Thanks to the wonders of Pinterest I’ve recently gotten into various “lady-like” hobbies, including sewing, cooking, baking, and now kniting! On my recent trip to Austin I found myself in an amazing store that doesn’t exist on the East Coast, Hobby Lobby. The yarn section was great and on a whim I decided to buy some chunky purple yarn and learn how to knit. I bought 1 skein of Lion Brand Thick and Quick Yarn in Eggplant, aluminum needles, and learned the basics of knitting from youtube (this channel is great). I intended to make a scarf, but after a while I got tired and decided to turn it into a cowl by sewing together both ends of the scarf. I had to buy another skein from Amazon.com because 1 skein didn’t look right. I sort of improvised the pattern using what I thought would be easy enough for my first knitting project but would also look good enough to actually wear. It ended up being a garter stitch which is just a knit stitch the whole way through.
-1.5 skeins bulky yarn
-CO (cast on) 28 stitches
-S1 (slip 1 stitch), knit until end of row to create garter stitch
(by slipping the first stitch you create a nicer edge)
-weave in ends and sew together both ends of scarf to create cowl
Even though the pattern is very simple I did mess up by increasing one row halfway up the knit. However, since I turned it into a cowl you can’t really tell because of the drape but if I had left it a scarf it would’ve been blatantly obvious. That was just a lucky save!
To continue to be inspired and keep track of my future knitting projects, I joined a knitting community site called Ravelry. I hope to make scarves, hats and baby booties in the coming weeks. For my next circular knitting project I’ll be using circular needles so I won’t have to sew together the knit to create a circle – it’ll be seamless. Let’s see if this hobby sticks – I love it so far!
We recently took a chocolate making class at Tache Chocolate and had a delicious 90 minutes of composing and nibbling on incredible chocolate creations. Located on the Lower East Side in NYC, Tache Chocolate is owned by the talented and lovely Aditi Malhotra, who was recently awarded Zagat’s “30 Under 30″ Award. Aditi trained at the French Culinary Institute and named her shop after the French word for “smudge” to commemorate the chocolate marks she often finds on her chef’s apron at the end of the day. In addition to her impressive foodie credentials, Aditi is a great teacher–engaging, effusive and clearly in love with her work.
We started off by getting a rundown on some of the ingredients we’d be using: coconut flakes, various spices, nuts, raisins, strawberry wafers and jasmine tea! Aditi also shared with us what some of her favorite chocolate brands are, recommending Valrhona and Callebaut. Then, we got to peek at some of the machines Tache uses in the chocolate making process. We couldn’t wait to get our hands on one of the machines that reminded us of the infamous “I Love Lucy” episode where Lucy starts stuffing truffles into her mouth off of an assembly line. Aditi demonstrated what the machines were used for and how they worked. We also got to taste Aditi’s dark chocolate grignotines, spicy chai truffles and jelly fruits. Delicious!
Our first assignment consisted of making white chocolate grignotines and mendients. We learned that white chocolate isn’t actually chocolate. In fact, it’s made mostly from cocoa butter and milk solids. Because of its more neutral flavor, it can serve as a nice base for additions such as various nuts and spices. This was all news to us! After heating the chocolate to the working consistency we set to making our chocolates. Aditi encouraged us to get really creative with our toppings, even showing us how to use pan masala supari mix at one point!
Next we got to work with some yummy, glossy dark chocolate. We started out by making dark chocolate coated marshmallow lollipops with toppings. Here, you can see Aditi neatly demonstrating how to top the lollipops. What you don’t see is what our versions looked like. Hint: definitely not like hers!
The final part of the class was our favorite – we used molds and filled them with chocolate using one of the machines. We chose an Eiffel Tower and skulls and topped them with edible glitter and sea salt. The glitter ended up looking like sparkling lights on the Eiffel Tower and the red glaze on the skulls made them look super badass. We both agreed that this might’ve been one of the best food-related classes we ever took–it involved making and eating chocolate, after all!
Mubina with our molded chocolate creations
Posing with our creations and our teacher Aditi (center)
Fire pit at the Salt Lick BBQ in Austin, Texas
Cultivating new hobbies thanks to Hobby Lobby in Austin. Why don’t we have one in NYC?!
The Campbell Apartment in Grand Central Terminal, NY for a friend’s birthday drinks
Afternoon tea at Bosie Tea Parlor
Making citrus infused madelines at a Julia Child cooking class with A Pinch of Salt cooking classes
Learning essential knife skills at A Pinch of Salt
For Columbus Day weekend I took a quick trip to Austin. Here I am visiting the Texas State Capitol. The weather was warm during the day but a little chilly towards the evening so a sleeveless blouse and long knit cardigan worked well as an outfit choice to take me through the day. Austin was a fun city to visit and I hope to go back soon!
Striped Blouse: Splendid Frankie Shirt (buy),
Necklace: J.Crew Bubble Necklace (buy),
Wedges: BCBGMAXAZRIA Destin Wedge (via Gilt, similar),
Jeans: Genetic Denim Raquel (similar),
Handbag: Furla Elisabeth Hobo (via Gilt, buy)
Bring out the boots, light jackets and gauzy scarves because fall is here! Pairing a patterned scarf with solid basics is a nice way to bring visual interest to an outfit. You can easily change the colors and textures of any of the basics in this outfit and it’ll most likely work with a patterned scarf – especially one as versatile as this one with a cheetah print. Pair with edgy boots and accessories like a studded wrap bracelet and a slouchy leather hobo and you’ve created a casual, yet put together fall outfit.
Even though these Rag & Bone booties are a high ticket item they’re worth the money in their price per wear, quality, wearability and comfortability. Highly recommended! Now I just have to stop wearing them every day.
Denim Jacket: BP (via Nordstrom buy),
T-shirt: Gap (similar by J.Crew),
Scarf: J.Crew (similar),
Jeans: 7 for all Mankind Gwenevere Gummy(similar),
Booties: Rag & Bone Newbury Booties (buy),
Handbag: Furla (via Gilt similar),
Bracelet: CC Skye (via Gilt similar)
Watch: Victorinox Swiss Army (via Gilt similar)