August 2006

The last time I wrote out what I was working on and planning to accomplish was in May. It’s been three months, so I figured it was time to organize again.

finished since late May:
sunflower merino
grafton batt
pink/yellow/orange/white/green dulaan hat
blue dulaan hat
redwood bfl

still going:
silk cap
autumn sunset shawl
diamond fantasy shawl
mountain peaks shawl

new projects:

hyacinth bfl
fiery toe-hat
wool-mohair locks

to work on soon:
felted bag (maybe I’ll actually finish it before the next time I post about planning)
top-down cardigan
shadow-neuron scarf
the rest of the Boogie almost-solid sampler
maybe the brown wool/alpaca blend

I’ve given up on the baby bobbi bear for my former labmate’s kid, who’s now almost nine months old. Ah, well. I don’t think they’ll hate me for it…especially since I never told them I was working on it.

I’m also thinking that the next lace shawl (after I finish at least one of the three that I’m working on now) might be something in Alchemy Haiku, so it’d be warm and still squish down into something small. That may well wind up being Mim‘s Seraphim pattern. (Or I might just work on the Peacock Feathers Shawl next. That Boogie yarn is so pretty…)

And, because it is also planning, this seems like a good time to say that I will not be at Rhinebeck this year. There are too many other things going on that weekend, and I can’t foresee any time when more stress would be a good thing… So no more fiber festivals for me until May.

(Specifically to what she said here.)

I was soooo excited to finish spinning and plying my redwood bfl last weekend (while watching my new DVDs of the second season of House). And then I washed it and compared it to the batch from which I’ve been knitting the diamond fantasy shawl.

click for larger version

Those are…not the same grist. Crap. So now I need to decide what to do for the rest of the shawl. Do I just pretend I never noticed a difference? Do I take the rest of the unknitted yarn and alternate skeins a bit? I really don’t want to rip, ’cause the first batch, at least, doesn’t hold up as well as I’d like through tinking–it’s a smidge too fluffy for that. I suppose I could also try S-spinning some of the copper corriedale I got to finish the shawl and make a sorta half-cabled yarn.

Other suggestions would be quite welcome.




These are all pictures from my dad’s front garden.

Two Thursdays ago was Fiber Night at Anj‘s. She was showing us all of the fiber and yarn she had acquired on her vacation…we ooohed and aaahed…and fondled most of it…but Lehnen was not interested in sharing the giant bag of alpaca:


Last Thursday was a Harry & the Potters/Draco & the Malfoys/Hungarian Horntails concert in a church basement downtown. Being me, I wasn’t about to just stand there through the whole thing without any knitting. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any good concert knitting handy, since the current Dulaan hat is in the middle of the decreases (requires counting and wouldn’t’ve lasted long enough anyway). So I decided to start a new sock with the Spirit Trail sock yarn I bought at Maryland. I started balling the yarn at lunch, finished balling it while standing in line to get in (for maybe 45 minutes), and then cast on and started knitting during the next bit of waiting and the beginning of the show.

At the end of the evening, I had this:


I am really, really proud of how well this came out. It’s sooo much better than the last time I tried to start a toe-up sock at a show–I think some of it is the yarn, which is less splitty, some of it is the fact that this was a concert where I couldn’t see the stage anyway, rather than a movie, and some of it is just practice. Still. Very proud.

A party I attended on Saturday was the perfect motivator/excuse to bake cookies. It had been quite a while since I’d done so, as evidenced by the fact that, as I finished mixing the dough, I realized that I didn’t know where my cookie sheets were and then had to find, unpack, and wash them. (No, I’m not done unpacking yet.) Still, they came out quite nicely, even with all of the recipe-tweaking I did–they disappeared pretty quickly. Which is part of the reason I don’t have a picture for you. Just imagine flattish chocolate cookies with deep cracks running through them, and you should be pretty close…

Recipe in the extended entry.



cosmos, in my dad’s garden

I like the fact that I have friends who are good influences…it makes up for all of the less-than-responsible things I do because of my friends. (Most of those are omissions of housework in favor of socializing. Or omissions of sleep.) Anyway, this week has included at least two instances of my abandoning excuses not to do responsible stuff in large part because my friends were showing me up.

Not pictured is the fact that I spent Monday evening doing more unpacking and reorganizing in my kitchen. You probably wouldn’t believe that if you saw pictures, anyway. The good example there? Two friends of mine, who moved at the beginning of August, are finished unpacking now. Me? I moved in June…hey, it’s only August…. My current goal is to finish unpacking by the end of Labor Day weekend.

Then, last night, I got home kinda late (7:45ish) and didn’t want to deal with cooking, despite the fact that my plan for the evening had been to make my One Local Summer meal and spin. So…I had yogurt and dried fruit for dinner, effectively…and then decided that I really wanted to make muffins. So I did.


These are more or less the whole wheat muffins from the Tassajara Bread Book with a bunch of walnuts thrown in. (The egg and honey are local, but I don’t think anything else is.) Then Cyn called, and we were talking about cooking, and she reminded me of the other reason I’d meant to cook dinner: having leftovers to pack for lunch. So then, when we hung up, she went off to cook dinner, I started cooking for today’s lunch.


The idea was for it to be a local meal, hence the egg noodles (the only local non-bread grain product I’ve found, not that I’ve looked beyond my local co-op and farmers’ market). Alas, I don’t think the mushrooms are local. Still, the taste I had when I finished cooking at midnight was pretty good. I’ll just have to cook something else this week. (*gasp*) Everything substantial except the mushrooms was local, though; the onion, garlic, peppers, and zucchini (not the olive oil, though, or the balsamic vinegar or the paprika).

So…tired as I am today from staying up late to cook and then getting to work an hour early, I’m happy that I made real food last night.

I think it’s about time to share a few of my vacation pictures…so here they are. (This batch, anyway.) There are more…plants, scenery, more plants, different scenery…but I think I’ll save some of them for Eye Candy Friday (look for a button here soon).

the Winooski River, a few miles away from my parents’ house

a stinging nettle, in the woods by the river

a tiger lily, in the [my dad’s] front garden

obedient plant and a ladybug, on the other side of the driveway

trees in the backyard: grey birch, striped maple, copper beech

purple meadowrue, sort of under the trees

jewelweed in the backyard, between the vegetable garden and the compost. Note that this picture was taken at my eye level, a bit more than 5 feet up.

Also note that I changed the color scheme again. I was getting awfully tired of the “hey, look! it’s spring!” one…that mood doesn’t hold up very well in the sweltering heat that is a Philadelphia summer. At least it was gorgeous out today. And I had lunch outside, even if I did spend much of my afternoon in a dark, windowless room. Oh, and the photo from which I derived the new title bar is from the path by the Winooski River.

I am back in Philly! And it’s actually pleasant out! I have a slew of vacation photos to sort through and eventually post, but for now, here are two pictures from this morning.


I liked last week’s shredded salad enough that I decided to try another one like it. This week’s is julienned zucchini and green and orange bell pepper and some very finely chopped sweet onion (all labelled “local” at the co-op) with a basic soy-ginger-garlic dressing. The only unusual aspects of the dressing were the toasted sesame oil and the honey (instead of sugar). I haven’t had any of it yet–it’s going to be dinner this evening.


And this? This is yet another hat for Dulaan, this one of scraps of my handspun. I’ve been thinking I might try to felt it a bit, since it’s a looser knit than is probably appropriate, but I’m not entirely sure I’ll be able to felt things in my washing machine–it’s hooked up to the kitchen sink, and I’m not certain it’ll get hot enough (plus I’d have to try to switch it to cold for the rinse at the right time…). But maybe this is the project with which to test that.

This week’s all-local meal is based on a different realm of local–Vermont instead of Philly–and is supplied mostly by a membership CSA rather than a farmers’ market. Other notable differences include the fact that I had help preparing it and that I had help eating it. (Come to think of it, I should enlist my friends in helping to eat some of the rest of my official local meals.) There’s also the fact that it was dinner on Wednesday rather than on the weekend…vacation is so nice…


Anyway, the corn I expect you can recognize. The other stuff is a composed salad of julienned summer squash (yellow, zucchini, and pattypan) and green beans, very thinly sliced onion, and shredded carrots. The dressing is a vinaigrette with a good bit of sesame oil in it, along with my usual sampling of “vaguely Indian” spices. It came out pretty nicely, but I think I might try cooking the dressing (maybe around some tofu?) if I make it again.