Monday

[knitting] Do over

After using up nearly 3 balls of yarn, I decided to rip my Lace Nightie back. All the way. Completely un-doing 15 hours of knitting.

So sad.

I knew my gauge was going to be a little off because I was knitting with larger needles. That combined with knitting the largest size meant I was making something that was clearly too big. I started to look at what I was growing from my needles and thought, "This is... big. Is it too big? It looks really big." I put all the live stitches onto some cotton yarn and "tried it on". I could have hoola-hooped with it. Not sexy.

I got my ball-winder out and was able to un-do the whole thing in 4 minutes. 15 hours of work, gone, in 4 minutes. Dollar sat nearby remarking on how cool and fast my ball-winder is. Then he saw my eyes glittering with tears and decided that consoling me might be a better idea.

So I cast on immediately with a new ball, knit a few rows, realized I made a mistake somewhere and ripped back AGAIN. Dollar watched apprehensively as I gently laid down my needles and yarn, preparing for me to go apeshit or break down or something. I crawled into bed, picked up my comic book and started reading.

Mind you, all of this happened on Saturday.

Sunday morning, I turned on Return of the King, cast on for the smaller size, knit CAREFULLY, and finally got back into the flow of the lace nightie. By Sunday night I was halfway to where I was when I ripped the thing. The knitting is going faster without 4 lace repeats.

Anyway, it's frustrating and sad but I'd rather do the thing right.

Thursday

[knitting] Unfinished / Finished / Just Started

I'm trying to sort out one my unfinished projects: Starsky. There it was, languishing on the needles, the back a mere inch or two from being cast off. I recently saw someone had knit the back AND started the fronts in a day. Sigh, just the motivation I needed. Since I still get up really early on weekends but the lump in bed next to me likes to sleep in, I brought the project downstairs, put on the first Lord of the Rings movie, tried to figure out where I was in the pattern, made a few mistakes and eventually cast-off the back. I'll do the fronts and sleeves some day.



I finished Dollar's newest pair of socks. I used all four balls of Mission Falls 100% Merino Superwash. Of the four balls, one ball had a couple (quite close) knotted sections that had to be cut out. I hate having more ends to weave in. I socks are squishy and heavy. Dollar loves them because his feet are flat and the socks add more padding to the soles. Too bad I told him I wasn't going to knit with this yarn again. The yardage isn't great. I prefer using ONE ball of yarn per sock (fewer ends to weave in). That was the case with Lion Brand Wool Ease (though not the greatest yarn) and Lamb's Pride Superwash (a little pricey). For his next pair I will try Cascade 220 Superwash.



After giving so many projects away, I've decided to knit something for me. I cast on for the lace nightie from Interweave Knits! I'm using Valley Yarns Longmeadow that I picked up on Saturday. My sister and I drove down to Webs and while I thought I'd go crazy (Supermarket Sweep style), I held it in. I got five balls of Longmeadow (lilac) and seven skeins of Elizabeth Lavold Angora (white). The Longmeadow is for the nightie, the angora is for my friend's wedding capelet. I'm almost done with the second ball of Longmeadow and the stitches look wonderful- a subtle shine and oh so soft.



Friday

[knitting] My picks of recent knitting links

Zipper Installation

New KnitPicks yarn, CotLin? And some Sierra colors at crazy low prices.

Cabled Legwarmers

MagKnits' February Patterns

Bertie Scarf

Helleborus Scarf

Lace Gloves

Lace Nightie

# # #

Dollar and I taking a trip to Puerto Rico in a few months and I would like to knit something for it. Maybe the lace nightie? Maybe a camisole? I'd also like a slouchy and loose cotton cardigan. Or a loose lace cardigan. Bamboo seems to be the yarn of the moment, so that's an option as well. I haven't really done any knitting for warm weather but I find it interesting to shift my train of thought from alpaca and wool to cotton and bamboo. Winter wear is meant to keep you warm while summer wear is meant to keep to cool.

I stopped by my LYS yesterday and got 8 balls of Katia Idea since they were 50% off. She had a sample of a tank top knit with this yarn and all I had to say about it was, "This tank top is... HEAVY. Jeeze, it weighs a ton." I was so glad I learned that because I've decided to knit a sweater out of the worsted weight yarn on 11 (or even 13!) needles, to open the stitches up. I hope that the finished sweater will be loose, breezy and not end up using very much yarn.

I might go back for some of the Berroco Suede at 50% off. I think some of the bikinis in Ashley Paige's Sexy Little Knits use Suede yarn. Shall I stock up and think about all the racy things I can knit from Naughty Needles, Domiknitrix and Knitting Lingerie Style?

Tuesday

[amy] Portraits

AMY: Do you know what I want to do?

DOLLAR: What?

AMY: I want to get some portraits taken of us. To hang up around the house.

DOLLAR: Oh yeah?

AMY: Yeah. I want to get ones like... Um... You know the family portrait in American Pie? Where Jason Biggs and his mom and dad are in front of a fake background, looking off into the distance?

DOLLAR: No.

AMY: You don't remember?

DOLLAR: No. We're not doing that.

AMY: Come on! It would be f-

DOLLAR: No way. No. ... No.

AMY: You can wear a turtleneck, all folded down properly around the neck, with an ugly sweater. And I'll wear a flowery dress with one of those lace doily collars.

DOLLAR: [laughs] Hahahaha. [stops] But still no.

AMY: We can be in front a background with the lasers shooting across.

DOLLAR: [groans] No way. I know exactly what you're talking about and I have too many bad memories of actually having those pictures taken.

AMY: Yeah, me too but this would be... Different. I want to be sitting down and have you stand behind me, with your hand on my shoulder but not with your hand just resting on my shoulder- I want you to be gripping kind of hard so that you can see the fabric of my dress pucker underneath your fingers. And you can be glowering at the camera while I have a look of pensive fear on my face.

DOLLAR: No. It's still a funny idea, but no. I think we should take pictures of the two of us, sure, but not like that.

AMY: All right. [thinking: That's what you think.]

To be continued...

[knitting] Tam #3 for 2007

I have completed another tam for my mom. I made her a red one, which she wore every day. She then asked to borrow my blue one for a while because wearing the same thing every day was getting monotonous. She asked me so meekly, like she was asking to take away my child or something. I told her she could have it because I wasn't really wearing it and I only knit it to try a couple new techniques (rolled brim w/ 1x1 ribbing; gored decreases for the crown).

So elated was she that I decided to knit another for her. I was going to have a boring 4-day weekend after getting my wisdom teeth extracted and thought that was plenty of time to complete a tam. I showed her some light heathery green in my stash and she said, "Yeah. I... like it. Maybe the next one can be black? Black goes with everything." I looked in my stash and found 4 small balls of Elann Baby Cashmere in pewter that I originally intended to make gloves with but, let's face it, a tam would be so much easier and faster than gloves.



Pattern: Basic Tam from Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns. Rolled brim w/ 1x1 ribbing; spiral crown.

Yarn: Elann Baby Cashmere, Color 9295 Pewter, doubled up, 4 balls

Needles: U.S. #5 16" circ. & dpn

Gauge: 6st/in

Mods: The decreases for the spiral crown say "decrease 6 st every other round". I thought that was strange because for the gored effect you had to decrease 12 st every other round and this seemed like the perfect amount. I knit and knit and decreased 6 st every other round and the crown slooooooooly decreased. So slowly, in fact, that I realized I was knitting my mother a big rasta cap. I ripped back and decided to decrease 6 st EVERY round. That was just right (following a moderately aggressive wash/block).

[knitting] News

Knitting Nuns on the run.

New Yarn from Lion Brand: Cotton Ease, Organic Cotton, Vanna's Choice.

Apparently you should knit in the back seat, as opposed to the passenger seat.

Dragon scarf

Knitty Winter bonus patterns: Thermal, Dragonfly, Elbac, Mad River Mittens.

How I will be doing my next Knitting Party: Invites, Music, Menu, Drinks, Decorations

Knitting patterns for Valentine's Day

Monday

[cooking] Asparagus, Leek, Prosciutto Quiche: First Attempt

I enjoy making quiche. It's easy, versatile, and everyone likes it. I've never met anyone who said, "Quiche? You mean fluffy egg in a flakey crust? With maybe some cheese and meat in the filling? Ew!"

For this one, I threw in some things I had languishing around the fridge: 6 stalks of asparagus, three good-sized leeks, and a few slices of prosciutto. My tried-and-true quiche recipe came out WRONG on many levels.

1. I rinsed the asparagus, sliced them in half and put them into the crust (over a single layer of Swiss cheese). Rookie mistake: they were still a little wet from the rinse. I need to make sure they are dry dry dry next time because the extra water hindered the middle of the quiche setting properly.

2. I used three leeks. THIS WAS TOO MANY. Next time I'll only used one. AND I'll sauté them a little first, to soften them up. They were not palatable even after 50 minutes of baking. AND you know how dirty they can be, so they got a good washing which added more unnecessary water to filling.

3. Prosciutto. Prosciutto is always good but may not be right for this recipe. Everything in a quiche filling tends to be soft but this meat is so salted and sliced so thin, that my ribbon slices were like little strips of leather. I might slice the prosciutto into chiffonade next time and if that doesn't work, I will leave it all together and switch to bacon.


Looks so much better than it tasted.


This was my attempt to make an upscale Ham & Onion quiche. People like a little pretentious food every now and then but this had me saying, "Down with gourmet food! This tastes weird! I want a quiche with cubes of ham and diced yellow onion! What's so wrong with that?" I'll see if I can get this recipe right and then have a taste test to compare it to a simple Ham & Onion quiche. Oh, and once I get it right, I'll post the recipe.