Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Just under the wire FO

Ages ago I joined Kat's UFO Challenge, and though I have been finishing quite a few things, I've been one sorry lame ass about posting them. But this one is for July...

A Kiri Shawl made of 900 yards of raw silk, fingering weight. It is beautiful, no? I'm completely in love with it. The pattern was easy and very clear and I would recommend it to anyone.

This shawl should've been finished ages ago, as I was moving along on it at quite a clip, but then I got to the edging. I have a secret suspicion that I have an edging curse. Everything was perfect. As I said, the pattern is very clear, and I had no doubts in knitting right along...when I got to the center stitch of the first row of edging, I was off. I tinked it back, thinking that I had some brain malfunction along the way, and did it again. No dice. Off again. This went on for a loooong time, alternating with bouts of shawl neglect, during which I convinced myself that when I picked it back up it would be fine, everything would work.

A few weeks ago, I was determined to finish the thing. I loved it and I wanted it. I went back to the pdf file, counted stitches here there and everywhere. Finally, I checked my chart against the written instructions, not really believing that the chart could be wrong, but I couldn't think of anything else. Confusion set in on the first 5 stitches. I went back to look at the pdf chart again and realized that the day I printed it, my printer must've been on red strike. It hadn't printed those little red YO's that frame the edging pattern. It didn't print ANYTHING in those spots, so I was knitting them. Once I added them in, everything went quickly and swimmingly again. And now I can honestly say that my printer has something against my knitting. Terd.

So, my weird word of advice about this lovely shawl? Make one, and make sure you have red ink in your printer.


Monday, July 30, 2007


Yup, you guessed it. It's my 9th post! Can you believe it? I never thought I would last through nine whole posts as a blogger!

Hardy har har. No, that's not the nine I'm talking about....

This past week, my dear Little A turned 9. NINE! (By the way, birthday party planning was the reason for the most previous absence....just in case any of you were wondering if I had spent the past too weeks floating in a liquor filled pool of master's completeness...I wish.)

Her birthday was the standard Little A multi-day extravaganza and she seemed quite happy about everything. Mostly. I gave her the ultimate of all gifts this year...a trip to Disney. (I'd tell you to feel free to question my sanity, but most of you already know the true state of my sanity.) She was....weird. Fully expecting her head to explode upon figuring out this gift out (I included a series of clues in some small gifts), the room was silent. And she looked...confused....just generally weirded out. It was truly anti-climatic.

Last night, about 3 minutes after she went to bed, she comes into my room saying she had a nightmare. We went to Disney and got caught in a tornado (I'm guessing she means hurricane, but whatever). She's freaking out about the trip and thinks we are going to die in a hurricane. Where the hell did this come from? Weekly Reader. Remember those? Some Weekly Reader she read this year in school has firmly connected Florida with hurricanes. Great. Super. Thanks Weekly Reader, I owe you one.

So this morning...I offered her a new gift. "We don't have to go to Disney if you don't want to," I said praying I could get my money back if she really took this route. I have to tell you, these are not words that I ever thought I would have to say as a parent. We talked the whole way over to her Dad's though, and after guarantees of pretrip weather checks and contingency plans, she decided that she really did want to go to Disney and actually (finally) started to get excited about it.

I have a VERY sensitive child...have I mentioned it before?


Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Blessed News

"I am pleased to report that the paper passed without further recommendations or changes."

I am finally DONE with my Master's Degree. DONE!!!!!!



Did you get that?



McCartney Mania

The other night, I dreamed that I was at a Paul McCartney concert. Near the beginning, there was a drawing. One person in the audience would be Paul McCartney girlfriend, for the concert, or a day, or some other amount of time. That was a prize. I won. Being Paul McCartney's girlfriend for the concert entailed sitting on the stage to watch the concert. Afterward, he gave me a "Lovely to meet you not get me out of here" celeb kiss on the cheek and disappeared. I was quite upset by his departure and so his crew organized a Q&A with a bunch of other groupies where I was supposed to tell them all what it had been like to be Paul McCartney's girlfriend for 3 hours. At first, I thought it was like group therapy, but then I realized that I was expected to be bragging about this glorious event. So I sat, on the stage of a school auditorium and fabricated stories about our AMAZING connection (Umm...yeah...Age of Love rambled in the background of my knitting the other night. Please don't berate me....I swear I didn't watch that disaster of a show on purpose or with any amount of attention!) that sparked the moment I heard my name drawn.


Yum, yum...Savory Chickpea Pancake

This is my favorite dinner recently. It's partially take from a recipe in Italy in Small Bites by Carol Field and partially take from Madhur Jaffrey's version in World Vegetarian. It's so very yummy. You can substitute anything you want for the mushrooms and feta, or take one out completely. I think roasted red peppers would be fabulous...but I haven't tried them yet.


1 cup besan (chickpea flour)

1.5 cups water

1/2 tsp salt (+ a little to sprinkle on top, if desired...I like salty food)

1/2 tsp thyme

1 portabello mushroom, thinly sliced

1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

Olive oil for the pan

Whisk the besan into the water, gradually, until it is all well combined. Leave it to sit for a LONG time, at least several hours. I usually make it before I go to work and then make them for dinner. After its done sitting, preheat oven to 500 degrees and skim all the foam off the top of the mixture. Whisk in the salt and thyme. Oil a baking sheet (like for cookies...with rims on all sides) generously. Pour the mixture into the pan (the batter is thin...it will look sort of like whisked eggs), lay the mushrooms into the mixture, sprinkle with crumbled feta and drizzle a little olive oil over the top. Bake at 500 degrees for 12-15 minutes, until the edges and the top are golden. Lightly salt it just as soon as you take it out of the oven. Serve it with some grapes or cherries or whatever and you'll say yumyum!


Friday, July 13, 2007

The tragic Koigu and Clue #2

Look, I rhymed! I'll try to stop that, I promise.

A while ago, my excellent pal from SP9 (It was 9, right?) asked if I had gotten to play with the long-coveted Koigu that she so generously sent me. Indeed, I had! I cast on some socks, toe-up because I wasn't sure exactly how far Koigu goes, on size ONE needles. A little insane, I should say, but...I wanted them to last forever once they were made, so I figured I would suffer through a little tight knitting for such a goal. I got just about an inch away from the top of the first...

That's a split rib, or something...it's a stitch pattern from Sensation Knitted Socks, and though the picture may not show it, these socks were quickly (HA! Quickly...on size ONE needles...as if...) turning into a thing of beauty.

As I was admiring them one day, I turned the sock around and found this:

Can you see it? IT'S a HOLE!!!! A hole?!?! I have no idea how it came to be, but it is almost halfway down the foot. I don't know how to darn, and though I'm sure I could learn how, I don't want my beautiful new Koigu socks to be darned even before I wear them....like some old stinky socks. I'm pretty sure I just have to rip them back and start over. Its truly tragic. I'll probably move up to size 2's this time though because the 1's were really driving me out of my damn mind. And I need no help with craziness these days.
Clue #3 for the Mystery Stole is due today...here's what I have, up to Clue #2 in the recycled cashmere. Using this yarn makes me realize I really have to get out to some yard sales and find myself some more cashmere sweaters to rip apart! It's really lovely to hold.

Oh...and I'll write a little about this more, but I seem to be lacking good books lately. Having been on a reading ban for a while because of that damn thesis, I'm a little out of the loop. I need some help...what's the best book you've read this year? Or last year? I'm going to the library tomorrow and I need a list. I've been disappointed twice in the last two days by two totally different books. I need no more dissappointment in my life these days. Blah!

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

More excellent judgment!

Just in case you were all looking for a reason to further question my amazing judgment...

there's been mitered love lately. Yup, now that it's summer, I thought it was high time to drape a warm, thick blanket all over me whenever I got the chance! When you last saw it, it looked like this:


And hanging off the end of the bed....just where it wants to live....

I really should've taken the pictures on the floor, but I was blocking something else on the floor and added to Little A's constant stream of crap on the floor, there just wasn't space. (Plus I need to vacuum...Pumpkin's been shedding in gigantic fur tufts all over the place. It's gross! Not gross enough to make me vacuum when I should, but gross enough that I don't want to show you.)


Friday, July 06, 2007

Polar Opposites

Yuh know, on any given day, its hard to know what I'll be working on. Today, these two are the winners. The top? You guessed it. I took the plunge. It's mystery stole #3, clue #1. I had resisted this mystery stole thing for a good month or so when I first heard a woman talking about it at my LYS. I kinda wanted to, I kinda knew that I had far too many things already languishing, unfinished, in my apartment. And so I resisted. Last Tuesday, at knitting, the dirty scoundrel, Cyncyn, started talking about it again. I really tried to ignore her. And I probably did it well enough that she was unaware that I was listening at all (diligently weaving in mitered ends, and all). I still had restraint. Because? I hadn't seen it. I still was able to remain strong because I had no visual coaxing. And then?

Stinkin' Harlot. Just had to show off how beautiful it is, didn't she? Argh. So, I joined, and knit clue #1 last night. I'm not using the beads, as they are optional, and to be honest I find beads and knitting a little icky. It's just a personal thing. Like strawberry fluff. Blech. The yarn is a recycled cashmere sweater from Lord and Taylor. I plan to dye it at the end after the whole design has been revealed. It's a little too yellow for me. I'm sure it will end up a dark red or dark purple since I like most things to be dark red or dark purple, but I guess we'll see how the design goes.
The bottom piece is the front of a new dancing bag for Little A. I was gifted some yarn recently. Actually it was a little more of a donation than a gift which means I can say I don't really like it, right? The giver knows this, but seemed humored to see what I might come up with for it (and several others that included a horrifying amount of ORANGE). I was playing around with it last night, muttering about how I didn't like it when Little A began to express her undying love of its pure beauty. (Ick.) She's needed a new dance bag for a few months now, so I asked her if she would like it for that. It's damn sturdy, let me tell you. Even if she starts wearing steel toed tap shoes, it should hold up for quite a while. I plan to make it even more ghastly and girly, so just you wait. That Easter puke up there is just the beginning!
So there you have it....the fine, meticulously patterned beautiful knit lace and the bulky, hardy, Easter puke wing-it bag. Polar opposites.


Thursday, July 05, 2007

Bad bad blogger.

I know. It's true. I'm a shitty shitty blogger. Ah well. What can I say? This is the second week in a row that I vowed to myself to have a knitting post everyday (in order to distract you from my other pathetic ramblings, of course) and here it is THURSDAY and I'm just getting around to the first one. I rock.

So, here is my belated post about the lovely package that I received from my Knitter's Coffee Swap Pal, Tammy. Sorry it took me so long Tammy. I LOVED the package. Here is the first view:

Oddly, pumpkin was once again interested. Very strange, this new behavior of being interested in my stuff. Once the paper was lifted, he did the required tuna check...

and seemed to be a bit perplexed by the contents.

So he did a once over of all the great gifts Tammy sent. There is a beautiful indie dyed yarn...400+ yards of my FAVORITE colors, maple flavored chocolate, mint chocolate, dpn holders, a lb of delicious deep coffee as well as lovely one-cups of two other flavors and organic hot cocoa, two flavors for adding to my coffee as my mood suits (perfect for a sometimes flavor girl, sometimes not!) and lamby, of course for Little A (at least that's what Little A says). Everything was absolutely yummy or beautiful! Tammy was really a great partner! Thank you Tammy! It was such a fun package!

And finally, at the end of package exploration, Pumpkin's true motives were revealed:


In other random news, my boobs look huge today. It is vital that you all know that.

And so far, I have stuck to my yarn diet. Could this be the reason for the excess boobage today?

I decided to try some raw food recipes. I'm actually pretty skeptical, but I'll keep you posted as to their yumminess or vileness. It looks like I need LOTS of nuts. As if I'm not nuts enough.

Ok, better sign off before my blog self-destructs from the presence of an actual post.

PS - Bloglines seems to have pruned my list a little in my absence! Ack...I figured out a couple, but I know I'm missing some. If you used to be there and you are not any longer, leave me a comment so I can add you back in.