Monthly Archives: February 2009

String Behavior

Wednesday evenings I spend with Mom. We have hamburgers, watch our shows and knit while Dad is out playing with trains.

So, last night I get to the house, grab my purse and the knitting bag out of the car and head in. I tangle with the wildly enthusiastic cocker spaniel who greets me at the door, set down my purse, and find that I have yarn wrapped around my knees. Sock yarn. Wool and silk sock yarn. From the socks I was planning to work on.

I follow the yarn out the door. Down the steps. Down the walkway. Down the driveway.

Sitting in the (only slightly damp) gutter is one ball of burgundy wool-and-silk (KnitPicks Gloss to be precise) sock yarn.

Fortunately, it was a mostly dry gutter, and a mostly dry evening and the sock yarn dried by the time dinner was over. It is now part of a mostly finished pair of socks from the Knitting Vintage Socks book.

Gingerbread Stew

It’s raining here tonight, and it’s supposed to keep raining for several days (for which there is great rejoicing! We’re facing a drought and every drop counts.)

It’s the middle of winter, and that means it’s the perfect time for stew.

I have a beef stew recipe that’s evolved from a venison stew recipe I found in a historical reenactment magazine years ago.

The main ingredients are chuck roast chopped into approximately bite-sized pieces and browned, red potatoes and baby-cut carrots. It’s flavored with a great deal of cheap burgundy, Worcestershire sauce, tomato sauce and paste, and all the gingerbread spices in the cupboard. Tonight that meant liberal amounts mace, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, allspice, and cinnamon. And also for tonight, for an experiment, I chopped up an onion, sauted it, and tossed it in.

I was too hungry this evening to wait for this to cook, but it always tastes better a day or two later. Which is good because, once you add 1.5 lbs of beef, 1.5 lbs of potatoes, and 2 lb of carrots – you’ve got a lot of stew for one person to get through. I’m done cooking for the next week!

Social-Knitting Top Finished!

Tonight, I actually, really and truly, finished a piece of knitting. For me.

Last February I bought a beautiful purple/pink hank of rayon yarn from Interlacements at Stitches West. I was careful with this one (I’ll tell you later about the yarn from Interlacements I bought the year before and wasn’t careful about!) and got it wound into two neat balls.

I cast on an absolutely basic t-shirt top. I call this my Social-Knitting Top because I wanted something I could work on with a minimum of thought – so I could knit and visit and watch tv all at the same time. The directions (as I rearranged them) called for knitting in the round for 15 inches, then dividing for front and back, adding seven stitches on either side for sleeves, and knitting until I ran out of yarn. Which I did – I believe there’s about 5 yards left.

The rayon yarn came pre-pulled – by that I mean the separate strands of yarn were already twisting free and poking about. So, this is a top that’s going to look well-loved and well-lived-in very quickly. The sleeves are too short to be flattering, and the boat neckline is inclined to show my bra straps. But the colors are glorious and I’m already considering the advantages of a purple cardigan or shrug to wear over this.

As soon as I get a good photo, I’ll add it.