Tuesday, February 16, 2016

In which I share some kitchen escapades and knitting photos

It's been a delightful week for all sorts of things.  Chili, for one.  A nice pot of hearty chili with fresh cornbread is an excellent meal to warm the body and soul.  

The photo at left was taken of my kitchen countertop.  Yes, our house heat was on.  And yes, this is the actual temperature of that section of my kitchen.  I used to wonder about recipes that talked about 'room-temperature butter'.  Now I just ignore them, and put the butter on top of the stove get soft.  This is also the time of year when we cool things in the back room or front porch, rather than put them in the freezer or fridge for an hour to cool off.  It's faster and saves energy.

Then we have what looks like a science experiment.  I haven't been able to find much anything online about it, but this is what I found in my fridge one morning.  The night before (just ONE night -- not several months) I'd boiled some cubed white sweet potatoes and a carrot or two, then popped the liquid into a jar and stuck it in the fridge so I could use it in a soup.  Pot liquor, I think they called it in the old days.  I have no idea why it turned a lovely blue-green.  Today it's going into soup, and I wonder if it will color the soup.  If it does, I may well have a picture next week. Or not -- because next week, the sheetrockers are supposed to be here!  That means things will be topsy-turvy for a while.

Knitting content.  This week I made a pair of gloves for Filius, trying to replicate a pair from Feitelson's Art of Fair Isle Knitting, and forgot to switch the direction of the middle motif.  I *thought* I was switching it -- as the third row of parallelograms is going opposite the direction of the second row -- but that's not how one goes about changing the direction of the whole motif.  Argh.  I winged the pattern, and they came out a bit snug, but they are off at college with him and he likes them.  I brought his old pair home, reknit the thumbs, and now have a spare pair here. 
In other knitting, I made myself a pair of socks with some gifted yarn.  (Thanks, gifter!)  These came out wonderfully, using one of Wendy Johnson's toe-up gusset patterns and a garter-stitch rib pattern. 

Somewhere during last week, I came up with a handful of commissions and also ordered some Crushed Raspberry Frangipani to knit myself a Nattrojer Tunic.  That still left me with nothing to knit until the yarns and patterns arrive.  And that is a situation that, on a normal day, cannot be allowed to continue.  I dove into my stash and came up with some partial balls of Brigg's and Little's Heritage Yarn, stuck my nose into Latvian Mitten Designs by Erna Jansons, and came up with ...

Then I dove back into the stash, collected a skein of self-striping sock yarn, and made a Slouchy Socky Hat.  Then I dove back in again, collected my one remaining skein of self-striping sock yarn, and embarked on a baby hat.  After a a few hours of that, I realized that if I didn't get something else on the needles FAST, I would run out of knitting during the middle of a lecture that evening.  That's never a good thing. So I went up to the stash, decided to live dangerously, and embarked on mittens from Plate 48 of Latvian Mitten Designs.  We will see if the main color and most-used contrast color hold out.  If not ... Rachel, got any tan sportweight BSA leftovers?

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Wednesday's blog post on Wednesday, thanks to Skype

If it were not for Skype, I would not be writing this blog post today.  An hour ago, Filia had an interview in a town about 5 1/2 hours away.  Except due to the miracles of Skype, she could interview from the comfort of our living room, rather than get up at 2 AM, have a 20 minute interview, and get home in the middle of the afternoon.  Technology can be wonderful. 

One casualty of last week's blizzard may have been our mid-February sheetrocking.  There was a nasty fire in a nearby town the night of the blizzard -- the sort where fire crews in surrounding towns call out the plows to go ahead of them on the road so they can make it to the fire? -- and while the business doing the work for us didn't burn down, the owner's residence did.  I've been in a holding pattern for 2 years now on this job ... a few more months won't hurt anything.  It'll give me more time to figure out my wall-to-wall bookcase!

Not to be outdone by the blizzard last Tuesday, Monday's weather was also very nice and blizzardy.  We were on the edge of the Abysmal Travel zone.  I had somewhere to go (someone to get somewhere, actually) and ventured out in the morning.  Visibility outside of town was worse than in the photo below.  I wouldn't have been able to see the sign, and had I been the car, I *might* have been able to see the truck in front of me.  Maybe not.  I thought about turning around and cancelling, but turning around on a US highway when you can't see anything can be tricky.  There could be a car coming the other direction!  So I ventured onward, and the visibility cleared to the point of safety after a few hundred yards, and after a few miles, the driving was fine.

This road got closed a bit after this camera shot
Knitting has been fairly uneventful.  I finished the mittens, got them off in the mail, finished another commission, got that off in the UPS, volunteered myself for a repair job (and had embroidery floss to match! Two strands was just the right thickness), finished a pair of socks, and started in on a pair of gloves for Filius. 
With an empty knitting calendar, my mind has been busy thinking of things to knit.  And, as it has been happening lately, things found me.  That sort of thing is SO good for the yarn budget.  I am still being tempted by either two cones of Frangipani, or Brown Sheep Sport, or perhaps some Finullgarn, to reknit a Danish Nattroyer.  It's been calling me for a while, so I may just go ahead and give in. 

But - enough staring at the blog post.  Time to go tidy and knit, before I introduce two wonderful ladies into the Art of the Tubular Bind Off, and then work with another wonderful lady on My First Mitten. 

It's Wednesday, and I don't have any soup ideas this week yet.  Please, suggest away in the comments!

Thursday, February 04, 2016

In which I finally make a workaround for iCloud and photos

It's a beautiful, glorious, sun-shiny (or at least it was) day here in the Snowy North.  We had a very nice blizzard on Tuesday -- late enough in the day to wonder how many school districts would look utterly ridiculous for announcing on Monday that they would be closed Tuesday, yet early enough in the day that all the state and county highways were CLOSED and the plows were pulled by 2 PM.  I felt quite pleased that Sunday's decision to reschedule my knitting class in a town 20 miles away from me was not open to ridicule.  

Even Vir came home at noon.  
Wednesday, after shoveling - and a snowblower assist from Vir!
Of course, if one is home, and being sensibly NOT glued to a screen watching people report on the snow and talk about which roads one sensible people should not be on, one ought to do somethign else.  So I knit.  The middle mitten is the first of a pair that I am currently knitting.  The left mitten is also from my needles, but has been dubbed "Sasquatch's Mitten" because of it's generous size.  Brown Mitten #2 is about halfway done, and should get finished tomorow.  Today's calendar does not have much space for concentrated knitting.  This pattern, for whatever reason, requires concentration.  I have made SO MANY mistakes in the pattern that required me to rip back to fix them.  Totally unlike me.  Obviously, I need to practice concentrating. 

And -- soup!  This week's tureen contained Cream of Cauliflower Soup, and as pictured below, Carrot Soup.  Filia and I spiked ours with a bit of miso, and it was delicious.  Nutmeg and a dollop of sour cream crossed my mind too, but I thought that might clash with the cumin and chili powder in the recipe. 

Until next week ...