I actually made something yummy all by myself for dinner yesterday, which was kind of a miracle. I've made this kind of rice-shrimp-corn-bean bowl many times before but this one came out really nicely. It's just a bowl of steamed jasmine rice on top of which I've put a big blob of Cuban black beans (I use these, from the refrigerator section at New Seasons), broiled shrimp (marinate them in a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper, then broil under the broiler for a few minutes), avocado, sour cream, and a lot of fresh corn salad. To make that I tossed a couple of tablespoons of olive oil with a clove of finely minced garlic, a half-teaspoon of salt, and some ground black pepper. To that I added a handful of quartered cherry tomatoes (and you could add some minced jalapeno or some cilantro, but I didn't have those) and then the kernals from two ears of corn, which I gently sauteed in some ghee (clarified butter) for a few minutes. Mix the corn, tomatoes, and the dressing well and let it stand for a few minutes while you put the bowl together. Mimi loved everything in here and so did I. I need to make these more because they're really easy and fast and filling.
It was really hot here this week — in the high 80s and even 90s — but today it is chilly and overcast and breezy. That seems like more appropriate weather to post a picture of this Fimma sweater, finished but not blocked. This was a BLAST to make. I loved it. I seriously loved it. At first I thought it was going to be small but it's not. I made the size 4 and this is probably size 4. I do have a problem with some fair-isle patterns (well, and some circular yoke patterns in general) because the yoke just does not seem well-proportioned. It's too tubular. But I guess we'll just have to see it on her (when she's four). I'm making another one (right away). This one, above, is made of worsted weight yarn (I used Cascade 220, which I'm not sure I've ever used before); it's quite thick and heavy. I decided to try and make the new one out of sport weight (Brown Sheep Nature Spun) and use the directions for the size 8 pattern. So we'll see. I started it a couple of nights ago. The body of the new sweater is light blue. It's always kind of amazing to me that the design is made entirely of only four colors (and, actually, for the mustard Fimma above I used two shades of the pink and two shades of the blue, just to give it a little more depth). In choosing them I stuck with a very dark (it's kind of a raisin color), a very light (cream), and then two midtones (the turquoises and the pinks). For the new sweater I chose a very dark (navy blue), a very light (cream), and three almost-midtones (the two pinks I'll interchange, and pale gold).
I don't exactly why these patterns are so much fun. I think part of it is that, if you're choosing new colors, you really don't have a very good idea (at least I don't!) of what the colorwork pattern is even going to look like. So it truly reveals itself in every row (this is knitterish thrillsville, people!!!). It's just the perfect amount of excitement, and it comes a little bit at the beginning (you start at the bottom of the sweater, and the bottom of the sleeves) but mostly at the end — and it goes faster at the end, because you're decreasing. All good. It's kind of the right order of a project for me (though, again, I'm not sure bottom-up sweaters fit as well as top-down — thoughts? Does it matter which way you go, or is this just a coincidence in my own personal project list?). There are a lot of ends to weave in, but I think I did all of them in less than one episode of American Pickers. So, this sweater still needs to be blocked and I think I'll do that today. And oh yeah — obviously, I decided not to steek it after all. After all that work it seemed more prudent to pick a pattern that has the steeking built into it, since I've never done it before (several of you suggested this lovely Kate Davies sweater, which I may try).
In spite of the weather today, it feels like summer has truly arrived. Sweeeeeeet!