Monthly Archives: January 2012

Chile: How and Why (Part 1)

About a year ago this week, I started a class that would last the whole semester but would also be going on a 2 week trip to Chile during spring break. We learned a bit of Spanish (more than I learned in my Spanish class) and a lot of the culture of Chileans. It’s super cheesy, but true, that this class basically changed my life.

(Santiago, from Santa Lucia hill)

We left, and one car ride, two bus rides, and two flights later (18 hours) we were at our hotel in Santiago, the capital city of Chile. We spent three days there, went to fruit markets, a torture center that was active during the dicatorship but is now a rose garden, a mine (outside of Santiago), and one of the three Chilean houses of Pablo Neruda. We eventually visited all three of his houses.

(the famous Neruda eye, hanging outside his Santiago house, built for his third wife) 

Then we got into the bus again and rode to Chèpica, where we then did homestays for three days. Chépica was wonderful – it’s a small farm town, about 4 hours from Santiago. Yes, the houses were small but comfortable, all of them were one floor (I think because of the earthquakes) and I was staying with a family whose children had moved out, though the children (grown up now!) visited often with the grandchildren of my host family.

(my host mother, laughing with us as we did the laundry)

Three short days after arriving in Chépica, we left again, this time we headed off to the Vina del Mar area. Our hotel was right on the main street area, and this was the first place in Chile where I heard English spoken by people other than those in our group. It’s a pretty large tourist area, because it’s very close to the beach. We stayed there for three days but also took a day long walking tour of Valparaiso (10 hours. Walking). It was gorgeous as well and if I had my choice, I would live there.

(Valparaiso,  I believe from Pablo Neruda’s house there)

(Valparaiso is famous for it’s street art)

After we came home from Chile, slightly more bilingual, more blonde and tan (for me anyways), I started thinking about what I was going to do after graduation. I had less than a year before I graduated, and I didn’t know what I was going to do after December. I had asked the mayor of Chépica if I could work as an English teacher there and got a positive answer – so I started research. And hopefully, my boyfriend and I will be moving there in June.

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While everyone is waiting on my release of the newest pattern and I’m waiting to finish up a lengthy post about life (yeah I know I have control over my own posts. It’s a big one, ok? It’s nerve racking), here’s a quick knitting update:

A finished loop scarf, the pattern a copy of the Gap loop scarf from last winter. It was a quick knit, I think about 4 or 5 days, because I really just wanted it around my neck. It’s very warm and cozy.

Tonight, big plans: making dirty rice for myself for dinner (boyfriend will be home late because of work), watching netflix, and knitting.

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This pattern, the hat and scarf together will be soon offered for sale. $4 a pdf for the set. I’m working on editing the pattern before I publish it. I’ll post all about it when I publish the pattern! On a side note, isn’t my boyfriend cute?

I also have a pattern I made for a scarf for Josh’s brother, which has already been published on Ravelry, and is available for free already.

It’s a rather simple pattern, and didn’t take me long. It’s just diagonal rib framed with garter stitch.

I’m also planning a couple other patterns upcoming, so look out for those.

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Granola: A Recipe with Thoughts

I love to eat yogurt with granola, add fruit and that has been a staple in my diet for most of my adult life. My mother would buy it from the grocery store but once I moved out I discovered how expensive it was. My grandmother always made her own, mostly because she makes everything herself, but because of a burning incident with granola, I was hestiant to start making my own. I was totally wrong to think it was too hard – I tried it after the new year, and it’s incredibly easy. I normally make it on weekend mornings when I drink my coffee slower in the kitchen and just wait for it to bake.

Josh likes to eat it right out of the oven, when it’s still pretty warm, just dry! The original recipe has brown sugar, but I didn’t think it needed it and also happened to forget to include it this time, so apparently it doesn’t need the extra sugar.

My general guidelines:

4 to 6 cups of old fashioned or rolled oats

1 to 2 cups of any kind of nut, I tend to use walnuts because they are cheapest, but I love pecans!

1/2 to 1 cup of sweetened shredded coconut (or unsweetened, whatever works for you)

Spices – Allspice, cloves, cinnamon, ginger. A little shake of each.

1/2 a stick of butter, or less.

1/8 to 1/4 of a cup agave syrup or honey (I prefer agave)

Preheat oven to 200-250 degrees. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Then, I take a mug and put the agave (or honey) and butter in it and melt it all together in the microwave. Next, pour the mug mixture over the granola mixture. Stir to coat, then transfer to a un-greased jelly roll or brownie pan. The granola should not sit on the pan more than a 1/2 of an inch thick to avoid uneven cooking. Pop it in the oven and 12 minutes later, stir. Pull the outer edges into the middle, and the middle edges out, so the edges don’t burn. Put the granola back in the oven until golden brown, about 3-5 minutes. This happens FAST so watch it closely.

Then, take it out, let cool and enjoy. You could add dried fruit at this point but I love the uninterrupted crunch of this granola.

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I bake, I sit and knit

And then I go to yoga, an hour and a half of working out my kinks, and I feel better. Mostly because I’ve been eating lovely fattening delicious foods and sitting on my butt and knitting but also because it makes me calmer, more connected with the fact that my body is part of me, and it does a lot of my bidding.

Today: first, yoga, then home, shopping with Mullica (cheap shopping nothing exciting) and then to my aunt’s and uncle’s. I love them and my little cousin and I haven’t spent enough time with them recently.

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Working Forward

Worked this week – not as a substitute teacher, but just as a nanny. It was a pretty easy week. I’ve started a sweater.

Every winter, I feel like there’s this race after Christmas. Yes, there’s a race to finish Christmas knitting, and every year I tell myself that I won’t do it this year, it was too difficult last year, don’t put yourself through that, etc. But every year, I end up getting one request or another from someone in the family for a knit item, and there it goes, I end up knitting for everyone!

But after Christmas, here I am, almost a month past it, and I feel like I haven’t really knit for myself or those really close to me, and I remember how every year it really sucks to finish things for winter in like April or May. And you have to wait until next winter to wear whatever was made during the spring from last year.

I want to finish the sweater I started, finish three pairs of socks (for Nana, boyfriend and boyfriend’s brother), at least one scarf, and I would like to make a couple patterns all before March. Is it possible? We will see. It might be, with weekends off and a job that I can knit during!

(The sweater, in Cascade 220, pattern is White Pine)

Today is a good day to get some of that knitting done, but sadly, no baking because of no eggs! And as you can see…. I’d rather not have to go out!

I’ll update soon about upcoming and current designs of mine.

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Past the introductions: This Saturday, I went to yoga, came home, then put some beef, veggies, etc in to the slower cooker for stew. I used this recipe, with the couple suggestions that people wrote on the comments – flour and brown the beef, soften the onions, then move that to the slow cooker, then deglaze pan with wine and beef stock. I added a bit more wine then called for, as well as more carrots, because I had more than 2 pounds of beef! It was pretty good, we had it at night with some store bought rolls.

Other things I’ve been working on:

A shawl for who knows who.

And a scarf for my professor from last semester. Today, my boyfriend and roommate started classes. I will bring it to him soon, and yes I do have a mannequin on my kitchen table. More later.

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Starting anew

To introduce myself: former blogger of Death by Knitting, current tumblratron at Turned into Everything (which evolved from a fashion blog), and recent college graduate.
Avid knitter, baker, and chef. Would love to be avid seamstress as well, but current living situations do not lead to successful sewing (two male roommates: a boyfriend and a good friend, with many male friends, uninterrupted sewing time would not be easy to find).
Employment: Primary, I am a nanny; to one family of very young children and another of older but still young children. Secondarily, a substitute teacher. During all of these jobs, I find time to knit. And I’m always thinking about food, specifically, what to make for dinner.

Because of the whole “recent college graduate” thing, I’m slightly bored. I stopped writing Death by Knitting because I was too busy, but now, instead of coming home to essays and readings, I find nothing is on my plate, therefore, I want to make my own knitting patterns, and make my own dinner consistently (everyday is crazy, but I can definitely be consistent) as well as drink a lot of wine. In this blog I hope to do all of this.

For today: I have improvised a couple scarf patterns as of late and though one is published in Ravelry, I hope to publish the other along with it’s accompanying hat pattern soon: so look forward to that. Today, I made coco au vin – the easy version my mom makes. Next time, I promise pictures and a guide for a recipe.

This weekend: Any suggestions for fancy cookies? I am required to bring a dessert for a family function, finger-food-like.

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