Discover the savory culture and traditions that have made Austin, Texas, the self-proclaimed Breakfast Taco Capital of the World.
Fresh tortillas, fluffy huevos con bacon and spicy salsa—good morning, Austin. Or good afternoon, evening, night—whenever. From taco tailgates to taquerias, there is a taco for every occasion and persuasion. Some say that it was born in the days of cowboys and vaqueros, and others say it was a creation of the Tex-Mex culture, but one thing is certain: The breakfast taco has taken over the Capital City. From South Congress to North Austin, neon and chalkboard signs tempt hungry passersby with their best morning-time handheld bites. With over forty breakfast taco recipes, Mando Rayo and Jarod Neece investigate (and masticate) the history, culture, and traditions of that indelible and delectable Austin treat: the breakfast taco.
"Casual, fun, and approachable . . . I'm betting Austin Breakfast Tacos becomes one of Austin's favorite culinary mementos during the coming year."– The Austin Chronicle
Monday, 3 p.m.: One woman is squeezing in an extra errand before picking up her children at school, another sprints to a meeting, while a third leads a yoga class. They all have different, busy schedules, but they're all passionate knitters, determined to find time to knit.
I relate to these women—as a knitwear designer, writer, and mother, I'm often multitasking and, in the midst of it all, I like to knit as much as I can. In fact, I always take a project with me wherever I go, just in case I am able to find a few minutes to work a few rows. The truth is I'd like to be knitting 24/7—that is, all the time. When I have a project in my bag, I don't even mind a long commute or having to wait in line—in fact, I even get excited knowing that a stretch of uninterrupted knitting time awaits me.
I often have many projects going at once, but I make sure they are diverse in size and complexity to suit a variety of circumstances. For instance, I have the luxury of space while I'm at home and don't mind if my project takes over the couch and the coffee table, but a sprawling project like this won't work on the subway. And just as I wouldn't wear mittens in July, I wouldn't knit a heavy wool shawl poolside during the summer. Similarly, I wouldn't take a multicolored yoked sweater to one of the very social knit nights that I enjoy with my friends.
I designed the projects in Knitting 24/7 to be portable and to make use of our "extra" time—those nooks and crannies in our lives when we are busy, yet our hands are free to practice our craft. Many of us like to knit while we travel, wait, watch, or listen, and times like these call for projects that can be easily stowed in a bag and contained in our laps. They also call for easily memorized stitch patterns so that charts are not needed once the pattern has been established. For instance, the lace pattern in the Arrowhead Kneesocks (this page) requires only a 4-round repeat, and the complex appearance of the diagonal mesh in the Linen Market Bag (this page) is created by working a very simple openwork pattern and then repositioning the beginning-of-round stitch marker every sixth round. Projects like the Fleur de Lys Hat (this page) include colorwork, but with only two different shades of yarn to avoid tangles.
Almost every project in this book is small and can be completed quickly, giving even the busiest knitter a sense of accomplishment. Plus small knitted items are perfect gifts that are universally beloved, and at the same time require little yarn. I also included a few larger projects that I consider "mindless knitting" for times when there is room for a bigger project but one's focus cannot be on a chart or stitch pattern. Circular knitting is one of my favorite ways to knit mindlessly The Elemental Pullover (this page), for example, is knitted circularly from the bottom up in Stockinette stitch, providing hours of easy knitting during which the mind is free to wander. The Fir Cone Shrug (this page) is an example of mindless back-and-forth knitting, calling for an easy-to-memorize stitch pattern and serving as a lap blanket while being knitted.
All of the projects in Knitting 24/7 are stylish and functional because, in addition to wanting to find as much time to knit as possible, most of us want to look as good as we can all the time—be it a morning at work, a dinner with friends, or a relaxing weekend afternoon. For that reason I have organized the patterns into a.m., p.m., and weekend, as these are often the categories that define our wardrobes. These pieces are classic yet feminine and provide a wealth of options for our varying needs from the time we wake until we go to bed. I hope that this blend of projects—delicate stoles, warm scarves, pretty gloves, jaunty caps, vests, shrugs, and so on—will help you keep your needles clicking and your wardrobe special, no matter how much or how little time you have to knit.