Sunday, March 29, 2015

Springtime Bandit for 2015

My first knitting project for 2015 is the Springtime Bandit by Kate Gagnon Osborn.  How many have I made already?  Five.  So this will be number six!  I can't help it.  I love a good pattern repeat that is easy on the eyes as well as easy to memorize.  There's something comforting about the familiar.  And I can't let the leftover Madelinetosh sock yarn in Iris or the Malabrigo sock yarn just sit in my stash unloved.  They make a perfect Springtime Bandit as I'm changing yarns every two rows.  Take a look:

I hope your knitting is bringing a smile to your day.  I know these yarns and colors are making me smile just looking at them.  I'm using my trusty printed Excel chart for the pattern repeats.  How do I love Excel...let me count the ways.  Happy Spring!

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Coming Out of Hibernation...Hello 2015!

The past several weeks have been a time of reflection and relaxation.  I should bring you up to date on the past year.  In case it's been a while since we last spoke, I have been in graduate school for the past two years, and last month I passed the comprehensive exam for the Master's in Public Administration, so I have officially completed graduate school!  It feels like this two year marathon is finally finished, and I can now shift my focus on areas of my life that have been neglected - things like spending more time with my family, exercising, knitting, cooking, baking, reading for pleasure, journaling, photography, and blogging.  The MPA program was worthwhile both in terms of time and money, the instructors were very encouraging and teaching focused, and the curriculum was an ideal balance of theory and practice.  I also met some incredibly talented and wonderful colleagues.  Perhaps one of the most rewarding benefits of being a student again was that I got my passion back for learning...it was something that I lost somewhere along the way and needed to rekindle.  The very nature of classroom interaction, inquiry, of engaging in discussion, debate, analysis, and application reminded me of how much I love being a student.  The process of acquiring new knowledge through the means of inquiry and having a curiosity about the world has a transforming quality - as every educational experience ought to be.  At the same time, I'm relieved to get back to giving attention to things I truly have missed the luxury of indulging in.  And speaking of indulging...we will be indulging in a few tasty things for Game Day that I've been testing out in the kitchen.  Please read on for more details.

I made Kalua Pork using two separate methods:  oven method and crockpot method.  Hubby and I love both methods.  It's amazing how three ingredients (pork shoulder, Hawaiian salt, and liquid smoke can taste so good!

So the Game Day menu will be Kalua pork, steamed rice, macaroni salad, pineapple-upside down cake, and pineapple martinis.

I'll be back later with more food highlights and other food discoveries.  For now I will leave you with this latest appetizer:  fried zucchini corn sopes.