Tuesday, January 17, 2006

makin' stuff

i haven't been knitting but i have been makin' stuff. i finished one legwarmer and i'm very pleased with myself and my seaming skillz. i have to say that this legwarmer is the best legwarmer i've ever seen in person (though i bet the legwarmers michelle makes are better).

i've been cooking more than usual. friday night i made doggie cookies from a "recipe" i made up. my dog has food allergies and she can't have wheat, which is in most dog treats. so i make her vegan doggie cookies out of peanut butter, molasses, oats, oat flour, baking powder, oil, and carrot "chips." she adores them. i also made human cookies, but from a mix. saturday, i baked up a big pan of mexican style casserole.

here's my "recipe" for mexican style casserole: i layer the bottom of a big casserole dish with polenta slices drizzled with some olive oil. then i toss chopped zucchini, chopped broccoli, chopped carrots, corn, and pinto beans with salsa, hot sauce, garlic, cumin seeds, cinnamon, and salt and pepper. pour the veggies on top of the polenta, cover, and bake for about an hour until veggies are cooked. serve with a dollop of vegan sour cream.

sunday i started to hem a pair of pants for travis. he found a really nice pair of ben sherman slacks at tj maxx but they were way too long. it's taking me a while to hem. first, because i was shortening them by about 4 inches, i had to cut off several inches of fabric and figure out how to finish off the cut ends. i had never done that before, usually i just let out the hem and raise it like an inch without cutting the fabric. i have no idea what the correct way to finish off fabric is, and i doubt i have the tools to accomplish the correct method anyway. it looked like the end that i cut off had been finished with a serger and i definitely do not own a serger.

what i ended up doing is use the "zig zag" feature on my sewing machine to create a dense line beyond which the fabric hopefully won't fray (it was trav's idea) and then cut the fabric about a quarter of inch beyond the line. i hope that works. obviously, it doesn't look too pretty but no one will see it. then, i was kind of obsessive about measuring and pinning the hems correctly. so by the time i actually started hemming i didn't have time to get much done!

i still haven't found the yarn i need to finish my poncho yet. i will probably have to order it. while i was at ac moore looking for the yarn i bought size 8 needles and some lion jiffy to make a hat with. i want to make myself a really warm hat. none of my winter hats keep out the cold wind. the jiffy yarn looks super warm, and i want to knit it as tight as i can to make it dense and cozy. the 8s might be too small, but i thought i'd give it a try.

tonight i want to finish the second leg warmer so that i can give them to cameron on friday. i think now that i know what i'm doing, it will go much faster. i don't know why i was so scared of seaming -- as long as i remember to seam the correct pieces, it's actually pretty easy. later this week i want to finish the pants and swatch the lion jiffy for my warm hat.


Blogger bitterknitter said...

Let us know how the Jiffy works for a hat. My winter hat is warm as long as it isn't windy outside :)

The zig-zag should be fine on the pants, it is one method of finishing a seam. Another way would be to cut off most of the excess (leave an inch or a bit more), turn the end under a bit (1/4 inch or so) and sew it, then turn it under again to make it the length you want (I usually do 1/2-3/4 inch) and hem that.

Wed Jan 18, 10:24:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous cameron said...

mmm that caserole sounds great. As you know, I have been playing with a bunch of new recipes (I've never been much of a cook).

I used my wok last night (the existance of the wok is another story) but I have never successfully cooked anything. Jon, though, was much better at it and we made a yummy stir-fry! It was the first thing I've made lately that tasted like anything. But I am committed to improving the vegan mac n' cheese.

Wed Jan 18, 10:54:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger jen said...

i might sew a liner for the jiffy hat if it still isn't warm enough! i could get some nice polarfleece type fabric for the lining.

thanks for the tips on finishing a seam, emily. i considered the folding over technique, but for some reason i imagined that this would drape nicer. well, i guess it doesn't matter -- as long as i do the hem part well the rest is hidden. and i'm actually good at doing the hem.

cameron, i can fix your vegan mac and cheese. the problem was that it had no flavor, right? the one thing i am good at with cooking is seasoning things.

what recipe did you use? do you have "the uncheese cookbook" by jo stepaniak? i've never used it but i hear it's good for making things like vegan mac and cheese.

that's cool that you have a wok. i don't cook often enough to justify having one, and we have no space for one anyway.

Wed Jan 18, 11:18:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger vania said...

oh my goodness you're busy. I don't know where to begin: That Mexican polenta dish sounds amazing. Great work! And good for you for hemming pants - i'm still a little scared of that.

Wed Jan 18, 12:02:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous travis said...

let me tell you, the mexican polenta dish is good. mmmm mmmm, i wish i had some right now! it is especially delicious with vegan sour cream.

Wed Jan 18, 12:15:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger jen said...

i learned to hem from an article in Bust magazine! i love Bust.

the only trick to hemming is being super patient. first, you have to do a good job of pinning it up nice and perfect. then, you just have to take your time with the hemming and continue to pay attention to the tiny details even though it's taking you so long.

at least, that's my trick for hemming! actually, i'm starting to learn that the "trick" to most crafting is to be patient and focused on details. the actual techniques (knitting, seaming, hemming, machine sewing) are easy if you take your time and concentrate on them.

Wed Jan 18, 12:29:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous cameron said...

Ya know. I have always thought about buying a sewing machine... of course at the moment I have no space (for the wok either but it is a remnant of my LA days). Actually I got dragged to the Le Crucet outlet several years ago and was held hostage for so long that I came home with a wok and 3 pots! Now I have no room for them, they can't go in the dishwasher, and they are so damn heavy I am positive I will drop one on my head some day. But nonetheless...yummy stir fry.

Yes, the mac n' cheese had the perfect consistency and zero flavor. Jon and I are thinking some soy sauce, a little prepared mustard (the recipe called for dry only) and more miso. But all suggestions are more than welcome!

And no, I don't have that cookbook, but anything that I can make that resembles something with cheese will make me very happy!

Wed Jan 18, 04:56:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger michelleknits said...

Wow, I was just looking at my jiffy the other day and saying, "why don't I stop being such a snob and use you?" I mean, I actually really like that stiff acrylic-y feel in old sweaters, so what was the deal with me anyway? So, I'm either going to think of something to make with it (I just bound off my first ever knitted object from several years ago, "the scarf that became a swatch") or give it to you. I'll let you know. When I started with Jiffy, I used 8s, and that still seems about right to me. Oh, and you are always up to so much fun. Such yummy food talk makes me hungry. And lastly, the only way for us to know who make the best legwarmers this side of the rockies (because you know, I bet someone in Portland knits a really mean legwarmer!!!) is to meet in person! Wooo a haa ha ha ha! I'll settle for seeing them on the internet when they're finished!

Wed Jan 18, 05:20:00 PM GMT-5  

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