Saturday, November 28, 2009
I haven't been posting for a few weeks but I have a multitude of excuses, the first one being – entrelac! I've never been much of a knitter – every scarf seems to turn into a triangle and I never knew how to correct mistakes or go back and make adjustments. About one year ago, my dear (and VERY patient!) friend, Sue Whitmore was actually able to teach me to knit socks. I was hooked! I've made about 7-8 pairs this year. Then this Spring while in our local yarn shop, The Wool Company, (a wonderful shop and the owners are delightful), I saw this very unique scarf using entrelac technique. Entrelac is a knitting technique used to create a textured diamond pattern. While the end result resembles basket-woven strips of knitted fabric, the actual material comprises interconnected squares on two different orientations. Check out a tutorial for this scarf at http://knittyotter.typepad.com/otterknits/2007/03/entrelac_scarf_.html. After many read-throughs and a couple of false starts, I enlisted Sue's help once again. After a couple of afternoons of knitting and ripping out, I think we've finally got it! It's such fun but requires quite a bit of attention in the beginning. I haven't taken a picture yet but will do so soon. Just don't look too closely!
Monday, November 9, 2009
The days are flying by and I feel a sense of urgency as the time to return to work draws near. This weekend I cleaned out more kitchen cabinets; we've cleaned out our garage, the backroom of the rental next door, the shed, and on and on it goes. Hmmm, I think Takashi may be happy to have me return to work!
We have been enjoying some wonderful meals lately…rediscovering some old favorites and trying some new things. We all enjoy tabletop cooking. We've have been using an ancient butane burner that was getting crankier and bordered on being dangerous. Takashi found a great new burner online for only $20.00. We ended up buying three of them – one for our wonderful neighbor/tenant and two for us so we can more easily accommodate more dinner guests. Time to try some new dishes!
Having some extra time has allowed both Takashi and I the opportunity to play in the kitchen and it has been very satisfying. I've rediscovered the joy of making my own pasta – it started with the udon and has continued since then. And canning! Oh I had forgotten how much that feeds my soul. One thing I've never made is pickles. The growing season on the Coast is just not conducive to tomatoes but we had to at least try since we have the deer fence this year. We had a few ripe ones but mostly we had a ton of green tomatoes left. I had a few of the spices used for pickles but not all of them so went to the grocery store to pick up some premixed "pickling spices" – yowzers! – expensive! As I looked at the ingredients, I thought, "Hmmmm, this seems familiar." So I checked out the box of "crab & shrimp boil" – yep, almost identical and a fraction of the cost. What the heck, I decided to try it. I threw in some whole garlic cloves, fennel, onions, and jalapenos. Here's the result:
So it was time to start a new project in order to continue my 10 minute daily commitment. This pushed me up against my primary challenge – initiation! How to start a project so quickly…what to hook…how to color plan…what cut do I use??? Help! These are the times when I really miss having a hooking buddy or two nearby or access to a teacher – it is a tremendous help with motivation and inspiration.