Chitchat and the occasional in-depth analysis about fiber, knitting, spinning, crochet, cooking, feminism, self-image, and a modicum of personal blathering.

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Monday, November 30, 2009

I do pretty well 'til after sundown

Damn seasons anyway. I think I need to move somewhere equatorial to avoid turning into a fire-eyed demon during the early winter.

Thanksgiving was nice, I didn't really take any pictures. I took some with my cell phone, but even though I brought the good camera, I never took it out of my purse. It seemed pointless, because every Thanksgiving brings similar photos, similar poses.

One thing that was different was this.

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I brought two vegetable dishes. One was ordinary broccoli/cauliflower with garlic butter. This was a savory butternut squash bread pudding, recipe here. It was epic, and delicious. Also, the butternut squash was a revelation-delicious and sweet without the icky fibrousness of pumpkin.

Ok, this photo was also a little different.
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But overall...

The weekend also went by way too fast and I had all this grand ambition for things to accomplish and I accomplished not much at all. Not even extra sleep.

I did take some photos of accumulated giftmas presents.
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A chair full of slippers. They need buttons, blocking, and ends woven in.

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Hathenge one

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And two. Some of them need the odd end woven in but for the most part, they're done.

I had to take a break from knitting last week and do some spinning. I spun the wonderful BFL fiber that I got in a Ravelry swap from Lisa.
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It hasn't been bathed yet, but it's about 700 yards of sportweight.

I also finished one sock, of the ones that started off being entrelac and a gift, and ended up stockinette and for me.
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They did not look right as entrelac. Ugh.

Other than that, there's not been much. The weather has been unseasonably good, as evidenced by the chair-o-wet-socks this weekend.

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And the neighborhood doves congregated to drive the cats mad. Figment and Biddy, in a rare moment of fellowship, sat in the back window together, making cute kitty noises at the birds. I didn't get a picture, as the moment didn't last long enough.

I'm craving citrus like crazy. It must be the time of year. There was about a month's worth of sinus woe for me but it seems to have passed, at least for now.

Reading is going well. I read Andrea Dworkin's "Right Wing Women" which was very interesting. Also read the Stephen King short stories, "Just After Sunset" which were mostly very good. The last one, though. Yuck. Not enjoyable at all. Offal, one might even say. HAR HAR HAR. Also reading "Triste Tropiques" by Claude Levi-Strauss, about his work in Brazil and the Amazon. Best written anthropology ever.


This may be the best thing ever.



And finally, if you're a relative or friend looking for ideas for gifts, I have a link to my amazon wish list over on the sidebar. Don't feel compelled, but there it is.

Until next time!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Scrappy Mitts with Flounce

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Scrappy Mitts with Flounce
by Jamie Longstreth Fritz

This easy pattern happened because I wanted something for me made out of this special handspun yarn. I had used most of the skein making two pair of slippers, and there was just enough left (50G) for a pair of fingerless mitts.

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Materials needed:

50G interesting yarn in a DK weight. The more colorful the better. You can also use scraps of handspun in similar weights.
US size 6 needles (Long circular for magic loop, DPNs, or two circs) or size needed to get gauge.
Size F crochet hook
Yarn needle to sew in ends

Gauge-2 inches = 11 stitches in stockinette stitch. Row gauge is less important as you will decide when they're long enough for you.

First, the Flounce.
Cast on 40 stitches and divide to work in the round. I used a long tail cast-on, if you don't want the join to show, you might want to use a provisional cast-on.
1-4 Work 4 rows in 3x2 rib. (K3, P2)
5. K2, YO, K1, YO, K2, repeat to end of round.
Rows 6, 8 10 Knit around
7. K2, YO, K3, YO, K2, repeat to end
9. K2, YO, K5, YO, K2, repeat to end.
10. Knit around
Bind off loosely.

Body of Mitts
Pick up and knit 40 stitches along cast-on edge of flounce, dividing to knit in round. If you used a provisional cast-on, pick up the 40 stitches and undo the provisional stitches.

Work in stockinette stitch (knit every row) until length desired to reach thumb. As pictured, 3 1/2 inches were worked between the flounce and the thumb hole.

K2, BO 5, knit to end. When you reach the bound off stitches, cast on (using thumb cast-on) 5 stitches and continue until mitt is as long as you want it. As shown, 2 1/2 inches were knit between the thumb and the bound off edge.

Bind off loosely.

Thumb

Pick up and knit 14 stitches in the thumbhole. Work in stockinette stitch in the round until of sufficient length for your thumb. Bind off loosely. (Very loosely!)

Finishing
Single crochet one row around top of mitts and bottom of flounce. Sew in ends, block, and wear!

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I have large hands, so if you need to make these smaller, use a smaller needle size, or just cast on less stitches. Really, it doesn't get much easier than this.

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

My mind, it does not belong to me



My Grandmother, Frances Fusco Sneed, in her WAC uniform. Veteran's Day is always a day I remember her.


I'm going to try for a regular update thing. We've had a busy few weeks plus I've been sick, and am sick again, so cover your nose and mouth while reading this blog entry just in case I have swine flu. I wouldn't want to be an agent of the porkocalypse.

A couple of weeks ago, for Halloween, we went to visit friends in central PA and indulge in some visiting and foods and some year-end ritual and some hot tubbing, which by the way, was miraculous for my leg. I made good stuff to take up and share and took photos.

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Homemade pepperoni bread. It amazed me that every recipe I found for pepperoni bread said "take frozen bread dough and ..." Why? Bread dough is so easy. I made my own Italian bread dough and rolled pepperoni and provolone into it and it was awesome.

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I also made gingersnap cake starting from a mix and added cranberries and crumbled triple gingersnaps to the top.

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Both were delicious. I wish I had time to bake more, as I really enjoy it.

We went to the park the next day with the dogs, and I took lots of photos. It was a glorious late-fall day and it resulted in a photo set, here in convenient slideshow format for your indulgence or not.



Still knitting, still making the same things. Also making a pair of mitts for me out of leftover yarn from the slippers I've been making.

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I imagine I'll write up a pattern for the mitts. They're easy enough, but I haven't done a pattern in a while so I'll post this one. Once I'm finished.

Biscuit is weird. Still.
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And Bob still knows it.
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Deer in our yard, one morning. Cell phone picture so not great.
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And the building caddy-corner from my office, first thing in the morning when it's dark out.
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One of the Steelers lives there, and it's also where the Social Security office is.

It's kind of fun to let photos pile up on my cell phone, because sometimes I forget what all is there and when I go to unload them, I get some surprises.

This is the bridge between our two buildings at work. I call this Meatfunk Alley, because the exhaust fan from a Gyro place blows into it and it stinks. I haven't had a gyro since I've been working there.

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This was our food, the night we went to Braddock's restaurant, the night we went to the Opera.

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And this was in the window of Prantl's Bakery downtown, just before Halloween.
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Poor Lily had to have 12 teeth taken out. She has had dental problems all along-probably a combination of bad genetics and poor nutrition as a puppy and while she was being bred. The first night home from the vet and we put a blanket in her corner for her to lay on. Dylan had to share the blanket, but the picture looks like he's laying there to keep an eye on her.
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I think that's about it. I've got a lot of serious posts bumping around in my brain, but I can't seem to find the time to write them out. This is becoming a problem.