A Lifeline

Lifeline Added

 

Somehow my pictures are looking particularly bad lately.  I think I might have a fingerprint on lens of my phone….

 

Yes.  This really is Strokkur for the hundredth time.  A added a lifeline this time so that I will not rip back past the ribbing.  I do have to say the Lett Lopi withstands some serious abuse however it is feeling a bit spindly lately.  Not much else I can say about this sweater than I haven’t already.  Cannot maintain gauge.  Keep ripping and restarting.  Determined to own this beauty.

In other, non knitting, news:

I was reading, and enjoying greatly, Dillard’s Pilgrim at Tinker Creek but my husband reappropriated it.  If you can get through the first page without being compelled to read on you are made of sterner stuff than I.  So now rereading Fagles translation of The Iliad.  I had to dig it out of the middle child’s room.  Apparently they read Homer in High School these days since both Zoe and Tyler have read it.

Last week was a wash food wise.  My Lentil/Walnut/Mushroom burgers got overcooked and dry but I have made the recipe more than once so recommend it heartily.  You can find it in Vegan with a Vengeance.  I made a corn salad from Salad Samurai and it clocked in at @1200 calories a serving but was otherwise delightful.  Re that serving–recipe claims to make 2 servings but I think it could easily feed 4.  I trucked down to The Hill, our Italian neighborhood, to pick up more oil cured olives for Puttanesca sauce.  I serve it on pasta not quinoa.

yarny days and knitterly evenings

Elka

A Non-Knitting Post & Picture Free To Boot

 

I have been thinking about this for a bit.  I don’t want to get too far away from knitting but I am currently tinkering with my cooking which is another hobby of mine.  Notice how my hobbies tend to be domestic.  Anyway I LOVE to cook.

My mom was an excellent cook and studied nutrition thinking of having it as her major for a while.  She made everything from scratch.  Everything.  Bread, mayo, pasta, pasta sauces, spending hours on some meals.  A habit I picked up.

When I was a poor college student I read cookbooks for fun dreaming up meals I would make.  Vegetarian because when I was 14 I read Diet for a Small Planet and stopped eating meat.  My mom said I was horrible during those years.  She always had beans and rice in the house.  We are Brazilian after all. But I had to cook for myself.  I would throw tantrums and wash all utensils and pans if she cooked sausage or bacon before the eggs and then make my own eggs throwing some shade around in the process.

By the time I was 20 I worked at a Steakhouse, a diner really, and had given up my vegetarian ways but still cooked a vast majority of vegetarian meals for myself.  My mom, being from Brazil, land of cows, feels no meal is complete without meat, despite having lived in India when I was a baby and the amazing lack of meat eating in most of the area we resided. But even so my mainly vegetarian ways have finally convinced her I am just a vegetarian at heart.  Good news to get some parental validation!

Anyway, when I married, I purchased my first ever cookbook of standard american type of foods.  Cooks Illustrated/America’s Test Kitchen type of compendium so that I could learn how to make a roast and meatloaf and stew etc to please my carnivorous husband.  When we separated I went back to my veggie cooking ways and only made meat stuffs for when the kids were with me and complaining about beans *again*

Nece, my youngest still will not eat vegetables or beans but my other two do enjoy a mom type of meal  and my husband will eat almost anything I put in front of him.  In our almost 10 years together I can only recall one meal where he said eh I would rather not have this meal repeated.  This general kitchen freedom, coupled with the recent news from Dr that my triglycerides are a bit on the high side,  is a lead into a more and more vegan kitchen.  Not too hard given I haven’t had a glass of milk in years nor do I reach for cheese or eggs often.  But my love of grilled foods, especially pigs in the form of ribs, has kept me from going whole hog, so to speak, until now. *

I am currently cooking my way through Isa’s Vegan with a Vengeance and trying hard to expand my repertoire.  Being a bean lover I don’t get too excited about the non meat proteins such as tofu or tempeh finding them bland.  Mind you I like soybeans cooked up into a stew but the soy products are a big meh. However I am having a difficult time getting my protein intake without the magical soybean protein concentrated products.  My in Isa We Trust mentality has been sorely tested by the thrown away tempeh and white bean sausage and nearly inedible scrambled tofu.  Okay the scrambled tofu wasn’t too bad but since she admonishes us to leave it in chunky crumbles the center of the chunkier crumbles were the bland flavorless dreck that characterizes tofu instead of the flavorful bits.

I plan on mentioning the flops and winners on my blog kinda as a post script to keep track of my progress.

Elka

*I am not a vegan nor do I believe I ever will be given the annual fish fry and said ribs, which I eat a few times a year, and the occasional pot of carnitas.  I certainly am not ever going to throw a fit at a restaurant or somebody’s  home.  I did Veganuary this year and there were a couple of days, when I was unexpectedly at work due to my replacement not showing, that I was stuck eating tater tots from local pub for diner.  Never again.

 

A Shawl & A Sweater

 

 

I am breaking my long standing one project at a time habit.  My socks have stalled and been stalled for months.  I just got all socked out I guess.

I picked up a shawl pattern, Sharon Miller’s ‘The Grey Shawl’, which used to be sold on her website as Project #2.  It is a Hap Shawl so I suppose it could be in her Shetland Hap Shawls; Then and Now but it doesn’t look like it… the really appealing part of it, to me, is the color Grey!, and the changing colors in border.  However there are many other similar patterns out there from various designers.  A hap isn’t supposed to be fancy schmancy after all. The pattern and yarn kit was a gift from my friend Mama Liz in 2004.  I recall starting it and then, after finishing the center diamond/square, ripping it.  I am either much more laissez faire about my knitting these days or I was just crazy.  I have moved past the center onto the border and cannot for the life of me imagine why I was dissatisfied the first time.

I have been working on it slowly, while watching Game of Thrones on DVD, Midsomer Murders on Netflix, and Vintage Dr. Who on Britbox.  Right now we are in the 2nd season of Dr. Who and I am looking forward to a new Dr.  This morning I spread out my shawl in progress in preparation of first color change and saw that I had a dropped stitch in the actual center part… the last row prior to picking up border and went back.  Despite this it is being a satisfying knit although I shouldn’t have started the border while trying to suss out who dunnit last night.  Here is my shawl after fixing my center and picking up for the border:

Redoing border pick-up

I recently joined Instagram.  Not because I have plans to share my pictures, which I have always felt lacked a certain something something, but because I wanted to be able to follow people. After redoing my border pick-up I took a break and bopped online to enjoy some pictures and did you know they have something called fairislefriday?  This of course, combined with my current Jamieson & Smith yarn knitting, had me hankering for some color work.  While I was eyeing the wee little hanks and balls of shetland around my husband asked me what I was doing.  I told him I was thinking of knitting a sweater for myself.

Dear hearts would you believe my husband unkindly scoffed?  Well he did.  Probably because, in all the years of my knitting, I have only knit three sweaters for myself.  The first I promptly gave away… literally off my back.  That was in 1986.  The second I knit while pregnant with Zoe in 1995: Rosemaling from Knitters Issue #32.  I never did get back to my pre-pregnancy weight and it just didn’t fit correctly since I had knit it for my pre-baby figure. The third sweater, my most successful, was knit in 1998, without a pattern out of pink Satakieli yarn.  The whole process, from picking out the stitch, modifying it to be worked in the round, figuring out sizing and design elements as I went along, even the yarn were a joy.  Unfortunately the style I had chosen, lacy, became impractical for my new life as a mom.  Tyler was born the following year and then Nece.  Of course I love my children but running after them in a dressy tunic just didn’t work.

Anyway my husband is unaware of my previous sweaters only my Strokkur failures.  I have knit it three times only to find my gauge has tightened between hem and yoke.  I am unsure if this is because it was winter time, and I was wanting a a hand knit sweater, or if it is just one of those yarns that my fingers want to be at a certain gauge.  It has been known to happen.

Regardless Instagramers, Instagrammers?, apparently tag anything stranded as fair isle and given my mistake during tv watching on shawl I figured some nice relaxing stocking stitch in the round would be good.  I pulled out Strokkur, which I had restarted for the forth time a while ago, from its knitting bag and have been amusing myself with my stitch marker.  Enjoy my lovely bunny:

Strokkur Restarted

There is my pattern in the background.  I think I have it printed out a dozen times at this point!

Bunny Tails

The pink ball along time is one of those jingly jangly balls that rings as my knitting gets shaken.  The bunny has a silver stand and the cutest little cotton tail.

Beribboned

Beribboned

Okay not quite beribboned but still!  We last saw Strokkur last November.  I have finished 2 sleeves, which are still on point regarding gauge, so I hope if I concentrate on staying slow and relaxed the body will also not tighten up.

Yarny days and knitterly evenings~

Elka

Done and Undone

I didn’t you guys the weirdest thing ever.  Mainly because it made me a bit salty but hey

So while I was knitting my beautiful blue cashmere socks of glory a few weeks ago a co-worker came up to me and asked me what I was doing.  She exclaimed that I was doing it all wrong.  I am, to the surprise of some, a ‘thrower’ and she moved her fingers to mimic ‘pickers’ repeating, more than once that my method was “primitive” I was, understandably, a bit undone by this.  After pausing to figure out a way to respond without being contentious I stated that there was no right way to knit and that I had done so professionally for over a decade–my knitting, primitive as it may be, was  comfortable to me, done for enjoyment, and the results were acceptable to others.

She then exclaimed about the ridiculousness of a book devoted solely to socks and not all types of knitting.

And then followed it up with it made no sense to be knitting socks because it was summertime.

At this point all I could think was:

I am like the freaking ant getting ready for winter.  A. Freaking. Ant.

In over 40 years of knitting I have never had anybody speak negatively of my knitting while in public.

Of course once I finished my socks I was weaving in the ends during my lunch and the same coworker came and said

Oh so fancy.  This takes a lot of concentration and skill.  I am sure you cannot watch tv and do something like this.  … If you ever want to get me a gift I would love a pair of socks.

Like

A

Ant

Okay so salt inducing incident aside I finished those socks, and knit a pair for the husband, and started a third pair.  The yarn for new pair is really old.  I think it was from my secret pal in ’05 aka SP6 but I cannot find those posts.  It was a difficult year… my fathers year long battle with cancer, his death, my marriage falling apart  yada yada.  I wasn’t very pleasant during that period.  Anyway pictures:

Finished husband socks and new socks in progress

My husband is quite pleased with his socks and has deemed them beautiful.  The picture from last post, of the cuffs, is more color accurate in my opinion but it is basically a marled yarn.  One strand is black, another tan, and then a brick red.  Well more than one strand of each color but that is the basic mix.  As stated last time I think it will look great with his entire wardrobe.  His shoe wardrobe at least.  He wears cordovan, black and then tannish colored climbing shoes.  The yarn has lost the tag over the years but I clearly recall buying the yarn for him about 8 or 9 years ago thinking they looked manly.  I recall being overjoyed at finding the Opal and Socka yarns since all the sock knitters blogging at the time were mad for them and they were not carried by my preferred local shops. Now I prefer solid or semi solid yarns but I am still entranced by the self striping every once in while.

The new pair of socks is also a marled yarn with black and navy being the predominate colors.  They also lost their tags but this one came in the tubes like blauband or wildfoot. There is some subtle striping going on as well.  I am not sure why I put socks in sunny places for photos.  They look way overexposed but then our spring storms were pretty dreadful this year and I guess I just wanted a bright spot when I had it!

His socks all alone:

For the Flame

Interestingly enough he is becoming a sock snob.  He stated that he thinks one toe is maybe a 1/4 too long –you know for the shorter foot–but he wasn’t quite sure.  This from a man who managed to live 50-some- years wearing store boughten socks.  Tis okay.  I like spoiling him when I can 🙂

yarny days and knitterly evenings

Elka