So when I was in college, one of my friends would always make fun of me because when I was over at her apartment and I had to choose a mug, I always chose the Monet one. She was like “I knew you would choose that one!” I was like, whatever–have you seen the Monet umbrellas? Anyway, I think Monet is one of those things that kind of gets eye-rolled at because of all the tchotchkes that have the paintings imprinted on them (mousepads, anyone?), much like classical music pieces that are overplayed. But the thing is that sometimes cliches are famous because they’re good. I tried to make a case for Pachelbel’s “Canon” at my wedding with this argument, but Adam was like “No. Too many commercials.” (Ha! I had my own Pachelbel moment…the song we used had the same chords as Pachelbel’s “Cannon”! Plus, I got to do a nod to my Phil Spector fandom–we did “Be My Baby.” I know Phil Spector is crazy, but I fact-checked a whole story about Phil Spector once and I developed a whole new appreciation for the “Wall of Sound.” By the way, I discovered this enormous list of songs that use the “Be My Baby” drum beat. So if you wanted to do one of those Wheel of Fortune Before and Afters–you know “Baseball Bat Cave”–you could say that musically, Pachelbel begat Be My Baby, which begat this giant list of other songs, including my beloved Billy Joel’s “Say Goodbye to Hollywood.” Incidentally, one of the DJs we interviewed cited Billy Joel as his guilty pleasure and I started laughing–I was like, “Don’t apologize, I love Billy Joel!”)

Anyway, when we were on our honeymoon we went to see Monet’s water lillies at the Musee de la Orangerie and they were truly spectacular (they were actually at Gagosian in New York earlier this year, but we didn’t have a chance to visit). When you see them huge and up close, they are incredibly emotional and moving in a way that cannot be conveyed by the coffee cups and other tchotchkes.

Here’s a photo that Adam took on our honeymoon:

This is a long warm up to say that I think my new mittens seem kind of…dare I say Monet-esque? I know, every two-bit knitting designer describes their creation as inspired by Monet. And then you look at their project and you’re like, “whoa, that is the ugliest pastel bit of knitting vomit ever.” Well, I know, but there is a nice play of color on these mittens. (The front and the back are reverse fair isle of each other.)
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Fingerless Mitt

Should I make them fingerless mitts as I first planned or mittens?

Posted in Mittens, Uncategorized at October 19th, 2010.

Here’s my bag of fingerling weight sock and shawl scraps, left over from my socks and shawls. It’s so inspiring! I thought to myself, if only I had some fingerling weight solid to do some fair isle in. Guess what? I looked in my Bin of Stash, and I have a whole ball, plus maybe 20% of another ball of light blue alpaca, left over from the hood hat I made my sister. I am chugging along on these really cool mittens–photos to come tomorrow of the work in progress.

Posted in Inspiration, Mittens, Uncategorized at October 17th, 2010.

Pattern: Hamamelis Shawl, by Kristin Kapur, of Through the Loops. $6.00

Yarn: Sundara Fingerling Silky Merino, color: The Life Aquatic. This is from a Seasons subscription that I had in 2008-2009. Sundara is kind of a crazy cult yarn that is hard to get–Seasons was a thing where you paid her every month and then every other month you received a batch of yarn. You didn’t get to pick the colors, only a “season” of colors (I had winter). Anyway, you can get skeins of it from her website. It currently runs $40-$50 a skein. The website says you get 500 yards, but I think its significantly more. I had quite a bit left over.

Needles: Size 5 Lace Addis.

Project begun/ended: April 2010-October 2010. Only seven months. 🙂

Notes and modifications: I knit the medium size, and then I knit 40 rows of the garter stitch chart (chart 3) instead of 24. I was going to knit 48, but I ran out of steam. So it’s somewhere between a medium and a large. It’s a straightforward pattern though it’s not very intuitive.

This yarn is billed as a semi-solid, but mine was pretty variegated, so I wanted something with a lot of garter stitch that didn’t compete too heavily with the colors.

I don’t think anyone ever wears their shawl like this, but it seems to be required to show you the full knitting and shape. My body looks weirdly out of proportion here but I think it has to do with the angle at which it was shot.


I like to wear my triangle shawls like this, so it’s more scarf-y and less old lady.

Posted in Finished Objects 2010, Shawls, Uncategorized at October 15th, 2010.

You know, I’ve been thinking a lot about blogging recently. It sort of came up because Adam asked me why I hadn’t applied to be a Weddingbee blogger even though I read it ALL the time. (Even, I must admit, after I was married.) A small part of it was because I am a writer for money (though not here on my self-funded, three-reader blog) and I didn’t feel I wanted to write for a commercial website for no pay. The bigger part is that I am a huge oversharer in real life. I like to overshare about everything–even if I just met you at a dinner party, I am soon telling you about all of my life problems. But the internet is not the place for that–it’s a place for undersharing. However, what I think makes a blog interesting is when people are really personal. But how can you do that without oversharing?

I started a knitting blog so I could share my projects, but Ravelry has really efficiently created a way of sharing knitting information that surpasses individual blogs and Facebook seems to have replaced personal blogs in general. I have always read blogs on Bloglines, but now Bloglines is closing down and it makes me have to re-evaluate the role of blogs. I enjoy having a place to blab about what I want, but I wonder if blogs are still the best way of doing so. Sigh.

Anyway. Here is the shawl so far. I am SO over knitting it and want to knit many other things, but I must finish this shawl first, otherwise it will sit around taunting me:


Let’s see, what else do I normally blab about. Um, books. I finally finished a rather short but very bleak non-fiction book The Oysters of Locmariaquer, which I wanted to read after my Brittany all-oysters-all-the-time honeymoon. This book was the winner of the National Book Award in 1965. In addition to being a fairly comprehensive history of oysters in France, it tells the story of the oysterpeople in Locmariaquer. Every tale was incredibly bleak. In addition to working all the time and making very little money off an unstable business (oysters), the oysterpeople had these terrible life stories, many of which seemed to involve your only and beloved daughter being beaten in an oyster restaurant before committing suicide with just…one…oyster to eat. I think this book was hard to read because every chapter seemed filled with even more bleakness. But the prose is beautiful and often funny, plus I learned a lot about oysters.

Foooood. Here are some food photos, since this has now become a housewife blog:
Rice-Cooker Cooking

I made this in the rice cooker after reading Roger Ebert’s book The Pot and How to Use It. Let me save you your money and point out that there is no need to buy this book. Adam got it from work for free, but it is basically this entire blog post on Roger Ebert’s blog published in book form. But funny and informative. Roger Ebert turns out to be hilarious and enjoys cooking everything in a rice cooker. You are not going to get a Michelin star from anything made in a rice cooker, but it will be edible and fairly easy to make. This is the Jubilee rice from Lundberg that I am a fan of, cooked with Imagine chicken broth, and reconstituted shiitake mushrooms (pour boiling hot water over dried mushrooms and soak for at least an hour), edamame, tofu, spinach. Plus Penzey’s spices, which I now throw into everything.
Banana Bread

Banana bread from Cook’s Illustrated, I think the September issue. Yummy. Wait, I think I might have to get a slice now.

Posted in cooking, Shawls, Uncategorized at October 8th, 2010.