Thursday, August 17, 2006

Scarf completed

Done and done. I haven't blocked it yet, but I'll get around to it soon. I won't have any pictures until September, though, unless I buy a camera. Hmm. Perhaps.

Sunday, August 13, 2006


Another loaf! I made it a few days ago, so we've actually eaten all of it already.

It's strange being able to see exactly how much yarn is left before the scarf is done by folding it at the join.

I think my next project will be a sweater. A strong contender is Sesame at Magknits. I also may have found a pattern for the cabled sweater I'd like to do. Jenna Adorno, who has had designs published by Knitty, has a photo on her website of the Close Cable Cardigan by Vogue.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Halfway point for scarf

Halfway with the scarf! I can now wrap it all the way around my neck, and still leave some dangling on one side. Somehow I zoned out, and I only reentered the world when my skein disappeared. As I used up the yarn it reminded me of the melting witches in The Wizard of Oz:
The only problem with not paying attention is that now I have two patches where I didn't stick exactly the the pattern. Here they are in all their glory:
Each time I forgot to continue knitting to the end of the row when the right side was facing me and I was on the last four stitches. I'm not terribly bothered by it though, especially since I discovered the mistakes far past the point of ripping out to correct them.

I've successfully wound the second skein, which was pleasently knot-free, and attached the new strand. For some reason I had a difficult time making a slip knot while holding both pieces of yarn, but I figured it out in the end.

In other exciting news, Mo won sock yarn from I Heart Knitting, which there might be a picture of here if I'm doing this right.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Catch up on the baby socks

This is one of Mo's socks on top of the garish version of the scarf. Below are the socks just before being sent off.
I wrote Z. a short note, which told her that Henrietta had never met real cats before, but she is a brave teddy bear and should be introduced to Castor and Pollux, their two Siamese cats.


The baking holiday is over. All ovens are now open for business.

When Mo and I eat out, we are most likely to end up at the local Moroccan restaurant. We especially love their mint tea and sweet nut-based desserts. A while ago we brought my parents and Mo's sister to the restaurant for tea. Tea eventually led to two rounds of dessert, and my father proclaiming, "These people really know their nuts. You know? They really know their nuts."

It's true. They do know their nuts. I don't know why I though baklava was supposed to be made with pistachios, but the walnut baklava at Amanouz has completely won me over. The last few times we ate there, though, they've been out of baklava. In addition to sampling some of the other desserts, we decided to fill the void by trying to make our own. The recipe we followed says we have to leave it out for 24 hours, and so far we've done a pretty good job of keeping it intact. One thing I like about phyllo dough is that no one can tell if you sneak a layer off the top.

Now that I've worked with phyllo dough, I'm less intimidated by the idea of making hojaldres. My grandmother has made them a few times and I cannot convey to you how delicious spinach becomes when encased in phyllo dough with sesame seeds. I think I'll see if we can set up a cooking date while I'm at home.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Scarf update

The scarf is clearly past the stage where it could be mistaken for a dishrag. Unfortunately, I nearly gave myself carpal tunnel getting to this length. My problem is that I hold my needles with far to much pressure, especially with the last two fingers of my right hand. However, this present incident of a cramped hand may be a blessing in disguise, because I am finally trying to address this problem. I've found it helpful to remember something I first heard during high school, in a completely different context: Just enough pressure to hold a potato chip.

A significant portion of the cross country team was running with clenched fists, and carrying their arms high and close to their bodies. It's no surprise that this takes extra energy, so the coach gave us a visualization to help relax. We had to pretend there was a potato chip between the first finger and thumb of each hand, and we had to keep our hands loose enough that the chip wouldn't break. I'm reminding myself of those potato chips as I knit, and I'm also cutting back on how long I knit in one sitting. The scarf won't have any more growth spurts, but as the weather reminded me yesterday (and the day before, and the day before that...) I have quite some time before I need a wool scarf.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Temporary Baking Deferment

As the weather is expected to be Wicked Hot for a while, I have declared a Baking Holiday. The oven will remain closed and no dough will be withdrawn from a heated oven until temperatures return to normal. Fortunately for you, gentle reader, I forgot to post a picture of this semolina loaf which I made last week. It was delicious. It was so delicious, in fact, that we got carried away while eating, and I didn't get a picture of the first loaf. But this is the second:

Irish Hiking Scarf, day 1

Ah, the magic of natural light. That is actually somewhat close to the real color. I was going to provide a close up as well, but then I realized the section I focused on has the one big mistake that I left in. I am usually pretty good about taking them out, but this time I had no idea what had gone wrong, so you can forget about trying to fix it. I was just starting to think I had cables figured out, too. I guess I should change my definition of "having a stitch figured out" to include being able to understand what happened when something goes wrong. And what is this? Doth mine eyes deceive me? A ball of yarn which pulls from the center?
Indeed. And so far there has only been one knot, which wasn't too tricky to untangle. I haven't ever wound a ball of yarn from a skein before, so I'm really glad this worked. The yarn is by Cascade Yarns, in the Heather collection, color 2445. It's listed on the knitalong page (the company, not the color specifically), but the list is nearly a mile long, so that's no surprise. I was poking around and I saw some of the finished scarves, and they look fantastic. I'm very glad I chose this pattern to try out cables.