Tuesday, April 28, 2009

why did it have to end?

I wasn't going to write about this book - many others have...I've seen it mentioned on several blogs that I regularly read - but I want to. I can't stop thinking about it and I want to talk about it. First of all, this is the first book I have read for pleasure in probably over a year. My dissertation took its toll, followed by a pregnancy during which my brain was fried - and I haven't been able to concentrate long enough to really get into a book for a long time. Also, this book made me really want to cook...something that has definitely fallen by the wayside since I had Levi.

I think Molly's blog, Orangette, was the first blog I ever read. When I discovered the wonderful world of blogging, I was writing my dissertation but my brain would think about nothing but food, so the first blogs I read were food-related. I have made a handful of her recipes and I have to say that every single one has been wonderful. Most I made numerous times. Fall and winter of 2007 we lived on her carrot salad - I probably made it a dozen or more times until we ate so much of it that neither Adam or I thought we ever wanted to see it again (I might finally have gotten over that).

Anyway, I love her book. I started it last week and was reading only a chapter or two every night while pumping breast milk before going to bed. I was savoring it slowly and was actually looking forward to my (previously dreaded) nighttime pumping sessions. Well, then I got obsessed and started reading it while nursing too. And I just now finished it...during Levi's nap. I actually regret the obsessive reading glut, because I was enjoying taking it slow and mulling over one or two recipes at a time. Also, I read it so fast that I have only had the chance to make one recipe so far - Buckwheat Pancakes, which I made on Sunday morning with blueberries, and which were exceptional. It would have been fun to take my time and cook my way through the book.

I am dying to make almost every recipe in there, and the only reason I might skip some of them is that a few seem quite labor intensive and Levi does not allow me that kind of cooking. Most of the recipes are accessible and unintimidating though, and I'm sure they are all delicious. I already bought a huge bunch of bananas specifically so some will over-ripen and I can make the Banana Bread with Chocolate and Crystallized Ginger. And I'm about to go make a big old shopping list so I can make a few other recipes this week. This book not only got me reading again, but also got me cooking again, and because of that I am unbelievably happy.

Monday, April 6, 2009

tweed vest

This is one of those knits that I wish my baby would never grow out of. I just might have to rewrite the pattern again in an even bigger size, so he has a vest to wear next fall too! The pattern is from thrifty knitter, the cobblestone inspired "manly vest." It is written in a small 0-3 month size, so I added more stitches in an attempt to make it bigger. It perfectly fits my 15+ pound 4 month old son right now.

One of the best parts of the vest are the buttons - which are on one of the shoulders and all the way down that same side. So it is really easy to get on and off a squirmy baby. I also just really love the simplicity of it - it's a knit that requires minimal finishing (you only have to sew together the non-buttoned shoulder), and that is the kind of knitting that I prefer since I really hate seaming together knitted pieces.

For knitters who want to know how I made this bigger, here are the details: I used Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran Tweed and size 6 needles. I cast on 90 stitches and used a wrong-side row of S1 K4 P37 K7 P37 K4. I did buttonholes every 12th row (rows 7, 19, 31, 43, 55) and knit a total of 57 rows before dividing for armholes. I had 9 stitches on either side of the bound off neck rather than 8. That's all there is to it!