Saturday, August 29, 2009

As promised

Two sleeves...

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and yarn for Vivian!

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There are two more giant hanks in a bag that chose not to lounge on the patio for a photo shoot. I'm so excited about this hoodie! I've never used Cascade Eco+ before, but it seems to be a favourite and there are lots of lovely Vivians made from it on Ravelry, so I have high hopes. I plan to finish my jaywalkers first, though. Maybe. At the very least I'll finish Decimal. Or will I... On Sunday I move and will have plenty of car hours to knit, so we'll see how far I get. (Don't worry, I don't drive.)

Moving. Packing. Right.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Word Thursday : Perendinate

Perendinate
1. To put something off for 2 days
2. To procrastinate or put something off for a long period of time.

~Wiktionary

I'm moving on August 30th - have I started packing yet? Clearly I'm perendinating.

I bought yarn today (gasp) and Decimal now has two sleeves. Photos to follow?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Fluffy

Is fall coming? Everything has turned to fluff!

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Sunday, August 23, 2009

Urban Agriculture

There is some corn growing in our backyard, perhaps the result of an entrepreneurial squirrel or maybe it's a volunteer from our compost - we've had volunteer cantaloupe before.

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Unfortunately, we only have one, so it won't reproduce.

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But still. Corn in my backyard! I've had fun watching it grow and taking pictures of its progress over the last little while.

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Friday, August 21, 2009

Word Thursday: Wifty

Wifty
Eccentric, silly, scatterbrained.
~Wordsmith.org

Wifty as I am, I nearly forgot to do a Thursday word today! So much to do before I move, but I'm chipping away at it bit by bit. I feel like I've spent the last week solidly booking travel for myself and others... nearly done. One more plane ticket and I'll be set to the end of September, anyway. Wheee!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Fall Twist and what it did to my queue

I'm getting ready to move back to London, ON - at least getting my head prepared by making lots of lists. Of course my ravelry queue is my most engaging list at the moment, since it consists of many dreams and few ties to reality. Deciding what yarn to bring and which projects lay in the near future is obviously the most important part of moving... :P (and fodder for a few more blog posts.)

Every new Twist Collective brings excitement, even though I haven't yet knit anything from the magazine. This fall, I plan to make Vivian because I freaking love it; despite cool things in this new issue, Vivian is likely to be my first Twist purchase.

Here are some thoughts on the Twist anniversary issue.

Socks. I like them all! Especially Sottopassagio.
Vine Yoke Cardigan: Um. It's by Ysolda Teague. Need I say more? Heh. Queued in a priority position.
Vaganova: I really like this. In the right yarn it would be an excellent replacement for one of my store-bought turtle-neck sweaters I wear all the time in winter. Queue priority, maybe even for this winter.
Argyle Jacket: This is a really fun idea. I don't like the colour combination in the original so much, but this goes in my queue as a possibility.
Mimico vest: Queued. Honestly, I probably won't make this any time soon, but I have a vest obsession and am nurturing a colourwork obsession.
Piper and M'gonigle: Cute. I have so many hats queued up already, but I might actually have yarn in hand for Piper. Hmmm...
Sea grass scarf: I don't see myself knitting a scarf this fall / winter, but if I do maybe it will be this one.

The damage isn't so dire this time around. I got a little tired of the Bus Stop story, looking at all the models in profile while they craned to see the bus... Cute idea, but could have been executed with more variety. There are a few designs in the magazine that I like but don't think I'd ever have the occasion to make (eg Urbanit - no man in my life would wear this, but it's still cool to look at). And Luminen is really pretty, but I'd probably leave off the snowflakes on the butt. Novak is cute, but I don't think I'd ever get the chance to make it. Lorelei has neat-looking lace also, but wouldn't be a priority for me.

Chugging away at Decimal. Onto the second sleeve and hoping to finish by the end of August. Can I make it?

Friday, August 14, 2009

Word Thursday: two words! (three?)

Two words today.

Cadge
1. to get or seek by begging or scrounging
2. beg or scrounge

~ The Canadian Oxford

A thoroughly Victorian sounding word, to my untrained ear, but I'm sure I've run across it many times in literature. I'm getting ready to move back to London (ON) for the new semester, and I've been contemplating cadging necessary items from here and there in preparation. Somehow calling it "cadging" makes it seem uncouth and disreputable, but I prefer to think of it as recycling and reusing what might otherwise collect dust. ;)

Fug
Stuffiness or fustiness* of the air in a room.
~ The Canadian Oxford

Stale, humid, and stuffy atmosphere, as in a crowded, poorly ventilated room.~ Wordsmith.org

Of course, being the Canadian Oxford, the dictionary prefaces the definition with "esp. Brit." I picked this for the second word this week because when this one showed up on Wordsmith the other day I thought it discribed current conditions aptly: I was sitting in a cubicle at the time. While the building I work in is rather air-conditioned as office buildings are these days, sometimes the atmosphere in the cubicle gets stuffy and airless. Especially in the last few days, when summer finally arrived with 30 degree heat and sunshine and humidity! I'm loving it, to be honest, since summer so far has been rather lacking in sunshine, though humidity is not my favourite thing. Still, I'm trying not to be a hypocrite that complains about all kinds of weather, hot or cold, and I'm reveling in the sun although it likes to burn me.

All that said, I doubt I'll ever use this word since its other meaning is much more prevalent in pop-culture today, and I would probably be misunderstood.

*A third word learned this week, totally by accident!

Fusty
1. Stale-smelling, musty, mouldy; 2. stuffy, close; 3. antiquated, old-fashioned. ~Canadian Oxford

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Knit night and following the bees

Last night I went to my first knit night! (Cross off #78). I went to a knitting in public gathering last summer, but since then hadn't been out to hobnob with the knitting community here. Big mistake that I have rectified and I'll definitely get out again soon. Fortuitously, I even got to catch up with an old friend that I hadn't seen in many years --"old" as in we met a long time ago, not as in eldery. Plus I met some people and learned some interesting facts about Canada customs' relationship with imported yarn, among other things. Knitting at Bridgehead is pretty great not just for the smugness factor.

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This is what I was working on, and unfortunately I misjudged my ability to knit lace and chat at the same time. I thought Decimal would be simple enough, but turns out I'm easily distracted and forget which row I'm on even while knitting a simple two-row pattern. So I wasn't as chatty as I might have been. (Who am I kidding? I'm totally anti-social at the best of times).

Anyway! Decimal's sleeve is lounging on the chair that has simultaneously become my outdoor reading/knitting chair and the backdrop to knitting/baking photos. It's a versatile chair. I'm knitting it in the round because I see no reason not to and Ravelry seems to agree.



In the beautiful shining sun today, a rarity in the summer of deluges, I also wandered around the garden and followed some bees around. Yay!

Friday, August 07, 2009

Word Thursday: Gallimaufry

This week's word:

Gallimaufry
a heterogeneous mixture; a jumble or medley.
~The Canadian Oxford

With my lifestyle, (I have a lifestyle? ha) I can always use more words to describe messes. Especially when it comes to food, I think this new addition to my vocabulary will find use. When I'm living on my own I'm a big fan of one-pot meals, often made of the odds and ends left over in the fridge before grocery day - all thrown in a pot to form a delicious belle mélange that I may now take to calling a gallimaufry. Mmmm.

On that note, I'm pondering a week of eating like a vegan maybe in September, and I want to use that week as an opportunity to try cooking with more fun grains other than rice. (Rice is awesome, but I eat it all the time). Anyone have any favourite vegan recipes, especially those involving interesting grains?

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Recipes blatantly ignored

I got inspired to make Austrian Raspberry Shortbread on Smitten Kitchen. I love Smitten Kitchen for the photos as much as for the recipes, and she's always so inspiring. However, following recipes isn't exactly my forte, so in the end I came up with this.

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Rhubarb-blueberry cake bar things. Yummy, if almost entirely different from the original recipe.

Here's how it went down.

Change #1: We had some rhubarb-blueberry jam in the fridge that needed using, so I grabbed that.

Change #2: My eyes bugged out at the amount of butter called for (1 pound): I halved the recipe to begin with and then halved the butter again, adding oil to compensate. At that point it was obvious these were destined not to be shortbread, but I was okay with that. For the record this is the first time in recent memory that I've used solid fat in my baking; I have a habit of substituting like a mad thing, consequences be damned.

Change #3: Egg yolks. I am far to lazy to separate egg whites from yolks, so I just used whole eggs, pretending that 1 egg is equivalent to 2 yolks. Not sure if that's legitimate math, but that's what I did.

Change #4: Instead of freezing the dough thoroughly, I was too impatient after putting it in for about 15 minutes, so I couldn't grate the dough into the pan. I spread it instead, neglecting to realize that spreading a second layer of dough on top of a layer of jam was ill-advised. It worked out after some careful spatula work, so no harm done.

Result: surprisingly delicious! They're a bit greasier than I would have liked, so next time I'll probably use less oil or maybe even take the plunge and use all butter. They aren't shortbread, but they have a pleasant dense crumbly texture, and they don't look like a total mess! (Compared to much of my baking experiments. I'm a fan of delicious messes anyway). I probably added a bit more lemon zest than called for as well - didn't measure, just grated half a lemon's worth - and it really helped the dough. Mmm lemon. More Smitten Kitchen in my future, and maybe I'll follow the recipe next time.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

101 in 1001 July update and WIP

It's August, meaning July is over and I've squandered another month of existence. What do I have to show for it? A couple of paycheques, some WIP progress, somewhere to live in London Ontario for 8 months, a few more items off the 101 in 1001 list... I guess I've been busy, mostly in productive ways.

July completions:
24. Send something to PostSecret
45. Read The Brothers Karamazov


Only two? I'm ashamed to say that I read most of The Brothers Karamazov in June, and waited for most of July to get the book back from the library after it was cruelly requested out from under me. But I did finish it in July.

I sent one letter of 44. Write and send 3 letters, so I have two more to write.

I've also started chipping away at 30. Read at least 10 works of non-fiction. Add Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean, by Edward Kritzler to that list. As expected it didn't really live up to the hype; interesting subject matter, but it wasn't very well written, and much of it verged past history into conspiracy theory. I get a little shifty-eyed when I read things that threaten to perpetuate the belief that Jews control the world / the world's finances / it's all a big Jewish conspiracy, since those beliefs tend to lend fodder to anti-semitics. (Obviously unintentional here, since the author is a Jew, but anyway.) Possibly I'm paranoid.

Next up for August, I'll be adding to my list for #30 some more. I've started reading Dr. Johnson's London, by Liza Picard, a history of 18th century London. (England rather than Ontario this time. Confusing, I know.)

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Just so this post isn't devoid of pictures, here's the second sock of my pair of Jaywalkers I started in April. Because they are wool socks, I'm not in a hurry to get them finished before it gets chilly, so I have been concentrating on my warm-weather Decimal. Historically, I seem to knit things in the wrong seasons, so I'm trying to prioritize to remedy that. The picture is deceptive: I haven't even reached the heel yet, but it doesn't fit properly on my foot with those dnps.