Sucked In

December 30, 2009 - Leave a Response

Well, I have to admit that there isn’t much to blog about today because I got sucked into reading Twilight and it’s pretty addictive. I mean, it’s an easy and fast read; in one morning I was almost halfway though, but I am enjoying it. Unfortunately, while I meant it to be a break from the GRE study sessions, it seems to be taking the place of the GRE study sessions. Must work on that. I also went to my LYS for a little bit of tea and knitting with my mother, but I didn’t get that much accomplished.

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The Return Of Real Food

December 29, 2009 - Leave a Response

Ok, that’s not entirely true. It’s just that I’ve been craving some variety in my meals and my dad isn’t exactly the best at that. He’s got his 4 dinners down to a science but if I don’t have more variation in my diet then I don’t feel satisfied and I tend to overeat. So, up next on the menu is maple glazed pork loin, chicken stir-fry, cannellini beans and sausage in a fire-roasted tomato sauce, and, drum roll, homemade gnocchi with a butter sage sauce. Let me tell you, making gnocchi might actually be more time-consuming than making pasta. I wonder if you can get a pasta making machine with a gnocchi attachment. Hrmmm. Anyway, here they are in all their chubby glory.

Cute, aren’t they! I think they are more like gnocchetti (except that actual gnocchetti is pasta and not a potato dumpling, as backward as that sounds) though, because they are so small. I tried to make them the size described in my Italian cookbook, but they were not becoming indented in the tines as I was hoping, so I moved to a smaller size. There is much more dough in the fridge but it takes so long to make that I have to do it in shifts so that my back doesn’t start hurting from all the standing. I haven’t had much time for knitting lately, in fact, I only took a break from my studying to write this entry. Tomorrow I’ll knit a little at knit night.

Happy Real Birthday!

December 28, 2009 - Leave a Response

Today was my dad’s real birthday and we all played a little Trivial pursuit and then went out for Chinese food. But, the real game came later when I played against only my younger brother and my father. We were all neck in neck until I blew ahead and won the game. And the winning questions was 1) a level six question, the hardest level, 2) in the Sports and Leisure category, my worst category, and 3) a total guess. Apparently, the person who roles the dice in Craps is called “the shooter.” Personally, I think they should be called “the crapper.”

I started the Swirl Shawl and was so incredibly frustrated with it for the entire day I cannot express. On the surface it is a really easy pattern, but what was difficult was to make the thing not look like a blob of crap after I cast off, and how to join one blob of crap to another blob. I’m not the most genius at picking up stitches but I’m alright. But let me tell you, this thing looks pretty much circular unblocked and although the corners should be at the yarnovers I was still coming up with more than 10 stitches in between each yarn over which is mathematically impossible. As a perfectionist I was very upset. So, after I did 4 of them I decided that it couldn’t hurt to block them and just see if I was on the right track.

Turns out I was. Pretty snazzy isn’t it. I’m no longer as frustrated. I think the key to this shawl is to do a bit of blocking-as-I-go. I’m in no hurry really.

Happy Fake Birthday!

December 27, 2009 - Leave a Response

Today was my dad’s fake birthday and we are had a few family members over for a nibbly buffet and some game playing. My brother and sister brought a game, of which I cannot remember the name, that was a little like Settlers of Catan, and another that was called Pandemic, which was a cooperative game where people all fight against worldwide disease. The latter was really fun and we played it three times. My father also received Trivial Pursuit for Christmas which is a game he has always loved but never owned, which should be fun. For knitting, I finally finished the Swirling Gauntlets, yay! Here they are in all their purply glory.

The pattern didn’t call for that cuff, but I realized shortly before frogging the first one, because I didn’t like the placement of the thumb hole, that I would have way more yarn than I needed, so when I cast both on I did a provisional and then knit 1×1 rib for 26 rows, turned it up, and whipstiched it to a row of the regular ribbing. I really like how it turned out. Oh, and I wasn’t satisfied with the thumb holes because it seemed a little snug and a little too on-the-palm, so instead of changing the position I just made it bigger by a lot. I think I did 9 stitches instead of 5.

Dirty, Dirty London

December 26, 2009 - Leave a Response

I just saw the Sherlock Holmes movie, and I really loved it. I mean, it didn’t have quite the gravity of the BBC version, though the story itself captured some of the creepiness of the original novels. I really like Jeremy Bret as Sherlock in the BBC because he has a kind of sickly, twisted, contemplative, genius quality to him, which is oh so sexy. But, Robert Downing Jr. brought a kind of insane intellect to the part, like, if Sherlock wasn’t so useful to the London police he might be in an insane asylum. And, I don’t care much what kind of dirty business Jude Law gets up to in his personal life, but he makes a really dashing Watson. I almost want to go see it again with my mother. You know, I still haven’t seen New Moon either. I’m not exactly a Twilight fanatic, though I did just receive the first book in the series for Christmas per my request, but I do enjoy the films and I think I’ll probably get addicted to the books like candy as well. I really needed some fluffy reading to offset all the studying that I’ve been doing. Ok, I guess this post really has no knitting coverage, or even quilting or cooking, but that’s ok. I get some freebies I think. Pictures of the Swirling Gauntlets to come tomorrow!

Buon Natale!

December 25, 2009 - Leave a Response

Oh, the haul was sweet this morning. But, before I get to that, I would just like to say that I had the best breakfast known to man (in my opinion): a nice poppy seed baguette, whipped cream cheese, smoked trout, smoked salmon, and capers. I would have this every morning if I could afford it, rest assured. Anyway, back to the gifts. In yarn and yarn accessories, I received some blocking pins, a handy guide to yarn requirements, this beautiful Jojoland Melody, with which to make the Swirl Shawl:

And, to go with a ball I had already purchased, two balls of Rowan Kidsilk Haze in an amazing dark blue that is almost black:

I am so excited to start knitting with it, but I’m going to resist for at least a little while because I’ve got lots of projects already going. By the way, the services I went to last night were indescribably beautiful, even though we had to stand for hours with limited visibility because the place was packed and there were no seats vacant.

Fahoo Fores, Dahoo Dores

December 24, 2009 - Leave a Response

Happy Christmas Eve everyone! I have a pretty low-key day envisioned for myself. A little knitting on the Swirling Gauntlets (they’re almost done), a little food consumption, etc. I’m spending the day with my brother and father, so there won’t be a feast but we should have a good and modest dinner. And, here is some desert.

I can’t claim to have made these, they were done by my mother, but I did request the red-hot buttons. Not the best gingerbread flavor though; I would not recommend using the recipe in Joy. I should rephrase “a little knitting” by saying that I’ve been racing through these gauntlets. They should have been done ages ago but then I got sidetracked and now I’m really ready to finish them. Tonight I’m going with my mother to the evening services at St. James Cathedral. I’m very excited.

…And A Bottle O’ Rum

December 23, 2009 - Leave a Response

I’ve been studying quite hard in the past few days and I’ve been thinking about my favorite Christmastime alcoholic drinks. Most of all I want a Tom and Jerry. My granddad used to make them for the family and it’s basically a thick, sugary, whipped egg mixture with rum and brandy inside (though he used to make it with whisky). My mom and I are splitting the cost of the hootch. She’s going to buy her favorite brandy to have around to drink and cook with, and I’m buying the rum. This means we also get eggnog with rum, and hot-buttered rum. Yum. We’re also doing the christmas cookies today. I’ve requested gingerbread people with red-hot buttons, and my brother wants to do sugar cookie christmas trees with frosting and sprinkles. I’m so starting weight watchers after the season. Oh, knit night is also tonight, where I will get to show everyone my complete sock; not yet cast off because I want them to make sure it’s right before I bind off since there isn’t a picture for me to go by this time.

GRE-Licious

December 22, 2009 - Leave a Response

I studied all day. And when I wasn’t studying I was taking a short break with my sock. I think it will be finished soon. It’s coming along nicely. Unfortunately, I thought I could start the toe decreases at the end of one repeat exactly, but it didn’t really work and then the sock was too short and I had to take the toe decreases out and do six more pattern rows. Bummer. The studying went really well today though. I did some more practice questions and I’m really improving using this Princeton Review book. I got 8/9 questions right on the analogy sections consistently, and I did a math section and got 25/30 correct. I think I’ve only read about 1/4 of the math section in the study book as well. This is a very good sign. I also haven’t started my GRE class in Seattle yet. That begins in January. I’m actually really looking forward to it.

On The Thirteenth Day Of Christmas

December 21, 2009 - Leave a Response

Today was really the last day of christmas shopping, seriously this time. Actually it was just window shopping. My family and I went downtown to enjoy the Seattle Christmas festivities. We parked pretty centrally, then hit Purple for lunch. They really have great food there. Expensive but great. We went to see the Gingerbread structures display at the Sheraton, assembled and designed by their culinary team and Seattle’s leading architecture firms. This year the theme was classic christmas movies. It was great, except that they didn’t include White Christmas which was a big bummer. Then we rode the carousel, and I tried on all of the sample makeup at Sephora, as usual. I don’t have any money right now whatsoever, but I really want to go on a short skiing holiday. And, by holiday I mean, maybe two days. We could drive up to Whistler in Canada, which is not as expensive as you might think (for the hotel that is). Lift tickets are always expensive, but do you have to buy a lift ticket just to go cross-country? I should look that up. We’d have to rent skis as well. Something to think about when I’m employed again.