handle:


wouldn’t it look cool tied onto the tin with some rough twine as a little present embellishment?

i have had a mad crush on west elm‘s line of enamelware (so sleek! so clean! so simultaneously vintage and modern! that graphic black edging! oh, how my heart flutters and spasms!), but all of those pieces would be redundant in my kitchen, so i can’t quite grant myself permission to buy them. but! when i saw this at the flea market:


it was obvious that it wanted to come home with me! best part:


can you see it? no, you want closer?


love it!

i saved the best for last. do you remember how i oohed and ahhed over a navajo rug last time? yeah, i have a thing for rugs. love ’em. always. but they are expensive. so i always have my eyes open for inexpensive rugs. even at the flea market. i didn’t have much hope of finding one (most i saw at the flea market started around $70 and went up from there. i think the most expensive one i saw was $400. these were mostly smaller area rugs, 5×8 and smaller.). but i found one, immediately fell in love, and began the process of looking for reasons to barter down the (unknown) price; the dye bled, it’s unraveling in a few spots, not great overall condition. i’m not much of a barter-er, all in all, but i was ready to fight for this one.

i approached the vendor, rug in hand, and asked what the price was. he said ‘i had it at $15, but i’ll take $10 for it.’ reader, i took it. i pulled out $10 as fast as i could, probably with trembling hands, and practically ran away with the rug so he couldn’t rethink the sale.

new rug

new rug

oooh, i love it! i finally have my runner in the kitchen! i don’t mind the flaws at all. if anything, it means i’m okay with this guy hanging out in the kitchen, where it might occasionally get food on it, and will get heavy foot traffic all the time.

anyways. have you guys made any good purchases recently? are you suffering from any material crushes like my west elm enamelware one? do tell!

saturday morning in LA, jake and i drove up the pacific coast highway to malibu. it was cool and overcast, with fog hanging like wreaths on the top of the hills. so lovely.








i was taking pictures like a maniac all morning… from the car, at the beach. i’m really glad i grabbed a higher capacity memory card. coming soon: a post about the beach. with lots and lots and lots and lots of pictures!

there is going to be a parade of hats in the next month or two. this is just the beginning, the leader, twirling her little parade-baton.

FO: el pescador

i saw this pin shortly before packing for LA, which is also when i realized that none of my projects were quite travel-ready (except for my margaret dashwood shawl, but i always need two projects when traveling. because who knows what could go wrong and then you’d need something else? or what if you finish it? getting stuck without a project is absolutely NOT an option.). i immediately fell in love with it. it feels very contemporary, with the triangles, and i love the texture, and it looked simple but interesting, which is the best combination for travel knitting. and tv knitting.

FO: el pescador

so i grabbed the closest skein of worsted weight yarn, cascade 220 in a heathered periwinkle-ish blue, inherited when a friend was stashing down (side note: how do i ever expect to stash down if i keep adding to my stash in this way? am i just deluding myself?), and the appropriate needles, and shoved them in my purse.

FO: el pescador

do any of you guys have kindles? or tablets or e-readers? i got a kindle for christmas a few years ago, which is really great for travel reading. and i recently figured out that i can put pdfs on it. which has been a huge game changer! i have all of my patterns that i’m currently working on in the kindle, and i can pull them up where ever, and bookmark where i am and leave notes for myself. maybe you guys aren’t all pseudo-luddites like myself (it takes me a long time to figure out the full potential of gadgets) and already knew this? anyways, i love it.

FO: el pescador

FO: el pescador <–ravelry project page

pattern: dreiecke hat
yarn: inherited periwinkle cascade 220 heathers, around a half skein? 150 yards, tops.
needles: US size 6 (4mm) for the ribbing, 8 (5mm) for the body
mods: none. although if i were to do this again, i would likely tweak the decreases.

FO: el pescador

i finished this while we were gone, which is very satisfying. it’s named after the beach in malibu where we mucked around saturday morning (i owe you a post and pictures!). thanks to jillie for the pictures!

you may or may not already know this, but when jake and i first started dating, he lived in LA. that was nine years ago (we just celebrated* our together-versary! nine years! holy moly!). we were long distance for the first year and a half of our relationship. in that time, i went out to los angeles every couple of months (bonus: if you happen to be in a long distance relationship, may i recommend that you both live in or close to major hub cities**? it makes finding specials/cheap prices for flights much easier!).

we left chicago, all grey and brown and bare branches and blustery cold,and when we got to los angeles, everything was GREEN! everything was BLOOMING! sun was SHINING! i’d forgotten how much flora even the airport had! blooming vines growing up the sides of the parking structures, palm trees everywhere! it is it’s own kind of magic, that.


palm trees union station

we tried this new thing to rent a car for a fraction of the price of the traditional car rental. this does mean that the car wasn’t waiting in a lot within a convenient distance of the airport, though. but i actually really like seeing the public transportation of a city. it can tell you a lot more about the feel of a place to see the public transportation.

union station LA

union station LA

union station was really lovely. we didn’t linger even a bit, except for this silly picture of me:


i can’t remember what jake said that made me look so hammy & super-hero-ish.

we walked from the subway station to pick up the car, which was mostly fine, except that we interpreted the distance as much shorter than it actually was, and in my excitement about the warm, sunny day, i put on my least appropriate shoes for walking, and ended up cultivating a few blisters which i spent the rest of the trip accommodating. tut.

ventura boulevard

we drove down ventura boulevard, one of jake’s favorites. it also happens to be home to one of my favorite LA restaurants, and one of my absolute favorite burgers of all time:

mels drive in

sunset burger

ahhhhh, mel’s drive ins sunset burger. i dream of you, here in the midwest, you darling specimen of the west coast. cheddar, bacon, and avocado atop a burger with sourdough toast. i recreate them at home very occasionally, but sourdough doesn’t move especially quickly in this household, so it’s fairly rare.

(other favorite burgers being benelux in milwaukee, and the third being the cheeseburger from olivia’s cafe in disney’s old key west. ahh, both were eaten after days with much walking, and prolonged hunger, which has never hurt the meal at the end of it.).

*and by celebrated, i mean we ate lunch at the only sit down restaurant in our terminal at the airport where we had an excess of time, and alerted each other of glorious views out of our airplane windows (we couldn’t get seats next to each other, so we opted for window seats in two consecutive rows), and clinked glasses of wine when we safely made it home that evening. it was pretty nice!

**because, you know, love is notorious for being convenient, timely, and taking requests.

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