Archive for October, 2007

Roza ég prjóna lykkjurnar þínar

October 31, 2007

(Apologies to Megas)

How appropriate for Socktober than socks made out of corn. Only the first one is done (men’s socks seem to be very slow). I am using Grumperina‘s pattern Roza socks from Interweave Knits, and the yarn is Maizey, which is made from corn fibre (for anyone who hasn’t been following along).


Preparing for frost

October 29, 2007

After doing the book meme, it was somehow appropriate that a library near me was having a used book sale. K and I went to the $5 for a bag of books sale, and got a decent bounty, including Grettir’s saga and a very cool old Deustche lieder book (looks nice on the piano), and a couple of classical records, and some sewing books, among which were these:

The knitting one is very cool, it has tables with common knitting terms in Spanish, French, English, German, and Swedish. Plus of course the requisite tons of stitch patterns, which was the main reason I got it. The sewing one is just too funny. I love the title, “A Modern Guide To Successful Sewing” and the very dated costumes on the cover. It probably is a useful book too, I haven’t yet read it.

I also had a little time to work on the flower motif on my felted bag. I really wanted to continue the light blue through 4 rows of the flower, but I miscalculated when frogging the light blue and didn’t leave myself enough to work with.

We had a frost last night, so Saturday I was trying to get ready. I pulled in all the green tomatoes and made a pie.

We are trying to finish painting the exterior of all the windows in the house, so I scraped them a little bit. I also wanted to build a cold frame for some salad that I had started, with the plan to keep it over the winter, but because of the house window business I haven’t had time. I am not sure if my little plants are dead yet or if I can throw something together with bricks and old windows.

Green Tomato Pie
(From The Best of Amish Cooking by Phyllis Pullman Good

4 cups thinly sliced green tomatoes
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 Tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp cinnamon (I boosted the spices, they are never enough in recipes if you ask me)
1 tsp cloves
1 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
1 pie crust (top & bottom)

Put pie crust into pan and sprinkle with the flour. Cover it with the tomato slices. Mix together remaining ingredients (except butter) and layer over the tomatoes. Put cut pieces of butter over that, and then cover with the top pie crust. Cook for 15 minutes at 425F(220C) then 30 minutes at 375F (190C).

I also saw a really nice recipe for Salsa Verde which you can substitute green tomatoes for.

Book Meme

October 26, 2007

Sonja invited me to do this meme, so here it is. Maybe my husband will play along and do it too.

1: Hardcover or paperback, and why?

I like reading paperbacks, because they are portable. I can take them on the bus, on a plane trip, or read them in the bathtub. (I ruined the hardcover Jonathan Strange by accidentally dropping it into the bathtub.) But I love hardcovers for the shelves, they look so much nicer.

2: If I were to own a book shop, I would call it…

Why would I own a book shop, when there are two nice local book shops near me? I guess I should go with the ultra corny answer and say Rebecca of Sunnybook Farm.

3: My favourite quote from a book (mention the title)

“Deep within every blind, absolute love grows the hatred towards the beloved, who now holds the existing key to one’s happiness.” — Miss Smilla’s Feeling For Snow

4: The author (alive or deceased) I would love to have lunch with would be…

Kurt Vonnegut, maybe. We were so lucky to see him speak at an authors’ forum maybe a year or so before he died. He was obnoxious and opinionated and funny and fascinating.

5:If I was going to a deserted island and could bring only one book, except for the SAS survival guide, it would be…

War and Peace. I’ve yet to read it, and it’s long, so it would keep me busy for a bit. Plus it would be a good excuse to read it.

6: I would love someone to invent a bookish gadget that…

I could truly use to read and knit at the same time. There are those book weight things, but then you have to stop and turn the pages. Really, something that could hold the book and turn the pages would be good when brushing my hair too. Reading on the computer just isn’t the same, and I hate books on tape. I space out and can’t pay attention. I must not be an aural learner, which is weird because I am musical.

7: The smell of an old book reminds me of…

My grandmother. She would have all these old books on the occult and religion and strange mysteries, like Easter Island.

8: If I could be the lead character in a book (mention the title) it would be…

Someone in a Margaret Atwood book. Not any particular book or character, but she always has these strong female characters.

9: The most overestimated book of all times is…
On the top ten best seller list at any given time.

10: I hate it when a book…

Leads you in thinking that it is going to get better if you just keep reading, and then never actually does, making you waste all that time reading. Flash House and Citizen Girl both did this to me.

Mice ate my garlic

October 26, 2007

I went to cook supper today and noticed that the leftover garlic that I had in the cabinet from the last time I cooked was gone. Luckily, I had bought more on Wednesday, so I was still able to make dinner. Too bad my cat doesn’t fit in that bottom cabinet to eat the mice.

I am still working on an answer to Sonja’s book meme, so I will post that later.

Last week, I decided to try to give broomstick lace a try, after seeing Hilde’s beautiful work. I think I am using too small of a knitting needle and maybe just not doing it right in general. I’m still trying to decide if it’s an interesting enough texture, or if I should just give up on it and try again with a bigger needle.

In honour of UFO Fimmtadagur, I am thinking about my UFOs. The common theme tends to be something that I am stuck on.
There is the Glampyre sweater that I started the other year which is knit top down, and after starting to work on the sleeves I thought I needed to do more increasing. So I have to sit down and figure that out.
There is the felted bag that I started and need to come up with a pattern to put on it. I thought I had something until I realised it is 68 stitches around and the pattern I wanted is 17 stitches, which doesn’t allow for any space in between the pattern (or too much space). So I have to figure out a different pattern idea to do.
Then there is my nephew’s dinosaur sweater, which is all set to work on the patterning part except I need to find a few more colours of yarn which I can continue. I think one may be still in the bimmer from Rhinebeck, but I have to actually buy 2 colours.
The Queen Anne’s lace gansey socks need to be frogged and redone on smaller needles (do they count as a WIP then?)
And there is the Mystery Stole to block.
(The UFO list is a bit longer, but if I could just complete these batch of things that would be great.)


October 22, 2007

(See Jenna’s blog for the definition)

We went to Rhinebeck yesterday, as planned. We had to go kind of late because B had a soccer game, and today we had other plans. It was a beautiful drive. Ingi has gotten a new (to him, 20 year old) BMW to replace the Dadillac, so it was a great excuse for a ride in the car. Unfortunately, all the car has for a stereo is a cassette deck, so we dug through my old cassettes to find things that were worth listening to. Among them was a crazy mix tape my dad made for me including classics like Elvis is Everywhere and Tom Lehrer‘s Poisoning Pigeons in the Park.

When we got there, we met Cassie and Sigga Sif VERY briefly. We did the Cliff Notes version of the festival, having only a few hours there until it closed. So I don’t have any pictures of the actual festival. We got some assorted handmade soap, alpaca fur slippers, and one skein of yarn. I like the fall colours.

Happy Birthday, Peter Tosh

October 20, 2007

Today would have been Peter Tosh‘s birthday. I love listening to the radio, it’s like getting a surprise. However, around me most stations are pop stations that play the same 5 songs, which is nothing like getting a surprise. Today I was running an errand and a university reggae show played a little tribute to Peter Tosh with some old Bob Marley & the Wailers songs and a few of his solo songs. I have the Specials cover of Maga Dog and never heard their version before today, or maybe I did, driving around with a Jamaican friend in high school, but I don’t remember it. The old version is much better.

No interesting knitting photos. More grey sock. More blue stuff (this times sleeves for my nephew’s dinosaur sweater). So I will give a few book reviews instead.
Sew What! Skirts
This book is about the price of a regular sewing pattern. It’s nothing earth-shattering, but it’s a great reference. It dissects the concept of sewing simple skirts (a-line, circle, wrap), and tells you how to measure to draft your own pattern. To me, it’s totally worth it. My mother is a recipe person, so I never really learned to free-form my own sewing patterns too well, unless they were simple shapes. Even with knitting, I don’t know a whole lot about fitting, just things like socks and mittens. I can’t wait to try drafting some skirt patterns.

Lotta Jansdotter’s Simple Sewing
I knew I wanted this book. I even got to flip through it in a bookshop. I finally broke down and bought it. I pretty much want to make everything in it. Again, this is a great place to get creative ideas to make things from.

Tomorrow we are planning to go to Rhinebeck, after all the annoying things in the morning. Can’t wait!

Doll Pants

October 15, 2007

(for the reference, see the music video here)

I can’t model them on the doll because I don’t have a Baby-Born like my niece. But I made her some pants for her doll from this pattern. (I didn’t quite understand the instructions for the casing, there was an extra instruction that I didn’t get. Any Norwegian speakers want to help me to make sure I didn’t miss anything?)

I am completely exhausted. We went to New York yesterday to see Of Montreal in concert. (If you will be in Iceland for Airwaves, I highly recommend checking them out next week. Or if not, try and catch them, they have a very entertaining stage show). There was a very silly rap band opening for them called Grand Buffet. We didn’t think most of the people got those guys, but they were really funny.

Anyway, I don’t recommend walking from Grand Central Station to Greenwich Village when you have somewhere you actually want to be later (and are therefore walking fast). As a wandering around kind of walk I guess it isn’t bad, if you are used to walking. And I also don’t recommend trying to count on getting a cab, since 5 of them that were empty ignored us. The subway is really not that bad once you figure it out, it’s more confusing than the T in Boston. Besides the show and walking, we didn’t do a whole lot. We went to Bleecker Bob’s record shop, we walked through Washington Square Park, we checked out a flea market, we walked through the farmers’ market (which was very cool but way too crowded–there was yarn and meat and cheese there! I almost bought yarn, but we were focused on getting lunch at the time). I walked past Lush and American Apparel and Strand Books and a really neat looking cinema, IFC Center. Since our trip was all about the show, I didn’t drag the family to yarn/fabric places; besides which, it looks like we are going to Rhinebeck next weekend.

We got home at 4 in the morning and I am still very sleepy, since I had to wake up around 8-ish. And Ingi is trying to quit smoking (it’s the 5th day if my sleepy brain did the math right), so feel free togo give him some encouragement.

Guy Stuff

October 9, 2007

Seems like the guys have been picking some of the movies we watched lately, a real testosterone fest. (Maybe it’s revenge for that Brokeback Mountain? ;)) Surprisingly, they were much better than expected. We watched The Guardian the other night, which was selected while I waited outside the video store with the dog. And we watched Flyboys a while ago, which also surprised me. And of course James Bond the other day. Anyway, it must have rubbed off or something, because when Ingi and I went to pick out a movie for the two of us to watch, I suggested 1408, which is a thriller based on a Stephen King story, sort of like The Shining. That one was really fun.

My knitting is guy stuff too…. guy socks.

Also popular with the guys, Amy Karol’s amazing pumpkin muffins. I made these the other night with a pumpkin I bought at the farmers’ market.

Socially responsible shopping

October 4, 2007

I just sold the first thing from my etsy shop!!! I put a few balls of plant-dyed yarn on there. I hope to be putting more plant-dyed yarn as I get yarn and dye it. I’m collecting a nice assortment of dyestuff, more on that later.

I also finished my Mystery Stole 3! Now I have to block it and figure out how to wear this thing. Any ideas?

So this week I was realizing I needed some fall clothing. My long sleeve shirts are all starting to look like something to use for waxing the car, and most of my jeans are too faded or don’t fit. Harpa posted about an article the other day where a Swedish environmental group did some tests on textiles and found all kinds of toxic and carcinogenic chemicals in items produced in non-EU countries. You can read a PDF about the study here. Scary stuff. So I decided I wanted to buy something made in the US, Canada, or the EU. After some research, I decided to try Lucky brand jeans, because I could find them at several shops at the mall near me. So off we went to the mall. I did find the jeans, and they fit perfectly, but I didn’t buy any because the only ones they had in my size were long. So I will get jeans another day. We saw a few cute sweaters, one was a cotton sweater with a really nice lace design and an overlapping v-neck. Made in China, and they wanted $65. Oh well, maybe I have a sweater design idea for a future project. Then I saw a beautiful Elle MacPherson designed bra. Made in China, and $60! Elle, do you really need the money that badly? So I went home with nothing, and went online and bought some shirts on sale from American Apparel. Even the fabric is made in the US, and it’s comparable in price to The Gap or Old Navy. So I guess you have to work hard at being socially responsible, but I think it’s worth it. I’ve decided to research country of origin from anything that I buy. The only way to make a difference is to vote with your wallet.

This weekend was our anniversary, so we went for a nice drive Sunday, after seeing the 1931 Frankenstein in a theatre built in 1931 on Saturday night. (I wanted to dress like we were in the 1930’s, but we were rushing around and didn’t have time). We went to Shelburne Falls, where we went on our mini honeymoon.