Pensive Frog

A melange of cooking, baking, knitting, craftyness, and TV-aholicism.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Candy corn and pumpkin hats

It's officially hat season

Yesterday, the high temperature was 48F. It's foggy, drizzly, and all over hot chocolate weather. It makes me really glad I spent a lot of the summer knitting. Although now I'm having regrets about giving my knitted candy corn hat away to Goodwill. It was traffic-cone orange Red Heart yarn, plus I got the stripe order wrong. I swear I've been eating candy corn long enough to know what they look like. I even nibble one stripe at a time! I'll see if I can dig up a photo...

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

La Donna e Mobile

Last Saturday we went to see the Seattle Opera’s production of Rigoletto. It was quite good – Verdi is one of my favorite composers. The performance had a bit of a bumpy start – the supertitles didn’t kick in for about 15 minutes, and one of the performers had laryngitis, so while he acted out the part, another singer sang the part from off stage. That was a little distracting. For the first time that I can remember, they had costumes from the previous production (Lohengrin) on display in the lobby. It was very cool to see the details of the costumes, and makes me wish I had the time to learn how to sew and make myself an Elsa costume before Halloween. Ah well. In any case, the best part of going to the opera is our post-show tradition – late night happy hour at McMenamins pub.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Spicy Pumpkin Seeds

Adapted from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything

2 C pumpkin seeds, rinsed and dried (from about 2 pumpkins)
1 t cayenne pepper
1 t salt
1/2 t sugar
dash cumin
2 T olive oil

Toss the pumpkin seeds with the other ingredients until evenly coated. Spread on a baking sheet and bake at 350 F, stirring every 20 minutes, until toasty brown and crisp. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature.

This year's Jacks

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Last year's Jack

Today is the day

We carve our pumpkins today! Woo-hoo! I certainly hope they aren't moldy inside, because we bought them over a week ago, and just the other day I noticed a white velvety mold growing on the stems. Gargh! I washed it off, and then coated the stems with a slightly diluted dishsoap solution. All appears to be well. We shall see what horrors lurk within, Halloween is supposed to be scary, right?

Friday, October 22, 2004

Coming soon to a mailbox near you

Here's a sneak preview of the projects in the Winter 2004 issue of Interweave Knits. I am drawn to these Nordic mittens. That might be because I've been making a lot of hand accessories lately. Either that, or I enjoy fair isle frustration. My first and only fair isle project is still not done - all its little yarn tails are flapping in the breeze. I should count the tails and see how many there actually are...

Fair isle flippers ...

...from Interweave Knits Winter 2004

Sunday, October 17, 2004

It's not a crappy photoshop effect...

That makes this blue hat look like it's floating above my kitchen counter. It, in fact, is an ethereal hat. I can't remember what the yarn was - I bought it from Smiley's and the color was blueberry ice. 100% acrylic, to be sure. The best part is that it knits up in about 6 hours. When I wore this on the bus last spring, I received a complement from my bus driver. When I proudly said that I made it myself, she replied, "yes, it looks homemade." I still haven't decided if that was a complement. You be the judge.

Blue ribbed hat!

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Winter is on the way...

Ok, so maybe it's 65 degrees out, but it will be cold soon. I'm glad I have my hot water bottle all cozied up and ready for snuggling. The pattern is BAWK, by Rachael, pattern available here. I used Schoeller Esslinger Merino Light in bright pink and orange, originally purchased on the cheap from Elann, but it's no longer available. I bought the yarn in the days when I was just learning how to knit, so I had no idea that buying three balls each of six colors of yarn might not be that useful. Well, it's useful enough for small projects like this, and it's nice and smooth for some great stitch definition. I also used my trusty 10.5 16" Inox circular needles, in case you're interested. It seems like everything that's worth doing is worth doing on 10.5 needles. Though I also like my trusty number 3's.

I think I'll call her Marlene...

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Kool-aid yarn, this is your destiny!

So I made the Kool-aid yarn pictured in previous posts into a French Market Bag (pattern via Knitty). Here it is pre-felting. I was afraid I would not have enough yarn to make color-symmetrical handles, so I made a sample handle in red and green to "calculate" the required amount of yarn for the four handles. As a result, I have my symmetrical handles, and I had very little yarn left over. Hurrah! It's quite large and floppy.

French Market Bag, pre-felting

Monday, October 11, 2004

It's probably not a good idea

To eat random mushrooms one finds in the bushes. These were hiding at the Meerkerk Rhododendron Gardens on Whidbey Island. Apparently there is no way to tell poisonous mushrooms from safe 'shrooms, though it's commonly believed that if you dip a silver spoon into the cooking water of poisonous mushrooms, the spoon will turn black (tarnish, I guess). My first question is, why would anyone cook mushrooms by boiling them? Eugh. My amateur guess is that these mushrooms are Pholiota terrestris. I wouldn't eat them if I were you. Unless you like cramps.

Shady mushrooms

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Exeunt tomatoes

This picture of early summer tomatoes is presented in lieu of a photo of late summer tomatoes, currently dangling in all their moldy, splitty glory from my tomato plants. Since people with heart conditions might be reading this, I thought it would be safer to present the prettier fruits of the vine. Although when Halloween comes, I might post some scary veggies in the spirit of the holiday.

Early summer homegrown tomatoes.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Kool-aid yarn dried, wound up, and ready for action!

Kool-aid yarn swinging in the breeze
Posted by Hello

If God didn't want me to buy yarn...

Why would He have a new yarn store pop up within easy walking distance of my house? The answer is simple - God wants me to buy yarn. Let's see what I can do to oblige... Today was the grand opening of Village Yarn and Tea Shop in Shoreline, WA. It seems like a nice little shop, and it was certainly very crowded on opening day. They carry standards like Cascade 220 and Rowan yarn$, as well as a very wide selection of novelty yarns. Crystal Palace Squiggle has some potential - I can imagine using it for some fun mitten cuffs. I would have liked to see a greater color selection, as well as more ribbon yarns. I would have also liked to see double-pointed needles in some material other than metal, and in the shorter lengths that I like to use for gloves. There's a nice seating area for sipping tea, and their custom black tea blend that I sampled was very unique and very good. I'm sure I'll be back there again and again, especially if I decide to make a silly scarf.

Friday, October 08, 2004

My first hat, completed ages ago. Seems appropriate to start at the beginning, yes? Yarn: Wool-ease in grey and pink, Needles: 10.5 (way too big, but what did I know?)
Posted by Hello

Post Number One

In which I comment on the title of this blog. Well, everything else was taken. I could have done creative misspellings of already-taken titles, but that's pathetic. And frogs are pretty cool. Especially those that live in the arctic. Frogsicles.

Coming soon - Photos and descriptions of all the fun stuff I've been up to recently, including a pile of knitting projects, baking experiments, and home improvement. I know you're all just dying to see it!