warped & unfocused

Sorry for yet another random disorganized post. That's just the kind of summer we're having lately.

I took my niece to Warped Tour recently and boy, was it a long exhausting day! Although I managed to sneak in some knitting, there was really no chance to sit and relax. And I definitely felt my age while standing in the midst of a bunch of screaming teenage girls going hysterical over this band full of cuties. Front row center with a sea of kids crowd surfing over me. But it was worth it when I saw the smiles of happiness on my niece's face.

Last week, the little guy and I went to the ocean to soak up the sun and play in the waves. The time went by much too fast and now we are going through a bit of beach withdrawal. The cure? Lots of ice cream, a Miyazaki film fest and many trips to the pool. And for me, a new toy:

The name says it all. I can pretty much zoom through a square in about 15 minutes. I am starting out with a simple coaster pattern from the Purl Bee, since mixing summery brights with neutrals is always fun no matter the craft.

The knitting basket is quite full at the moment. There hasn't been much motivation to finish anything this past month. I have been working on a little bit of this or that whenever the mood strikes. Need to buckle down and actually get some things off the needles in August. The last thing I want is to still be knitting with linen or cotton when the weather turns cooler. But also finding it difficult to stay focused lately. Do you have the same problem around this time of year?


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).