Friday, July 29, 2011

Handle with Care

Sometime today (or tomorrow) a mysterious package will arrive in Baltimore via USPS ground — a care package for my friends and Josh and Megan... and Weens and Pizazz. Inside this rather large box of crushed paper and bubble wrap are a few small but well packaged treats: assorted crochet key chain fobs and cat toys, and my home-made Gochuchang (Korean chili paste) and Baechu (Napa cabbage kimchi). I’m not so good with baked goods.

Fobs and cat toys: two dumplings and three bees
In theory Weens and Pizazz do not perceive the color red, so I made these toys in shades of yellow, green, and blue. So... in theory cats may not see kimchi but Megan can spot this jar from another state. I reminded her not to eat the whole jar in one sitting — or suffer the gastrointestinal consequences. For this kimchi recipe visit

Korean delights — home-made Gochughang and Kimchi

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Red Phoenix Rises

We all seemed to have survives the heat wave over the weekend — highs in the 100s. It’s funny when 90° weather feels like a holiday. Dan and Caroline just got back from an Italian get-away. Although they had some hot days, I suspect it’s more charming abroad — the food was incredible! They brought back some squid ink risotto and herbed gray salt for me and Stephanie.

I made the Red Phoenix shrug for Caroline Glemann for her wedding... and she stills wears it well. Caroline designs exquisite jewelry, among them, Stephanie’s engagement ring.  I took some prosperity photos at Liloveve, her jewelry studio.

The Red Phoenix shrug is made with the deepest-red antique cotton and silk using a combination of hairpin lace and traditional crochet. This inspired the white Way Wedding Shrug that I designed for Vogue Knitting’s Wedding Issue.

I love these sleeves, they make Caroline look like at Elven Queen.
The arching shapes were ispired by a type of beautiful red seaweed from Ireland called Dillisk. The Chinese refer to this style of long flowing sleeves are Phoenix. Hence the name. But I think it also reminds me of Jean Grey, the Phoenix from the X-men.

Armed and ready, Dan sat for a few with his hooded Green Ranger scarf. Seated here are an Elven Queen and a Dwarf King. Only a little prince or princess could complete this perfect mid-summer’s still life.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Tomatoes and Fresh Mozzarella

The entire East Coast is stung by a massive heatwave. In Brooklyn it’s already over 100° in full humidity, and most of us have already experienced borough wide brown-outs. Angry cyclists collide with angry double-wide strollers. Pedestrians wade through a dusty sea of traffic. People are hot and testy — I just think they didn't have a proper meal. Today I kept my cool with some sliced tomatoes and fresh Mozzarella for lunch.

You'll need:
• 1 vine-ripe tomato
• fresh mozzarella
• fresh basil
• first-press olive oil
• 1 medium size garlic clove, minced
• pinch of salt

Make some garlic paste — mince the garlic and salt in 1 tbsp of olive oil. Slice mozzarella and coat it lightly in the garlic paste. Mince fresh basil. On a plate, alternate slices of cheese and tomato with some basil in between. Drizzle with more oil and serve with a good crusty bread

Monday, July 18, 2011

Summer Salad Topped with
Maple Blue Cheese Dressing

It's late in the evening and the temperature app still reads 87°. Our country is witnessing a hot dry spell this July and Brooklyn is in for another scorching week with temps in the 90s. Good thing I made a lot of Blue Cheese dressing — it's cool, tangy, creamy, and waiting in the fridge. On brutal days like these I'd rather have a cool hearty salad for dinner with a big iced tea. This dressing would be ideal on a cold wedge of crunchy Iceberg Lettuce, but Romaine with a little sliced onion and red grapes is just as nice.

My Blue Cheese dressing is made with Danish Saga and a little maple syrup. Of course some crumbled bacon and wedge of bread completes this meal. My freind Lindsey says that her mom makes some kick-ass blue cheese dip as well — and Mrs. McCosh was nice enough to give us her recipe. For my tasty Maple Blue Cheese Dressing and Mrs. McCosh's Blue Cheese Dip recipes visit

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Knit Night @ Freddy's Bar, June 26, 2011

The perfume of Silver Lindens hung heavily on a warm slow breeze, reminding us that summer has arrived. With my fried chicken dinner in one hand and a bag of yarn in the other, I walked to Freddy's for our monthly Knit Night. Our small group of South Slopers gathered for Beer 'n' Balls and of course conversation — dog sweaters, socks, new apartments, old neighborhoods, hair, new jobs, the economy, school...etc. I like spending my Sundays with our quirky little group, Knit PH.

I haven’t been knitting much lately, I’ve been working on my pattern store, Proofing patterns, programming, taxonomy, taking photos, writing....etc., it never seems to end. I’ve been getting a lot of fan mail from Australia, Norway, and the UK asking when my Elven Anthropology line will be ready. I just keep telling them to hang in there, I’m just one man.

Three cheers for partners Matt Kimmet, Matthew Kuhn, and the artful dodger himself, Donald O'Finn! Freddy’s Bar has been enjoying its new success in Greenwood Heights, in South Slope Brooklyn. After the travesty which is Atlantic Yards and their debacle with eminent domain abuse, Freddy’s success is well deserved. Everyday more as the Nets Arena grows consuming 22 acres of Prospect Heights, public sidewalks and creating an enormous traffic problem, it resembles a disembodied airplane hanger... with flights to nowhere. Some folks have blindly resigned themselves to chanting the rubber-stamp statement that “New York is city of change.” But what we’ve witnessed as change doesn’t benefit Brooklyn. At the rate that a shady realtor can rename a Brooklyn neighborhood to jack up sales, there may not be a Prospect Heights.

Our group is called Knit PH, named for it’s origins at the old Freddy's location in Prospect Heights — a bit ironic considering that the new location is in South Slope. Initially I told our group that Greenwood Heights was named after a mythical revolutionary ”Admiral Greenwood” (so I was told by a shady realtor), but I was completely misinformed. According to Wiki, This Brooklyn neighborhood was named for it’s proximity to the Greenwood Cemetery. People are still dying to get here. It’s always been an ethnically and economically diverse neighborhood — working class and middle class families; mainly Latino, Polish, and Italian. The new additions to 5th avenue would be first-time home owners, restaurants, coffee shops, and bars like Freddy’s and South. The vibe hasn’t changed that much. Although Morisi’s Pasta and the Italian baker are gone, Eagle Polish Provisions now shares the block with Jubilat’s smoked Polish goods and Corzo... Luigi's Pizza shares the slice with the new Italian cafe.

On this night, Knit PH shared the evening with the sweet sound of the self-proclaimed Graham Nash tribute band, The Country Baptizers. We used to share our evenings at Freddy’s with an Alphorn band. As the months heat up our group will be taking a summer break. July will be the last Knit PH meet-up for the summer. We’ll pick it up again in the fall. I’ll miss everyone, we have a small but interesting group.