Where I blog about fiber arts, literature, and life...

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Strawberry everything

I found the most amazing and easy Strawberry mousse recipe online yesterday!:


Yum, yum, yum, yum, yum...

The only thing I did differently was put everything in the blender instead of mashing the strawberries. It gave the mousse a super smooth consistency. That's how I think mousse should be. It has been in the freezer for almost 24 hours. The only thing I'm worried about is that ice crystals might form in it. It would still be yummy, but the texture would be off.

If you make it in the blender remember not to make more than one batch at a time. Unless you have a HUGE blender.

My mom and I made jam yesterday and had six full pints of strawberries left. She asked me to make some freezable desserts with them since we'll be having company pretty soon, and the strawberries were already very ripe.

I made strawberry pie, but that didn't use up very many [It didn't last very long either, mmmmm...]. This particular recipe had egg whites in it. You know, you simmer the stuff on the stove and then the egg whites go in. Apparently I didn't get the egg whites beaten well enough because a few stringy chunks of egg started to cook in the strawberry mixture [I scooped them out and no one noticed]. I've done worse than that. One time I was making something along those same lines and mindlessly put the yoke in the saucepan too. When the breakfasty scent of scrambled eggs filled the air I knew I had really messed something up. I also used to read forward, backward, up, and down all at the same time. Great for scanning literature, quickly gathering information. Not so great for cooking. 

Don't worry. I've come a long way. That hasn't happened in quite a while.

 I haven't had much to blog about lately. Not much is going on. I know some people can pull out deeper meaning, hidden truths, and all kinds of things out of small everyday events. That's really cool. But it's not me. At least, not right now. Anything metaphoric or philosophical is temporarily blocked from my brain, thanks in part to the new low tolerance for utter nonsense I have developed over the last year. It is or it isn't. It was or it wasn't. "Let your 'yes' be 'yes' and your 'no' be 'no' [can't remember where exactly in the bible that is from. Gospels, I think. New Testament, for sure. I'll look it up] Take it or leave it.

But I digress...


Strawberries. :-)

Yes, strawberries. I managed to use up almost all of them. Now I am onto a new task for today:
Christmas gifts!

10 down, 22+ to go. Most of those involve baking, so they can't be done until a few days before Christmas. Well, I guess I could bake them now, but, you know... The rest are larger projects which will require more time, thought, and effort. I have only 178 days to do it all. That would be tons of time if it weren't for school and all that. Here we go...!

The problem I always run into is finding a place in my room to store all this stuff. Last year it was my closet. As soon as the Christmas tree went up I got it all out of my room asap. This year I have dedicated an entire plastic tub to the cause. And it even fits under my bed. 

I just put up a Christmas widget on my dashboard. The count down has begun...

Wow, that was really disjointed. Oh, well.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Opposites Attract

Who says red and green are only for Christmas? Or scarves only for winter? Not this knitter!

Opposites Attract
{crochet scarf}
By Lexi Cushing

Yarn: Cascade 220 Superwash, by Cascade Yarns. One ball of Sage {color A}; one ball of Red {color B}. Any worsted weight will do.

Hook size: J

Gauge: 12 hdc and 12 rows in 4 inches.

Notes: Don't worry if the gauge is a little off. It's just a scarf. Also, if wool is usually too warm or too itchy for you, try something smoother, like Sweater, by Spud and Chloe.



Using color A, ch 139

Row 1: Sk first 2 sts, dc in next ch, *ch 1, sk next st, dc in next ch, rep from *. Ch 2, turn.

Row 2: Hdc in each st across. Ch 2, turn.

Row 3: Dc in first st, *ch 1, sk next st, dc in next hdc, rep from *. Ch 2, turn.

Rows 4-5: Rep row 2.

Row 6: Sc in next 30 sts, ch 12, sk 12 sts, sc in remaining sts across. Ch 2, turn.

Rows 7-8: Rep row 2.

Row 9: Rep row 3.

Row 10: Rep row 2.

Row 11: Rep row 3.

Fasten off.  Weave in ends.

Flower Button:

Using color B

Petal sequence: sc 1, hdc 2, dc 1,tr 1, dc 1, hdc 2, sc 1

Ch 4, link ends to form a loop.

Round 1: work in 7 sc. Join, ch 1.

Round 2: Hdc 2 in each sc. Join, ch 1.

Round 3: (sc in first st, ch 3, sk one st) all the way around. Join.

Round 4: One petal sequence in each ch 3 loop.

Round 5: (Sl in back of sc of round 3, ch 4) all the way around.

Round 6: One petal sequence in each ch 4 loop.

Round 7: (Sl in back of sc of round 5, ch 5) all the way around.

Round 8: One petal sequence in each ch 5 loop, but this time double the number of dcs in each petal. Join, tie off.

Weave in ends.


Cut 42 6” pieces of yarn, tie on ends of scarf in groups of three.


Ch= chain

Sc= single crochet

Dc= double crochet

Tr= triple crochet

Hdc= half double crochet

Sl= slip

Sk= skip

Rep= repeat

St[s]= stitch[es]

[Please note that this pattern belongs to me. You are free to share it, but not to use it for personal gain. Check out my Creative Commons License for more information. Also, please comment if you find any errors {or if you like it!} and I will fix it as soon as possible. Thank You!]

Creative Commons License
Opposites Attract: (crochet scarf) by Lexi Cushing is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Seed Stitch Neck Warmer

This has been a nice summer so far. It's really great to have this break from school. I needed it. By the end of the semester I was pretty much exhausted. 
There hasn't been any drama in my life recently (as in the last few weeks), the sun finally came out, I've just been knitting, working, baking, trying to jog more often; everything is pretty quiet. I don't have much to talk about. Really, that is kind of a nice problem to have.

So, in all my spare time I've been designing. :-) Christmas is just around the corner, you know. This pattern I actually designed last summer, but have only just edited it. That being said, here is my contribution to all you knitters looking for quick Christmas projects:

[Please note that this pattern belongs to me. You are free to share it, but not to use it for personal gain. Check out my Creative Commons License for more information. Also, please comment if you find any errors {or if you like it!} and I will fix it as soon as possible. Thank You!]

Seed Stitch Neck Warmer
 By Lexi Cushing



Elsebeth Lavold Chunky Al (50% FS Alpaca, 50% Peruvian Wool; 50g = 75 m / 82 yd) [or any heavy worsted]

Main color: One ball dark red 

Contrasting color: One ball black 


Size 8 needles 

Size K (10 1/2) crochet hook 


15-16 sts in 4 in.


One size fits most. 4 1/2 in. wide, 27 in. long.  For a longer neck warmer, get a second 

ball of dark red and continue in pattern until desired length. 

Pattern Notes 

Separate about 6-7 yards of main color before starting. 

Picot sequence: *3 sc, ch 3, sl in front loop of last sc, rep from * 

Neck warmer 

With main color, cast on 15 

Row 1: K1, *P1, K1, repeat from * until the end of the row. 

Next row: Rep. row 1 

Continue in seed stitch for 2 1/4 in. 

Button hole 

Next row: K1, P1, K1, P1, K1, P1, K1, bind off next stitch, attach the 6-7 yard length that 

was set aside earlier to next stitch, K1, P1, K1, P1, K1, P1, K1 

Next row: continue in seed stitch, keeping the two balls of yarn and sides of the button 

hole separate.  When the button hole has reached 2 1/4 in. long move on to next row. 

Closing the button hole 

Next row: K1, P1, K1, P1, K1, P1, K1, cast on 1, tie off smaller ball of yarn (saving extra 

for the flower button), K1, P1, K1, P1, K1, P1, K1 

At this point you should have 15 stitches on the needle again. 

Continue in seed stitch pattern until you have about 24 in. of yarn left.  Bind off. 

Picot edging  

With contrasting color, attach yarn to a corner of the neck warmer. Using picot sequence 

work in 30 picots (counting the corners) on each long side and 4 on each end of the 

neck warmer, in the corners work in 3 sc in same stitch while keeping in picot pattern. 

Flower button 

Layer #1: With contrasting color, cast on 30. 

Row 1: K30

Row 2: P30 

Row 3: K2tog 15 times 

Row 4: P15 

Row 5: K2tog 7 times, K1 

Row 6: P8 

Row 7: K2tog 4 

Row 8: P4 

Bind off.  

Sew side seam together to make a trumpet shape. 

Layer #2: With contrasting color make a second flower using the 8 row layer #1 pattern.  

Do not sew side seam. 

Coil layer #2 into a spiral and place on top of layer #1.  Using crochet hook, attach, 

looping yarn through several times to hold the two pieces together securely.  

Attach main color to the edge of layer #1 and, with crochet hook, sl sts along the edge.  

Rep for layer #2

Attach main color in center of flower: *Ch 5, sl in original st, Rep from * 2 times, ch 7 sl 

in same st. 


Attach flower button to neck warmer 4-5 in. from end furthest from button hole. 

Weave in all ends.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


One of these days this will be  a crocheted shawl. I woke up in the middle of the night a few weeks ago and had to get up and sketch it all out. Still gotta figure out all those angles and lines. But eventually it will be a pair of butterfly wings. Impractical maybe, but I used to daydream about stuff like this when I was 9...or 11...or 16...or...whatever. 

Deutsch sprechen macht mir Spaß!

I am starting to miss going to German class. Every now and then I start thinking about something in German, or, even more often, nearly responding in it to an English question or comment. Especially when I'm tired.
In April I went to this Cajon workshop in Seattle with my dad for Music and Culture class. A Cajon is a big wooden box with a hole in the back. To play it, you sit on top and bang on the front. Well, Cajons are from Peru, and our teacher spoke only Spanish (Okay, she could say "Thank you", "four", and "stop", but that's it). When she asked me (in Spanish) if I spoke her language, I replied in German that I did not. Oops. It had been a long week.
I've downloaded 4 German audiobooks in the last 6 months, but have only listened to one of them (which, naturally, is Der König von Narnia, or The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe auf Deutsch). The rest are murder mysteries, one is even an Agatha Christie. But since my vocabulary isn't all that big yet those three go right over my head. Listening to them is mentally exhausting. Poirot is enough trouble to figure out without having to do it in German. I know how to talk about food, places, people, animals, and stuff you would buy at a store, and that's about it. Anything beyond that and I can only smile and nod. My goal for the summer is to get through those audiobooks (and maybe even understand what's going on in them). Der König von Narnia is nice because I know it in English like the back of my hand (that, and it's written for children).
That's it for now. Tschüss!

Because 120 characters or less is never enough...

Maybe summer is not the best time for me to start a blog. I get most of my material for any clever, satirical remarks from school and the quirky things that inevitably happen in class. There is never a dull moment when a former hippie is teaching Shakespeare, or a walking-encyclopedia-of-entirely-imaginary-facts sits in front of you in Post-Colonial Literature opposite a quick tempered professor. And yes, messy grammar and spelling bug me.

Such is the life of an English lit major.

Anyway, today we are cleaning the bonus room/library. I've thrown so much stuff away. Hopefully nothing important. I guess if everybody has gone this long without needing those things they won't notice they are gone. Right? I was mostly just stuff like old coloring pages, torn rubber snakes and bouncy balls.
I worked mostly on the getting the books semi-organized and back on the shelves (and throwing things away, of course). Hopefully soon it will no longer look like a hurricane came through.
Let's see, what else?

Umm, it's just about time to start making Christmas gifts. I always feel like I won a prize or something when December rolls around and most of my gifts are already finished or in progress. With all this cool weather I feel like knitting cool weather items (Fall and early winter are when I am in my element!). Besides, one can only knit so much summery lace.