Losing My Perdita

January 24, 2007 at 12:06 pm (Finishing, FO, knitting)

Perdita on Wrist

Pattern:Perdita (Lily of the Valley Lace), by Elizabeth Klett
Source: Knitty

Materials: DMC Pearle Cotton, Size 5 (100 percent cotton) in black, 1 10g ball; Susan Bates Single Points, Size 1; Susan Bates Crochet Hook, Size 1
Started: January 17, 2007
Completed: January 20, 2007

My story of Perdita is one of loss. Mid-week I was struck by a need to cast on and complete the ever-beguiling quick-n-dirty project. As I had a work event on Saturday night for which I wanted to look fierce, Perdita fit the bill. So I hustled off to Joann’s, purchased some DMC cotton (what a range of colors, by the way), hunted through my attic until I found my old stash of seed beads from a previous foray into beading, and cast on. I really enjoyed making it—I found the pattern simple but not tedious, it blocked to perfect dimensions—everything was going smoothly. And then I attempted the finishing. While I have crocheted before, and can execute a chain stitch and single crochet stitch (although that’s about it), executing these maneuvers with a Size 8 hook and worsted weight yarn is quite different than doing so with tiny, slippery cotton yarn, and a tinier, slipperier metal hook.

My finishing was B-A-D (note wonky button below). The pattern directed me to single crochet about a half-inch in, chain six to form a button loop, then do the same for the other half. Well my stitches were way too loose, and my button loops were huge for the tiny buttons I had purchased. But I was in a hurry; my work party was starting in an hour and I had yet to get ready. So what did I do? I fudged it, hand sewing the loops smaller with the crochet cotton and doing a truly remarkably bad job in sewing on the buttons and weaving in the ends. So what do you get when you fudge your finishing? A fudged up bracelet, that’s what!

Perdita

I ended up fiddling with the d%^n thing all night because the buttons kept coming undone, and eventually taking it off and jamming it into my pocket because it was annoying the heck right out of me.

And of course, by the end of the night it had fallen out of my pocket, never to be seen again.

So long, ill-fated Perdita . . . at least until the frustration wears off sufficiently to cast on for another one!

(oh and please note that even in the face of fudging on the run, I did manage to photograph the bracelet for the blog before I dashed . . . that’s dedication! :))

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Revival, Revival

January 17, 2007 at 1:50 pm (Recipes)

About two years ago, I really got into cooking. Matt and I had just moved in and gotten married, we had a nice kitchen, and I believe I was nesting. And then, well then I wasn’t so much into the cooking. I don’t know where the drive went but for about a year I barely boiled water for tea.

Recently this has all changed. It was a slow progression, but I have to say that I’m experiencing a cooking revival. Whether it’s a renewed interest in healthy eating, the cold weather or a nesting instinct rearing its head yet again, I’ve been cooking up a storm. But this time it’s a bit different. In the past I was addicted to Food Network and was a bit of a slave to its recipes. Now I’m just kind of throwing things together using the cooking knowledge I’ve picked up to decide what to make and how to make it so Matt and I will really like it. I’ve come up with what I think are a few winners, so I’ve decided to add a new facet to this blog. From time to time I’ll post recipes. Most of these will be fairly basic, but they are all relatively healthy, and usually can be made sans the meat. I hope you enjoy them.

And for the first edition:

White Bean Chile

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive

2 small onions, diced

1 red pepper, cut into large chunks

1 tablespoon kosher salt plus 1 teaspoon

1 pound ground turkey

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 8 oz. can of chile peppers, sliced thin

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 tablespoon dried oregano or 1 teaspoon fresh oregano

2 tablespoons chile powder

1 tablespoon cumin

1 teaspoon coriander

½ teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (use more or less depending on the level of spiciness you prefer

1 12 oz. can navy beans, drained and rinsed

1 12 oz. can cannelloni beans, drained and rinsed

1 12 oz. can unseasoned diced tomatoes

½ cup chicken broth

 

Add oil to a heavy pot and heat over medium flame. Add onions, peppers and ½ tablespoon of salt and sweat for roughly ten minutes, until onions are translucent. Season turkey with salt and pepper. Add turkey to pot, break it up, and cook until no longer pink. Add chile peppers and garlic and cook for roughly 30 seconds. Add oregano, chile powder, cumin, coriander, cinnamon and cayenne pepper and cook for a minute or two. Add navy beans, cannelloni beans, tomatos with juice and chicken broth. Cover and cook for approximately 30-45 minutes on a low simmer.

 

Note: This is also really good if you garnish with cheddar cheese, sour cream, tortilla chips . . . you know, all the not-so-healthy things that make anything delicious.

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Second Verse, Same as the First

January 15, 2007 at 3:28 pm (knitting, Work in Progress)

Go little second sleeve! Go!

Hourglass Second Sleeve

By the way, do you see how unbelievably crappy it is outside? We’re having an ice storm. They even cancelled classes at my husband’s school. Having gone to (an albeit different) school in Upstate New York, believe me, they do not take cancelling classes lightly up here. And yet I’m at work. And as you can tell, I am not busy, which is why I’m taking pictures of my knitting in the first place!

I so want to be home with puppy and husband.

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A Dispatch from Sleeve Island

January 13, 2007 at 11:12 am (Inspiration, Work in Progress)

So I tried to post earlier this week, but WordPress went insane and I was unable to edit my post, which had gotten inexlicably screwed up once I posted it. After much whining and many expletives, I just deleted the thing, taking Karin‘s nice comment with it. Sorry Karin!

Anyhoo, I’m still knitting away on the Hourglass sleeve, and it’s taking forever. But at least I’m a little more into the zen aspect then I was earlier this week. I actually only have about 5 more inches before I can start the next one. I’m really kind impressed at how faithful I’ve remained to this project.

Hourglass Sleeve

It’s actually much longer than this now. Yay for progress!

I haven’t been entirely faithful though . . .

Beginning of Cable Scarf

I’ve been playing with a chunky cable scarf pattern too, kind of a cross between a scarf I saw in the Lion Brand catalog and one that I believe is from the Knit Cafe. It’s in some KFI Cashmerino Chunky, an impulse buy that’s been marinating in the stash for a while. We’ll see how it goes.

Have you seen the new Vogue Knitting? Yes? Well have you seen this fantastic knit pattern?

Vogue Sweater

I think I just drooled on my keyboard a bit. 

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Lace Leaf Shawl and Other Updates

January 4, 2007 at 3:34 pm (FO, knitting, oliver, Work in Progress)

Lace Leaf All 

Pattern: Lace Leaf Shawl, Evelyn A. Clark
Source: Fibertrends

Materials: Karabella Breeze (60% Silk, 40% Cashmere) in #34, 2.5 skeins; Clover Bamboo 29″ Circs, Size 8
Started: December 14, 2006
Completed: December 26, 2006

Size: 56″ x 24″
Modifications: I knitted this on Size 8s rather than the 9s the pattern suggested for DK weight yarn, mostly as a result of that change I ended up adding another 3 pattern repeats to total 10.

This was a lot easier to memorize than the Flower Basket Shawl, and the results are really beautiful. I loved knitting this. The yarn is wonderful, of course, look at its content! I bought it this summer with anniversary-present money at a wonderful yarn shop near my in-laws’ house in Georgia. If you’re ever in Woodstock, Ga., make sure to check out The Whole Nine Yarns. It has a wonderful selection of yarns in a nice, airy space and the staff was incredibly warm—I was even invited to a knit night while I was there! The color is a bit more Mallard Blue than in the picture and it goes perfectly with my winter coat. It has been my scarf of choice for near a week. Here’s a close up of the stitch pattern:

Lace Leaf Close-Up

I got a lot of knitting done over the Christmas holiday. I finished one Log Cabin Sock, and then promptly took a hiatus from knitting the other one because knitting bulky weight yarn on Size 5 DPNs was killing my hands! I also cast on for the Hourglass Pullover from Last MInute Knitted Gifts in Cashmerino Aran. Knitting this has been a balm for me during the stressful last two weeks and I’ve just about finished the body. I think I’m really going to like this one.

I’ve also decided to frog my Sesame, which I had started in Knitpicks Main Line. I ordered 14 skeins a while ago when Knitpicks had a big sale and I thought it was a perfect match for the pattern. Well it was, except for the fact that I don’t have nearly enough yarn. I’ve used almost 8 skeins on just the back. Sigh… I will eventually knit this, although maybe in a wool yarn like Paton’s Classic Merino or Elann’s Pure Alpaca? We’ll see. I’m just not a big fan of cotton sweaters. I’ll probably use the Main Line on a Green Gable.

Thank you all so much for your kind comments on my Oliver. He is doing much, much better. His back is healing up nicely and he’s finally starting to act like himself again. He’s still under constant supervision though; if you look away for a second he’ll scratch or lick at his back. Poor guy, every time he wakes up it’s like he’s re-realizing that his back is incredibly itchy. We have him sleeping in a A-Shirt (you know, the “wife beaters”) which he doesn’t love but we figure it’s better than the cone! He looks very funny in it 🙂 I still can’t believe we almost lost him—if we hadn’t rushed him to the emergency vet in the middle of the night he may not have made it. Very scary. And such a freak thing. Contaminated shampoo? Who’s ever heard of that happening? Crazy.

So now that I’m back among the normal functioning people in this world I’ll be certain to respond to comments and leave some as well . . .

 Happy New Year!

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Shaky Ground

January 2, 2007 at 10:28 am (oliver)

269576387_b6caddfe17_b.jpg

We’re not doing so well here at Flower City Knits. While the Christmas holiday was great fun, with lots of visits with family and old friends, we came home to face a rough ordeal. Our Oliver is very sick. He was fine when we picked him up from the kennel on Thursday, but by Saturday he was running a very high fever and wouldn’t let anyone touch his back. It turns out that he has a nasty skin infection, possibly due to contaminated shampoo. He is finally home again after spending two nights in the hospital, and his fever has broken, but he has lesions all over his back and neck and he is obviously quite uncomfortable. Ollie is a member of our family, and frankly, he’s my baby. So this is a  trying time for us. We’re not out of the woods with the infection, and we’re hoping beyond hope that he will pull through this. Please do keep him in your thoughts.

Due to lots of spare time during Christmas and the stressful homecoming there has been plenty of knitting, even an FO. But I’m not really up to posting about it right now. I’ll keep you updated on Ollie’s status, and fill you in on the knitting when I can.

 Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday.

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