Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Tiger’s eye & tobacco pizzaz...

I know it doesn't have the same ring to it!
There was a lull in the action here yesterday and I had a few moments to knock off a scarf. Now, being a small town girl from Northwestern Ontario, it’s taken me a while to get my head around wearing a scarf as a fashion accessory, rather than a winter necessity - here, winter usually means close to 6 months of the year, so by the time you can leave that winter scarf off, it’s not soon enough!
I really liked Ev McNabb’s ‘Shiraz Pizzaz’ from No 50 and I loved the weight the beads added to the ends. Last week, I knit one in Panama, same as Ev’s pattern, but I used a tuck lace of my own, same number of needles as hers. Mine turned out too wide because, instead of every other needle like Ev’s, my needle arrangement had 2 needles out of work in some spots and 4 together in others which made mine heavier and wider. I liked the resulting look, but needed it to be thinner yarn. Experimenting with Yeoman’s Janerio, I found it’s perfect! (3750m/500g cone, quite fine, 50% viscose (rayon), 25% linen, 25% acrylic)
I used the stitch pattern from ‘Cocoa Beach’, No 42, 92 sts wide and 700 rows. It took about 20 minutes to knit and five to steam press it out. The great thing about Janerio is, it really flattens and stays, because of the linen, I think, giving a nice ‘loft’ to the scarf. I had tracked down some beads - it seems the key is to find beads with holes that your yarn will fit through and then, how to get the beads onto the yarn? Ev said she ended up stripping a twist tie to get a thin wire that would loop the yarn and pass through her beads. The beading needles I found were all pretty fine and the yarn wouldn’t go through the eye. A flash from the past!!! we used to use dental floss threaders to show beginners how to thread the loopers in a serger, back in the day... I dashed out and got some - worked slick!!
While watching ‘So you think you can dance, Canada’ - yes, we have our own version and it’s fabulous - after fringing, I put two ends of yarn in the loop, threaded my sequence of beads on the firm, straight end and pulled them easily onto the yarn, knotted it off and Bob’s your uncle!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

rainy day

Went to the movies on Saturday afternoon - it was raining and I didn't feel like knitting- saw ‘Julie & Julia’ - I loved it - made me want to buy a string of pearls and cook beef bourguignon!! Well, actually, I love to cook already and though I’ve never been a Julia Child fan, I think it was only because I had never been exposed to her in the right way, I guess.
Anyway, the movie was totally fun and I went, thanks to Richard Crouse on CanadaAM the other day - he’s my go-to movie critic and I know I can trust him to give an honest review that will tell me whether I should see that particular movie or not - he gave it 4 out of 5 stars, a pretty high rating for him - he admitted to being a bit leery going in, which was my thought exactly. But both Meryl Streep and Amy Adams were very good, totally believable; likeable throughout and loved by the end.
I came home and dug out my one, previously ignored, Julia Child cookbook, 'From Julia Child’s Kitchen' - I think my daughter-in-law picked it up at a garage sale a few years back. I felt like I could identify with her style of writing and explaining what she did - I've always thought writing machine knitting patterns and articles were like making recipes.
I had already invited an old friend to come to lunch on Tuesday and had asked her if there was anything she was allergic to or couldn’t eat. She said no, not really, just she didn’t like spicy stuff. She had called me back to tell me she didn’t like eggs, like not in anyway you could actually identify the egg - I thought it was kind of weird, never had anyone tell me that before and then, in the movie, here’s Julie, trying to psyche herself up for the eggs chapter and telling her husband she never ate eggs, not fried, boiled or whatever - she finally managed to perfect Julia’s poached egg and pronounced it lovely, like eating butter - should I try this with Helen? maybe not...
Nobody said I had to keep this strictly knitting... I was going to give you my new recipe for jellied cucumber salad, but I'm not pushing my luck!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Fresh out of pink...

Have you ever had one of those laundry malfunctions where your clothes come out pink? I did a small load of light coloured things, a couple of camisoles, some undies, a shirt or two and when I took them out of the washer, two items were pink and the rest were all fine - how weird is that? I know what happened - I had washed a red satin cami - its third or fourth wash and dye was still coming out -in fact, the dye had been coming off on the top of my jeans and even on my skin - the night before and I’d forgot about it. There was obviously some residue left in the washer and my good white shirt soaked it up and only the trim on an ivory cami. I re-washed them right away thinking that would take it out. Nope.
This happened early this spring. I had hung the shirt to dry and it was still there, with all it’s pink!! I couldn’t bring myself to throw it out. I couldn’t even wear it pink because it has a small, random motif screen painted on it in black and gold and the pink really did not go with the print.
The other day, I was in the grocery store and for some reason, instead of doing my usual mad dash from the produce to the meat counter and out the door as quick as possible, I wandered down an unfamiliar aisle and saw a display of RIT fabric dye. Suddenly, I remembered an experiment several years ago when I was playing with bleaches and dyes and I recalled there was a product that would take some dye out of fabric, to make it more conducive to over-dyeing. And there it was, packages of RIT Colour Remover. Oh, I had nothing to loose! Took a package and went home to try it.
Dissolved the stuff in hot tap water in a large stainless bowl and tossed in my pink shirt - there was a chemical odour and a few swishes with a wooden spoon and presto, pink’s gone! I pulled out the shirt and put the cami in - it worked too! I’m so happy, I had to share this!