Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Preemptive scarf for cooler weather

Unbiased scarf
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I came up with this pattern by accident. I was at Stitch n' Bitch last Wednesday night, reading some pattern for a biased scarf over Jane's shoulder. I got home and couldn't quite remember how the pattern went. I worked the scarf as follows, looking for a bias that never appeared - but I was pleased with the result anyway! The gorgeous banana silk yarn was an exciting gift from Robyn, who wrote the article on vegan knitting for Take Back the Knit #2. Thanks Robyn!

1 skein Town & Country Llamas Banana Silk yarn; 200 g, 140 yards (I used about 3/4 of the skein)
size US11 needles
darning needle

CO 11 sts.
All rows are knit the same:
K1, * yo k2tog * until the end of the row.
Knit for 60 - 65" (I like skinny scarves to wrap around my neck once, with the ends hanging around my hips).
BO somewhat loosely.
Weave in ends.

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PS. Keep those contest submissions coming in! (See Sundae's post.)
Sunday, August 28, 2005

The Official Take Back the Knit Contest, part 1

Okay ladies and gentlemen, hold on to your hats and we'll let the games begin. This is part one of two in the Take Back the Knit contest series.

The zine needs a slogan.
A subtitle, if you will.
-BITCH: feminist response to popculture
-BUST: for women with something to get off their chests
-Craftster.org: No tea cozies without irony or Rock is dead. Long live paper and scissors.
-Guerilla Girls: fighting discrimination with facts, humor and fake fur
-Knitty: little purls of wisdom
-Men Knit: Man enough to knit, strong enough to purl
-You Grow Girl: gardening for the people

So, Take Back the Knit: _________________ (your smart and witty words go here).

Think newer, hipper knitters learning from our grandmas; think community, think feminist; think crafty, think hip/kooky/fun patterns; think d.i.y. sensibility...

Can you think of something? I'll make it worth your while. The fine person who comes up with the winning slogan will receive:
* a complimentary copy of the next issue of the knitting zine
* the satisfaction of seeing your work on the cover of every future edition of Take Back the Knit
* guest of honour status at the next zine launch party (if you don't live in or near Toronto, maybe it'll be an excuse to come visit)
* even more than my undying love and devotion - my respect for your intellect.

Got an idea? Got a few? Don't be shy.
Put it in the comments and/or e-mail me at takebacktheknitATgmailDOTcom

We have to complete part 1 of the contest before we can progress to part 2.
Suspenseful, ain't it?

Other zine mentionables:
Tomorrow's the final deadline for knit zine submissions for the upcoming winter issue. Get 'em in, folks!

And yup, you can still order the second issue. If it becomes unavailable I'll let you know by updating the ordering page. Actually, it'd be good to get your order in soon so I can hopefully get it off to you before I leave for Italy.
Friday, August 26, 2005

Big Zuch

One thing I learned while working on organic farms is that squash have a knack of hidding on you. Zucchinis in particular. You can visit the squash patch regularly, peering through the leaves to the ground, and not notice anything worth harvesting for a while and then - tada! - all of a sudden these gigantic zucchinis have appeared.
Case in point:
Anna and her zuch

Now that I'm off sugar, I thought I'd revisit an old recipe for raisin-sweetened zucchini bread that I used a bunch when I lived on Stowel Lake Farm on Salt Spring Island (the same place I learned to knit, I might add). Thought I'd try it with dates this time in lieu of raisins as dates are a less refined sugar source, and conventional (non-organic) farmers spray the hell out of raisins crops (we're talking nasty pesticides here).

Zucchini Date Muffins

1 1/2 cups chopped and pitted dates
1 cup just-boiled water
2 cups spelt flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. sea salt
2 cups grated zucchini
1/2 cup flax seeds, sunflower seeds or chopped walnuts
1/2 cup oil
1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

1. Place dates in a non-plastic bowl and pour in the just-boiled water. Cover (you could use a pot lid or a plate), and allow to soak. Preheat oven to 350oF.

2. Sift the flour, baking powder and soda, spices and salt into a large bowl. Whisk to combine.
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3. Stir in the zucchini and flaxseeds until zucchini is well coated in flour.
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4. Uncover dates and mash with a fork until relatively smooth (you just don't want any big chunks).
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5. Add the date mash and oil. Stir. Add the vinegar, and stir just until evenly distributed.
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6. Spoon out into a paper-lined muffin tray. Slide into the oven and bake for about 20 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre of a muffin comes out clean.
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Makes about 18 muffins. (You could also make two loaves of zucchini bread, but the baking time would need to be adjusted to something around 45 minutes - I'm just guessing at a time.)
Wednesday, August 24, 2005

C'mon, c'mon!

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(How cliche. Sorry.)
I was determined to stick to the submission deadline this time, but it looks like I'm gonna have to push it back a bit still.

C'mon everybody - put your knitting down for just a moment and come up with a submission for this upcoming issue of Take Back the Knit. And if you really don't have confidence in your skills, work with a friend, or tell a friend to submit. Some great content has been sent in, but I need more variety.

I need interviews!
I need comics!
I need articles with political content!
I need submissions by men and transpeople!
I need patterns that are punk-rock, or kooky, or however you'd describe the kind of stuff that ain't exactly mainstream (more Teva Durham, less Debbie Bliss, catch my meaning?)! I especially need your standard winter wear - toques, scarves, mitts and nose cozies! You've got patterns, I know you do!

I can't put this zine out without you!
Yes, you!
I mean it! (Does anybody want a peanut? I'm beginning to feel like a bit of a maniac with all! these! exclamation! points!))

You've got until Monday August 29 (or even a little longer if you contact me with a proposal by then).

Again, the guidelines are all here.

(Maybe if you're someone who frequents The Church of Craft, Craftster, Action Grrrlz, Mamaphonic, The Revolutionary Knitting Circle or other crafty forums, listservs or groups you wouldn't mind mentioning this on my behalf?)
Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Le jeudi passe

I'm still in Montreal, but I wanted to present you with a few photos. Anna has borrowed some land up in Laval to grow organic vegetables this summer. We went up there last Thursday to harvest.

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swiss chard

you say tomayto

i say tomatto

big zuch


thinning the carrot patch

the biggest carrot yet

more chard

la recoltte

Doesn't it make you wanna eat local produce all the time?
Friday, August 19, 2005

Double trouble

So here are those cookies I mentioned two Tuesdays ago. I have since had electrodermal food tolerance testing and discovered that my body absolutely cannot tolerate sugar, wheat, dairy, chocolate or banana, so you won't see me making these cookies again anytime soon. But you enjoy 'em for the both of us.

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

I adapted this recipe from In the sweet kitchen by Regan Daley. Guaranteed to satisfy a sweet tooth and a chocolate craving all in one go. Be sure to serve with a glass of (non-dairy organic) milk to balance things out.

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1 cup unsalted non-hydrogenated non-dairy margarine (or organic butter - if only salted marg or butter is available, omit sea salt below), at room temperature
1 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 - 3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 ripe banana, mashed
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups unbleached or light spelt flour
1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips or chunks
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 350oF. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. In a large bowl cream together the marg and sugars, preferably with an electric mixer, for about 3 minutes or until light and fluffy. Beat in the banana and vanilla.
Sift in the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Mix just until all the flour is incorporated. Add the chocolate and nuts (if desired) and mix just until evenly dispersed throughout the batter. (If you wanted to, this would be the time to wrap up some or all of the dough in plastic wrap and then place in a freezer bag in the freezer to be baked at a later date. When you were ready for cookies you'd just thaw the dough in the fridge in its wrapping and then follow the rest of the instructions at that time.)
Scoop out heaping tablespoonfuls of dough
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and space evenly on the prepped baking sheets.
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Don't get caught...
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... licking the dough off your hands.

Slide 'em into the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Eat 'em warm or allow to cool completely on the baking sheet before storing in an airtight container. Makes about 40 decent-sized cookies.

It don't get much more domestic than this:
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Thursday, August 18, 2005

No more room!

Please note! I know have a new e-mail address as there is no more room in my BUST account. Zine submissions, etcetera should be send to takebacktheknit AT gmail DOT com. If you send sumpin' large to the old account it'll probably bounce and I'll never know you tried to get in touch at all.

If you'd like to submit to the fall/winter issue of Take Back the Knit and you just can't get it together for tomorrow (the deadline), just lemme know and I'll give you an extra week. Priorty goes to submissions that arrive on time, but there's usually some spacing flexibility.
Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Will travel

I've had this out-of-sorts feeling for a long time now... probably since the beginning of the year, or perhaps even longer. It's not super easy to describe. It's geographical. It has a little bit to do with the fact that I'm back living in the city that I was raised in (a city I don't super love sometimes so it's hard to rationalize being here), and something to do with the number of people in my life who travel a lot - either they're touring rock stars (literally) or authors, they get a grant from the government to live and study in New York for a year (Jamie!), or they live the kind of lives where they can afford to take proper vacations. I went to Stephanie's Harlot on Tour page the other day and thought "How come she gets to be flown all over the continent and have crowds of enthusiastic folks waiting to meet her?!" (The answer, of course is clear - because she wrote a book. Maybe someday I'll get my cookbook published and my publisher will send me to culinary hotspots all over the continent... but I digress.) Sufice it to say, I miss all those summers/autumns where I'd hop on a train/plane/bus and go put in some time on an organic farm where I'd sleep in a schoolbus/pickel barrel house/tent/truckhouse...
my autumn home, 2001 and it's time for a break from Toronto.

And so I'm going to Montreal. Tomorrow. Not for any particular reason other than to get out of town, and because I love Montreal and I currently have a bit of a break from work. Does anyone have any suggestions for while I'm there? Yarn shops, great veg restaurants or little cafes, used bookstores, best fabric stores, vintage clothing shops, shows to see, other exciting attractions? I have the regular little list of things to do and places to go when I'm in Montreal that I always hit, but I'm open to new suggestions.

But here's the even bigger news that I just found out: I'm going to Italy!!!!
Next month. For two or three weeks, I expect. Leaving September 6 or 7. The moms of my favourite 2-and-a-half year-old and 10 month-old need an extra pair of hands for their trip and I'm not one to argue - even if it means missing the first few weeks of my new school. Have any of you been to Italy? Tuscany in particular?

Bring on the travel tips!
Sunday, August 14, 2005


So I knit the Minisweater/Boobholder in three days. Just like Laura.
(Of course we all know she spent far fewer hours a day working on it than me though.)
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The deets:
Pattern: Minisweater from Glampyre
Yarn: Naturally Merino et Soie (50g, 109 yards), colour 109 (purple); 3 balls
Needles: Denise size US 9 circs
Timing: August 10 to 12 2005.
Adjustments made / Lessons learned:
There were only 3 balls of purple left at the shop and I used every last inch of 'em. (I'm still not sure purple's the colour for me, but they match the grapes!)
My adaptations are very similar to Laura's. I did yarn over increases. I didn't want puffy sleeves, so I ignored all those extra increases on rows 15, 17and 19. I also wanted to make it a wrap, so I ignored the buttonhole directions. To make it a wrap, I picked up 5 stitches on each side at the bottom and garter stitched till I ran out of yarn (15 inches). I worked the sleeves in the round on DPNs, picking up 4 sts under each arm (and ignoring the decreases that corresponded to the puffy-sleeve increases that I didn't make earlier) - woulda done Magic Loop if I knew how. And finally, I didn't put on a boarder.
The ties weren't as long as I would have liked - next time I'll make sure I have at least 350 yards to work with.
This is certainly one of my favourite garments to date - not just in terms of knitting enjoyability (a lovely balance of simplicity without being completely mindless), but for wearability too. I plan on knitting at least a couple more!

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You'll have to excuse my crazy tits - I'm due to start my period any moment now.

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I can't get enough of these grapes! They're organic Sovereign Coronation grapes from Feast of Fields Farm in Niagara. I'm so glad that shopping at Karma is almost like having a farmers' market right around the corner from my house.
Friday, August 12, 2005

Ariba ariba!

Before we start talking about food I'm gonna remind you:
If you need guidance, go here.

Okay, now that that's been mentioned, let's make a Mexican-inspired dinner!

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(Not so intelligently, I waited till almost the end of dinner to snap this photo.)

(We had some store-bought bean thing the other night because I was in a rush, but here's what you should make:)
Pinto's Refried Beans

My former Peterborough housemate Derek Pinto made refried beans a coupl'a times while we lived together and though he jotted down the recipe for me, I lost it. I figure watching him make them gave me enough of an idea of what he did, so I'm winging it myself.

1-2 tbsp. oil
1 medium onion, minced
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. coriander
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
a few dashes cayenne
4 cups cooked pinto beans
1/2 cup (or more) water, bean water or vegetable stock
1 tsp. sea salt
the juice of 1/2 a lime

In a large pot, heat oil over medium and add the onion, chili powder, cumin and coriander. Saute, stirring every so often to prevent sticking, for about five minutes before adding the garlic and cayenne. Continue to saute until onions are soft and translucent. Toss in the beans, water and salt. Heat for a few minutes and then grab a masher (you could use a hand blender is you wanted an even smoother consistency) and mash it all until every bean has been smooshed. Stir in the lime juice and heat for a few minutes more.

Fresh Salsa

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1 small jalapeno chile; stemmed, seeded and minced (about 1 tbsp.)
1/2 small red onion, minced
1 large or 2 small garlic cloves, grated or pressed
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 tbsp. lime juice
4 small ripe organic/local tomatoes (about 1 1/2 lbs.), small dice

Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
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Best to allow flavours to meld for an hour or two before serving.


I stupidly didn't follow the recipe and struggled with dough that was far too moist, but you should see how the recipe goes when you just stick to it. (adapted from Kitchen Witch: Vegan Magic zine by Kara Maia)

1 cup cornmeal
1 1/2 cups water
3 tbsp. oil
1 1/4 cups flour (spelt, whole wheat, etc.)
1 tsp. sea salt

In a small saucepan, bring water to a boil. Stir in cornmeal quickly. Turn heat to low, stir in oil, and cover. Cook for five minutes.
Scrape cornmeal mixture into a bowl and allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Mix in flour and sea salt. The idea is to form a dough that is soft, but not sticky - add in small amounts of water or flour as needed to get the right consistency.
Divide evenly into 12 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and then flatten between your palms or on a floured board. Roll with a rolling pin into 6-7 inch circles. Keep turning dough to keep it round and re-sprinkle board and pin with more flour (or fine cornmeal) as needed.
Cook on each side on hot ungreased griddle until flecked with dark spots. May be made a day or two in advance - heat for a few seconds to make soft and pliable again.

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Now top the tortillas with some refried beans, salsa, fresh minced cilantro and chopped bell peppers, and some organic cheese (if you eat it) and enjoy!
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Wednesday, August 10, 2005

On to the next

This morning I visited Laura's blog and saw her most recent FO - an adaptaion of the Minisweater from Glampyre. I knew immediately that it was my next project, so I hopped on my bike and rode down to Lettuce Knit. Fortunately, Laura was working. Better yet, she'd brought her Mini with her.

I tried it on. (Trying on before knitting is very important to me - even at the risk of looking like a copycat.)
It was hottttt.
(The air was also hot in the shop so I had to take it off pretty fast.)

I decided to make mine in Merino et Soie (yum!), colour 109, which is an eggplanty purple (I'm not really a purple grrl, but I figured I needed to branch away from green).

I knit in the shop for a bit and then headed home. I'm excited about this project.
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Has anyone else made the Minisweater/Boobholder? I'd be interested to be directed to other folks' pictures.
Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Stolen moments

Jill came over last night and I made her a dinner of homemade tortillas and refried beans with fresh salsa. Be sure to check back on Friday for recipes.

After dinner, Johanna dropped by too and I put them both to work - Johanna crossing out a typo* in each remaining copy of the zine, Jill performing a sewn bind-off for my ribbed stole - as I make chocolate chocolate chip cookies (Friday, Friday).
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The cookies were decadent but too sweet. The stole turned out great - thanks Jill!!
Model Jill:
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Model me:
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(Checking up on Johanna's work... thanks Jo!)

Pattern: "fade-out" ribbed stole from Loop-d-Loop by Teva Durham
Yarn: olive coloured Debbie Bliss aran superwash merino (50g, 78 m); 5 balls
Needles: Denise size US 9 circs
Timing: July 20 to August 8 2005

Lessons learned:
~ Tubular cast-ons are neat.
~ 50g balls of yarn are stupid.
~ Debbie Bliss yarn is overrated - or do I mean overpriced?!?
~ The 14 inches of mindless ribbing was just what I wanted/needed.
~ Sewn bind-offs are also neat and stretchy - last night we just wanted cookies more, hence my handing it off to Jill.
~ Not to be worn as a tube top - the wearer will look like she's gained 30 lbs. I have to let you know how it wears around the shoulders once the weather cools down (it's a good antedote to air conditioning for now though).
~ Green is the colour of the year for me (had you noticed already?).

Yay! It's been a while since I've had an FO.

* In Take Back the Knit #2, MK's Fingerless Gloves pattern says "size US 10 / 15mm needles". The "15 mm" part is wrong and should read "5.75 mm" - sorry!!
Monday, August 08, 2005

Bliss-full frustrations and blissful gifts

Saturday night. I had no intention of heading out to Big Primpin' (this monthly queer hip-hop dance party in Parkdale) until 11pm, so I sat and watched a Coldplay concert on Much Music for a bit, and knit. Despite their mainstream popularity, I gotta say I actually find the band quite likeable. I did find however that I needed to try on the ribbed stole during the commercials to keep myself motivated:
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Here's what I'm thinking about the project: First off, what's the deal with 50g balls of yarn? I suppose I've never knit a larger project with 'em, because I've been a little frustrated this time 'round getting only 3-inches in length on the stole for every ball. Another thing - why can't Debbie Bliss make her centrepulls easier to find? (The effort I made on the first ball turned into such a disaster that the wonderfully patient Aven had to step in and assist.) I am glad, however, to be using superwash wool for the first time - it oughta put the garment in a lower maintenance category in my wardrobe.
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Anyhow, Big Primpin' was fun, but by 2:30am I was too tired to dance any longer.

Sunday I went over to visit my dad's family after Stitch n' Bitch. They'd just returned from their annual Manitoulin vacation. I suppose I've conditioned them well because they made a point of seeking out the LYS up there and brought me back these super gifts:
vinage patterns
And this:
Manitoulin Wool
6 balls of vibrantly coloured wool from Bill and Deb Colville's Manitoulin sheep. They're 100g balls, but there's no yardage on the label. I'm guessing it's worsted weight or thinner, but I think I'll bring it down to Lettuce Knit for a second opinion. I already have an idea for the purple....

It's Monday morning now and I'm callin' out from the roof top: KEEP SENDING THOSE ZINE ORDERS IN!! (And if you already received an order and liked it, order more for your family and friends!) Don't delay as I'm on a roll right now - with a mini mailroom set-up in the dining room and Jill coming over to help once a week, the turnaround time's pretty good (as long as your order's straight forward). I've gotten a few e-mails recently saying "Too bad your zine's out of print... maybe I'll get one next time..." but I don't know where the confusion's coming from. There are lots of copies of Take Back the Knit #2 left, as well as all the other zines listed on the ordering page, so hop to it!
Friday, August 05, 2005

Foodie Fridays return!

Slowly but surely I'm getting back into this somewhat regular posting thing again. I thank you all for your patience, and hope you're still reading with a relative amount of interest.

Last night Jill came over. She helped me with envelope-labeling and zine-stapling and in exchange I made her dinner.

Sesame Kale Soba

Have you heard? You supposed to have at least three servings of dark leafy greens each week - that includes spinach, kale, and swiss chard. This recipe's great not only because it's satisfying and flavourful, but it's so darn quick and simple to make!
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(Damn no-close-up-focus camera!)

1 large bunch green or black kale (about 227g / 8oz)
1 227g / 8oz package soba noodles (or spaghetti noodles in a pinch)
2 tbsp. shoyu or tamari soy sauce
2 tbsp. toasted sesame oil
2 tbsp. sesame seeds - lightly toasted
1 large clove garlic, grated or pressed
generous grindings of the black pepper mill

Bring a large pot of water to boil. While the water's heating, wash kale carefully. Remove think stem ends and discard. Then chop kale to a size you'd like to eat. Add noodles to boiling water and cook for 4 minutes. Add kale to the same pot and stir it in. Continue cooking until noodles are al dente. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, oil, seeds, pepper and garlic. Pour dressing on top of noodles and kale. Toss gently and serve.

Now for some general chit-chat:
Yesterday I went on a little LYS spree and picked up these lovely things:
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(clockwise from top left: Interweave Knits fall issue, Sweater Stone, Koigu KPPPM, Stitch 'n Bitch knitter's journal)
It feels like forever since I've purchased anything knit-related (which is, in all honesty a bit of a relief - I was proud of myself for managing to stay away from Romni's 20%-off-in-July sale). Does anyone else have Debbie Stoller's knitting journal? It seems quite smart to me.

Michelle's 23rd birthday party is this evening. I'm baking a 4-layer version of the Chocolate Chai Cake.

Also, Richard's coming into town this evening with his less-famous band, The Bell Orchestre. They got a lovely write-up in Now magazine yesterday. I think I have an intellectual crush on Sarah Liss.

PS. Jodi got her zines in the mail yesterday, so I'm assuming some of the rest of you have too. Please be sure to let me know if you post about it.
Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Casual Tuesdays

The summer I was thirteen, my parents flew down to Bermuda for a week and left me to stay with my best friend. The second the airport taxi drove away, I raced downstairs to the fridge and pulled out this half-cheesecake that was in there and ate the whole thing at once. Last night had kind of the same feeling. My friends left for New Brunswick for a month, leaving me their lovely lovely house. I moved in last night, set myself up in front of the widescreen TV (nestled in amongst zines to be collated) and devoured the half-pint of Kensington Market Organic Ice Cream left in their freezer. It's crazy amazing ice cream (they have crazy delicious flavours like cardamom vanilla, blueberry lavender, and chocolate-coffee-cayenne), but it tasted even better knowing that I'd have this house to myself for the entire month.

Today I haven't felt any presure to do much of anything.

I mailed off some zines:
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worked on my ribbed stole:
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(I think I'm gonna tubular cast-on all sorts of things from now on - it's so smart!)

and I stopped by Karma to wish Michael a Happy 42nd Birthday:
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(He's not really into birthdays.) I suppose it wasn't the friendliest to mention that his age is now my age backwards.

I feel optimistic about this month. I think a lot's going to happen...

PS. I added new photos to the BBQ Tofu recipe and the Zine Order page.
Monday, August 01, 2005

A third knit zine?

When I started I didn't really think I'd make a third issue of Take Back the Knit, but now it's seems that I might. Here's all you need to know about how to go about submitting to the zine. Consider it at least - it's fun being published.

Need topic ideas? Here's my wish list:
* a knitting q&a - you can come up with the questions yourself, or ask your friends
* comics and illustrations
* product reviews - yarns, needles (doesn't someone wanna gush about Lantern Moon?), books, magazines and other zines...
* an interview with a knitter (includes your grandma or best friend, a yarn shop owner or employee, a sheep or alpaca farmer, someone famous who knits, etc.)
* how to's - tips, step-by-step explanation of a technique (intarsia, felting, dying, finishing)...
* other small crafty projects, maybe related to spinning, dying, sewing, crocheting, quilting, silkscreening, etc.
* stories about your family's knitting herstory or how you learned to knit
* articles about knitting and feminism, knitting and gender, the d.i.y. movement, knitting in public, veganism and knitting, environmental aspects of knitting, how knitting builds community, your stitch n' bitch group or LYS, seeking out yarn shops while on vacation...
* I would be thrilled if someone creative approached me to discuss, and hopefully design, cover art.
* and of course, patterns (in various levels of difficulty)! wintery projects that come to mind include toques and scarves, mitts and gloves, sweaters, hot water bottle covers (Rachel?), slippers, wooly socks, leg warmers, afghans...

The Knitty Gritty:
The best way to get a feel for what I'm looking for (and what's already been done) is to get yer hot li'l hands on a copy of a previous issues of Take Back the Knit. I am particularly drawn to things with a d.i.y./feminist/punk-rock/hipster/granola-feel, though it's not a must that your submissions emit any one of these vibes. (And when I say "punk-rock," I'm not talkin' literally, necessarily.) I'm not so big on submissions with a Chicken Soupy feel, if you catch my meaning.

Submissions should be seasonally appropriate or non-season specific. (If your submission has a summerier feel I'll just hold on to it for the following issue.)

Submissions should be sent as MS Word attachments. Please don't do any fancy formatting as it likely won't fit with the template I have for the zine. Images should be sent as jpegs (do not include them in the same file as the text, though you may indicate where they should be placed). I am not very tech-savvy, so it's easy to confuse me with anything else.

In the past with zine submissions I've suggested a 1200 word maximum. I'm not super concerned with the word count, just as long as the piece doesn't ramble on.

It's fine to submit previously published work - that includes blog exerpts. A blog post could make a perfectly appropriate piece.

Pieces with accompanying art (line drawings, photos) are preferred, though not required. Patterns, however, do require photos. In regards to sending photos, please scale them down so that they don't take up my entire Inbox.

If your submission is primarily text this doesn't really affect you, but page sizes are 4 1/4" x7" (half of a legal-sized sheet of paper). One piece should typically occupy 1 to 4 pages.

It's fine to mention small businesses owned by kind people who treat their staff and/or animals with care and respect. If you are interested in advertising space in the zine, please contact me.

Include a biography of no more than 60 words written in the first person (this is new, it used to be third person). It might sound something like this:
"More than a dozen zines under my belt now, and being published still gets me giddy. I spend most of my days baking or knitting or pickin' up after kids, and trying to find a comfortable middleground between Martha Stewart and Kim Gordon. I can be reached through my weblog, Domestic Affair (http://domesticaffair.blogspot.com)."

Please get someone else to read your piece over before your send it off (for clarity, spelling, grammar, etc.). Note: spelling should be Canadian, not American. This includes words like "fibre", "colour", "centre", "metre", "neighbourhood", "tonne", etc. With patterns, be sure to include US and mm needle sizing, as well as yardage and metres for yarn.

If your piece is printed in the zine, you receive a free copy of the publication.

I welcome questions and topic proposals before pieces are sent in, but within reason. Is this okay? Is this okay? Is this okay? will not fly for me. I'm pretty busy and try to spend as little unnecessary time on the computer as possible, so please read the guidelines carefully (they're not that tricky) and try to figure things out yerself.

I hope I haven't overwhelmed you with all this information....

SUBMISSIONS ARE DUE MONDAY AUGUST 29 2005, and submissions received on or before that date are given priority.
Send 'em to takebacktheknit AT gmail DOT com .
The zine'll hopefully be in print by early-mid October.

Great! Now bring it on!
(And, fellow knit-bloggers, it'd be great if you wanted to mention this call for submissions on your site too. Thank you kindly!)

"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!



    foodie fridays (posts with recipes)

    the tuesday review


    * Fasting and Cleansing
    * Spring Cleansing
    * Warming Up to Better Digestion
    * Kick a Cold
    * Wholesome Holiday Feasts
    * Realistic Resolutions: Developing a Wellness Plan You Can Actually Stick To
    * Grains / Wheat Alternatives
    * Vermicomposting
    * A Foodie's Guide to Scotland

    free knitting patterns

    Unbiased Scarf
    Cozy Cabled Toque

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    Monday starts a month of more deliberate health-se...
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    New Year's Special, part 1: Thanks for 2011
    Give a gift, get a GIFT FROM ME!
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    Wednesday Q&A: Freezing Up


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    plant-based: veg blogs
    bittersweet blog
    cake maker to the stars
    the conscious kitchen
    a crafty vegan
    the discerning brute
    eat me, delicious
    everyday dish
    fake sheep
    get sconed!
    have cake, will travel!
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    lunch box bunch
    101 cookbooks
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    28 cooks
    the urban housewife
    vegan knitting (and then some...)
    vegan blog tracker
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    veg cooking blog
    we like it raw
    what the hell does a vegan eat anyway?
    world vegetarian
    yellow rose recipes
    your vegan mom

    in the loop: take back the knit contributors' blogs...
    cosmicpluto knits!
    everyone is doomed
    is it a sweater yet?
    jodi's weblog
    knit freak
    knit wit
    mason-dixon knitting
    mk carroll
    pens and needles
    sweet little domestic life
    titanium rose
    tricky tricot
    a view from sierra county
    yarn harlot

    other blogs...
    bienvenue a mon monde
    brainy lady
    dirty sugar cookies
    domestically challenged
    fig and plum
    french word-a-day
    knit and tonic
    lovely purls
    men knit.net
    michelle knits
    montreal knits
    sock crazy
    super eggplant
    ten thousand stories
    you grow girl

    veg-specific resources... (see also FOOD below)
    Happy Cow (veg restaurant guide, etc.)
    In a Vegetarian Kitchen
    superVegan (NYC)
    Toronto Vegetarian Association
    Taste Better
    Vegetarians in Paradise
    The Vegetarian Resource Group

    food related...
    The Biodynamic Agricultural Association
    Canadian Organic Growers
    Caroline Dupont
    The Center for Food Safety
    Cornucopia Institute
    David Wolfe (raw foods)
    Euphoric Organics
    Family Farm Defenders
    farmers' markets in Toronto
    Farmers' Markets Ontario
    Food First
    Food Routes
    Forever Healthy
    The Garden Diet
    The Global Gourmet
    Go Dairy Free
    Greenpeace Shopper's Guide: How to Avoid Genetically Engineered Food
    International Federation of Agriculture Movements
    Karma Food Co-op (Toronto)
    Living Nutrition
    Local Harvest
    The Meatrix
    Mighty Foods
    Mollie Katzen
    Ontario Natural Food Co-op
    Organic Consumers Association
    Organic Volunteers
    Park Slope Food Co-op (Brooklyn, NY)
    Raw Family
    Raw School
    Real (Raw) Milk
    Rebecca Wood
    Santropol Roulant (Montreal)
    Shazzie (raw foods, UK)
    Slow Food
    D. Smith & Son Two Century Farm (amazing u-pick soft fruit near Grimsby ON!)
    Store Wars
    Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education
    Toronto Food Policy Council
    TransFair Canada
    True Food Network
    World's Healthiest Foods
    World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF Canada)

    Co-op La Maison Verte (Montreal)
    The Earth Council
    Global Resource Action Center for the Environment
    Greenpeace Canada
    Greenpeace International
    International Dark Sky Association
    Living Tree Paper Company
    The Rooftop Gardens Project (Montreal)
    Santropol Roulant (Montreal)
    Sierra Club of Canada
    Small Planet Fund
    Soil Association (UK)
    Spacing: covering toronto's urban landscape
    Toronto Environmental Alliance
    Toronto Renewable Energy Co-operative
    Voice Yourself

    'alternative' health
    Alive Magazine
    Association of Ontario Midwives
    Association of Perinatal Naturopathic Doctors
    Canadian Association of Naturopahic Doctors
    Canadian College of Naturopahic Medicine
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    Corpus Diem naturopathic clinic (Montreal)
    DONA International (doula association)
    Clinique Elementerre (Montreal)
    Engender Health: Improving Women's Health Worldwide
    Fertility Awareness Method
    Harmony Health Centre (Montreal)
    Hassle Free Clinic (Toronto)
    Head & Hands youth clinic (Montreal)
    The Healthy Breast Program
    Holistic Online
    International Institute of Concern for Public Health
    Kokoro Do Jo Zen Shiatsu Therapy and Acupuncture (Toronto)
    Living with Our Fertility
    Dr. Mercola
    National Network on Environments and Women's Health
    Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors
    Scarleteen (Sexual Health for Teens)
    360 Health Care (Toronto)
    Whole Health MD
    Women's Healthy Environments Network

    knitting & craft related...
    church of craft
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    get crafty
    oh my stars
    revolutionary knitting circle
    super naturale
    stitch'n'bitch groups

    zines/indie media...
    Microcosm Publishing
    projet Mobilivre/Bookmobile project
    Rabble: news for the rest of us

    inspiring ladies...
    Action Grrrlz
    Ayun Halliday
    Bitch Magazine
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    Inga Muscio
    Kristin Sjaarda
    Margaret Cho
    Michelle Tea
    Sarah Merry
    Shameless Magazine
    You Grow Girl: Gardening for the People

    Fellowship for Intentional Communities
    Free Will Astrology
    Ontario Women's Directorate
    Oxfam Canada
    Public Dreams Society(Vancouver)
    The Ruckus Society
    Urban Harvest
    Vipassana Meditation