Saturday, January 8, 2011

How It Begins

Phase 1: Impetus
First, you must realize that you have no gift for the upcoming baby-shower. Then you realize that you also lack money to go and buy said gift. Next, panic! Finally calm yourself down, realizing that you have plenty of yarn, and can do a thing or two with a hook.

Phase 2: Get to it!
I usually let the yarn I have determine the design of anything I make. Color and texture lead me to decide what I should make and how I want it to look. Since I had a bunch of colorful skeins of soft yarn I figured I would use them for a baby blanket. I decided to make a granny square blanket with my many colored yarn, firstly because I've never actually completed a granny square blanket, though I have made plenty-a granny square. And secondly, because I did not have enough skeins of any one particular color so granny squares would be perfect.

I think I used a 5mm hook, and my granny squares were three "rings" each. This is how it begins, a single piece of yarn, a single hook, and a single square. Then...

The squares multiply, divide, change colors and do the watusi. I actually had to head out to buy the blue and red yarns. Once I had all the squares done, I laid them out on my bed and put them in the order I wanted them. The goal was a quilt made of yarn.

At the top there is my bodyguard, Momo, a very important detail I forgot to mention. Never begin an assignment without your trusty body(pillow)guard. I also forgot to mention that it is seminal to the art that you watch something inspiring at the same time, you know, something that is high-culture like Shakespeare, or in this case "Sing-Off" (wasn't it such a great show this season!) as you can see streaming on my computer.

After the pattern is determine, I bunched up the square row by row and tied them to help me put them together more quickly, like so

At this point I will stop a let you catch up. So get to it already. NOTE: Phase 1 is optional, and Phase 2 is where the fun begins.

Next time: Finished product I promise!

(I swear I already finished it, but I have been reluctant to post because I didn't want the recipients of the gift to see. So I started another for my husband's sister, who is also expecting, then DOH! she said she had recently been reading my blog. BLAST!!! I hope she doesn't read this post, because I have been siting on this puppy for a while and can't wait anymore.)

PS: Vanya, if you are reading this, I changed my mind. I am actually crocheting you cloth diapers...Oh and don't read my blog anymore until after the baby is born :)

Friday, January 7, 2011

What's in My Belly

Usually when I tell people the foods I don't eat (no free-range meats or dairy, no gluten, limited citrus, etc.) they quickly ask me, "So what do you eat?" the smart-ass in me wants to reply, "Food, duh!" but I restrain myself. I know I have to cut through the surface of the question and get to the heart of what is happening. They are facing a cultural difference that is difficult for them to swallow. So much of culture is formed by food. Think about it, what do we do on special days of celebration -birthdays, holidays, weddings, sports gatherings- WE EAT! Yumm!!! And it's a good thing too, because I love eating.

It just so happens that our middle class American culture eats specific things. We identify certain foods with specific cultures-Mexican, Chinese, French, American-but what I have had to learn is that food is food. Recently a co-worker was hospitalized for a serious stomach problem. When released, she was told not to eat fatty foods like meats. She came to me and asked me for advice. "How do you do it? What am I supposed to eat now?" I was able to calm her down and show her that her world of food was not shrinking but expanding. She was now free to see food as a source of energy. Which is what it is!

And when we look at it that way then we can eat all kinds of "weird" and "crazy" things because our purpose is to get energy. This is why I have been able to eat turkey soup for breakfast everyday this week. This is why I can have some nuts, avocado, and applesauce for lunch. My food world has expanded because I don't only eat what is "supposed" to go together, but whatever I have on hand, and whatever I am craving, and I love it!

Above you can see what I keep stocked in my kitchen. We have pastured butter, and cultured butter, raw organic milk, brown rice (just bought this in bulk for the first time), avocados (I LOVE LOVE LOVE avocados!), free range eggs, we eat lots and lots of eggs, grape seed oil (I also use olive oil), and coconut oil, sweet potatoes and yams (these are in season and we love to make fries out of them), raw cheese, apple cider vinegar, almond flour (I have a ton of alternative flours too), and homemade applesauce. So you see we aren't starving, and we actually have very delicious meals. Stop by some time and we would love to share, that is, if you are brave enough.