Tuesday, February 27, 2007

More for my reference than anyone else's...

Here's the list of sweaters I would like to make for the Sweater-a-Month KAL. I am, of course, already behind schedule.

Jan: Hourglass (done)
Feb: Men’s Raglan (nearly done)
Mar: Tiffany Angora (partway done)
Apr: Glade (yarn on the way)
May: Serrano (yarn in stash)
June: Bamboo project (yarn here)
July: Basalt (1/7th done)
Aug: TBD (Picovoli? If so, have yarn)
Sept: Lichen (yarn here)
Oct: Sorrel (yarn here)
Nov: Cabled pullover for Stepmom (have the yarn)
Dec: TBD (but if I make it out of Black Andean silk or Silk Garden, I have the yarn already, sigh)

So yeah... I have a lot of yarn. This doesn't count any yarn not currently allotted to a project or yarn in quantities smaller than sweater-level. Therefore, I am going to make the following non-binding stash-controlling vow: I shall not buy more yarn until the Knitting Workshop summer sale.

Unless it's a really good deal.

Or I really want it.

Bold, I know. But I will try. Unless Loopy gets that sock knitting circle going. And... umm... roving's not yarn. Yeah.

Prolix, prolix, nothing a pair of scissors won't fix...

Monday, February 26, 2007

Oscar Party 2007: The Food

(At least the food I made. Everyone else made fabulous stuff, too.)

So, on the theory that I should make at least as much food as my friend Susan, who was coming from many miles away on public transit, I made candied bacon (from Gourmet last month; meant as a garnish, but I used it as a nibble), bacon ganache truffles (have to do something with all that bacon fat), and lavender-vanilla cupcakes with meyer lemon buttercream.

Candied Bacon:
I tripled the recipe, which meant a lot of standing in front of the stove mid-day on Sunday. However, I got to break in my new cast iron skillet. Hooray, cast iron skillet! I may be getting a cast iron dutch oven soon.

Main hassle: Pouring the fat out of the skillet one-handed. That's a test of forearm strength.

Bacon Ganache Truffles:
Really easy, and shamelessly stolen from Schwa, a restaurant Mr. Z and I went to last month. Basically, make a 1-to-1 ratio ganache, but replace 2/3 of the cream with bacon fat. These truffles are more solid than my usual ones, because bacon fat is solid at a cool room temperature. I rolled them in demarara sugar and paprika. Smoky and yum.

Lavender-Vanilla Cupcakes:
Used Donna Hays' cupcake recipe, doubled, which is basically "throw everything in electric mixer, walk away for four minutes". I used vanilla sugar, doubled the vanilla, and tossed in 2 tsps of food-grade lavendar buds.

Meyer Lemon Buttercream:
I used Jacques Torres' Basic Buttercream (cut in half), with some revisions: I added the cold butter in smaller batches, and at the end I added a ton of Meyer lemon rind, a little juice, and a dash of lemon extract.

Frosted the cupcakes, sprinkled more lavender buds on top. Ta-da!

Prolix, prolix, nothing a pair of scissors won't fix...

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Reading, drinking, knitting

Finished the 33 1/3 books on Loveless and Neil Young's Harvest.

Loveless: Maybe it's best/to get a little rest/and not drug up while making your album.
Harvest: Neil Young sure is crazy/and Harvest may be lazy/but it sure has some mighty fine tunes.

Moving on, time to introduce:

Not that there are many details right now (look for the topic on the Knittyboard if you want to join in), but isn't the pic nice? My lovely roommate rigged it up in no time flat. Isn't he talented? He's also a lawyer! But nice! I know!

Prolix, prolix, nothing a pair of scissors won't fix...

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Knitting update!

I finally wrapped up my first sweater of the year, Hourglass from Last Minute Knitted Gifts in Rowan Kid Classic. As I mentioned, major surgery was needed. Here's a before pic:


As we can see, HUGE neckline. What you can't see in the photo is that the sleeves are beyond wrist-length, and have moved right into the realm where they skim the second knuckle of my middle finger.

So, I ripped out the hem on top, reduced a lot more, bound off regularly. Ripped out the sleeves to 3/4 length, crochet cast-off. Just for kicks, I also took the hem out of the bottom and bound it off regularly, because I don't mind the rolling and wanted it to match the top. And so...


There! First finished sweater of the year.

Also, I finished my first pair of socks.
Anastasia socks!
Pattern: Anastasia Socks
Yarn: Nova Socks by Fleece Artist
Needles: Well, I meant them to be US 2's, but the LYS didn't tell me Addi US 2's are actually 3.00 mm, so... 3mm dpns
This was a nice, easy toe-up pattern. I recommend it for beginners. I switched to Figure 8 cast-on and just built the toe up from there instead of doing the provisional cast-on with short rows. I also took 4 stitches out (one between each eyelet repeat, two from the bottom) when I realized I was knitting with bigger needles than I should've been. Bad local yarn store! You are there to give me information!

I also learned to spin this weekend. My first batch was really bad, but the silk I spun (thanks, secret pal, for the roving!) was much better. I also bought some yummy Fleece Artist roving at Loopy, but I'm going to save that until I'm better at spinning. I'll be getting a nicer spindle and some undyed training fiber on payday, I think.

Prolix, prolix, nothing a pair of scissors won't fix...