Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Orangutan arms

Um, oops

Contrary to appearances, the sleeves are the same width and length up to the cap. Then, something went terribly, terribly wrong. the problem is that I'm not sure which sleeve is correct. However, I do know that the sleeve on the left is the length I was aiming for. So, I'm going to sew the front and back together and pray that the left sleeve fits the armhole. If not, I have to rip both sleeves to the cap shaping. If yes, then I only have to rip the right-hand sleeve.

I'm trying to figure out my road knitting for the Austin trip. I think I'm going to take Daddy's sock and start the felted bag my SP4, Maureen, sent me. And maybe the Artyarns Clapotis. Not that I think I'm going to complete any of it; I just get bored easily!

I cooked risotto for dinner tonight and made the mistake of having half a glass of wine whist cooking. I'm now in the throes of a Grand Mal Hot Flash. Lovely.

If this post wasn't a head-spinning enough concatentation of subjects for you, you must have a small child as well!

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

One of our local chefs has been invited to cook at the James Beard House next month. Last night, he had a trial run at his restaurant and we were lucky enough to be invited to attend.

The menu was as follows:

Passed appetizers paired with Jean-Laurent Blanc de Noir Brut Champagne, Napa Valley. A very nice non-vintage champagne.

Blue point oysters on the half shell in a warm balsamic and roasted shallot dressing (These were my favorite.)

Cinnamon and cayenne rubbed Broken Arrow Ranch venison with a peach salsa

Jerked pork loin on almond parsley risotto cakes with red pepper oil

Tuna tartar with poppy seed and flying fish roe vinaigrette

First Course

Pan seared Hudson Valley foie gras with fresh black-eyed peas sauteed with applewood smoked bacon and sage and finished with a balsamic-blackberry syrup paired with Royal Tokaji (5 Puttonyos) 1996. He always does a great foie gras.

Second Course
Grilled Boston lettuce with a warm stilton dressing paired with a Patz and Hall Pinor Noir Sonoma 2003

Third Course
Chilean sea bass with smoked tomato risotto, squashes and scallion oil. Paired with Wither Hills Sauvignon Blanc, Marllborough, New Zealand 2003. Normally I'm not a fan of Marlborough SBs, but this went really well with the sea bass. Probably my favorite dish.

Fourth Course
Tenderloin of beef stuffed with manchego cheese served with chorizo cheese grits and a cilantro cream sauce. One of his signature dishes. Paired with Chateau Musar, Bekka Valley Lebanon 1994. The wine was really flinty but it was fabulous with the richness of the steak.

Granny Smith apple and golden raisin bread pudding with homeade buttermilk ice cream and caramel paired with a Montevina Zinfandel Port. His wine rep was there and brought out a muscat as well that most of us felt went much better with the dessert.

It was a really fabulous meal. Needless to say, I didn't get any knitting done last night!!!

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Returns Only

I spiffed up my Grimley hair into something sufficiently punk and Hubster and I went out last night. We ran into some friends who had just gotten engaged. This led to us staying out later than we usually do (almost midnight as opposed to our usual 10.30) and freaked our babysitter into calling us to make sure we were coming home! Bad us! We had a lovely time.

The bar we ended up at usually has a fairly interesting crowd, but this evening it was further enlivened by the presence of all the people who had lost interest in the Gay Bingo Party (that's what it said on the marquee) next door. Apparently, the ability to consume indecent amounts of shots is a prerequisite for Gay Bingo parties, because the shots were flowing fast and free. Random strangers would walk into the bar and start sending shots around. I only had one, but I had a couple of beers as well. In my partying days, this would have been no problem. However, those days are over. I haven't had a shot getting pregnant. I had a rather Big Head today until a visit to the greasy hamburger mecca of Jake's has cured my malaise.

This all reminds me of a cartoon I used to keep on my desk. I will try to find it and scan it, but until then, it features a man in the Returns line at a department store. He says, "I'd like to return to the days when I could stay out all night partying and still go to work in the morning. Here's my receipt."

Friday, May 20, 2005

Many thanks

Thank you to all the people who commented today. I'm hoping that Haloscan will make commenting easier on everyone. Admittedly, part of the reason for blogging is self-gratification (wonder if that will get me any weird hits from Google?), but it's nice to know that someone out there is reading this!

Bean had her three-year check-up today. She did admirably and did not fuss. Last year, she loathed the whole experience but this year she found it all very interesting. And no shots, which is always a plus for a pleasant doctor experience! For a treat, we took her to Fuji, which is one of our favorite sushi places. She's addicted to edamame.

I need a test volunteer

Can one of you lovely souls leave me a comment to test the new Haloscan comments, please? I'm trying to see if it is, indeed, far easier that the craptastic Blogger commenting system and to make sure that it is, indeed, working.


Thursday, May 19, 2005

It's a long way 'til the end

Fiery Bolero is going well. It's alot of stockinette at a small gauge so it's taking a while, but it's an interesting pattern. There are a number of similarities to Lara in the Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk book. Instead of knitting from cuff to cuff in one piece, the bolero is knit from back to front in one piece. Bliss does specify the cable cast-on for this piece; a tidbit of information she neglected to put in the Lara pattern.

Fiery Bolero requires you to cast on at the back and then cable cast-on on successive rows. This will create a curved back when the ribbing is added at the end. Then you knit part of the back and cable cast-on the sleeves and then separate for the neck and fronts. The really tedious part will be the ribbing. The plus is that you knit the ribbing before seaming which means you only have to worry about 300 stitches for going around the fronts rather than the close to 500 for the whole thing ;>

As far as the yarn, I do like Cathay. It has a lovely sheen and I think that I will enjoy the drape of the finished project. I have some of the now discontinued Bliss cotton/silk which knits at a larger gauge (18 sts/4") and does not have the viscose in it. Cathay is an improved blend. The viscose adds some much-needed bounce to the yarn and makes it more forgiving of small stitch imperfections. I'm also knitting the Flower Basket Shawl in Cathay in a dark pink. The problemsare that the yarn can be a bit splitty and that whoever wound the balls was insane. I have had to rewind every single ball in both colors before they are usable.

Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

Woohoo! The only bad part is that it deleted all my past comments. Ah well. It was such a pain to post comments before that few people attempted it regularly (seriously, I had comments on what a pain it was to comment!).

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

OK, I admit it

I'm bitter. Maryland and New Hampshire bitter. I'm even bitter about the roving and I don't spin. I spent the weekend trying to figure out the least number of planes I would have to take to get to Albany. Sigh...

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Hot Tamale!

Pictures will be taken tonight when Hubster gets home.

SO, I finished two medium objects which means I am not going to feel guilty about buying all the Cotton-Ease left in Dallas. I found a huge supply at a Hancock's. The only issue was that I couldn't find more than 5 skeins of any one dye lot. Fortunately, that mattered very little, since I bought most of it to substitute for Rowan All Seasons Cotton to make some of the Miss Bea patterns for the Bean.

I did buy enough to make myself this brilliant pattern, though. I can't help it. Must. Have.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Shades of Grimley

I got my hair cut on Friday. It's extremely short. Understand that my hair is normally maybe two inches long all over my head, so when I say extremely short you can visualize that most of it seems to be about half an inch long with some two inch long choppy bits sticking out at the top. Unfortunately, she also decided to make the top part way longer in the middle of the top of my slightly pointy head. If I don't put some goop in it and make it lay right, the effect is somewhat like this only much shorter. No, there will not be a picture. Not quite what I had in mind, but my hair grows fast so, what the heck.

In other news, my knitting is completely boring. Fiery Bolero is like a mini-Lara. Boring. The Triada scarf from the new IK? OhmyGOD is it boring - pretty but BOR-ING. Miles of rib. You'd think I'd learn to really read the pattern before jumping in.

Ines is still lovely and fun, however, I made a mistake on one of the sleeves and do not feel like ripping it back right now.

T-minus one and a half hours until the Survivor finale.

Friday, May 13, 2005

My child rocks!

Today, she once again insisted on going to the yarn store. Unfortunately, it was after 3pm on a Friday and there is no way in hell I'm going on the freeway at that time of day. So, tomorrow morning she gets her wish.

Meanwhile, I cast on for Fiery Bolero.

No, I don't have startitis, really...

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Note to self

The commercials all feature lovely dishwashers that you can put food-stained plates into. You don't have one of those. Even though it was only little bits of chocolate lava cake, you still have to rinse the plates first.

Her Mother's Daughter

Bean looks like her father and acts like her father in many respects. Sometimes, I have to look for elements of myself in her. But, yesterday, we were out running errands and she pipes up, "Mommy, I don't want to go to Target, I want to go to the yarn store!" I had not mentioned anything about going to the yarn store to her nor had she seen me knitting in the last two days. I have no idea what prompted this concept and, if my LYS wasn't half an hour away on the freeway, I would have taken her. But it was a proud moment in parenting ;>

I'm beat. Yesterday was my turn to host cards so I spent most of the day in a frenzy of cooking and cleaning and then stayed up past my usual bedtime playing cards. As usual, it was an absolute blast.

What I don't understand is how, when I've already been to the grocery store twice times this week, I can be out of so many things. Ah well, SuperTarget here I come. But not until much later. This morning, The Bean and I are going to lay around and watch TV and hang out. We haven't had a pajama morning this week so we're overdue!

This afternoon, Bean has an eye exam. She isn't scared of the exams or anything and, blessedly, they don't have to dialate her eyes every time, but she gets extremely bored at identifying the pictures and letters, especially when it's on the second eye. She's bored by then. Also, the people can be a bit rigid. The letters they show the kids are bordered by lines. They show Bean an "O" and she says, "A 10 with a 1." I had to explain to the nurse that this was, in fact, a correct interpretation of what was on the screen. Fortunately, it's a pediatric specialist so they understand that children don't always do what you want!

Wednesday, May 11, 2005


I bought Teva Durham's new book Loop-d-loop the other day. (I said I was going to try not to buy too much yanr; I said nothing about books! Besides, I hade a coupon at Borders.)

What a cool book!!! I really liked the lace leaf pullover in the new IK and I can say that there are tons of patterns in the book I'd like to knit. My only problem is that most of her designs are knit in very bulky wools which I have very little need of. However, her approach is very refreshing compared to your average Rowan design so, I feel fairly confident in doubling a cotton/acrylic or something like that to come up with a design that is more wearable in my climate. She has an interesting approach to knitting and it will be nice to have a book that encourages me to take a few more risks in how I approach knitting rather than just a more challenging pattern (although there are plenty of those!).

I am almost finished with the back of Ines. No picture because it looks exactly the same, just longer. As with most Rowan patterns, no hint is given on a good way to approach the decreases in pattern so I always have a good time sitting down and figuring out exactly what needs to happen, keeping in mind that the YOs in this pattern need to not interfere with seaming.

I also tinked out about 12 rows of the Flower Basket Shawl. I really want to start knitting on that one again, but am going to wait until I can get up to my LYS and confirm that I have, indeed, gone back to beyond the problem. I also put in a new lifeline and knotted it so The Bean can't floss with this one!

Tuesday, May 10, 2005


I have enough yarn in this house to last me the next couple of years. Granted, this is truly an amateur stash as compared to many, but it's enough to give me the heebies jeebies at times.

In order to get some sort of grip on the stash, I am going to try to knit at least one large (sweater or pair of socks) and one small (scarf, felted bag) project from stash for each new project I want. (It takes me as long to knit a pair of socks as it does a sweater at this point so I'm calling socks a large project.) This seems a reasonable approach to encourage me to knit stash projects while still getting to buy new projects. Most of the yarn I have was bought with a specific project in mind, so it's not like I'm waiting for a project to be "worthy" of the yarn. They are all projects I really want to knit; both for the process and for the finished item. The yarn is all fairly high-end. There is no excuse for me not to knit it just because it has sat in the cupboard for a while..

Here's the really nutso part: I'm going to attempt to maintain this feat of stashbusting until the end of the year. Although, if I go to Rhinebeck, I will give myself a budget after which all bets are off!

There are two caveats: the first is that I will buy what I want during my trip in June. The second is that if Elann brings back the Den-M-Nit, I can buy some.

Think I can make it?

Monday, May 09, 2005

Thank you Secret Pal!

My secret pal turned out to be Maureen of Irishknits. There was something of a saga involved with the whole SP4 thing. My original pal accidentally emailed me with her real name and blog. So, Jacqueline set me up with a new pal. Who was my original secret pal? Maureen of Irishknits! Hee! They bamboozled me big time. Of course, in a rare move for me, I did not make any attempt whatsoever to find out the identity of my secret pal.

My final gift was four skeins of Lamb's Pride in gorgeous colors and a cool felted bag pattern. I've never used Lamb's Pride before so this will be a real treat. I was a good girl. I did take a picture. Somehow, my computer does not want to recognize the fact that I downloaded the picture and, in a fit of efficiency, I've deleted the original off of my camera so I'll have to take another pic.

Thanks again for being such a great Secret Pal, Maureen!

In other knitting news, I completed the Brainwash Shrug (which looks pretty much the same as it did Saturday). And, Ines is coming along swimmingly. I'm about halfway through the back.

The pattern is reminiscent of Butterfly. It took me a couple of tries to get the patterned decreases correct, but I finally have it planned out. I really like the Rowan Linen Print. The texture of the yarn is on the rough side, but the color variegations are really beautiful.

Saturday, May 07, 2005



The Brainwash shrug lacks only the picking up of about 200 stitches and a 6 row border of 2x2 ribbing to be complete.

It also makes a lovely dog sweater!

I tried it on today and, oddly, it looks rather good. By all accounts, as a short and busty gal, I should not look as good in this sucker as I do. So, my paranoia 'bout the Debbie Bliss Fiery Bolero has lessened somewhat.

I remember wearing a bolero jacket in the early 80s, but I also sported these* (shoe shot for Jodi!):

You can also see part of my fabulous bathroom. The color is "Sorcerer".

*Of course I still wear the Docs. Why would I let shoes this fabulous languish?

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Happy Cinco de Mayo

Because it is still all about the margaritas.

Actually, it probably won't be about the margaritas today because of another "m". The one that starts "migraine".

I wasn't kidding about the inflatable moose head.

I'm about one-third through with the Brainwash Shrug. Not only is it a shrug, it's ribbon yarn.

Truly, I have fallen to the dark side. I must go roll around in the Rowan Magpie Julia sent me. As penance, I'll work on un-knitting the 10 (or so) wonky rows in the flower Basket Shawl. I think it's been in time-out long enough to contemplate the error of its ways.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

I miss the margaritas

It was a fun weekend but we are all now completely exhausted. Add to that trying to plan a trip to San Francisco and the environs and Hubster and I have decided that the Hill Country would be much more relaxing. Plus, there is wine made in the area! Drinkable wine even! And Guero's in Austin. Because it's all about the margaritas, baby.

There was precious little knitting over the last week. I did make a trip to my LYS to pick up some needles. When I got there, one of my friends said, "Did you see the sign on the door?!" And they all made me go back outside to read the sign on the door. At this point, I'm thinking up all sorts of horrible scenarios in which, despite all appearances of screaming success, my LYS is going to close. Nope. It was a sign proclaiming 20% off of everything in honor of Mother's Day. Whee! Yarn sales always fog my brain and I end up with things I'm not sure I should have bought. The result, I'm knitting a shrug. Yes, yes, it's almost as bad as a poncho. But it's so cuuuuute. And red.

I also bought the yarn to make the Debbie Bliss Cathay bolero in the new Interweave Knits and the Rowan Linen Print to make this. I'm using the same main color but Crush and Refresher for the stripes. And, because my lucky star was really pleased with me, the Rowan rep was in the store and I was treated to a preview of some of the new yarns (Spray is going to be very cool) and some of the new patterns (kid's stuff to dream about)

And now, I must go watch America's Next Top Model.