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A Yogini’s Knitting Corner

Dec 13, 2011   //   by Yoga Lisa DC   //   Blog, creativity, knitting  //  No Comments

loving my vintage-look wrist/hand warmers

It’s been another fun week in my knitting world. I had three knitting artist dates, lots of discussions about my knitting projects and my friends’ projects, and started and completed some more gifts – hand warmers and a couple infinity scarves. I’ve also been enjoying wearing my vintage-look wrist/hand warmers (I cannot wait to make myself a second pair).

my donation for DCJCC's Handmade for the Homeless (7 scarves & 1 wrap)

This week, I also met up with my friend Miriam for lunch, where we talked lots about knitting, yoga, and vegetarian/veganism. Miriam’s Jewish Community Center does an annual Handmade for the Homeless donation program. The program encourages donations of hand knitted or crocheted hats, scarves, socks, and slippers for the homeless in the DC area. I spent a lot of time earlier this year making lots of scarves and when I found out about the program, thought it would be great to contribute some of them. It’s a great feeling to contribute to such a good cause. I hope to be able to contribute again in 2012.

I had such a great time knitting this week. Here are pics of my completed projects:

infinity scarf - doubled - made with S. Charles Venus yarn in Shade 54

wrist/hand warmers in Lion Brand Homespun

I also completed an mobius-infinity scarf that I’ve been working on for my friend Julia. She’s modeling it here worn two different ways.

Julia in her new mobius-infinity scarf - here it's doubled

 

 

 

here Julia's wearing the scarf tripled for extra warmth with her coat.

Alison was working on an infinity scarf in a really nice green.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eve was working on the sleeve of a balero sweater.

 

 

 

 

I also had a creative morning, knitting with Alison and Eve again.

This week was a great week in knitting. It was great having another knitting get together with Alison and Eve. And I’m thrilled that I finished several projects and I started two more infinity scarves. As I finish up more gifts, I’m looking forward to sharing more pics and more creativity next week.

How have you expressed your creativity in the last week?

Another Afternoon of Art Journaling

Dec 12, 2011   //   by Yoga Lisa DC   //   Art Journaling, Blog, creativity, self-care, writing  //  No Comments

the finished cover of my 2012 planner pad

I spent today enjoying a lot of creative energy with two artist dates – art journaling and knitting – and my bi-monthly book club meeting. (Check out upcoming posts this week to hear more about the knitting circle and book club meeting – The Four Agreements.) After a morning of knitting followed by a much needed manicure, I headed into the Penn Quarter to meet up with some friends and fellow yoginis at Teaism to art journal.

Jessica, Julie, Valerie, & Julia

Danielle, me, & Hilary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

we really spread out at the Teaism in Penn Quarter. (this is completely normal for us.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also delivered Julia's new scarf to her. Here she's modeling it doubled.

We settled in, spread out, and got to work. As usual, we each did what worked for us. There were images collected for future use, creations of 2012 inspiration pages, and lots of catching up. Me? This afternoon, I spent my time decorating the cover of my 2012 planner pad with inspiring words and images. (I’ve left the back to be done sometime in 2012.) I “laminated” it with clear contact paper, so it should be able to withstand getting beat up in my purse over the course of the next 13 months.

As always, I had a great time. But then again, it’s hard not to, when the your afternoon is filled with great company and good conversation.  And before we left, we picked dates (to be confirmed) for our first couple get togethers in the new year. It was a great way to spend the afternoon.

When was the last time you shared inspiration and creativity? Have you found your inspirations for the year ahead?

Holiday Cookie Party… baking cookies at its best.

Dec 10, 2011   //   by Yoga Lisa DC   //   Blog, Events, food, knitting  //  No Comments

our finished treats

Today, I had the pleasure of attending my friend Alison’s annual cookie baking/exchange party, hosted by Alison and her roommate Julie. The afternoon was spent enjoying a variety of appetizers, snacks, sweet treats, and libations.

appetizers, snacks, some sweet treats, and libations

Some of us chose to bring our cookies, some just to bake at the party, and some to have fun mixing and creating the sweet treats from start to finish. I mixed my cookies at home and baked them when I got to the party.

We had a great afternoon, enjoying our treats, chatting, and relaxing. And we all got to take home some of everyone’s sweet creations. Here are the results of our baking endeavors…

Alison's Peppermint Meringues

Julie's Toffee Bars

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marie's No-Bake Oreo Truffles

Casey's White Chocolate & Peppermint Studded Chocolate Mountains

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mindy & Jen's Coconut Raspberry Tarts

My Chocolate Fudge Cookie Bites

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had a really great time this afternoon. It was great to meet new people, catch up with good friends, and share some of our favorite holiday cookie treats and for a few, test drive new recipes they found. I’m looking forward to enjoying these treats over the next few days and sharing some of them at my book club meeting tomorrow. And I’m hoping to do more holiday baking in the next couple weeks.

Are you doing any holiday baking this year? What are your favorite holiday sweet treats?

A Yogini’s Knitting Corner

Dec 6, 2011   //   by Yoga Lisa DC   //   Blog, creativity, knitting  //  No Comments

This has been another really great week in knitting. I’ve made some gifts and a fun set of vintage look wrist/hand warmers.

ponchette made with Lion Brand Yarn, Homespun in Windsor

fun button closure for the ponchette

I made another ponchette, using a free knitting pattern I found on Lion Brand’s website. I modified the pattern by breaking the round after the final decrease round to make the neck opening a little larger. I chained a loop to wrap around this fun button that I found to make the neck closure. The button-loop closure adds a fun detail and some utility making it easier to get over the head.

vintage look wrist/hand warmers

This week I also completed my vintage look wrist/hand warmers (see below for my pattern), creating the pattern using a couple different ribbing patterns and breaking the round to create the thumb holes, which enabled this project to have no seams.  I had a lot of fun making these. And I found some pretty opalescent buttons as the perfect finishing touch.

It was a week full of creativity and fun projects. I’m looking forward to completing some other wrist/hand warmers this upcoming week, a fun mobius infinity scarf, and starting (and maybe finishing) a few more holiday gifts. Some fun ways for me to find a little bit of creativity each and every day.

How did you express your creativity this last week? How will you express your creativity in the upcoming week?

Pattern for: Vintage Look Wrist/Hand Warmers

US Size 4, 9″ circular needle
Classic Elite Yarns Cotton Bam Boo (knitting weight DK)

CO 49. Slip the st on the end of the right needle to the left needle, k2tog to join in the round. 48 stitches (you can make the tube larger or smaller, being mindful to maintain a total stitch count that’s a multiple of 4).

Rows 1 & 2, *p2k2, repeat from *
Rows 3 & 4, *k2p2, repeat from *
Rows 5-52, repeat rows 1 through 4 (if you want a longer arm, continuing repeating rows 1 through 4 until desired length is achieved)
Rows 53 & 54, *p2k2, repeat from * 

To create the opening for the thumb:
Row 55, *k2p2, repeat from *; at end of row, turn work
Row 56, *p2k2, repeat from *; at end of row, turn work
Row 57, repeat row 55
Row 58, repeat row 56
Row 59, *p2k2, repeat from *; at end of row, turn work
Row 60, *k2p2, repeat from *; at end of row, turn work
Row 61, repeat row 55
Row 62, repeat row 56
Rows 63-70, repeat rows 55 through 62

Row 71, rejoin round (closes the opening for the thumb)
Rows 71 & 72, *k2p2, repeat from *
Rows 73 & 74, *p2k2, repeat from *
Rows 75-78, *k2p2, repeat from *
Rows 79-82, *p2k2, repeat from *

Row 83, *k2p2, repeat from *
Row 84, bind off (cast off) *k2p2 (and complete finishing)

I finished them off with the pretty buttons, but consider finishing them off in a manner that best suits your personal taste.

It’s tea time… again…

Dec 5, 2011   //   by Yoga Lisa DC   //   Blog, tea  //  2 Comments

So for several weeks now, a few of my friends have recommended that I give Teavana’s teas a try. And last week I decided, that I finally would. So I ordered a few varieties from their website, along with some fun Perfectea Filters (think creating your own teabags using loose-leaf tea). So, this week’s tea time features a selection of those Teavana teas that I’ve tried so far… Youthberry/Wild Orange Blossom w/ German Rock Sugar, Youthberry, and Blueberry Bliss/Strawberry Lemonade.

Youthberry/Wild Orange Blossom w/ German Rock Sugar – a blend of white tea, apple pieces, hibiscus flowers, candied mango pieces (mango, sugar), candied pineapple pieces (pineapple, sugar), rosehip peels, beetroot pieces, citrus peels, citrus slices, red currants, rose petals, flavoring (orange, grapefruit, pineapple, mango), orange juice pulp bits, orange blossom petals, sunflower petals, pomegranate blossoms, acai fruit powder (acai, maltodextrin), rock sugar.

This tea came as a free sample with all the other teas that I ordered from Teavana’s website. It’s a blend of two of Teavana’s popular teas – Youthberry and White Orange. I opened the package and the scent was amazing. It has hints of the flowers and fruits in the scent, which make it so inviting. The citrus stands out among the other fruits and is by far the strongest scent when the tea is brewed. This would be considered a loose-leaf variety, despite how when I looked at the leaves, it was anything but just leaves. You could see the pieces of fruits throughout. Brewed, this tea has a beautiful pink color, no doubt from all the flowers and blossoms that the tea contains. It has a wonderful blend of fruit and flowery tastes to it. The sample comes with Teavana’s German Rock Sugar included in the packet. I wish the sugar had been in a separate packet, so I could taste the tea alone though. The tea has such a wonderful sweet taste and I’m still assessing how much of that sweetness was derived from the sugar and how much from the tea’s ingredients. Either way, it was very enjoyable and such a wonderful sweet treat on a cool afternoon. I think I’m going to have to get more of this blend.

Youthberry – a blend of white tea, candied mango pieces (mango, sugar), candied pineapple pieces (pineapple, sugar), rosehip peels, apple bits, hibiscus flowers, red currants, rose petals, flavoring (pineapple, mango), acai fruit powder (acai, maltodextrin).

It’s fitting that I try the Youthberry, after I tried the Youthberry/Wild Orange Blossom blend. This is a white tea that’s flavored with the tropical fruits and flowers. I love the flavor of this and the fact that it’s a tiny bit tart. The sugar in the candied mango and pineapple provides a little bit of a sugary sweetness, too. But the tea does need a little bit of sugar to bring out the flavors. Similar to the tea blend, this tea has a pretty pink color. And by itself before steeping, this tea is beautiful to look at. It’s fun to look at the different components and it smells wonderful. A tea that truly stimulates the senses. The one thing I will say is that unlike with many of the loose-leaf teas that I drink, I’m unable to get multiple steeps out of these varieties. I find that the ingredients don’t lend themselves as well to it as some of the plain loose-leaf teas. That doesn’t make it any less enjoyable to drink though. It makes for another wonderful sweet treat on a cool afternoon or a really nice complement to fresh berries in the morning. I’m happy that I can add it into my tea rotation.

Blueberry Bliss/Strawberry Lemonade – a blend of apples, green rooibos, rosehips, strawberry pieces, blueberries, grapes, hibiscus, rosehips, beetroot bits, black currants, sunflower petals, citric acid, flavoring.

This is another of Teavana’s tea blends. It is a marrying of the Blueberry Bliss and Strawberry Lemonade teas. It also carries on with my theme of loving fruity, flowery teas. Opening the bag, I immediately smell a strong scent of the rooibos before picking up on the berries and I see all of the different elements that are on the ingredient list. As with the other two varieties that I tried, this fruity, flowery blend was very pretty to look at and it happens to also brew up to a pretty dark pink color (so it seems I have an affinity to pink these days – I guess I’m channeling my inner strawberry shortcake – the only pink you’d find me in growing up). This tea definitely has a bit of a tart flavor and I did add a little bit of sugar to it to balance that tartness out (for as much as I love tart teas, this one was a little more than my liking). I do like the tea a lot with the added sweetness and I think the German Rock Sugar would probably be a perfect complement to this tea (I might have to invest in some). This tea blend seems like one that I would probably enjoy iced and on another day, I may definitely try it that way. It feels like a very springy or summery tea, which is when I can picture myself enjoying more of the tartness that this tea naturally brings to the table.

So, I’m definitely happy I listened to my friends and gave Teavana teas a try. These teas are a nice edition to my tea collection and I am looking forward to giving other varieties a try, as I keep these in my tea rotation.

Have you had tea time recently? What are your favorite tea brands? Any favorite varieties that are must tries? And what food, if any, do you like to have with your favorite tea?

A little bit of nostalgia…

Dec 4, 2011   //   by Yoga Lisa DC   //   Blog, Events  //  No Comments

Macy's at Herald Square, New York City

a beautiful saturday morning in NYC

When was the last time you went to see Santa? Growing up (and apparently the tradition started my first Christmas), my parents would take me and my sister into New York City the Friday or Saturday after Thanksgiving to visit Santa Claus at Macy’s Santaland. I have many memories of getting up early, riding the PATH train up to the 33rdStreet station, and waiting on line to give Santa my list of wants for Christmas. We’d make lists with pictures of what we wanted (and my dad would sneakily get them back from Santa to leave under the tree with our gifts). And after we saw Santa and got our pictures taken, we would visit Holiday Lane to get our annual Christmas ornament, which resulted in quite the collection of ornaments for a tree when I have a place to put one up.

my tree, Christmas 2008

(My seven-foot pre-lit tree, which was used in 2008 and 2009, is currently in storage in NJ, with my 108 gallon tubs of Christmas decorations, until I have a place to store them all in VA.)

Snow-people welcomed us into Santaland

This year was the first time in nearly a dozen years that I relived those childhood memories. At 8:00 AM or so, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, I joined my parents, my sister, brother-in-law, and nephews on a journey to Macy’s Santaland. Some things have changed, rather than riding the PATH, we drove into the city. And Santaland is not quite the vision of elves building toys that I remember from my youth. There are fewer elves in the displays, it’s now a “train ride”, and the toys “being built” are a little more commercial. But even so, it was really special to see my nephews light up when they saw Santa. Tommy asked Santa for “lots of toys”. Afterwards, we went to Holiday Lane for our 2011 ornaments and then hit a local diner for some breakfast before heading back to jersey.

entering the NorthPole Village to meet the big man himself - Santa

the Christmas countdown

So, the family tradition continues. I’m happy that I was able to be a part of it. And I’m looking forward to being able to share in this tradition for as many years to come as possible.

 

A Yogini’s Knitting Corner

Nov 29, 2011   //   by Yoga Lisa DC   //   Blog, creativity, knitting  //  2 Comments

This last week has been a busy week of knitting. I finished a couple more projects, started a couple more, and had a couple evenings knitting with friends.

my latest completed projects... another child's hat and scarf set

These are my latest completed projects – a child’s hat and scarf in Kelly Green.  And I started a pair of arm warmers/fingerless gloves for myself. I’m having fun playing with this new ribbing pattern. These are my new metro knitting project.

the start of my new pair of arm warmers/fingerless gloves

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the last week, Alison finished some fun wrist/hand warmers, too. Aren’t they adorable? And they were a quick project.

one of Alison's finished projects... wool wrist/hand warmers

It’s been quite the productive week and I look forward to having more projects to share next week. I’m definitely in gift mode right now, but still finding that sitting with my needles and yarn continues to help me relax and calms/quiets my mind.

Are you making any presents for the holidays this year? What are your favorite homemade/handmade gifts to share?

It’s tea time… again…

Nov 28, 2011   //   by Yoga Lisa DC   //   Blog, tea  //  No Comments

Now that I’ve had the mint and white tea editions of tea time, I think it’s about time we focus on some of my other favorite non-traditional teas – herbal infusions. Herbal infusions come in many varieties, some with and some without caffeine. This tea time features Mighty Leaf Organic Detox Infusion, Tea Forte Wild Berry Hibiscus, and Tazo Organic Red Apple.

Might Leaf Organic Detox Infusion – a blend of organic peppermint, organic burdock root, organic dandelion root, organic spearmint, organic licorice root, organic red clover flowers, and basil.

You might think from looking at the ingredient list that this tea would have fit just as well into the mint edition of tea time, and well, you’d be right. As I said in that post, there are many varieties of mint tea and this would be one of them. The tea is said to help detoxify the body. I’m not really sure that it does that. What I know is that I love the combination of flavors. It’s not just a peppermint or spearmint tea. You can almost immediately taste the peppermint, but then, the flavor seems to develop and you begin to taste all of the other elements. This is more of a minty tea than it is flowery. It is very refreshing too. There’s a subtly to the inclusion of licorice and basil. Neither is too over-powering nor completely absent. There seems to be just the right amount, which makes them extremely enjoyable. I happened upon this box when I was cleaning out my pantry and I’m so happy that I did. It’s a nice variation on classic mint tea and definitely something that I enjoy.

Tea Forte Wild Berry Hibiscus – a blend of organic hibiscus, organic apple pieces, organic licorice root, organic blackberry leaves, natural berry flavor, organic orange peel, organic rosehips, organic raspberries

This tea is a caffeine-free fruity and flowery tea blend, that is right up my alley. It’s another variety that I was introduced to while visiting a day spa (monthly visits are part of my self-care routine). This tea smells heavenly. And although it is a flowery tea, the berry components help to cut out the opportunity for it to smell like a vase of fresh flowers. The natural ingredients make the tea a pretty pink color. This tea is a bit tart, which is consistent with the amount of berries, and I’d expect that some might want to add a touch of sugar to bring out some sweetness. I find the tartness to be refreshing, so as with many of the teas I drink, I drink this one black – no cream or sugar. It’s a nice caffeine-free pick me up. I’m loving it warm, but I think this is another tea that would lend itself quite well to being served cold. I’m hoping I can find this in the store, because otherwise, I will have to order a box online. It’s that good, that I want to keep some on hand for when I want a warm beverage without caffeine and when I’m not in the mood for mint.

Tazo Organic Apple Red – a blend of African Rooibos*, cinnamon*, natural flavors, apple*, and chamomile*. (* all organically grown)

I filled my cup with water and I immediately thought that there was an apple pie nearby. This tea smells like apple pie. It seems like another perfect tea for the fall and winter months, especially if you are fond of apple pie. And this tea actually has a flavor very reminiscent of apple pie. You can really taste how the cinnamon plays off the apples. I probably would add a tiny bit of sugar or maybe even extra cinnamon the next time I drink it to bring out those flavors a little bit more. It’s definitely something to consider. This tea fits in perfectly with this time of year – apples cakes, apple pies, hot cider, apple tea. And on a side note, the rooibos makes this tea a naturally beautiful shade of red. I am looking forward to drinking this tea throughout the fall and winter months. It’s like a slice of apple pie, but without any of the calories.

These are just some of the many, many, many varieties of herbal teas on the market. Hope you enjoy these!

Have you had tea time recently? Are there any herbal teas that you would recommend?

This week in food…

Nov 26, 2011   //   by Yoga Lisa DC   //   Blog, food  //  2 Comments

These last couple weeks have been really busy and I’m definitely a little behind with my blogging. And these last two weeks, I’ve definitely enjoyed some great food, including an awesome thanksgiving feast and for the most part five veggies/fruits everyday. Here are the highlights (November 12 to November 26).

the november salad at sweetgreen

 

cranberry apple cider lemonade and crispy kale from sweetgreen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

crispy, spicy kale from sweetgreen

 

 

 

portobello mushroom flatbread at Seasons 52

 

 

 

 

farm fresh vegetable platter at Seasons 52

 

 

 

more dessert minis at Seasons 52

 

 

dessert minis at Seasons 52

 

 

 

 

asian noodle salad from Teaism Dupont location (I did enjoy this with a Salty Oat Cookie)

 

 

oreo cookie cannoli from Basil Thyme DC food truck (it was accompanied by butternut squash lasagna and a side salad)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I enjoyed a lot of great food. I found myself back at the Basil Thyme DC food truck for the “Guiseppe” meal combo (butternut squash lasagna, side salad, and a cannoli) at least three times. I also have made frequent visits to sweetgreen for their delicious November seasonal salad with extra crispy, spicy kale. And I’m so glad that I got to try Seasons 52, the food was delicious and I’m excited to go back to try more seasonal fare.

And we can’t forget the highlight of the last couple of weeks… the thanksgiving feast…

the thanksgiving feast... corn, mashed potatoes, carrots, and of course, turkey

the thanksgiving feast... from scratch french bread, stuff, asparagus, oven roasted autumn veggies, and the gravy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the star of the show... the turkey (I don't eat meat, but it's a must to feature, my sister did such a great job with it)

 

 

 

the thanksgiving feast - the desserts... lots of pumpkin treats, apple pie, crumb cake, and some cookies

 

 

 

 

 

 

my sister made almost everything, my contribution –  my pumpkin spice muffins/cupcakes for dessert.

It was a great couple weeks in food. Hoping the next couple will be just as great.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours…

Nov 24, 2011   //   by Yoga Lisa DC   //   Blog, Events, photography  //  No Comments

 

About Lisa

Auntie to two adorable little boys and a beautiful little girl. Sister. Friend. Yogini. Yoga teacher. Accountant. Knitter. Amateur photographer. Very amateur golfer.

Where to Find Lisa

Wednesdays, 8:30 p.m.
Yoga 1 (1 hour)*
Tranquil Space Arlington

Thursdays, 5:30 p.m. Yoga On-the-Go*
Thursdays, 7:00 p.m. Yoga 1*
Tranquil Space Arlington

Substitute Teach, As Needed*
Tranquil Space Arlington and Dupont

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