Friday, August 24, 2007


Not dead, just gearing up for the start of school. I foolishly decided to knit my grandmother a scarf for her birthday, which is in 11 days. Good thing I've got bulky yarn and size 13 needles.

The last great thing I cooked: cold poached salmon and roasted vegetables (potatoes, carrots, and sweet potatoes) with remoulade sauce. By substituting soy sauce for the Worcestershire sauce, I even made the sauce vegetarian! (Yes, I realize that anchovies and salmon fall in the same category of "not-so-vegetarian." The vegetarian did not eat the salmon, but he did enjoy the vegetables and sauce very much.)

Friday, August 17, 2007

Whining has its uses

Having spent the last post whining about my troubles with the "two-socks-at-once" concept, I was inspired to think about what was causing these problems. And - why didn't I do this earlier? - a little thought was able to solve several of the biggies.

1) Every time you flip the needles over, check which way both free ends of yarn are going before you start to knit. This mostly takes care of the "why is my yarn wrapped around the needles twice?" problem. If you alternate which way you flip the needles over, you can also solve a lot of the "tangled yarn" problems.

2) Before you start to knit, tug gently on the needles you're holding. You should feel tension. If you don't, you aren't holding ends that belong to the same needles. Correct this.

3) It turns out that you don't have to remove one sock to knit the other heel.

4) Laddering is hidden much better if you place it along one of the knit-purl interchanges.

Now I'm past both heels, and cruising up the leg!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Why NOT to do both socks at once...

I have a bad habit: I get bored after one sock. Right now I have three single socks waiting for their mates to arrive.

Thus, I decided that knitting both socks at once (on two circular needles) would be a great idea: get them both done, take no notes in the process... what could go wrong?

Well, a couple of things. Six, to be precise.
1) Using the wrong ball of yarn on the wrong sock. Happens more easily than you'd think.
2) Knitting onto the wrong needle. (I couldn't even figure out how to transfer the stitches to the correct needles, and had to tink back 24 stitches.)
3) Increased laddering problems. Probably due to all the wiggling around the needle does when knitting the "other" sock.
4) Problems #1 and #2 seriously slow things down.
5) Yarn tangles. 'nuff said.
6) Can't knit in the dark, can't knit while talking... in short, this sock is no longer "casual transportable knitting" but has turned into "heavy concentration, only when sober and awake" knitting.

I think that when need to focus on one sock at a time to turn the heel, I'll just put the "other sock" onto stitch holders and finish them one at a time.

Adding to my pain is the fact that I foolishly used the same needles I will need to knit the second cotton sock- and right now, it's really cotton-sock-wearing weather. Maybe both socks need to go into hibernation for a while until the second green cotton sock is done...

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Seven Random Things

I read enough blogs that said, "I'm not naming any names, but consider yourself tagged if you want to..." that I will consider myself tagged.

1) I spent about a decade thinking I was allergic to pine nuts. I'm not. (Long story short: in college, my roommates and I made a dish that involved roasted eggplant and toasted pine nuts. It made my mouth itch horribly. Since I "knew" I wasn't allergic to eggplant because I ate it in stir-fries every week, I blamed it on the new ingredient: the pine nuts. Much later, my father-in-law pointed out that old eggplant, when roasted, can be quite bitter and itch-inducing.)

2) I met my husband when I was 24, but I spent the previous decade just missing him. To wit: I went to a math camp at Hampshire College when I was 14; my husband's father guest-lectured there, and my husband debated attending it that summer, but chose music camp instead. Also, in college, I lived downstairs from his best friend. And our first year in grad school, he wrote me out of the blue to ask me to join a pick-up Ultimate team, but I had to decline because we had lab meetings at the same time.

3) The longest I've ever lived somewhere is 8 years.

4) I'm half-Asian but I have hazel eyes and dark blond hair. Various students of genetics have told me that I'm a "one-in-ten-thousand" since those are the odds of the black hair and brown eyes not being dominant.

5) My husband is also half-Asian.

6) So are our children (duh!) although some people prefer to call them "two-quarters Asian" to distinguish how the lines of inheritance go.

7) People have been trying to teach me to knit since I was about 12. It didn't stick until I was 32. The key was that I am, apparently, born to knit Continental (yarn-in-left-hand) style. Once my colleague Allison (who learned to knit in France) taught me, I was off and running...