FO: Water St. Cardigan

My latest finished object is actually a revisiting of a pattern that I’ve worked with before and dearly love-Glenna C’s Water St. Cardigan. I made this cardigan for myself a little over a year ago, and this spring, I decided to make one for a friend. IMG_2074 I’m the model in these pictures because I still need to mail this to the intended recipient. But that’s on my to-do list for the day.IMG_2077I used Madelinetosh Sock yarn in the Cousteau colorway. I love the yarn and the color. The yarn is a good lightweight, sturdy yarn that will be great for the recipient’s lifestyle. And the color, oh my gosh, I love this color. It’s to die for gorgeous. I have another skein of sock in cousteau and a skein of Madelinetosh Pashmina in cousteau still in my skein, and I can’t wait to knit with them. The color is seriously beautiful. IMG_2078 IMG_2080 The pattern is brilliant, and I have plans to work with it again. IMG_2081More details can be found on my project page.

 

Balsamic Vinegar and Pizza?

Yesterday morning, I was sitting at work when an idea popped into my head. I was struck by the sudden urge to marinate tomatoes in balsamic vinegar. And then, I thought that I should also do this with peaches while I was at it. It sounded fun, delicious, and summery.

But I didn’t want to just marinate the fruits and eat them. I wanted to make a meal with them, and I also wanted to use the loaf of Italian bread in my pantry that desperately needed to be used. So I decided to make a pizza (well, really two pizzas) out of them.

I scribbled notes and pondered things while at work. And when I got home, I made these two glorious things. (I know the pictures aren’t great.) IMG_0172

Balsamic Tomato-Goat Cheese Pizza

(makes two pizzas)

Ingredients:

  • One loaf Italian bread, sliced in half
  • Two large tomatoes
  • 8 ounces goat cheese
  • 1.5 cups of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons basil
  • 2 tablespoons oregano
  • Garlic to taste

Slice the tomato into bite-sized chunks. Marinate in balsamic vinegar for 30-40 minutes. You can add basil here if you like; I think it adds to the taste.

Pour the olive oil over the bread. Then add the basil, oregano, and garlic. Allow this to marinate as well for 30-40 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Spread the tomatoes over the bread. Break the goat cheese into small chunks and sprinkle over the bread.

Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.

Allow to cool before eating.

IMG_0173

 

Balsamic Peach-Goat Cheese Pizza

(makes two pizzas)

Ingredients:

  • One loaf Italian bread, sliced in half
  • Two large peaches
  • 8 ounces goat cheese
  • 1.5 cups of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • Garlic to taste

Slice the peach into bite-sized chunks. Marinate in balsamic vinegar for 30-40 minutes.

Pour the olive oil over the bread. Then add the garlic. Allow this to marinate as well for 30-40 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Spread the peaches over the bread. Break the goat cheese into small chunks and sprinkle over the bread.

Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.

Allow to cool before eating.

IMG_0174

A Fortnight of Birthday

On July 1, I will be celebrating my 26th birthday. And since I am a big fan of Tolkien’s works, I believe in celebrating my birthday like a hobbit. How do hobbits celebrate their birthdays? They give presents to others.

Therefore, in honor making it 26% of the way to my centennial, I will giving you 26% off the purchase price of any of my patterns on Ravelry. Furthermore, because I’m a hobbit and I like to celebrate my birthday, this sale will last a fortnight-or fourteen days. Therefore, from June 25 until July 8, you will be able to get 26% off the price of any pattern simply by entering the code: happybirthday2ewe.

FO: Laramidia Cowl

On Saturday, I finished another summer cowl. This project used the Tanis Fiber Arts Year in Color May color and pattern. The pattern was Laramidia, a shawl, and I adapted it slightly to turn it into a cowl. The color is mellow, a delightful mix of yellows, greys, and greens/blues. And the yarn is TFA’s red label, which I love ever so much. It’s so soft; it’s like wearing a kitten around your neck.

IMG_2013 IMG_2009 IMG_2011 IMG_2013 IMG_2018 IMG_2019For more details, see my project page here.

 

Modern Recasting of Jane Austen Characters

This post was born out of a discussion that I had with one of my housemates over which modern actors could/should best play various Austen characters baed upon their public personas.

Benedict Cumberbatch as Fitzwilliam Darcy

He exudes the aura of Byronic hero.

Jennifer Lawrence as Elizabeth Bennet

I think this one is obvious. She feels like the modern Elizabeth Bennet to me.

Ryan Gosling as Charles Bingley

Well, duh. He’s charming and adorable without being TOO serious.

Jessica Chastain as Jane Bennet

She’s sweet and delightful but you can see a depth to her.

Meryl Streep as Lady Catherine deBurgh 

Because Meryl can do ANYTHING

Anne Hathaway as Mary Bennet

She could make the traditionally bland Mary interesting.

Robert Downey, Jr. as Mr. Collins

Just because it would be hilarious; it would be a stretch for him, but it would be a funny stretch.

Either Lindsay Lohan or Miley Cyrus as Lydia Bennet

Do I need to explain this?

Mindy Kaling as Emma Woodhouse 

You have to root for Mindy, and you have to root for Emma.

Tom Hiddleston as George Knightley 

He’s so sweet that it’s not creepy for him to have been in love with you since you were sixteen.

Chris Hemsworth as Edmund Bertram 

He seems a bit clueless at times, but he will figure out the right thing before the end. And he is very well-intentioned.

Mia Wasikowska as Fanny Price

She’s a tremendously talented actress, and her performance as the titular character in the 2011 Jane Eyre convinces me that she could be a delightful and endearing Fanny Price.

Kat Dennings as Marianne Dashwood

She’s sweet. She’s over the top. And you can’t hate her no matter how much you want to.

David Tennant as Colonel Brandon 

He’s strong. He’s heroic. And he always wants what’s best for you. Oh, and he’ll do anything to help/save you even if he doesn’t think you’re interested in him. Also, I kind of just want to see that Dennings/Tennant action.

Emma Watson as Elinor Dashwood 

She’s practical. She’s logical. But she really does want to be loved.

Sam Clafin as Edward Ferrars

He’s young and adorably naive. But he genuinely wants what’s best for you and he will eventually leave the bad-news girl for the good girl.

Henry Cavill as Frederick Wentworth

He’s strong. He’s dependable. And he’s stunning.

Michelle Dockery as Anne Eliot

She’ll wait for you for as long as need be. She’ll be patient and faithful. And then in the end, you’ll get to see her hidden depths of emotion.

Agree? Disagree? Who would you cast? Let me know in the comments.

Book Review: And the Mountains Echoed

Image from Good Reads

This morning, I finished reading Khaled Hosseini’s And the Mountains Echoed: A Novel. This is Dr. Hosseini’s third novel coming on the heels of his 2004 debut, The Kite Runner, and his 2008 novel A Thousand Splendid Suns. Like The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, Hosseini’s latest work is set in his native Afghanistan although it features plot twists that also take his readers to Greece, France, and the United States in a narrative that spans about sixty years of Afghanistan’s history.

I think that I’ve previously mentioned that one of the things that I most love about reading is the fact that books can take us on journeys. Reading a book gives a person the opportunity to travel to new places and visit different times.

This is especially true of Hosseini’s writing. I can’t travel into the past, but through Hosseini’s writing, I can experience and grow in my understanding/awareness of what happened in the past. I don’t know exactly why, but I am deeply curious about countries with complex histories such as Afghanistan. How did they get to be the way that they are? Were they always like this? If not, what were they like before? And while reading fiction might not give me perfect clarity on the subject, it can help me to understand new points of view.

Hosseini decidedly did this with And the Mountains Echoed. His narrative begins in 1952 with the innocent but strong bond between two siblings, Abdullah and Pari. Circumstances separate them, and Hosseini spend the rest of the story weaving their lives through the second half of the twentieth century and into the twenty-first. He weaves them through the lives of many other individuals including their stepuncle, Nabi, and a Greek plastic surgeon, Markos Varvaris.

The characters are well-written and compelling. As a reader, I wanted to know more about them. I wanted to learn about their lives and their futures. Hosseini helped me to see them, to imagine what they looked like and what they acted like. The setting was thrilling. I’ve never been to Afghanistan or Greece, but the story brought them to life for me.

The plot was fascinatingly intricate. When I say that Hosseini wove this story together, I truly mean that in an artistic sense. People’s lives criss-crossed each other in a complex fashion that might make Leo Tolstoy jealous. But the plot moved along smoothly, and I found the twists and turns easy to follow. The connections made sense, beautiful sense.

I enjoyed the story. It was well-written. The language, as is typical of Hosseini, was poetic. The characters and setting were well-developed. I would highly recommend it to anyone. I would also highly recommend The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns. I’ve read A Thousand Splendid Suns twice, and I find it to be a brilliant piece of literature.


 

Bonus Book Recommendation: The Fault in Our Stars; I love this book. I love the Green brothers. And after you read the book, you should definitely go see the movie.

Looking for further book recommendations? Check out my Books Worth Reading board on Pinterest. If a book is on that board, I recommend it. If you have any questions about any of my recommendations or any recommendations of books that you think that I should read, feel free to drop a comment.

FO: Solaria

You have no idea how long I’ve wanted to write that as the title of a blog post. I haven’t produced a finished object (FO) post since February, and I haven’t had a finished object since about March 27. But finally, after months of waiting and knitting and working, I have something to show off to you. That something is a Solaria cowl in Tanis Fiber Arts blue label in the 2014 Year in Colour January colorway, orchid. I love the color; I’m usually not a huge “pink person,” but I like this shade of pink. The pattern was a challenge for me because I’d never knit nupps before, but I did it. While they aren’t easy, the product is definitely worth the effort. I’m definitely planning on revisiting this pattern soon.

IMG_2004 IMG_2005 IMG_2006More details on my project page