Tuesday, January 05, 2010

I'm Covered in Bunnies (and Distractable)

Yes, it is winter, and colder weather is not a surprise. Others scoff and note that it is colder elsewhere, and they are right, but it is cold for this area. We are in the midst of colder-than-average temperatures, and their effects are compounded by what is predicted to be at least a weeklong stretch. However, I do not mind the cold, but rather am enjoying the chance to use more of my warmer handknits. A too-long retail endeavor was a bit less unpleasant as I noticed an increased number of handknit scarves worn by other shoppers. My handspun, handknit Shetland/Angora scarf really makes a difference against the chill. Perhaps I look like one of those fiber festival people attempting to display everything knit since last year, but I am warm.

Casting on for a new something on New Year's Day seems like something of a knitterly tradition, and I decided that was a good enough reason for me. I had been trying to decide between an EZ Spiral/DairyQueen/Snail Hat and Quincy. Then the idea to spin the yarn for the EZ hat came to me, so Quincy automatically won the honor of this year's first knit, and I love it.

I had already selected the yarn I wanted to use for my new hat. It is GGH Lamour (50% Extrafine Wool/33%Angora/17%Nylon), and it is so soft. It had lived in the stash for years, having been given to me by a knitter thinning out the stash before moving to a new home. Several times, I had swatched with the yarn, but nothing was ever right. It was a joy to pet, and the color always pleased me, but each experiment ended with its return to the yarn bin.

I hoped that the yarn would finally find its match with this mostly garter stitch pattern, and as I knit, it appeared to be working. By the time I completed the i-cord and garter portion, I was sold on pairing of yarn and pattern. This was a quick knit, and I love my new hat. If I were to make it again, I would make it a bit larger because my head is big, and so is my hair. The finished hat got a thumbs-up from Brucie. He later told me that he was not too impressed with the picture in the booklet, and that my hat is better. Yep. He's a keeper.


Yes, I need a new staff photographer. If anyone can point me to a tutorial on how to train wild, stray cats in photographing knits, it would be greatly appreciated.

Speaking of New Year's traditions, I did have black-eyed peas. Cookie asked how I planned to prepare them. I was not sure. I have been working these past few months to gain experience and improve my preparation of legumes. I think Nora might have thought I was not being serious when that was my comment on her post about learning, but it really is true. When she asked, I had no answer for Cookie. Also, what is up with this spell of mine having trouble responding to comments? I must be a terrible person. Anyway, a good chunk of the legume-preparation instructions goes something like this:
Pour legumes on counter and sort out rocks and rotten pieces
Rinse legumes and soak in water overnight
Drain off soaking water
Boil legumes and pigs until desired tenderness is reached
Still, that is not all of the information available, and I ended up using this as a jumping off point. It gave enough inspiration to help me throw something together that we enjoyed. I think that along with some cornbread, it might have been all we ate that day. Oh, yeah--Happy New Year!
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