Thursday, December 29, 2011

Knitter cramp, cooking ensues.

Secret Santa project: so close. Finished one sleeve today. Hand is cramping up an insane amount, so I took a brief hiatus to make Cooking Light's Coconut Shrimp with Fiery Mango Sauce.
I love coconut shrimp and anything that claims to be spicy...
But...but...It was only calling for 1/4 of a scotch bonnet pepper? 1/4?! Yeah, no. It's all or nothing.
Of course, 'all' is what the right answer is.

It was also calling for some grated ginger and garlic and onion...so rather spicy sounding. The mango nectar was a little tricky to find, I found a giant bottle at Stop and Shop which was $5.00; almost cancelled plans to make that recipe, until I realized there was tiny cans of it in the Spanish section that was like $1.00.
Thankfully, after mincing the pepper, I did not make the mistake of trying to push my glasses up on my face(even though I am wearing contacts...) until after I washed my hands. Come on, don't tell me you don't do that. It's a habit. Anyway, face burning averted, always a plus.
Yes, yes, I know. The end result is rather boring looking. But the mango sauce was delicious and spicy..Should have put some scallions on it, maybe some cilantro? We had it with some jasmine rice (jasmine rice is really lovely) and I will probably be venturing into the kitchen shortly to drink the rest of the mango sauce. (I'm kidding.) (Am I?)

I can't bring myself to post pictures of my knitting. I know I did on the last post. But, this morning I blocked the body of it, and finished one sleeve. So it is too close to completion to share. I'll post pictures of it after this weekend. I'm about to cast on the last sleeve this evening, maybe after I take a break and read some Game of Thrones, which I started the other day and am really into right now.

Oh, and I have been watching some seriously awesome (garbage) movies on my knitting vacation. I watched Hello Again, which might be one of the most irritating movies in history, but features one of the best lines I've ever heard:

"Sometimes you can get incredibly strong vibrations from brassieres. Yours just had a slight hum. Well, I have to go see a man about a unicorn."

You're amazed, right? Me too. I almost cried tears of pure joy when I heard that, and cursed the stars above that the script writers didn't win an Oscar.
That was coupled with "Mother, May I Sleep with Danger", which is always amusing.
I think perhaps Lifetime Movie Network will suck me in again tonight, once I cast on the second sleeve. Maybe this will be on! Or this!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Mystery! (Not so much)

In terms of impossible deadlines that are self imposed, this might be the worst one yet.
I have frogged something I began for someone this September, and decided to restart the project 1 1/2 weeks before I need to give it to them. I realize this is completely insane. And yet...and yet...I'm actually doing it. Finished the back of the pattern in one and a half days. Finishing left front today, and going to start right front. Then all that's left are the sleeves...which I know from when I made one this summer, I can complete the sleeves in one day.


I'm also using my Christmas presents for this post and project - I got the Harmony Wood interchangeable needle set from Knit Picks, and I loooove it. The wood is really slidy but still is holding this yarn well; and the tips aren't too pointy so it isn't totally killing the tip of my pointer finger which my rosewood needles helpfully cut (the tips of the rosewood needles are basically, well, needles. But sharp ones!). Also I got a Sony camera that took some luscious yarn pics! (Luscious?)

Enough. Back to work. Ugh! I'm at a C8 row. C8 is the most annoying row.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Who's got two thumbs and is procrastinating? This broad!

So, I have officially finished the semester. I did fairly well as far as grades are concerned, but my knitting has suffered.
Here we are again in ... oh, for the love of pants. It's a week away from Christmas. Did I start knitting for my Secret Santa presents? Well, yes. I actually did. One of them I started in August, but has been hibernating in my knitting room. It's rather ambitious (of course) and there's a slim to nil chance that I'll actually finish (of course).
As always, I'm cooking instead of knitting. What else should I do? Well, I'm kind of knitting. No. I can't show you. Ugh, fine. Whatever.
Ha! You thought it was going to be knitting, didn't you?
That's dinner I made when I should have been working on Project 1.
Here's something that isn't a Christmas present that I've been working on:
Exciting, eh? It's a two row pattern. Totally easy. I'm using Encore Worsted held doubled on size 8 needles, and it's pretty quick. Almost at decreasing for the top of the hat. I am going to have to put this aside, at least until January 1, when my Christmas presents are fini. I'm going to be on vaca from the 23rd until the 2nd, so hopefully I'll be able to get stuff done. Goober's going to be at daycare for that week - so I can totally focus on knitting. It's probably the best vacation I can think of. Knitting, non stop? Maybe watching terrible movies throughout?
I've got some more cooking planned for tomorrow, so I totally have knitting time management down. Most likely making: Butterfinger truffles, caramel-dark chocolate truffles with fleur de sel, and triple chocolate hazelnut truffles. We shall see how this works out.
For now, c'est fini. Watching Christmas Vacation for the 8000th time, working on Santa project #1, and just finished making a batch of butterscotch oatmeal cookies.
Fantastique!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Knitting, panic edition

Feverishly knitting since Saturday. Backyard Leaves scarf.
I'm not sure how successful this will be. Or if you can tell anything from the picture. I should get a better camera, other than my dumb blueberry.
The pattern is quite nice...I just wish I could enjoy knitting but it's difficult right now between writing papers and trying to get ready for the holidays.
Yes, I'm an old broad wearing Hello Kitty socks. I don't care.
I am anxious for Christmas to be over, actually. Then..one whole week. Knitting. That's it. (probably not, but a girl can dream, right?)
The irritating thing about this pattern is that the chart fell off of my magnetic holder and now I don't know what row I was on. I hope I choose correctly! I can guess how this will turn out, though.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Yes, I know.

I have not been posting. School et al. has made posting about knitting, let alone knitting, very difficult. Case and point: I'm quite literally an inch away from finishing my Boundless cape. And here it sits, in my stupid ripped Old Navy bag which is jammed with all of my other garbage. If you think it'd be hard to jam a hooded cape in a purse, you'd be right...It looks like it is barfing purple.

That's not to say that it isn't beautiful, because it is.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Uh, October's almost over, goober.

I'm still slaving away at the Boundless. My gosh, is the cabling on both sides irritating. I'm at Row 48 of approximately....I don't know. However long I want to make it. 3 skeins of my glorious Ultra Alpaca Fig gone thus far.
My dumb phone isn't taking pictures well but trust me, it looks great. There are a few issues I've had with this pattern, namely:
1. The increases. I've had problems like I haven't had before with the increases. There is one in particular that I wasn't familiar with before - an increase through the purl of the stitch below. I know I've been doing it wrong, because i'm getting tiny holes, and I know I shouldn't be. It's frustrating. I know I'm going to have tons of finishing to do, once I'm done.
2. The wrong-side cabling. Cabling slows me down enough. I know there are some crazy broads that cable without a cable needle, but I am so not there. Maybe I should try and find a video.
I don't know if it's because I knit English, but patterns like this, with alternating knit/purl stitches...I just can't do it fast. There's 12 repeats of the pattern across one row, and each edge. It takes me about twenty minutes to do a wrong side, maybe 10-15 to do a right side row. I just can't speed it up. I don't know why. I wanted to take a knitting Continental course at Stitches East this week, but of course I dawdled, and the Continental courses were sold out.
I have the knit stitch down on Continental, but my fingers are so used to doing everything like YO, SSK, K2TOG, etc in the English way, that I don't know how to do it any other way. Woe is me!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Wait, it's almost October?

Hey! I'm still here! This month has been kind of hectic with Goober starting kindergarten. I went back to school too...in my fourth week. It's been a hard adjustment between work, school and home but I think it's going well. I just seem to be tired a hundred and elevendy percent of the time. My knitting has been suffering. Haven't been doing much of that. Aidez with Tweedie is still in progress, as you can see...





Note the sweet stitch markers my sister made for me. (Incidentally, if you like comics, spit takes, shenanigans, and fine wines, listen to her podcast on Tuesday nights.)
Now, my goal for Aidez is to be done for Christmas. Since I'm doing the back and two fronts simultaneously, I think that's an attainable goal. Unless...

Unless....

Yeah, unless you decide in addition to working full time, going to school two nights a week, and taking an online class, you have realized you need to make a cape, a hat, gloves, another hat, and mittens. Oh, and do the custom-fit raglan for a 5 year old Goober and make the chest look like Darth Vader's chest (Scoop's got a thing for Star Wars.) So, yeah, charting a Darth Vader sweater? No problem.
Oh, here's the progress on my cape. It's fantastical.

Whatever, I started it last night. Give me a break. I'd like to see you try a pattern of 148 stitches, a 42 row chart, and cabling on both the right and wrong side of the pattern. What was that? What was that? Yeah, I didn't think so. Oh, and my attention was divided because I was watching a Diners, Drive Ins and Dives marathon and drinking a bucket of sauvignon blanc. Don't tell anybody I watch that. It would ruin my street cred.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

'Slight Modification' or, 'Yes, I Frogged it'.

Forget socks. I didn't want to make socks anyway. Needles were too small. Yarn too thin. I'm starting to panic slightly on the amount of fingering weight yarn in my stash...I want to make things out of fingering or sport weights because of the tiny, tidy stitches, but when it comes down to it, it is so darn irritating.
I think I partially frogged them due to hurricane madness. We had Irene come through here a week ago today, and even though it was a tropical storm when it hit, we got messed up pretty good. Lost power last Sunday night, and got it back Friday afternoon. We were staying with my friend who had a generator, and it was fun...until the generator failed Friday. Luckily, we had just gotten power back Friday afternoon, so we moved everyone up to our house.
Needless to say, I didn't get much knitting done this past week. I halfheartedly tried to repair the Neiman I started and my cat had taken out of my bag and dropped a bunch of stitches, but that just frustrated me. I ended up tearing apart the Aidez I started with my Sirdhar chunky Tweedie, and writing it out to knit in one piece, until I reach the armholes. It would be so much easier not to have to do the seaming...I can't seem to do it right. I think it'll work out. I'm only on the ribbing, but it isn't discouraging because I'm doing the back and two fronts at once.
So I'm going to try and work on that tonight, maybe even watch the Netflix DVD we've had for like two months. I'm wondering how my knitting will fare now that I've started school again. Started this week after beginning it halfheartedly 13 years ago. Also, my Tiny One is starting Kindergarten on Tuesday. It's been a crazy, crazy week. I'm glad to be home. I ended up taking Tuesday off for Tiny One's first day, hopefully I can get the house in order during the day. It basically looked like someone left our house mid-rager last week.
Oh, and this morning? I made waffles with caramelized plums and nectarines. Last night it was Chicken Divan and a couple of loaves of banana bread with streusel topping. I'm obviously glad to be back in the kitchen, too. Now where did I leave my wine?

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Les Chaussettes

I'm still working on my first pair of toe-up socks...well, that's not entirely true. I once made 1 sock out of bulky yarn I had, and I think it was something crazy like size 13 needles. Of course, even with bulky yarn and giant needles I only made one sock. So I don't count that. Besides, it was like 3 years ago. I wonder where that sock is...
I digress. So, I'm working on these basic toe-up socks. I'm using some of this Farmhouse Yarns Not Just for Socks yarn...which I've had pretty much since I started knitting 4-5 years ago. I have a ridiculous amount of this yarn. It was one of the first times I had bought yarn, and me in my infinite wisdom decide that I'm going to be super mom/wife/lady and knit everything for everyone. Well, except knit underwear, because that's just gross. (Seriously, people knit underwear. I've seen the patterns but am still not convinced that it's not a gag.) Anyway. So I bought 5 skeins. 5 skeins of fingering weight yarn. Each skein has 450 yards. I obviously had no idea what I was doing. A basic pair of socks in fingering weight/sock weight yarn will use maybe about 400 yards. So, even if I make one pair I'll still have around 1800 yards left over - I could probably make a sweater with that amount. The idea of knitting an entire sweater with 1-2 needles gives me agita. I might need to start breathing into a paper bag. (Remember my debacle with the Venezia?)
After perusing Ravelry for quite some time (years), I've decided to go with a basic toe-up sock. It starts with the Turkish cast-on; which I rather liked. It uses two circular needles and you put a slipknot on one of the needles, then hold the two needles next to each other and just wrap the yarn around both of them. You wrap it for half of the number of cast on stitches. After you have the correct number wrapped, you knit the loops from the first needle, and then turn around and knit from the other one. That makes the seam at the top of the toe. That part is pretty interesting, and I was able to get it started and do several increases. I'm at the straight knitting part of the foot; have to knit until 3 inches from the length of the sock - that's when the heel starts.
Sorry about the picture of my foot.
I relatively determined to finish these (the use of "relatively" does not make this sound promising). I took a break from them for a day to cast on Bavarian Tulip Mittens - and that is a slippery slope to my Basket of Unfinished Projects, to take a break from a pattern at this juncture.
Ugh, I'll just pick them up.
In an unrelated note, I tried to watch Melrose Place last night. It's on Netflix Streaming, and Chris was sleeping, so I figured it's my shot to watch it. I turned on at Episode 13 (I think?), in which Alison and Billy have their weird roommate flirtation, and Amanda has just come into the picture. Amanda wasn't a mega bi-yotch yet, and she invites Alison and Billy up to her sweet (?) lake house for a weekend. It's fairly obvious what is going to transpire. They go waterskiing and Alison falls off and gets a cold and then Amanda and Billy go for a romantical dinner. I mean, you saw that coming too, right? What I DIDN'T see coming was how much I'd be irritated. I loved Melrose Place when it was on. I couldn't make it through 15 minutes of it. Also, Alison was wearing pleated khakis that were jacked up to her neck. It looked rather uncomfortable.
So I turn that off and start browsing. Settled on the Labyrinth, which I've seen approximately 254,646,748,067,057,862,345,786 times. I never seriously thought about casting of the Labyrinth. I mean, Jareth is in love with Sarah. David Bowie was like 40. Jennifer Connelly was like 15. Uh...Jim Henson? Maybe that casting is a little inappropriate. Don't get me wrong, that movie would not work with anyone else in those roles - actually, that movie doesn't work anyway. It just makes me nostalgic. And I know the soundtrack by heart. And the dialogue. (If anyone knows where I can buy that dress Sarah wears in the beginning, let me know. It would fulfill my secret Ren Faire Dream Wardrobe.)
I ended up watching Firefly anyway.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

What to make, you ask?

I've taken what seems like a hiatus from knitting. After finishing the Aidez, I felt completely exhausted and uninspired. I had received my Knit Picks yarn to start the Neiman sweater from Knitty, but one unfortunate morning I awoke to find my knitting bag, hanging on the doorknob to the basement, the beginning of my sweater trailing from it across my dining room floor with many, many stitches dropped. I cursed my cat several times, and retreated into a nightly ritual of watching Star Trek: The Next Generation on streaming Netflix every night. Now, I realize I can knit and watch TV at the same time, but ... there never seems to be enough time to make real progress on my projects, so I have these sad, half finished projects in my yarn basket that grows every month. And I'm so tired of purling. Soooo tired of it.
I decided I was going to make something for Christopher as the last thing I had made him was the Raleigh Hills Hat and Ken Gloves, in Cascade 220. (Love, love love that yarn)
I asked him what he wanted me to make for him, and he requested this.

Huh. A gag sweater? Fine. Just fine.

Socks it is!


Sunday, July 31, 2011

OK, NOW it's done.

I finished the Aidez. Took some kind of crummy pictures of it. All in all, it took me about 4 months, start to finish. It was pretty gratifying on account of the 10 1/2 needles and bulky yarn, but one thing I have figured (but really already known), is that I hate seaming. And sewing. With tremendous passion. The last garment I knitted that I had to sew was the Central Park Hoodie, about 4 years ago. I haaaaated it. I just do not have the patience for it. I've already started another Aidez (my Sirdar Tweedie one), and I'm going to tear it out and start over, modifying it so I'm doing the front and back at the same time, so I don't have to seam it. The back of the neck will be a little tricky to figure out, as the two front panels loop up around the back of the neck, but if I can figure out how to do it so it ends up being a three needle bind off, I'll be set.
So, here are some lame pics. Disregard bedhead and jammies, s'il vous plaƮt.


That's all for now. This has been a busy few weeks, and I'm zonked. Possibly going to try and figure out a way to go pick some peaches and raspberries, if they're still any good. I haven't made any jam yet this summer; it's about time for it.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Aidez! I consider you...complete.

I literally just walked in the door from my four day vacation in Maine - and finished the Aidez somewhere in Massachusetts. I thought it would never be complete. I started the second sleeve yesterday, then realized if I cranked it, I could finish it approximately 2 hours. It ended up being more like 4, but whatever. It is finished. Well, technically I still have to block it, which I'm doing tonight, but I am done. Done with projects involving cables...for now at least.
My vacation progress:
Of course, I had to play a dangerous game and go walking in the water carrying my blackberry...
And Chris and Scoop made a really, really disturbing sandcastle that I thought was Castle Grayskull.
I'll post the finished pictures of Aidez tomorrow after I block and sew it..I just missed my blog.
Oh, we saw the lighthouse from Forrest Gump too.
...and of course,

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Important Yarn Decision!

OK, since I'm not quite sure what exactly I was posting about last night (65% knitting, 35% Star Trek) I thought I'd update. Made some S.R.S. yarn decisions regarding my KnitPicks gift card. I'm going with their Swish DK in dove and indigo heather so I can make myself the Neiman sweater from Knitty.
I will selfishly make myself that sweater, because I dont have any other sweaters for myself in the hibernating pile...
Well....
Oh, shut up.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Aidez, Part 9 Bazillion

Started this week determined to work on a new Aidez with the Sirdar Tweedie. Finished this weekend knitting...my Wool of the Andes Aidez. Yeah, I know. I had a conversation with friends about the Aidez and got positive feedback, and was wondering why the hell I was leaving it when I was that close to completion? I knitted all day today while watching all 3 Lord of the Rings movies (I know, it seems terrible to watch movies all day while it was absolutely beautiful out).
Here's my progress with the Aidez thus far:
I edited this photo a bit, as my Blackberry takes the most awful pictures, especially at night. My Gimp editing skills leaves a little to be desired. (Side note, Star Trek TNG is now on streaming Netflix. There goes the rest of the year. Watching an episode when Q is up to his usual shenanigans, wearing some sort of snowsuit or something. And Tasha Yar! I wanted to look like her when I was younger. Or I just wanted her soccer player haircut. I digress.)
I didn't edit that one.
So I should probably keep knitting - but I'm feeling a bit of claw hand coming on, I'll probably give it a rest for the evening. I'm so close, though. I have two more inches and then start the armhole shaping...and after that it goes quick. The Ear of Corn 8 row pattern is so easy to memorize (Wait a minute, they randomly separated the saucer from the Enterprise? Q is that big of a threat? Come on, Jean-Luc. Q is a complete hack. Oh, they think...wait, why did they do that? This strategy makes no sense.) Where was I? Oh yeah, the Ear of Corn pattern. Even though it has a Cable 8 on one row, which is ridiculous, it's easy to remember.I seem to have misplaced my larger rosewood cable noodle, and am using the thinner rosewood, which slips out of this yarn easily when doing the C8. Rather irritating. But...still. I'm so close! After that is the sleeves...should be easy. Done in the round, which is always faster for me. Purling slows me down. A LOT. (Uh, Q is totally wearing lip gloss? He is the worst villain. So annoying. Tasha is randomly beating people up. So badass. Err...actually, I just referred to a Star Trek character as badass? Gosh I'm a nerd. Wait, Q just froze her?)
This blog post is turning into a TNG stream of consciousness, I apologize.
Anyway, my birthday was Thursday. I got a Knitpicks gift card from my sister in law, so I've spent much of the past 48 hours figuring out what yarn to get. It's so difficult! I have my gray Palette that I have yet to start anything with. I don't know what to get! I have to start getting heavier yarn, instant gratification knitting is so much better. I'm tempted by their Comfy yarn...worsted weight, doesn't look like there's too much of a sheen to it, and it's a blend of cotton and acrylic, so it's probably soft to knit with. Ohh...the Seraphim color is my two favorite things...purple and gray. Oh, but Planet.Arium color is nice, too...a midnight blue (Ew, this is the era where Numbah One doesn't have a beard. Ugh. Did the first season of TNG cost like $4 to make? It looks absolutely lolzy.). I should probably go to my favorites on Ravelry and see what's there in worsted weight...And I am also so distracted by Q's costume changes.
Oh, I canceled my Facebook account today. You better not let me down, Google +.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

It's cooking time! I mean knitting. It's knitting time?

Started Aidez again this week, using Sirdar Tweedie. I realized that the Aidez I was making for someone was too long. I think. Actually, I'm pretty sure it is. Also, I was getting sick of looking at that color. Porcini. It wasn't my first choice when I ordered the Wool of the Andes bulky - I really wanted Wallaby, but unfortunately it was sold out when I called. Since I'm impatient more than I am picky (and I am definitely both of those things), I went with what I thought was the next best color - porcini. The color was pretty different when I received it. I was expecting like a very light oatmealy color, like when I made my Drops jacket:

It wasn't. At all.

So, hopefully...someone will appreciate it? Because it's definitely not my color. Someday I'd like to (actually finish one that I'm knitting) make one for myself.

I am liking the Sirdar color I'm using. It's pretty neutral. I think it's not as bulky as the Knit Picks, so to me the cables don't look as tight, but it's still pretty good...

OK, you can't really tell anything from that picture other than the color, but I'm tired. It's been a long weekend. What was I doing? Oh, let me explain. Chris' birthday was Thursday so we invited our 4 friends over last night(we are so popular) and I decided I needed to come up with a menu for some snacky things. But talking about snacky menus is boring. What isn't boring?

Peanut Butter Fudge Cheesecake.

OK, so my pictures aren't as food porn-y, but I was on a tight schedule, guys.

First up: putting almost an entire package of Oreos in the food processor, then add butter. Ohhhh....

I prepared the crust, and then baked, and froze for a bit...because you have to put a ganache layer under the cheesecake. Oh my..


So, next is cheesecake batter, right?

No.




Well, that was a great idea.



Well, that baked up real purty-like.

Wait, we're still not done. Don't go anywhere!!


Yeah, that's right. There's ganache both above and below on this monster. It. Was. Unreal.

Fin.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Summer Flies Shawl

I'm kind of unsure how I feel about this pattern. It was totally fun, and relatively quick - until I got to the picot bind off. It is incredibly tedious to start binding off 395 stitches - and every time you bind off five, you cable cast on two. So progress is incredibly slow. The bind off took me about a week of picking up and putting down in disgust after 5 minutes.
Quick (not) recap!

Cast on initially with my Arucania Ruca Multi - that yarn is made from sugar cane. I'd made the Clothilde shawl out of my other skein of it..I decided against using it for this one. See?
I wasn't feeling it. I was really excited for the pattern, I felt like the yarn was wrong for the project. So I tore apart my Featherweight Cartigan or whichever one it was that I was using my Malabrigo Lace for...and started over.
I was determined to finish last night, no matter what. Between super awesome dinner of wings and tater tots from Cafe on Main in Colchester, I finished the damn thing. Yes, I was eating wings with my hands. Yes, I was using a napkin and not getting sesame ginger sauce all over the shawl. So I finish, and need to block it. Instead of using the little sample of Soak I have, I used...
Whatever, so I used my shower gel. Olive shower gel from the Body Shop smells delightful.
Aaaand...we're blocking! Phew!

I put it on this morning to take finished pictures of it:
and was pretty unsure of it......I must say. When you do a one row increase from like a hundred something stitches to 3 hundred something stitches...It looks really ripply at the end. It's super pretty, but I could only think of one thing when I saw the picture of me wearing it.