August 26, 2008

Minor loss of fidelity

Awhile ago, the Daft Crafter mentioned that she was looking for a kick-ass pattern to knit. One of those patterns you can’t stop thinking about, that's so good you just knit obsessively to the exclusion of all else and start resenting having to do things like eating and crapping because they take up valuable knitting time. I may be paraphrasing a bit there.

Anyway, she seemed to find that level of obsession with a pair of colorwork mitts. In malabrigo laceweight. They’re ridiculous and she’s awesome. Frankly, I’m a tidge jealous too. It’s been a long time since I’ve been that enamored of anything I’ve been knitting.

What’s that, you say, you’ve actually been knitting? Why yes, I have been knitting, thank you very much. Just not much, or particularly successfully. So what have I been knitting?

Completed stockinette socks – quite charming in their blue-green oceany way, but not a thrilling knit. But still! An actual finished knitted object!



Knit in Lana Grossa Meilenweit Mega Boots Stretch (colorway 721), size 2 Harmony DPNs, 72 stitch cast-on, standard sock recipe. Yarn gifted to me by my coworkers as part of my appendix get-well package. Finished socks will be gifted to one of my fellow SNBers, who is not only an awesome sock knitter, but is also a graduate of my MLS program AND had her appendix removed by surprise some years ago. I can't think of a more fitting recipient.

As for the WIPs…well. Not so much.

Spring Forward – meh. Thinking the variegated yarn obscures the pattern. Also, pooly. And frankly a little too repetitive to be an obsessive knit. Possibly also too small.


There’s also a shawl and a sweater, both in a time-out. The former due to an unfortunate night where I played a super-fun game I like to call “I can drink wine, knit lace and watch Jeopardy at the same time because I am a Super Genius!" The latter due to poor pattern reading and a mistake I made in the VERY FIRST ROW.

Enough whining! You know what the solution is, right?

Yup, it’s time to start something new! Meet Firewalker. Pattern – duh. Yarn dyed by me. This yarn was previously a much smaller Jaywalker, with a much less cool name. Pretty, pretty, pretty…


It’s even prettier in real life, I promise. Does anyone else have a bitch of a time getting their digital camera to capture reds accurately? My camera can’t quite seem to believe anything is this gaudily colored and just smooshes the oranges and reds into a big blurry mess. I’ve tried different light (direct, indirect, etc) and different settings, but nothing seems to work very well.

If you have this problem, do you have a good solution? I’m keeping my fingers crossed that someone will say that I really need a much better, shinier and sleeker digital camera, but any settings advice would be appreciated too...

August 10, 2008

Stash is not just for yarn

The American Heritage Dictionary defines “stash” as “To hide or store away in a secret place”. For knitters, stash is so much more than that, of course. However, “forgetting” to mention acquisitions to significant others who think “you have enough sock yarn” notwithstanding, mostly yarn stash isn’t much of a secret.

But I do have a secret stash. Except it’s not yarn. It’s cheese. Cheese stash is obviously more transitory than yarn stash, due to its perishable nature. But almost as exciting. Possibly more exciting, for me. Cheese tasting often ends with me squealing, jumping up and down and doing the “happy cheese dance.” Which kind of looks like I’m having a seizure, but you know, happy about it.


So, to stretch the analogy excruciatingly, I have the Cascade 220-type cheeses – ricotta, feta, parmesan, havarti, American cheddar, etc. Good, solid, basic cheeses. Perfect for tossing in pasta or making a sandwich. And usually something a bit nicer - like Malabrigo or Noro level – gruyere or a good English cheddar for eating on their own. And usually I’m completely satisfied with these nice cheeses. Because really, something that’s Malabrigo-Good is pretty effing sweet.

But every now and then you get something fantastically luxurious in your stash that makes everything else in your stash seem inadequate. And last weekend, a visit to the South End Formaggio did the same thing to my cheese stash. Formaggio is an insanely good cheese shop and everyone in or around Boston should go there as soon as possible. There’s a dude there that specializes in PAIRING CHEESE AND BEER. Go there. Go there now.

Our visit was especially awesome due to the expert guidance of BFF Quinn’s friend Siri, who works there when she’s not busy being a brilliant sociologist-in-training. And she hooked us UP with some amazing recommendations.


Meet (clockwise from bottom left)...

Gratte Paille
Morbier Marcel Petite
Persillé de Pont Astier
Reypanaer VSOP

This is the cashmere of cheeses. This is the dreamily soft baby yak down of cheese. This is cheese that makes me never want to eat any other kind of cheese again. Also, the Gratte Paille is cheese that BFF Quinn described as “glistening like a pair of sweaty balls,” which has nothing to do with stash behavior but did make me snort-laugh.

And much like new yarn, this new cheese makes me think all my old cheese sucks. Stupid cheese. But luckily, I know just where to go to get more...

I actually finished a pair of socks, and I got some pretty, pretty new sock yarn. So actual knitting content soon!