hello July

I can't believe how fast June went by. Kinda like those elusive lightning bugs that I used to try to catch when I was little. We have lots of fun things planned for July. Really looking forward to some upcoming music concerts and carnivals, plus a return trip to the ocean in a few weeks. And everyday, we are trying to fit in some making of one kind or another. Today, there was this dangerously delicious mug cake recipe. The little guy went wild with the sprinkles. Can't say that I blame him one bit because you can never have too many sprinkles (or vanilla bean ice cream or blueberries) on top of a mug cake. Yum! In the knitting basket, I have a new sweater in the works using that stitch pattern that I fell for in Up, Down, All-Around. I wish that I can bottle up this bright summery blue color. Utterly captivating, although hard to photograph. I also did a little bit of non-knitting lately. Isn't it funny how we knitters label all those other crafts? Or is it just me? But it was a nice little break to make something not out of yarn for a change. Now I am obsessed with these bamboo jewelry kits from Red Gate Stitchery. I am not much of a jewelry wearer but these are so sweet and unique looking.

What fun things are in the stars for you this month?


a recipe from the garden

I continue to be amazed, grateful and delighted by this little garden of mine. Mainly because before this year, everything that I attempted to grow pretty much didn't, with the exception of weeds mint & rosemary. So it has been very thrilling to be greeted by all the thriving plants this season and to be able to enjoy their offerings. The strawberries were a big yummy hit with everyone, so next year we will be planting lots more of those. Nothing like fresh strawberries and vanilla bean ice cream to herald in summer. Now that strawberry season is over, we are looking forward to the tomatoes ripening. I already have a stockpile of fresh mozzarella waiting to be made into Caprese salad. And a few weeks ago, I think I scared the neighbors with my shout of glee when I spied a couple of eensy weensy baby watermelons among the jack and the beanstalk like vines. Yeah, call me a gardening newbie, but little things like that really add sunshine to my days. And now that the herbs are coming in full-blown, I need to start thinking of ways to use them. Please let me know if you have any good recipes or ideas for fresh basil, thyme, Italian parsley or lavender. The last will be interesting to experiment with, since I have never used it in cooking. Today, we are enjoying one of my favorite sandwiches of all time, pan bagnat, which is a specialty of Nice, France.

There are many versions of this sandwich floating around. Here's how I make mine:

one large crusty round loaf of bread 
extra virgin olive oil
red wine vinegar
one clove garlic, minced
freshly cracked black pepper
kosher salt
2 cans tuna in olive oil, drained
a couple of anchovy filets (optional)
3 hard boiled eggs, sliced in half
one small red onion, sliced thin
one ripe tomato, sliced 
a large handful of fresh basil

Cut the loaf of bread in half. Pull out some of the bread's interiors from both the top and bottom halves. Drizzle a good amount of olive oil and red wine vinegar on both halves. Sprinkle with a little bit of salt and pepper, then the minced garlic. Lightly flake the tuna and spread it onto the bottom half. Then layer on the anchovies (if using), eggs, red onions, tomato slices and basil.Cover with the top half and tightly wrap the sandwich in some plastic wrap. Press down gently but firmly. Refrigerate at least 2 hours. Enjoy!

*sometimes I also add in some chopped kalamata or nicoise olives, red bell pepper slices, radishes, cucumbers, capers (depending on what I have on hand and what I'm in the mood for).


lazy days of summer

As you can tell by the post title, we are in total summertime mode around these parts. There has been a string of gorgeous sunshiny days here lately, which we took full advantage of on our beach vacation. Lots of great food and even some new foodie adventures for the little guy while on our trip. He tried sashimi for the first time and really enjoyed it, which utterly thrilled my husband who is a Japanese cuisine enthusiast. Wish I thought to take a picture of the moment! In fact, we pretty much went unplugged the entire time. As for the beach knitting, the only thing I managed to finish was this:

I also started on a new cardigan, the lovely and popular Hitofude, using Quince & co. Sparrow. Really enjoying the cool & crisp feeling of the linen yarn in combination with the easy to memorize lace pattern. Planning on taking my time with this one.

Also taking my lazy time with the finishing bits on Uniform. Hoping to get the neckband knitted soon so I can wear it with this fun top. Is it sad that I require pretty buttons or a hula halter top to motivate me to finish my knits?

Lastly, here are a couple of new books that I am enjoying.

I want to knit pretty much everything in Sweater Girls. If, like me, you adore vintage and retro sweaters, then this book is a must-have. Lots of beautiful pictures and styling, too. I can tell already that Up, Down, All-Around is going to be my go-to stitch dictionary. In fact, I couldn't resist casting on a new project using this stitch pattern from the book:

Of course, there's no rush on this one, too. It is summertime after all ☼ ⛵ ☼



Siri is finally done and I am thrilled with how it turned out. It's the type of cardigan that will never go out of style and is so thoroughly wearable. In fact, I would wear it everyday if only the weather would cooperate.

Don't you just love the yoke on this pattern? So unusual but at the same time very traditional looking. The brown fishermen's wool and pretty embroidered wooden buttons add to the whole classic vibe of the cardigan. In a perfect world, I would be modeling this while wearing a lovely floral printed dress. One of these days, I will get around to buying or better yet, making one. But for now, my usual jeans & tank top will have to do. I predict that this cardigan will be in heavy rotation once the cold weather rolls around again.

The pattern was very well written by a new-to-me designer, Linnea Ohman. You should check out all of the gorgeous knits on her blog. I'm excited to keep the sweater finishing ball rolling. Next up: Uniform.


happy hodgepodge

sweet basil, italian parsley, lavender, thyme


cherry tomatoes

Watching all the lovely things growing in the garden. 

Admiring my mom's latest Macgyvering magic: a flower pot grill. So cute and it works wonderfully.

Adding the final finishing touches to Siri.

Loving this beautiful Peerie Flooers kit that arrived today. The project bag is printed with hand drawn illustrations of some of Kate's loveliest sweater designs.