Thursday, February 26, 2009

In my mailbox

What could be more exciting than a new pattern magazine that you have never seen before? Berry from Couture Frenzy had a give away a couple of weeks ago and I won!!. I have quickly looked through it and found many designs that I love, next step is choosing one to make. Thank you Berry! Muchisimas gracias!!

I also took advantage of the anniversary sale at Gorgeous Fabrics and got two knits, the printed polyester is for a dress and top. The top is to coordinate with the blue bamboo knit which I plan on making into the famous Burda jumper. Now I have to figure out in which issue of the magazine the pattern came...anyone knows off the top of their head?

Monday, February 23, 2009

What has been going on...

I finished Burda WOF 12/2008 knit top below a while ago. I really like the way it turned out, when I saw it I knew I had the perfect fabric in my stash for it. It has been so cold here that I haven't had a chance to wear it yet, as soon as I do I'll take a picture.

I tried to cut out Burda WOF 10/2008 118 out of a geometric woven print I've had for a while but didn't have enough fabric, so this pattern has been put aside.

I did cut from the same issue 114 out of the second cut of rayon knit I found at Joann's and now it is waiting to be sewn(I traced the pattern for the dress and marked the hem for the top, since I want to make the dress also)

I also started a knitting project that will be a shop model for Large Marge's Yarn Shop. If you are local, stop by and take a look, there are many wonderful yarns not found anywhere else locally including Rowan.

In family news....My husband's birthday was yesterday and to celebrate we all went snow tubing at Whitetail. What fun! I'm not a winter/snow person, but I love tubing. It requires no skills and if you dress warmly it is a blast.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The mystery sewing machine

My brother and his wife were taking a walk in their neighborhood in north Jersey and found this lovely machine with its table on the sidewalk. They picked it up and brought it home. At first they thought SIL's Featherweight might fit in the table (are there any tables out there for the Featherweights?) but no luck so they asked me if I wanted the machine...of course!!

My brother hasn't been able to find a model number so that I can find the manual and find more info. Do any of you have any idea if there are any marks or branding that will help me out?

Thanks for any help!

ETA: Well, I was able to find through the Singer Website by inputting the serial number that my machine is Model or class 66 made around the 1950's. The confusing part is that there are several model 66 made in different years so I'll have to do more research... Here is a good website with more details on this model

International Sewing Machines Collectors Society

I also found helpful this entry:

Hill Country of Monroe County Mississippi

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Michael Kors Boxy Cardigan

This pattern is from the Spring/Summer 2007 Vogue Knitting. I decided on this project after seeing Elann's version using their linen yarn Linus. I have seen a lot of slouchy vests both in woven fabric and knits, and I thought this would be a fun piece to play with layering.

This is Elann's version with Linus

I used a lot less yarn that Elann recommended, but maybe because I went up in needle size. I think my cardigan fabric looks less dense than theirs. I wasn't too sure about this one once it was finished but I like it, especially with the belt.

The directions are not the best and the pieces are oddly shaped,. I know I had to modify the front pieces because their decreases were not right. All in all, this is not a difficult project and produces a trendy garment.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

On my knitting

I have been spending a lot of time going through my knitting books and magazines to find a pattern for this beautiful merino wool from Debbie Bliss. I originally bought it for a ribbed cardigan from one of her books, but now I think the cardigan will be too slouchy and shapeless for my taste. I have at least 4 patterns in the running when I make up my mind I'll let you know. I have come to the conclusion that I am very attracted to Shirley Paden and Norah Gaughan designs.

Two of the designs I just love are from Vogue Knitting Fall 2008

and Vogue Knitting Winter 2008/2009

In between winter knitting projects I have been working in my version of Knitty's Shetland Shorty. The yarn is a cotton, Filati FF Sailor, that I bought by the bag at Elann sometime last spring. I love the way it is turning out, I think the lace pattern is very pretty. I have ripped it out quite a few times, you really have to pay attention when knitting it.

One more picture

Today the temperatures reached the high 50's WooHoo!!!!So we took a walk in one of our county parks, you can see how cold it is has been even though snow and ice were melting everywhere, the lake in its majority remained frozen.

I hope you had a sunny day!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Quinoa Vegetarian Paella

In my quest to include more vegetarian dishes in my family's menu, two days ago I used this recipe and made this delicious paella. Quinoa is a grain that vegetarians love because of its high protein content. It is very similar to rice but cooks a lot faster and it is more nutritious. I recently discovered the FatFree Vegan Kitchen blog and although I have only tried the paella recipe there are many other tempting recipes.

I'm re-printing the recipe below to indicate the changes I made.

Quinoa Vegetable Paella

1 onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 1/2 cup quinoa

1/2 teaspoon saffron, crushed (the recipe calls for 1/4 tsp but I have found that the saffron is very mild)

2 teaspoons Spanish smoked paprika

1 teaspoon ground cumin (original is 1/2tsp, I love cumin!)

1 tsp thyme leaves (my addition)

1 tsp tarragon (my addition)

dash cayenne (I added hot pepper flakes instead)

1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes (mine had chopped green chiles)

1 red or yellow bell pepper, chopped

1 14-ounce can light red kidney beans, rinsed and drained ( I skipped the beans, I wanted to add chick peas but didn't have them in my pantry)

2 3/4 - 3 cups vegetable broth

2 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced (I didn't have zucchini so I added green beans instead, about 1 1/2 - 2 cups of cut pieces)

1 cup fresh or frozen peas

1 can artichoke hearts, rinsed and cut into quarters

Put the quinoa into a large bowl. Cover with water and stir well to wash the grain. Pour off the water and then repeat the washing process. You may also put the quinoa into a fine mesh strainer and rinse thoroughly.

Sauté onion and garlic in a deep non-stick skillet with a little water until soft. (I use my inconveniently-named "chicken fryer" for this.) Add the quinoa and saffron and cook, stirring, for another 2 minutes. Add paprika, cumin, cayenne, tomatoes, peppers, beans, and 2 3/4 cups vegetable broth (because I used green beans I added them in this step). Bring to a boil, reduce heat to very low, and cook covered for 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes, check to see if more broth is needed. If it looks dry, add the remaining vegetable broth. Place the zucchini on top of the quinoa and re-cover. Cook for about 5 more minutes, until quinoa is done. Remove the cover, stir in the peas ( I added my frozen peas to the step where the green beans were added), and cook uncovered until peas are warm and all liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes. Arrange the artichoke hearts on the top and serve. Add salt at the table, if necessary.

Makes about 6 servings.

Per serving: 288 Calories (kcal); 3 g Total Fat; (9% calories from fat); 13 g Protein; 55 g Carbohydrate; 0 mg Cholesterol; 307 mg Sodium; 10 g Fiber


Monday, February 02, 2009

Pattern Review Burda WOF 5-2004 # 104A

I find it wonderful that I can go to a Burda pattern magazine from 5 years ago and find a very current style top (at least I think so). Because it is so old I could not find the line drawing of it on their site so below is my poor picture.

I traced and modified this pattern, maybe not five years ago, but still a few years ago. I remember that the fabric I had intended for this top, similar to the one shown on the magazine came up short (on yardage) and so it has lingered in my working patterns box.

The berry rayon knit I ended up using I bought at Joann's; I couldn't believe they had rayon knits, so I also bought a tan color that is now waiting to be sewn. I really like the way the top turned out. The twist was not hard to figure out following Burda's instructions. I sewed the opening below the knot higher by about an inch and a half (it was really low!). The twist when the top is not on looks like it will be fussy to keep straight, but once you have it on you arrange it to your liking and it will stay that way (this top has very little ease and it fits nice and snug around the chest area). I really like the raglan sleeves in this design and this type of sleeve has shown up a lot in the latest issues of Burda.