kimchi.

kimchi

A bunch of folks from my department went out for Korean food this week, and I ate some incredibly yummy (and spicy) kimchi. My farm share included Chinese cabbage, and while I had initially been envisioning a hearty stir-fry, kimchi thoughts took over when I opened my fridge to make lunch on Friday. I got out The Joy of Pickling (I can’t recommend this book enough), and there were a handful of kimchi recipes to choose from. I started with the basic recipe, soaked my cabbage in brine from 12 hours, and then yesterday, added the scallions, garlic, ginger, pepper, and sugar. (Go get a pickling book for ratios and instructions!) I didn’t realize that kimchi only needs to ferment for 3-6 days, which means that I’ll get to taste-test this week!

food mill applesauce

Yesterday afternoon, I realized I was pouting, so I decided to be proactive about it. Applesauce makes everything better, so I dashed up to the orchards and picked out a peck of Golden Delicious and a peck of Cortland apples. Fifteen minutes later, I was chopping apples in the kitchen, and soon the apples were simmering away on the stove. I made two batches. I leave the skins on, and then I pour the whole pot-full through the food mill to smooth out the sauce. Yum.

try on p and s1

try on p and s 2

Also, look! My plain and simple pullover is growing! I decided that it might be a good idea to try it on, and I am quite happy with the fit. This is going to be the perfect drapey short-sleeved sweater to pull on over a long-sleeve tee. Also, this marks the end of the first ball of yarn — 665 yards (8 oz) of local fingering-weight undyed alpaca.

yarnwinding

Time for yarn-winding! Also, how did it get to be November? (For the record, I did not knit a single sock this October. I’m nothing if not consistent…)

kind of a big deal.

Nope, no pigtails yet. And nope, I didn’t finish my plain and simple pullover, though I do have progress to share.

Yesterday was kind of a big deal for me because I gave my first-ever lecture. I’ve done a fair amount of talking in front of people before, and I generally don’t mind it once I get going, but there was something different about this, in terms of the significance of the opportunity: this was a chance to do the thing I want to do, a chance to practice a big part of the career I’m working towards, and I was really nervous. I worried about all the usual things: that I’d talk too fast, that it wouldn’t go well, or worse — that I wouldn’t like it.

I still have a lot to think about in terms of planning and pacing a lecture, and quite a bit to learn, but I did enjoy myself yesterday, and the students even laughed at my jokes. And there won’t ever be a “first” lecture again — just a “next” one.

Onward to my pullover progress:

plain and simple front st1

plain and simple front st close up

Under Boh’s watchful eye, I finished the body, and moved on to the next step in the pattern, which involves working the front stitches back and forth. I panicked, thinking that there was no way I had a set of size 2 straight needles, but some digging through my vintage lot of aluminum needles (an ebay acquisition born of my new-knitter excitement a few years ago) yielded a mismatched pair.

plain and simple boh supervise1

plain and simple boh supervise2

As you all noted, Boh takes his job very, very seriously. I wish he’d step up and supervise the huge pile of grading I have to get through today…

fifteen.

plain and simple 15in

Inches, that is. (Actually, more like a smidge under fifteen when laid perfectly flat, but hey, I’ll take it.) The pattern says to knit 16.5 inches for my size, but as I am a little anxious about running out of yarn (and short-waisted, and generally seem to knit my sweaters a tad too long), I’m going to knit to 15.5, the length for the smallest size, and call it good.

Last night, friends hosted a Radio Party potluck, which meant we all brought food, drank wine, and listened to This American Life at the appropriate time. I got in about an hour and a half of solid knitting on my plain and simple pullover, and I’m going to try to finish the body before getting back to my pile of grading this morning.

plain and simple 15 boh

Also, for documentation purposes, I snapped a picture of my hair last night.

long hair.

I’m aiming for low, braided pigtails. Not quite long enough yet, but getting there…

slow and steady.

pure and simple 13

I’m test-knitting this adorable short-sleeved pullover for veera, over at 100% rain. The stockinette portion is taking me forever, which makes me feel like a super slow, and thus, ineffective test-knitter. (I have actually found myself wondering if Boh is ripping out inches of knitting while I am asleep.)

The good news is that I’ve got thirteen solid inches of the body, and I only need a few more. The other test-knitters have been posting pictures of their projects on ravelry, and the results are absolutely lovely.

walk/wool/work.

plain and simple 9in

Yesterday, thanks to a fairly productive Saturday, Boh and I were able to take a nice long walk down to a local preserve that also happens to house a big reservoir for New Home’s drinking water. As we walked and the wind rustled the leaves on the trees, I realized that it truly smelled like fall. We spent the rest of the day snoozing (Boh) and alternating between spinning, knitting, reading, and writing (me).

targheeoranges1

I started spinning this targhee — 3 oz. from AVFKW in the Hibiscus colorway.

targheeoranges2

I’m planning a 2-ply, and I’m hoping for enough yardage to do a densely knit pair of fingerless mitts (I think). Note the pooch asleep in the background.

bohasleepcouch1

bohasleepcouch2

It is so hard to be a dog.

norwegianskein1

Here’s the first skein of that norwegian top from Paradise Fibers: 156 yards of 2-ply, worsted weight, from 4 oz. of fiber. I love the sheen of the yarn and the depth of this grey.

norwegianskein2

This is not the softest skein on the planet, but it strikes me as workhorse yarn that would be great for hats and mittens. I’m interested to see what this will feel like knitted up.

How did it become Monday again? I may indulge in a little bit of knitting before I head to campus to face the universe…

sauerkraut!

kraut1

kraut2

kraut3

It is delicious. Victory! I let this sit on the counter in my one-gallon pickling crock for 5 weeks (7/18-8/25), occasionally skimming off anything that formed on the surface, and rinsing the cheesecloth and brine bag weighting down the cabbage.

It might be time to go looking for really good reuben recipes!

farmflowers

Here are some of the flowers I picked at the farm yesterday, along with my haul of tomatoes, red peppers, hot peppers, cucumbers, eggplant, A LOT of beets (to be pickled?!), lettuce, onions, dill, mint, basil, cilantro, 1 precious cup of blackberries picked from the fields, and, of course, zucchini.

And, lest you think that I am not knitting:

plainsimpleupdate

Another inch or so of my plain and simple pullover test-knit has appeared.

Happy Wednesday!

ribbing.

mara rib1

Lest you were beginning to think that I had crossed entirely over to the dark side of the spinning wheel, I present some serious progress on Mara. After reading lots of posts over at the Mara KAL in the backwards loop group on ravelry, I decided to modify the ribbing slightly, opting for a k3p2 rib instead of a k2p2.

mara rib2

The pattern calls for 4 inches of ribbing after the inch of transitional rib to finish off the shawl. I don’t have enough of this luscious beaverslide to do that, so I’m pretty much ribbing until I run out. I’ll be happy if I can get 2 inches or so, and I’m hoping to finish this tonight at a new knit night (say that five times fast) I’ve been attending!

The urge to finish this despite warmer temps that are not so conducive to the wearing of squishy wool shawls comes in part from even more new projects on (or soon to be on) the needles.

swatch alpaca

Veera, of 100% rain, put out the call for test- knitters for her plain and simple pullover, and since her sweater is already in my ravelry favorites, I couldn’t help but volunteer. The sweater is knit in fingering weight yarn on smaller needles, and when I looked at the specs/yarn requirements, I realized that this is the perfect sweater for 2 fat skeins of local alpaca in my stash that have long been searching for a pattern to partner with.

local alpaca skeins

I think this is a perfect match — the drapeyness of the alpaca will complement the pattern’s minimal shaping, the foldover collar will hang beautifully, and I will get a short-sleeved, super-soft alpaca sweater that won’t be so warm that I can’t wear it indoors! More on this soon,

Silk update:

shinytussah

I spun most of the orange section of my sunburst tussah silk. It shines like this picture, but at this point, the color is more orangey than red:

orange tussah

I’m really enjoying the process of spinning this — a totally different feeling than wool. I’m hoping my singles will be strong and even enough to stand on their own in a brightly colored shawl for fall.

Alright, time to get to work!