November 2006

Mama Cate and BitchPhD linked to this guy who’s trying to track the progress of memes through the blogosphere.  (See a better explanation here.)  He’s planning to use it for a panel at the (apparently upcoming) MLA conference.  So let’s see how well this works, shall we?  To participate, write a post explaining the study, link to his post, try to get other people to do the same, and ping technorati via the original post. 

I tried to get a Thanksgiving-y picture of the clock tower (I think it’s the "old Met Life building") that I posted last week, but they all came out horribly blurry.  I did, however, get a picture of the Empire State Building that I really like.


Doesn’t this make it look sinister?  It was a lot darker in real life, just foggy… 


I spent several hours yesterday cooking yummy food.  (Yay, "vacation"!)  Pictures and such are in the extended entry.


I actually didn’t knit as much as I’d expected to this weekend, but I did get a bit accomplished.


This is the sock I’ve been knitting since mid-August.   I finished it on the train home from NYC on Saturday, leaving just enough time to start the other sock before  going off to see Enter the Haggis on Saturday night.   


On Jody‘s recommendation, I tried out the magic toe-up cast-on.  It’s amazingly wonderful, and I can’t see ever using the figure-8 toe again.

You may have noticed that these socks are going to be definitely fraternal twins, if not more like cousins than siblings.  Aside from my usual laissez-faire attitude toward exactly matching stitch counts, or different toe techniques, the yarns are totally different.  The first sock was Spirit Trail yarn, but this one’s Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sport.  They’re both fiery colorways, but the patterning is not at all the same.  Ah, well.  I will wear them and love them anyway.  (It is often a very good thing that I’m not a knitting perfectionist, although I suspect I’ll be pickier about sweaters if I ever start knitting them (again).)


By the time you read this, I’ll be in New York for Thanksgiving, where I’ll have this view.  The lights will be autumn colors instead of springy colors (this photo is from Passover a couple of years ago), but it’s a lovely sight either way.

I am in the middle of a just-over-two-week period which has/had all of three days, I think, with nothing [social] scheduled.  I wound up cancelling some of my plans and diverting an evening or two to alternate plans, but things have been busy.  There’ve been lots of things to blog, but very little time with which to do so.  Here, then, since I am still quite busy, are a few bits.

Food.  After the end of the One Local Summer challenge, I decided that my next cooking challenge would be to cook "real food" at least once, preferably twice, each week.  It hasn’t been going as well as I’d’ve liked, but I’m still working at it.  Last week, however, I managed twice, with one meal large batch of food being mostly local, and one batch of food being OLS-compliant.  Here’s a picture of the partly-local food, in its reincarnation as lunch:


That’s sautéed local rainbow chard, with bulgar salad adapted from Mac‘s recipe–the carrots were local, the cranberries, almonds, and bulgar were not.  (I also toss in a good bit of sumac in this stuff, but it can be hard to find.)   The other batch of cooking was locally made whole wheat linguine with local tofu, carrots, and broccoli.  I still have some left, and it turns out to be much better with [local] cheese.


Plants–because what kind of catch-up post from me would it be without at least one picture of a plant?


This year, my christmas cactus decided to honor Veterans’ Day.  I had hoped, when I saw the buds, that it would be a birthday cactus, but ’twas not to be.  Still, I’m always happy to have flowers on my plants, especially as they’re getting scarcer outside.

Fiber.  The conspiracy is sucking me further in.  I have now played with handcards, and it was fun. 


Three rolags from last night, hanging out at Sarah‘s, with a 20p coin for scale (a bit bigger than a US nickel).  Pretty much all wool, with a couple of teensy bits of alpaca and silk, mostly the brown corriedale I bought when I first got my spindle and then decided wasn’t pretty enough or enough fun to spin.  I like it a lot better now.  (It doesn’t show up all that well, but the rolag on the far left is sorta greyish-brownish-greenish, and the middle rolag is reddish-brownish-slightly purple.)

This is what I saw out my bedroom window last Saturday. 



The Japanese maple has since dropped all its leaves, but they were lovely while they lasted. 

Jody posted last month about a pact she’d made with Christy.  They agreed that they were each going to knit half of their 2006 festival purchases before MDSW 2007.  Partly inspired by that and partly inspired by the desire to have less stuff*, I’ve gone through my records of things I bought at the three festivals I’ve attended.  The annotated composite graphic is in the extended entry, along with my plans and goals.

*which was, in turn, partly inspired by the process of moving last summer


Part One:  My Spirit-Trail sock is past the heel and into the leg-ribbing.


Here’s where it got that far:


That was an amazing concert.  Sweet Honey is always excellent, but I was particularly moved last Sunday.  If ever you get the chance to see them, I highly recommend you take it.  (I think that’s the most I’ve ever paid for a single concert, and it was well worth it.)

Part Two: Yarn!  This is the rest of that green romney, for another 120 yards or so, plus a some random wool plied with the leftover bit of the salvia merino that I three-plied.  I like the way it looks, but there’s only 20 yards of it.  I think it’ll be a stripe in something for Dulaan.  (Part Two-B: Sunshine on fall foliage out my bedroom window!  Expect to see leaves without yarn sometime soon.)


Part Three: I baked cranberry bread the other day, with walnuts.  I love cranberries.  I think I should’ve used less oil, though, to make up for the extra liquid of the cranberries (as opposed to the bananas for which the recipe was designed).  Eh, well, still tasty.



Yes, I am still posting pictures from almost a month ago.  Hush.  The weather is lovely, but the pictures I took last weekend are still in my SLR, waiting for me to take five or six more so I can get the film developed.

Work has been busy, and I’ve been battling a cold this week, but I’ve squeezed in some knitting and spinning.  I will post it when I have time…

I’ve said this before, and I expect it will come up again… Anj is a very talented and generous enabler.  This time, she spent some of her limited Rhinebeck-time to look for a few things for me, and brought back a pair of beautiful, beautiful bobbins.  I am very happy–now I can have a two-ply and a three-ply going at the same time.


In further discussion of New Things…  I hadn’t intended to post my birthday presents here, but I thought y’all’d appreciate this one: Anju and Tim gave me a Lantern Moon needle roll.



(All the stuff in it was already mine, I just stayed up really late on Saturday to transfer things from the bin o’ needles and stuff to the fancy new organizer.  Because organizing my knitting needles was more urgent than sleep.)

And now for some evidence that I’ve used (one of) my new, pretty bobbins:



I had started spinning this last week, and gotten most of one bobbin spun up, but the second bobbin and the plying were all Saturday evening.  I had decided to use this stuff (green romney top from Rhinebeck ’05) for the freeform blanket I’m knitting, and I wanted it to be socializing-spinning, so I decided not to worry about evenness.  It varies between fingering and worsted, mostly as dk-ish, and this is about 160 yards.

I also recently acquired some more Boogie fiber.  I had been thinking about getting some superwash merino to spin up for socks (and to try spinning superwash), and then she posted a lovely green with greyish and brownish bits, and I bought it.


Isn’t it pretty?


This is a teensy (three-yard) sample skein I spun and plied last night.  Soooo soft.  And it doesn’t seem terribly different from regular merino, at least so far. 



Yes, these are more pics from the 15th of October.  But it’s another glorious fall day today, and it’s also my birthday!  Hurrah!  (One of these years, I know, I will probably stop being this excited about my birthday.  But not yet.)

I was going to post pictures of my specially-delivered Rhinebeck loot and my beautiful new fiber (not from Rhinebeck), but then I was so excited about going outside that I completely forgot to take pictures of them.  Maybe Sunday or Monday…


Even after the gingerbread cupcakes, I was feeling the urge to bake (and, well, baking takes less washing and chopping than soup does).  So I wanted to make something for lab meeting this morning and fiber night this evening.  Since there are people in both groups who can’t eat wheat, I decided to try a recipe for flourless peanut butter cookies that I’d seen on bakingsheet.  They’re basically peanut butter, brown sugar, and egg, with a little bit of baking soda. 

Mods: I omitted the vanilla and the salt, and I only put chocolate chips in about half of them, since there are people in my lab who don’t like chocolate.  And I used crunchy peanut butter instead of smooth, because it was what I had. 

I wasn’t sure when I put the cookies in the oven that I would be able to see the edges turning golden brown, but they got substantially lighter during baking.  They came out very well, if rather crumbly.  Oh, also, I doubled the recipe and got 39 cookies out of it.