Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Today is just one of those days. I feel totally out of balance and uninspired. Yargh. Yesterday was much better. How, you ask?

My arm was too sore to knit, so I made a pizza instead. Since it's so hot, I didn't want to turn on the oven and work against the AC, so I decided to make a pizza on the stovetop and melt the cheese under the broiler. I made my usual dough and let it rest for about 30 minutes. While it was resting, I chopped up some onion, minced some garlic and browned it in a little olive oil and a sprinkle of crushed black pepper. I heated up my cast iron griddle and rolled the dough into a round a little smaller than the griddle and about 1/4" thick. I put the dough on the griddle (no oil), browned it on one side, then flipped it. While it was browning on the second side, I got out my shredded cheese and opened the tomato paste. One more flip of the dough, a quick swipe with tomato paste, a sprinkle of sauteed onion and cheese and then under the broiler for 3 minutes to melt the cheese. Heavenly! A couple of glasses of wine and it was a mini-feast.

Tonight I think I'm just going to have cheese and crackers :)

Hopefully I get in a bit of knitting arm is still sore, but I really want to knit.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Delicious frangipane

I love frangipane. Last night I decided to whip up a batch of it and add a couple extra tablespoons of flour - that way I could bake it in a pie pan without having to make a crust! I sprinkled a few blackberries on the top, baked it at 350 for about 35 minutes and proceeded to munch away :) Even DP liked it, and he's very particular.

Work is progressing on the silk shawl. I'm through one repeat of the center lace pattern (24 rows), and I'm working on the horizontal lace band design. I graphed out a leaf motif last night so I'll be able to swatch it tonight. My initial plan was to use bleeding hearts as the inset, but I don't it will give me what I'm looking for. I left out my swatching yarn and needles so that I can jump into it tonight.

The socks are on the back burner, mostly because of the cabling. I think I'll do a couple more cables and leave well enough alone. My arm hurts just thinking about it! I don't know if cabling with a cable needle would make it less painful, but I can't stand the slowness of using a CN.

My current traveling project is the spoils of war tie shawl. I'm onto the wool/mohair section, and rows are getting longer. I love the shape of the shawl, and I'd like to incorporate that shaping into something else...what, I don't know yet.

Onward and upward!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Am I horrible?

I just bought a copy of this pattern, even though I could have easily reverse engineered it, to get entered into a drawing for a bunch of yarn. My father in law has MS, and I support the research, but I also love fiber.

I also found out that the MS color is orange - DP's favorite. When he wakes up, I have to find out what he thinks about that.

In less horrible news, I'm working away on my silk shawl - I have about 13 rows done. I'm finally getting to the decreases, so that should occupy me for a while. My main problem seems to be that the cable on the Addi lace needle I'm using is too kinky. The fabric of the shawl is so light that the stiff cable twists it up. Yargh. At least the rows are only taking 30 minutes.

The going on this installment of the LotR socks is slow - cabling now really screws with my right arm, so I have to only do a bit of it at a go. I'm to the second color in the gradience kit, and I like how the colors go together. I'm just not sure the game is worth the candle - what with all the ends to weave in and all the skein switching.

DP's friend and the friend's family came over last Sunday, and their 4 year old was totally enamored with spinning. He decided that he'd treadle while I spun, so we spun up the bolly roving I'd dyed for the spindler's challenge. I can dye up something else, and it was the only dyed roving I had in easy access. We skeined it off on the umbrella swift, and I asked him what he though I should make out of it. He decided on a hat, so I'm making a simple top down knit cap for him. We'll be seeing them in a few weeks, so I hope to have the hat done by then. I hope he likes it!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Interesting article

I just read this - not that I agree with everything in it, but it would make a good conversation piece.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

I may have gone totally mad

I'm currently making these. I don't know why, but ever since seeing the recipe, I can't get it out of my head. In the tradition of "the only way around it is through it," I decided to give them a go. I'll report back!

On the knitting front, I finished another row on my shawl :) The rows take me about 45 minutes, and I keep getting interrupted. Like I said, once I get to the decreasing, I'm hoping things will go smoother.

Eeep - back to my stove!

Later: if only I would have known that you're not supposed to stir praline when it's boiling - it makes the final product grainy. Flavor = good; texture = leaves something to be desired.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Arrrgh! I have tons of yarn and fiber, but I keep finding myself trolling online shops for more. So far, I've resisted buying anything for one month. I'm trying to refrain from too much stash enhancement until the WI Sheep and Wool festival in September, so I won't feel guilty if I go a bit crazy. Basically, I have too many ideas and not enough time. I just knit too slowly. I could crochet more, but that uses up more see my predicament.

I decided to start in on the LoTR socks and set them aside if DP finds a yarn that he likes. I'm enjoying the sushi sock yarn - I think it's a merino/bamboo blend. It's knitting up well (no splitting) and the gauge is a bit bigger. I know, I'm wimping out on gauge, but I don't think I can face any more 10st/inch projects.

My tie shawl is moving along nice and slow, as it should. I've finished knitting my fake mooi and I'm working on a spindle full of bamboo singles. Once they're done, I'll be able to start on the Foxfire mohair/wool. Once I see how that knits up, I'll decide if I want to spin up the rest of it or start in on the Icelandic.

I still have to seam up those panties so I can free up the needles for the beaded silk shawl. I started it using US3, but I'm going down to US2 for the body. I'm hoping this makes the edge stretchy enough.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Thin skinned?

Sometimes I wonder if I'm too sensitive, but other times I'm blown away by the sheer gall of some people. Grrrrr.

In other news, I cast on for the silk shawl and knit three rows. Since each row is 456 stitches long, and it's splitty, inelastic silk, the going has been slow. I'll be happy once I start the decreases :)

I've finished the silk panties, all except for the sewing up. Don't worry; I won't be modeling them! I decided to go with all garter stitch, since I was afraid of rolling if I used stockinette. I guess the proof for these will be in the wearing, and I'll finally have a matching lingerie set.

I think I may cast on the next LOTR sock, but I also feel as though I should make a pair of socks for DP. My last two pairs were for myself, and I don't want him to feel left out. The only real issue would be finding a yarn in my stash that's bright enough for him! Many of my skeins are pretty somber colors.

The robins built a nest right next to our hose, and they've been attacking DP whenever he goes outside. Hopefully the chicks will decide to grow up fast, and we'll be able to water our garden soon :)

Saturday, June 6, 2009


It's the anniversary of the landings on Normandy beach (June 6, 1944), and Google's picture today is of the anniversary of Tetris.


Pictures, finally!

I finally got off my duff and uploaded some pics! Below is the only good picture I could get of my boteh scarf:

boteh closeup

I love how sproingy it is, and it's the perfect length - twice as long as I am tall. Since I wear a lot of black, it dresses up my outfits without being too loud.

Here are a couple nice pics of the Spincerely Yours yarn:

spincerely lemon twist

spincerely lemon twist closeup

Working with this fiber was a pleasure that I'd love to experience again :) It drafted easily, the colors were saturated, and there was absolutely no felting.

And now, the socks:

pink lemonade socks

You can tell that the sock on the right, the one I did first, has totally different color progressions than the sock on the left. Like I mentioned before, my methods for the two were different, and it shows. I love the more obvious stripes in the right sock, but I love the drape and mellowness of the left one.

The Spindlers group on Ravelry does a monthly theme, and June's is Bollywood! I couldn't resist dyeing up some cormo in my favorite color combo - blue and pink:

bolly roving

Unfortunately, the pink is pretty subdued...but I'm excited to be spinning with a specific purpose in mind. I'm going for a 3 ply - two of the pink and blue and one of a dark purple silk.

Yesterday was a perfect day for sitting out on the deck and scheming up fibery things...the wind was blowing just enough to keep the bugs at bay, and it was nice and warm. DP bought some tables for the deck so we'd have somewhere to put drinks or grilling utensils, and I found that they were just the right size for a spinning workstation:

Friday afternoon

With time at a premium, what am I going to do this weekend - cast on for my silk shawl, or spin up more of my bolly roving? Or, will I get distracted by something else? Only time will tell...

Thursday, June 4, 2009


I think subtexts are know, when you say one thing, mean another and know that the other person knows what you say is not what you mean? Like:

Do you want to go out with us tonight?
We don't want you to come, so we asked you at the last minute. Please say you don't want to go.

Sorry, I'm all booked up - maybe next time.
I know you don't want me to come with you, so I'm saying what you want to hear.

I just had an experience like that a few hours ago. Not a social one, but about something else. Conversations like that can seem paranoid to the people you explain them to, but usually when you have them, you just know.

My tie shawl is coming along well. I'm almost to the point where I start with the wool/mohair blend. I'm thinking of setting it to the side while I finish a pair of silk panties (wink!) and get a good start on my other shawl. I got the beads and finished stringing them on the yarn - what a pain! I had them on a bag in my lap (easier than in the bag) and thought to myself, I hope I don't spill these! About 10 seconds after thinking that - long enough that I was off my guard - something in the bag shifted and it started sliding off my lap onto the floor! I rescued most of my beads, but still.

I'm reading Tale of Two Cities as my bus ride book. It's so much nicer when you can skim the overly wordy parts.