You are currently browsing the monthly archive for December 2007.

A nice day, this end of 2007.  The sun came out, and I got some knitting done, plus a nap in a sunny chair.  I hope you make time for cozy naps, too.

Blue blob, bigger

The Blue Blob is moving along apace. I’ve started the border edging, which first involves a whole bunch of increases, so the stitch count per row is now 480. At my most blistering pace of plain knit, that takes about 20 minutes, and once I start putting the beads on, it’ll slow to a crawl. But, I work on it pretty much every day, and will certainly have it done by the end of January.

Which comes first, zig or zag?

I’m also working on a pair of socks for Bonnie. I calls these Bonnie’s Bordejays, because they are the cuffs of the Bordello Sock on the Jaywalker Sock pattern. This socks are my part of a barter, and I dyed the yarn, which I call Flaming Purple Passion. Bonnie’s part was to calculate the warp for my personal Horoscope Scarf, and I’m really looking forward to weaving it up.
Mary and Bob

My tiniest cousin, Mary, came over for dinner and got her Christmas Bob. Note that she is wearing a very nice sweater.

Pile of yarn

I’ve also been dyeing yarn to have a good supply for the St. Distaff’s Day Spin-In. If you find yourself in Mountlake Terrace, Washington, on January 5th and need some yarn, spinning fiber, or other goodies, please stop in!

Where’s Fergie?

I’ve got a giant pot of black eyed peas soaking to make Hopping John for our open house tomorrow, which will be accompanied with spinach salad, cornbread, and good friends.  What more can one want?

Have a Happy New Year!

Nothing says Christmas like a glass zeppelin

and to all a good night.

Why, yes, I’d love a cookie

I’m definitely in the blog blahs — have stuff to write about, but not feeling particularly motivated.  Too much holiday stuff to do, plus of course my daughter’s class fundraising kicks into high gear now, what with the gift-wrapping booth at the mall and all.  That’s actually kind of hectic fun — the customers are mostly guys, and they are so grateful to have gift-wrapping taken care of for them! But, it takes up time, and there are cookies to bake and shopping to do, and all the other stuff. People ask, “Are you ready for Christmas yet?”, and my stock answer is, “No,  I’m just taking stuff off my list.”  But, there’s a wreath on the door, a decorated tree in the living room, and cookie dough resting in the fridge.  That’s pretty close to the Zen minimum for me.

The local NPR station has a nifty call-in show every now and then where local amazing chef Thierry Rautureau of Rover’s takes calls from people describing what’s in their refrigerators. He comes up with with recipes using whatever the caller has on hand. My call got taken, and what I happened to have was a smoked duck breast from Costco. He came up with the outline of a  recipe which I’ve cooked up, and it’s quite marvelous! Let’s call it

Radio Free Duck Breast

Slice one smoked duck breast (about 12 ounces) and one shallot thinly.  Peel one inch of ginger root and dice finely.  Film a large skillet with olive oil, add duck breast and cook over medium heat until it begins to sizzle a bit and some of the fat starts to render from the skin.  Add the shallot  and ginger and cook until the shallot softens a bit.  Sprinkle with curry powder and stir so that all sides of duck breast are lightly coated with it (1-2 teaspoons).  Add a generous splash of soy sauce  and nice drizzle of honey, about 2-3 teaspoons of each.  You want a light glaze on the meat, not a big puddle of sauce.  Add about one tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and scrape all the delicious glaze off the bottom of the pan.  Serve it up with rice and prepare to be amazed.  So good! I think it would also be great as a canape, one slice of the meat perched on a leaf of Belgian endive or a piece of toast.

I’m still working on the Blue Blob, and it looks much the same, only bigger and blobbier, and the yarncake is looking rather hollow. I’ve switched it to my new Knit Picks Harmony needles, and those are grand. Slick but not too slick, and with great points on the needles.  Do give them a try if you are in the market for needles.

We awoke to the prettiest fairy-tale snowfall today — it was just like confectioner’s sugar being sifted onto the landscape.  But it’s melting now, so driving around tomorrow should be just fine.

I’ve been doing some dyeing, getting ready for a trunk show at a friend’s house that will benefit the Fabric of Life Foundation. There will also be someone selling fancy purses, and goods made by African women who have been trained by Fabric of Life. If you live in the Seattle area and want to stop by, drop me a note and I’ll get you the details. It’s Saturday Dec. 15 from 1-4, and I’ll be donating 25% of my sales to the foundation.

I finished this Perdita the Bluebell pattern. I loved the design from the first moment I saw it, but had really been dreading the knitting of it, because knitting with pearl cotton just seemed more like punishment than fun. Surprise! It is kinda fun, and it looks lovely when it’s done. And the beads are just great — I can see I’ll not only be knitting more Perditas, but putting beads on other things as well.
What shall I wear in Paris?

Here’s a close-up of the buttons — I just happened to have these in my stash, and think they are perfect.
Buttons — or EYES?

I’ve also been on the thrall of Cat Bordhi’s latest book, New Pathways for Sock Knitters, and am about halfway done with an abbreviated version of the first tutorial socklet. I don’t know if the yarn I’m using is superwash or not, as it was part of my haul from Heather, a lot of small skeins she had tied for dye sampling that I dyed all together. So I won’t turn the tutorial socklet into a pair for a baby, as new parents don’t need to deal with handwash-only items.

But this book!  It’s incredible! Not only does she have astonishingly innovative sock designs, but her increases are the most amazing things. I am in awe.  Get this book, you will not regret it.

 Also in the box with the book were a nice handful of Knit Picks needles, and they are as slick and grand as everyone says they are.  My Harmony needles are still on back order, but the nickle-plated fixed circulars are totally fab.

We had a nice bit of snow this weekend, although it’s melting fast now.  The Bobs enjoyed getting out in it, doing some sliding . .

Bobs in snow

some climbing

Bobs in snow

and they even made a Snow Bob.

Snow Bob

I’m enjoying staying indoors, dyeing yarn, making soup and bread and latkes, getting some knitting done, and spending too much time on the internet.  How’s your weekend going?