Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Soon, soon.

I can finally say that the second issue of Take Back the Knit is very near completion. Did I mention it's gonna be fancier than last time? Because it certainly is!

Again, the zine includes about a dozen hot patterns including a few bags, a pair of restraints, cat toys, the top-down raglan cardi, and flip-flop socks! There are also a bunch of interesting articles - organic yarns, vegan knitting, dying yarns, knitting and community, zine reviews, and even three dairyless creem pie recipes! Here's the list of contributors:

me, jae
and Stephanie

If you are (or someone you know is) interested in supporting the zine by placing an ad, write me (knitwit AT bust DOT com) soon and I'd be happy to give you the deets.
There's also going to be a Take Back the Knit t-shirt design contest, so keep your eyes peeled for deets on that!

Still, orders for copies of issue 1 and 2 are on hold, so please don't try and place any orders until I give the green light. (I'm getting a PO Box this time, so you won't have to write me for the address.)
Friday, May 27, 2005

Better than compost.

So I got myself a pretty amazing Breville juicer the other week.
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If you don't have a juicer, and you're not moving in with me and my juicer in the next few months, you may not be interested in reading on. Anyhow, I'd been wanting a nice juicer of my own ever since I'd started this ritual with my ex-partner of making this juice every morning I was at his house (obviously we weren't exes back then):

Immune Boost Juice

This juice is great if you feel something coming on or if you're in the middle of a sickness. You can also make it just 'cause it's a nutritiousway to start your day (the nutrients are best absorbedon an empty stomach).
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4 medium carrots
1 medium-large apple
1/3 of a fist-sized beet
1-inch piece ginger root

Rinse or scrub all ingredients. Don't peel them as you'll loose all the nutrients in the skin (you'll feel better about not peeling if your produce is organic). Chop into appropriate-sized piece for your juicer. You don't need to core the apple, but you should remove the seeds. Run everything though your juicer according to your juicer's directions. If you can handle a little bit of dilution, run about 1/4 cup of filtered water through the juicer at the end - more juice'lll come with it. Drink immediatley. Slow sipping allows for better absorbtion. Serves 1.

We felt a little weird about all the pulp that was going to waste.
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We saved some up in the freezer for a while and then made a batch of soup stock with it, though our particular pulp flavour combination lent itself to a limited number of soups. Now that I'm more of a baker I've come up with this (you could try using the pulp of other fruits and veg, just use your discretion):

Juicer Pulp Muffins

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2 cups flour (I used organic light spelt)
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. sea salt
1/2-1 tsp. nutmeg
1 cup lightly packed juicer pulp
1/2 cup juice or (non-dairy) organic milk
1/2 cup apple sauce
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup oil (canola, sunflower, safflower...)
1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 375oF. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt and nutmeg. Add juicer pulp, juice or milk, apple sauce, maple syrup and oil. Mix just until all the flour has been absorbed. (If you had beets and carrots in your pulp the batter may look a little like salmon mousse. Don't worry, the colour will change when baked.) Pour in cider vinegar and mix quickly, just until evenly distributed through batter. Sppon into a lightly oiled or paper-lined muffin tray. Sprinkle tops with a little bit of nutmeg and sugar (optional). Bake for bout 20 minutes. Test with a skewer for doneness. Makes a dozen muffins. (If you were gonna bake it as a loaf it may take around 45 minutes to bake at 350oF.)

Lemme know how it works out for you. Especially let me know if you have other juice recipes you love, or ideas for juicer pulp.
Thursday, May 19, 2005

Quick update

In the interest of keeping you all abreast of my current knitting adventures, here's Elias, showing off my Isis Wrap thus far:
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(Handing incomplete lace knitting to a 1 1/3 year old to model is a little nerve-wracking, which is why I got Michael's assistance. Is anyone else making this, by the way? How are you finding it? What yarn are you using?)

And my first continental knitting project:
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(It's a stripped version of The Umbilical Cord Hat from Stitch n' Bitch in Mission Falls cotton.)

They're both coming along real slow as I've been worrying lately about my literary skills slipping and I've picked up some books to read in my spare time. I've just finished Atlas of the Human Heart by hip mama Ariel Gore.
Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Mo' FOs!

By the way, these are the last of that spurt of finshed objects:

The armwarmers!
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I'm not sure Michael understood the idea was to photograph my hands, and not me grinning at his toddler.
They're the Hurry Up Spring Armwarmers from Stitch 'n Bitch Nation, sans cable pattern, in Noro Silk Garden (1 skein).
Took about six months to knit! DPN projects are not for me it seems. And because they took so long, I don't even think I want to keep them. They'll make a fine gift.

Also the little one's spring poncho:
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(This pic seemed appropriate to show off as one of her biggest conversation topics these days is "jae cut my hair!")
And again:
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Araucania Cotton on 6.5mm needles. Less than 2 skeins. Measures about 12" from top to bottom. It fits her 7 month old sister just fine too - only differently.
I just CO 48 sts; PM; joined in round; K 5 rounds; next round placed another marker after 24 sts; then before the next marker kf&b, sl marker, kf&b; K to next marker - same thing; and then every other row until 1" before desired length; seed st for 5 rounds; BO. How's that for a casual pattern write-up?!
Ponchos in the round are just about my favourite thing to knit, even though I won't wear one myself.

The poncho got me thinking about a skirt though...
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This is the Manos Cotton Stria poncho that's on display at Lettuce Knit, but it seems to be versatile. Can you visualize a summer skirt? Any particular yarn suggestions?
Monday, May 16, 2005

In this moment

I have been holding off on posting because I've been having trouble getting pictures up on to the web recently and posts just aren't as exciting without them. I think I'll just post anyway though, and plug in photos when I can.

Yesterday morning I took a continental knitting class with Laura at Lettuce Knit. Ho-ho! I wish it were easier to pick up speed knitting - for me it's cautious, tense, sweaty-palmed knitting - like learning to knit all over again.

At quarter to two I biked home to listen to Tapestry on CBC radio one - Jon Kabat-Zinn was talking about his work in mindfulness.
Mindfulness is a term that's been kicked around more and more in my family over the past few years. Some members of my family have done a couple of retreats with Buddhist Monk (and Nobel Peace Prize-nominee) Thich Nhat Hanh. I had a life changing experience sitting a ten day Vipassana Mediation intensive last fall. I've had trouble keeping a regular practice, even though I'd like to, so I'm often excited to talk about it, or read or hear little morsels here and there.

Kabat-Zinn defines mindfulness as moment to moment non-judgemental awareness. Mindfulness sounds simple, but what a struggle it is for me. He confirms this by explaining that we spend most of our thoughts on worrying, planning and reminising instead of being in the moment - being aware of this moment, this breath, even though that's all we really have.
He has a book called Full Catastrophe Living. He defines catastrophe as the poignant enormity of our life experience - he encourages us all to really participate in these experiences, to be aware. This coinsides with my recent learning about suffering -
pain + lack of acceptance = suffering;
pain + acceptance = normal pain.
Pain in life is invevitable, suffering it seems, is not.
Kabat-Zinn also talked about spirituality. I liked his take on it - it sounded very real, and non-authoritative. What's spiritual? he asked. Parenting, making love, washing dishes? What isn't spiritual if you show up for it in its biggest incarnation?

So what do you think of all this, dear readers? Does this interest any of you? (A little divergence from the knit, purl, chop, saute talk that usually goes on in these parts.) Do any of you have any sort of meditation practice? Do you think you spend a good amount of your time being mindful? What about when you're knitting? Are you present?

PS. I am working on a way to make it easier to reply to your comments individually - I'm reading them and they're certainly appreciated!
Friday, May 06, 2005

Southern heat

I made a delicious southern-inspired dinner the other night. The crowd went hog wild for it.

Black-eyed Peas

I adapted this from a recipe by Deborah Madison. Black-eyed peas are great because you can cook them from dry pretty quick (relatively speaking). The chipotle flavour really makes the dish though.
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1 cup dried black-eyed peas
1 medium onion, diced
1 small - medium bell pepper, diced
1 rib celery, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 bay leaves
1-2 chipotle peppers or 1/2 - 1 tsp. chipotle powder
1/4 tsp. allspice
3 cups vegetable stock or water
1 tsp. sea salt

Soak black-eyed peas overnight in cold water or in just-boiled water for one hour. In a 2 quart pot, saute onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic in oil until onions are soften (about 10 minutes), stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Add bayleaves, chipotle (if you're using whole peppers you can put them in whole and have the option of removing it/them later, or chop 'em up into wee pieces), and allspice. Drain soaking water off the peas and add them, along with fresh water or veg stock. Bring to a boil and then lower heat and simmer, partially covered, for 40 minutes. Add salt and continue to cook unitl peas are soft (about 10-15 minutes more).

Maple Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Put on a large pot of cold water to boil. Peel a bunch of sweet potatoes, rinse 'em and chop 'em up into small cubes. Once the water's boiled, add the potatoes and shake in a bit of sea salt. Once potatoes are tender, drain off the water (reserve some of it). Mash 'em real good, adding some of the reserved water and organic (non-dairy milk) until desired consistency is acheived. Season with sea salt, fresh ground black pepper, oil/organic butter/gmo-free margarine, maple syrup, and even roasted garlic if you like, to taste.

The little one helped me mash:
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So grown up for a 2 1/4 year-old!

Serve these two dishes alongside steamed collards (or kale) and a cooked grain (brown rice, quinoa, millet, barley, whatever...). Bake a deep dish fruit pie for dessert.
Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Dressin' up

After such a looong wait, if any of you are still interested here's the shrug:
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This is the dress I actually knit it to go with, though there was a time limit because I also wanted to wear it with that trench dress (pictured in a post below...) last week.
I can't say I'm thrilled with the way it wears - mostly because it's cotton though and therefore not too resilient. I checked out the actual yarn the pattern called for and it's like pure elastic! Go figure!
So here are the deets:
Start to finish: April 16-18, 2005.
Yarn and needles: called for Paton's Katrina (92% rayon) on 6.5mms, but Megan and Joyce were my mathematicians and gave me the go ahead to follow the pattern knitting it with DK-weight Ecoknit organic cotton on US 9s (Denise 5.2mms).
Pattern: The Ribbed Shrug from the Interweave Staff Shrug project and you can get the pattern right here without even buying the magazine. It was a super-simple and quick knit, but I disagreed with some of the pattern instructions though. Everytime it said to start a row with a P1 I think it shoulda been a K1. Starting with a P1 seemed to throw off the alignment of the rib.
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I'm still thrilled about the idea of shrugs and I may knit up a whole bunch more shrug-like garments over the next few months - I'm just starting on the Isis Wrap - though I feel completely lost in this lace pattern!
Sunday, May 01, 2005

My goodness

I've been trying to get in a good post - really - but what with moving (into not one, but three different houses), out-of-town friends visiting, applying to run a zine-making workshop at Hillside in July (though the application's two weeks late, so they may not even look at it), and keeping myself (and sometimes others) well fed and dressed and what have you... I've been busy.

Notes about zines: If you've ordered zines in the past while and have yet to hear from me, don't fret. I apologize for the delay (especially with orders for zines that are temporarily out of print) - know that they'll be coming within the month. If you contacted me re: ordering but never got around to sending in your order, know that I've moved and that you'll need to get a new address for me. If you're waiting with bated breath for the next issue of Take Back the Knit to come out, take a few nice deep breaths and know it'll be a few weeks still. But it'll be worth the wait though, because this issue's gonna be substantially fancier than the last.

Things to look forward to in upcoming posts: pictures of the shrug (finally), the armwarmers (finally) and a toddler poncho, heating things up with Carmen Electra, adventures in Niagara-On-The-Lake, sugar-free Tapioca pudding (Johanna!), revamping old clothes, stash reorganization, growing an avocado plant, and summer plans/fantasies.

"Domestic affair... do you think it's a funny title?" I asked a friend.
"Funny ha-ha?" she responded, "well, no not really."
"But 'domestic affair', it's like what's going on in the nation, but it's also me, being drawn to all these domestic tasks - knitting, cooking, caring for small children..." I tried to explain.
"I like that it has the word affair in it," she concluded.

jae's first book!

Get It Ripe cover Have you seen my award-winning whole foods cookbook Get It Ripe: a fresh take on vegan living (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2008)? Keep your eyes peeled for it!
To join the Facebook group for the book, go here.


about the blog:

about the cookbooks:

While I love hearing from you, and read each and every one of your e-mails, please understand that I just cannot respond to all of them due to the rate at which they're coming in these days!

If you have a question, I might have already answered it here.

in the press

live in person!

come see me:
* Vida Vegan Con in Portland, OR, August 26-28, 2011.

...but better yet, check the calendar for details!



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