Knitting for the Fall: Wingspan

About 25 years ago, I knitted a multicolored jewel-toned sweater for DH (this was the 1980s, and Bill Cosby was popularizing really colorful men’s sweaters on The Cosby Show).  I think the pattern was from Calvin Klein, and used DK-weight Reynolds yarn held double.  It was my first time knitting a sweater from sleeve to sleeve: the entire pullover was made up of vertical cable panels, each one a different pattern.  Anyway, DH never wore the sweater because it was too small, although a school friend of mine borrowed it once to wear on a date — and it looked great on her 🙂

Fast forward to last summer, when I dug the sweater out of the “couldn’t bear to part with it” pile and painstakingly took it apart, separating all the doubled strands with The Teenager’s help.  A week ago, I found “Wingspan” — and all its variations — on Ravelry:

The Jewel Wingspan

Pattern:  “Wingspan,” by Maylin of Tri’Coterie Designs, lace variation by Helena Forde.  A wonderful example of a complex-looking pattern that is actually a cinch to knit.  I had no problems with Helena Forde’s pattern, probably because I ignored the lace charts and just followed her written instructions.

Yarn:  DK weight wool/acrylic blend yarn from Reynolds.  I bought the yarn from Nancy Bush’s yarn shop in Salt Lake City, The Wooly West, sadly no longer in business.

Modifications:  I used a different lace pattern in one of the panels, knitted 9 big triangles instead of 8, and used a DK instead of fingering weight yarn.

Thoughts:  Loved the pattern — and I am not a shawl/wrap/scarf -knitting kind of person 🙂  I love being able to reuse all the jewel-toned yarn now in the stash.  It is such a great pattern that I may break the unwritten rule of not knitting anything twice . . .  I am wearing it right now as I type — it is a late summer morning, and I can finally feel the autumn briskness in the air.


CSA Share Week 13:  spinach, collard greens, green onions (gave away), zucchini (gave away), yellow squash, carrots, cucumber (gave away), parsley (gave away), green leaf lettuce, heirloom tomatoes, fingerling potatoes, sweet peppers, corn (gave away), eggs

Recipes:  greens and tomatoes with cumin, roasted carrots/potatoes/squash, creamy tomato pasta sauce, spinach with garlic and raisins

CSA Share Week 12:  spinach, radishes (gave away), green onions, zucchini (gave away), cucumber, yellow squash, carrots, eggplant (gave away), heirloom tomatoes, fingerling potatoes, sweet peppers, jalapeño peppers, corn, Romaine lettuce, eggs

Recipes:  Awendaw bread (from Greene on Greens), roasted carrots, tater tomater pie (from Greene on Greens), roasted fingerling potatoes with spinach/parsley/oregano pesto

Becoming Vegetarian: Eggplant

On the CD player:

40 years . . . .  really?  I remember buying this album in the mid-70s with money from one of the first paychecks I ever earned.  It was a double LP, I had sticker shock when I bought it, and I had it for years until it went missing during one of our many moves.  I still have Neil Diamond’s A Beautiful Noise, a Christmas present from then-BF Tina.

We were shopping at Whole Foods today, and there it was, at the checkout stand.  DH was so shocked by my impulse buy — because he can’t remember the last time I bought a CD, let alone make an impulse purchase that cost more than a couple of bucks — that he didn’t give me a hard time about it.

I am having a really good nostalgia moment 🙂

CSA Share Week 11:  eggplant, corn, heirloom tomatoes, zucchini, crookneck squash, cucumber, green onions, spinach, carrots, Romaine lettuce, Italian parsley, cilantro (gave away), eggs

CSA Share Week 10:  eggplant, corn, heirloom tomatoes, zucchini (gave away), cucumber, green pepper, green onions (gave away), collard greens, kale salad, spinach, baby carrots, Romaine lettuce, eggs

Recipes:  crustless ratatouille and shrimp (wild-caught Louisiana white shrimp!) pie, adapted from Greene on Greens; greens (collard greens, kale, beet greens) with Hopi black beans; roasted carrots; eggs Florentine; spinach and cheese strata; cucumber salad

About 25 years ago, I tried my hand at ratatouille — I believe it was a recipe from Mollie Katzen.  It was an abysmal failure, but I don’t think it was the fault of the recipe itself; I just did not understand eggplants.  So, for 25 years I have avoided eggplants — just as well, because DH does not like eggplants.  Or squash.  Or zucchini.

Today, I made ratatouille, using a recipe from Greene on Greens, and it had eggplants, and squash, and zucchini . . .  and DH liked it enough to have seconds 🙂  I love Bert Greene’s rambling expositions on vegetable lore, but the best parts of his book are his tips on what to look for in vegetables, how to store them, and how to do basic preparations.  His recipes, like those of Deborah Madison, have not failed me yet.

I altered the ratatouille recipe to take advantage of what I had from the boxes last week and this week:  zucchini, squash, onion, green bell pepper, eggplant, heirloom tomatoes, corn.  I threw in the corn because it wasn’t particularly sweet on its own, but I figured it would be OK baked with all the other veggies.  Not traditional at all, but pretty tasty nevertheless!

The Junior Innkeeper

That would be me this past week, when our friend who runs a B & B in Estes Park went off to music camp.  Annoying things guests do:

1.  If you tell me you are going to show up around noon, you really should show up around noon.  4 PM is nowhere near “noon-ish.”

2.  “No Shoes” policy means exactly that — the sandals that you showed up in are in fact “outside” shoes, and no, you can’t wear them inside the B & B just because you “hate going around in bare feet.”

3.  You chose to come to Colorado, and I assumed you did some research ahead of time and followed the news . . . .  you know, the news that had to do with DROUGHT conditions?  But no, you insisted on having ALL your towels changed everyday you were here, because by golly, you paid good money to stay at the B & B, and you expected SERVICE.

4.  Yes, you paid for service . . . .  but I am not your servant.

5.  Oh, and did you forget that batteries don’t just get tossed in the trash?

All good reasons why I could never be a full-time innkeeper.

CSA Share Week 9: beets, green onions, onions, Romaine lettuce, squash, cucumber, zucchini, Swiss chard, baby carrots, eggs

Recipes: roasted beets and carrots sauteed with beet greens and green onions (surprisingly good given that it has beets in it); squash and zucchini baked ziti (surprisingly good given that it has zucchini in it); soy sauce stewed eggs with green onions; chard/scapes/green onions/beet greens quiche

Becoming Vegetarian: Greens

CSA Share Week 6:  kale, scapes, cilantro, Italian parsley, green onions, sugar snap peas, beets (gave away the beets, kept the greens), zucchini, butter lettuce, Hopi black beans, eggs

Recipes:  microwaved zucchini (The Teenager), black bean gumbo with greens (modified from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone ), basil-mint pesto sauce

Adventures in cooking — and eating — continues!  I have never had kale before, though I enjoy the way they look, with their ruffly leaves and lovely grey-green color.  Yesterday, I made gumbo with greens, another great recipe from Deborah Madison.  The woman is a goddess.   I substituted Hopi black beans for the kidney beans (because I am awash in Hopi black beans right now), used up the kale, beet greens, and some green onions and cilantro.  We had it over brown rice last night, and I had it with mashed potatoes for lunch today.  I am eating way too well these days 🙂  Actually, we are all eating really well these days, including Opie, who loves all the different varieties of lettuce we have been getting in our boxes.  But being the discriminating pig that she is, she does not believe in zucchini . . . .  or beets . . . .  or radishes . . . .

Bedbugs Redux

CSA Share Week 5:  Spinach, chard, scapes, snow peas, beets (gave away), parsley, butter lettuce, eggs

Recipes:  spinach Catalan style (Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone), strawberry oatmeal muffins, sauteed chard and scapes over creamy polenta

A couple of days ago, we looked down the street and saw this:

Apparently a local company will come by in the middle of the night and do lawn decorations as a surprise for various celebratory events.  I loved the goofiness of this display 🙂

Today, I came upon this article in the American Journal of Medicine (one of those freebie journals I get just for having M. D. after my name):

deShazo, RD, Feldlaufer, MF, Mihm Jr, MC, and Goddard, J. Bullous Reactions to Bedbug Bites Reflect Cutaneous Vasculitis. The American Journal of Medicine. 2012; 125(7): 688-694.

I was interested, of course, after my encounter with bedbugs at the YMCA of the Rockies a few years ago.  At that time, I had a bullous reaction to the bug bites, but the reaction didn’t set in for a couple of days.  So, it’s nice to know that it is not a totally unknown reaction — according to the authors of the article, up to 6% of patients get bullous lesions from bedbug bites.  The timeline of my bullae looked exactly like the picture sequence in the article, from blister to bulla, lysis, and gradual healing at bulla base with scarring and hyperpigmentation.

I read the article to DH, and he said: “So, hon, you are allergic to bedbug spit.”

Short and sweet.

Becoming Vegetarian: Parsley and Beans

CSA Share Week 4: curly parsley (gave away), spinach, heirloom Mexican red beans, scapes, radishes, beets (gave away), butter lettuce, eggs

Recipes:  bean and spinach quiche (from Bean Banquets), braised red radishes (from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone), Louisiana red beans and rice (from Bean Banquets), spinach sauteed with scapes and roasted garlic

Opie, the CSA share pig

Unlike other pigs we have had, Opie was never that crazy about parsley, until we began feeding her Italian parsley from our CSA shares.  She has since decided that she also likes cilantro — all good, since we keep getting various species of parsley in our boxes, with no end in sight.

We also keep getting various heirloom beans in our shares: Mexican red beans, kidney beans, mayocoba beans; this week, I think it’s Mexican red beans again.  What to do with all the beans?  Yesterday we rode downtown, and happened upon the Old Town book fair.  Lots and lots of used books to dig through:

Just in time!  Breakfast this morning was Bean and Spinach Quiche, made with Mexican red beans instead of generic “drained white beans,” and it was delicious.  One of the things I am really enjoying about our CSA shares is that every week, I am challenged to find new recipes and try new vegetables.  This week my challenge is radishes.  Radishes are like beets in my book: I don’t like the taste, texture, or smell.  But, Deborah Madison has a simple recipe for braised radishes, and she has not failed me yet!


CSA Share Week 3:  spinach, scape, softneck garlic, beets (gave away), cilantro, Italian parsley (gave away), rhubarb, red-leaf lettuce, mayocoba beans, eggs

Recipes: rhubarb crisp, spinach and cheese strata, mayocoba beans with fresh mozzarella and tomatoes, sauteed spinach with onion and garlic over fettuccine

Meanwhile, 100% containment of our wildfire!

June 30, ~7:30 PM, the day before 100% containment announcement

On a different wildfire: I hope the police find the looters at the Waldo Canyon fire and throw really heavy books at them!