Inspiration: Kittens, Foxes & Owls

With little one on the way I have been completely consumed with knitting bitty things for baby. Two hats, one from stash, the other planned complete with little fair isle elephants. My latest is a sheep, who looks more like a snowball with a tail right now. Last night at knitting group I shared the book I recently purchased, Itty Bitty Toys, that the sheep pattern came from. The knitter who looked through it was thrilled with the patterns and got me thinking that maybe I should knit a doll for baby. I'm not really a doll person, but I know so many little girls are.
These little animals in pants, shoes and bloomers might just be the hybrid to cross me over into loving dolls. Made by Blabla, they come in trendy colors, patterns and the latest cool animals. And if dolls don't float your boat, there are mobile's for baby's room, backpacks for bigger kids and a few items for those who are still kids at heart.

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Knitting: Knit Baby Hat #1

I'm anxiously waiting the arrival of our little baby girl and aside from fretting where she'll room in our small house, I've started nesting and knitting. This is sure to be the start of a new phase of knitting projects for me. I have to agree with so many others that knitting baby items is fun and so quick to complete. I can't wait to put this on our cutie patootie and get a proper photo though.
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Inspiration: knit i-phone earbud cord cover

I don't even own an i-phone and I want to knit these!

Check out the tutorial and disco sounds over on Wonderfully Akward's blog.
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Inspiration: Ruffled Shirt Tutorial

I stumbled upon this pretty ruffled t-shirt tutorial from Tea Rose Home. I've started embracing my girly side and shying away from the all black hairdresser wardrobe that used to be so comfortable and safe. So what if brown is my new black? But over the last few years I have incorporated ruffles, polka dots and even a yellow tie neck t with puffy sleeves (it's only been worn twice, but it's a start, right?). My latest girly purchase is a dusty rose colored maternity top with sequins. Yikes, I know!

The sewing bug always hits me on sunny days like today, especially in my favorite season, fall. But today is a work day and this will have to wait. I'm loving and filing this one for a future craft day.
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Inspiration: Feeling Crafty? Cross Stitch Your iPhone

The base is available in a nice selection of colors, but you bring the creativity to the table when you custom cross-stitch your iPhone cover. Covers run $18.

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Photography: More Madrona 2011

Cleaning up the computer and found a few more photos to post from Madrona Fiber Arts 2011.
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Knitting: Oeuf!

Came across Oeuf today. Yes, that's the sound I make too if I get socked in the stomach, stub my toe or generally feel unwell. Maybe there is a different way of pronouncing it that escaped me?
Any who, they sell beautiful knit items I just couldn't wait to share. I have a list in my head started of the goodies I must have someday, starting with the 3 pack of knit mustaches. Then maybe a racoon tail or two. I know, adorable!
Aside from all of that cuteness that made me want, want, want, there is a good side too. Fair trade baby. So the Alpaca might be getting the shaft, but the workers are at least treated with dignity.

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Inspiration: Compulsive Knitting

This show by Daniela Edburg cracks me up. And slightly resembles a certain group of people I hang out with once a week. She must get her knit on quite regularly herself looking at the amount of work that went into each shot.
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Butternut Squash In Spicy Peanut Sauce

Butternut Squash In Spicy Peanut Sauce served over a bed of hearty udon noodles.
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Lentil Soups

 Rosemary and garlic scented kale, and roasted red pepper ribbons served on top of balsamic lentils.
Roasted vegetable panini on rosemary-rye bread and curried lentil soup.
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Home Made Tofu

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Crochet: Simeli, Ultra Feminine Bike Wear

I honestly think I need one of these. How do you think it would look kicking ass on an off road ride wearing one of these? Mud puddles would be no problem. Super cool dress guards can be ordered in a plethora of colors. If I had a granny bike like that, I would be all over these. 
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Knitting: Win Win, Stomp Out Ovarian Cancer With Handknit Socks

“Egg-stra” Special Sock Kit. This sock pattern was once more designed by Rosemary “Chappy” Chapman, this time in honor of my sister. The Teal color of Trekking in this kit is the official color designated to ovarian cancer, and has been specially dyed just for this cause. Every design aspect of this sock, from the cuff to the toe, is a reminder to us that ovarian cancer can be beaten if we, as women, unite. Skacel will be donating $15.00 for each kit sold, to the Marsha Rivkin Center for Ovarian Cancer Research ( Our goal is to raise $100,000. Please note that kits purchased through both Jimmy Bean's Wool and Webs will have their entire purchase price of $25.00 donated to the center! Read more...

See who else is knitting the Egg-stra on Ravelry.

Purchase the kit online:
Jimmy Beans Wool
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Inspiration: Knitting Needle Holder

I ran across this image with the work credited to Rosemarry Haddon of "Prick Your Finger". A giant crochet hedgehog complete with prickles. Isn't it great?
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Photography: Madrona Fiber Arts 2011

This weekend was the annual Madrona Fiber Arts Winter Retreat in Tacoma, WA. I have yet to sit in on a class, but those that did had wonderful things to say. My stash did not grow today. Instead I spent time looking at and enjoying the hard work of the knitters, weavers, spinners, hand dyed yarn crafters, and everything between. Yarn was ogled, roving was fondled.

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Inspiration: Been Trying To Meet Ya

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Recipe: Best Molasses Cookies Ever | Vegan

This is by far one of my favorite cookie recipes. It's is in the Vegan with a Vengeance cookbook, along with one of the best Peanut Butter Cookie recipes ever, so go get it. When I'm in the mood for something sweet, this book never disappoints.

And if that doesn't convince you to at least try this recipe, here's a note I just received from a friend... "I woke up thinking about those molasses cookies you brought to Toshis last time... would you share the recipe with me? They were the best ones I've ever had."

Uh huh, they're that good!

Sparkle Ginger Cookies
Recipe from Vegan with a Vengeance

4 T turbinado sugar (sprinkled on top of cookie)
2 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 c canola oil
1/4 c molasses
1/4 c soy milk
1 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350*. Lightly grease two cookie sheets. Place the turbinado sugar in a small bowl.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt and spices. In a separate large mixing bowl, mix together the oil, molasses, soymilk, sugar and vanilla. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet and combine well. Roll into 1-inch balls, flatten into a 1 1/2 inch diameter disk, press the cookie tops into the turbinado sugar and place 1 inch apart sugar side up on a prepared cookie sheet.

Bake 10-12 minutes, let cool on cookie sheets for 3-5 minutes, transfer to cooling rack.
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Inspiration: Knitting as Art | Vimeo Captured Winner

Art is all around us, even in something as mundane as knitting. Being able to see and explore the possibilities, Casual Profanity gave us a gift. This tiny gem was a matter of being able to see the beauty in the ordinary.

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Recipe: Spicy Szechuan Green Beans

I've been looking out the window every half hour since last night when I learned we were under a winter storm watch. Things have since been downgraded to a rain snow mix for this evening turning to rain in the wee hours, but the little kid in me can't help to keep hoping, wishing and checking for those delicate white flakes to grace us with their beauty. Two weeks ago when the peak of the busy season was upon us, we had a freeze. Instead of snow, we woke to little balls of frozen ice crystals. They were all over like someone had sprinkled a layer of styrofoam on the ground and covered everything else with twinkling crystals of light. It was magical and worth going out into the freezing morning air with my camera.

We are now in week two of the new year and I'm still catching up and tying loose ends from 2010. One of those on my to-do list is blog all the yummy vegan fare we've been eating. As of late, there has been a lot of Thai take-out and I won't be blogging about that except to say, Yay!, we found a local joint I'm proud to announce is my favorite. My knitting has been on hold for a while, but I still managed to aquire some new stash from Spincycle Yarns at Seattle's Urban Craft Uprising. So with an apology for an excess of blurry camera-phone photos, and a snowy nod to this happy New Year, here is the latest from my so-called crafty life.

I stood and stared, picked a color, changed my mind, picked another, changed my mind again. I'm not one for hasty decisions. Two gorgous hanks of handspun did go home with me to be whipped into treasures I'll use as photo props. And dang that camera-phone for failing me. This yarn was such a treat for the eyes to look at, believe me.

Anyone who was at the Urban craft uprising this year probably agrees with me that it was packed. It may not look it from the photo, but once you were in th crowd, you got to know the people around you very well.

Szechuan Green Beans and mixed greens with Goddess dressing. Seriously my favorite way of having green beans; salty, garlicy and spicey. Recipe below.

A vegan Thanksgiving dinner. Ginger mustard seed brussel sprouts, vanilla cranberry and pear compote (which makes killer martinis! More on those later.) complete with Bryanna Clark Grogan's vegan turkey, but with a twist. I was able to incorporate some okara into the "turkey" for a nicer texture and more protien. Recipe mod below.

I managed to pull of a whole meal that looked pretty while cleaning out the fridge. This is a quinoa with steamed asparagus, steamed Chioggia beets (color drained from camera phone and a little over cooking. my bad.), raw carrot-turnip salad lightly drizzled with Meyer lemon olive oil, and roasted cinnamon pepper sweet potato wedges.

Szechuan Green Beans
1 lb green beans
1 T garlic, chopped
1 T ginger, chopped
2 scallions white parts only
1/2 t chili paste
1 T dark soy sauce
1/2 t sugar
1/4 t salt, or to taste
Pepper to taste, optional
2 T vegetable or peanut oil

Wash and trim the tops and bottoms of beans, then cut diagonal into slices approximately 2 inches long.
Chop the garlic, ginger and white part of the scallions.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat.
Add beans and stir fry until they start to shrivel or "pucker" and turn brown (5 - 7 minutes). Remove beans and drain in a colander or on paper towels.
Heat 1 T oil in the wok on high heat. Add garlic, ginger and scallions. Stir-fry for a few seconds, then add the chili paste and stir-fry for a few more seconds until aromatic. Add the beans and the remaining ingredients. Mix together and serve.

Vegan Turkey

This recipe is one of Bryanna Clark Grogans, but for the life of me I cannot find a link to it. If you do find it, and would like to use up some of your left over okara, I simply substituted 1 cup okara for 1 cup of the tofu. I liked the texture a bit more this way than the original recipe.

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