July 27, 2013
photographing these socks was a bittersweet event for me.
as you may recall, i began these socks with the intention
of giving them to stephanie pearl-mcphee
at the next knot hysteria retreat.
it’d become a tradition of mine.
but of course knot hysteria is no more,
so god only knows when and if i’ll see her.
when i finished the socks,
i was in the tipsy fog.
and it didn’t hit me
until i took their picture
that these socks are basically homeless.
so as i see it, i have two options:
a. – give them away on the blog to someone with similarly tiny feet.
b. – use my super secret sneeky plan to get them to canada.
what do you think i should do?
still, i’m totally happy with how these turned out.
they’re as close to perfectly matched as one can get, even the heels.
i love the heels. (pattern details: here)
now i ask you,
because maybe this is just my ignorance about dying,
but how can two socks be so different when:
1. same knitter
2. same needles
3. same pattern
4. same gauge
5. same fucking yarn.
can someone please explain that to me?
while i do love the second sock
and recognize that it is beautiful,
i still completely prefer the first one.
there’s always gonna be a favorite,
as with any siblings.
these socks are not homeless, though they will be a surprise.
luckily, i have the recipient’s address this time.
(and believe me it pains me to say this)
i need advice on . . . a baby sweater.
let me be clear: i’m cool with babies.
it’s parents of babies i can. not. stand.
which generally results in the same thing: avoiding babies.
but this universe has a sick sense a humor
and frequently makes us deal with things we’d rather not.
so i’m going to knit my friend a baby sweater.
it’s not going to be any degree of cutesy;
nor will it be even the slightest bit wootsy.
if i see any baby blue acrylic yarn, i’m pulling the plug.
i want to make something dignified and stylish for a small person.
so what would you recommend?
is the baby surprise over?
July 21, 2013
i want to be this bitch’s friend
July 18, 2013
i began this post
in the middle of the night
in a guest bedroom in scappoose, oregon
with the intention of recounting my day’s activities
and proceeding thusly for the rest of my mini-vacay/retreat from life.
it soon became obvious
that scappoose lacked the bandwidth necessary
to blog on a daily basis, at least if i wanted to show you my pictures.
so now i am home
literally weeks after my return.
and must resort to the recap format for today’s blog
this might take a while.
coffee at ristretto roasters
which was the only coffee i had in portland that lived up to the hype
(this mocha was not fucking around)
there were a couple trips to grand central bakery
where i was more impressed by their breakfast sandwich and shrimp po boy (scroll down) than their sweet stuff.
in portland proper,
there was the ubiquitous
homeless/punk/beggar with cute animal entourage.
this group was outside powell’s where i had a pretty amazing haul
the next day,
tina and i went to black sheep gathering
where we saw judith mackenzie judge the fleeces,
a thoroughly delightful and educational experience.
(note: apparently, shetlands are in this year)
(the aforementioned shrimp sandwich)
we ran into beth hansen of hansen crafts
she is . . . a character. if you meet her,
and it feels like she’s making fun of you,
that’s because she is.
it’s totally normal.
i have strong feelings about the miniSpinner,
but this is all i’m going to say about it: i’m a traditionalist.
if you’re not, and aren’t bothered by the electric component
you should definitely buy it;
it’s a pretty fucking awesome product.
i won’t be buying one because
i am a fuddy duddy.
i stopped by black trillium fibre studio‘s booth,
one of the only booths i thought worthy of documenting, really.
the problem with all of these shows,
especially the smaller ones,
is that these people aren’t business people.
sure, i bet 90% of them make an amazing product,
but that doesn’t mean they know shit about how to sell it.
you’ve got to make a booth that makes people want to come in,
or you might as well not even bother to show up.
melanie knows how to work with what she has;
simple set up, a few beautiful samples, wide open
so people can get in and out easily.
similarly, the men at the clemes & clemes booth knew what was up!
these dudes are professional, know their product, work well together,
have their demonstration down, and there’s something to be said for a uniform. this dude had me wanting a fucking drum carder
something for which i have no use or space in my life.
that, my dears, is a salesman!
(sorry for the shitty photo)
then i met some west coast knitters
though i can only remember angela davis (the knitting one)
with her amazing mustard eye shadow (right) and parna
(with the broken hand), both of whom i hope to see again.
(sorry angela, not the best photo, i know, but better than the other one)
the next day,
tina took the misses newton, heidi dog, and me to the beach
before which we hit up this joint,
pacific way bakery & caféwhich, was fucking amazing…last year.
but made us a but queasy this time around.
and our waitress?
then we returned for more chicken time, but with a twist.
i don’t know what it is, but i fucking love deer.
maybe it’s from watching bambi as a kid, i don’t know.
but i can not get enough deer.
and i got way close to this guy.
i was then treated to a ________ about which i cannot tell you.
what i can tell you is that it was a moment when i felt
humble, special, and kinda fancy.
because it was fancy.
and more than a little pantsy.
though likely wasted on my middle class ______.
the whole tripped was capped off
by an amazing meal at cocotte bar & bistro
a meal totally worth live tweeting. which i did.
(click pics to read descriptions)
then i immediately hopped on a plane and headed home.
this trip was my vacation,
a flight, really, from my incredibly stressful summer.
there were whole swathes of time when i was not seized
by crippling work-related anxiety.
that level of ease is only surpassed
when i escape to my parent’s house,
or as i still think of it,
tina’s guest room
is a close second.
she’s the kindest host.
i even get my own bathroom.
*there was an undocumented fabulous indian dinner with tina, megan, and deb, friends from three very different epochs of my life, followed by a night out with megan at a former bowling alley dive where, once the lyons’ club bingo night rapped up, we watched the mentally challenged and tone deaf sing karaoke.there’s no picture in the world that can capture that.
July 16, 2013
or to be more accurate,
his work, as we’ve never met.
we have corresponded a couple times
and he seems like a lovely person.
now, you all know me.
i am not one to utter any unkind word
especially against a tall, handsome, ginger-gay
who could probably take me in a scrap.
this new “tripartite”?
this lace-weight linen thneed?
gurl. i know probably spent a lot of time on this,
and that linen probably tore up your fingers.
but no t no shade, not everything you knit
is a publishable design.
she does know how to work her angles to her advantage though,
looking all young and thin and such.
anyone is, of course, free to disagree with me.
you’d be wrong, but still, if you do,
you can purchase the pattern here
and join the other
who’ve cast this on.
*you gotta click the links to see the pics.
normally, i’d snag them, but as they’re copyrighted,
you’ll just have to visit westknits’ flickr to see the madness.
July 14, 2013
July 10, 2013
i shouldn’t be up.
to say that it’s late
and that i have a very full, important day tomorrow,
would be to laugh in the face of anything resembling “understatement”.
but i promised you all a sock
and i so rarely finish a knitted thing these days.
(though if you’d prefer, i have more korean food i could share)
i saw this skein
et les membres de sa même famille
during my last visit to portland, oregon.
(i know i know i owe you a post)
the tipsys had just been born
and i kept eyeing this skien.
if you’re lucky to visit the tina newton
and you stare at one of her skeins long enough
and she likes you
she might give it to you.
apparently she likes me.*
i only had the one set of needles with me
and they were already in another sock.
well i’ll tell you what, i ripped the needles right out the sock in progress and cast this puppy on. though it occurs to me now
that i was staying with a woman
who specializes in sock yarn.
i bet she has some needles i could’ve borrowed.
i chose this pattern,
not only because i basically have it memorized at this point,
but because this is a brand new colorway,
and i wanted to see what it would do.
and because the pattern is so easy,
i was able to revel in the color,
how it built in each new round,
seeing what would change
at the heel flap
i am completely enamored of the swirly flashing;
the copious amounts of white make it for me.
and i should have taken a pic of the wrong side.
the reverse stockinette made me want to knit something
for a baby.
i was actually walking around saying,
"but have you seen the inside? look at the reverse stockinette!"
"someone needs to knit something for a baby in this colorway!"
i said it several times to anyone who'd listen.
luckily, someone else took a pic for me. go ahead, take a look.
now you tell me, don’t you think someone needs to knit something in reverse stockinette for a baby in this colorway?
as i was finishing up this sock
while watching silent hill: revelation on netflix,
it ended up being about an inch longer than i had indented.
(would that i always had such problems)
i wonder who i’ll give this pair to?
how will i decide who gets them?
i’m open to suggestions.
it’ll have to wait.
i owe it to the other sock i left hanging.
*there may or may not have been a chocolate mousse involved in this decision
July 8, 2013
i promise this is not turning into a korean cooking blog,
but my last minute decision to make this dinner paid off so well
that i took a picture.
in my bathroom.
because it has the best lighting.
so if you’re not interested in hearing me nerd out on korean food,
come back tomorrow when i’ll have a sock to show you.
starting on the left working clockwise:
1. spicy stir-fried pork – dwaejigogibokkeum – 돼지불고기볶음
notes: i accidentally used pork belly so thinly sliced it was like bacon, just unsalted; thank you korean grocer for stocking this product that will now be a permanent fixture in my fridge. i also only had white sugar and used less hot pepper flakes because my green chili was so big.
(that’s what she said)
2. kimchi fried rice – kimchi bokkeumbap – 김치볶음밥
notes: i used brown rice because that’s what i had. i thought i was using up the last of my super fermented kim chi (3+ months) but i found one final jar in the back of my fridge, a happy thing since i need to make this again. i skipped the sea weed and sesame seeds because i didn’t have it and i forgot, respectively.
3. maangchi’s easy kim chi – mak kim chi – 막김치
notes: this is my go-to kim chi recipe, and i always make changes. i never add squid since a) i don’t have access to fresh squid to pickle and b) i’m not yet ready to move past my western food brain to eat pickled squid. i always skip the leak and sub in shallot, mostly because i don’t want to clean the leek. frequently, i skip the carrot. the important thing is the proportion of the kim chi paste itself which is . . . it’s just a perfect flavor. best ghetto winter lunch is warmed up chicken stock from a box and a big ol’ scoop of kim chi, but i’ll eat it with pizza or straight up from the jar, over the kitchen sink, shirtless, the epitome of ‘bachelor’.
4. cubed radish kimchi – kkakdugi – 깍두기
notes: i think i may love kkakdugi even more than i love kim chi. but it all depends on the radish. this time, i got a great quality korean radish, but in my experience, it’s easier to get good quality daikon. they’re the root vegetable equivalent of kissing cousins anyway, and as far as i can tell, there’s no difference in flavor. the major difference with this batch is that, instead of following the recipe, i just used left over kim chi paste from my last batch. it turned out amazingly nonetheless. i’ve never tried it with the radishes i grew up hating (the little red ones the fraggles were always eating), but maybe it’s worth a try?
for any of you not familiar with korean food,
or for any of you who are not adventurous eaters,
the easiest/safest thing to make here is the pork.
the flavors are totally addictive (sweet/salty/spicy)
and the spice level is easily moderated for those with a delicate palate. (i would skip the pepper flakes and/or the green chili pepper, but you absolutely cannot skip the hot pepper paste a.k.a. gochujang a.k.a.
고추장 a.k.a. crack that needs to go on everything)
does anyone else out there like korean food?
July 7, 2013
July 1, 2013
my first ever stand-alone class went so well. so so well.
better than i have even hoped it could!
i was a good teacher.
they were good students.
doing good work on day one is really rare.
and while i was literally beset with the feeling
that i was going to vomit and take a huge dump in my pants,
i cannot emphasize enough what a boon that class was.
June 30, 2013
pretty bad anxiety.
for the most part,
it’s not too big a deal.
i’m 28 years old now (ugh),
so i’ve had a lot of practice dealing with it
the only thing i need
is to withdraw from the world.
though, that’s become less effective since i became a phd student
as i have work to do literally all of the time,
and getting down with my inner hermit
mostly just makes me feel guilty.
another thing that makes me feel better
is doing something small but special,
bring a little beauty into my life,
the expensive ice cream
going to the movies
things i used to take for granted when someone else was paying.
or things from previous iterations of my life that i miss.
like the iced coffee veronica used to make
when we were roomies in pittsburgh.
which is what i decided to make.
tina bought me some wicked good coffee during my visit,
i can make simple syrup, and cream is easily acquired at any hour.
this would be the perfect way to start my day tomorrow
when i have a dreaded deadline
and my first stand-alone.
as i lay in bed
my unmentionables tumbling away in the wash,
(going commando is not an option for the first day of class)
i opened my windows to let in the summer air
and willed the chemicals in my brain
to level the fuck. out.
then i got this little whiff of something,
something that smelled kinda like cotton candy.
i thought that a bit odd but kept watching netflix.
a few minutes later, a whiff of toasted marshmallow.
that’s what it was! a neighbor must have been toasting marshmallows!
the smell of “toasting”
quickly turned to “burning”
and in that moment i remembered
the simple syrup i put on the stove
maybe fifteen to twenty minutes earlier.
this is why i can’t have nice things.
and why i’ll be going to starbucks in the morning.