Sunday, November 27, 2005

Winter knitting sets in

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It's been some time, really. Knitting and yarn have crossed my path only via housecleaning lately.  A knitting slump, indeed.  I've had a number of projects tossing around in idea phase for a few weeks, and haven't had the chance to dive in.  Finally, on Friday while putting away some books, I picked up Scarf Style again, and decided to start in on Interlocking Balloons. 

Yup.  Another scarf it is.  The weather's certainly cold enough for it.  Snowy, windy, and wind chill has already set in.  Ahhh, winter.

Interlocking Balloons begins

And, despite my feelings of ill-will toward Martha in the baking department, I can't help but get sucked back in by the so so pretty christmas crafts on her web site right now.   

Martha uses glitter and glue for Christmas

Pretty cute and hard to resist.  I can say without a doubt that I'm not going to tackle this, so someone else out there, knock yourself out and make these glitter bird centerpiece and tinsel trees.

An open letter to Martha Stewart

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Martha, ohhhh, Martha.  For weeks now I've been pouring over your Holiday Cookies magazine.  A beautiful issue, there's no doubt.  More than 100 recipes for the season, it's barely possible to narrow it down to a few to choose and bake. 

This issue has truly inspired me; you've pulled out all the stops.  I've already gone out and picked only the highest quality ingredients - even the unsalted butter - I promise, no cheating or substituting this time. I've spent nearly 40 dollars on ribbon, I've been narrowing my choices of cellophane bags and decorative tins, and I know that with enough shopping, I'll find all of the personal touches I need to wrap my baking.  Everything is going to be perfect this year. 

I get goosebumps just thinking of it.  I'm going to present each and every one of my loved ones with the most beautifully packaged delicious baked goods they've seen in their lives.  Me.  I'm going to do this.  This year.  This year, Martha, this year! And I owe it all to you.

Except.  Well, except the fact that your recipes are still impossible.  I honestly thought you'd changed.  In an attempt to reproduce your candy-stripe cookie sticks, I cut out the 3X6" cardboard stencil like the instructions call for and set myself to work.  I baked the cookies two at a time, just like you've asked.  

Baked two at a time, these cookies are impossible to pull off 

Two. At a time.  And then when they came out the oven slightly golden brown, I tried tried tried to roll them up as quickly to reproduce your work of art.  The best I got are burned fingers and broken rectangles with high arches.  Not what I was expecting.

So, Martha, I'm not sure exactly sure what else to say on the matter.  Really.  I'm really just not quite sure about this anymore. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


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Oh, how it has been a long haul.  After weeks of squeezing every possible knitting minute out of every possible day, Miri's Forbes Forest came out complete this past weekend. I wasn't sure I was ever going to see the end of this scarf, but to no avail, billions of bobbles, cables, and popcorn stitches came together here to make this scarf complete. 

After a long haul--Forbes Forest is complete

I wasn't convinced at first.  The cables and bobbles looked weak when I started in, and I wondered if alpaca could do this pattern justice.  But, as I worked through and gave it a test block with some steam, the stitches opened up, and the pattern bloomed  through to the end. 

Without a doubt, this is a scarf I would have never picked myself.  Before this swap, I'd not even remotely considered making this scarf, not even for a second.  But, now that I've made it, and I see first-hand what this pattern's got to offer, for sure I'd make it again.  I'm even considering one for myself. 

Forbes Forest in Blue Sky Alpaca

The Forbes Forest pattern is genius, and kept me interested right to the end.  Casting off was bittersweet; happy to be finished, and sad to say goodbye to the pattern.  I already miss working on this, and am sad to see it go.

Miri, I hope this scarf finds you well, it's certainly cold enough in these parts for this super warm scarf.  It should arrive with you shortly! Loads of thanks to Kris and Jacqueline for hosting the SYNO swap--great idea, fabulous hosts!

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