Joyknits!

Knitting, spinning, pets, food and other thoughts


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Bits ‘n pieces

The first sleeve for the sweater is coming along nicely, but I’m not at all satisfied with the neckband, which will almost certainly be making another visit to the frog pond. 😦
sleeve

Maggie’s been very chummy this evening – first she sat on the sleeve right after I took the photo, then came and sat on my lap through most of Patriot Games. Good cast, but my word, some of them looked at lot younger!
maggie

I’ve been on a bit of an omelet kick lately – every so often I get in the mood for one and look to see what’s in the fridge for filling. I think my pan is actually a crepe pan (well-seasoned), but it makes good omelets! For this one I sautéd some green onions, a sweet red pepper and ham, then added crumbled goat cheese at the last minute, and topped it with a bit of sour cream (reduced fat) and green onion tops.
omelet

I just had to share a neat sky from the other evening.

sunset


3 Comments

Still winter!

The worst of the most recent storm missed us. We got about 6-8″ of ice/sleet/snow, but were very fortunate that most of it came down already frozen. Farther south, they weren’t as lucky—according to news reports, some parts of the Missouri Bootheel and Kentucky are experiencing 100% outages, and it may be several days before power is restored.

mosaic1581608

It’s been good weather to stay in and cook, knit and read—yeah, and eat too 😉 There’s been knitting happening, but nothing looks much different from the last time.

Himself left the container of cookies (snickerdoodles) on the sofa the other day, and Amber found it most interesting, but wasn’t able to get into it.

I know there's something good in there ...

I know there's something good in there ...

I also made a pan of lasagna, a big pan, and I usually share some of it, but unless our driveway (it’s on a north slope, so the sun doesn’t shine on it much) gets better pretty quickly, I may just have to put part of it in the freezer!

lasagna


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When the knitting gets tough …

the tough cast on another project. My sweater was suffering from neckius über-loosius (since ripped and reknitted with a smaller needle), the shawl is over 100 sts per quadrant now, and I really wanted something smaller to play with. I’ve been looking at all the neat projects on Seasons of Lace, and just had to start a new scarf, using sock weight yarn from my stash.  The pattern is adapted from one of the Japanese knitting books, and I changed little bobbles to nupps, which I think look much nicer. I used a crochet cast-on, and the lace point needles are great for completing the nupps—it would be really hard to get into all the loops on the wrong side row without the tapered points.

Lace Scarf

Lace Scarf

Nupps

Scarf detail: Nupps

I’ve been meaning to mention my new favorite hat – I noticed it at Lowe’s, but only saw it in camo the first time, which didn’t really appeal, but on the next trip I saw just 1 navy 2-LED verson, and it came home with me. It’s absolutely great for walking Toby at night – no need to juggle a flashlight. With the cold weather, I’ve had to come up with creative additions so I don’t freeze, but combined with a heavy hoodie jacket, a neck gaiter and a muffler a few times, it’s working out very well.

year-of-ox-2009

Happy Chinese New Year!


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Sweater progress

The sweater is making progress, although I’m not really satisfied with the neckband. The yarn is 85% wool, but the silk (10%) and cashmere (5%) content that makes it feel so yummy, also makes the yarn behave more like cotton, so I may have to go back and reknit the neck ribbing on an even smaller needle than I already used (3.5mm/US4). Of course this only became apparent after I sewed it down 😦

sweater1

I had a request for a photo of the finished shawl for the Samantha’s Shawl KAL for Seasons of Lace, which unfortunately, I can’t do until I finish the current version. The original was lost somewhere along the line, but this is a half-shawl swatch I worked up in worsted weight that shows the pattern and the edges. While it was pinned out, I got several helpful remarks from Himself about making a Bat Cape … though I must admit that it does have a bat-like shape 😉

Swatch for Samantha's Shawl KAL

Swatch for Samantha's Shawl KAL

On the home front, after a nice big wok-ful of MaPoTofu for lunch, I changed the sheets. Maggie thought it was all lovely fun and just had to help out.

mapotofu

Added: The recipe I use is from Chinese Cuisine. The original uses tofu, green onion, ginger, garlic, ground pork, hot bean paste, soy sauce and a wee bit of “cooking wine or sherry”. I use rice wine, and usually add black bean paste with garlic, and mushrooms—fresh shiitakes if I have them, or dried ones, which I always have in the pantry. It’s topped with green onion tops and a sprinkle of ground Szechuan peppercorns. The meat is more of a seasoning, rather than the main event and the hot bean paste should be approached with caution, as it can be very spicy in quantity!

Helping make the bed.

Helping make the bed.

Not that it’s supposed to last, but we’re having a couple of lovely spring-like days and a chance to get outside and see what’s out there. I’ve been wanting to photograph this seedpod for quite some time.

ETA: I’ve been doing some research this morning, and I think the seedpod is probably from climbing milkweed – it looks like what I would usually think of as bindweed, so I may have pulled a lot of it as weeds 😉

seedpod_11seedpod_21cones1


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The other side …

of this is also a neat pattern. If I weren’t avoiding horizontal lines/bands in Certain Places, I’d almost be tempted to use this side for my sweater 😉 The back is done, and I’m almost to the underarms on the front, so I’ll need to decide between a scoop or a V-neck very soon!

The other side of the knitting.

The other side of the knitting.

Stay warm!


6 Comments

Brrr!

As Cindy mentioned, it’s been pretty cold here (unless you live in Wisconsin or Minnesota, in which case not so much so) – but colder than it’s been for at least 8 years. Even so, the ice crystals are pretty as long as I’m inside looking out.

(ETA: And we had a very rude awakeningthis morning to a 5:15am power outage at something like -1 – sheesh!)

frost_1

frost_2

I just received a copy of Creative Knitting, March 2009, with my “Diamond Lace Stole” in it – I’m pleased with the photo, but could definitely use the sample to wrap up in right now. It’s about 11th down in the gallery, which is alphabetized by the first letter of the designer’s first name.

When we went to St. Louis last Saturday, some yarn might have followed me home, maybe enough for a sweater, but it’s not cooperating with having its photo taken, at least not as far as the color is concerned. The color is wine, which describes it well – it’s darker and more – well, winey/burgundy than this, but it’s very soft and nice to pet! 🙂

MerinoBold in Wine

MerinoGold in Wine


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More knitting …

I’ve been knitting Samantha’s Christening Shawl from my Shawls booklet for the Winter edition of Seasons of Lace, and it’s quite addictive. The pattern stitch is Crest of the Wave, it’s currently up to 312 sts (78 sts in each quarter), and large enough to form its own knitting bag. This is probably the last time I’ll be able to spread it out flat until it’s done, as I almost lost some stitches at a couple of the corners. The yarn is Alpaca Sock, and very nice to knit with.

I made a big dish of scalloped potatoes the other day – it’s amazing how fast the food processor slices up 2 large onions, and pretty good pile of potatoes! I could hardly stuff them in fast enough to keep up with the machine. What a great improvement over slicing them all by hand, especially the onions, which usually make my eyes water horribly. This was followed by a pot of chicken soup, which turned out very well, so we’ll be set for a couple more days 😉

The current Patrick Taylor book, An Irish Country Village, kept me up last night – I kept reading “just one more chapter” until much too late, but these books have been such fun! I would recommend reading them in order (instead of #3, #1 and then #2), but even if you don’t, they’re very enjoyable. I keep thinking our Amber is SO like Lady MacBeth, the cat in the story.


4 Comments

Yarn doodling again

Twice a year, before the 2 TNNA needlework trade shows, members of AKD get to play with yarn and make swatches for the Great Wall of Yarn display. I request yarns that will show stitch patterns well, and here’s what came this time:

ShiBui Sock (wool) and Dale of Norway Piper (c0tt0n), which said lace to me, FibraNatura Sensational (wool – color is more cranberry) and Mondial Cotton Soft Speciale, both of which seemed better for texture, but I don’t think the printed flecks in the Speciale enhance the pattern – it might have been better in something even simpler!