Friday

[knitting] In NYC

NYC last week was awesome. Good work stuff happening, good time in the city with my friend, good food (albeit crazy expensive good food), good yarn. Ahhh...

Here are the yarn stores I visited:

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1. PS Yarn

Fabric and notions and yarn here. I came looking for Lily Sugar'n Cream cotton but they had none. Nor any Patons SWS. But they have lots of other Patons- Classic Merino Wool, Decor, Shetland Chunky, Brilliant, etc.

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2. Seaport Yarn

LOTS of yarn here in a small office space. You take the elevator up and get buzzed in like you're going to visit the dentist. Inside, the hallway is packed with hand-dyed yarn. In the actual offices where people are working (I think they do lots of online orders), there's more yarn. LOTS of books patterns here, too.

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3. School Products

Again, another yarn store up in an office space. Lots of Karabella (they own the brand- I didn't know that at the time), some Rowan and Brown Sheep. What they mostly carry are luxury yarns imported from Italy. Lots of hand-dyes that they do themselves.

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4. Knitty City

Little shop on the Upper West Side. There was a men's knitting group meeting there when I went, which I thought was cool. Lots of yarn and colors here.

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The one-and-only project I worked on during my trip is a secret. I can say that it's a lace project with lace-weight yarn and I'm trying not to work on ANYTHING else until I'm done with it. The lace is so light and it took me a while to get adjusted to it; I don't want to jump up to a worsted-weight project, then go back to the lace and feel like I'm knitting with a strand of cobweb.

Thursday

[knitting] Travel Planning

Going to NYC next week! So exited. But what knitting project(s) to bring? I have a scarf that I started and worked on during my trip to San Diego- and I haven't touched it since. There's that.

I've also been thinking about felted clogs. They're meant to be fast and easy. How nice would it be to come back with a pair (or two- or three!) to felt.

I'll be making some stops to yarn shops while I'm there. I'll be around Wall Street, so Seaport Yarn is closest. I'm also going to School Products, oh yes. I just heard about P & S Fabrics.

So much to do. I just hope the weather plays along. New York has been getting (and is predicted to get more) crazy weather.

Sunday

[knitting] Tasks

Block sleeves:



Check.

Cotton-Ease socks:



Done. I gifted them to Dollar Friday night. He wore them all day Saturday. I love seeing socks I knit on his feet. This yarn was great- cool to the touch with nice stitch definition and drape.

As for the round dishcloth... I opted to cast-on for another pair of Cotton-Ease socks instead:



Wheee!

Friday

[games] Axis & Allies: The never-ending war

Sigh. This is how my dining room table has looked for the past few weeks:





Would the boys who have been playing this game in an on-again, off-again manner please hurry up and finish? I want my table back.

[cooking] Shrimp & Zucchini Pasta

Shrimp & Zucchini Pasta

1 Box Thin Spaghetti

1 - 2 tablespoon olive oil
1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined *
1 zucchini, julienned
1 28 oz can of whole, peeled tomatoes

Pepper
Adobo (without pepper) **
Roasted Red Tomato Seasoning **

* If using frozen, uncooked shrimp (a staple in my freezer), "refresh" the shrimp by thawing in a bowl of heavily salted water.

** These are seasonings I personally happen to have on hand and decided to use. The Goya Adobo is a combination of onion, garlic and other salts. You could use Italian Seasoning (since there are no herbs in the canned tomatoes), fresh herbs, salt, garlic, etc. You'll need something to give interest and flavor to the sauce.


1. Boil Spaghetti in salted water until al dente. Drain.

2. While waiting for the spaghetti water to boil, make the sauce. Heat a large pan over med-high heat. Add olive oil and shrimp, cooking for three minutes until slightly pink.

3. Add zucchini, stir, cook three more minutes.

4. Add the seasonings to taste and cook three more minutes. Shrimp should be uniformly pink and zucchini should still be a little firm.

5. Add tomatoes, breaking them apart with wooden spoon. Adjust seasoning, reduce heat and simmer until pasta is ready. Toss everything together and serve with freshly grated parm cheese on top.

Serves 4

[knitting] Tasks for the weekend

Knitting things TO DO this weekend:

1. Block Sleeves for Starsky

Come on now, the level of procrastination on this has gotten embarrassing. I attribute it to not wanting the sweater to end. But really, it's probably not wanting all the sewing to begin. D-man is working tonight so there won't be any distractions.

2. Finish Cotton-Ease socks

Well, there is this distraction. This could also be why I haven't blocked the sleeves. I started these socks last Saturday and as of last night, I'm closing in on the toe of sock number two.

3. Round Dishcloth

I love the way this dishcloth looks when knit with variegated yarn. Thank you, Ravelry, for giving me new project ideas and allowing me to see how those projects look when knit-up by lots of different people with lots of different tastes. This would be a small, portable, easy project to bring to Whalestock Saturday.

Thursday

[cooking] Trip to Middle Earth, for music and soup

Went to Middle Earth with Dollar last night because, hey, I love distractions. Open Mic was interesting- the performances ranged from aggressive anti-Bush spoken word and poetry to less aggressive anti-Bush folk songs. There were people who performed solo and some groups. One blue grass band featured a old man pucking a slender upright bass cello. Dollar said, "That's an antique! And the bass is old, too." Har har. We met his band mate there and I think the band is going to sign up for 15 minutes next week. As Dollar put it, "We won't be the best... but we won't be the worst either."

Middle Earth itself was interesting. I had never been before but immediately fell in love with the casual atmosphere (there's a stack of boardgames to grab and play if your party is so inclined) and rustic, wooden interior. There are trees inside and the bar is made out of THICK wood that sits higher than normal, so you feel like a small hobbit when you're placing your drink order.

For supper, I saw Posole on the menu and had to get it. I've been thinking about this soup for few weeks now. I have a couple cans of hominy in the cupboard (must have bought them on sale) and don't really know what to do with them. Heck, I didn't even know what hominy was until I looked it up:

Hominy or nixtamal is dried maize (corn) kernels which have been treated with an alkali of some kind. The traditional U.S. version involves soaking dried corn in lye-water (sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide solution), traditionally derived from wood ash, until the hulls are removed. Mexican recipes describe a preparation process consisting primarily of cooking in lime-water (calcium hydroxide). In either case, the process is called nixtamalization, and removes the germ and the hard outer hull from the kernels, making them more palatable, easier to digest, and easier to process.

What?! I'm not sure I feel comfortable eating something that has been nixtamalized. Sounds... shady. And chemically.

So I ordered the Posole. While I didn't particularly enjoy the pork in it, the hominy was good. I don't know if corn without the hull expands but the hominy pieces are much larger than the average corn kernel. I'm going to try making my own posole this weekend.

Wednesday

[knitting] Starsky- Shawl Collar (with mods)

I finished knitting the shawl collar of Starsky:



The first things you might notice are the holes in the front. I added 4 double-yarnover button holes. I don't want to do the belt thing and I've liked the other buttoned versions I've seen. We'll see if these holes are too big or get too loose for the buttons- I can always reinforce and tighten the holes a smidge.

What might not be as obvious is the collar- it's longer than originally written. I noticed (as had others) that a 6 inch collar (measured at the back of the neck) wasn't enough collar for the larger sizes. Jordana page explained how to lengthen it into an 8 inch collar in the Craftster Starsky Knitalong thread. So I did.

After I bound off the collar, I immediately put it on (I have the sides pinned shut) and rocked out in a most ridiculous manner- as one can only do when one is wearing a tank top and shorts in humid summer weather, and then dons a sleeveless wool sweater.

Next, blocking the sleeves. Dollar is going to Middle Earth Music Hall tonight to check out Open Mic, so I hope I can block them while Mr. Distraction isn't around.