Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Socks at Last!

I started these socks well before Christmas, put them aside for some Christmas knitting, took them to Maine with me and finished the first sock there, and finally just finished the second sock yesterday. The yarn is on the heavy side for sock yarn, and the needles on the small side (US 1.5) so these are remarkably dense and chunky.

The pattern is by Anne Hanson, called Holidazed, and the yarn is Socks That Rock Mediumweight in the colorway Jasper. I saw a pair that the Yarn Harlot knit in a blue colorway and was smitten, and I ordered the pattern and yarn within moments, from Blue Moon Fiber Arts. I cast on 56 stitches instead of my usual 64, but I ended up having to make the leg section shorter than I normally would because the cuff was turning out a little too tight to go all the way up my calfs. And I decided to decrease only down to 64 on the foot section, for fear that would also be too tight. So if I were to make these again, I would cast on 64 stitches. But these fit nice and snug and are uber-cozy.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The rain it raineth every day

From the time I landed in Philadelphia on Sunday till today, it has basically been raining steadily. Yesterday we had huge torrents of rain and wind. Today it is less intense, but the rain continues.

What is a little hard for people from the rest of the country to imagine is that winter, the rainy season, is when California is at its greenest. My weed patch:

Friday, January 15, 2010


It's quite moderate here today. But yesterday morning, this is what I was greeted with.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A Day in Hartland

Grandpa plans his summer garden, making out his order from the seed catalog.

Grandma cooks dinner.
Chicken Pot Pie!

Bailey the dog wishes he could take a walk.

The sock continues slowly.

Dinner is homemade chicken pot pie, salad, potato puffs, and peach melba for dessert.

Grandma's Potato Puffs

1 cup leftover mashed potatoes
2 eggs
1/2 cup flour
1.5 tsp. baking powder
1.5 tsp salt
(maybe add some grated onion?)

Mix all ingredients together. heat oil in frying pan. Drop large spoonfuls into hot oil. Brown on both sides.

Peach Melba

10 oz. frozen raspberries (or fresh)
2/3 cup sugar
pinch of cream of tartar
plain yogurt (Greek yogurt would be excellent)
peach halves in heavy syrup

Thaw raspberries if frozen. Cook with sugar, stirring constantly, till raspberries break down and thicken. Place a peach half on each plate. Fill with a scoop of yogurt. Pour sauce over peach and yogurt. Or serve in parfait glass.

After dinner, a walk to the library, over the river, but not through the woods!

25 degrees, not much wind, wearing Grandpa's hood over my hat, I am as toasty as can be.

Sunday, January 3, 2010


A new year, a new decade, must be time for a new post. Kristen is going back to Chicago today, leaving temps in the 50s to 70s for temps in the single digits. Not easy. But she is looking forward to her new classes and quite satisfied with the ones just past, so I'm sure she will be fine. I am going there to visit for Folk Festival, which is over Valentine's Day weekend, just before my classes start. In the meantime, I'm going to Maine on Friday night, arriving Saturday morning, just for 8 days. I have to get some school work squared away before I leave, so the next week should be a busy one for me.

Current knitting is the Allegan sweater, which is at a kind of slow and boring stage. Last night Kristen went out to a post-New-Year's New Year's swing dance party, and I set up my laptop with a Julia Child dvd called The Way to Cook and added a couple of rows to the sweater. I get motivated to knit more when I can feel the end in sight--but how will I ever get to that point unless I press on a bit more? Hmmmm.

I also have a pair of socks on the needles, but I'm kind of saving them for travel knitting. I also stocked up my ipod with 2 Cast-on podcasts to entertain me on my long trip from Los Angeles to Bangor.

This trip consists of 4 sectors, all of which may be rather trying. First, I get to the airport at something like 8:30 pm and wait for my 10:20 pm flight. Then I fly across the country in about 5 hours--not really a night's sleep, even supposing I could remain unconscious for the entire time, which I can't. Then there's a 3 hour wait in Philadelphia, followed by a 90 minute flight to Bangor in a smallish plane. Total travel time is listed as 9 hours and 35 minutes, but that doesn't include the waiting time at LAX, which is mandatory. So really more like 11 hours, which seems like 14 hours with the time change factored in. If I could get on a plane here and get off in Bangor 10 hours later, it wouldn't be so bad. But what are you going to do? The only way to avoid the night flight is to arrive in Bangor in the middle of the night, which is also problematic. Especially if there happen to be any delays. Which there could well be.

I finally blocked the Storm Cloud Shawlette and it turned out okay. Not as drapey as the sample at Twist, but that's because hers was knit in a yarn that included silk, which I didn't really think about carefully enough at the time. Also, the color which seemed moody and mysterious at the time seems a bit gloomy now. But it was simple and not a failure.

Which is pretty much how I roll. Simple, but not a failure.