Mach das Radio an und dreh richtig laut auf

March 28, 2010 § 2 Comments

Holy crap, I haven’t blogged in a while! I guess it’s mostly because I felt like I didn’t knit that much, but now that I look around on Ravrav and in my apartment, a couple of things have accumulated. Plus, recipe recommendations!

I still haven’t duplicate stitched a huge letter on my Weasley sweater. I still haven’t finished Haruni. I haven’t knit a pair of socks in a long time. And I haven’t been out and about so much in quite some time.

I have, however, learned to double knit, and it’s a TON of fun. So much fun, in fact, that I kind of never want to do anything else. (I’m sure that effect will wear of sooner than later, but I’ll bask in the glow as long as I can.) I love the HOLY CRAP! effect you get when you first show people the one side…

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and then you say SURPRISE! and turn it around.

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So, yeah. What I got there is really a glorified swatch that is kind of like a really oversized potholder but in reality is too big and unwieldy to be a proper potholder. It still hangs in the kitchen, on the potholder hook, cause I’m that proud.

Knit with Rico Creative Cotton (1 ball yellow, the other four colors left over from washcloths) on 3.5mm.  It’s a colored version of a washcloth design, cut by 10 stitches because in my head, 20+17 is apparently 47, not 37. It turned out to be a blessing that I cast on too few stitches, because the yarn was just barely enough. As in, there was barely enough yellow left to weave the end in after crocheting around the edge. The next DK project I’ve planned: Winchester Potholders. Oh yeah.

Speaking of Rico Creative Cotton, I finished my kitchen towel the day after my birthday, and it’s okay. We mostly use it for drying off hands and pans, cause it kinda lints. Which is weird, for cotton. But it does, and because it’s bright red, the lint looks really unappealing on white plates and glassware. Good thing that’s not an issue for the two washcloths I churned out, one red Knit Apple Cloth for the kitchen and one blue Stargate Earth for Saskia. Man, those two aren’t even on Rav yet.

On a less successful note, I cast on for the Swallowtail Stole a couple of days ago, and… holy crap, it’s kicking my ass. A puny little 6-stitch repeat is kicking my ass so hard I can feel it in my throat. Meaning: I still haven’t gotten beyond the set-up row. In fact, I haven’t gotten beyond half of the set-up row. Granted, it’s like 350 sts or something, but man. Six-stitch repeat. Of a pattern I’ve knit two shawls in. And I keep tinking back and fixing things and realizing forty stitches later that I shouldn’t have fixed that. It’s terrible. I don’t know what it is, either. I know it’ll get better once I’m past the set-up round, cause then I can read the pattern in the knitting, but shit, I am so close to giving up on this. Or I was, until my stubbornness kicked in and I realized I refuse to be beaten by, you know. A six-stitch repeat.

Which is just plain pathetic.

Speaking of plain, I’m thinking about ripping back the Ghostproof sweater to the salt line, add a couple rows of plain brown, and then… possibly just go on with the ribbing, and just do salt lines around the arms. Maybe the neck. Maybe just duplicate stitch fornicating moose on one shoulder. I thought the salt line placement wouldn’t bother me, cause, you know, it’s so damn smart and I was so damn proud, but honestly, I don’t think I could’ve found a less flattering place for it. So yeah, there’s that. And it was such a perfect fit, too.

***

Now, one of the reasons I haven’t been knitting a whole lot is that I’ve been baking and cooking like crazy. It’s kind of ridiculous, really, the amount of flour and butter we go through here. Especially flour. Which is in everything, from homemade pasta to brownies. And baking is just so satisfying, especially when you’re like me and getting your ass kicked by a six-stitch repeat and *trails off, grumbling*

So, here my go-to baked goodies:

Biscuits. Good, old-fashioned biscuits. Or the ones with parmesan and thyme. I loved them when I was in the US, and when I wanted to do biscuits and gravy here in Germany, I dug up this recipe site, and let me tell you: you won’t need any gravy with this amount of delicious.

Focaccia. Italian flatbread with herbs and garlic. It takes its time, being a yeast dough and everything, but pounding the dough is just about the most satisfying thing ever, plus your hands are butter-soft and smell like herbs and olive oil afterward. Alternatively, leave out the herbs & garlic and replace with ‘a goodly amount’ of sugar and cinnamon, and make 12 delicious cinnamon balls with it.

Caramel Apple Sticky Buns. Speaking of cinnamon. Oh, my.

Quintuple Chocolate Brownies. I know I’ve linked the recipe before, but man, these would probably be on my short list for a last meal. Along with the Sticky Buns and a steak with green beans.

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Like she’s born in black and white

March 5, 2010 § 11 Comments

I just realized I haven’t blogged in a while… but honestly, I was sure there hasn’t been a whole lot to blog about. I bake more than I knit, I spend a surprising amount of time outside enjoying the crisp, dramatic weather, and I read more gossip than anything else. But somehow, stuff has accumulated, I guess. So, here goes.

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I finished the body of my sweater last weekend – I still haven’t picked up stitches for the first arm, mostly because I’m suffering from an acute case of Startitis and Spring Fever. But, on the positive side, I finally figured out what kind of color pattern I wanted to put on the sweater – I’d debated whether to put the Fornicating Deer on the shoulder, but in the end, I decided on something far more awesome, and subtly geeky.

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A ‘salt line’ just over the ribbing. To keep out the ghosts, Winchester-style. Thirteen repeats of the word SALT around my torso, and I’ll put some around the arms, too. (It turned out to be 13 by accident. Sometimes it’s great to be a fatty. Another lucky accident was that I started charting at random, got a 16-st repeat, and apart from one single stitch, it worked out perfectly.)

The placement isn’t the most flattering, cause it’s right where my jeans pinch in, but I’m too excited by the concept to care. Plus it’s kind of negative space, so you don’t immediately see the geekery, but it’s still there.

My I’ll-just-fudge-it Shetland Triangle (shamelessly ripping off Evelyn A. Clark’s version, proof that my ingenuity and wit is worth at least $9) is also done, and already blocked while I visited two museums with Saskia the other day. Good times.

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I had to rip back one repeat at some point, because I realized I was running out of yarn, fast. Even with one repeat less, the amount I have left over is scary small.

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Apart from that, I knit myself a new washcloth today out of boredom, and when it was finished after watching ‘She’s the man’ (one of my favorite feel-good movies, even if it’s kinda girly), conveniently took a bath. I should stop knitting new washclothes whenever I need to change them. It’s not like I don’t have a bazillion in my closet and hamper already. But it’s cute. And apple-y.

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I also started a hat in some lovely fingering weight grass-green alpaca, but it turned out I cast on about 30 stitches too much. So it got ripped back before I could even think to get a picture. The plan is to make a slouchy beret with the fir cone stitch pattern, and maybe some clever in-pattern crown decreases if I can figure them out.

So, anyway. The new Grey’s Anatomy ep just finished downloading, and after I’m done watching that, I think I’ll go outside and take a walk.

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Back in Black

November 19, 2009 § 2 Comments

So, this knitting blog has definitely deteriorated into a moping-slash-cooking-slash-everything-but-knitting blog. Which made it sound like I didn’t get any knitting done recently, which is simply untrue.

Granted, I didn’t work my fingers bloody or anything, but I did some pretty awesome stuff.

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These are Supernatural-themed washclothes, even though the colors are less than Winchester-y. Dean and Sam call each other Bitch and Jerk, which are the big ones, and I managed to squeeze another small cloth out of the purple leftovers. It says God. Because I have this theory that John Winchester? Is totally god. (Or Bobby. Who knows.)

The Bitch cloth was the first one, and took forever. I charted the letters about seven times, and ripped the cloth back to the garter ridges five or six times, because I could not for the life of me figure out how much space I was gonna have to put before and after to center the word. Sigh. But, it turned out fine, and I’m very much enchanted by the Jerk cloth.

Christian wants some. Easy Christmas present, I’d say :D Maybe in more manly colors. (Although, Dean’s eyes are green, and both of them get beaten up constantly, possibly resulting in purple bruises.)

And then! The thing I’m really proud of. Well, I’m also proud of the cloths, and I’ll chart them out in Excel and put them online…

Opus Spicatum!

I haven’t done fair isle in forever, and there’s gonna be some stranded work in the sweater I’m planning, and I wanted to see if I could still do it… turns out, I can.

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The biggest problem with this one? Was the ribbing, honest to god. I started out on 4mm, which was a mm down from the recommended needle size, and when I realized it was a bit too stretchy, switched down to 3.5mm after the first row. Thing was… 3.5 was what got me on gauge, and the ribbing was kinda wonky. So I decided to redo it. But I’d already done like four or five rows of stranded work, so I decided to cut into the ribbing, unravel it from the middle, and knit on the other side.

What a nightmare. I did it… but it took forever. And then the cast-off was even worse… I think I ripped that one back at least eight times. Sigh. But it turned out okay, and while the k1, *k1, slip back to left needle, k2tog, rep from * looks a bit crappy and wavy with the 1×1, it actually looks pretty okay when the ribbing is stretched out.

So, yeah. Colorwork. Tremendous fun. Last night was actually the first night in a while that I knit for the sheer pleasure of it, with just a little music in the background, instead of knitting out of habit and because I can’t sit still while watching a movie and talking with my friends.

Good times.

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And I’ve rocked them all

November 16, 2009 § 8 Comments

Kay. I might not have managed to clean up my room. BUT!

I finally photographed the TARDIS potholder. And I did it in a way that makes it seem like it’s not as wavy as it actually is.

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I cleaned up and reorganized the spice cupboard. We have a lot of spices. It’s kind of insane, considering we’re students.

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I learned some vocab and managed to reduce the words I didn’t know from around 200 to around 100. And then I labeled all my clothes and accessories because I can finally name them. Article AND material.

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I cleaned the kitchen. Wait, cleaned? I basically spit-shined it. I also made some pasta with a pretty good pumpkin-tomato sauce.

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And I finished a washcloth. I started that one yesterday, my great plan, yadda yadda yadda, and I kept ripping it back. It was weird, cause it wasn’t supposed to be that HARD – I mean, come on, a washcloth shouldn’t make me want to tear out my hair. But I did it.

I’m now proud owner of a washcloth proclaiming, in big block letters, BITCH.

The matching JERK cloth is for tomorrow.

And that’s the only thing I don’t have a picture of. Yet.

 

And the most exciting thing about today: DOCTOR WHO: WATERS OF MARS IS OUT.

I am what I am

August 18, 2009 § 3 Comments

Get your geek on!

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Was definitely the motto of the last 24 hours. In which I produced two EXFOLIATE Dalek washclothes, and a little K-9 plushie for Saskia. I also played around with the Tardis dishcloth pattern, effectively knitting about two washclothes, but ripping them up periodically. I had one pretty much finished, apart from the top ribbing… and then I realized I’d done 1×1 instead of moss stitch down the sides, and it looked ridiculous, and I frogged it. And started three times more, and eventually abandoned the whole plan.

However, I feel pretty accomplished. The Dalek clothes were a blast to make, since they only took about an hour each? Which is quite simply brilliant for any kind of knitted item. K-9 took way longer – not necessarily knitting it, but the whole making up business. Seriously. I crocheted the parts together, since I know it’s sturdy, plus my darning needle is halfway across the country at my parents’.

EXFOLIATE Dalek washclothes, made from Schachenmayr Catania in ‘limette’ (for me) and ‘mandarine’ (for Saskia), 3.5mm needles. The name alone amuses me to no end. Seriously.

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K-9, made from scraps of Lana grossa Meilenweit in grey (leftovers from Time Warp Socks, which makes that nondescript grey ball the geekiest yarn I own!), and a tiny bit of some red merino of presumably Lana Grossa origin. 3.5mm needles, 3.5mm crochet hook.

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Saskia being fascinated by her new plushie:

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Ah, geekery. I kinda don’t wanna leave again, but tomorrow is volcano day, so to speak.

Speaking of Cpt Jack. I downloaded two of John Barrowman’s albums, Music, Music, Music and Another Side. They’re mostly covers of pop and musical songs, and I do like pop and musical, especially musicals, and I did know John Barrowman has been in what feels like every West End musical of the past two decades… and yet, I was still a bit skeptical, to say the least. The image of Captain Jack lingers, even after both reading and listening to his autobiography, and that image is not really compatible with… music. Of any sort.

But, like with the bio, I was positively surprised. Very much so, indeed. My favorites include ‘You’re so vain’, ‘Uptown Girl’, ‘Angel’ and ‘I am what I am’.  Especially ‘I am what I am’, which is not only from ‘La Cage aux Folles’, one of the gayest musicals ever, but is also this time sung by a gay man who’s had a pretty good career despite, or even because of never denying who he is. And that gives a girl like me hope, that in this world, not all is lost.

Same message in the autobiography, Anything goes. I ordered it the other day, and went through it close to the speed of light… great book.

It doesn’t exactly follow a timeline, which makes it hard to find specific events… but then, it has the effect that the Barrowman hopes for in the preface:

To be honest, here’s what I hope – that by arranging the book in this way, you’ll feel as if you and I are lounging in our pyjamas on the couch in my Cardiff living room, sharing a bottle of champagne or a pot of tea, with music on in the background, having a blether and a laugh about my life so far.

And he certainly succeeds with that. It’s got an intimate feel to it, possibly for the slightly rambling style that goes from here to there and gets sidetracked and digresses within the digression… and it has tons of footnotes. I love footnotes. Of any kind, but especially when they come in flocks like in this book, and give so much character to the writing. I mean, I sort of talk in footnotes sometimes. Anyone who includes a lot of them is automatically my friend. (I also like Terry Pratchett a lot for that exact reason, and a couple more.)

And it’s funny. Genuinely, laugh-out-loud funny. I giggled through whole pages, and sometimes couldn’t read them to my roomie because my fit of laughter would bubble back up and interrupt my reading. Stories of crazy actors, his family, his superstitions (on a scale from one to five, with five being obsessive compulsive, he claims to be an eight), Scott, his travels as a kid and now, practical jokes, Torchwood and Doctor Who sets… pretty much everything.

There’s three photo signatures, with photos from pretty much the last 35 years. Lots of private photos, photos from musical productions, and behind-the-scenes… the Torchwood people plus David Tennant, piled together on the couch for watching the first Torchwood broadcast, is probably my favorite picture of them all, even before the wedding picture of John, Scott and the dogs.

Under the title ‘Some things never change’, there’s also a page of John Barrowman mooning, spanning between the ages of approximately 9 and 40. *shakes head*

I knew a lot of stuff before I read this book, but this is, I think, mostly due to my having the audiobook, which is an abridged version, but awesome in its own right. Mostly because John Barrowman has a voice I could listen to for hours, and he’s a really lively narrator who really gets into the story and pulls you right in with him. Though it doesn’t necessarily take his reading to entrance you – he and his sister have done a wonderful job with this book. And the love for his work, his family, everything he does, really shines through, and when I was done reading, my smile lingered on for hours.

It’s a good book. Don’t let the terribly cheesy cover photograph scare you away.

The only thing that I might want to mention on the negative side is what tons of other people have already said before me: there are some parts where there’s a lot, and I mean a LOT of name-dropping. Like the time he got invited to Valentino’s yacht. But then, those stories are still wicked funny, so that’s excusable.

Holy crap, I’ve just cracked a wordcount of 1000 for this post. Well. Considering the fact that the other day, I had a bit of inspiration for a fanfic, and that barely made it to 500… that is pretty impressive. Ah, rambling.

I’d better go and assemble my cut-out TARDIS, to make the geeky day complete.

Aye for nubs

February 28, 2008 § Leave a comment

I’m actually really satisfied with the nubby washcloth. I did screw up the weaving in on the CO corner – I wanted to make a loop, but it looked ridiculous and by the time I realized that, there was no way I could undo my meticulous weaving in :D But, oh well, it’s a washcloth for god’s sake.

I was kind of worried how much it stretched in the water – the nubby mesh part in the middle (YO, SKP, next row k) is really elastic to the point where I thought I’d ruined it. But now that it’s dried, it’s pretty much just… blocked. It looks good, I’ll post pictures as soon as I have batteries for my camera charged. And what’s even more important is that I think it works. It feels nice and … scrubby, I guess, even if you have to ball it up. My skin certainly feels smoother now, but that might be an illusion. But I did like showering with it, and I might knit another one. Maybe on even smaller needles for more support.

The only problem with it is that it’s too structured for the face. I tried it, and it was just too harsh, so I guess I’ll just have to… knit another washcloth :D it’s not like I have a million queued at ravelry :D My hand still hurts, but knitting is actually possible (even though my mother says it might be from too much knitting, sigh) and I started my Itty bitta batty Watty Bat washcloth in purple today. It is the silliest name I could come up with, I like Sammy’s ‘Batcloth’ (the name, that is) much better but that would be just copying, right?

The neverending washcloth

February 28, 2008 § Leave a comment

Damn. Damn, damn, damn.

I’m almost done with my nubby orange washcloth that I’ve been working on for three days. On a washcloth! Granted, I didn’t really have time, but also my wrist is acting up again. Nothing for a week, and now I have to brush my teeth with my right hand. Not even talking of knitting here. Jesus, I was so, so close. I finished the nubby mesh part yesterday in the theater (in the break), and now it’s only 19 very short rows. Which I can’t do, I don’t think. I had a salve bandage all night and it doesn’t feel like it helped at all. I really need to get to go get it looked at, I suppose. But I don’t want them to keep me from knitting, either. :/

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