Friday, June 23, 2006

Almost done with yoga mat bag & Mr. Stegs

The yoga mat bag is almost done.
I just need to figure out how to close it, and knit an I-cord.
Most of this progress was made in 2 nights while watching the first 9 episodes of Lost Season 2.

I ran out of yarn for Mr. Stegs while knitting his third leg.
I found a site that sells Rowan yarn with a 20% off sale, and it should arrive very soon, hopefully tomorrow.

Pommard Les Rugiens Domaine de Montille 1998

I enjoyed a quiet wine and cheese dinner last weekend all by myself.
I chose this only because it was the only Burgundy bottle in our house.
(Hubby likes Bordeaux wines.)
I don't remember much in detail about this wine except that it was very good, since I was watching Pride & Prejudice while drinking.
Oh well.

So much for my first wine post.
I had lots to nibble with this great wine: prosciutto, olives, a big slice of Brie, artichokes, and cranberry/hazelnut bread.
Keira Knightley was beautiful, as was the cinematography, and Donald
Sutherland was good, but I thought they need to try harder in finding better looking guys to play Darcy and Bingley.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

In the news

It seems there was an article about the Knitting World Cup in the Houston Chronicle!
Although I am not named in it or anything, I feel like I was, since it does mention Japanese bloggers. :)

While browing knit blogs, I stumbled upon this, and when I showed it to my little man, of course his eyes lit up, and so I have started on Mr. Stegs with the pattern from Xtreme Knitting.
The green yarn called for in the pattern is exactly the same yarn from the watermelon hat, so I didn't even bother to make a swatch, and I am almost done with the body.
The knitting looks easy, but I think I will hate sewing everything together...

MIL was very pleased with the dishcloth.
I hope she uses it, because she kept saying it was mottainai.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Dishcloth in light blue and gray

I finished another dishcloth today.

This one is for my MIL, since DS requested I make one for her.

It matches her kitchen which is in a smoky blue.

I think those of you addicted to knitting these things will probably notice that something is missing.

I changed colors from blue to gray a row too early the first time.

I realized what I had done wrong when I changed colors the second time, but I am not a Type A knitter, and decided not to rip it and repeated my mistakes all the way through.

They still look OK, don't they?

Here it is wrapped up all nice and pretty!

The blue yarn is a cotton/linen blend, and the light gray is cotton 100%.

I used Clover Takumi bamboo size 6 needles.

Friday, June 16, 2006

The finished watermelon hat

Today's Show & Tell: This is my watermelon hat.
My mommy made it for me.

DS finally brought it home today after what seemed to be a very short Show & Tell, so here it is!
It's a little hard to tell from this picture, but I did 3 seeds in white, and rest are black.

My Umeshu is coming along just fine.
Here is what they look like after exactly one week.
All of the sugar has dissolved, but the one with honey still looks kind of murky.
At first, I thought the containers were too large, but boy, was I wrong.
So much of the juices have come out of the plums and there is now much more liquid than I started with.
The umeshu takes 3 months before it is drinkable, and aging it for a year or two makes it better.

The syrup only takes a month.
So vinzoo, you gotta wait until mid-September!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Watermelon hat is done!

I finished fixing the watermelon hat in 2 nights!
The hat was severed into 2 parts: the red top and the green & white rind part.
I then added 12 rows in red to the rind.
Then I stitched them together.
More seeds were strategically placed to hide mistakes and in a somewhat useless effort to draw attention away from the adjoining “line.”
My DS took it to school for Show and Tell today.
But he left it at school, since they didn't have time for Show and Tell.
So the pictures must wait.

Meanwhile, the ballband dishcloth for MIL is coming along just fine on my commute needles.

Monday, June 12, 2006

U-me-shu - Japanese plum liquor

This year I decided to try something new: making umeshu.
DH was one of the fast and fortunate ones to get 2kgs of special plums from
Turns out they sold out in 10 minutes!
I washed them carefully, wiped them dry very carefully, then plucked off the brown tops, and let them dry for a day.

Then they were washed with gin, which supposedly takes out the tannic flavors.

Then, I put them into these containers.
The one on the left is rum & rock sugar.
The second one is brandy & honey.
Third one is brandy & rock sugar.

The right one is just plums & fruit sugar to make ume syrup, for my Little Man.
The plums for the syrup were plucked with a toothpick 20 times each.

This is what they look like today, 3 days later.
The one with honey is kind of murky, and the plums aren't floating yet.
A lot of the plum juices have come out of the ones plucked with toothpicks for the syrup.

The watermelon hat is done, but not enough height.
This picture was taken before the seeds were added.
I am redoing it.
Hopefully it will be done during the Japan vs. Australia match.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

The watermelon hat & shirts from Firenze

Here is the watermelon hat halfway done.

The Rowan Handknit Cotton is very nice.

This is my first experience knitting with Rowan yarn, and I understand why they enjoy such a great reputation.

These are the shirts that DH and I ordered when we went to Florence in March.

They have FINALLY arrived.

DH thinks they were done weeks ago but the guy probably forgot to send them.

How Italian.

The extra buttons and the plastic thingies to put inside the collars (what are they called, anyway?) came in a cute little envelope.

The left wrist is slightly larger than the right,

to allow room for "big Italian watches."

Not that I own any of those huge, chunky, expensive watches, but I thought that was a nice touch.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

The Knitting World Cup begins!

Making progress with my commute needles. This is the third bib, this time in purple and a variation on the Mason-Dixon version. I made a couple of mistakes, but think this basket-weave-like design is turning out pretty good.

Yesterday was my kid's year-end show. He did a very good job of shouting "Can We Fix It? Yes, We Can!". After lunch with DH & MIL, we headed to Rowan and picked out yarn for his
watermelon hat. They didn't have the same colors as the yarn harlot's, but he gave his approval for some Handknit Cotton DKs. I am knitting this hat for the Knitting World Cup!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Knitting club goes on a field trip

My knitting girlfriends and I visited the Rowan store
for a "field trip" at their knit cafe. It's not a big store, but lots of light from the big windows and yummy yarns and cute FOs on display in the window. I finished up my green garter stitch baby bib, and sewed up the sides of the baby sweater at the knit cafe. Only the sleeves left to sew up!

I am really liking the short needles that I'm using to knit the bibs. Perfect length to knit on the subway! I have named them my commute needles.

Meanwhile, I have cast on the yellow bib in seed stitch on Friday and finished it on Tuesday, and cast on a purple bib today. Notice the yellow one is smaller since it was done in seed stitch although I cast on 40 stitches for both. Will post on the MDKAL after I find some cute buttons.

And at home, I cast on a white linen/cotton blend yarn for the Moss Grid Hand Towel from Mason-Dixon Knitting. And I got new circular needles for the yoga mat bag. So much easier than dpns! I don't know why I didn't buy them earlier. So working on 3 projects at the same time: bib on commute, towel and yoga mat bag at home.

I baked these Earl Grey cookies for the first time. They have Earl Grey tea leaves grounded into powder and the tea in them, as well as a tea icing on top. Oh well, I learned one thing. Taking appetizing photos of a brown cookie is very very hard.