Thursday, December 31, 2009

One last forgotten resolution

I KNEW I forgot one. And I promise, this will be my last post tonight.

Probably not my last tweet though. heh.

Anyway, without further ado:

10. Learn to knit continental(ly). I hear it is faster. I need to knit faster.
Other resolutions that I forgot...


6. Knit a pair of %$#@! socks.

7. Finish Bruce's sweater.

8. Finish Ella's sweater.

9. Make a nupp. Heh. That sounds so dirty.

I'm sure I've forgotten some.
New Years Resolutions

I don't usually make resolutions, but I have actual GOALS for next year, so I figure I should actually resolve to do them.

I hereby resolve to:

1. Acquire a digital SLR and learn how to take good, natch, GREAT photos of my knitting for posting on the blog and on Ravelry. I think my mom has the digital SLR thing covered. She said she'd send me one of my father's. Sweet. And poignant. I miss my dad. (He passed away in 2006)

2. Complete six knitted item designs and have them test knitted.

3. Start selling designs on Ravelry. And maybe through my own website. I haven't gotten quite that far yet.

4. Start eating more healthfully. I'm making an effort to be better about it now. Cutting back on alcohol, eating more fruits and veggies, less processed foods. Trying to eat less meat also.

5. Get myself into an employment situation that actively makes me happy. Which will probably mean not being employed by other people. But I'm not sure. I will need to do a lot of soul searching regarding the whole employment thing very soon.

(the font is Georgia, in honor of the kid)
(also, she picked the colors)

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2009 Finished Object Roundup

Yee HAW! A retrospective of the projects I completed in my first year of knitting.

February 2009:

Bruce's Scarf
Pattern: 2x2 rib scarf
Yarn: Classic Elite Stormy (caaaaaaaaaaaashmere, dahling)

Georgia's Scarf
Pattern: Spiral 'Ruffled' Scarf (knit) by Lion Brand
Yarn: Plymouth Yarn Encore Colorspun Worsted (no clue what the colorway is)


Ella's Scarf
Pattern: Fascinate by Berroco Design Team
Yarn: Araucania Ulmo Multy

Some Sort of Dishcloth
Pattern: Kitchen Cotton Dishcloth by Lion Brand
Yarn: Araucania Nature Cotton
I made multiple of these, but neglected to take pictures. Oops.

Take Two with my Alpaca
Pattern: Easy Lace Stole by Arlene's World of Lace
Yarn: Garnstudio DROPS Alpaca colorway Raspberry


Lace Scarf for Mom
Pattern: Fern and Waves by Arlene's World of Lace
Yarn: Garnstudio DROPS Alpaca


Georgia's Sweater
Pattern: Eloise Eyelet Cardi by Lion Brand Yarn
Yarn: Lion Brand Recycled Cotton colorway Rose Coral


Another Summer Cardi
Pattern: Yoked Cardigan by Hannah Fettig
Yarn: Malabrigo Worsted colorway Emerald

Bruce's Father's Day Scarf
Pattern: Garter Stitch Scarf
Yarn: Noro Kureyon colorway 172

Georgia's Summer Cardi
Pattern: Yoked Cardigan by Hannah Fettig
Yarn: Knit Picks Shine Worsted colorway Crocus


Summer Cardi
Pattern: Whisper Cardigan by Hannah Fettig
Yarn: Morehouse Farm Merino Merino Lace colorway Blackberry


Pattern: Firefly Scarf by A Morehouse Merino Original
Yarn: Morehouse Farm Merino Variegated Lace colorway Firefly (go figure)

Pattern: Liesl by Ysolda Teague
Yarn: Malabrigo Worsted in Emerald

Sizzler I & II
Pattern: Sizzler Scarf by A Morehouse Merino Original
Yarn: Morehouse Farm Merino Merino Lace colorway Fuschia & something that I overdyed. (I'm currently blocking the second one. It's a disaster. Unqualified disaster. Sigh)


Pattern: Damson by Ysolda Teague
Yarn: Malabrigo Sock in colorway Velvet Grapes


Pattern: Multnomah by Kate Flagg
Yarn: Briar Rose Fibers Grandma's Blessing


Pattern: Koolhaas by Jared Flood
Yarn: Malabrigo Worsted in colorway Emerald

Kureyon Kozy
Pattern: Kureyon Kozy by Emma Crew
Yarn: Noro Kureyon, colorway 147

Simple Thing
Pattern: Simple Things by Mary-Heather Cogar
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock Multi colorway Envy

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Listening to Lady Gaga and...

Blocking Simple Things! (in progress shot)

Ooh, look, my foot made a guest appearance (lower right corner).


Pattern: Simple Things (Rav Link) by Mary-Heather Cogar
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in the Envy colorway 1.1 skeins
Time: 3-4 days, knitting an hour or two a day. Not too shabby.
Beer: Clay Pipe Pursuit of Happiness

I think I have enough yarn leftover to make another slightly smaller one.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Simple Things...

Well, I'm almost done with the Simple Things shawlette, although I have TONS of yarn leftover, so I'm thinking of just continuing on until I run out of yarn. Then it'll be a full on shawl.

My husband and I managed to forget our camera so no pictures. Although I did get a really nice one with my phone of the sunset through the tress on the mall in DC.

It's been an excellent Christmas, and we've really enjoyed being back in NOVA for the first time since we were kids.

I've stalled out on Bruce's sweater, but I think I'm going to be picking that up again this week, after I get done with Simple Things. (which will probably be today)

I hope everyone else is having a great holiday!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

We're in Northern Virginia visiting my dear friend Jorie for Christmas. I am sorry to say that Jorie is not receiving any knitted items this year, although hopefully I can rectify that later on.

I visited Fibre Space today, a local yarn store (LYS) that I've heard quite a bit about. It was awesome. Jorie picked out some yarn that I will make her something from in the very near future. She doesn't know this yet... shh...

It's Malabrigo Sock in the Primavera colorway. When I actually dig out a camera, I'll take some pix and post it.

Anyway, I'm knitting like crazy. I finally came to grips with the fact that the Herbivore and I just don't get a long. At all. In any way. I cast on for it again last night and I just do not like the pattern. I love the design. But apparently am incapable of knitting it. So I downloaded the Simple Things shawl last night and will be making that for my friend Christine. It's pretty quick thus far.

Also, I finished off the main body of the Featherweight Cardigan for Ella yesterday on the bus to DC, so all that's left are the sleeves and the collar. The sleeves should go pretty quickly. I picked up the needles to do that at Fibre Space (my real reason for going there. Heh).

I'm about halfway up the second sleeve for Bruce's sweater and will probably be attaching sometime this weekend. YAY!

And I have two other small projects that I've brought with me on our little vacation, so I'll have plenty to knit. :)

Monday, December 21, 2009

100 Posts!

And to celebrate, some whining about my commute this morning. I shall do it wordlessly:

Lots of knitting done. I finished that one sleeve of Bruce's that I screwed up last week, and started on the second. I'm about a third of the way up the second sleeve. Got quite a bit done this morning, despite the fact that I was dumped off the train I was on at a highly inconvenient stop and had to slog across the bridge above to Manhattan to another train. Yay.

I'm still a little nervous about the whole, attaching sleeves to a raglan sweater knit from the bottom up thing, but we'll see.

I've got lots of knitting time ahead of me (bus trip to DC on Wednesday) and while I'm off for Christmas. Sweet. So happy to be off for the holidays.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Too tired to knit

Last night on my way home from work, I was too tired to knit. I came home and collapsed for about a half hour before Georgia started having a minor emergency, which got me moving. Then the toilet got clogged. Then something else happened. Then...

ANYWAY, yes, still working on Bruce's sweater. Apparently my whining about the project on ye olde blogge is causing my husband to feel guilt about the interminable sweater process. Heh. What can I say? He's half Catholic, half Jewish. In his words, a "guilt connoisseur"

No worries, sweetie. I promise, I'm enjoying the whinging almost as much as the knitting.

And this morning, in my brilliant pre-coffee brilliantness, I decided "oh, I have enough yarn for another two or three rows before I complete this sleeve" and then got to the last row and ran out of yarn in the middle of the bind off.


So I decided, five minutes before getting off the train to rip out all three rows and put the stitches back on the needles.

Yeah. Smart. That's me. Real EFFIN smart.

Let's just say that I probably lost a good five or six rows and I still haven't gotten the stitches back on the needles yet entirely. This should be interesting.

I'm rippin it like Penelope, yo. (although I can only pronounce that PEE-nah-Lope now, to some movie or another that I'm sure my husband will immediately reference in the comments.)

I'll post on my reconstructive progress tomorrow.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A knitter's work is never done

Especially if you are working on a stockinette stitch sweater for your husband.

Or, you know, you take four months to actually block a project that you completed. In August. (cuz that would be four months and all)

And has been sitting on a shelf for a while.

And you realized that you made it for somebody for a gift that you were supposed to send four months ago.


Well, SOMEBODY will be getting this in the mail within the next week or so.

Monday, December 14, 2009

New Year's Resolutions

I hereby resolve to get the designs knocking around in my head on paper. At least by the end of January, but I'm not sure if I can wait that long.

At this moment, I have two designs that I want to make. Both sweaters. Both using colorwork, which I haven't done yet. Heh.

This should be interesting. I see swatching in my near future.

Maybe I should complete a color work project?

The Cheating has to stop!

This morning went back to Bruce's sweater. No more cheating on it with other projects until I'm effing DONE.

I'm 16 inches up one sleeve. So only six or seven more inches to go. I'm still astoundingly unpleased with how the ribbing is looking. It still just sucks on the left hand edge between knits and purls. On the other hand, this edge sucked on the tea cozy, and blocking completely took care of that problem. I agitated the heck out of the tea cozy when I was blocking it. So I think I'm going to block the sleeves before I actually attach them to the body of the sweater to see what happens.

The plus side is, the sleeve is going pretty fast, when I'm actually working on it. The downside is, I HATE THE NEEDLES I'm working on them with. They're bamboo. I think I've used this brand before and just don't enjoy the finish on them. They're too sticky. I can't remember what brand they are. They were cheap, so at least they have THAT going for them. Bleh.

I might have to go pick up some decent needles today on my lunch break. It'll make the knitting go faster anyway.

Future Projects

It is friggen COLD in NYC. Well, it'll get there eventually. We had a taste of the cold last week, and my neck did not like it at all. So I'm in the market for a really big chunky scarf that is warm as hell (and not at all itchy).

I am a delicate flower. I must be warm and itch-free.
Random Picture Day

I'm blocking some older projects, which I think I've already blogged about (and blocking them now because I'm super lame, and these silly things have been done for four months.

BUT ANYWAY, here are some random photos from the last few weeks:

This one is a sunset through the windows of the storage unit we've rented. You can just barely see the Manhattan skyline in there. (Second row from the bottom, third pane from the right)

Another shot of the Columbus Circle stars at night. The blue lights are on the trees outside. The light shows are pretty amazing. We were all mesmerized for hours.

A few Battery Park City lunchtime shots. Here is a rose that apparently hasn't been informed that it is December, as it just bloomed and has quite a few more buds ready to pop any minute.

Near the World Financial Center, Korean Airlines had tied tiny pieces of blue paper to every tree in the area. It looked really pretty. But very hard to photograph. There wasn't much contrast.

And an impossibly clear day. I'm somewhat amazed that my phone was able to capture just how blue the sky was that day. (And that's New Jersey in the background, in case anybody was wondering.)

It's funny how we miss some things in NYC. The other evening, Georgia got incredibly excited because she saw a star. A star. As in, one (1). Just one star. That's it. That's 100% more stars than we usually see in the Bronx.

It is going to blow her little mind when we go somewhere and she sees TONS of stars.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The falling light of a Northern sun...


I'm done. It was a race against time today to finish the thing before sundown so that I could actually photograph it.

Here we are:

(Bessie graciously consented to model. Also, she's the only teapot I have.)

Noro Kureyon, color 147, less than two skeins (but you will need a full two if you want to match stripes. Size 7 dpns, size 8 circular (16 inch).

Also, the koolass (koolhaas)

Malabrigo Worsted, Emerald colorway, considerably less than one skein, good GOD I'm pale. Wow. And size 7 or 8 dpns (I can't remember. Probably 8s)

Next time I'm going to add a LOT more ribbing to the bottom edge.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Ok. Fine. Just for you, J. (and also J., oh AND you too, J...)


So. I've finished the base of the first tea cozy. Then I started working up the sides and discovered today that I completely ignored the pattern for quite a ways. When I work up the other side, I'm going to have to remember what the hell I did on the first side because yeah. Anyway. I was on crack a little bit. I'm about halfway up the first side. That took me approximately an hour today, so not too shabby.

Here's an in-progress photo:

Ye GODS that Noro is some sexy sexy stuff. Yow.

Anyway, as I was knitting today, the effing yarn broke off in the middle of a row, so I had to unknit. Grr.

I'm thinking this thing should be done by the end of the weekend.

Let's hope that this will suit J's mum. (No, J. not you. The OTHER J. Not that J. either. The one in California. The J. that is married to... J!)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

And the winner is...

Aunty-Marion of the UK!

Please check your e-mail/blog and I'll get your mailing details.


(number chosen by incredibly scientific random number generator at

Tomorrow: Actual knitting pictures. I promise. Maybe even one of the tea cozy in progress.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Tea Cozy

I have started the first of the tea cozies. Once I got going (as usual) it is zipping by pretty quickly. I'm pleased about that. Starting to knit in the round on DPNs is a little scary, however I only had to rip out once, so that's a major plus. Also, I found that I can't knit through the back loop on the first few rounds of M1s, so there are some lovely (evenly spaced) little holes around the bottom. Ah well. At least it looks nice. Plus the bottom gets two layers, so they probably won't be noticeable at all.

Bruce's sweater (Terry's Pullover)

I'm most of the way through one sleeve, which is great. The other sleeve should go quickly. I'm still having a problem with the transition between knit and purl on the right edge of my ribbing. Just that one stupid stitch. It doesn't matter how hard I yank the sucker down, it is still a little loose. I'm not sure how to fix that problem.

Ella's Cardigan (Featherweight Cardigan)

Still on hold. It's going to take some more gumption to get to the point where I want to complete (what seems like) acres of stockinette in laceweight. Ugh. I'll get there. I promise.


I don't know that I'm going to be posting every day for a while, as I'm kind of madly knitting at the moment. But hopefully I can borrow a work camera and take some pictures in the daylight of my projects in the next few days.

Oh, and of course, I'll announce the winner of the Ysolda drawing tomorrow. :) YAY!

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Koolhaas is done!

I wore it all weekend. Well, except for Saturday when it was raining/snowing. I like a brim to keep the weather off my glasses on days like that.

Anyway, the Koolass (still cracks me up, Janey) had is done, someday when I'm near a camera and sunlight all at the same time, I'll post a picture.

Also, I'm about halfway through a sleeve for Bruce's sweater. The sleeves are going superfast.

I got lots of good knitting time in this weekend, mostly because we went to Brooklyn to Sunday dinner at a friend's apartment last night, and that was a good two and a half hours of subway time. There really isn't quite anything like happily knitting with your daughter asleep in your lap.

Although I did, at one point, have a slightly crazy guy sitting next to me asking incessant questions and then mimicking the motions of my hands for a few stops. Snort. Gotta love New York, right?

So that's about it for an update. Can't wait to post pix of the Koolhaas...

Friday, December 4, 2009

So many blessings!

Wow. I had a ridiculous response to my giveaway yesterday, (yes yes, to ignore my blather and enter the giveaway, the post is immediately below) due in no small part to Ysolda herownself who tweeted about it. I think I am in danger of becoming a slavish fangirl. (ok, yeah, not creepy, at all, right?)

Anyway, THANK YOU Ysolda. You rock. But we already knew that.

It's been super cool to see hits on my blog coming from all over the world. ESTONIA, represent! It's the total map geek in me that loves looking at all the weird town names, and occasionally using google earth to peer down into the various little towns and imagine what it would be like to hang out there and knit. Is there a good yarn store there? Decent beer? (or wine. I'm not picky. really)

Though honestly, I am fully aware of the fact that to most of the people coming to my blog, the Bronx is about as exotic as it gets.

1. Nobody comes here unless it's for Yankees games.
2. It's got a wee bit of a bad reputation. Oops.
3. It's the most misunderstood borough.
4. It has the biggest collection of art deco buildings outside of South Beach in Miami in the world.
5. It is the home of the Bronx Blue Bedroom Project, one of the coolest things ever (and just happens to be run by a fiber artist.
6. Also the NY Botanical Gardens (my own personal backyard)
(oh, and there's the zoo. And Woodlawn. And Wave Hill. And City Island. And Orchard Beach. And Poe Cottage. And Arthur Avenue. And...)

Here's my favorite sculpture at Woodlawn. It's done by Piccarilli for his nephew (I think) who died in WWI (again, I think). Piccarilli is known for such things as the Maine monument in Columbus Circle and oh, a little something called the Lincoln Memorial in DC:

Picture Courtesy of my Awesome Husband

So, on to actual knitting talk

The Koolass (koolhaas) is almost done. I have one more regular round and then the decreases start. This pattern. Is. Awesome! Thank you Jared Flood (J, you should check out his blog. He's a great photographer).

Bruce's sweater (Terry's Pullover from some recent issue of Interweave) is coming along. I discovered that a lot of my problems with switching between k and p stitches come from stitch markers that are too big. Go figure. And here I thought i was going insane.

Ella's sweater (Featherweight Cardigan) is still on hold for the time being. I'll finish it eventually. I swear.

Currently the Noro for the tea cozies is calling for me. Viiiiiiiiirrrrrrrgiiiiiiiiinaaaaaaaaaaaaa. Knit meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

A Giveaway!

Yay! It's about time, right?

Anyway, because of my own silliness (stupidly accidentally ordered two hard copies. Not sure how that happened.), I have the opportunity to give away one of Ysolda Teague's Whimisical Little Knits 2 books, SIGNED by the author/designer.

(sorry for the lack of a decent photo. Stupid nighttime)

So. The rules are, leave a comment on this post by Tuesday December 8th at midnight (Eastern time U.S., or GMT -5.00. Ok, I'm not good at figuring this stuff out. Just leave a comment by the end of your Tuesday, wherever you are), and I'll use the magical random number generator thingy to choose a winner.

If you don't win, and you don't already have a copy of her book you should go here and buy one, or order one from a Ravelry download thingamajig. She's an amazing designer, and an independent, and we should support the heck out of her!

Plus, you know, she looks cute when dressed as a dog.

The Tea Cozy

Here's the very sexy Noro that I bought for the tea cozy(ies) that I'll be knitting soon.

Shade 163 (top) and Shade 147 (bottom) Again. Sorry for the craptacular photos. Taken at night. I gotta work on this camera situation. It blows. The colors are much sexier than this. I promise.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww yeah! Are you feeling the sexiness? (well, ok maybe not. The are going to be tea cozies after all... but but but, NORO!)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A Commission!

I've been asked by one of my dearest friends to make a tea cozy for her mother for Christmas. I spent a lovely day searching out patterns on Ravelry, and have narrowed down my search to three or four. I spent some time reading the patterns, to get a feel for them, and to maybe figure out how long it will take me to knit the pieces.

It's a win-win. I adore my friend, I think her mother is awesome, and, hello, KNITTING! I've never made a tea cozy before, so this will be a fun project. I'm thinking her mum might get more than one tea cozy if the first one knits up quickly. To the yarn store!

Other Knitting

I still haven't finished the body of Bruce's sweater, but I did start a sleeve today. I have been knitting on circulars (needles, J) so much recently that I'd completely forgotten how awesome it is to knit on straights (still talking about needles, J, get yer mind out tha guttah). It's a nice change. I find that I hold the needles completely differently with straights than I do with circs. Anybody else do this?

The Koolass (Koolhaas) is coming along slowly. Plus, I'm not knitting this evening so as to give my poor sore fingers a break.

A Cleansing Breath

I need to step back and take one from work and... well, work mostly. It's pretty stressful right now, and I am not going to go into it, but my dear husband is my saving grace. I think sometimes that if it weren't for him I'd be off picking nits out of my own hair living in a mud hut in the furthest reaches of Alaska. It's good that I have somebody around to help me deal with my hermit tendencies.

I'm also having one of those weeks when I'm starting to wonder about my own sanity. For the most part I'm a fairly go-with-the-flow person, and have been able to deal with the bizarreness of living in a foreign country (if you think the Bronx is not a foreign country... then you've never been here) where the customs of the locals are so amazingly different from my own. But lately I've been so much on edge that things that I used to be able to ignore (or sleep through) are causing me to enter a state where I'm so enraged I can barely function. One example: Loud music. I'm not talking just slightly obnoxious, I'm talking about so loud that I can't even hear somebody talking to me when they're standing right next to me. Just writing about this is making my blood pressure go up. Which is weird, because my blood pressure is usually as close to dead as somebody can get without actually being dead.

I'm off to read some Byron Katie (she's pretty amazing, and exceedingly helpful for me to pull myself out of my own b.s.) and calm down for a while. I think the stresses I've been under for the past year are catching up to me right now.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Now, with 100% more pictures!

So the thing that really sucks is that I get home after dark every day now (December 21st can't come too soon) and I can't actually take any pictures except on weekends when I'm usually running around doing other stuff. Also, our camera sucks. I need to get a new fancy pants camera and learn how to use it. I figure that will be the next phase of my digital knitting life (sometime next year).

Anyhoo, here is Bruce's (Terry's Pullover) sweater as it stands right now:

I swear, this thing is shrinking as I knit it. The body is supposed to measure 16.5 inches. I measured last night, and I got 15 inches. So I wasall excited, thinking I only had 1.5 inches to go. Which is easily done in two subway rides. I measured tonight when I got home, and I had 16 inches. Wha? Then I knitted 4 rounds, which per my row gauge is .5 inches, and re-measured, and got 16 inches again. ARGH. THIS SWEATER WILL NEVER BE DONE!

It's also hurting my hands a little bit. I think because it's so heavy. I might say screw it and just start on the sleeves for my subway project tomorrow, because of the weight issue.

Speaking of hand pain, here's the Koolass (thank you, Janey. I've had to rename this one now):

It's an extremely enjoyable knit, however I'm so paranoid about my cables getting all bloopy, that I'm cranking down on my gauge and yanking the yarn tight. The cables, as you might (or might not) be able to see, are not bloopy. This is a good thing.

The incredibly slow progress, and the likelihood that this hat will be too small for Georgia is not good. But it is fun practice. And I'm sure she has a doll somewhere that this hat will fit.

On a final note, my daughter has been obsessed with being a "poppin hairstyle girl" - whatever that means. In order to achieve the perfect look, she places a dishtowel on her head, her winter hat over it, and puts on her sunglasses. To wit:

Hat: Children's Place
Dishtowel: Crate & Barrel
Sunglasses: Winnie the Pooh
Poppin Hairstyle: All Georgia

Monday, November 30, 2009

A boringly pictureless (catch-up) post

Thanksgiving weekend was a little insane. On Thanksgiving day itself, Bruce and I ran around like crazy people most of the day and I got absolutely no knitting done. Ah well.

The rest of the weekend I spent recovering from Thursday. Friday I knitted some. Started a Koolhaas hat, which is just complex enough to keep me entertained, but is a quick knit. I'm about halfway through. I find myself having to use the cable needle in order to keep track of what I'm doing. Otherwise I would be cabling without a needle.

I'm chugging through Bruce's sweater. As of this morning, I have approximately 15 inches of the 16.5 inch main body done. On to the sleeves this afternoon.

The Featherweight is on hold again. I need to figure out the length of the body for Ella, as well as the sleeves. She wants a longer sweater. I'm not sure I have enough yarn. So I need to do some calculating.

Yesterday, while happily knitting on the Koolhaas, I started to think more and more about designing my own sweaters. I have a hankerin to do so. It will be happening soon. I keep dreaming of some colorwork... I suppose I should complete a colorwork project before I try to design with it.

In non-knitting news

We've kind of accidentally had really nice Sunday dinners a few weeks in a row now, with some guests that have just kinda shown up. We've all really enjoyed the meals, so we decided to officially institute Sunday dinner. Last night I cooked a menu from the new book Martha Stewart's Dinner at Home. We had pork chops with apples and onions (awesome), kohlrabi and fennel slaw, mustard mashed potatoes, and maple custard for dessert. The slaw we liked, but the problem with it is that the dressing completely overwhelmed the delicate flavors of the veggies.

The book is great. It's organized by season, so we can do most of our shopping for each menu from the farmer's market. And the recipes are pretty awesome as well. They're inventive, and unlike quite a few other cookbooks I've found, I don't have to doctor the recipes so that there is flavor.

Monday, November 23, 2009

On Hiatus

I'll be taking a break from ye olde blogge for a few days, at least until after the Thanksgiving holiday is over.

However, when I come back, I shall have my first giveaway! Which, in true Virginia (the person, not the state) will be due to my own crackheadedness.


Friday, November 20, 2009

Actual knitting updates

Please, my devoted tens of readers, try not to be overcome with surprise.

Ok, so I dyed the ugly green/yellow/orange koolaid scarf. I meant for it to be this color (or a variation thereof):

(teal jacquard dye from knitpicks)

And instead it came out this color:

Um. That's not teal. I think maybe it's because I used twice as much dye as the instructions called for. Well, maybe it was three times as much. Heh.

However, despite the lack of tealness, I think that the black is a decided improvement over the koolaid colors, and honestly, who doesn't like black? So once I get this sucker blocked and ready to go, I'll package it up and send it off for a Christmas gift.

I just wasn't up for the blocking last night.

And yes, for those who ask, the Knitpicks dye was super easy to use, and they had an excellent tutorial on their website.

An actual photo of the epic knitting fail

Unfortunately, I tried to take pictures at night in our crappy apartment light, so they're not as clear as I'd like them to be.

Although that might be in my favor, because then it's harder to see my incompetence with the knittage:

As you can see, on the left side of the ridgey middle bit, the stitches are all loose and ugly. Bah. I will need to rip back (fortunately haven't knitted all that much) and start over again. Plus the yarn overs on the lower edge aren't working (thank you Shortly for the advice in the comments).

And I hate, loathe and despise the needles I was knitting this on. They were Kollage square needles. Somebody may love them. In fact, if somebody wants them, post in the comments and I'll ship them off to you. I have two or three sizes. International shipping is fine.

My problems with them are:
1. my knitting is loose to begin with, and even though I go down two full needle sizes below what I normally do on regular needles (which is two sizes below the pattern size usually) my knitting still looks loose with these. Apparently they are very good for supertight knitters, which I am not.

2. I HATE THE JOINS on these needles. nuff said.

3. I don't like the cables. Yes, they are very flexible and that is cool, but when I'm knitting with them and the stupid cable gets all twisty on itself and I have to untwist it constantly, that drives me bananas.

4. They cost $16 US, and I have already thrown out a pair of these needles because the finish came off the corners of the squares, making for not very smooth knitting.

Yeah, I'm not really giving a good advertisement for them, but seriously, you may love them. So drop me a line if you're interested.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Epic Knitting Fail

So I started in on the Herbivore and got about four inches into the first part of the project, and discovered that there is something terribly horribly wrong with my technique. Some of the stitches are all loose and nasty on one edge of the ribbing - similar to the problem that I was having with cables oh so long ago (and still haven't resolved to my satisfaction).

Also, the yarn overs (J, it's when you bring your yarn forward between the needles to create an extra stitch and a nice decorative hole. It's one of the ways to make holes in lace) along one edge are laying open nicely, and the yarn overs on the other edge I can barely see when I pull the stitches out as far as I can.

Which is odd, because I certainly wasn't having this issue at all with the Damson. Then again, the Damson body was garter stitch, and this is stockinette.

I am pretty damn sure that I'm doing my yarn overs between a knit and a purl stitch wrong.


I'll post some pictures of my screw ups tomorrow when there's better light.

More pictures

Here's some more of Ella's bounteous photo shoot.

This is the Firefly (unblocked) - another Morehouse Farms Original. Again, a super easy pattern, and despite the two skeins of lace weight yarn, knitted up in a few days (2 hours per day).

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Pictures (or, Bagheera's photo shoot)

Yesterday was way heavy. I'll write about it some more later on when I have a little distance from it, and maybe some more clarity.

Anyway, to keep the stuff light today, here are some of the results of Ella's photographic bonanza yesterday. She took so many awesome photos, I'm going to have to break it into a few posts.

Today's project is the Sizzler (a Morehouse Farms Original). Very very simple project. But I really dug the brightfreakingpink and it was superfast to knit up.

Here's the photographer herownself:

A couple of lovely shots of the project:

And Bagheera, demonstrating that black looks awesome with hot pink:

And the piece de resistance. This may be my favorite photo of Bagheera ever (although all of these are awesome):