Wednesday, September 27, 2006

New Recipes Tried (sans knitting photos)

I did knit and spin this weekend. Lady Eleanor Entrelac was finished and blocked (minus fringe, which I'm probably leaving off), and I started the Ram's Horn Jacket. In fact, I liked the Ram's Horn Jacket so much, I started it twice. Well, in reality, I found I was in total denial about the gauge my swatch told me and realized I needed to either (a) knit the (slightly heavier than worsted) yarn at a gauge that made it feel like iron or (b) knit a different size to get the right measurements. I chose (b), because I liked the fabric I had at 4.5 sts/in. and would not like the fabric at 5.5 sts/in. As it is, this will be a fairly heavy sweater. It is quite a change to be knitting on size 7 needles again; most things I've been knitting lately seem to be on size 4 or smaller.

Lady Eleanor Entrelac is lovely, and I will have photos soon. I do wish I'd knit it at a tighter gauge, as the Karaoke grew a lot in the blocking process. However, it's perfect for a heavier wrap, and it's light enough that I could potentially use it as a scarf on the coldest winter days. Enough for the teasing, though--more to ocme when I have photos.

In food news, we really enjoyed the Pork and Pineapple Tacos from Cooking Light. It's a great blend of smoky and spicy with sweet, especially if you find a good salsa verde for it. We had Goya Black Beans and Rice with the tacos. Both were also good as leftovers. I ended up subbing a Mrs. Dash blend with chipotle for the ground chipotle, since neither of my local stores carry it. Penzey's does, if you have time to plan. Overall, a quick, easy, and tasty change from normal tacos.

We also enjoyed the Roasted Butternut Squash and Bacon Pasta, to a lesser extent. There are too many shallots in the recipe, I think, though it does taste better on the second day. I would recommend a good, sharp provolone and thick-sliced bacon for this. The sweetness of the squash and the smokiness of the bacon are quite good together, and I could imagine using them in something else--maybe mashed butternut squash? In some ways, though, this dish had too much going on, from the squash to the bacon and shallots to the pasta. I will probably make this again, even though it was somewhat time consuming and messy. It makes a good work lunch.

Next post: Lady Eleanor photos, progress on the Ram's Horn Jacket, and (perhaps) discussion of my desire to take up weaving.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Ahoy! Handspun Socks and a Pirate Sock, Mateys!

...and with that I've fulfilled my Talk Like a Pirate Day obligations.

With all that knitting this weekend, I did manage to finish the handspun socks I started in April, I think.

They are made from 4 oz. of Corriedale, dyed with Wilton's dyes, and spun into a 2-ply yarn. I probably have 1/2 to 1 ounce of spun yarn left over. They are generic toe-up socks, nothing terribly special.

I think these socks are a great example of how even beginner handspun can knit up nicely and make a good fabric. I don't have any great close-ups of the socks, due to the short days and horrible lighting, but the fabric looks fairly even. The yarn is most assuredly not even. My spinning has improved from this effort, even with the somewhat haphazard spinning schedule I maintain, but there are good uses for even "bad" yarns.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

A Busy Weekend

This was a busy weekend for knitters in NYC, with appearances from Amy Singer and Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, and culminating in the Knit Out. Naturally, I was at pretty much all of them.

Friday night, I headed to The Point for a wine and cheese event with Amy. Great fun was had by all, and I saw several people I hadn't seen in quite some time. I also met some other Knittyboard members, which is always a treat! Unfortunately, I can't get the photo from that night to load, but it is on Tania's Flickr account, here.

On Saturday evening, the Yarn Harlot (aka Stephanie Pearl-McPhee) was at my local Barnes and Noble for a talk and signing. She was as funny in person as in her books and genuinely delightful. I managed to arrive early enough to snag front row seats. The event was definitely standing room only. Karen and I, channeling junior high, had dressed alike in our Go With the Flow tanks. And, yes, hers is gorgeous!

Sunday was the NYC Knit Out, which is an enormous event. It feels like knitters and crocheters come out of the woodwork for this one, even though it's mainly full of giveaways of dubious value (free patterns from Red Heart, for example). I came home with a bag full of patterns that I probably won't use. People get pushy about the free needles (size 17 straights, of course) and yarn (some Bernat yarn similar to Fun Fur). It's very odd. I decided to avoid a lot of that and ended up walking around and meeting more Knitty people.

You can also see a bit of the "Fashion" Show, featuring creations from Red Heart, Caron, and other purveyors of fine petro-yarn. There were a couple of decent items, but, for the most part, the fug was flying so fast I couldn't get good photos.

But, on to the Knittyboard meet-up!

From left to right: Jas (Artsygal, who will be opening an online store for her lovely handpainted yarns soon), Tania (mikomiao), Amy (weaselrina), Valerie (costumechick), and Karen (cooknknit). You can almost see Tamara (labean) at the far right, but here's a better photo of her spinning.

In short, there was a lot of knitting and talking about knitting this weekend. A great time was had by all!

Friday, September 08, 2006


Strangely enough, this is pretty accurate, although I think I'm slightly more adventurous than that.

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Thursday, September 07, 2006

Print o' the Wave

Pattern: Eunny Jang, available here.
Yarn: Jaggerspun Zephyr, Indigo, less than 2 skeins (I estimate less than 1000 yds)
Needles: US 4 Inox

Even with all the problems I had with this pattern, I am very pleased with the final results. The Zephyr is really a special yarn, too. I wore it to a wedding this weekend and hope to have some action shots eventually. (My mother doesn't have a good digital camera yet and relies on her nearly 30-year-old SLR.)

After spending the long weekend in Tennessee, I'm off for the rest of this week. I'm trying to do some cleaning and organizing, while working on spinning and knitting projects that have been abandoned. I also started the Swallowtail Shawl in KnitPicks Alpaca Cloud (after a failed start in Seasilk) and swatched for the Ram's Horn Jacket from Knitting Nature. I have a bit of a plan for the Seasilk, but I'm going to finish the Swallowtail Shawl first.

I'll blog more about the short trip and more happenings later! A weekend of socializing makes me less talkative.