Saturday, July 21, 2007

Light at the end of the tunnel

I finished the Hyde Park Pullover last night. Pictures later. It's drying on the spare bed right now. I liked this pattern a lot. I highly recommend it. It isn't a sweater to be worn indoors, but rather an alternative to wearing a coat. I think this may be the direction I go. Sweaters instead of coats.
Today I attempted to make a couple of loaves of whole wheat bread. Total flop. I just threw the (not so risen) unbaked loaves in the trash. I got my book from Amazon today, so maybe I can figure out what I did wrong.
I worked on Nikko today. I have about 2 feet knitted.
I also spent some time cleaning today. And I forced myself to deal with the basket of UFOs. It's a tangled mass of crap. After untangling and sorting, I realized that I don't have a whole bunch to do to get caught up.
1) The Ribby Cardi. I'm thinking that it would be nice if I could get this done for Caitlin when she comes back. All that's left is one sleeve, picking up the collar and finishing.
2) EZ's Surplice Baby Jacket.
3) The brown twirly scarf from Scarf Style. Bind it off and forget about it already.
4) a pair of cabled slipper socks for me.
I also identified a few things that need to go to the frog pond. Along with the Kimono Jacket, I have made all the pieces of a v-neck pull over with this kick-ass hand dyed yarn from Bonkers. But, it just looks weird. I think it's a waste of this fabulous yarn. It should be used for a different project. So, I will rip it out.
I also started a sweater vest for my dad a long time ago with a Dale of Norway washable wool. He looks good in blue. It just seemed giant. And he's lost quite a bit of weight, so this needs to be ripped out and redone.
My cousin, Bruce, called me today. He will be coming to town this Wednesday. I can't wait. He was always my favorite family member. We had so much fun growing up. Bruce is a vegetarian. I can't wait to make a lovely meal for him and to have a long talk with him.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Yarn Porn Friday

This is hand-dyed super wash merino that I bought at a holiday craft sale for fiber artists in December of 2006. It was dyed by Marci Blank of Th'-Red Head Designs. The photo doesn't show the subtle changes in the deep red. I plan on making the Seamless Hybrid from Knitting Without Tears by Elizabeth Zimmermann for me.

I signed up to be a recipe tester for Cook's Illustrated magazine a while ago. Today, I got my first email from them. Looks like Sam & I will be making their French Onion soup this weekend. I love French Onion soup.

I also bought this book from Amazon. I'm looking forward to honing my bread baking skills. I intend on making some rye bread this weekend. The sour has been fermenting all week. And then a plain loaf too. I can't wait to get my new book!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


One of my greatest pleasures of summer is fresh, ripe tomatoes. I love having a sliced tomato for breakfast. Sometimes with a poached egg and toast.

This year, we planted 12 plants. Several of which are heirloom varieties. To date, I have only had one of my tomatoes as the squirrels have made off with the rest. The area I live in has quite a squirrel problem. I had heard that human hair deters the squirrels. While I have a bag of Sam's hair from his last haircut, I didn't have the nerve to go into a Great Cuts with a bag and ask for their hair clippings. Especially after Sam got the heeby-jeebies about it.

So, I have been forced to buy my tomatoes. One specialty store had home grown tomatoes and some Heirlooms this weekend. They were sold out on Monday, so I went to my usual grocery store. Arkansas tomatoes. Not that whippy either.

I sliced one for breakfast today and took a few bites. Absolutely no flavor. I threw out the rest of my plate. Barf.

And so, I must declare war on the squirrels. I didn't want to use a chemical deterrent. Last night, I read that squirrels are deterred by pepper smell. So, I boiled some water and soaked three habeneros that I cut up. Today, after the peppers had steeped overnight, I strained the water and added a couple of drops of dish washing liquid. Then I sprayed my plants with glee.
We'll see if I fixed those bastards or not.

The Nikko wrap is coming along swimmingly. I have about 15 inches done. When I brought it to my parents' house on Sunday, Tate admired it. That's a good sign.

I went back to the specialty store and got some homegrown tomatoes and a few heirlooms. Tonight, we will have BLTs on pumpernickel. I also smash an avocado in the Veganaise. A super easy summer dinner.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Happy Birthday, Tate!

Today is Tate's 20th Birthday. Here is a pic taken her junior year of High School. So, that's about 4 years ago. She's got on a shrug and a purse that I made for her.

Happy birthday, Tate. You are so creative and funny.

I bought the special issue of Interweave Knits Felt yesterday on a whim. I had my felting Hay Day several years ago. Noro felted purses. The wonderful felted slippers from Knitty. (I still make those every year for me and Sam.) Felted hats & purses galore. It's fun to felt. But, I figured I was pretty much over it. I was pleased to find that there are plenty of projects I would like to make from this issue. The silk chiffon rippled scarf is beautiful. The felted buttons and beads look like such fun. And the Unspun Roving Mittens are a must.

I looked in one of my stash closets and discovered that I have FOUR cones of the linen blend yarn I'm using for Nikko. (Background scream.) What the hell was I thinking? I'll have to make a gigantic shawl or something.

We had excellent spatchcocked grilled chicken, corn on the cob, and sliced tomatoes for dinner last night. A lovely summer dinner.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Oops. I did it again.

I worked on the Hyde Park pullover yesterday while working. I have about 8 inches left of the last sleeve and then picking up the collar.
Here are some reasons NOT to send your sweaters to the UFO basket:
1) it's hard to remember where you are in the pattern.
2) your knitting is not the same tension as it was when you started it.
3) you feel silly that you didn't just get it finished in the first place.
4) it's wasteful to have a lot of half finished projects.

However, after knitting on the Hyde Park pullover yesterday, I cast on for Nereides using this yarn.

It's a linen blend yard that I bought several years ago from Webs when they had an anniversary sale. I originally started Nereides using Recycled Sari Silk. But the yarn was too thick and since it's overspun it doesn't lend itself to the lacy effects. Then, I remembered that I had this thick and thin yard in my stash. Instead of Nereides, I will call it "Nikko" as the color of the yarn is much like Nikko Blue Hydrangeas. My rationalisation is that I will enter it in the Art contest my employer has about the same time as the Plaza Art Fair. The wrap has beads and lots of embellishment.

Today, I baked this rye bread.

It's made from a sour that ferments for several days. I made the sour last weekend and kept it in the refrigerator until I had time to make it this weekend. Next time, I will make it in loaf pans. I also made a batch of Kombucha. I used PG Tea and organic cane sugar.

We also went to see the new Harry Potter movie, which I enjoyed very much.