[food] Mushroom and Quail Egg Pizza

For my half of the pizza, I prepared:

Pizza toppings

Left are brown beech mushrooms, top are slices of one large king oyster mushroom, right are the quail eggs.

I made a regular cheese pizza and baked it for 10 minutes while I sauteed the mushrooms in a little butter. Then I took the pizza out, added the shrooms and broke three eggs on top, then finished it for another 10 minutes.

The quail eggs are a little hard to break open. They have a high yolk-to-white ratio, which is nice if you like yolks (I do). And did you know that the speckles on the outside are like fingerprints? Eggs from the same hen will have the same speckle pattern, while eggs from another hen will have a different pattern.

Anyway, here it is:


It was tres nom.

I also made myself toasted english muffins with a couple over easy quail eggs on each half. I topped it with a little olive tapenade (it's black, it's salty, it's fine... I'm calling a poor man's caviar). That was tres noms as well.


[misc] Murderface Monday

Last Monday, I saw Murderface laying on the edge of the bed, staring forlornly at nothing on the floor. I got the camera and laid on the floor...

On the edge of the bed

On the edge of the bed

He was probably wondering why we weren't at work. His sleep schedule gets all kinds of messed up when we're around all day, making noise and bothering him so he can't have his 16 hour nap.


[misc] My willful vehicular ignorance

My car didn't start this morning so I borrowed my mom's truck. I called Dollar to tell him about my drive...

AMY: Driving her truck is like driving a dump truck. I hate it.

DOLLAR: It's a nice truck.

AMY: Well... It does have a button for warming your butt. That was nice.


AMY: The only problem is that it couldn't turn right.

DOLLAR: The truck couldn't turn right?

AMY: It couldn't turn correctly.


AMY: Like, when I turn the wheel a lot, the truck gets all shaky...

DOLLAR: Is 4-wheel drive on?

AMY: Uuuhhh... There was a button that said "FOUR HI". And it was lit.

DOLLAR: That's the problem. Turn it off.

AMY: OH NO! I drove all the way to work with 4-wheel drive on! On the interstate and everything!

DOLLAR: It's okay. Just turn it off.

AMY: Why can't I turn corners in 4-wheel drive?

DOLLAR: Because all the wheels are engaged.

AMY: So?

DOLLAR: They're all turning at the same time.

AMY: So?


AMY: I don't understand the physics of what you just said.

DOLLAR: I'll show you on a Hot Wheels car sometime.

*Edited because I can't remember what he said.

[knitting] Baybeh Booties

We had a surprise shower for a knitting friend last night. I knit a pair of booties for the coming girl...

Baby Booties

Pattern: Saartje's Booties

Needles: US 2

Yarn: Jaeger Baby Merino DK (leftover from Odessa)

They're so cute. I love the little bee buttons. So cute. Which makes up for the fact that this is what they looked like after the knitting was complete:

Jellyfish blobs...

Looks like jellyfish blobs. Looks like a lot of sewing. But, I pulled out my trusty copy of Vogue Knitting: The Ultimate Knitting Book (I think if I had to choose "one knitting book for a desert island", this would be it.) and got help on how to sew garter seams and how to make nice, reinforced buttonholes.

Wee little booties are a great way to use leftover yarn and cute buttons... I just want to find a seamless pattern.


[knitting] Ravelympics 2010

I joined the Ravelympics group on Ravelry. I'm not on a team but I'm going to try to participate in as many events as I can possibly complete in 22 days...

- Aerial Unwind (Frog those poor unloved projects to reclaim that yarn.)

I have an unfinished pink sweater from years ago that's ugly, weird, mis-shapen. I want the yarn back.

- Bag Jump (Bags, totes, pouches)
- Cable Cross-Country (All things cables)
- Stash Compulsory Dance (Use of long-neglected stash purchased at least 1 year ago)

The Quinn Cabled bag, in my queue since I joined Ravelry, will count for all of these events. I plan on using gray Cascade Sierra that I've had in the stash for ages. I'm a little worried that this mostly-cotton yarn might not be right for a heavily cabled bag, but I would probably (hopefully) sew a fabric lining in. And then it would also count for the SnowCross event.

- Bobsled (All things pets)

A better sweater for Murderface.

- Flying Camel Spin (Just spinning... lots and lots of spinning)

Spin something from my fiber stash. Not sure what yet. First I'll need to finish some fiber I'm in the middle of and get it off my bobbins.

- Mittens Moguls (Mittens, gloves, anything that covers hands/wrists/arms)
- Nordic Colorwork Combined (Colorwork, intarsia, fair isle)
- Stash Compulsory Dance (Use of long-neglected stash purchased at least 1 year ago)

Wintergreen Mittens will count for all of these events. I have some grayish-white and evergreen Mountain Mohair from the Green Mountain Spinnery.

And if there's time...

- Hat Halfpipe (All things hats and heads)
- Single Skein Speed Skate (Projects of just one skein/hank)
- Scarf Super-G (Scarves, cowls, neckwarmers, smokerings, scarflettes…all things neck)
- WIPs-Dancing (WIPs/UFOs and only these; Projects not touched since Jan 12th)
- SnowCross (Projects that combine knitting, crochet, needle-felting, embroidery, sewing...; minimum of 2 crafts combined together)
- Junior Olympics (Kids, baby garments)


So... yeah. That looks like a lot but the number one rule of Ravelympics is you don't talk about Rav- Wait- that's for my other club. The one rule of Ravelympics is: "Challenge yourself." I may have taken it to the point of "Challenge yourself into a state of overwhelmed panic and just watch LOST instead." We'll see...

[knitting] Aran Cap

Aran Cap

Pattern: Candide Aran Cap and Mittens. This is an ooooooold leaflet. I think I bought the pattern at Northern Nights Yarn Shop.

Yarn: Patons Aran. This is an ooooooold yarn. Discontinued. I think it was given to me by my grandmother.

Needles: US 6, US 8

Mods: The pattern is written for knitting the hat flat, and then sewing it closed. I think the pattern must have been written before circular needles were invented? Hah. Or maybe before they were readily available. I knit it in the round.

This hat will kick around until it's gifted away next Christmas. I'm tempted to do the matching mittens but I'm not sure the person this hat is for wears mittens.


[knitting] Baroness Beret

I knit a quick lace beret for myself over the holidays...

Baroness Beret

Pattern: Baroness Beret (rav)

Yarn: Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Worsted, most of 1 skein

Needles: US 5, US 7

Mods: I did one extra repeat of the lace pattern for extra slouch. After blocking it around a large dinner plate, the fabric smoothed out but it might be a little too slouchy now. I'd be willing to make this again, with a matching cowl (like the Foliage set).

I would recommend changing the “knit 2 together through the back loop” to “ssk” for a more symmetrical look. Not a big deal here with this slightly fuzzy yarn, but if you use a highly plied, round yarn that shows crisp stitch definition, the “knit 2 together through the back loops” will turn out kind of crooked looking.

Baroness Beret - underside


[food] H-Mart

Made a quick trip down to H Mart with my sister on Saturday. I went specifically to get a new rice cooker. Ta da!

New rice cooker

It's a 5 cup. My old one is also a 5 cup. I was tempted to get a 10 cup but realized I've never said, "Gee wiz, I wish I had a larger rice cooker." The 5 cup size is perfect for a two-person household.

I've used it twice already and it has cooked rice perfectly. I've been using my old rice cooker steadily for 12+ years and it's still working. The bowl is scratched up and it browns the rice at the bottom, but it still works. I'm keeping it in the box that the new one came in, in case this one ever craps out.

It's got all kinds of new-fangled buttons and settings. My old cooker had one lever that went from "cook rice" to "keep warm". This new one is programmable and can make different kinds of rice, soups, stews, porridge, etc. I've been looking for one-pot meals lately and I'd love to make dinner in this one thing.

And my perfect lunch: rice and banchan I got at H Mart:

A Perfect Lunch

Clockwise from top:

Cabbage kimchi - Not has good as mom's homemade, but the kind H Mart makes is very good!

Radish - Long slices. Good and crunchy!

Garlic stems - Like the crunch of the stems but the seasoning is a little weird. Very heavy on the gochujang.

Dried squid - Very thin strips! Very chewy! Very nommy!

I also picked up mushrooms (maitake, brown beech and king oyster) and quail eggs. Quail eggs! What am I going to do with quail eggs? I have no idea but I had to get them.


[misc] Murderface Monday

MF before his vet appointment last week...

MF and carrier

We stopped giving him Greenies because they were making him throw up. We switched to these softer Pet Greens, which he likes just as well.


[knitting] Foliage Set

I recently made a Foliage hat. I did one ages ago, adding an extra repeat of the leaf pattern and extra ribbing. It came out too long and I gave it away. This time I did the pattern as written and it came out like a lace skull cap. And because it's done from the top down, my k1p1 sewn bind-off looked really messy.

I threaded thin cotton yarn though every other stitch of the brim and blocked it around a large dinner plate, cinching it closed. That hat became a tam and the bind-off neatened up.

Foliage - tamified

I had more of the yarn (Cascade Pastaza) and wanted a matching cowl. I'm trying to knit accessories that, you know, match (instead of being the crazy miss-matched knitting lady). Here's what I did for the cowl:

Cast on 80 st. Knit one round. Purl one round. K2TOG, YO around. Purl one round. Knit one round. Start Leaf chart from Foliage pattern. Work for 12 inches and finished with the same k2tog/yo border.

I blocked it around a shoebox. It came out a little loose, so I added a lone shell button. All the yarn-overs around the edge are like a row of buttonholes. The cowl looks nice folded over a bit and buttoned.

Foliage Cowl

And a set!

Tam and Cowl

If I were to do this again, I would choose a different yarn. It gets a little itchy after a while.


[misc] MF's first trip to the vet

Murderface had his first vet appointment yesterday and I'm not sure if he's more traumatized or me. He got into the carrier fine and didn't seem to mind me closing the door. Then I brought him out to the car and he started howling. Howling like I've never heard him howl before, for the entire drive there and the entire drive back.

He got tested for feline leukemia and he's fine. He's got good eyes, he's a good weight, clean ears, no fleas, etc. The only bad thing is tartar on his teeth, so we might end up changing his food a bit. There's no way he'd let me brush his teeth at home and there's no way I'm having him put under anesthesia twice a year for professional cleaning. He got a couple shots and we need to go back in a month for more.

He did really well. Struggled the shots, of course, but didn't bite or scratch. The vet said he behaved really well and that he's a beautiful cat with a cute face (awww...).

I brought him home, he came out of the carrier, went to the litterbox, ate some supper and acted normal. He was purry and licked my face when I picked him up. Still... I felt like a torturer and apologized to him all night.


[knitting] Heaven Shawl

I joined a group on Ravelry called 10 Shawls in 2010. The minimum required yardage per shawl is 273 yds, and two of the shawls must be at least 546 yds. After doing the Lima Shawlette for my sister, I wanted one for me but a little larger...

Heaven Shawl

Pattern: 198 yds of Heaven

Yarn: Knit Picks Totem (discontinued), two balls

Needles: US 9

Notes: I did one extra repeat of Chart 1 before moving onto Chart 2. I ended with 8 yards leftover, for a total of 320 yds used. I used my new favorite bind off: k1, *k1, transfer 2 sts back to holding needle, and k2tog through back loops* across. You can do this bind off with normal tension and it's quite elastic and tidy (but it is a yarn gobbler).

I ordered a few balls of this yarn ages ago (2007?). I think it was a test yarn for Knit Picks and they never picked it up. It's three two-plies plied of 50% wool and 50% modal. It did have a tendency to unply as I worked with it. I tried making a hat with it that didn't go so well, but this shawl was just right. It has nice heft, drape and sheen (from the modal).

Heaven Shawl

This is a good little pattern. The edge doesn't roll, it works up quickly with worsted or heavy worsted yarn and by the time you start getting sick of doing all the purling across the back, you can move onto the edging which is all knit stitches across the wrong side.


[knitting] Dollar's Socks

They took about 6 months to make (which is ridiculous, considering they're made with worsted weight wool and are only 48 stitches around), but I finally finished a new pair of socks for Dollar:

Dollar's Socks

I used to be better/faster about making them but they're so boring. So. Boring. I guess I'll get another pair going and try some kind of pattern for the leg... see if that spices things up...

No picture of Murderface today. I'm taking him for his first trip to the vet tomorrow. I should have pictures and a story. And fresh scratches all over my arms.


[misc] No happy ending for anyone.

Dollar gave my car a $470 flat tire. I lent him my car on Friday to go to southern NH to pick up music equipment he was having fixed. At a gas station on the way home, he backed over a large spike, missing the rear tires but puncturing the left front. He got into a pretty heated argument the manager at the gas station about why a large, triangle shaped spike was lying around the gas pumps. But he went to change the tire.

My spare sits outside the rear gate of my car, covered. It has never seen the light of day since the car came off the assembly line, seven years ago. Apparently the cover wouldn't come off... and it had to be cut off. I like to think that if I was there, I would have been able to get it off with out having to whip out a knife and start slashing, but he assured me he couldn't pry it off and a big, burly, 300lb dude from the gas station couldn't get it off.

So, he comes home to tell me all this. I call my dealership and order a new cover. $135. Sigh, whatever.

I call the tire place and they tell me to get there the next morning at 7am. On a Saturday. Siiiiigh, fine. I get there at 7:10 and there's already 8 people waiting. And hour later, they tell me my car is next. Almost an hour later, they tell me:

1. The punctured tire can't be fixed.
2. My car requires that all the tires be the same.
3. The tires on my car have been discontinued.

I can either (a) replace all the snow tires, which the guy doesn't really recommend because my tires are practically new, or (b) call/hunt around different places that might have a straggler left of my tire. Not wanting to deal with it, I tell them to replace all the tires. I did have a warranty on them, which meant my new snow tires would come to $335.

So a $470 flat. And Dollar's music equipment? He brought it to practice and one of the things is still broken.


[knitting] Marl-y Scarf

The last Christmas present I knit: a marled scarf for my dad:

Dad's scarf

Yarn: Aslan Trends Ecolana, two full skeins (352 yards)

Needles: US 8

Pattern: I copied someone else on Rav who made the following with their Ecolana yarn...

Cast on 35. Row 1: k3p1. Row 2: k. Repeat two rows.

Easy. I knit continental style, so it went fast fast fast.

The yarn was okay. It's soft but the alpaca has quite a few wiry guard hairs left in it. It might not be suitable yarn for someone with sensitive skin.


[knitting] Ribbed Hat

A ribbed hat, probably to be given away next Christmas...

Ribbed Hat

Pattern: Loosely based on the Jacques Cousteau Hat, but I cast on 110 stitches instead of 120 (doing the long-tail cast on... didn't feel like ripping it out and starting over just for another 10 stitches), so... I didn't really follow the pattern at all, other than making a k3p2 hat.

Yarn: Zitron Trekking XXL, held double.

Needles: US 5

Notes: I'm pleased with the hat. I tried making socks with this sock yarn a couple times, but didn't like how the yarn felt/worked. Wanting to use the sock yarn, I weighed and wound the 100 gram ball of yarn into two equal balls. I held the yarn double, staggering the color from each ball, and I like the resulting autumnal stripes. Would make a very nice hat for a guy.

I have another ball of the same yarn in green colors and will probably make this exact same hat again. This was a easy, mindless project- good for waiting room knitting.


[knitting] Quincy

Here's a hat for me:

Quincy Hat

Pattern: Quincy, by Brooklyn Tweed (flickr picture from the designer here)

Yarn: Harrisville Designs Orchid, Madil Yarns Kid Seta (held together)

Needles: US 10 and 10.5

I like the hat, it's just a little awkward on. When I wear it, there's a lot going on on one side and the other side is a little bare. One side hangs down to cover an ear while the other side doesn't. I think it's one of those hats that only looks good from one side. Here you can see what the hat looks like from the other side.

The Orchid yarn and kid seta worked very well together (they were practically the same color) and the hat is very soft with a nice halo. I liked the knit-on i-cord that created a piping along the edges (it's a neat trick- one I had never done it before).


[knitting] East Wind West Wind

Here is the other handmade gift I gave to my sister- an alpaca cowl:

East Wind West Wind cowl

Pattern: Vent d'est, vent d'ouest (rav)

Yarn: Alpaca lite (fingering weight) from A Touch of Twist purchased many many moons ago at a NH Sheep and Wool Festival

Needles: US 4

Nice, straight-forward pattern with charts. I blocked it around a shoebox:

East Wind West Wind cowl- blocking

I might make one for myself...