Nine inches done on the body, with another 10 inches to go before joining for the yoke. Think I can do it in time?
I can’t remember whether I’ve mentioned it in this forum before—please forgive me if I’m repeating myself—but I tend to dislike knitting sleeves. Now, I’m all for wearing them (I didn’t really get the whole short-sleeved jumper thing that was trendy for a while there), but find them tedious and cumbersome to construct.
I have a similar dislike of knitting the legs and feet of socks. For some reason I am impatient when it comes to knitting that involves no shaping and only a minimally-challenging pattern. I cannot make plain stockinette socks for this reason: it just doesn’t happen; I give up out of sheer boredom before I can get to the heel.
This is the reason (I have discovered only recently) I am much better at knitting socks top-down than toe-up. When I have the heel shaping and gusset to look forward to (my favourite steps; the ones where the magic of sock-knitting takes place and a shape appears out of thin air), I am much more civilised about getting through the sock leg than if I leave it to last like the chore I find it to be (Surprise, surprise: I am also a chronic procrastinator).
Stripes! will be my first attempt at completing a sweater since my realisation that, like top-down socks, I may have more sweater-finishing momentum if I attempt it bottom-up rather than top-down. Top-down seamless construction involves leaving the sleeves until last, whereas working bottom-up the sleeves and body are worked individually and then combined for the momentous and thrilling ‘joining of the yoke’.
I’m almost finished the second sleeve (two stripes to go…I love counting in stripes, by the way) and will soon be casting on for the body. Happy Monday, everyone!
This week has been pretty intense work-wise (although, worth it: I got the job I interviewed for on Monday!), so I haven’t had much time for knitting. Last night, though, I put on my go-to comfort viewing and started making some respectable progress on sleeve #1.
I’m currently at 17″ long, just past the elbow, and the circumference is large enough for a single circular needle to accommodate the stitches. I’m finding the Continental method is making my hands a little sore in odd places, and I’m hoping it’ll wear off once I get used to the technique. I feel like I’m breaking in a new pair of thumbs or something.
How’s the Olympic spirit treating you?
Personally, I spent the weekend preparing for an interview I had this morning (Ick!), taking my mind off said interview with The Wire’s final absorbing season, and cursing the two-circ method and my too-long DPNs equally.
Who else is joining in on the Ravelympics, and how’s it going so far? Are you crafting like a maniac, barely stopping to eat and sleep, or are you cruising along and not taking it too seriously?
Feel free to spread some love over here.
I’ve been a fan of Jamie Oliver for many years, and I find it riveting and endlessly inspiring watching his passion and vision for the life-changing power of ‘real food’ become action.
These are the kinds of important conversations that need to be heard by the mainstream public, and will gain a wider audience than traditional hardline vegan activism simply because of who the messenger is.
These beauties arrived in the post today, all the way from Scotland. What a glorious surprise! They made my day. The super-cute strawberries are a double-pointed-needle case from Mirella‘s etsy store, and the patriotic-coloured corn sock yarn was an awesome, unexpected treasure. Thanks, dudette!
With the 2010 ravelympics due to begin in a mere few days, and me hurting a strategic finger on my right hand—turns out I knit weirdly—I decided to get this Continental knitting thing straightened out and give the technique a red hot go. I found this video helpful for the troublesome purl stitches, and while I’m still finding it awkward that’s probably partly due to the fact that I’m knitting 2×2 ribbing on DPNs using a gorgeous, slippery, splitty bamboo sock yarn. Nothing like jumping in the deep end, right?
Anyone else getting psyched for the ravelympics?
I cohabitate—mostly peacefully—with a household of omnivores, so this is the rarest of outbursts, but in the interests of integrity and full disclosure, I’m showing the bad with the good. This is me. I sometimes make bad choices, but I always apologise.
I followed a link to a ravelry forum thread discussing a certain potential customer searching for a vegan and environmentally-friendly yarn, which excluded her choices to almost none. The thread, begun with frustration, followed through with mockery and hostility, which I felt (mistakenly, in hindsight, which makes me hang my head in shame) was directed towards veganism in general, and vegan knitters in particular.
It was one of those anonymous internet conversations designed to bond members of the discussion over misinformed and disproportionate comments about an absent and universally-maligned outsider. On behalf of all of vegankind I was offended—and worse, I acted out of those feelings, and posted something I shouldn’t have.
In that moment I was too tired to be another silent martyr, belted by bigotry, expected to exercise superhuman restraint in order to keep the peace with those who rip flesh from bones over polite conversation.
I was tired of having to be the bigger person, to endure wildly offensive and insensitive accusations with patience and reason, to be the levelheaded one stepping away from the computer, not able to discuss just how hurt or offended or worn-down I sometimes feel at the sheer violence of the omnivore/ former vegetarian/ self-proclaimed cheese addict.
I’m sorry, ravelry poster, for commenting out of stupidity, pain, and weariness. But vegans are human too.
I love to snack on raw sunflower seeds, and not just in an I-heart-Mulder way (although who doesn’t?), but had never really used the chewy, moreish seeds in baking before, turning first to walnuts and almonds as my go-to crunch and protein providers.
Featured here in a chewy, barely sweetened, date-studded loaf, they add their toothsome texture and nutritional generosity to great effect.
Gently seasoned with ground cinnamon and ginger, flecked with tea-soaked dates and natural almond meal, shaped into a rustic and deeply furrowed loaf, this teatime or breakfast treat is packed with goodness and wholesome plenty.
Chewy Date Loaf
2 C Wholemeal self-raising flour
1 C White (unbleached) self-raising flour
1 C almond meal
1 T baking powder
1 T cinnamon
1 t ground ginger
1/2 C raw sunflower seeds
1/2 C walnuts
1 C dried dates
1 C black tea
1 C soy milk
1/2 C raw sugar
1/2 C canola oil
1 t vanilla
Preheat oven to 200 C. Lightly grease two small loaf tins.
In small bowl, soak dates in tea.
In large bowl, combine flours, almond meal, baking powder, salt, spices, seeds and nuts.
To tea mixture, add soy milk, sugar, oil and vanilla. Stir to combine.
Fold wet ingredients into dry, mixing until just combined.
Pour batter evenly into loaf tins and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until cooked in centre. Allow to sit for 5 minutes in tin, then turn onto wire rack to finish cooling. Makes two loaves.
I had a craving for a hearty, wholesome muffin full of fruit, nuts and seeds that I could have for breakfast. This muffin, while light and tender (see that crumb in my hand? That’s how tender.), contains orange rind and juice, organic natural (with the skin on…is there a technical term for that?) almond meal, and poppy seeds.
Based partly on my go-to muffin mix recipe, and partly on the Lemon Poppyseed muffin recipe from Vegan Brunch (full of inspiration for a breakfast obsessive like me), I subbed wholemeal flour for half of the white stuff, and almond meal for another quarter of it. Used less sugar and much less oil than the VB recipe, ’cause that’s the way I like my muffins.
Have a wonderful weekend—hope yours is full of grand adventures!