Friday, December 6, 2013


Our grey, cold, melancholy (OK, Brenda--just plain crappy) weather continues. At times like this, it's necessary to take positive steps to stay warm and cheerful. I'm working on a design that's going to be almost like a cocoon. Loose, drapey, and meant for layering over lighter woolly things. If you're old enough, you'll remember the 80s loose look--big shoulder pads, long loose sweaters with (ugh!) ribbing at the bottom that pulled in and seemed to emphasize tummies and bottoms. Like wearing a bag. Thank goodness we've moved away from that! My cocoon jacket is meant to enhance my shape (or lack therof), while at the same time serving its purpose of keeping me toasty through the worst of winter. It's top down, because I want to get the fit just right, and I've just this morning taken the shoulder stitches out of their provisional cast-ons and joined them, right sides together, with a three-needle bind-off. Because I don't want the neckline to stretch, I extended the binding off to include the neckline. Later, I'll simply pick up for the neck border directly from those bound off stitches.

Above, I think you can see the nice slope on the shoulders created by a bunch of short rows. The whole thing has made what might have been a boring few days of knitting into something much more interesting. 
FYI, this is Cascade Eco Wool in "Vanilla", a truly lovely pale shade that's somehow completely different and infinitely nicer than "Ecru".
Since the purpose of uniting everything was to enable me to try it on, I did just that,

although I won't win any prizes in the "selfie" category of photography!

Another part of the "staying warm" strategy is this:

Soup is so much better than salad as a way of eating vegetables in winter. I have a general formula for making vegetable soup. 

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped, or 1 leek sliced thin
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 stick of celery, chopped
6 c water
2 c cooked beans (in this case, kidney beans)
2 c chopped non-starchy vegetables (in this case, zucchini and red pepper)
1 c chopped starchy vegetable ( here, frozen corn, no chopping necessary)
1 c chopped greens (here, kale)
1/4 c (1/2 can) tomato paste
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
herbs and/or spices of your choice (here, 1/2 tsp dried basil and 1/2 tsp dried oregano)

Saute the onion, carrot, and celery in the olive oil for a few minutes until softened. Add the tomato paste and stir for about a minute. Add everything else and simmer for about 45 minutes.