Making Progress

Sorry, no pictures today, just a quick note instead.

I finished one front panel for Cabled Coat this past weekend.

I also finished one front side of Rib Knitted Shrug. Riding in the car. On the way to a family dinner. Sitting on the side of I-90 because the Toyota Prius ran out of gas. Just short of the exit ramp. Why? Oh, because my husband was certain we had 10 more miles left on the residual fuel in the tank after the low fuel warning alarm sounded. Actually, he says there is about 50 miles available for a Prius when the alarm chimes, but he forgot that there were four of us in the car (we gave my mother a ride) so that we went through the residual faster and the alarm had sounded about 20 miles earlier. Normally, I’m the secondary alarm and this was the one time when I didn’t say, “Um, honey, do you think we should stop for gas?” Luckily we didn’t sit there long before my sister-in-law came to the rescue with gas, and since our son was taking a much needed nap in the back, I was able to finish that part of the shrug.

After two weeks spent carefully frogging Grand Duchess (a.k.a., Orenburg Shawl), I’ve resumed knitting.

“Bloggers are just friends we haven’t met.” – Luke Burbank, Too Beautiful To Live


Turkish Delights

My mother came back from her 8-week trip to Turkey and brought with her all sorts of fun stuff.

Having recently, um, misplaced one of the earrings she bought on her previous trip to Turkey, I asked if she could find me another pair, and although she didn’t find the same ones, she did find a pair of nicely crafted gold hoops.

You’d think that living in the land that gave birth to Starbucks, I’d have at least one Starbucks mug in my cabinet (not counting the Seoul and Korea insulated cups we have), but up till now I didn’t, so my mother gave me a Starbucks Bursa mug.

Then there’s the really nice cookbook, Contemporary Turkish Cuisine:

This is a wonderful book with tons of high-quality photos and tempting recipes, all of them in English and Turkish.

I’ve come to the conclusion that among the best gifts to bring back from another country is food. I love to savor tastes from other places.

From Haci Bekir the absolute best, the softest, the freshest walnut lokum I’ve ever had:

She also gave me the best baklava I’ve ever had; not too sweet, not goopy, but with lots of pistachios from Baklavaci Bayramoglu

Lastly, a pretty pendant from one of her good friends in Istanbul:

Rib Knitted Shrug Revisited

I know, it’s been a long time since you’ve heard about Rib Knitted Shell, hasn’t it? Now that I’ve finished my on-the-go project, Okay-Shokay Scarf, I needed another one, and it just seemed to make sense to dig up the unfinished shrug from the bottom of the knitting bag and see what I could to do with it.

I’d messed-up on what I’d done so far on the right front, so I ended-up frogging down to the sleeve. I corrected my silly mistake, and set about knitting, and – whoa – What’s that? Yeesh, that looks bad (hint: there are not yarnovers in this pattern):

I guess this yarn doesn’t take kindly to frogging and re-knitting, but hopefully the stitches will straighten-out once it’s washed. Scary, though.

During the better part of the past week, the time normally dedicated to knitting Grand Duchess has been spent frogging Grand Duchess, because somewhere I went wrong on the yarnovers and it set the whole pattern on a snowball of errors, so I frogged 25 rows. It was painful to do. There was hair-pulling involved, both mine and the mohair. Here’s a picture before I frogged it:

I don’t have an after picture, but I took out about half of the above work.

With so many mistakes happening, either I am too distracted to knit, or I need more cappuccino.

Thank goodness for my new automatic espresso machine: the chance of operator error is minimal (some of you may recall the morning I poured milk into the water tank of my old manual machine).

And in keeping with things to drink, I got this great mug for my husband for Father’s Day:

(The picture isn’t mine, but is from the merchant I bought the mug from, Charles & Marie.)

It was just the right thing for him because he loves to have a cookie or two with his milk or coffee. Oh, and I got one for me too, since I knew he wouldn’t want to drink alone, only mine is left-handed.

Update: the way the mug works, is that the cookies stay in the pocket when as you drink from it, so in the instance of the above photo, that would be a right-handed mug and the cookies will stay in the mug ready for snacking as needed. I have to credit for Mariko at Super Eggplant for bringing this great find to light, so if you must blame someone for your being tempted to buy one of these mugs, I’ll share the credit with her. 😉

Cashmere in June?

I hear a lot of people around here gripe about our spring weather this year, but it seems to me that it’s not that unusual. Not for the Pacific Northwest, a place synonymous with rain. I don’t know, but I think what’s really going on is that we have been spoiled by more recent years where temps have stayed well into the 70s and it was sunny in the spring, as opposed to 50s and rainy. I like the sun as much as anyone, but the weather seems pretty close to what I’ve experienced for as long as I can remember. It is cold, yes, it’s true, so don’t be so quick to put your cashmere sweaters away, and turn that furnace back on, it is only June-uary, after all.

And if it isn’t cold enough outside, I’ve found a place to put my wool sweaters to good use inside: I’ve been hitting the ice, literally. I’ve started donning my ice skates and returned to some form of figure skating. I say “some form”, because it’s been about 14 years since I stopped skating regularly, so what I used to do effortlessly is something akin to kamikaze flying now. It’s just insane, I tell you. With a rink so close by, my skates were calling to me from the skate bag in the back of the closet. If anything, it’s good to give myself a scare as I fly around the rink avoiding innocent bystanders.

Speaking of sweaters, Cabled Coat is slowly coming along, and I would love to wear it right now, but it’s just not happening. Yet. I wish I could explain what it is that makes it so hard for me to get this sweater done, but it’s hard to pin down, and when I work on it, it’s 9:30 at night and I’m too tired, to frazzled to carefully document what I think could be done to make the pattern work better for me. There’s just a lot of frogging going on, and this is not my first cabled sweater

Upcoming topic: Rib-Knitted Shrug returns.