twinings twister

Posted on Posted in food and garden, lace/shawls, projects

wow, the weekend just flew by—sorry it’s been a few days since i posted, but i just had to take a little time to catch up on life (have you heard; stress and burnout are the new yoga . . .). i didn’t work at my desk much at all over the break—a little gardening, a little cooking, a few pattern edits, spinning class, and some knitting; those are things i needed to get done. and napping.
and very refreshing to be away from the desk, i might add—i’m totally re-energized this morning.

after getting the bookkeeping and paperwork out of the way first thing saturday, i went to a friend’s house to knit into the early afternoon, which was a wonderful getaway—like being on vacation, really. they have a lake and it’s quiet there; we all got a lot of knitting done, too.

as you can see, we made some time on saturday evening to put together a bunch of our favorite pizzas. this is truly a team endeavor—david chops mushrooms, shreds cheese, and dices olives while i cook the sauce, form the crusts, assemble, and bake them. it’s fun to work in the kitchen together; we don’t get to do this very often.

we’re trying to use up the last of our garden tomatoes from ’08 and this was a good project for it. the pizza is always best when it’s fresh from the oven, but we do freeze a few from each batch for emergency dinners—much better than anything we can order locally.

i also made a huge pot of black bean and vegetable chili (no photos, sorry—but it was yummy) which we portioned out into freezer containers as well, after keeping some aside to eat this week.

after supper i worked on my big secret project for a couple of hours, then switched to the signature sock project while we watched TV

hahaha, as you can see, i was a bit tuckered out and didn’t last very long. oh well . . .

sunday morning was spinning class, which we followed up with a little blocking party—susan and anne marie each had a finished twinings piece to stretch, so they came armed with blocking wires and we put the lace on to soak while we did some spinning.

we started with anne marie’s stole. first passing the wires through each end to establish an idea of the length, then we slung the points onto wires along the sides and began to pin, pulling two center points end-to-end, then two points side-to-side, using the finished dimensions listed for the petite size from the pattern (more or less).

once we had those four points established, we pinned the stole corners out, then pulled and pinned first one long side straight, then then other, measuring constantly as we went

till it was all pinned out relatively square. anne marie left her ends to weave in after blocking, but they can just ass easily be woven in beforehand, as long as you leave some ease for stretching.

though some people knit this stole in one long piece (which is fine!), anne marie did hers in two as the pattern is written. i absolutely love the join on this stole—that center area is so pretty.

next we did susan’s scarf (knit in one piece)

we proceeded pretty much the same way, working outward from four pinned points

and soon we had two pieces blocking side by side. we misted them all over as a final touch ( the lace yarn was already drying a bit) and left them to dry

(photos courtesy of linda, who was not blocking but cheering us on from the sidelines and kept her wits about her enough to remember the camera—thank you, linda)

though both pieces were dry in just a few hours, i left them pinned overnight to be sure they understood what they are supposed to now be.

i had a little free time before class this morning so i dragged the dress form to the window and took a few finished photos

anne marie knit the petite stole in knitting notions classic merino lace, colorway sicily.

this soft, springy merino lace yarn is very close to the original yarn used in the pattern sample. it produces soft lace fabric that is extremely lightweight and easy to wear, yet offers distinct stitch definition. and don’t get me started on all of catherine’s beautiful colors . . .

susan chose to knit a scarf size version of twinings (just three repeats of the main pattern + edgings) due to a limited yarn supply.

she used is briar rose sea pearl, a fingering weight tencel/merino blend. it knits up to a silky fabric with a soft sheen that blocks out beautifully.

just lovely, right?? it was a barrel of fun to do, as well. but i have to admit, afterward i took a nice long sunday nap, hehehe.

when i got up it was time to get out to work in the garden—the heat of the day had passed somewhat and i had a few things i wanted to wrap up before the week got underway.

now that the seedlings are all up and have a second set of leaves, i weeded, thinned, and cultivated the soil in the seed bed a bit, and david laid down the last of the newspaper, straw mulch, and soaker hose (which is doing an absolutely AWESOME job, BTW—no weeds and nice cool, damp earth beneath it everywhere).

(david might have gone a little nuts with the straw as darkness came down but i went out this morning to make sure the babies weren’t smothered.)

once i finished that chore i took a turn around the rest of the garden to take a really close look and see how things were progressing. imagine my surprise when i spied this

the giant marconi peppers already have several fruit which are 3-4 inches long. that weren’t there last week, yikes. for comparison i looked at the carmen peppers (another sweet frying variety)

not quite as burgeoning, but hey, not baaad. the eggplant are growing like crazy, too, but the little buglies are finding the leaves delicious—i need to spray them this week on a dry day (not today, it’s raining)

i admit to hovering over the squash plants on a daily basis; i’m worried about losing them when they’ve gotten off to such a spectacular start. so far, so good (but a little preventative spray with rotenone won’t hurt).

where the green squashes already have several fruit on each plant, the yellow squash was behind; they weren’t quite as strong when i put them in, so again, more worry that they wouldn’t make it.

all for naught, though—this morning i was rewarded

how cute is that?? i couldn’t be more thrilled

strawberry update: yes, just as our one ripe berry was about to be perfect for eating, some little critter beat us to it in the night. david—who was convinced we didn’t need it—took one look and announced he would go out today to buy netting. thank you, dear.

after poking around the vegetable patch i set to work cleaning up the perennial beds some more—pulling weeds, finding tree volunteers for david to cut back, etc. by dark, we had the yard looking really nice—a few hours work together well spent.

the doctor who owns the building behind us was out clearing his beds, too and offered us a boatload of day lilies for our yard—just what i wanted for the side facing my office window. david will plant those today, i hope.

after we ate some dinner i knit some more on the secret project (it’s getting there), but once i got in front of the TV later in the night, i switched to the roger sock, which truly deserves to be finished.

i got it almost done, too, before conking out. this morning i finished it up in class and now it is all set to go. just in time—roger’s birthday was a few days ago and father’s day is coming. we have a very special release planned for this sock on friday, june 19th. gail, chris, and i have put our heads together and come up with a wonderful, fun plan. stay tuned . . . you will not be disappointed.

33 thoughts on “twinings twister

  1. I love the stole and am laughing at the thought of the field day my cats would have if I pinned something out on the floor and left it there. Bad cats.
    Your shawl in the summer Twist Collective is also gorgeous!

  2. because a summer storm dropped several of our tomatoes in heavy gauge cages last summer, we are using 2 T-posts on each heavy-gauge cage to maintain balance against strong winds and gorgeous huge fruit-bearing tomatoes. just thought i’d share…

  3. So many yummy things today – sea pearl and sicily, mmmm! The stoles are wonderful. My kitties would have a field day with the blocking as well.

    I saw many wonderful samples of your patterns knit up in the DyeDreams booth at the Fiber Frolic!

  4. That pizza looks delicious! And the blocking shots do, too – it’s fun to see Twinings in the two different yarns. Your garden’s going to give you a bumper crop this year, I can tell!

  5. I love the shots of the Twinings and that pizza looks delicious!

    I’ll be looking forward to June 19th!

  6. I just love pictures of lace being pinned out. Probably because the only shots my husband ever seem to get always seem to feature my backside more than my lace!

  7. Wow – I always love your pictures, but I must say, I found today’s pinning party fun and educational. I have a few questions. Did you just pin them into the sheet or is there something substantial under the sheet that the pins get pushed into (like a pad or a rug)? I’ve only done a few pieces of lace – and these pictures would have been very helpful if I had seen them before attempting to block on my own.

  8. Ooh, I love the blocking pictures, and Twinings is such a pretty pattern.

    Looking forward to seeing what you have planned for the 19th. 🙂

  9. Oh my…that shawl is absolutely stunning! I’m doing Rivolo in the Sicily colorway and it also is quite beautiful. I cannot recommend Catherine’s company highly enough – high quality yarn, excellent dyework and she is super sweet to boot!

  10. Twinings is a beautiful pattern- be sure to send some kudos to Anne Marie and Susan, their stoles are gorgeous!!

    The pizza looks so yummy- do you share recipes? I’d love your crust & sauce recipes. 🙂

  11. Reading this post was such a treat after a long day at work. Purchased High Peaks Mittens & Hat & Bricker patterns yesterday-so now it is time for a glass of wine & some fun knitting. Lost our lettuce in the garden to racoons-ugh!

  12. Love all your pictures! My garden has aphids and whitefly. We bought mantid sacks and are anxious for them to hatch. As always your lace is stunning and the food is calling me! lol Would you consider designing some mitten patterns for those of us who have enough socks to last into the next ice age?

  13. I’m so glad you took some time to relax a little bit. The stress of being so busy gets overwhelming at times doesn’t it?

    The scarves are beautiful!

    I can’t believe you already have fruit on your veggies. We just got ours into the ground yesterday and then I had to worry about the full moon with the potential of a frost…yikes! Thankfully it was just warm enough. 😉

  14. man, our garden is growing, but the production time from ohio to oregon is soooo different. no little veggies yet growing on our pepper plants, but many buds. our broccoli plants have a few little buds starting (tiny broccoli is soooo cute!).

    the scarf and stole are just lovely. i can hardly wait to meet you in august!! 🙂

  15. You give new meaning to a block party! The shawls are gorgeous, almost as gorgeous as those pizzas!

  16. I loved seeing the same pattern in different yarns side by side. Beautiful projects!

    That teeny, tiny, little squash is just too cute!

  17. Anne – loved the blog post – just great. I have a very important question for you – do you have a crust recipe that you like to use for your pizzas and how do you go about getting the crust crisp enough so that it’s not soggy?

    Inquiring minds want to know 🙂
    Please share. Loved the fern and frost from the 5th. Off to see about it now!
    Carrie in TN

  18. Oh man that pizza looks good-no olives for me though. Here’s one you might want to try sometime–partially panfry some Yukon gold potato slices, use pesto as the pizza sauce, then the potato slices (mushrooms optional but yummy) and fontina cheese. Throw that in the oven–so good!

    The lace is lovely–blocking must go so much faster with help like that! Oh boy-a surprise coming up! That will be fun.

  19. Weird request – you may have already shared that but that pizza seems really really good.. Would you mind sharing dough and tomatoes sauce recipes with us ? I have some good pizza dough (made with olive oil) but can’t ever seem to find the just perfect pizza sauce… Anyway just refer me if you can to whatever site or recipe book you used. TXS

  20. I’ve got some Briar Rose Sea Pearl left over from another project. I’ve been wondering what to do with it, and Susan’s Twinings scarf has been quite inspiring!

  21. Thanks for the visual lesson in blocking, and the Twinings is scrumptious in Sea Pearl. must get some!

  22. applause applause to the marvelous knitters of the two shawls. they are glorious. and what fun to have the photos of your blocking day – it was almost like being there! 😉
    yummmmmmm…. homemade pizza… (she pulls out her own recipe) I haven’t thought of that one for awhile. thanks my friend.

  23. It seems that you have quite a lot of “skilz”!! I always love the knitting, but the cooking and gardening are amazing too! I am fine in the cooking department, but when I see some of your meals, I want to be able to hang out in your kitchen and learn your recipes!

    What recipe do you use for your pizza dough?!

    And you are farther north than us (Baltimore) and your plants have such huge peppers already!!

  24. How neat to see the two Twinings pinned out side by side and how beautifully both came out!

    Your garden is in way better shape than ours this year. I’d be jealous if I didn’t know how much harder you work at it than we do!

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