Wednesday, October 27, 2004

I *heart* sequins!

Meet Torendii. She can be a girl's best friend. This isn't her best picture, but you get the general idea. Here's the recipe:
Take 1 skein The Great Adirondack Yarn Co.'s Sequins yarn in Hpunch 804.
Using size 6 US needles, c/o 11 stitches.
Knit in seed stitch using entire skein, leaving enough to b/o.
Bind off and secure ends (yarn is a bit slippery).
Makes a fashion accessory (scarf / belt / etc.) about 2 1/2" wide and 3' long. Put on for instant glam.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Lovin' this weather!

Despite the thermostat wars and the fogged-up windshields, I love cold, rainy weather like we've had the past few days. It makes me feel festive; reminds me of Halloween, warm clothes, Christmas shopping, fuzzy slippers, family gatherings, presents, cozy blankets, and baked goods. Time to light up the fireplace, pop some popcorn, drink hot cocoa, and make cookies. The holiday feeling is in the air. It's what I privately call "pumpkin pie weather" (don't laugh!).
Speaking of baking, I've got a rant to get off my chest.
The other day I happened to wander by the telly, and it was on some cooking show. Glancing over, I was rather stunned to see that the hosts were showing viewers how to make blueberry muffins.
Yes, muffins. Those pasteries that take two seconds to make.
So I sat down to watch, thinking that surely these muffins must be made of solid gold to justify devoting an entire half hour to them. Alas, for the next 30 minutes I was shown such mysteries as how to wash blueberries, stir batter, and pour it into paper muffin cups.
What is it about cooking these days that's spawned folks who can make scrambled eggs and therefore think they're the next Iron Chef? My mum likes watching design shows, and one particular episode burned itself into my memory. This family (yuppies) wanted to redo their kitchen with lots of nice, professional extras and high-end appliances. One would assume these folks to be hardcore chefs. The husband said something like, "I really like to dabble in the kitchen, so it would be great to have better equipment." But any credibility I might have given him was blown out the window as the camera cut to a shot of him standing at the stove stirring a pot of what looked suspiciously like Kraft Mac 'n' Cheese.
I know there's been a sort of homemaking / craft revival, largely thanks to Martha Stupid. It's great that people are taking an interest in the 'old' ways of making things and enjoying simple ways of creative expression, and stores that were dying out (fabric/craft/yarn/etc.) are becoming popular again. But this trend is unfortunately creating a breed of people with over-blown egos. Example:
Some Jerk: "I made this pumpkin pie myself."
Normal Person: "Oh, so you took canned pumpkin mix and dumped it into a store-bought crust? Congratulations, asshole, you just made a crappy pie."
Cooking isn't so much about making something as it is about making something that tastes good. You don't really need talent; just practice, time, fresh ingredients, and a good recipe. Yet folks continue to think it's rocket science. It always cracks me up when you bake a simple cake and others get all awed and say, "you made that from scratch??" like you just created the world or something.
I admit there was a time I thought that way, too. We've all been raised on the notion that those crap box mixes are the only reasonable way to bake a cake, and any other way involves hours of slaving in the kitchen. Toot toot! here comes the reality bus; a basic cake takes maybe 5-10 minutes to make (excluding bake time), tastes about a thousand times better, and is heathier without all those oils and preservatives.
I originally had a firm point to make in this rant, but I'm getting bored and disgusted. I've managed to mock some stupid people, so my job here is done.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Rag Time, baby!

Here's my RagTag scarf! This was an easy and super-quick project -- a couple hours of industrious knitting and you're done. I bound off too tightly, though, so it hangs a bit weird; can you tell? I liked this project - it was the best 'quickie' I've ever had.
Major props to Annelle at Mendocino Yarn Shop for the pattern.

Friday, October 01, 2004

Let's hear it for October!

Whoohoo! A yarn shop is the best place for inspiring a dull mind. Didn't buy much, but got some great ideas. Remember that list I posted a month ago? Here's how those projects are working out.
From the "current projects" list: Phat Hat (done, but then I decided to rework it, so it's at about 70% again), Kitty Bed (1 inch progress), and purse-pack (not a stitch).
From the "upcoming projects" list: Dia scarf (done and done. And Rira should send me pics, heheh), Slytherin scarf (postponed for more interesting projects), Awesome sweater (postponed until I acquire money to send away for the necessary yarn), and Piano scarf (haven't bought materials, but finished the design).
Projects that weaseled their way to front of queue: RagTag scarf (done), and Torendii (at maybe 15%).
So, of all seven projects on the list, one got finished. Yes!! Total failure avoided! Nice save.
New ideas: Alien scarf, mesh poncho (using that chenille yarn Kristen liked so much), winter poncho with cowl, Purplicous Scarf and Hat Duo, and a charm-ing purse.
I had planned to make my dad a sweater for Christmas. Well, I found a great pattern, but I've never done a sweater before and don't know if I can finish in time. Also, I had a fantastic idea for Rira's arm warmers, but I don't know what the hell she wants. Soft? Fuzzy? Baby blue? (hahah, she'll never guess now!) C'mon, Rira, help me out. I know I said I'd do that bunny backpack for Laura, but I'm a-gonna be honest: it's not happening anytime soon. I hate that project. You're giving me the Burning Acid Death Glare, aren't you? aww, I deserve it...

"If you're never hungry, you could keep eating delicious food!" -- Words of wisdom from SM Nawata