Sunday, October 23, 2005

Also, some notes on food: I made awesome black bean soup last week and I give myself an A+. But I got super lazy and haven't done any ambitious cooking since then.

The silk vendor handled the error immediately and professionally, so I would certainly do business with them again.

I think that's it.
Writing about knitting is still not a habit for me. I'm really not much of a participant on the internet. I read a lot and I think about it all, but I just don't throw myself out into the mix.

Some knitting thoughts:
I finished the Cutaway Cardigan and I am not satisfied with it. Contrary to knitting-world conventional wisdom, set-in sleeves do not look great on everyone. I am on thin on top, but I have straight, square shoulders. I think if the fabric is thin, the set-in sleeve cut can look great, but otherwise I just look like a linebacker. Oh well.

Then I bought some Lamb's Pride bulky to make the the yoked vest from the "Loop d Loop" book. I knit away on it, but both my knitting and my throat got tighter and tighter. I'm allergic to mohair. Gack. And when I finished it, it was too tight because my gauge changed so much. Doh!! New rule: no mohair. New rule: check gauge several times along in a project, not just twice.

I'm working on "Halloween" socks - my secret pal sent me great self-striping sock yarn in harvest season colours, with black thrown in. They're fun. I like knitting socks.

Spinning - spinning away on the Targhee top that I dyed a few weeks ago.

OK, time to finish chores.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Too lazy for pictures

Let's get past the food issue:
I'd give my cooking this week a C-. Last Sunday I made macaroni and cheese from scratch, using a Cook's Illustrated recipe and my fancy Le Creuset pot. It was gross. I managed to burn both the bottom and the top of the food, so the whole dish was infused with eau d'carbon. Yuck. At least I didn't ruin the pot. I really should flunk myself for the week, but I made up it up to myself last night by making a sandwich of warm pita, feta, tomatoes, and cucumber with a little olive oil. And I had falafel for lunch on Friday. Falafel is a food that I can always eat.

I finished the Cutaway Cardigan. It fits great, but it's a little too short for me even though I made it to the size in the pattern (37"). It fits well across the chest and shoulders, but it has a little bit of a cropped look to it. Everyone in my knitting group says it looks fantastic. I was right about the placement of the button -- when buttoned, it cuts me off at an awkward point across my chest. As it looks more like an oversized bolero anyhow, I'm going to take the button off. The buttonhole is not noticeable so I don't need to reknit the band.

I received a package from my Knitter's Review Secret Pal! She sends me awesome presents -- thoughtful and interesting presents, I should say. The package had a Halloween/Autumn theme: lots of orange! She sent me two balls of self-patterning sock yarn (fall colours, orange the dominant one), a mystery ball of what look likes handpainted yarn (in beautiful pale orange colours, it reminds me of orange sherbet), a jack o'lantern candle holder with another lemon scented candle, and a copy of Loop-d-loop. Loop-d-loop is a fantastic knitting book. Lucky for me the trunk show is coming to one of the LYSes and hopefully I'll be able to try on the garments that appeal to me most, to see if they are worth making.

I've started a pair of socks with the self-patterning yarn. So far, very cute. It would be neat if I had them finished in time for Halloween. I'm also still working on the soy silk scarf for my SIL.

I spun the last bits of dyed BFL that I had left over from the tam project for my mom. I tried to spin thicker than I usually manage and it was uneven. Just playing around. I bought some Targhee top from Sweetgrass Wools on Monday, and it arrived on Wednesday. (That's great service.) I dyed some of it yesterday in the crockpot. More blues, purples, and dark pink. I need to buy some more dye -- I'm getting tired of the purple (mom's tam was purple, blues, and very dark pink). I bought a pound of the Targhee top hoping to start a great big spinning project, just to spin a lot of one thing, but now I'm not so sure. I should have waited for different dyes. Oh well. I just wanted something pretty to spin. It's not like Targhee is so expensive that it's a loss to use it for fun experiments, and I would definitely buy from Sweetgrass Wools again.

The leftover finely-spun BFL I unwound off the bobbin, skeined, and washed. It is very even, but there was a lot of twist in the skein and I am not sure that blocking it is really going to get the twist out. I suspect if I use it for anything there will be some significant biasing.

I bought some silk from a vendor that I'll leave unnamed for now. The silk is for my secret pal. The order arrived in a timely fashion and was correct, but when I received the invoice yesterday I saw that they charged me for twice as much as I had ordered and received. I called them immediately and left them a message, telling them the problem and asking that they call me at work on Monday. (They're closed on the weekends.) I'd be surprised if this turned into any kind of big deal, as I've heard nothing but good things about the vendor, but one never really knows until a problem arises. Anyway, you can imagine my shock at a receipt for twice as much as I had expected.

Back to sock knitting ...

Saturday, September 24, 2005

I lost my password

I'm not in the regular habit of blogging. Some reasons why I haven't updated:

1. I lost my password.
2. I spent more time photographing food than knitting.
3. I went to California last weekend for a wedding.
4. Waiting for something awesome to show.
  • Secret Pal package coming my way (all of my Secret Pal packages have been awesome!)
  • Almost done with the Cutaway Cardigan (perhaps less than awesome, but FOs are cooler than wippies.)

I'm thisclose to finishing the Cutaway Cardigan. I've finished the two front ribbed bands. I have to do the back-neck band and seam the pieces together. I'd like to finish it today to show off at my knitting group tomorrow. My only concern is the placement of the buttonhole. The pattern directs one to place the buttonhole where the v-neck decreases start, but when I held the pieces against me it seems too high. My row gauage could be off ... but I'll wait until it's seamed before I make the final judgement. The construction is such that I can undo the bands easily without taking the whole thing apart.

Time to catch up on chores. Really, pictures coming soon. I will also describe my culinary exploits of the past week.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

The W.I.P.s

aka, the wippies. I don't know why, when I read WIP, I hear wippie.

Since late August I've only been actively working on 3 projects.

1. The Cutaway Cardigan from Chicknits. Jo Sharp DK wool.
2. Estonian Garden Shawl. Actually, the scarf version. I started it in a handpainted fingering-weight wool, but I think the colour obscures the lace pattern a little too much. I'm going to switch to a laceweight oatmeal-coloured alpaca yarn.
3. Feather and Fan scarf in Oasis, a soy silk yarn. It's to be a present for my vegan sister-in-law.

I have several inactive wippies and a few more projects that have not yet been started.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Tonight I went out to eat.

Tonight the Man and I went out to dinner. We often go out to dinner, because neither of us are great cooks, we're often tired, and it just seems like a fine idea to have someone else do the work.

The problem for me has been that I have not found any food to be truly tasty in several months. Is it possible to just "go off food"? I don't feel like I'm depressed, I just wish food tasted better. I realized a few weeks ago that it doesn't taste better because I just don't try hard enough. I'm really, really, really good at making tea. And I really like it. Why can't I make other things the way I do tea? The Man summed it up best: "You've had the most practice making tea." I'm going to learn how to cook more than tea, toast, sublimely fluffy scrambled eggs, and baked things. I'm going to cook delicious meals.

Y'all can watch the progression from train wreck to Julia Child's kitchen on this blog.

However! - I don't want to just talk about cooking. I'm going to talk about my two hobbies, spinning and knitting, so I can track my progress more carefully than I have been. Tomorrow I'll take photos of the wippies (works in progress) and post them. Goodnight!

Oh, right, the food ... we ate at our usual Mexican place. It was good. I was pretty hungry!