Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Button, button, who's got the button?

Except for the button, Shalom is done.(As I've said before, I need a new camera. Taking pictures of myself in the mirror probably doesn't help either.)

I'm wearing it anyway. It's blocked, every end is sewn in, and it fits like it was made just for me or something! I will put a button on it when I find the perfect one. This is my first real, full-grown-human-sized, honest-to-goodness garment that I've made, and I am in love with it.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

That was quick

I finished knitting my Shalom cardigan today, the reincarnation of the yarn that was once Tubey. Lovely pattern, quick knit thanks to yarn held double, 6.5mm needles, and no sleeves. I knit it in far fewer rows than it was written for, both because I was not getting row gauge at all and because the pattern writer noted that she is very tall, and I'm average height. I cut out 2 rows in each ribbing section on the yoke and 2 rows between each increase and decrease on the body. I think that did the trick quite nicely. It just took a quick warm bath and is currently pinned to a towel on the couch. The one downside to this sweater: tons, and I mean tons, of ends to weave in. There's a total of about 8 skeins in there, but since it was harvested yarn, there are more than 16 ends. Not thinking about that yet. What I should be thinking about is my NSF fellowship application. Or my aerosols & air pollution test on Tuesday. Not thinking about those either though! Just enjoying having (almost) finished a real garment that I will enjoy wearing.

Just a peek for now:

I need a new camera sometime in the near future...

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Harvest Time

Fall is harvest season. I, however, am harvesting yarn. After recovering that lovely bit of Malabrigo yesterday after improving my poncho, I set my sights a bit bigger.

This is Tubey, a very nice pattern. However, I started this only a few months after I started knitting. It took me nearly 2 years to get it to the point above, everything done but the end-sewing, because it sat untouched for vast periods of time. I wouldn't say I'm a vast fountain of knitting skill and knowledge now, but I definitely have far better skills now than I did when I started making this, and it was evident from just looking that this was the work of a novice. It was also was too big for me, despite being a size small. Whether this is my fault or the patterns, I don't know. Probably mine though. Anyway. Behold Tubey, in her current form (color much more accurate in the first picture):

That, my friends, is approximately 11 skeins of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran. It deserved to be something better. Thoughts?

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Knitting frenzy

My friend Annette took me to late night knit night at The Sow's Ear in Verona last night. It is the most wonderful knitting store- in addition to a fantastic selection and lovely ambiance, they have pretty much the best brownies ever. I hadn't been around that many knitters in a really long time- probably not since I saw the Yarn Harlot in spring 2008. It was such a nice time. Also very good for productivity. I finished up one pair of socks and nearly finished the first of another pair. That sock was then finished today while I spent the afternoon at Lakeside Fiber Arts, another wonderful store just a bike ride away from my apartment.

I also pulled out my A Very Harlot Poncho again. I made this about 2 years ago, but it sat unworn in a bag for the whole time. I decided to shorten it and give it a garter stitch hem to prevent rolling and give it a more finished look. I am quite a fan of it now in its new and improved form.

A pleasant side effect of shortening said poncho:

A skein and a half of Malabrigo chunky with which I can do whatever I want. I wonder what it will become?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Start of fall

I've been reading friends' knitting blogs for a fairly long time now, and I decided it's time for me to get one of my own. I'm going to use it for all things that I make, so it will be a lovely combination of knitting, baking, and cooking. I'm sure bits of my life story will make their way in here as well.

I made a squash soup on Tuesday that is so amazingly delicious- flavorful with herbs and spices and not sweet the way so many squash and pumpkin soups are. Becky and I both made it as a remote cook-a-long, her in Chicago and me here in Madison (we're adorable like that) and we both loved it. The recipe can be found at Smitten Kitchen. This is one of my favorite blogs, and her recipes have never failed me. Normally, I plan on posting recipes myself, but since I followed this one to the letter (sans the croutons and with vegetable broth instead of chicken), I'm just linking it. I think next time I'll bump up the cumin and sage a tad.

Peeling and cubing those squash was quite the job. Next time, I will probably just halve and roast them per the suggestion in the recipe, but I wanted to give the hard way a shot. And I have to say, it was worth it.
Bonus: rinse squash seeds and roast at 275 degrees with a little oil and salt for 15-18 minutes, until dried and crispy. Devour in a matter of minutes with roommates.