Random Friday

I had an odd feeling the other day… a feeling that I wasn’t doing much knitting. It took about five minutes of reflection to realize that was bogus; I am as steeped in a mess of wool as ever. I’ve just been so busy with it that I haven’t had time to blog about it all day! the only way to catch up at this point, I think, is to cram it all into a

1. Norway in July has been trucking along faithfully. I haven’t been showing you pictures because, well… the second looks kinda the same as the first.

Almost. I had a small problem with the first one:

Yes, those socks are supposed to be for me. I can get my foot into it, but it scrunched my toes unpleasantly. After spending weeks trucking down 17″ of leg in a complicated fair isle pattern in comfortable soft yarn… I think it makes sense to be a little fussy about the fit. I added half a pattern repeat to the second sock, and when it fit perfectly, I ripped out the toe of the first sock and redid it.  After a couple hours of tedious finishing, I finished the pair last night, but they deserve their own photo shoot, so stay tuned for that after they’re done blocking.

2. I made really ghetto sock blockers last night around 10:30 p.m. Determined to spend as little money as possible, earlier that day I’d gone to Ollie’s Bargain Outlet, which is actually kitchier than it sounds, and got a placemat and a sink mat. I would have gotten two placemats, but they had ONE placemat in the ENTIRE store. A little tracing and agressive actions with a pair of scissors, and I have the nappiest sock blockers ever made.

They are not cute. But I am not worried. This is probably the only time they will ever see the light of the internet without socks covering them.

3. My kitchen floor is full of very, very dirty black trash bags! This can only mean one thing: I brought the rest of Breezy Willow’s fleece home (check out their new link on the sidebar! We are linky friends!)

I’ve cleaned two of these so far. I’m not looking forward to the rest of them, but they will be done in the air conditioned comfort of my home. Probably while watching Stargate SG:1 reruns. Yes, I am watching through Stargate SG:1 again. I know how sad that is; it probably means I am becoming an old fogey who only listens to the music she listens to in high school and watches reruns of the same show over and over again. Stargate SG:1 is my M*A*S*H, I think.

3. It is very funny that there is all of this fleece in my house, because I spin at the speed of a snail with a limp.

This is some of the Romney that my aunt & uncle gave me for Christmas. I dyed about a pound and a half of it with black beans, then overdyed with turmeric, so it’s an interesting yellow-grey-green that kind of defies description.

Based on random sampling, I’m attempting to spin singles fine enough to make about a DK-weight 3-ply, and all of the roving should become enough for a sweater. By my estimate that will take about 12 bobbins full. I’ve been hoarding toilet paper tubes. Since it took me about a month to do the two above, that means I’m looking at another 6-month spinning project. See why it’s weird for me to have so much fleece?

4. There’s been a little dyeing on the side. I washed yet another two fleeces a couple weeks ago, both of them very small. The black Babydoll has been carded, and the white-with-a-little-black Jacob will be dyed first. I split it into thirds – one third has all the black mixed in, while the other two are white. Both the third with black and one of the white thirds are being dyed blue as we speak.

This afternoon I’ll take them out and see what color they remain. Always exciting! And I can’t wait to see how the now blue-and-black (on the left) cards up.

5. I know this is not wool, but I crossed yet another item off my bucket list – I made cheese!

I made it wool-related by working on my socks while waiting for the milk to heat. 2 half-gallons of local, not-ultra-pasturized milk from PA, and a lot of help in the form of mysterious ingredients from Jonica…

And some magic happened that left me with fresh mozzarella.

Fresh and warm mozzarella is like… beyond description. Melty butterfat milky goodness.  The nasty, vaguely urine-colored liquid is the leftover whey; I got some ricotta out of it, used a little to water my one surviving plant (first time its been watered since we moved – call social services), and dumped the rest of it. It looks gross, but it smells so good; it seems like it should be some kind of probiotic power drink. But I was a little too afraid to just chug it. Now I am meditating on cheese, but I hear it’s kind of involved… and may require the macgyvering of a cheese press. (aside: I just googled “macgyver cheese press” and got some very useful results.)

Quite possibly my favorite kind of dinner: Fresh mozzarella & heirloom tomatoes, drizzled with balsamic vinegar and olive oil; heirloom bell peppers dipped in blue cheese dressing; parmesan-cheddar sourdough bread from great harvest/breezy willow, and Gold Ale from clipper city. Yum and a half. Flowers from Jared for our 25th monthaversary on Wednesday.

6. I am still knitting the pretty cashmere thing. It still looks like a blob scrunched around a small circular needle, it’s just a somewhat bigger blob. It’s… actually the only thing I’m actively working on right now. But, apparently, that doesn’t mean I’m not up to my ears in wooly mischief!

4 thoughts on “Random Friday

  1. Congrats on the cheese! I believe we were talking about making cheese the last time we had dinner together…I’d love to get a demo some time!

    My recent culinary achievement is that I successfully cut/ripped/sawed a whole chicken into pieces. It as a little more graphic than I anticipated…I figured this was a good step toward the goal of actually participating in ‘chicken processing’ some day.


  2. The yellow you made….it looks like mustard yellow.
    Can’t wait to see how the blues turned out…..such suspense!


  3. Clarification: the chicken was dead. It was raised by Jesse & Liz Straight (Eastern alum – friends of the Zimmermans – do you know them?) in VA. Skinned. But whole. With neck and all. I used a recipe for ‘Oven-Barbecue Chicken’ that turned out quite nicely. I highly recommend the Straights’ chickens!


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