Dove Knits

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Happy blogaversary to me!

Unbelievable -- it's already been a year since I've started this blog. It's been fun.

What better way to celebrate than to show you my latest WIP?

It's a teddy bear. It will eventually be a pajama teddy bear with bathrobe, from Debbie Bliss's Teddy Bears. I just couldn't resist all the adorable details, like the pockets on the PJs. So I'm making her for my best friend's birthday. It'll be late, and that's ok with both of us.

If the yarn looks familiar, it is. I was left with nearly 4 extra skeins of Wool of the Andes from my dad's vest (which he received and liked, by the way), so this is sort of stash-busting, except the yarn hasn't sat around long enough to be a stash. But anyway, this teddy neatly took care of three of the skeins.

Her PJs are going to be Caron Simply Soft in grape, and I'm making them pinstriped rather than plaid because that would leave me with far, far too many ends to weave in. I also knit the teddy herself in the round, combining pieces and ignoring DB's instructions to break off yarn and restart again, because I didn't want to end up with a mess of pieces like I did last time (scroll down). The PJs are being worked similarly, and I'm not too thrilled with them at the moment, but we'll see.

I'd have a blogaversary contest, but, frankly, I have no prize ideas. On the bright side, since I have a loyal but small readership, just about half of you would get prizes if I did have a contest! Oh well, maybe another day.


Tuesday, March 20, 2007

It's done! It's done!

Yes, folks, with no time to spare, the DNA vest has been knitted, finished, washed, blocked, and dried! Just in time to be mailed out tomorrow to, hopefully, arrive in Atlanta by Saturday (Dad's birthday is Sunday).

Not too bad, if I say so myself:

The above picture is a HORRIBLY inaccurate representation of the color. It is definitely not powder-blue-ish; it's dark gray. Better depiction of color, and a detail of the nifty cable and neck decreases, here:

And modeled by the dashing Pizzacutter, although he's a bit bigger than my dad.

So, to recap:

FO: DNA cable vest for my dad
Pattern: Mostly my own, using the nifty DNA helix pattern and assisted by this pattern from Berocco
Yarn: Knitpicks Wool of the Andes in Mist, about 8 skeins. I originally ordered 8 skeins, then freaked out that that won't be enough and ordered 4 more. The 8 was enough; I could have unraveled the swatches I made, but instead I used one of the new balls. I'm currently destashing the remnants of this with a Debbie Bliss teddy bear for my bestest friend

Well, let's see. I finished knitting the front Sunday afternoon and joined the shoulders and knit up the neck, only to realize that the neck was too small. Like, can't get over your head sort of small. So I had to rip out the neck band, undo the shoulders, frog the entire front, and reknit it. I HAD to get this thing washed Sunday night, or else it wouldn't have dried to be shipped on Wednesday, so from 7 pm till 1 am I was firmly rooted to the couch, knitting, joining, knitting, weaving in ends, and some more knitting. I finally washed it and pinned it out to block at 2:30, giving me enough time to get 5 hours of sleep for work. Yay. Well worth it, though!

The sucker grew horrendously during washing, especially in length. After some panic, I patted it to desired length, and left. It seems to be ok now.

I really, really loved every minute of this one. Even the reknitting. And I am so pleased with how it turned out, though I'm afraid the armholes are just a bit too snug. See how the bunch Pizzacutter's sleeves? But my dad is a smaller guy with smaller shirts, so...

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Sunday, March 18, 2007

Almost there!

That's the whole completed body up to the armhole split. I was happily surprised that my calculations were, indeed, correct, and that it does, in fact, measure 21.5 inches across (the desired 43 inches around), and the front, 8 stitched larger than the back, lines up nicely with the back. YAY for math!

I'd be done with this by now, but of course, I hit a couple of snags:

1. In this picture, I split off and knit the back exactly as it's described for this pattern. It worked well. BUT I did my decreases all on the first two stitches. That made for messy edges which I, of course, ignored until I had knit the whole back and was halfway up the front. I then decided I couldn't live with said messiness, and frogged the front and back and redid them.

2. I decided that the way the neck was done in the pattern linked above would give too low-cut a neck. So I started mine a whole two inches higher. Which was fine, except when I (re)knit the front, back, joined the shoulders, and picked up and knit the neckband, that made the neck so tight, I couldn't pull it over my head. Frrrroooooggggg.

3. There were also several other instances of frogging and reknitting while I tried to establish the decreases that would look the nicest.'s coming out so nicely! I love the way the cable is working out, and the way the 4-stitch cables frame the DNA. I love that it actually should fit! I love that I've (almost) knit something, an adult garment, nonetheless, that I pretty much designed myself. Obviously, I've followed stuff from that pattern, but I did the math, the layout, and everything. And really, there are only so many ways to decrease armholes and a V-neck.


Monday, March 12, 2007

Lenten recipes

I'm Orthodox Christian, and right now, we're in the middle of Great Lent. That means some interesting eating restrictions, and I've heard several people wonder about what to make for dinner.

I'm also vegetarian, and most of the things I cook have no animal ingredients. So I decided I'd post some of my recipes for anyone who wants them. Obviously, feel free to modify them!

Apparently, the only thing I know how to cook is soup, though. But all of my recipes are very easy (really, do you think I'll spend more time in the kitchen than necessary? There's knitting to be done!).

Anyway, here goes. Let me know if you try any of these!

Freezable, reheatable lunch burritos:

(Number of servings will vary. See below.)


-1 cup cooked rice
-1 can refried beans (8 oz)
-2 tomatoes, diced and seeded
-1/2 cup salsa, drained as much as possible
-1 pack of tortillas (my pack had 10)
-Cayenne pepper, black pepper, salt to taste

In a big bowl, mush refried beans with the spices. Add rice, tomatoes, and salsa, and mix until relatively homogenous. Cut pieces of foil, wax paper, or plastic wrap to about 12 inches square. Place a tortilla in the middle of each. Fill tortillas with rice/bean/veggie mixture -- I used two heaping spoonfulls per tortilla, but it's up to you. Bend top and bottom of tortilla slightly towards the center. Now fold the sides over each other to complete the burrito, and roll tightly in foil.

Depending on how big your tortillas are (mine were about 8 inch diameter) and how loosely you stuff these, you may make 8-10. For larger tortillas, I'm guessing this will make about 4-6.

Eat right away, or freeze until needed. I love taking these for lunch. They're easy and filling.

To defrost, unwrap from the foil, wrap loosely in a paper towel, and microwave on high for about 1 minute.

Pea Soup

(Four generous bowls.)


-1 Tablespoon cooking oil (or olive oil)
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-a couple of slices of onion, chopped
-1 lb bag dried split peas (pick through them. I've almost broken a tooth on a stone in a bag of these!)
-7 cups water
-Salt, pepper, dillweed to taste

In a large pot, sautee the garlic and onion in the oil for a couple of minutes or until they turn caramely-brown. Add water and peas. Add the spices. Cover.

Heat over low heat until water boils. Then continue to cook until peas are nice and mushy (this does take about an hour, but you're not doing anything in the meantime). Stir occasionally (every 10 minutes or so).

Once the peas are nice and mushy, dump the whole thing into a blender and blend until smooth. Serve hot and with toast or oyster crackers.

If you refrigerate this soup, beware. It'll be perfectly edible the next day, but it will resemble green mashed potatoes.

Awesome potato soup:

This was modified from this recipe . My husband LOVES this.

Depending on how much liquid you use, this will make 4-6 servings of VERY hearty soup. Beware, though -- it's spicy.


-6 largeish potatoes
-4 cloves garlic - 2 coarsely chopped, 2 minced
-2 cups veggie broth or water (you will adjust this as necessary)
-1 cup water (or more broth)
-1/2 package frozen peas
-1/2 package frozen corn
-3 tablespoons vegetable oil
-cayenne pepper, salt, black pepper to taste

1. Throw the potatoes into a large pot, cover, and boil until soft. I threw mine in whole and unpeeled (and then peeled the boiled skin off with my fingers, just to make it easier; I washed the pot before readding the ingredients to it), but you can peel them and cut them into LARGE pieces (because you will not be making the soup in this same water).
2. In a blender, combine 3 potatoes (lopped into several large pieces), the chopped cloves of garlic, and veggie broth or water.
3. In a large pot(I used the same one I boiled potatoes in, washed), briefly fry the garlic, peppers, and salt in vegetable oil on low heat.
4. Add the broth/potato blend, still on low heat.
5. Cut the remaining potatoes into chunks -- mine were big because the potatoes were so soft. Add to the broth/potato mixture. Here, if the soup is too thick, add a cup of water or broth. Add more liquid if desired.
6. Add the frozen peas and corn. Simmer until everything is tender and you're hungry.

This soup freezes very well in sealed plastic containers.

Tuesday Night Dinner:

Ok, this one isn't soup! It's a dish we make every week (on Tuesdays!), but when not fasting, we also add goat cheese. It's one of our absolute favorite dishes.

If desired, make quinoa instead of cous-cous. Quinoa has all the amino acids and lots of fiber and iron, and is generally more nutritious. But not everyone likes the taste. Sometimes we mix half couscous and half quinoa.

This serves 2-3. We eat big portions, though, so it may serve more at your house!


-1 cup dry couscous, to be prepared per package directions.
-1/2 package frozen spinach
-1 tomato
-lemon juice and/or lime juice
-pine nuts if desired

1. Cook couscous per package directions (boil 1 cup of water per cup of couscous. Turn off heat. Add couscous, cover, and let sit until fluffy, or about 5 minutes). If desired, add 2 tablespoons of lemon or lime juice to the water for cooking couscous.
2. Boil enough water to cover the spinach, and add spinach. Cook until it's fully thawed.
3. Dice the tomato.
4. Drain spinach and mix with the couscous and tomato. Top with pine nuts, if desired (and goat cheese when not fasting).

Pizzacutter's rice and beans

Also not a soup! My husband's recipe. The mandarin oranges in this, besides adding great taste, also help your body absorb iron from the beans (thanks, Vitamin C!)


-Two cups cooked rice
-1 8-oz can red beans, black beans, or whatever kind of beans you want except green beans
-1 8 oz can apricot halves
-1 8 oz can Mandarin oranges

Ok, folks, this one is really easy to make.


Open all the cans. Drain beans, apricots, and oranges. Chop the apricots some more. Mix everything together. Eat. Yay!

My mom's bean and potato soup:

Ok, this isn't really a recipe, because I haven't tried to cook it yet! But basically my mom diced a couple of potatoes, opened a can of beans, and cooked them together until they were nice and tender. Then she sauteed a few pieces of onion in some olive oil (reserve recipe for oil days!) and added the oil and onion to the soup. It was SO GOOD.

And, finally:

Vegan fruit bread:

This has seen many, many incarnations. I love it. It does tend to come out quite thick and dense, but to me, that's a plus. Jenny, this is the recipe for the bread we brought over for y'all that one time.

Anyway, I always make it a bit different every time, depending on what I do and do not have/feel like using at the time. Hence, I've divided the recipe into core ingredients (ones you must use) and extras. Feel free to use all or none of the extras, and/or add your own.

Core ingredients:
-1 cup applesauce (unsweetened)
-3/4 cup sugar (white or brown; you can easily use less, and I usually use alot less, as the applesauce and bananas are very sweet anyway. Also can use 1/2 cup honey or molasses.)
-2 mushed bananas
-2.5 cups whole wheat flour (use half wheat and half white, or all white if you want. The all-wheat version is denser)
-2 teaspoons baking soda
-0.5 teaspoons salt
-Optional: 1-3 tablespoon vegetable oil (for moistness)

Extras (use all, some, or none):

-1/3 cup wheat germ
-1/2 cup flax seeds
-1 large apple, diced (I didn't bother to peel it)
-1 cup walnuts
-1/2 cup chopped dried figs
-Whatever else your little heart desires :)

1. Preheat oven to 350F
2. Combine applesauce and sugar.
3. Add bananas, flour, salt, and baking soda and stir very well to mix (I don't bother using an electric mixer). Add oil.
4. Stir in the extras
5. Pour into loaf pan (the pan will be very full, so you can split it into two pans, or a pan and some muffin cups).
6. Bake 1 hr - 1 hr 15 min, until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.

Freezes well.

I love this by itself, or, when not fasting, with butter or Earth Balance.

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Friday, March 09, 2007

DNA vest update

I'm liking it so far!

Take a look:
It's been a very fast knit, actually. Since this picture was taken, I've gotten quite a bit farther along, but really, it looks the same. Just longer. About 12 inches from the cast-on edge so far.

I haven't been knitting much. First off, Lent started, which meant extra services at church, and therefore less time at home. Secondly, Lent started, which means I'm no longer watching TV, which means I get bored more quickly when knitting. Thirdly, I've been reading more, and while I CAN knit and read at the same time, I can't do cables. Especially complex cables. But still, even though I've been knitting for an our/hour and a half every day, it's going quickly.

The in-the-round construction is great. First off, I don't have to deal with knitting the plain, boring back. I have the cable panel on every single round, which makes it interesting. Secondly, no purling. I like purling, but it is slower. Thirdly, no purling. I like purling, but it makes for messier-looking stockinette for me. Fourthly, there will be no seaming, and since I'm split-splicing the yarn, there will be almost no finishing. Yay!

The goal is to have the body knit by the 13th, do the armholes and neck by the 16th, so that I can have the thing washed, blocked, and packed by the 20th. Dad's birthday is the 25th. I think I can do it.

Also, I bought yarn. I held out until March, as was my original plan. But I thought I'd need more yarn for Dad's vest, so it had to get ordered now. I also got a bunch of Knitpicks colorcards, and some Shine for a sweater I'm designing to submit to Knitty or Magknits. Yes. Fingers crossed.

On a somewhat different note, we went to Atlanta this past weekend to visit my parents and my brother's family. The daisy dresses I made for my nieces were a great success! The parents loved them, and V (the older niece, 18 months) grabbed hers, ran around the house with it, and then started putting it on over her clothes. I'd say she liked it :)

I tried to get a good picture of her wearing it, but this is the best I could do:

Normally, she looks like this:

I didn't get a picture of K's dress, but imagine one just like the blue one, but in green with blue trim. And smaller.

Finally, my husband is so cute with his nieces...

And the nieces are so cute with each other

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