Sunday, November 26, 2006

A Bland Update

My mother drove 4 hours on Thanksgiving Day to spend it with me after backing out of a commitment to spend it with some of her friends (I'm so thankful for that!). She drove a thawed, seasoned bird in the passenger seat the whole way. After a late dinner and several hours of post-prandial unconsciousness, we awoke to her realization that she forgot the pie crust for pumpkin pie. Meanwhile, the filling had sat mixed in the fridge all day.

Something had to be done. We are a bit nuts about trans fats and hydrogenated fats, and the crust she was to bring was homemade. We simply don't do "boughten" crusts. Continuing the health food trend at my apartment, I only had whole wheat or rye flour--not exactly crust-worthy. So at 9 pm we made a grocery store run for all-purpose flour, made the crust, and had pumpkin pie by midnight. It's just not Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie!

I have officially scrapped the Teriokhin braid. Don't get me wrong, it will happen again. With much different yarn. This is 100% merino and WARM (I think I've explained my problem before) and for some reason, the armholes are a bit binding. So I have started Fleur from Rowan Vintage Knits.

I'm not thrilled about more stockinette stitch. My philosophy is, if I'm going to knit a sweater, I'm going to knit a sweater. That is to say, it will be textured and adorned as much as possible without looking stupid. If I'm going to take all that time to knit, I expect to turn some heads with the finished product. The exception to this is that I will knit stockinette if there is some other enormously redeeming aspect about the garment. For the Teriokhin braid, it was of course the neckline.

With Fleur, there is nothing there. This is mainly an excercise in utility and a testament to poor planning. I have yarn to use, not enough for aran knitting, but enough for something small. I've already blocked and have no desire to refresh the yarn (AGAIN), and this can be knit on needles one size smaller than Teriokhin, so there is no wonkage from the un-refreshed yarn.

The ivory blob you saw in previous posts will meet a similar fate. It's not fitting the way it should. It's too short and makes me look pregnant. Looking pregnant is fine, but only when you are pregnant. And I didn't like the collar and couldn't think of any way to spice it up and perhaps redeem the whole thing.

I have an idea what I'll do with the ivory yarn (again, 100% merino). I bought Phildar's Best Irlandais booklet. Problem is, it's in French. Which is OK, I think, because I know that language well. Just not the words used in knitting. I've been so unhappy lately with patterns being offered (Vogue Holiday being the exception), and everything I do like requires learning a new skill--intarsia, Fair Isle, knitting into the row below, knitting into the back loop, etc. I'm really not in the mood to stretch my brain.

Once a comedian asked an Ohio senator, "Senator, the state of Ohio has produced more astronauts than any other state. What is it about your state that make people want to flee the Earth?" It's kind of the same way with knitting patterns. What is it about the current pattern offerings that make me want to try something with a foreign vocabulary that I don't know?

The cowl neck sweater from Knitting Nature has been haunting me. I desperately want to knit it. A wave of panic washed over me when I read through it and learned that steeking was required. I just don't think I can cut my knitting. Maybe I can knit it as if it were cut. This is going to require some strategy before starting. But seriously, is this not the best design in the whole freakin' book? How clever!!

The riding jacket from Loop-d-Loop has been haunting me, too. That one will be happening sometime in the future. It's totally me, all English and paneled libraries and hunting dogs. I'd really like to use up the (used) yarn I already have first, though.

Oh, and I bought a Debbie Bliss booklet! The alpaca silk collection. I doubt I'll be using alpaca silk. I found some ghetto yarn with the same gauge. :o)

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Thanksgiving Turkey How-To

I think a college roommate's boyfriend taught me this. My family and friends have always been pleased with this turkey.

For a large Cornish hen/small fryer, use a hand towel. For a regular-sized turkey, use a bath towel. Best effect obtained with a flesh-colored one.

Roll each end towards the middle.

Fold it in half with the "cleft" made from rolling it on the OUTSIDE.

Orientation is crucial here. Note the location of the "cleft" and the "septum" on the inside running top to bottom.

Tease out the corners from the inside of each of the four "jelly rolls." Be sure to keep it rolled tightly.

Keeping the orientation correct, pull the upper left and right towel corners in one direction, and the lower corners in the opposite direction. You may encounter some resistance from the terry material; keep pulling.

Secure the drumsticks and wings with safety pins.

Monday, November 20, 2006

OK, I'm probably late to the party on this one, but WHO LOVES THE BALENCIAGA SWEATER?!


And then my offering in cream. Hardly any comparison. (Do you see the color variations now?)

Friday, November 17, 2006


I just happened to find it like this. This conch twin has drawn out carefully tucked away memories of Gulf coast Florida, the cliche salt and sun and sand and surf, everything golden and comfortably warm and just so happy. . .

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Meet Pam!

She's beautiful! She fits like a dream! I love her!

(Sorry for the dirty mirror.)

She's really H-O-T, too. By the end of the shoot, my ears were burning. Although that might just be my excitement.

In case you didn't know, I'm thrilled.

I ventured out in the bluster and drizzle to score the new IK Winter 2006-07. I'll post on that another time. I don't want to ruin my high.

Monday, November 13, 2006


Anyone see anything out of place here? Yeah, me neither. That bag of dark stuff in the front? The most incredible rye bread. The recipe is on the Hodgson's Mill Rye Flour bag (I won't steal their thunder, go buy it yourself! BTW, I added sunflower seeds.)

The latest project is #5 from Vogueknitting Winter 05-06. It's progressing rapidly (foot for scale here).

I've burned through 2.25 skeins of Patons 100% Merino Wool in a week. If you've ever used it, you know the stuff has freakin' great yardage.

I altered the method of decreasing from SK2P to k3tog. The decreases are more prominent now, but I like the appearance better. I don't know what I was doing wrong, but the loop I passed over always appeared to be streched out and kind of. . .saggy?

I couldn't get the lighting right to show you that there are some funky variations in the dyeing. Mostly it's at the end of each skein, but I don't notice it until I've started the next one and knit 10 rows (which, as you can see, would not be fun to frog). I can't decide if this is my obsessive-compulsive self in overdrive--are the variations that noticeable? Can I let sleeping dogs lie, or do I need to buy dye? (From where? What color for cream?)

Please indulge me in a nerd moment here. . .Ed Bradley from 60 Minutes has died! I'm really disappointed. I liked his work. Even more, I appreciate the fact that he didn't adopt the stereotype appearance of a journalist/reporter. (He had an earring and shaved his head.) I'm in a profession where we *think* we have to "walk the line" appearance-wise, especially as a woman in the Old Boys' Club. But Bradley showed that it's possible to do excellent work and not simultaneously become the stereotype of the profession you love, and that you don't have to sacrifice your image to prove your dedication to that profession. I don't want to be a stereotypical (woman) surgeon. Ed Bradley has been a sort of inspiration for me in that area. I'll miss him.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Please, someone help me.

I'm sick.

What possessed me to start THIS thing when I'm not finished with Pam?! Right now it looks like it belongs on the Christmas tree, but I have high hopes for it. I think I'll do a crochet collar, shell stitch or something, and make a little belt to match. The pattern doesn't offer a belt, and I think having the collar in the same texture as the belt will bring it all together nicely.

Pam is on the homeward stretch! But weaving in ends night after night (ad nauseum) doesn't make for an exciting photo shoot. Besides, I need to keep something a surprise for the big finale.

I briefly considered knitting another Pam with the cream yarn. But I'm afraid a double dose will leave me bored and "chasing the dragon." I don't think I'll have the same glee about this one again, and I'll always be comparing the versions. And when I noticed that I have the exact yarn the pattern specified, well, that made it a done deal.

So. There you have it.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

odds & ends

10 things about me:
1. I have a birthmark shaped like a footprint. You will never see it.
2. I have been to the Dominican Republic 3 times--all of which were 2-week surgical mission trips to a privately (and Dominican)-run clinic.
3. I lived in Bordeaux, France for 3 months and did research on creating and characterizing fluorescent glass for fiber optics applications at a solid-state chemistry lab. I lived in a college dormitory and there were no other Americans around. I fulfilled the research requirement for my biochemistry major this way (no, it was not biochemistry-related at all).
4. I spoke French, not English, in my lab then. No one I met could recognize my accent--they all thought I was scandinavian, Dutch, or German. One person thought I was Greek (???)---helloooooo, blonde hair, green eyes, freckles? I have had a pen-pal in Nantes, France since I was 13. Sometimes, I still dream in French.
5. I think nearly all the male characters in movies look alike. Plot lines are kind of hard to follow, and I'm sure I annoy everyone with my questions.
6. I'm 5'10" and I've been told I have "knuckle-draggin'" arms.
7. I have no brothers or sisters, and my father died when I was 17.
8. I am right-handed but prefer the fork in my left hand.
9. I can put both feet behind my head at the same time. You will never see this, either.
10. I have a horrible temper, but most of the time I hide it well.

Favorites (this is the same list as the Survivor contestants, sorry, I'm a fan):
Colors: muted teals, black, chocolate brown
Scents: for perfumes--Chanel Mademoiselle, United Colors of Benetton Femme, Beyond Paradise, Eau d'Issey Miyake, Molton Brown Heavenly Gingerlily. for random smells--cut grass, coffee percolating, my mother.
Flowers: orchids (I collect!), white calla lillies, lily-flowering tulips (pointier petals)
Board Games: Monopoly, Parcheesi
Video Games: don't play them
Sports to Play: As a child I took figure skating lessons. I took up tennis in high school and was a runner (6 mi every other day) until surgery residency.
Sports Teams: Duke Blue Devils Basketball! I've been a fan since the days of Bobby Hurley, Christian Laettner, Tony Lang, and Grant Hill. I have all but one of Coach K's books (it's no longer in print, but I've read it-- A Season is a Lifetime).
Outdoor Activities: just strolling these days
TV Shows: Survivor, NCIS, Numb3rs, This Old House, Mystery! (are these last two even on-air anymore?)
Movies: Man On Fire, Memoirs of a Geisha, Indochine, Great Expectations, Ray, Girl, Interrupted, Ponette
Actors: Johnny Depp
Actresses: Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, Victoire Thivisol
Music: Anything by the Eagles, Eric Clapton, U2, or Diana Krall. LOVE John Mayer's Continuum (was never a fan before). Chopin or Beethoven classical piano.
Mags: InStyle
Books/Authors: Oddly, oriented towards Judaica (this from a goy). Chaim Potok--My Name is Asher Lev. Elizabeth Wurtzel--Prozac Nation and More, Now, Again. Elie Wiesel--The Night Trilogy (I read it before Oprah popularized it!). The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods--it's totally legit and really scientific.
Cereals: oatmeal with cinnamon, vanilla, and cloves. homemade granola.
Fruits: apples, pears, honeydew
Snacks: vanilla yogurt, rosemary and olive oil Triscuits, black pepper potato chips, mint chocolate chip ice cream. As a rule, I don't buy manufactured cookies or pastries (everything is fake and they are loaded with bad fats).
Cookies: homemade chocolate chip, no nuts!
Candy Bars: Reeses, Butterfinger, Snickers, Dove dark chocolate, and the Dove truffle eggs at Eastertime.
Alcoholics: not a huge fan of the taste. Fell in love with pastis (51) in France. Never cared for the wine, although I do cook with white.
Non-alcoholics: Perrier water (they had it in the dorm's vending machines in France!), coffee with cardamom, espresso
and my own addition--3 things always in the fridge: yogurt, olives, onions.

Thursday, November 02, 2006


I just took my Addi Turbo circulars up the vacuum cleaner.