Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Great Purge!

Disclaimer: there is no Stalin in this post, and it's only WIPs being purged, not members of the Soviet Communist party. To the best of my knowledge anyway...

Still beavering away busily on the Luna Moth shawl (over halfway there now, yarn wise anyway, and it doesn't matter how many repeats the pattern says if I don't have the yarn to do them, so yarn wise works for me!), though I'm still feeling a bit 'meh' about all the other things I start. My short-at-the-best-of-times attention span is really playing up lately.

Anyway, I'm hoping the problem will be alleviated soon when my tasty yarn arrives. I ordered some shiny lovelies from The Yarn and Fibre Company (because of the exchange rate at the moment, it actually works out cheaper to buy a lot of brands online from US vendors, even taking shipping into consideration), and they should be here soonish... *salivates in anticipation*

So, I figured that since there's shortly going to be an influx of shiny new yarn, I should try and purge the WIPs a little to try and clear some mental space for the new projects I have in mind. There are too many things on my Ravelry projects that are 95% finished (i.e. just needs seams, zips, etc), too many things hibernating that deep down I know I'm never going to resume, and too many things that aren't even recorded on there that are lurking in my room, waiting for my whims to turn in their favour. Too many things, period. So a decision was reached - I'm going to try and either finish or banish/frog as many of them as possible before my nice new yarn gets here. This is possible an unwise resolution to make, given that I'm working buckets over the next while, and have an assignment to write for Monday week, but oh well. Sometimes it feels like I get more knitting done when my plate is full of other things anyway. So we'll see how we go...

And boo, I'm sick again. Stupid cough. I had to miss the newly running Coburg area Stitch & Bitch on Thursday, and was thoroughly unimpressed by this, since it was heaps of fun last time. Oh well, next time I guess...

Anyway, off to purge, and possible make a completely counter-productive yarn shop raid. Hey, leave me alone - it's my last day off for two weeks, so I can do what I want dammit!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The post with stuff

Okay, I'm still alive. Sort of fell off the horse with the regular updates thing, but oh well. I haven't been knitting that much the last week anyway, so nobody missed much. The Luna Moth shawl is growing gradually, but until today that was about it. But stuff has been going on:

Finished my Shalom cardigan! By the end, I decided that I did like the colours, which was good. On the down side, I wasn't totally happy with how the thing came out. Here it is anyway (i.e. here's me, looking overexposed and more than a little perplexed about it):

You can't totally see my problem in this shot, but basically the armholes are too big - they kind of flap around a bit. I think I should have cast on fewer stitches after binding off the arm-holes, or perhaps even none at all. Oh well, what can you do? I still like it, and the problem isn't particularly glaring, so I'm sure I'll wear it now and then anyway... This was a fun pattern anyway - I'm still getting used to it, as the whole single-button-up-top style isn't one I've really worn before, but I'll get there. Also, I do like the way that the colours look against black... Not sure how well they'd go with other things, but thankfully, I have a lot of black ;)

Anyway, after this one was done I sort of fell off the knitting horse for a bit. I moved recently, so right now all my yarn is sitting around in bags and boxes and while I want to knit with it, I can never find the particular ball that I want at any given time, or I can't find the needles to go with it, etc, etc, whinge whinge.

But then I had to stay home from uni sick this morning (had a aching head and a furry throat, so buggered if I was braving the rain), and had an idea that I just had to follow through with.

I'll start at the beginning. A few days ago, I raided Bunnings Warehouse and came back with two new pretties... One of them was a cactus. Anyway, I was pleased with this little fellow, but I wanted to keep him in my bedroom and the pot he was in was an ugly plastic job that I didn't much care to look at. So, ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Cactus Cozy:

Much better! Just a bit of made up fair-isle and corrugated rib - nothing fancy, but I'm happy with it. It's oddly satisfying to make something so quickly, even if it's just something small and silly with clumsy stranding and even clumsier weaving in (hey, the cactus isn't discerning!). I might need to make more of these... I have a bit of a tragic cactus habit, and this just gives me the excuse to buy more of them...

Oh, and I mentioned above that I bought two shiny nice things from Bunnings - well, the cactus is all well and good, but it's the other one that I'm totally enamoured with and can't stop showing to unsuspecting people. Behold:

Venus flytrap! I couldn't resist. I just couldn't! It's only a wee one, but I'm hoping it might get a little bigger as the weather warms up. I felt bad for him, all alone in Bunnings. His label said that he was supposed to be kept in a warm, sunny and moist environment, and there he was, shivering (figuratively speaking, of course) in the shady part of the store, subject to a typically cold and dry Melbourne winter. Poor baby! So I had to take him home, you understand? Now I just need to think of a name for him...

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Anna's blog - now with 50% more ice-cream!

Oh no, regular updates! What shall we do? Quick, let's hide over there!

Well, I'm persevering with the Shalom cardigan - as it progresses, I think that I'm gradually shifting to the 'I like it' camp as far as the weird-arse colours are concerned. Though now that's resolved, I bet the bloody thing turns out the wrong size just to spite me (and also perhaps because I am a foul and degenerate creature who didn't swatch... that might also have something to do with it). I guess we'll see. Here is the knitwear in question, at any rate:

Something amusing - during the first few hours I spent working on this one, a certain thought kept nagging at me. As weird as the burnt orange/tealy green combination was, I couldn't shake the feeling that it was somehow familiar. It took me an embarrassingly long time to figure it out. Then I looked up at the painting hanging on my Dad's wall - the painting that I'd been sitting next to while I knitted:

Hmmm, perhaps that explains it...

And because there is not enough ice-cream in this blog (and also because I am a lazy bum who keeps toying with the idea of keeping a separate food/recipe blog but is too lazy to actually follow through and start one), here is the recipe for the Best Icecream Ever. Well, perhaps not the best ever, but it's pretty bloody good, I must say. And it's ridiculously easy, because you don't actually make the ice-cream part. Don't look at me that way - I can make ice-cream from creamy/eggy/sugary scratch, and sometimes do, but this recipe originated in my exam period, where I don't really have the time, let alone the concentration span, for standing at a stove dutifully stirring custard...

The three magic ingredients:
  • 2 litres of vanilla ice-cream (I used HomeBrand, for I am a tight-arse)

  • Dark chocolate (once again, I used dippy supermarket brand stuff, because that was what I had in the house at the time) - I think I used about 100-150g - I wasn't paying attention.

  • Peanut brittle (once again, bought stuff) - about 100g-ish, I think.
Leave the icecream out to soften for a bit - just enough so it'll be easy to mix stuff through it. Chop the peanut brittle as finely as you have the patience for - it works best when you've got pieces of differing size though. Chop the chocolate too - I like to almost shave it, so that you don't get too many big chunks (but once again, differing size is good).

Then mix it all together, and refreeze the icecream. Doesn't sound like much, but this is most transendently good ice-cream ever. The smaller shards of brittle sort of melt into the icecream, and the bigger, more peanuttybits stay crunchy. The fact that you don't need to work hard for it just makes it taste even better.

Yum. That is all.

Monday, August 4, 2008

There is no title, for I am lazy

It's weird - I wanted to knit more stuff, but because I'm so happy with the last couple of things that I knitted, I was worried that the new stuff might just be a let-down. This was irrational on several levels, so I started new stuff anyway...

Work in progress No 1 (yes, I am so incapable of project monogamy that I don't even bother trying any more) is a Luna Moth shawl in my Naturally Merino et Soie - the same yarn I used for my Branching Out scarf (I like the way that it looks in lace). My photographic evidence of this valiant endeavour:

I like how this is coming along - it's quite thick and chunky by lace standards, but I was kind of going for this. There's a time and a place for delicate lace (I do want to get in on some of that 2ply action at some stage), but right now I feel like something a little more substantial. I do need to concentrate on it pretty hard at this early stage, but that's not a bad thing...

Work in progress No 2 is a Shalom Cardigan in Patons Shadow Tweed. I don't have any photos of this one because I don't know how long it's going to last - I keep having mood swings about it. I'll pick it up and not like how it's coming because of the lack of stitch definition, but then I'll have a change of heart and decide to persevere (even if it's only because I have no other ideas for what to do with the yarn). So I guess we'll see...

Anyway, aside from that I've been cooking a lot and attempting to do my law reading... I made the Most Awesome Ice-Cream Ever too - might blog about it later if I can be bothered.

Closing thought - I need to knit a venus fly trap. Just because.