November 29, 2007
ahem. i almost completely forgot about norovember.
That's because it's been so long since I finished my Noro shoulder tube. Here's a photo from the first day I wore it, November 8th:
Specs: Noro Silk Garden, two different colours and please don't ask me what they are, one's long since discontinued and the other, well I thought the ball bands were right here on the table next to the laptop and now they're gone. So it's a mystery. The pattern is improvised, just a tube knit from the bottom up, switching to a smaller needle after the shoulder. That little loop you see over my right shoulder is a particularly fat and blobby spit-splice that I have yet to fix somehow.
After that was finished I went digging in the storage closet for the other ball of Noro yarn I knew I had, some Kureyon I bought ages and ages ago back in Windsor. But I couldn't find it anywhere. Just as I was about to give up, I came across this Calorimetry headband, having completely forgotten that I knitted it up last winter from that very ball of Kureyon. All it needed was an end woven in and a button.
Despite my sad expression, I was very glad to have found this. Instant finished knit!
November 26, 2007
NOV 25 2007, woodblock print on Rives BFK, 24 x 24 inches
Left: sketch, dress #7 state 3, inkjet and drawing on Rives BFK, 22 x 30 inches
Right: sketch, dress #12 state 2, inkjet and drawing on Rives BFK, 22 x 30 inches
Sorry the last three images are so tiny; click on them to view larger in flickr.
November 25, 2007
he's back on the highway, i'm still here
Peter and I have passed a major hurdle: this last separation, stretching from Canadian Thanksgiving to a week before American Thanksgiving, was the last, longest stretch; we will never in our lives have to be apart from each other for that long again. He's several hours away from me up the highway now, but in only seventeen days from today I'll be flying home. And after the winter break, for my last four months here in Athens, our times together will be longer and our times apart shorter. It's going to be glorious.
Autumn comes to Georgia after all; I just had to be more patient. I ought to have known by now, my third autumn here, to expect it about a month later than I'm used to. But somehow this year I noticed more. There are a lot more trees where I live now, what with these woods right next door. It's safer to walk through them in the dark now, because with all the leaves that have fallen, the lights of the engineering building and the family housing penetrate far enough to just about meet in the middle. Just a week ago I nearly wandered off the path because it was too dark to see it.
Today I'm listening to my new favourite local radio station, AM 880, the one with the shed on Broad St and the sign that says "home of gospel". It's the only local station that doesn't suck, and even the commercials aren't bad (radio commercials make me utterly mental, which is why I pretty much can't listen to commercial radio at all). Peter and I listened to it in the car all week and I'm already familiar with the strange diction of the church announcements guy. This morning they scared me for a moment by playing a xmas song, but immediately went back to the Jesus is the rock/I never should have cheated on my wife (but the flesh gets weak, y'all) stuff that I love. I wish I had discovered this gem in Athens two and a half years ago.
November 22, 2007
well, hallelujah, i guess.
Governor Sonny Perdue(tm)'s prayers must be answered, although it's a little suspicious that he waited until there was actually rain in the long term forecast before publicly asking god for it. It's been almost two weeks since he prayed, but I guess if god wants to act slowly and make people stew a while waiting for an answer then that's some kind of divine prerogative. Certainly it couldn't just be a coincidence, or a cunningly timed almanac-checking. Nuh-uh.
Peter and I are off to celebrate AmericanThanksgiving(tm) with Hockey Mom and family. I'm praying for wine. Think the gods will come through for me?
November 13, 2007
tiny packages full of yummy
Over the weekend I tried out Jae's vegan stuffed peppers recipe to use up the last of some fresh local green peppers in the fridge. I didn't have some of the ingredients, including the main ingredient, millet. Rice just didn't sound like a satisfying substitute, so I cooked up a mixture of barley and mung beans instead (those mung beans had been sitting in the cupboard for a long, long time waiting for me to figure out what to do with them). In place of sunflower seeds I chopped up about a cup of raw almonds, and threw in a handful of ground flax seeds because flax is just one of those things it's good to add to stuff whenever you can. The pumpkin seeds I did have, although I had to scoop them out of a pumpkin first. I also added a chopped chili pepper, since there were a few along with the sweet peppers in the big garden grab bag my friend brought me last week. So, basically I changed about half of the recipe. But it was really good!
I wish I'd thrown some object in for scale, as the severe drought we're in caused these peppers to be quite comically tiny; if you go over and check out Courtney's lemon, it'll give you some idea. The oven bowl they're in is about the size of a Chinese rice bowl.
November 11, 2007
ravelry beta tee hack
I mentioned to Jess and Casey (of Ravelry) that I'd really like to see Bob on a t-shirt, but they must have either thought I was joking or they just didn't want to exploit Bob that way. So when my Ravelry Beta shirt arrived in the mail this weekend, I stuck poor Bob on a silkscreen and customized my shirt; I hope they don't mind.
Before anybody asks, no I won't put Bob on your shirt for you. As it is, I used one of Jess's photos without asking, and also he's not my dog. But I did make a few extra Bob shirts to send Jess and Casey by way of a thank you, because Bob's so cute I couldn't make just one print. I'd make a Bob shirt for Bob too but I think the print would be bigger than the shirt!
ps: speaking of silkscreening shirts: for the two people who are patiently waiting for super-awesome custom shirts from me, I'll be printing them tomorrow morning and they should be on their way to you by Tuesday. Pinky swear!
November 08, 2007
Frost on the grass today.
These past two days have felt a lot more like November should, but I have to say that after more than a month of the typical Georgia autumn, in which the mornings are cold and by lunchtime it's up in the seventies again, to have it suddenly stay cold all day is a bit of a harsh transition to make.
I really have to get some sweaters made, since I prefer not to wear stuff over the dresses that I haven't made myself. Gotta start thinking about a jacket too. Last night I had to go out late and it was 4 Celsius (I know I've said before that 4 degrees is t-shirt weather, but that's only in March after a hard winter; that's how relativity works, kids). So I cheated and wore a sweater coat over my dress, a really sweet oversize curling coat that I got at the buckapound over the summer, with intarsia curling rocks and brooms all over it. I'm looking forward to making that my number one winter coat once this project is over, but for now I've got to either get sewing or be cold.
November 06, 2007
happy birthday, Alois Senefelder
When I was a kid my favourite birthday cake was chocolate cake with brown sugar icing, an icing that was cooked on the stove and spread while still warm, and which hardened into a miraculous fluffy crust rather than a runny glaze. I asked for this cake every year. At some point my mom stopped making it and later said that she had lost the recipe (perhaps when we moved in 1982, because I'm sure that it's been at least that long since I had it). No birthday cake I've had since has lived up to the memory of my beloved brown sugar icing, and I've longed for the day when my mom would come across that dog-eared recipe card in her kitchen, wedged behind something-or-other (highly unlikely, as she's moved house twice more since '82).
While sorting through old cookbooks at Peter's mom's house over the summer, I came across a frosting recipe that sounded like it could be the one, and scribbled it down in my sketchbook for later. I don't really have much of a sweet tooth anymore and don't eat cake often, but I thought I'd like to give this a trial run before my birthday, to see if one magical taste would spirit me back to December 1978, before serving it up to my birthday guests this year. And since it just happened that the birthday of good old Alois, the inventor of lithography, falls on a day that I teach my litho class, what better time to try it out (and use my students as guinea pigs).
(this is where, were I a good enough documentor not to be totally distracted by the thrill and anticipation of finally ending 25+ years of sugary longing, there would be a mouthwatering photo of a fat, glistening, brown-sugared chocolate cupcake. Alas. . . )
The consistency of the icing was runnier than I remembered, and acted more like a thick, caramel-ish glaze than a fluffy frosting, but I suspect that the soy milk might have been a factor there, so perhaps next time I'll break down and use cow's milk (ew). I also used Earth Balance instead of butter, but I'm pretty sure that my mom was using margarine back then anyway so that shouldn't have made the difference. I even used a cake from a box for that authentic 70s childhood touch, (although the authenticity may have been spoiled a bit by the hippie-wholemeal-organic cake mix and organic grain fed cage free eggs). Still, the whole thing was delicious, my students enjoyed it and the sugar high I put them on didn't cause any accidents later on when I taught them how to use the big scary guillotine book trimmer. And I'm pretty sure that if Alois were still with us at age 236, this is the cake he would have requested for his party.
One of my students said that the icing tasted like that of German Chocolate Cake, and my heart sank for a moment, because my mom's family is GERMAN. And if this is some common old German recipe that everyone knows about, then I've been missing out on 25 years of delicious birthday cakes for no good reason. I was pretty relieved to discover that not only is German Chocolate Cake not really German, it's got coconut and pecans in it and thus is clearly not MY cake. Whew. My mom never would have heard the end of it.
November 03, 2007
i'm just a sucker for a catchy title
You see here the sum total of my October sock knitting. I got a little distracted by a handspun lace shawl. Oh, and that other thing, what's it called? Grad school.
On the floor, the paltry beginnings of a Jaywalker sock in Strings and Yarn's "Rhapsody in Blue". It's a good thing I didn't get any further on this, because even though I've heard everyone say that these socks are tight, I went ahead and made it smaller than I should have (I'm a smart one that way) and it'll have to be ripped. Still, I've gotten far enough to be able to see that this yarn and this pattern are perfect for each other.
On the right, a knee sock, closer to finished than it looks, in "Newspaper" by Spritely Goods. These are made from the toe up, but are going to have black toes, the yarn for which I forgot at home (ahem, Peter darling, did you mail my yarn yet?). There's a spot for an afterthought heel (which will also be black), and I'm within a few inches of being able to switch to black for a wide cuff in twisted rib.
And on the feet, the only finished pair, which you've already seen: footies in Strings and Yarn's "Flight of the Bumblebee".
Noro Silk Garden worked on 6.5mm needles should zip by fast enough not to get bogged down by all that pesky grad school stuff. In fact, I started this piece on October 31st and was nearly finished (mere minutes from binding off) when I tried it on and decided to give it a bit more ease. It's just a quick tube to throw around my shoulders over a sweater, inspired by this one worn by Nell at SAFF last weekend (that looked like Noro Kureyon).
Speaking of SAFF, I guess I never really gave a full report and frankly, I'm too tired to do so. Suffice it to say it was great fun and I met a lot of terrific people, whose links I'll try to get into the "bloggers I've verified to be flesh" sidebar list sometime in the next week or so. I have a small set of SAFF photos on Flickr, but as I refuse to use the flash, a lot of the pictures I took weren't good enough to post; you'll just have to take my word for it that everyone around me was having too much fun to stay still for a photo. But because I can't leave y'all with nothing, here's a bit of the spoils of the battle between my thrifty self and my spendy self (spendy self won big time but thrifty self still gets to enjoy the booty, why is that?):
The good people at Brooks Farm will benefit greatly when I win the 6/49 lottery someday, but for now I settled for just a taste. That long skein is a wool/silk blend that exactly matches my favourite blue etching ink. So whatever I decide to make with it, I'll be able to print a dress to match! The two skeins in the middle are Brooks Farm Acero, wool/silk/viscose, a generous gift from Grace (one of many new friends met over the weekend).
My practical self chimed in to remind me that I don't have a spinning wheel, but clearly I didn't listen. Clockwise from top left: the first roving I bought, fibre content forgotten, in gorgeous black-and-tan; green merino from Shepherd's Corner, a bit of which I spun up on Saturday night; creamy merino/alpaca blend that I offered to split with Grace, proving I can enable as good as I get since she sort of made me buy the green stuff; and the shiny shiny blue, merino and tussah silk, stuff of my dreams. I saw this on Friday but didn't buy it, then that night I dreamed about walking out of that booth as if on a cloud, cradling the dear, lovely roving to my breast like a soft baby kitty. That pretty much meant I had to have it, and I spent a good part of Saturday looking for it again in a bumbling comedy routine that saw me checking every single vendor at least three times before finally figuring out that my dream roving had been moved to a higher shelf and into a harsher lighting, causing me not to recognize it at first even though TWICE Grace and I looked at and talked about another roving that was right below it on the shelf. But whatever, I found it, and it's mine now. And if I can never afford that spinning wheel I'll just take my beloved shiny blue roving to bed with me and dream sweet, fluffy dreams.