Thursday, July 31, 2008

Karmic balance.


This week has just been crazy. Absolutely, positively bizarre.
Huge things have gone wrong, balanced with huge things going right.

I'm looking forward to this weekend. I'm going to start the weekend out with a run, then go shop and take advantage of the sales tax-free weekend. After that, a short stint in lab, then back home. Sunday is wonderfully, perfectly unplanned. I'm very excited about that.

Expect some progress on some knitting. I'll be back. But now it's time to unwind in front of the tv with a sock or a vest or something.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Because Bells wants photos...

The socks.

These will look much better on a foot than on my hand. But Bells wanted photos, so she gets photos. Even if they are taken in the dark.

So for now, a little more knitting, a little Dance Dance Revolution, and some Wii Fit. Maybe tomorrow I will go for a run. It's nice to be home.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

I should feel guilty.

And I sort of do. I spent most of the time I was awake on Saturday working in the lab. I started an experiment so I can have something to talk about for my individual progress meeting on Wednesday. But I did sleep half the day, went book shopping after work, and spent the evening watching a movie. I finally got around to seeing Pan's Labyrinth. I'm rather behind on movie watching. It was a good movie - I'm glad I saw it, but I can't say that I liked it. I'm wimpy, and the violence in the movie was a bit intense for me, and more gruesome than I honestly care for.

Today was not a productive one. I did a lot of laundry, hung out with my family, knit, and read. I don't have a photo, because I am a bad blogger. I'm working on Go With the Flow Socks (ravelry link) from Interweave Knits, published within the past couple years in the magazine and also in Favorite Socks. It's not a quick knit for me, and I don't know why. The stitch pattern is dead simple, and even I have it memorized. I have been creeping along on these, and finally managed to turn the heel and almost finish the gusset decreases after some prolonged knitting. I read The Alchemist's Daughter. It was okay. Since I picked it up on sale, I think I got my entertainment dollars out of what I paid for it, but I wasn't that impressed. I needed some escapist reading today, and I got that much out of it.

Spent part of the evening getting some desperately needed exercise, and have put in a bit of time on working on reviewing a manuscript. I don't think it's ready for publication, but sometimes it's harder than you might think to put your criticism on paper. I'm almost done, but need to commit some more time tomorrow. To which point, my boss has already e-mailed me tonight and asked me if I had intended to provide feedback. Sigh. I can't win. And really, I don't want to go back tomorrow. It's become far more aversive than I want to admit lately, and I wish I could stay home more and more each day.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Summer of what?

Doesn't look a lot like a sock, does it?

Badia in progress.JPG
Badia cable.JPG

It's a free Berroco pattern, and I'm knitting it with some Softwist that has been marinating in stash for at least 4 years. Originally I had purchased the yarn to knit a lace tank, but I became less enamored with that idea as time went by. (Wool - tank top? No.) The yarn isn't my favorite thing to knit with. It's a worsted weight wool/rayon blend that doesn't have great yardage. It's splitty and slippery, and doesn't feel fantastic in the hands. I hadn't been knitting long when I purchased it, and I wouldn't do it again. Should work okay for a vest though, and the pattern is kind of cute.

My sock mojo isn't working very well right now. I have 2 pair on the needles from before the SOS officially started, and I did knit one pair, but honestly, I haven't been knitting much. I've managed to develop a sinus infection, ear infection, and pink eye. So, since I'm taking a few days off work (I'm a little wobbly, despite antibiotics), I'm knitting. Or at least I've felt well enough to knit for the last 2 days. I admit that I'm looking forward to not being sick - it's been 2 or 3 weeks of this, and I'm kind of bored with it.

Been doing some cooking, but not taking photos of the goodies. I did make chocolate chip cookies, not from the Jacques Torres recipe recently in the NY Times, but the standby Tollhouse Cookie recipe. I did make one variation to the recipe, other than my usual addition of extra vanilla. I let the dough rest overnight, which did make a tastier cookie. I didn't cook the entire batch after the overnight rest, and left it in the fridge for a total of 3 days, and made larger cookies than usual. Frankly, the cookies were better at the larger size, and they were better than usual with the overnight rest, even tastier after 3 days. Try it if you don't believe me.

My other cooking find was a Nigella recipe - and oh my, it was good! The recipe was for Mirin Glazed Salmon, and it's definitely going to be cooked again at my house. (Here's a beautiful photo of it, better than mine looked.) Watch out for the glaze - it's hot and will cause blisters if it lands on you.

That's all I've got for now...

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Food books

There are times when I think it would be fun to be a serious food person. I'd love to have the time to cook - really cook - learn good techniques and some technical skills. Unfortunately, my lifestyle and my schedule don't really fit that dream. So I make up for it by reading.

One of the last times I went to the bookstore, I picked up Garlic and Sapphires, but Ruth Reichl. (Image from, as is the link). It was on the bargain book table, something I have a hard time resisting. A hardcover book for $3.00 usually needs to come home with me if I think it might be at all good.

I had not read anything by Ruth Reichl before, so this was more or less a pleasant surprise. This is not an incredibly substantive book - it's light and fluffy, a memoir of working as restaurant critic for the New York Times. Reading the reviews on, I can see how people come to the criticisms they do. It does become a bit repetitive, and there is only so much reading I can do about how wonderful a food tastes. Personally, I'd rather be eating it than hearing how good it tastes, but I can get some vicarious enjoyment out of it. There are elements of this book that do become tiresome, but the book was also clearly written during a time that was very important to Reichl, and one she remembers fondly, and wanted to memorialize.

I wouldn't rush out to buy this book, but if you like reading about food and high end restaurants, pick it up at the library or at a used book store. I'll be keeping an eye out for her other books, which are supposed to be better than this one.

More to come this weekend. Things are a bit brighter than they were at my last posting, although I won't claim things have suddenly become sunshine and roses. My family is doing better, and I'm able to see some positive things again. (Thank you for the e-mails etc. They helped, even when I didn't feel like talking so much.) Somehow I have also forgotten that I need to be at work today, and now I need to run the vacuum to suck up at least the top layer of dirt in my house, shower, and run off for a few errands before I spend the rest of the day in the cave of the lab. I'm hoping to find enough time this weekend to cook something good for dinner, maybe try out a chocolate chip cookie recipe from the New York Times. Evidently, if you leave the cookie dough to sit for a day, the cookies are better. This is something I want to test, even if my waistline doesn't agree.

I am not my job. It's not my whole life. What doesn't kill me will only make me stronger. Lather, rinse, and repeat.

Monday, July 7, 2008

What do you do.

Do you blog the bad stuff? The days when you think, ok, now we've hit bottom, it's not going to get any worse, and yet it does? What do you do? What can you say? I know my blog is getting boring. That photos are happening less frequently, that I'm spending even more time saying nothing.

Right now I'm knitting. I'm knitting because I quit smoking and will never do that again. I'm knitting because I'm not hungry and the thought of eating makes me sick. I'm knitting because it's too late to go for a run and I can't run long enough or far enough or fast enough to make things feel better, to escape what's going on. I'm knitting because work isn't solace anymore, because I can't pay enough attention to a book, because I don't want to dump this on another person. I can't escape into drugs or alcohol, and it's just getting to be too much.

I don't want to parent my parents. I don't want anyone to be sick. I'm tired. I can't sleep, and things just continue to get worse. I don't want to be a grownup. I want a vacation.

Friday, July 4, 2008


I just don't know about this yarn.


We've talked about it before, a long time ago. I don't like it. If I had seen it in person, I'm not sure I would have purchased it.


I did start knitting Leyburns out of this, and it was okay. I stopped because I needed to make changes to the pattern to fit my own foot better. I really don't like this sock now, and I don't know what I was thinking. Well - I do. The yarn was there, and I felt like casting on for this pattern RIGHT NOW, and I got gauge, and now I'm not sure. This is the Bartholemew's Tantalizing sock pattern from Cat Bordhi's new book. It's interesting, but I'm finding it too fiddly for my current mood.

So I just spent the better part of an HOUR ripping the sock back. Why and hour? Because the yarn tangled as I was trying to rewind it. It wound up on itself. It tangled at both ends. It attempted to choke my ballwinder. When I finally pulled the yarn cake off, it came off a total mess. And now? Now I am so annoyed by this yarn, yarn that I was seriously considering taking scissors to, that I have thrown it on the couch upstairs and walked away. I'm not knitting it anymore.

Do you want this yarn? Can I send it to you? It's a mess - I know, but if you love it, it's yours. Because we're done here. I'm happy to send it to a good home. Otherwise, I'm either going to be found guilty of yarn abuse or I'm going to chuck it.

Now I'm going to start a vest. I need a momentary sock break, and I had a sudden vest obsession this morning. I still have a cold. Happy 4th of July.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Summer of Socks, first sock

Home sick today. Either my allergies are on high alert, or I've picked up a cold. Whichever way, I'm not feeling so great today. The nice thing is that it did give me time to finish a sock as I sat on the couch feeling lousy and watching bad television.

Lo, a completed pair:
Whitby toe.JPG
The details - Whitby sock from Knitting on the Road by Nancy Bush. Y'all probably know that already. It's a good pattern, after all, Nancy Bush includes lovely little details so I feel like I'm learning something every time I knit one of her designs. The heel on this sock is a little different. It's not the best fit for me, as I need something a little wider (yeah, I should have photos, but it's hard to take photos of your own feet) but it's pretty. She extends the usual slip-stitch heel flap pattern for the turned part of the heel.

The yarn is Dream in Color Smooshy Sock, color Happy Forest. I have to admit that the name of the yarn kind of irritates me, but the color is great. I'm happy to have a quickly completed pair of socks, but I really do prefer a thinner yarn for footwear. There was some bleeding onto the needles I used, so I'm curious as to how much dye is going to come out when I wash these. The yardage is very generous, and there's plenty left over for a pair of kids socks, or a hat or something fun. However, despite the fact that I really love the color, and I like the sock - I'm not running out to get more. (Ok, part of that is related to my feeling I have enough yarn and not enough time to knit, but that's another story.) I would definitely consider trying their aran or lace weight yarn sometime.

Now off to be warped by Cat Bordhi. I have some swatching to do.

Fangirl moment

I am very excited about this:

(Click to find out more.)
Bells, this especially means you!