Saturday, August 30, 2008
While I was there I picked up some Lambs Pride Bulky in Onyx for the BF's hat - I think I might finally finish it this time! Ok, it started as the Anarchy Irony Hat from the Happy Hooker. He really wanted it but he has a bit of a big head... and when I say a "bit" I mean "gigantafrickenoremous". So I tired the original pattern and it was no good. Tried using a bigger hook and it was way too lose in the stitches to act as any sort of warming device. Failure abounded... So I finally gave in, bought the bulky wool, and it's going much better. I'm doing a simple beanie-style pattern (so not the original from the book) but I'm still going to add the anarchy symbol when it's all done. So now he can stop harassing me :)
I also picked up "Not your Mama's Crochet" from Amy Swanson - love some of the funky patterns - after I finish the hat and Frou Frou I'm going to start either the Straight Laced Shrug or the Pseudo-Kimono... thought he Pea Coat is awesome too...
Thursday, August 28, 2008
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile (I have had aligator. Does that count?)
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
10. Baba ghanoush
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
47. Chicken tikka masala
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
60. Carob chips
65. Durian (yes, it is stinky)
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
79. Lapsang souchong
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
90. Criollo chocolate
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
So here’s the concept – There is a Ravelry group called Sock Knitters Anonymous (SKA for short, not to be confused with SKP) and they run this yearly competition. Well, it’s not really a competition, it’s more like a challenge (don’t believe everything you hear, especially if it comes out of the mouth of a younger sister – I am NOT competitive). They post a schedule for socks, one a month, and you have a two-month window to finish the assigned sock. The choice of patterns is meant to challenge you or introduce you to new designers or to get you to knit out of the box. There will be prizes, however I’m not sure how that all works. I think they just pick a random FO (finished object) and send that sock knitter a gift. Kind of cool huh? I know I wanted to be part of this when I saw that Yarnissima was one of the featured designers. The first day I got on Ravelry, Yarnissma’s Firestarter sock hit my queue and I just haven’t gotten around to knitting it yet! Now is the time! So here is the schedule and my thoughts and mad-capped plans so far:September 2008 – “Orange Socks or Cookie A or Mystery Sock”
Apparently every other month they will have a “Mystery Sock”. I’m not sure how this will work. Will it be like the Sock Knitter’s Pentathlon where they just surprise you with a pattern, or will it be more like a Mystery Shawl where you get clues once a week. We shall see. This is a tricky month. September is when the Sock 4 for the Sock Knitters Pentathlon (SKP not to be confused with SKA) is released. The requirement for Sock 4 is two colors for some stranded color work. Now, I could easily knit two pairs of socks this month, one for the Pentathalon, one for the Sockdown, but I do have other things in my life I’d like to do (like SPIN! Like DYE! Like DO MY DISHES!), so I decided to kill two birds with one stone (Note: No actual birds were harmed in the production of my socks). So that left me with a problem – Orange. Since I have to do the SKP sock pattern, the only way I can make this work for SKAis to knit the SKP sock in orange (ahh acronym-y goodness) . Ok, sure, orange is not my most favoritest color, but I can live with it. However, finding nice orange sock yarn is a challenge. What to do! What to do! DYE MY OWN! And hence “Molten” and “Pele” were born. More on that later.
October 2008 – “Holiday Stocking or Steffi Linden”
I’m not excited about the “Holiday Stocking” idea. Sorry, but my Christmas Crafting does not express itself in stockings. So a Steffi Linden pattern it is! I found Lizzy that looks delightful! Yarn choice will be a bit of an issue. I have decided not to buy any more yarn until Rhinebeck so I will either have to do this in Knit Picks Woodland Sage (loved the color online but now, meh), or dye some more (YAY! Are you sensing a theme here?)
A’hem. I do not have leftovers for socks. My leftovers are already dedicated to another insanity project. I have no idea what “Almost Socks” are but unless they are more kick ass (er, butt. Kick Butt. This is a family friendly blog, sort of) than Firestarter by Yarnissima, Firestarter will be my project of choice!
Hmmmmmm What to do what to do. Online socks are not really novel as most of the stuff I knit is from an online magazine of one sort or another (we love you Knitty and Twist Collective!). Beaded might be an option for some super fancy socks like knit out of silk maybe? Cashmere? Or we might have figured out this Mystery Sock concept and give what a whirl.
February 2009 – “Socks for a Cause or Gigi Silva or Entrelac”
Entrelac Entrelac ENTRELAC! I love love love Entrelac!!! I started an Entrelac sock in the Springz colorway from Brooklyn Handspun and LOVED LOVED LOVED knitting it. Unfortunately it met the frog pond because I was a bad knitter and a) did not swatch and b) did not read the ball band and discovered late in the game that Springz was DK weight and not fingering. Well, February will be the perfect time for a do-over!
March 2009 – “Lace Socks or Cat Bordhi or Mystery Socks”
Again, another tough choice. It’s my birthday month so I’d like to do something nice and fancy for myself. Cat Bordhi might be a good choice. We do have some time to do a little research. Duh.
April 2009 – “Knee Socks or Under-appreciated patterns”
I’m not sure what qualifies as under-appreciated. Don’t know if I’m really into knee socks. Knee socks for the Nieces? Hmmmmm I’ll have to think on this one.
May 2009 – “Cables/Twisted Stitches or Anne Hanson or Mystery Socks”
I can’t say that I know of any Anne Hanson patterns and I’m not too sure if the Rivendale socks will qualify for “twisted stitches” but Rivendale would be my first choice here.
June 2009 – “Design Your Own Socks or Nancy Bush”
I feel a secret project coming on!!! (said in singsong)
July 2008 – “Fair isle/colorwork/Intarsia or Homegrown Designers (including DYO) or Mystery Sock”
Yeah, I know what you’re saying “OMG Amy is this bizarre obsessive compulsive nut who plans out a year of knitting in advance??? Back away slowly!” No, I’m not a nut (keep your comments to yourself Little Sister!). Here’s the brilliant intention behind this planning spree… RHIENBECK. The New York Sheep and Wool Festival in Rhinebeck is coming up in October and frankly, I need a shopping list. I’m going to one of the Northeast’s biggest fiber festivals so I’m hoping I’ll find good deals, and great yarn and I can stock up for up coming projects. More on Rhinebeck later!
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Team GlassNeedle competed in, and won medals in several events
The Mamajama 3 won medals in WIPs Wrestling.
Mmmm... a smell like that means that I've been up to some of my own dying! There we some serious tangle issues with the skein - due mostly to my own fault - but I finally got it all undone after the cat got regulated to the bedroom (to her dismay) and I worked from the back to ball it and then got around to skeining it correctly.
As you can see from the pic, I was attempting to do a gradient fade from dark grape (mm - warm artificial grape smell!) to purple. However, I don't know if it was the yarn I used or if it was the vinegar I added to the dye bath but it soaked up much quicker than I thought it would... so instead of a gradual fading it goes from a super dark quarter to a much lighter quarter to a basically un-dyed half. I kinda like it though - looks really nice as it dries. Hopefully it'll be all set to go by the time I get home so I can take better pics.
I think my next set are going to be a series of "monster" colors for gifts - I'm thinking of designing little monster cozies for friends cellphones/MP3 players for the holidays. So a purple and green mottled one, a red and orange set, and maybe a yellow-green-blue mix... Any other ideas?
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
For Rosey (the first one on the left) I did Vermillion, probably about two or three tablespoons of the dye stock into three cups of water on the stove. I put in about a third of the yarn for about 5 minutes, the next third for 5 minutes and the last third until the water was clear. I did that with Pinky (the other pink) and the yellow color) Oh also with the chanteuse.
For the yellow and green skein, I started off with yellow for 5 minutes and then added a few tablespoons of blue. I did the same with the blue and red one. I wanted it to go from red to purple, but it was very interesting. I wanted a progression of red to darker and darker purple, but the yarn sucked all the red out and left me with blue. It was odd.
OH and I have to remember that I added vinegar to the pot, about 4 tablespoons. This dying stuff could become addictive.
Friday, August 22, 2008
I'm done! I'm done!
I can't believe I actually finished it. I don't like the seams, the next sweater I do will be in the round because I just don't like this sewing nonsense. I'm not too fond of how I did the collar either, but I'll live with it becasue - I KNIT A SWEATER IN 14 DAYS! FOURTEEN DAYS!!!!
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Sunday, August 17, 2008
The Mamajama and I, with the strict supervision of Poppy and LeeLuu, had our first dying workshop! We had hoped to use both Jacquard and Koolaid for dying, but we had so much fun with the Koolaid that we never got to the Jacquard.
The Mamajama took Notes:
KoolAid Workshop Aug 15 2008
Yarn: Treadsoft 2ply Superwash merino wool.
Mom bought a cone of yarn. I'll have to get her to add the website to the comments. I skeined up approximately 50 grams of the yarn with my trusty niddy noddy. Its a bit thinner than fingering weight, which was frankly a bit of a disappointment. We had great debates about if we should keep it or not. Mom also got some bare "worsted" weight for Claire, but my wraps-per-inch tool told me it was more like a DK weight. But, it should work regardless.
We soaked the yarn in warm tap water for about a hours. Actually, it was probably closer to two. I put the yarn in to soak and then we decided to have dinner (Three Cheers for Kelbasa! We had a culinary celebration of our Slavic roots!). Once dinner was done, we covered the table with news papers and got ready to go!
After we squeezed out the yarn skeins, we laid them out on a double layer or plastic wrap. For the first two skeins, we mixed one cup of water with one packet of Koolaid. Then we went to town with foam brushes! One thing we did notice was that the dye did not soak all the way down so we had to flip the skeins over to get even color distribution.
Mom did Little Girls Dream. She used 1 package of pink lemonade and 1 package of grape.
I did Morning Grasshopper (named because we met a grasshopper the next morning who was the exact same shade of green!). I used 1package of Lemon lime. and 1 package of ice blue with 1/2 a package of grape mixed in, that produced a lovely periwinkle.
After we painted the yarn, we sprayed it with full strength white vinegar (I bought a gallon jug of it for $1.89!) .
With our next experiment, we laid out two more skeins. This time, we added a tablespoon of vinegar IN with each cup of color. Mom said she did not notice any difference. I felt like the dye got immediately sucked up exactly where you put it. I found it more difficult to "push" the color around.
Mom did Tropical Sunrise with 2 packages of cherry, 2 of orange, 2 of lemonade, mixed into individual cups with 1 cup of water and one table spoon of vinegar.
I did Tropical Sunset using the same orange and lemonade but with 2 packages of black cherry. As you can see, the reds do make a big difference!
The last skein we did was Shaken Not Stirred - Bombay Sapphire and I'm not telling how we did this one!! Trade Secrets!!!!
After we dyed each skein, we rolled them up in the plastic wrap and steamed them for about 30 minutes each. Then we rinsed and dried! Its very exciting. We had so much fun, and we have to restrain our selves from immediately dying more!!!
Friday, August 15, 2008
We have an action packed weekend planned.
The Mamajama and I have some serious yarn dying plans. In one of her wacky plans, the Mamajama convinced me to participate in a KoolAid swap. In short, you send your partner Koolaid packages so that they can dye some yarn, then you dye yarn with the packages you receive and then you send your partner some of the yarn you dyed. It’s very complicated and I’ve already screwed up several times (mostly because I did not read instructions fully). Then we want to dye some yarn for the upcoming Sock Knitter’s Pentathlon. We need two colors for a stranded color work sock. Also, the Mamajama has roped me into participating in the Sockdown. Sockdown is another year long challenge (with prizes!) with each month having a designer or specific technique that you have to conquer. There will also be Mystery Socks! I’m not sure how that will work. So, September’s sock for the sock down needs to be orange. Now, I’m considering dying orange yarn in two different shades so that this one sock can count for both the Sockdown and SKP2008. Whew. That’s a lot of socks!
But the weekend will not be all yarnie goodness We’re going to this HUGE antiques show on Saturday. The weather should be cool and sunny, which will be perfect. But that also means there should be HUGE crowds! I’m hoping we can get out of the house early as I have a feeling that parking will be a nightmare.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
The above was part of a letter that I sent to Knit Picks Customer Service. The very next morning, Amber sent me an email letting me know replacements would be on the way!!
Monday, August 11, 2008
I have no idea what possessed me into thinking about competing in the Sweater Sprint for the Ravelympics2008. Knit an entire sweater in SEVENTEEN DAYS? I must have been hitting the sauce big time. Whacked out on coffee. High on chocolate. Something because 17 day is a relatively short period of time in the Knitiverse. People talk about sweaters taking MONTHS if not YEARS to complete. So who am I, a lowly intermediate knitter, to think that I could accomplish such a Herculean task? The other insanity factor in this is that I have never successfully completed a sweater before. I attempted one other and it became a lovely throw (the Ex made so much fun of it and me that I frogged the whole thing) So yes, I see that I am completely nuts. BUT I’ve made EXCELLENT progress… let me explain…
I’m doing the Plain Vanilla Pullover for More Big Girl Knits. Long-sleeve, scoop neck, hour-glass sweater. In straight Stockenette. See? Plain Vanilla. No whiz-bang-fancy-dancy-knitting-jedi stuff. Just a nice plain everyday sweater. It’s one of those patterns that you take your measurements; do a bit of math, and – Voila, le chandail! (OK, I did not pull “le chandail” out of the depths of my cloudy highschool French brain archives. I looked it up. All hail le Google!) You have a sweater pattern! Mom and I had a frenzy of measuring one day so I have the first part of the equation. I decided to go with Knit Picks Swish Worsted in Truffle. The yarn is super soft, however I’m a little concerned that it will get “pilly” after some use. I had a terrible time getting a decent gauge swatch for this. The test swatches were all over the place – bigger needles giving me more stitches per inch than the smaller needles! It really made me manic. So, with a deep breath, I jumped up a needle size and closed my eyes, cast on, and hoped it would come out ok. Gulp.
I started off with the sleeves. And for some reason I didn’t do them at the same time. I figured this was the easiest part of the project and if I could get it out of the way first. Then I could focus on the harder parts. I’m not sure this is the best strategy but hey, this is a learning process (albeit on a crash course!). Next I planned to tackle the back of the sweater. Again, this piece should be a fairly straight forward. Then will come the front which will be a tad tricky. MBGK uses short rows for the bust shaping. I’ve never really done short rows before so if anyone has any tips I’d love to hear them.
Problems and Progress
I was in between two sizes measurement wise, so the book said to go with the smaller size (“Hey, knit stretches”). That might not have been the best choice. I fear it will be on the small size. (more incentive to get in shape right???). Also, I think I did some of my calculations wrong. The increases for the waist shaping would have made the top WAY too long. (I think) So I frogged back and decreased the number of rows between the increase rows. I’m hoping this will solve the problem so long as I do the exact same thing on the front (RIGHT???). I think there was a mistake on the instructions for the shoulder cap. All of a sudden 10 stitches disappear! It says to bind off a total of 7 stitches, but the stitch count for the end of that row is 17 stitches different! I think this was just a typo. I hope so, if not, I’ll have slightly misshapen sleeves. (Frankenstein Sweater here I come!).
So I have both sleeves done. That’s a huge relief. And I am up to the armhole decrease on the back. THAT WAS A LOT OF KNITTING! Seriously, I did very little but knit this weekend, but if I’m going to complete this sucker in 17 days, I needed to get a jump start. I should be able to get the back done today and tomorrow. And cast on the front by Wednesday. The folks are coming to town this weekend and I’m not sure how much knitting I’ll actually get done (the front with all that short row nonsense is NOT mindless knitting).
In three days, I’ve made awesome progress! I still have a full two weeks to get this done. I will not however, procrastinate with this sucker. I will bust this out as fast as possible. I should have been keeping track of the amount of time I spent knitting to know exactly how long it will take. Oh well. Next time…
And speaking of next time… I’m thinking of doing the “Bountiful” sweater next as in like order the yarn this week!!). It’s a yolk style sweater with cute cabled ribbing AND a bit of color work on the yolk. AND it is steeked. Gulp and double gulp. Hey, if I can knit a sweater in 17 days, steeks should be no problem!!! As Yoda would say “There is no try, there is only do”
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Friday, August 8, 2008
Thursday, August 7, 2008
I’ve always been a big fan of the Olympics. We got our very first color TV just in time for the 1980 Winter Olympics. My brother was sick at the time, like stay-at-home-from-school-for-a-week-and-whine-on-the-couch sick. So the new color TV was a delightful acquisition in his eyes I’m sure. The remote control was a delightful acquisition in my eyes. (muah ha ha haaaaa). You see, we’re talking the OLD DAYS here, where you actually had to get up and walk over to the TV to change channels. We had never had a remote control before. I don’t even think we knew what it was. Well, I discovered that I could sit at the top of the stairs, unseen by my cranky-sick brother and point that little remote at the new shiny TV
Bro: WTF (or whatever teen aged boys said in the 80s). Stumbles up and changes the channel back to what ever he was watching, slumps back on the couch.
Me: Giggles evily.
Five minutes later.
Lather Rinse Repeat
This went on for quite some time until the Mother caught me and well, we know how that turned out.
But it was an Olympic year. We watched the hockey team win. And since the RemoteControl-Torture Olympics, I really get into the event every time it airs (Big yays from me for splitting the summer and winter events to happen in different years!). I love the obscure events like shooting and judo. Women’s Hockey is the best. Watching the distance running events? Not so much fun. There’s so much drama! It brings out all of my all-american-flag-a'waving pride!
As I have previously discussed, one member of my household is none to fond of certain aspects of the Olympic experience (namely, the theme song, gymnasts and horses. Oh and the kung fu fighting which is very limited despite her impression).
However, I’m especially torn about the China Olympics this year. Regardless of the fact that my company is hosting a lunch in honor of the beginning of the Olympics (that is very sweet) as we have large facilities in China, I just can’t really support the Olympics this year. I highly respect all the Chinese people I have known over the years but I can’t get behind anything sponsored by the government of the People’s Republic of China. The genocide in Tibet , the atrocities of the revolution, there are countless examples where the government has trampled human rights and have decimated cultures. I will celebrate Chinese as individuals, but not their government as a whole
But I will rally behind the Ravelympics!!
This is a fantastic event on Ravelry where you sign up for Olympic Teams and compete in events! I’m in the Sweater Sprint, the WIPs Wrestling, and Hand Dyed Hurdles. I’m concerned about being able to finish my sweater in time, but I will try my best!! That’s what counts in the Olympics, er, Ravelympics, I’ll certainly get an A for effort!
More on the sweater as I progress…