Tuesday
Aug282018

end of summer

It is time to take Koda Bear back to the Tall Short Person this week.  It makes me sad.  Especially since I did not get to spend as much time with him as I thought I would.  I am going to try to steal him away for some weekends this autumn.  I am scoping out fiber fairs in the Pacific Northwest.  There is even one that my father has been interested in going to.  That one I know I would be talking sheep and goats.  That is the who my father is.

When we brought Koda Bear here, my parents sent projects home with me.  I just laughed.  But I cut off the sleeves on my Dad's shirts and hemmed them.  He will get more wear out of them now.

My Mother does not see herself as creative.  And in recent years, I would have to say she has narrowed her creative endeavors down.  She has always been very good at following directions.  She used to make all of our Christmas cards, silk screen and linoleum cut printing.  She learned cake decorating for birthdays.  She learned how to do calligraphy so she could write in a fashion she was pleased with on those cards.  

She choses not to do any of that anymore.  And that is very okay.  She follows directions for projects others find for the craft sale at her church.  One of those friends is a knitter, but does not enjoy crochet.  That friend fell in love with this cradle purse.  My mother knew I crocheted and asked if I would make it for her friend.  I said I would.

The cradle purse, by kit, is now finished.  Did I follow the pattern exactly?  No.  But it is close.  And it is done.  It really did not take that long but I did find it hard on my hands.  That could be the rock climbing too.  It is kind of scary to me but I think that is the plastic doll.  I would have done something different but I am not the one who fell in love with it.

I will not be in this space for a bit.  There will be parts of the next two weeks I will not have phone service!  This is exciting too me.  I may post on Instagram if I do.  I may not.


Thursday
Aug232018

poke bowl

I was curious about what a poke bowl was when a poke bowl place opened three blocks away.  I went and tried one.  Then I decided to make them at home.  They are becoming a lunch standard.  Or maybe an early dinner.  Especially when I am coaching.  

Poke bowls purchased out taste a lot like sushi to me.  Made at home, I start with fish and rice then add vegetables, fruits, and sauces.  Even occasionally a Mexican feel.  Which I know is not standard but works.

The bowls usually start with rice.  Either sushi rice or indian rice.  I set a cast iron fry pan on medium with a couple tablespoons of butter in it.  I let the butter melt.  I sprinkle a couple of tablespoons of miso sauce over the rice as it cooks.  (The miso sauce recipe is below)  I add the rice and let it heat until crispies are created.  It takes about 15 to 20 minutes.  The crispy bits add a nice texture.

I usually add fish.  I normally use canned fish because it is easy.  It is hard to find sushi grade fish.  Canned fish I can doctor and it is already cooked.  Mussels and scallops usually end up in the bowl. 

Canned tuna and salmon I usually doctor.  I add a couple tablespoons of skyr to moisten the fish instead of mayonnaise.  That way if the bowls are stuck in a back pack for later, the bowl has less chance to go bad.  I also add a teaspoon of soy sauce and a teaspoon of wasabi.  Then a couple of tablespoons of fish on the rice.

At this point, avocado, cucumber, mango, or pineapple can be added.  Or jalapeno.  Or any type of vegetable or fruit that may sound be good.

Soy sauce or ume can be added now to season the bowl.  I have been making a miso sauce that I found for yaki onigiri which is a rice ball.  That is really what started me down this road.  I use the miso sauce when I heat the rice and as a topping.  It is tasty.

Poke bowls are really an experimentation.  Play with them.  Koda Bear also likes the rice with an egg on top instead of fish or veg.  Anything goes.  But use the miso sauce below.  It is worth it.

miso sauce

Note:  This is a sauce I found for yaki onigir made by Bake Street.  It is a lovely sauce.  I have used multiple types of miso and vinegar.  All give a lovely flavor. 

1/2 tablespoon white miso paste (I have also used red)

1 teaspoon Mirin (or a sweet vinegar)

1 teaspoon sake

3/4 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon water

Mix all in a bowl.  Use on the rice and the bowl.

 

Tuesday
Aug212018

octopus

It may sound crazy but I have been working on crocheted octopus this weekend.  I have a baby shower to go to and I decided to make one as part of a gift.  I usually bring a hat I have made.  A hat is a simple thing but actually is shown to increase mortality rates in babies.  It has everything to do with small babies do not regulate their temperatures well.  

Recently, it has become apparent that crocheted octopus calm babies.  Especially newborns.  Then tentacles feel like the umbilical cord.  It is especially true with premies.  They do not pull out all the cords and tubes they are attached to if they have an octopus near.

This green octopus and hat are going with me to a friend's baby shower this weekend.  I do not dread my friend or the giving of gifts.  The shower has on the other hand.  I do not enjoy parties like this so it will be interesting.  I can always come home for a cup of tea and hide in a book afterwards!

I stuffed both of the octopus with wool.  They are machine washable and the wool heads will act like a dryer ball in the dryer.  The yarn is cotton.  Wool is antibacterial so life is good.

I made the yellow one for Koda Bear.  I figured why not.  The green one I kind of followed a pattern.  The yellow one I did not.  I like how I made the yellow one better.  I know of one more baby that will need an octopus so that is a good thing.

Koda Bear said the green octopus for the baby did not need a face.  I liked the short person's opinion.  But he did believe the hat should be worn by the octopus.  If you pull the hat down, the octopus looks more like a squid.

 

Saturday
Aug182018

floral wool shawl

While I was making the striped shawl, I was also making this floral shawl.

I spun the brown yarn from the last of the BFL/Cormo lamb fleece that I had.  It is so soft.  It is rather large and cozy.  Another good shawl for being cozy with a cup of tea and book.  It is not as heavy at the striped shawl but I think it may be warmer.  That may be because the lamb fleece is softer.

All the variations of brown are from the fleece.

I have been enjoying embroidering flowers on wool.  So I did it here.  All the yarn is from other projects.  Mostly hand dyed from other artisans.   It makes me happy.

It is going to be for sale in my shop.  Even though I would rather keep it.  But that is part of what happens with almost of everything I make recently!

Tuesday
Aug142018

A not exciting Saturday night

I had such a not exciting Saturday night but so much me!  I have been drooling over a crochet artist on Instagram, Isa Catepillan.  I think her work is lovely and she makes me wish to up my crochet game.  I have some yarns of a lace weight that I thought:  shawl.  I am now playing with granny squares and am going to learn cables so I up my game.  Maybe make a dress?  

I am doing this by not going by any pattern.  I am going to use my favorite dress pattern as a go by and work within those constraints.  I like Isa's cable accents and I can see where they add a lot of structure.  Again, something new to learn.  Cables in crochet.  Something I have wished to learn for awhile but this is letting me take the jump.  I may have a wedding to go to next summer and if this dress is wearable I might just wear it.  It is truly about learning skills though.

Koda Bear learned a new skill this weekend.  He has been helping me sew since he was interested.  That was before he was a year old.  But on my treadle sewing machine, you have to be tall enough and strong enough to work the treadle.  When we moved the stool closer to the machine, he was big enough.  

We started off simply with him guiding fabric through the machine.  Can he make the stitching go where he wishes it to?  Can he control his hands and feet at the same time?  He did a very good job.  Then my Beloved said he needed a sleeve for his paint ball marker hoses.  The two of them found fabric, measured, and cut.  I pinned the sleeve together and Koda Bear sewed.  Koda Bear still has problems with the initial pinning.  It is a dexterity thing.

Then the sleeve was done.  Koda Bear did not realize that it was actually going to be used on the paint ball marker.  He was so excited and proud that something he made on my sewing machine was actually going to be used!

I am still threading the machine.  And filling the bobbins.  But the filling of the bobbins will happen soon.  Threading will get there.  So proud of Koda Bear.