Wednesday, November 23, 2005


In my family, I'm considered the baby. Even though I am now 27 years old, my family often doesn't see that I am self-sufficient - including that I have a job (even though its a mess right now), I can feed myself, I rent an apartment and I am in a serious relationship with a man I plan to marry. As such, I was never allowed to do the "grown-up" things to help prepare for Thanksgiving. I was always relegated to the chores, like grating carrots for the stuffing, or peeling potatoes, or washing the spoons. One year about a decade ago, I was finally allowed to prepare one thing. One thing only. One thing that only I liked to eat: The Cranberry Sauce.

As its the only thing that I was ever allowed to make (their fault, because I am actually quite an excellent baker and a fairly decent cook), I have perfected my recipe over the years. I like a basic sauce, made from whole fresh cranberries, with extra fruit cooked in, and walnuts added at the last second. Even though I am not going home this year, I still made the damned cranberry sauce. And its gooooood.

For those interested, get one bag of fresh cranberries. Rise and drain. In a large pot, combine one cup of water, and one cup of sugar. I like to break it up - two-thirds regular sugar and one-third brown sugar. Bring that combo to a boil, making sure to stir and dissolve the sugar, and then add the cranberries. As it comes back to a boil, the cranberries will whistle and pop, which is a lot of fun. Chop/dice two pears and one apple (I like to leave the skin on but that's a matter of preference. Also, I use two pears because they are generally small this time of year) and mix them in so that they get to boil too. Keep it at a light boil for at least ten minutes. Then cool it. I like to add the walnuts in just before serving so that they stay crunchy. Its the perfect blend of sweet and tart and I lilke it a lot.

If you make it, let me know how it comes out!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

I'm Still Standing (yeah yeah yeah)

But barely. I have a variety of stress-induced illnesses to add to my sore neck and they are driving me nuts. Seriously, kids. If you ever have the chance, don't let your boss abuse you.

But I have been knitting. I'm nearly done with my greenilicious scarf. I frogged (or attempted to) the mohair mess and I'll be returning the other balls back to Downtown Yarns for something different. And my sock is moving oh-so-slow. And, after all that, I realized that times a-wastin' on the baby blanket. So I made a new rule - MUST KNIT ON BABY BLANKET. Followed by MUST COMPLETE BABY BLANKET.

That's all for now. More when I have my wits about me and when my life is back on track.

Monday, November 14, 2005

The Whole Shebang

Where to begin? So much to report. And tons of pictures, which I tried to do at a lower resolution to avoid the slow loading of the page.

I am perhaps most excited about the serger. Here she is:


She was very expensive. But she is now mine. I got her from an amazing sewing store in Queens, called Sew Right. They have a web site, but since I can't link with my Blogger-Safari combo, you are out of luck. I have gotten many supplies there for my Bernina, and the service is just amazing. My mom and I decided that since I wanted a serger, she would combine my birthday and hannukah gifts this year and contribute some monies towards my purchase. I thought I could get one for around $300, but no dice. This one, an Elna 744, is used, and she was almost double that amount. She retails for $975 if anyone is truly interested.

This is the one stitch I have mastered, the Safety 4 Thread.


Next, I'll be trying to do a rolled hem. How freaking awesome is that? I'm going back to the store on Thursday morning for the first of two free hour-long instructional sessions. Like I said, the service and support at this store is amazing. If you are looking to get a machine, even if you come in from Brooklyn like I do, it is totally worth it to patronize this store. Let me know if anyone wants more information.

And on to the next. My lame-o sock. I am using the Socks 101 article from the Spring 05 Knitty, and Trekking XXL yarn, on size 2 dpns. I got the yarn at needles at Seaport Yarn, my first foray to that store. I have mixed feelings. The woman who helped me there was FANTSTIC, but the store itself left me feeling disorganized, confused, and bewildered. I don't know if I will go back... but I did appreciate the cash-only policy. It helps with the budget, you know.


As you can see, its less than an inch of ribbing right now, and its an understatement that I got distracted by all of my other projects. But I like it. Here's the full skein for color hounds:


I can't wait to see what its going to turn into. So far, there's some speckled black-n-white, and then a solid band of that pale, minty green. I know it'll be awesome. As this is my practice/learning pair of socks, I think I'm going to do one sock top down and the other toe-up. We'll see what happens.

Moving right along, I wanted something portable to work on, and love scarfy goodness, and feel absolutely in love with this lush yarn at Knit-A-Way in Brooklyn.


I love the colors, and it is sooooo soft. I've got about 30 inches out of one ball, on size 11's doing 2x2 rib. Its pretty. I have two more balls, and I'm thinking I can use the second one to finish up and use the third to make a hat. Or, go back to get a fourth ball so that I can make the scarf a little longer (I like to wrap twice), and then have extra for fringe.

And finally, the third and final piece of work is this mohair shrug-like thing from a house pattern from Downtown Yarns.


I'm having a heck of a time with this. The project is shown as a sample in their window, and its so cute. Its got a ruffly collar and sleeve hems, and is knit in this beautiful mohair. But they yarn they recommended for the project is pretty off gauge, and I am finding the pattern to be quite poorly written. I'm doing a lot of math on this one, and its starting to hurt my head. I have finished one sleeve, and am ready to progress to the back and back-neck shaping, to continue on down to the other sleeve. And then, similar to the OSW, you seam the sleeves and then pick up in the round around the edges for the ruffle border. That's done in short rows, which I am excited about. However, I think I'm using more yarn than I should be, given the gauge problems, and I don't even know if this is going to fit me. I should have just started over at the very beginning to try to match the gauge instead of fudging the pattern, but now, after doing almost a whole skein of mohair, I am quite loath to pull it out and start over with much bigger needles. I have a dreaded feeling that this might be a throwaway project. But, its keeping me busy in the short term, so I guess I'll just keep fudging. Or, how hard do we think it'll be to frog mohair and start over with bigger needles?

Whew. All done. And now I'm exhausted!

Sunday, November 13, 2005


I've been on a yarn binge. In the last three days, I've started three projects, and bought a new machine. I'll explain and show pix when I have more time, but for now, let's leave it at this list below. The list is mostly to help me remember what needs to be photographed and what stories to accompany the photos.

1. Gorgeous green tinged yarn for a 2x2 ribbed scarf on #11 needles. Its so soft and cushy. I think I may just have to make a matching hat.
2. My first sock! I got some Trekking XXL and started my first sock using #2 needles.
3. Purple mohair for a house pattern shrug/cardi.
4. My brand new (well, used actually) Elna serger, which I am struggling to make work!

Whew. Mike needs the computer to work on the weekends, so I am unable to do this now. But since I am STILL not expected back at work, Monday will see a complete report.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Lotsa Food

Last night, Mike and I went on a company-sponsored date. It was awesome. He's on the comittee for his firm's holiday party, and was thus conducting a tasting. Yay for having a boyfriend who is doing a food tasting! As the committee broke up to try different places, I went with him. We went to this place called HK, for Hell's Kitchen, on 9th Ave at 39th Street. It was pretty darned good, if anyone is interested in trying a new spot.

Since they wanted to get a sense of the whole menu, we got to try a lot of dishes. There was SO much food. I can't even describe how much food we had. I've never eaten a meal that big. We got a regular salad, muscles, sesame tuna, crab cakes, steak frites au poivre (yum yum yum), grilled salmon, and an apple torte dessert. Geez. That's four appetizers and two entrees, plus desert. For two people. And they did not skimp on the portions. All of it, save for the tuna, was delish. Toss in the cocktails, and it was a blast. And, it was paid for by his firm! Totally free date!

On another note, I'm lame. Or rather, I'm feeling lame. This neck thing is getting me down, though today it is MUCH better than yesterday. Thanks for the tips! The job thing is also getting me down. I really need some resolution here. Its driving me bonkers. I think today I'm going to call the org's lawyerlady (as I lovingly call her) to ask about an update and any reassessment on the timing for resolution. Even though I have other things going on, it is so hard not to feel like my whole life is on hold. I just want this to be over so that I can move on. Seriously. I've put up with enough of my boss's crap in the past year and a half to have to deal with this on top of everything.

But, on Monday in therapy I made a vow to not waste this time. I want to do things during the day that I'm not otherwise able to do. Things on my list are: Go to School Products (never been, can you believe it?!). Pick a new museum exhibit to see. Go to a movie matinee (I LOVE going to movies by myself). Sew Sew Sew. Knit Knit Knit. Going to School Products will probably help that, right? I need more yarn. I have Ideas and I'd like to act on them. If anyone out there has any daytime fun suggestions, now is the time to share them!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


I'm still home. And I'm still bored out of my skull. No developments yet in the world of crazybossland. I saw the organization's hired lawyer on Wendesday last week, and there's been no movement as far as I can tell. The lawyer at that point said two more weeks to resolution, which, if accurate, would make it four weeks that I've been sitting around waiting for this to blow over. Not cool. I'm losing my edge, man. My brain is rotting. And, the stress is TOTALLY taking its toll on my poor little body. My neck pain from last Friday (no, not this Friday that just passed, but the Friday before that, Oct. 28) is still hanging on, and I'm getting really pissed off about it. I'm sort of not worried, because it definitely feels like muscle pain, and it only feels sore like that when I hang my head forward. No other direction. No back pain, no headaches (aside from those pesky sinus headaches), and only mild shoulder soreness, but I can actually feel those knots.

On the other hand, I only had one panic attack during this whole thing, and that is a serious, major accomplishment.

And on the other other hand, I got accepted to Baruch's Masters in Public Administration program! Yay for me! I got my admissions packet on Saturday, and have been feeling really good about that.

Now, I'm off to vote for NYCs Mayor. I really love voting. Geeky, I know, but I just love it.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Scarfy Goodness

I finished the scarf a few days ago but haven't had the chance to post the photos. I don't have a modeled shot, but perhaps soon I can wear my new scarf with my new winter coat. I actually love the way the scarf looks on, as the points of the diamonds look really nice around my neck, its such an interesting detail.

Scarf, splayed

And then because I'm feeling cheesy...

M scarf for Megann

It looks like I'll have a lot more time on my hands for the next two weeks. I'm thinking about my next project, even though I still have the blankie shawl on the needles and the baby blanket that I need to finish up by December. But I'd like to make another scarf, because I love them, or try to make my first sweater. Maybe today when I'm feeling less hung over I'll go to a yarn shop. But, that means money, which I should try to conserve, no? We'll see. Maybe its time for some tough love. Maybe I should just finish the pieces I have started before moving on to something new.

How do you decide what to work on?