folknits: blue tongue skink (Default)
The Sun Sai Gai was my favorite Chinese restaurant in Houston, TX. It was literally in the shade of the Gulf freeway. They made the most amazing Pan Fried Noodle entrées. Their shrimp and veggies in white sauce over a bed of browned noodles was my all-time favorite.

Then the restaurant closed. To satisfy my craving, I developed an approximation of this dish. It’s pretty hard to get 4 kids to agree on anything, but they all like Beef Pan Fried Noodles. Me, I’m trying to eat healthy so here’s the version with veggies only. Like knitting patterns, recipes are only suggestions. Don’t like it, leave it out. Just don’t add celery, It’s a hard flavor that overwhelms the others.

Vegetable Pan Fried Noodles (makes 2 large servings)

Sesame Oil
Dynasty Oyster Sauce (brands are different, this one is tasty)

6 oz Chinese noodles (may substitute capellini)
Corn starch

Veggies: (what’s in the fridge? add only what you like! adjust portions accordingly)
Onion (small sliced in half, then thinly with the grain)
Carrot (peeled and sliced thinly at an angle)
Broccoli florets cut into bite sized pieces
Cremini Mushrooms 3-4 sliced
Yellow Squash (1 thinly sliced)
Asparagus 3-4 stalks sliced into 1 inch pieces
Bok Choy 3-4 stalks sliced at an angle - you can cook the leaves or not
Napa Cabbage 3-4 leaves sliced about 1 cm thick
No Celery!

Wash and prep vegetables while waiting for water to boil. Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop cooking. Shake as much water as possible out of draining noodles, then dust with corn starch to absorb any excess moisture. This is an inexact science. While not truly necessary, that cornstarch does help the noodles brown.

To Pan-Fry the noodles, add a tablespoon or so of sesame oil to your frying pan. I kinda draw a big S across the bottom. Dump in the noodles, spread to an even thickness, and start “frying” over medium heat. Hang the carcinogens, I like using a Teflon coated skillet for this step. Keep an eye on the noodles. Toss them around and over every so often to brown both sides. Sesame oil is for flavor. You can use cast iron or stainless, but realize you are going to have to add more oil to keep the noodles from sticking.

Time to stir fry the veggies when the noodles are almost done to taste. It helps to have a wok or another skillet. You could put your perfectly browned noodle cake on a serving platter and use the same pan if this isn’t the case. Again squiggle some sesame oil into your skillet. Add the onion only and cook over medium to low heat until the onion becomes translucent. Add all of your veggies except the napa and/or bok choy. Stir fry until tender crisp. Add napa or bok choy and cook for another minute or so. Napa is ready when leaves wilt.

Veggies & Pan Fried Noodles

Stir in a couple of tablespoons of oyster sauce, more or less to taste. Artfully arrange veggies over your beautifully browned noodles. Oh, nom! Enjoy!

Vegetable Pan Fried Noodles
folknits: I do love knitting patterns (Dumbledore)
For this past Spring's Potions/Arithmancy NEWT, I made 16 blankie squares using Kay Gardner’s Mitered Crosses for Japan pattern.

My inner quilter thought those blocks would look fabulous set on point. But what to do about the triangular spaces along the edge?

Why modify the pattern, of course! Doubtless I have reinvented the wheel (or triangle in this case), but the pattern chose me. I had to obey. Patterns sometimes make suggestions.

It's not particularly impressive at first glance. But look how that triangle fits right in with the other squares. A joke's in there somewhere, I'm sure. And yes, the triangle was knit from the same Noro Kureyon colorway as the block underneath and to the left of it.

Right now I don't want to think about sewing all those pieces together. That's a dead of winter project. There are Noro scraps to rummage through and many more triangles to knit before the general assembly takes place.

Knitting the final blankie border should rank right up there with the Cruciatus curse. I plan to pick up about a gazillion stitches along one side and knit 10 garter bumps (20 rows) before casting off. Repeat. THREE times!!! This fantasy of mine will nicely mirror the log cabin frame on each block. Then it's time to add an icord for wear and stability. I may wimp out, knit an icord border and call it good. Depends on whether the blankie is big enough to cover me and the cat.

And yes, I could knit a part of the final border on the hypotenuse of each triangle. However, all those seams through the outer edge would mess with my perfectionistic tendencies something fierce. Making it hard on myself. That's just how I roll.

One step at a time. Knit the triangles first. Here's the pattern:

WARNING: This triangle will NOT work with Kay’s mitered cross pattern as written!!!! I made my blocks by casting on a different number of stitches than she called for.

Cast on 40 sts. Knit one mitered block per pattern.
Do not cut CC yarn end off. Place stitch on holder.
With CC square down and to right, pick up 21 stitches.
Row 1: S1, Knit to end
Row 2: K to 3 sts before end, SSK, K1.
Repeat Rows 1 & 2 until 2 stitches remain.
K2tog and pull yarn through loop.

Start at the slipped stitch edge & pick up 21 sts along other MC side of mitered square.
Row 1(WS): Knit
Row 2: S1, K2tog, knit to end.
Repeat Rows 1 & 2 until 2 stitches remain.
SSK and pull yarn through loop.

Place CC stitch from holder back on needle. With attached CC yarn, pick up 41 sts along short leg of triangle.
Row 1: S1, knit to end.
Row 2: Knit to last 2 stitches, KFB, K1.
Repeat Rows 1 & 2, ending with row 1 until there are 10 garter ridges on front. Bind off.

Attach CC and pick up 52 sts along other leg of triangle.
Row 1: S1, knit to end.
Row 2: S1, KFB, knit to end.
Repeat Rows 1 & 2, ending with row 1 until there are 10 garter ridges on front.
61 stitches total.
Bind off.
folknits: I do love knitting patterns (Dumbledore)

Morrigan is only available by email at this time. To receive a copy, please make a $5 donation to help fund the adoption of a special needs child on Reese's Rainbow OR to the Grandma Mentoring Program to help send “Grandmas” into Russian orphanages to play and love on the children.

Please send a PM to folk on Ravelry. Then email folknits at gmail dot com. You will receive an attached pdf of Morrigan and my utmost gratitude for helping an orphan find his/her forever family or have a Grandma visit.

Also, please leave a comment when you make a donation. All comments are screened.

Grandma Mentoring Program:

Thank you for your charitable contribution to this fundraiser!!!
folknits: k1 p2 (boknits)
Dear folk,

You were asleep last night when you looked at those House Cup class prompts.

  1. Detention: finish those pink mittens for Elise. An icord mitten string for a 3-year-old should be how long?

  2. Muggle Studies, Option1: WOOT! WIP!!! Finish the heel and foot on Nancy’s other sock. You promised them to knit them last May. It’s paving a road now like a lot of your other good intentions. Certainly that unfinished foot will take 50 yards of sock yarn?

  3. Flying, Option 1: My BFF Theresia’s first grandbaby is due at the end of January. Merlin’s beard!Knit the little guy a pair of socks from your go-to pattern, Infant Socks.

  4. DADA, Option 2: Knit something in House colors that you can wear or take to a Wrock concert. Easy, peasy. Hat. Or even a blankie square that could double as a flag.

  5. Divination, Option 2: Mittens in MadTosh Vintage Sugar Plum to keep the hands of a very special little girl warm.

  6. CoMC, Option 1: Adult Unicorn color! Lacy Baktus in undyed white Bugga! from stash.

  7. Charms, Option 1: Matching mittens for the Mama who is now experiencing the real possibility that their adoption of a special little girl might slip from her hands. And the tears begin.

Please start already.

Love, Me

folknits: I do love knitting patterns (Dumbledore)
Yesterday Fall Term started for the Harry Potter Knitting and Crochet House Cup. Threads for September classes, Quiddich, Phoenixes, and OWLs magically appeared on the HPKCHC board. That old beginning of term mania kicked in. Knit all the things! Please don't ask why earning imaginary points for an online game motivates me to knitting madness. Let's just say arbitrary deadlines are important to someone with knitter's ADD. Not that I'm easily distracted. Oh, look! Shiny! 

The message finally got through this afternoon: you cannot knit all the things. I want to knit all the things. I have enough yarn to knit all the things. But I do not have enough time to knit all the things. Even if I forgo sleep, work still siphons off most of my waking hours. Where did August go? Fly to Indy, drive to CoMO, cover 3 cases today, expense reports. Exercise, when? Sift through nearly 30 years accumulation in this house. And no matter what my kids say, Hoarders would not consider me for an episode. Excuse me, do not touch the yarn. And how am I supposed to weed when there's a Monarch larva already munching on the milkweed in my flower garden?

Now that I've organized my Ravelry Queue for the first Quidditch Challenge, it feels like I have some sort of knitting plan for the next 3 months. Time to finally start that Mitered Crosses Blankie in House colors. Pretty Traveller!

Between blankie squares and the random hat for Fifth Street Ministries, I might have enough knitting for House Cup classes this term. Now excuse me while I go wind some yarn :D

folknits: blue tongue skink (Default)
 Maybe I would have more energy in the evenings if I got some sleep at night. It's just a thought.  The barrage of text messages and emails has stopped. Instead of propping my eyelids open while surfing the internet, maybe I should stop dozing off and actually rest. Is that an option? My stepmother summed it up best: "You and your dad hate to give up the day." Exactly. It's not like the lizards are going to open the windows and  invite their friends in for crickets once I start snoring, but they might. I did dream once that the blue tongue skink was riding on my shoulder and whispering in my ear. My animal totem.

Speaking of animals, this stuffed bear was kind enough to model baby Brecon's hat. Welcome little one!

folknits: blue tongue skink (Default)
 Yes, that was shout of happiness heard halfway round the world. I finished my taxes. Done. E-filed. Waiting on the refund so the kids and I can go on a tropical vacation where some handsome, beach-tanned man might like a middle-aged mother with her knitting in tow. Fantasy Island. The stuff of which dreams are made. It must exist. Somewhere. 

Meanwhile, back in the Midwest, the torrential rain has stopped for awhile. The sun intermittently shines through the clouds on the puddles in the yard as the humidity skyrockets. I really need to put down my knitting, shoo the cat off my lap, and go for a walk if I even remotely hope to lose 10 pounds by the end of May. One must look trim and toned for the trip to Fantasy Island. Walking for several weeks really hasn't helped me lose weight but there are outlines of leg muscles that I haven't seen in many years. 

The toe on the second Basilisk sock is so close to being finished. I would like to just sit here and knit. But the sunshine won't last much longer and the cat is making my legs fall asleep. Must. Exercise. Now. :P
folknits: k1 p2 (boknits)
 Clearly I should not be allowed to drink a Starbucks Grande half Latte at 4 PM, even if I can expense it. Granted, it did keep me awake during the 2 hour drive home from Columbia. That 9:30 PM faceplant on the keyboard never occurred. At 3 AM I finished wrapping the last of 44 labels around cute little 5 gram skeins of Skinny Bugga! Yes, there is a sock yarn blankie of some sort in my future. But not right now.

Present knitting project did not progress so well. Heard of second sock syndrome? I'm trying to finish the mate to the Undulating Rib Socks that have languished since 2010. Other shiny projects begged for my attention. Panda Wool makes my hands hurt. But last Sunday I made myself cast on that second sock. This detritus from my failed Care of Magical Creatures OWL needs to move on down the Ravelry Project page. It's time to slay this Basilisk once and for all. Besides I needed a present for Cheryl's birthday. Tomorrow. 

Last night I finished the sock leg and started happily down the heel flap. Got about halfway finished before the realization hit. In my caffeine coma, I had forgotten to exchange the circular needle for the next smaller size down. Yes, I'm one of those who knits socks and anything else in the round on 2 circulars. How else can I knit the heel and sole with a tinier needle for greater durability?

Cry of pain and anguish. Frog. Replace needle. Just keep knitting. Soon after I remembered that the Skinny Bugga! swap minis had to go out in today's mail. Still not back to where I frogged that heel. Oh, well. I probably won't finish in time. But I'm not above gift wrapping the unfinished project, then demanding it back. I get to keep the needles. Even trade.

folknits: I do love knitting patterns (Dumbledore)
My dragon regarded the unfinished shawl draped about her. “It’s about time you dressed me warmly for the winter. But really, horse feathers?” A haughty look replaced her customary sneer.


“It’s Abraxan. Louise chose this yarn and pattern.” I reminded her.

“Yes, Louise.” Her voice softened a bit. “For her I will bear this momentary indignity. When you see her, ask her to visit me again. Her elder son dreams of becoming a dragonrider. Perhaps I can arrange an apprenticeship.”

“Now, if you would be so kind…” The dragon tipped her wings and the shawl slid off into my hands.


Louise and the Dragon

folknits: k1 p2 (boknits)

My Care of Magical Creatures OWL(Ordinary Wizarding Level) proposal for the Harry Potter Knitting & Crochet House Cup Winter Term.

Ravelry Name: folk

House: Ravenclaw

OWL and option: Care of Magical Creatures, Option 2 Hatch an Egg (Abraxan)

Project/Pattern(s): Gail(Nightsongs)

Sequence & Points of Consideration:

Louise and I have been friends a long time. She said she thought I was worth getting to know when she saw me sitting on the radiator in the back of our 8th grade class. Knitting. Now the grown-up me was properly mortified, but I’m only a little less obnoxious now than I was then so it’s entirely possible. (My sincere apologies to Mrs. Mitchell, our genuinely sweet and patient teacher.) Fast forward.

Let’s just say last year was an annus horribilis for Louise. I decided to take her first memory of me and knit a tangible reminder of our 40 years of friendship. Together, the shawl pattern and yarn she chose remind me of the Palomino Abraxan, who with their blue-feathered wings pulled Madame Maxine’s carriage from Beauxbatons to Hogwarts. Louise’s own strength and courage pulled her and her family through those hard times. She just needs wings like the Abaraxan to fly above the slings and arrows life sometimes hurls her way. I propose to knit those wings for her.

With care and feeding of single-malt whiskey, Louise’s Abraxan will grow from the tiny swatch pictured below into a large chocolate Palomino with blue feathers, capable of pulling 20 times its weight through the night air. Nightwings. Like many others who have knitted this shawl, I chose to add a center stitch to avoid a big hole caused by the double yarn-over as well as knit with size 6 needles. I plan to add enough repeats to Abraxan to use over 800 yards of yarn. Given the demands of my new job, my task will be to finish knitting this by the March deadline. The challenge of figuring out the chart is mostly over. My project page is littered with the detritus of failed OWLs. Godspeed.

Proposed 50% Mark: One skein of Blue Morpho Bugga! (412 yards) knit with the second skein attached. Trust me. I don’t know how much yarn this thing will need, but have in reserve a third skein in addition to a cask of single-malt whiskey. Use either as needed.

Thank you for considering my proposal.

Photos of Supplies and Swatch:




folknits: blue tongue skink (Default)

November 2013

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