Monthly Archives: July 2013

Onion Bag

I sent some produce pods to a farm last week, along with a new onion bag I have been working on.  They’ll be residing at Honey Grove, and may eventually end up in the Farm Store!

I’ve been trying to work on a onion bag specific pattern that would use a light weight cotton for some time. I struggled with needle size vs. net design. Finally I went with something smaller to keep the netting pattern visible, but I had attempted the pattern with a new mesh stitch, as well as at least 6 different needle sizes.   The goal was for it to weigh virtually nothing, and therefor be a help at the grocery store.  Something you could switch out the plastic produce bags for.  It will obviously never weight as much as a plastic bag, but I was hoping for something negligible.  It still could work, but I think the slight cost to using them is still prohibitive, so I will continue to see how it can be modified.  It’s still very usable, and would work great at a market – especially here at Jean Talon, where pre-weighed bushels and baskets can be emptied into the bag very easily.

onionbag1

onionbag2

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I was also able to write up a pattern for the apple protectors I made. If you are interested in the pattern I am giving it away at the moment.  I just need an email address to mail it to. I may try to list it on Ravelry, but at this moment haven’t tried offering a pattern through Ravelry yet. Eventually all the items I am making will have a pattern available in my etsy store.  The apple protector is an easy pattern, but does require some patience. Working a small item with relatively large double points can be frustrating, but I’ve made five of them now, so I have a system down.

apple

Happy Sunday my friends!

Variety

I had a 2 hour phone call with one of my best friends yesterday. I think that might be a record for me. I’m not a good phone chatter. Who wants to hear about my list of daily errands and the random thoughts my reading list evokes? A good friend feigns interest, but a great friend gets excited about such things. My friend that I was chatting with is also the most enthusiastic about my blog. She pointed out that my posts don’t always have to be about knitting. I think when I first discussed a blog she imagined I would be posting the kind of stories I tell at parties (I have many tales that end with me embarrassing myself, and these go over well when people are in the mood to laugh) or writing long pieces about my social views, which is something else I tend to not shut up about too. Little did she know that she’d be subjected to post after post of baby sweater crafts, and knitted bags.

The same day we chatted I had had 3 cups of coffee, and skipped lunch by accident. It was 3:00pm when the coffee shakes hit, and I needed to make something quickly. I also didn’t want to turn on the stove because we were in the middle of a heat wave, and I didn’t want to be roasted to death in my own home. What I made is something that I now consider comfort food, and is my gluten-free home-cooked equivalent of fast food: something that takes no time, and is mostly carbs. The same good friend makes a rice noodle and peanut sauce dish that is divine. This lunch is not divine, but it’s really good for the 5 minutes it takes to make.

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I added some rice noodles to a noodle bowl, and covered them with boiling water, which I poured from my electric kettle. The rest of the ingredients I added required no cooking. Of course more could be added to make a really great noodle dish, but this is a bare minimum recipe you can add to, and once again did not require an oven or stovetop.

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Once the noodles were cooked and drained (4 minutes later) I added:
1/8 cup roasted peanuts
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1 Tbs chili infused oil
a few drops of sesame oil
1 tsp toasted sesame seeds
1/2 tsp sugar
generous pinch of salt – unless you used salted peanuts.
1/2 lime, juice of

You can tweak the sweet, salty, and tart ratios to suit your tastes, and every ingredient in the list can be substituted. I sometimes just use sesame oil with a tsp of chili garlic sauce, and if I didn’t have peanuts I would have added a tablespoon of chunky peanut butter to the lime juice and infused oil. Also, soy sauce would be a key component to this mix, but as some one who avoids gluten I tend to sometimes leave it out, even when my gluten free soy sauce is on hand, just out of habit. If you add a tsp or so of soy sauce, omit the pinch of salt. I had prepared all the ingredients before the 4 minute waiting time for the noodles was up, so I added some chopped jalapeño as well.

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And, there you have it, the fastest peanut noodle dish you’ll ever make.

I have an Etsy Shop!

It’s pretty easy to set up an etsy shop. You need 20 minutes, and some  pictures of items you made. Etsy does all the work, and they do it on the cheap.  If selling your handmade goods on etsy is something you have wanted to do I would like to encourage you to give it a go.  I still have much to learn, but it’s an enjoyable process. Thank you to my sweet friends who supported my first knitting venture.

Knitting isn’t a speedy craft, and there is no way to rush things. In truth, selling on etsy isn’t about making money for me. I was motivated to sell a couple handmade items so that I could hopefully help finance my yarn habit a little. If you factor in time, it’s not a sustainable business -unless you are making small items out of huge yarn, and have great marketing skills, but that’s a different story. I also have a real love for creating still life photos, so now I have a great excuse to indulge myself. It’s really exciting for me that people take a look at what I am up to.

This is yet another post about produce bags, and the variations I keep working on. I would have liked to have shown you anything else, but really these totes and bags are all I have made recently. I added a few extra items to the store this week, and also made an apple protector I came up with on the fly to add as a thank you to my friends who are paying for what I would have given them directly had I known they wanted something like that (but thank you once again!). I’m calling it the “Bonita Apple Guard,” after the Tribe Called Quest song. Sometimes when I look at them I say, “you know you got it goin’ on.”  Just kidding. Maybe. A girl has to entertain herself somehow.

I can show you the Bonita Apple Guard, which I am writing as a pattern for etsy that will be available in the next day or so, and a netted bag I made for my friend’s birthday that I sadly won’t be able to attend (Boo me). The netted bags remind me of Mary Poppin’s purse. They look a tad small when empty. Definitely not the gigantic re-usable bags you find in grocery stores, yet, they become a little bottomless as you start adding items. I still have a couple larger netted bags in my etsy shop. My next project is the bridal shower gift, so I will get to show you something completely different very soon.

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conntonbag_pink

appleguard

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Til then,

Jazz festivals, Glaciers, Cirque de Soleil, and some new yarn

knitting_baskets

I have new yarn, and it’s very exciting. I went to the yarn store today and brought back what I needed for the projects I have planned.

I will be making a Lace Nightie (pictured below) as a gift for my friend who is getting married. The pattern is from Carrie Bostick Hodge, and was originally from Interweave Knits Spring 2007. The pattern specifies bamboo, but I found something that felt even softer, without any fuzz to it. Muse by philbar is made of linen, cotton, and tencel – which I found out is wood pulp.  Cellulose seems to get into everything, doesn’t it?

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I knitted the swatch to check my gauge as soon as I got home. Then I did some reading and found out that your gauge can really vary if you are knitting in the round, so I may have to try a new approach to make sure I make something that fits.

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The blue yarn is Madeleine Tosh. It will be used for a shrug size sweater for my friend’s daughter. The pattern is called Summer Days (I can hope you can check out a picture of the project here if you aren’t a ravelry.com member). I haven’t worked on a project that included short rows, but this pattern boasts that the construction is free from them.

The variegated green yarn is almost thread like, and is 100% cotton. I’m making some onion bags with this yarn, or bags you can take to the grocery store and not be afraid to use on the weigh scale. They will weigh next to nothing.

Knitting_bags

The other basket of goods contains the many produce bags and totes I have made. Some are small, some are large, some have long handles, some short. It’s a cacophony of produce bag variation, and I am still working away on new designs.

One of the documentaries I watched while knitting this last week was Chasing Ice. I recommend watching it. You can watch on Netflix, or from iTunes. The time lapse photography of the retreating glaciers is amazing. Calving is the term for  the separation or an edge breaking off of a glacier, and there is footage of a huge calving event the size of which boggles your mind. It’s both incredibly beautiful and very horrifying to see.

I also went to watch Cirque de Soleil’s Odysseo this week. It’s a revision of Cavalia that includes acrobatics, horses, and equally astounding set design. The entire backdrop is a screen, and the arena the horses and acrobats work in as the stage also has a sloping hill that curves up into what looks like a distant horizon. During the second half of the show part of the stage becomes a lake. I was lucky enough to go as the +1 with my cousin, as part of her birthday present. We  had VIP tickets. I haven’t had VIP tickets to anything, so I feel like I should give others a peek behind the curtain, so to speak. Some of the perks at the show were unlimited beverages of any kind for the duration of the performance, private bathrooms (no lines!), and a buffet dinner. So, I not only got watch the amazing show, but I did it eating chocolate covered strawberries. Life is grand.

It was Jazzfest in Montreal this week too. We got to check out some great music and enjoy the atmosphere downtown. I’m a Jazzfest connoisseur by now.  The great thing about the Montreal Festival is how close the stages are.  Vancouver’s festival, although a great one, is divided up into several stages around town.  Montreal’s festival has stages placed about a block apart, so that when one show ends you can meander onto the next.  This is a similar set up to the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, but in Montreal it all happens right downtown.  The crowds in Montreal seemed really chill and accommodating, with great enthusiasm.  Montreal knows how to listen to some Jazz.

All that, plus I made the newspaper. Last Saturday’s Montreal Gazette included a story about the Women in Games chapter I helped to co-found. We were really happy our chapter had some media attention.  We’re planning events for networking and education starting in August, so any help to get the word out is helpful.

I hope everyone is enjoying the summer weather. Bonne vacance!