Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Exploding TARDIS

I have this obsession with the new Doctor Who. I really liked the 9th Doctor. I loved the 10th Doctor. I'm absolutely crazy about the 11th Doctor.

Why am I sharing this? Well, a few years back I got my hands on a gorgeous limited edition skein of Starry, Starry Night from the Three Irish Girls:

The gorgeous skein, photo from Three Irish Girls
The original inspiration, by Van Gogh

It was a gorgeous hank of yarn and I knew it was destined for something special. It sat in my stash for years, waiting for the right project which never seemed to come along.

And then...this happened:

See the little TARDIS in the sky?

And I saw this:

And then...it explodes.

And it all just clicked. My Starry, Starry Night needed to become Exploding TARDIS Socks. I dug through my stash and found a gorgeous (and perfectly matching!) skein of Cian, a bright yellow semi-solid from Three Irish Girls and set to work while on a road trip to New Jersey. By the time I got home, I had these:

My AWESOME Exploding TARDIS Socks.

 What great bits of nerdery have y'all engaged in?

Thursday, May 31, 2012


I'm currently working on my first ever Camp Loopy challenge! Each month for three months, we are set challenges to work up in yarn. If we complete all three challenges in the time period, we get glory and prizes!!!

Challenge one is to knit a 400+ yard project designed by a knitter from a foreign country. I chose to knit with Dream In Color Starry in Grey Tabby (IT SPARKLES!!!). 

At first, my plan was to knit Earl Grey by The Yarn Harlot, but the yarn whispered to me and told me that the cable would be lost in the sparkle. I listen when the yarn speaks so Earl Grey went back into the queue. 

What a lovely little cable! I still want to knit these very much!!!

I looked into UK designers since it's my favorite place on the planet and I found a gorgeous sock to attempt - Vorticity by Alice Yu of Socktopus. It's got undulations that I thought would really make the sparkles dance around the sock. Sadly, that was a disaster! All the errata in the world wasn't helping that pattern. I tried four different times and none of them worked so I had to give into frustration and frog it.

What did I finally settle on? An old standby from one of my favorite Canadian designers - Spillyjane. I decided to knit her Mokira pattern, a simple pattern with a wheat-ear like lace motif in it. It's a great match for the yarn. I'm just completed with my first repeat of the pattern and it's showing off the sparkles just like I hoped it would. The lace is subtle so it's not lost in the sparkle, it just breaks up the flow here and there with a flash of skin. Perfect. I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed the pattern!

Spillyjane's Mokira. Isn't it a lovely pattern?!

I've got about 3.5 weeks to complete the pair of socks and post them to the Camp Loopy boards if they are to count towards completing the challenges. Can I do it? Well, I'm almost done with my current batch of publication work and the next batch won't start till at least July...I have high hopes!!!

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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

I'm A Spinner

 This is my new spinning wheel, a Kromski Minstrel. I love it. It was a birthday present from my husband who drove me to Webs in the middle of a snowstorm (two and a half hours away) so that he could surprise me with it. I love him too.

 This is my first yarn. It's a mohair/merino blend and I practiced both drafting and plying and it's what I wound up with. It's a tiny little nugget but it hooked me. Wow. I love spinning. I need to thank Lucy at Mind's Eye Yarn in Cambridge for teaching me so much during my private spinning lesson. I will recommend her to anyone looking to expand their spinning skill set - she is a font of knowledge!

I've started to work with a brightly colored roving, just to see what it can do. I've chosen this 100% superwash merino in Seriously Citrus from Mad Color Fiber Arts. Isn't it crazy bright and so much fun?

You can see it on yarn on Ravelry here.

So far, I've got about a half of a bobbin full. I've decided to spin it up in colored sections - green, yellow, orange, pink, repeat. I figure I'll spin two bobbins filled with singles and then ply them together and see what happens. I hope that some sections of the final yarn will be solid colors and other sections will be marled. I can't wait to see though - it's an experiment.

Are you a spinner? What fiber dyers can you suggest? I'm looking for some fun colored superwash fibers to play with!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Sushi + Fruit = Frushi!

This year my family celebrated New Year's Day by hosting the Third Annual New Year's Day Dessert Brunch at our home. While planning the shindig, my husband and I had a brilliant idea for a dessert, inspired by a food review I had read earlier in the week. We decided we would tackle frushi, the delicious love-child of fruit and sushi.

We committed ourselves to the plan about three days before the event...which seemed like a lot of time. How hard could it be?! Well, it was a good thing we decided to test the recipe first because we would up making three batches before we had one that we felt was up to our standards!

Lesson 1: The rice we used was a sushi rice prepared with coconut milk and sugar and it was VERY sticky. So sticky that it needed to sit in the fridge overnight.

Lesson 2: Melons are very juicy. Let them sit on paper towels for a while to bleed out some of the juice.

Lesson 3: It's very hard to take the membrane off of a grapefruit section. Get an extra fruit to practice on. Luckily the failures were still delicious.

Lesson 4: Haribo Gummi Raspberries look like they'd make a great caviar. Looks can be deceiving.

Lesson 5: Seaweed tastes fishy. Who wants fishy dessert? Well, now you can get sushi wraps made of soy paper, especially designed for dessert sushi! They come in a 5 pack and are very pretty, coming in all different colors.

Not a lesson, but a brilliant discovery: Slice a banana into flat strips. Saute the strips in butter and sugar to caramelize. Let the pieces cool and place on top of rice, nigiri style. Drizzle with the caramel sauce. They look exactly like Unagi!!!

The fruit sushi was so much fun to make and a huge hit at the party. To keep with the vaguely Asian theme and flavors, we also served Pineapple Ginger Pound Cake, Lapsong Souchong Infused Chocolate Cake, Ginger Cookies, and Fortune Cookies. A giant bowl of steamed and salted edamame added a savory note and we served a selection of sake and plum wine. Delicious!!!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone!

It's 2012 and I'm so excited for this coming year. I have so many interesting and challenging projects on the agenda - most knitting but some not - and I just can not wait to get started.

Shall a provide a teaser or two? Let's see, lots of socks, my first e-book, and an updated website are all in the cards for this year.

I also plan on participating in 12 Pairs of Socks in 2012 on Ravelry. I'd love to make a fancy plan of knitting 12 pairs from stash or use 12 patterns from different designer or some other crazy hook like that, but in reality, I think I'll be pleased with myself for just getting through 12 pairs!

This was the last time I attempted a 12 pair challenge!

Secretly, I'd love to design 12 pairs of socks in 2012...or to design 12 designs in 2012...but I think I need to get my head out of the clouds. I've still got that toddler running around my house and I bet a good deal of time will be spent keeping him out of trouble. Not that I mind - he's awesome. He's 15 months old and already likes to play with needles and string!