Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Mojo Returns

The mojo has returned! I am still cooking and baking, but this time around, I have also been knitting. Yesterday, I made corn chowder from scratch. Don't do this on a weeknight. I cut the corn from 4, grated the corn off of the other 6, and milked them all with a butter knife. Wow, that's a lot of work! The chowder came out great, and I'll definitely make it again, but not in the middle of the week.

I also went yarn shopping. Yes, this is sock yarn. I've been looking at this particular skein for months. Every time I went to Windsor Button, I'd pick it up, fondle it, and put it back. Tonight, it came home with me. Isn't it beautiful? A little darker than our bedding, but look how it matches the sheets and the comforter!

There has also been progress on the Dad Sweater sleeve. Notice how I took a picture of the knit (wrong) side? That's because I do reverse stockinette so rarely, it didn't even register I was looking at the wrong thing. Oh, well. Next progress pic will be of the purl side.

While I was at the yarn store, I also found this adorable book. I'm 30-something years old and consider myself a professional, but there is something about happily smiling crochet critters I find irresistible. I think it has to do with hormones. Really, I can't explain it any other way.

It's going to be great crochet practice! I already have all this acrylic sitting around upstairs. Now I have a use for it. I think I'll try my hand at this over the weekend.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

No Knitting, but Oh-so-good

This is difficult to write, but... I haven't knit in 7 days. A whole week. Usually, it is nigh-impossible to pry me away from the needles, so what's going on?
I finished the front and the back of the Dad Sweater and should be starting the sleeves. When I am close to finishing a project or a huge part thereof, I can't stop knitting, and then, when it's done, I sometimes lose the drive to knit for days on end. It always comes back with a vengeance, so I'm not overly concerned. But what to do with all that free time?

Well, today, I made profiteroles, more colloquially known as cream puffs. Made the dough from scratch, made creme patissiere from scratch (custard, not pudding), and dunked them in semisweet chocolate.

The presentation is not exactly professional, but they are yummy. I think I ate 5.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Off to Cleveland

...with the yarn for the Dad Sweater sleeves. I was going to finish them so they can block in my absence, but alas, my cat has developed persistence and ingenuity to match her obsessive love of alpaca. She would not budge from the bag, chomping and clawing at it.

Unfortunately, my cat understands that the plastic is between her and the alpaca. Even more unfortunately, she also understands that claws and teeth work wonders in liberating yarn.

No more alpaca for her. My plane to Cleveland leaves in a couple of hours. And when I get there, the Dad Sweater is getting sleeves -- and blocked. Away from Morgana. Somehow, I'll manage to keep her away from it.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Encounters of the Feline Kind

When you're a cat-owning knitter, you learn to follow clues. I stepped out of the shower and saw... the back of my dad's sweater! Lying on the floor right in front of the bathroom door, so it was the first thing I laid eyes on when the shower door opened. So I shrieked for Mr. Batty. I don't think I was very articulate, it was something along the line of, "Sweetie! My sweater is on the floor!"
He came to rescue it, but as you can see, some damage has been done. Of course, I should have known. The other day, I found Morgana happily chomping on a skein of alpaca with her claws buried in the sweater. It took a good hour with a needle to tug the stitches back into some semblance of their former perfection (the giant hole turned out to be stretched-out, not ripped yarn).
Fortunately, this is the wrong side. It's a reverse stockinette sweater.

Once I had dried off, I followed the perpetrator's trail. Really, it wasn't too hard... the yarn led the way.

Busted! The black bag under the giant Ziplock bag contains the coveted alpaca, and that would be Morgana making a move for it. Naughty kitty!

I am exhausted. After a lot of tugging and pulling, the back of the Dad Sweater is finished, all skeins of alpaca have been liberated from the clutches of their fuzzy tormentor, and I just have the ends to weave in and 2 sleeves to knit. But I have to make sure I keep everything away from this cat.

She can't resist the alpaca.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Knit and Frog and Knit Again

There has been plenty of fiber-related activity around the house. First, I frogged. I have almost 700 yards of worsted-weight yarn, pictured below. It's been washed and dryed. I'm still not sure what it wants to be, but I hope it tells me.

Then, I knit the Dad Sweater. This is the back of it, and I had to take the picture in complete darkness so the flash wouldn't wash out the color to a bright tomato red. It is NOT tomato red. Promise.

Oh, and if anyone knows what to do with a caston that's too tight... anything at all that doesn't involve ripping it out (I had to do that over the weekend, it was painful, I don't want to do it again), let me know! I'm interested.

Now, because there haven't been any cat pictures lately, and because my knitting was interrupted by two fuzzy usurpers who had taken over my comfy chair, I present to you:

What? You want to sit in this chair? Nope, didn't think so.

Friday, April 04, 2008

New York City Trip

We went to New York for business, but we had loads of fun! How could we not, when we were located right in the middle of things, in a hotel that's right on Broadway/Times Square? Here is a pciture of my room. What you don't see are the 2 water bottles on the cabinet to the left. One is half a liter for $5, the other an entire liter for $7. They were both on little wired stands. If you picked up the bottle for 30 seconds or longer, you'd automatically get charged for the water! The whole thing struck me as quite ridiculous, and it reminded me of Indiana Jones: pick up the golden idol and the entire temple collapses. Considering that I was on the 25th floor, I thought it wiser not to touch the bottles, just to make sure.

But I digress. Here is the view from my window. Pull back the curtains you see in the picture above and -- ta-da! Stuff. Lots of stuff. And not even 5 minutes away from our downtown office. So cool.

After the first day of meetings, we went out to explore. First, we had drinks at The View, the rotating restaurant/observation deck at the Mariott Marquis. Then, we walked around until we got to a bar that looked like it wouldn't kill our entire food budget for the trip and ate there. A good time was had by all except the one co-worker who had to stay in and actually get some work done. This is what she missed. I hope she gets to come back without a huge deadline looming on the horizon!

After the second day of meetings, we hoofed it to Penn Station and took the next train home. It would have been nice to have a little more time, but the main purpose of this trip was business, or I would have tried to meet up with some City knitters. Maybe next time.

And speaking of knitting... I knit about 5" of Mr. Batty's socks until I realized two things: my gauge was way off and the socks were going to be way too wide. So I ripped them out. All that train knitting for nothing. But I promise to show pictures as soon as there is some progress.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

NYC, Here I Come!

Actually, I'm already there. I'm on a business trip for Big Corporation and am enjoying the fabulous view of Broadway down below. More when I get home sometime tomorrow!