Monster Knit Rally

Monday, May 29, 2006

Great Monday Give-Away

Not so long ago, I stumbled across bugheart's lovely blog and her Great Monday Give-Away. Not long after, I received a fabulous skirt in the mail from her, and she even threw in an adorable matching pin she made herself. The skirt has tiny red birds flying on a blue and white background and it's adorable. I'm making a goofy face because I'm excited about my new skirt. Thanks, Gwen!
So in honor of my new skirt and bugheart's generosity, I thought I'd do my own Great Monday Give-Away. It probably won't be every week like hers, but just whenever I have things to pass on.

Please read the rules here before claiming any item.
After you claim an item by commenting, please email me at monsterhatrally [at] to let me know where to send it.
Here's what I'm giving away this week:

1. Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer
This book was passed along to me, and even though I've liked other books by this author, I decided I wasn't interested in the topic. Book is not in great condition but definitely readable.

2. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
A fun, fairly light read. Part of a series.

3. Beige plaid scarf
I really love this scarf, but have too many. Label says Wool Touch, 100% Acrylic (though it feels like wool blend to me - I guess that's the point), Hand Wash/Dry Clean, Made in Korea.

That's all for this Monday... but stay tuned in the future for some craft related give-aways.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Swaps galore

I recently discovered Swap-bot and promptly signed up for a recipe swap and a tea swap. I sent out my packages yesterday, and I already received the recipes from my recipe swap partner. They sound tasty and she printed them up with yummy color photos too. I'm excited to receive my tea packages; I hope they arrive soon.
Pictured above: My red recipe book - it has all my favorite recipes from various cookbooks, along with some pretty food pictures I've cut out of magazines that I'll probably never make, but I love to look at. The cookbook Street Food falls into that category too - amazing droolworthy photos, but for the most part, recipes I wouldn't make. Good thing it's from the library. Also from the library is Julie & Julia, my current reading, about a woman who attempts to cook all the recipes from Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking in one year. I like it.
These are the tea swap packages I sent out. I actually got motivated before I sent them and wrapped up the contents in pretty polka-dot tissue paper, but I forgot to take a picture of the finished product. The swap required that the tea be sent in a tin (a tea tin or otherwise), and since I didn't have any tins laying around, I hit up the thrift shop and got these two for just over $1 - definitely within my budget. I hope my swap partners like them!

These were my first two swaps, and I think starting with some simple ones was a good way to ease my way in. But now I want more and I'm ready for bigger swaps... Anyone interested? I'd love to swap something I knit for something sewn, since I don't do much sewing myself, but I'd be open to swaps of all kinds. Please comment or email me if you'd like to swap. I'll have to browse around over at Swap-bot in the meantime.

Friday, May 26, 2006

knitting project report

It has been a while since I posted, but I have been crafting, I've just been too busy to post about it.
Finally! The sweater is done, just needs to finish drying. I can't wait to wear it. It may be summer, but some evenings are still cool enough for sweater wearing.

This was a quick knit. It just needs a little seaming and then it will be a shrug (from a pattern from Unravel). I'm still ambivalent about it being a shrug (will I wear it?) but I love this yarn - it's Deco-Ribbon from Crystal Palace. It's hard to tell in this photo, but it's a pinkish red ribbon yarn with thin stripes of turquoise.

I haven't worked on this for a little while, but I'm ready to finish it up. I looked around a bit online to find the perfect pattern for a mesh string bag to hold produce for grocery shopping. This is made out of an old sweater that I no longer wore, so I unraveled it to give it a new life. Yay for recycling.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Corners of my Home

I've shared one or two corners in my apartment that I'm fond of, but haven't really shown the tinyness or the clutter. But my apartment is tiny and a bit cluttered, so I decided to show it as it is. Here is our little kitchen with nowhere near enough storage space (notice the items living on top of the fridge, there's more on top of the cabinets) and just enough counter space to prepare a meal, as long as you clear everything else off first.
This is our most recently acquired piece of furniture. When our neighbors moved out, they left it on the curb, and to Mr. Cool's dismay, I insisted we carry it up to our apartment and keep it.

The bright green color has really grown on me, and I am quite fond of it now. It's not actually a bookshelf - the neighbors clearly built it themselves and all but three of the shelves are the exact height and depth for CDs, which means they are too small for books. Based on their fondness for music, I assume the bottom shelf is sized for records, but we don't have any to test out that theory with, so Mr. Cool stores some of his tools there. The two whitish objects on the shelf above the picture frames are bones (elk? cow?) that we found on local hikes.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Knitting to Warm Mongolia/Pakistan

My LYS, Unravel, recently sponsored a "Knit to Warm Mongolia & Pakistan" event. They gave out free yarn for people to knit into hats, scarves, sweaters, etc. Then the knitted items go to The Dulaan Project/F.I.R.E, a local relief organization that does work in Mongolia and Pakistan. Here's the yarn I started with - Lopi, Lopi Lite, and Cascade Pastaza.
Here are my contributions:
These two hats are my favorites because of the color combinations:
After I brought my knitted items over to Unravel, I made some dinner - swordfish steaks and artichokes. Sorry for the bad photo, it looked so good, I was rushing to take a photo so we could dig in.
The swordfish was really easy. Since it was still partly frozen when I wanted to start cooking, I put it in the oven for 10 or 20 minutes at around 150-200 degrees to defrost. Then I just sprinkled on some salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, chopped fresh parsley, lemon juice, and olive oil. Broil for 3 to 4 minutes on one side, then turn over and broil for another 4 to 5 minutes. Take out and sprinkle with some fresh parsley, and it's done! I also steamed an artichoke that came in my CSA share this week, and it was quite a tasty addition.