So I thought I would update you all on the co-habitation/engaged/housewife front. Though I am a fairly good knitter, you may noticed that I rarely blog about food, the way other knit bloggers do. The thing is, I enjoy eating food, but I am not particularly overcome with a need to document it. I eat it, it’s in my tummy, yay. But co-habitation has changed this.

First of all, I have enjoyed a New Yorker’s relationship to food since college and beyond.  I ate out (by myself and with friends); I ordered take-out; and I ate cereal for dinner. And sometimes, I would cook a big batch of something and then eat it at work for lunch for a week–bean chilli, etc. This has been going on for more than a decade. I will say, in my parents’ defense, that I grew up with great food–my father is an excellent cook (my mom, not so much, sorry mom), and after working a whole day at the office, my dad comes home every night and makes a multi-course meal. With my dad, there’s always a soup, a starch (generally rice), and at least two to three family style dishes, often a meat and a fish, and vegetables. We never ate packaged food or “semi-homemade.” The most my dad would resort to is occasional canned chicken broth, but everything was from scratch. And of course, on the weekends, we went out for dim sum.

But as an adult, I totally did not live up to my dad’s example. New York is not only filled with great restaurants, it’s filled with lots of mediocre and cheap places to eat. I never lived in the suburbs, but I could see how one might be more incentive to cook if it’s hard to get anywhere without getting in the car and then having to eat at a crappy chain or something, but in most neighborhoods in New York (okay, maybe not Staten Island, but Queens, Brooklyn, and Manhattan, and probably the Bronx), you can walk out and get a taco from the bodega or Chinese takeout or a sandwich at the deli or a late-night grilled cheese at the diner. Hence, my slackertude. It’s not just me! Beyond the famous example of Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City keeping her shoes in her oven, I just read TWO articles in the real estate section in the New York Times about people who used their kitchen as regular storage, since they never cooked. Both were middle-aged bachelors–one a retired schoolteacher and the other, a fabulous interior decorator. (Both kept files on their stove.)

Anyway, but now that I am working at home and Adam is living with me, I felt that I should at least try to cook regularly. What I have learned over the past couple of weeks is that three nights/week of homecooking is enough to do me in. Perhaps in time, I can build up to my dad’s seven days/week skill set, but three days a week is hard enough. And you have to start early! You have to start prepping at 4:30 or 5 AT THE LATEST. Man, being a housewife is hard. (We won’t even talk about the rooms I have to clean and whatnot.) If I had kids and had to make three meals a day, let me tell you, I completely understand why you would be chained to the stove. And forget my dad’s multi-course meals, one dish is about all I can put together.

So I told my mom this (my mom, who almost never cooks) and she snickered. She was all, “Maybe you should get an office job where you make a lot more money so you can hire a housekeeper. Maybe you should go to law school. Besides your knitting, I’m not sure you really have any good homemaking skills.” Then I told my friend about my plan to cook and at first he was all, “Hmm, dinner when I get home at night? Maybe this is why people get married.*” But then he started thinking about this and was like, “Wait, is this just a scheme to get Adam to end up making dinner for you?” (No.)

*This same friend recently told me how to broil chicken breasts. I was like um, I know how to broil chicken breasts, ye-who-did-not-even-own-a-can-opener-in-college.

Like all cooks, I’ve had my successes and my failures, but because cooking is more of a process, I guess I understand why people feel a need to blog about it–it’s so DIY. Anyway, above is a photo of my biggest success to date–it’s a minstrone from scratch from the January 2010 issue of Cook’s Illustrated. (I have the web subscription.) It really was very tasty (lots of delicious secret ingredients including porchetta, parmesan rinds, and…V-8! Highly recommended) and received the highest of housewife rewards: raves from one’s man. I say, WHATEVER to raves, give me a tax break already. I swear, cooking has made me all Betty Friedan.* But then I remembered one of my friends who is the best home cook I know is also a full-time doctor. Sigh. Way to make everyone look bad, FRIEND.

*”Each suburban wife struggled with it alone. As she made the beds, shopped for groceries … she was afraid to ask even of herself the silent question — ‘Is this all?” (<–you have to say that quote in a very ominous voice, because it’s obviously the voiceover to a movie where the wife starts an illicit suburban affair or something.)

Excuse me. I have to go clean.

Posted in personal, Uncategorized at January 22nd, 2010.

One armed sweater

(1.) My first resolution is to finish this sweater. If you look at the photo above, you can see where I decreased at the sleeve to make it narrower (near the cuff). I knew it looked weird (my own pattern mod), but I didn’t want to rip it out, so I just stuffed it into a bag and ignored it. But I finally realized that I had to do something and I ripped it out. I now have to reknit that sleeve end and the other sleeve.

(2.) General knitting resolutions: More sweaters / knit down the stash.

I have more life/career goals that I may or may not share on the blog, but I should be able to at least finish that first resolution, right?!

Posted in Sweaters, Uncategorized at January 19th, 2010.

FOs 2009

Oh hello, it’s only January 17… Sigh. I don’t know, I developed the blog flu and lost the will to blog for a while there. Though not the will to knit. So. 2009. Kind of a bummer for everyone I guess, but I don’t know if I exactly see it as a bummer, more like a year of thinking about the future. I don’t know, maybe that’s overly euphemistic, like “It’s not a problem, it’s a challenge!”

Also known as the year where my industry (publishing) officially died and fell into a giant canyon. Anyway, I managed to knit 12 things, some of which I never blogged about, but here’s a recap, with thoughts and in non-chronological order.

Top row, left to right:

Rowan Felted Tweed Helmet: The hat I made after reading Barbara Walker’s Knitting From the Top, knitted (obviously) from the top down. This yarn was from the closing sale of Yarn Connection, in midtown, which was near my office. Sadly, this was an ominous sign for both New York’s yarn stores and for my job. Yarn Connection was the first of many New York’s yarn stores to close last year and soon after I bought the yarn, I was laid off. Then my grandmother turned 80, and I ended up giving it to her for mother’s day. (I gave her a shawl for her big milestone birthday.) Adam and I went to Montauk for Valentine’s Day, hence the spectacular setting in the back.

NYU Stern Creativity Project: This was a child’s scarf that I knitted for a creativity study at NYU”s Stern Business School. This briefly led me to consider (a) going to business school and (b) working in a yarn store. I went to a meeting about applying business school and it was so horrible and un-fun-seeming that I was like, ugh no. I did apply to work at a yarn store and was interviewed, but sadly, I was not chosen. Let us be a little depressed that I could not get a job at a yarn store. Sigh.

Algae Cowl: In another bit of sad news, one of Adam’s grandmothers passed away and we went to Milwaukee for her funeral. I did get a chance though to go to a yarn store in Wisconsin, and bought this hand-spun yarn from Just 4 Ewe. I pretty much knit this whole thing in the Milwaukee airport while watching The Big Bang Theory. Embarassing secret: I find this show strangely enjoyable.

Second row, left to right:

Medusa Cowl: I knit this during a yarn entrepreneurial phase where I was convinced that my original designs were going to be my ticket to my fame and future. Too bad the cowl turned out to be kind of a loser.

Adam’s Civil War Socks: Aww, I finished these socks up in the emergency room waiting with my dad, when he very sick earlier this year. Fortunately, even though he has a very rare disease, he seems to be doing much better, but I remember the hours spent in the emergency room with him, after he suddenly got very very sick. So, actually, this was a period when I was glad I got laid off, because I got to spend more time at home with my dad when he was being diagnosed and going through all these surgeries.

Ugly Monkey Socks: I finished these socks during our annual vacation at the Jersey Shore. So something happened at the Jersey Shore that I never shared with my blog readers, mainly because I like to be kind of private and whatnot, but what the hell. Adam proposed! Yes, we are getting married this year. And yes, I am burying the lede, as they say in the news biz, deep into my post. Also, I am blogging about weddings (of course) on wedding.newyorkminknit.com and funnyweddingthings.tumblr.com. The first one is about my wedding and style and whatnot, and then the second one is just about ridiculous things I find about weddings. Maybe this is why I haven’t been blogging that much…I am putting all of my creativity into wedding planning? Oh dear, that sounds super super lame.

Third row, left to right:

Flamingo Socks: Okay, I don’t think there is any actual life significance to these socks. Though the yarn was from my FMIL, as they say on wedding boards. But these were just regular old socks that I knit. But this is probably the last photo I’ll ever take of my socks at Adam’s apartment because he moved in with me on New Year’s. Yikes!

Sherbe(r)t Socks: The socks where I couldn’t find any DPNs and was forced to learn how to knit two socks at a time on one long circular needle.

Seeded rib mitts: One of my 2009 projects I never blogged about because I am lazy. Also, why blog? Perhaps I developed some sort of blog existentialism in the past couple of months. Why blog, what does it mean to blog, is there even a point to blogging? Also, for knitters, Ravelry seems to do so much for us, blogging seems unnecessary. It’s kind of like this photo/cartoon. Also, Twitter. It continues to confuse me. Anyway, I did put this project on Ravelry, if you want to go see it there. It’s Patons Jet, knitted up into mitts. More yarn gifted to me by my FMIL that came with a one-skein project book–actually, now I will take the time to say that I am particularly lucky that my FMIL (future mother-in-law, in case you have not yet figured it out*) is not only very nice, but she always thinks of  cool knitting presents for me. Also, my hands look like mannequin hands in this photos.

* A friend of mine recently told me that she thought FTW stood for “F*ck the world” and not “for the win” and couldn’t  figure out why everyone kept using it on the internet.

Fourth row, left to right:

Adam’s Christmas Noro Hat: Another thing I never blogged. Adam and I ended up having a really belated Christmas this year, but I do try to knit him one thing each year, and his old Odessa hat was getting pretty old looking. It’s the Turn a Square pattern by Jared Flood, aka Brooklyn Tweed, aka the most famous male knitter on the internet. Whenever I tell people I knit, they’re always like, “Oh, do you read Brooklyn Tweed?!?” I’m like, yes, yes, we all know and love Brooklyn Tweed. He’s the classy Jackie Kennedy to the rest of us Mamie Eisenhower dowdy frump-a-dumps.

FO: Hat

Here’s another photo. I guess you could say 2009 was also the year I really got into Noro. I’m like NORO!!! It’s so fab. Especially because of…

Noro Shawlette: This really is a spectacular project and probably my favorite from the whole year. There was a period where I thought I had lost it (well the past few weeks, but it turned out it was hidden underneath my wedding dresses that Adam had moved into my closet) and I was kind of depressed for a while. It’s fab. And I love it! And I love everything Kate Gagnon designs, especially because I freaked out one of my former co-workers who is also my Facebook friend and who happened to go to Kate’s wedding. I was all, “[male co-worker name!!!] I can’t believe you know Kate Gagnon! Did you know she is very famous in the knitting world!?” My male friend/former co-worker probably thought I was insane, also because I decided to write all this on his Facebook photo page.

Leafy Elf Hat: Nothing life changing associated with this hat either. I did knit it at Thanksgiving, but you know Thanksgiving. It comes every year.

Okay, New Year’s Resolutions to come tomorrow. Or uh, later this week.

Posted in Finished Objects 2009, personal, Uncategorized at January 18th, 2010.