Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

There's a real post about Christmas in the offing (e.g., I need to download the photos), but in the meantime, the Fool and Jamie and I wish everyone a happy 2010 filled with all the stuff they love,
and none of the annoyances.
Tonight, we are staying in. I've already made potstickers from scratch from my new Asian cookbook (Asian Dumplings, by Andrea Nyugen. Great!), broiled teriyaki chicken wings, sauteed some bok choy and made almond biscotti for a present for Edward and Rachel (who better be too busy having fun in London to be sitting around reading blogs tonight.)
Jamie got to help clean the house, and he ate potstickers and took bites from my chicken wing, and despite the fact we seem to have a mouse living in the car trunk that scared him when he saw it earlier today, he had a good end of 2009.
(The mouse thing was pretty funny, at least from my point of view. Jamie got startled when the wee brown critter dashed into view and burst into tears, with a quivery lower lip and everything, and kept pointing and howling and signing "mouse" [he knows some sign language] while I held him and told him it was OK, little mousies were nothing to worry about.)
A little later, after Jamie goes to bed, the Fool and I are going to sit up and work on a Christmas present we need to finish by tomorrow. It's going to the same home as the biscotti, and it rhymes with "knee posy."
Happy 2010, everyone!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Pretty far gone

The Fool decided yesterday to knit his brother a pair of socks. (Story to follow; it's pretty good.)
For Christmas.
Which is really, really soon.
(We have cast on both, we are both knitting, and we are pretending that gauge is the same between knitters. Don't tell us otherwise.)
The Fool is getting a new year's present from me. He says assisting him in the crazy knitting of his brother's socks is enough of a present for now.

Friday, December 18, 2009

The darkness is making me delusional

Even though I haven't finished any of the Christmas crafting projects I already started, I just added two more to the docket.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

quick update

... Am busy taking advantage of naptime to work on some Secret Christmas Projects around here. It's not bad, except that with Jamie asleep, the cats start vying for affection, so in order to properly work on the SCP, I have to first evict and move cats. It's mostly Spoot and Mab who get in the way. Romeo and Angus like to nap near Jamie.
This is the vile black walnut bath I cooked up several weeks ago, but totally failed to post about.
Basically, I peeled the hulls from a bunch of black walnuts, nearly a 5-gallon bucket full. I covered them with hot water and soaked them for a couple days (admittedly, because I got busy and sort of forgot what was going on.)
When the Fool started asking why the kitchen smelled like compost, even though he had emptied the pail and the garbage and cleaned the fridge and looked for scary things in the sink trap .... I moved on to the next step.
I poured the black walnut mess into an old enameled kettle and boiled it for a while.

Then I strained it back into the bucket and added three skeins of KnitPicks Wool of the Andes and two skeins of their undyed tweedy sock yarn with little colored flecks.

Here's how it came out - a nice dark brown.

Monday, December 07, 2009

The Fool in crisis

Last night, as we tried to work on our Christmas knitting (I say 'tried,' because I frogged a sock for the third time, and I was past the gusset, too, and the Fool was busy tangling a ball of yarn over and over as he tried to wind it), he said, "I have too much knitting to do; I don't think I'll make it."
This is funny. Usually, because the Fool does no Christmas knitting at all, or such small amounts, it's downright comical, what he considers a knitting time crisis. He says stuff like, "Oh god, I don't think I'll have time to finish this felted mouse by Christmas."
Meanwhile, I'm trying to knit him a sweater or something goofy like that.
But this year, he actually has Christmas Knitting to do. And now, while Jamie is blissfully occupied throwing things down the basement stairs, or dropping silverware down the heating vent, or any number of vaguely destructive toddler activities, I'm going to see if I can get that stupid sock to go anywhere at all, other than to the frog pond ... again.

Sunday, December 06, 2009


I've been having an owl period, much like Picasso had a blue period, but not resulting in the generation of actual art. My mother collected owls, but she was selective in her collection, only acquiring ones she thought were particularly beautiful or interesting. These are a couple of my favorite ones.

Owls have been popping up otherwise, too. We dressed Jamie as an owl for Halloween, but he wouldn't stand still long enough for a good picture. (Martha Stewart pattern, hat hand-knitted by the Fool out of Cascade 220.)

And I knit him an owl hat (Hoot Hat, one of the Spud and Chloe patterns), and for a first try at this pattern, I think it came out OK. I think the body of the next hat needs to be longer and the beak needs to be bigger. I'll have to find another little kid who needs an owl hat this winter. Again, an uncooperative model. I sense a trend here.

(body of hat in brown Sheep Shop Yarn Co. bulky weight, bought from WEBS at Stitches Midwest, top in doubled Cascade 220, features in odds and bobs of worsted weight.)
I had a dream this morning, between waking up, falling asleep, and waking up again when Angus and Jamie came tromping in to visit me (The Fool was out in the living room, only barely supervising the livestock and working on his own knitting). It wasn't a very profound dream; it was about eating breakfast. But I was really disappointed to wake up and learn that I was not eating a freshly made fruit-filled crepe with Nutella and coffee for breakfast, but instead, peanut butter toast and tea.
I could taste the strawberries, I swear to you.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Clink, clink

is the sound of the Fool knitting on dpns.
"Oh, wait," he said. "These aren't circulars. I can't just drop the one I'm finished with."