Okay, I always think food on people’s knitting blogs is Very Boring, but I don’t have a lot of knitting content to show you, so food it is.

Asian Chicken-and-Spinach Soup

Asian spinach soup with chicken from America’s Test Kitchen Best Simple Recipes. This could be improved, mainly because the noodles make everything very gummy. Also, I halved the recipe, but left in two chicken breasts. This was a mistake. Should have only used one. But used more spinach. The mirin and Asian chili sauce, though, adds some nice punch. I would say a B. I would make again, but it needs some tweaking.

Cheddar Herb Biscuits

This is not the best picture, but these are herb cheddar biscuits from Martha Stewart Living Cookbook: The Original Classics. I owned an earlier version of this cookbook (entitled just Martha Stewart Living Cookbook, I think) but I gave it away when I moved several years ago, but I missed it, and luckily, I received the new edition for my shower! I always wanted to make these since the recipe was in the magazine, and they were great. I halved the recipe (which was supposed to make 20), and it still made almost 20. Tip: If you want to save re-patting the dough out and stuff, cut into wedges instead of circles. These are actually pretty easy to make, and Adam loved them (even the day after, when they were a bit less tasty). He ate 5 when they were hot. He asked what the secret was and I said, “Crisco.” He was all, “Martha put Crisco in a recipe?!?” I said, “Well, she called it vegetable shortening, but I’m not sure what else is vegetable shortening except for Crisco.” Also, an entire stick of butter. Still, very tasty and flaky. Amazing how fats make everything tasty. This was a solid A. Especially good hot!

Okay, am aiming for knitting content tomorrow, so this doesn’t turn into hausfrau blog.

Posted in cooking, Uncategorized at April 6th, 2010.

So it’s actually warmed up a bit this week, but the last few weeks have been really quite chilly. Not cold enough for mittens, but cold enough for my fingerless mitts.

Sadly, I was taking the S (or Shuttle) subway a few weeks ago, and I dropped one of my mittSF (my own pattern, click on the link for the free pattern)! Oh noes.

MittSF and Socks

One lonely mitt left…those are Adam’s Civil War Socks that I knit for him by the way, not a weird New Balance foot fet*sh photo.

The super annoying thing was that I dropped it on the little platform that’s just below the platform. Adam even got on his belly on the (totally disgusting) Times Square platform to try and reach it for me, but it was just a few inches too far. I actually dropped my MetroCard a year ago at my subway station and the MTA folks kindly got on the track to get it for me (even though the conductor was annoyed when he found out it was just a MetroCard–he thought I had dropped a cellphone), but there was no help at the busy Times Square platform. The gal at the ticket booth said that there were only two (TWO!) people assigned to pick up stuff from the tracks for the whole city and hinted that they might never come; the train conductor firmly told me that under NO CIRCUMSTANCES should I attempt to get it myself (he pointed out that there was the Very Dangerous and Murderous Third Rail, which is electrified); and the policemen (and, by the way, New Yorkers, have you noticed way more police presence in the subway stations lately?) nodded sympathetically when I wailed “But I knit it myself!” but were like, “Yeah, it’s a mitten, get over it.”

Sigh. Well, I can always knit another pair.

Posted in travelingproject, Uncategorized at April 5th, 2010.

So, I like how I was all braggalocious in my last post and was like, “Hey! I’m going to post all the time!” Apparently that was an April Fool’s joke in my mind. Also, I came down with a cold. Anyhow, since I don’t have any new knitting to show you, here are some crappy photos of things I tried to cook recently:


This is a barley soup al verde, from the Silver Spoon Cookbook (oooh lala). It was re-tweaked for Serious Eats. Barley with cabbage and spinach and stuff. It was okay, I would rate it a B.


This is a mystery en papilotte! Or actually, mystery en aluminum foil.

Et voila!


Scallops! I made way too many–I made this pack x2! Only needed one. The devious fishmonger convinced me I needed more. I overcooked them a bit; I worried 10 minutes wasn’t enough, but of course it was, and I cooked for 12. Also, I really need an oven thermometer. Yes, I put one on the registry!


I don’t think you can tell, because of the color of the plate, but there’s roasted beets with scallops on top, with clementine slices and a balsamic orange vinaigrette on top. Kind of made it up with stuff in my house, but it’s a copy of a very similar appetizer at Dumont, in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Posted in cooking, Uncategorized at April 2nd, 2010.

Every year, I do one month where I get REALLY into blogging, and I’ve decided that month is going to be April. Get ready!

In other news, I still haven’t finished my sock:
lemon drop sock

Posted in travelingproject, Uncategorized at March 31st, 2010.

Ithacowl II

I wanted to make a gray version of my Ithacowl. And I did. I knit this a couple of weeks ago…it only took a week.

Pattern: My very own Ithacowl! Free!

Yarn: One skein School Products’ Donegal Cashmere Tweed, bulky. $20 for 95 yards.

Needles: 16″ bamboo Clovers, size 7 (same as the first Ithacowl!)

Project began/ended: Started February 5, finished February 13.

Notes/modifications: I wear my Ithacowl a lot, so I wanted to try making another one. This yarn is much bulkier and has much smaller yardage, so I CO 72 stitches instead, and knit until I ran out of yarn. Once you’re done, the yarn looks kind of ugly and oily. (I think they oil it at School Products for machine knitters?) Wash it in VERY HOT water (the hottest my tap could produce, to the point where I couldn’t touch it), with dish washing detergent. Wash another round in very hot water with vinegar. Soak in a new round with hair conditioner. Rinse. Wack the cowl against the bathtub a bunch. Let dry. Voila! Soft cashmere cowl.

Posted in Finished Objects 2010, Scarves, Uncategorized at February 26th, 2010.

WIP lemon drop socks

I’m sort of participating in Knitting Olympics, in that I’m knitting and watching them. I did cheat (not with steroids), but by casting on the toe and knitting it before the opening ceremonies. This yarn’s color is “Lemon Drop” and the stitch pattern is a bit lemon drop-y too. Adam, without seeing the label, remarked that the color looked like a lemon drop, so it’s fairly accurate. Yes, New York has snow. Not a ton, but it’s here.

Here’s the first sock:

WIP lemon drop socks

The yarn is Yarntini (from deep in the stash) and the pattern is from More Sensational Knitted Socks.

Posted in Socks, travelingproject, Uncategorized at February 16th, 2010.

Garter Yoke Sweater

It was cold, so I was wearing my Hot Pink Mittens. Adam says it looks like I am wearing oven mitts. The pucker at the waist can and will be blocked out–I haven’t washed and blocked it yet.

Pattern: Garter Yoke Cardigan, by Melissa LaBarre, in Knit.1 Fall/Winter 2008. [Ravelry link here.] This is (and I am not dissing Melissa/Knitting School Dropout here, because it is a beautiful and clear pattern) a women’s cardigan version of Brooklyn Tweed’s Cobblestone Pullover. Same garter yoke, etc.

Yarn: 6.5 balls of Debbie Bliss Tweed. This yarn has extremely minimal yardage, beware. It has 97 yarns of aran weight yarn/ball, which is very little for the price. I can’t remember the exact price for this, though I have a receipt floating around on my desk somewhere. I bought a bag of 10 balls on discount when Yarn Connection went out of business. I’m guessing maybe around $70-80/bag? It seems to retail for $10/ball, and I remember there was about a 20% discount on the yarns, if not more. If I paid $8/ball and I needed 8 balls, then I paid around $64 for the yarn for this sweater. I found my receipt–I paid $77.50 for a bag of 10, and I used 6.5 balls (I originally put 7.5 balls), so 7 x $7.50=$52.50. Plus another $7.50 for the buttons. Knitting, not always so cheap.

Anyway, the prototype of this sweater was knit by Melissa in a tweed yarn (the one in the magazine was knit in a solid yarn), which is where I got the idea for my tweed version.

Needles: various types of no. 5 needles (circs and DPNs).

Garter Yoke Sweater

Project started/finished: Started January  2009, finished January 2010. One year!

Notes: When I started knitting this sweater, pretty much right when the magazine came out, and if I had finished it, I would have been the fourth project or so on Ravelry. Now, there are more than 700 projects–almost 800–on Ravelry alone. Basically I started knitting this sweater and then a couple of things happened.

First of all, life. I remember when I got laid off, I thought, “Ooooh, I can finish that sweater,” but you know how things go. Anyway, I did actually knit the majority of it in a couple of months, but then the second thing happened.

That would be the sleeves. Ugh, I hated how I had tried to taper them (a personal modification not in the pattern), but I SO did not want to rip them out and re-knit them. So I stuffed it in a bag in a drawer and hoped that magical elves would come and reknit them for me. Finally I had to face the music. (Like all of life, I suppose.) I ripped out the sleeves and re-knit them to bracelet length, which meant less work and was also more attractive, I think.

Anyway, this pattern is super clear. I found no mistakes.

Garter Yoke Sweater

The buttons! Aren’t these cute? They are pretty standard leather woven buttons. We went to 38th St., which is like button/accessory central in New York (it’s part of the garment district) and we passed by this crazy store:


SPANDEX!!! I have never seen so much spandex and glitter. It was like drag queen paradise in there. Anyway, I probably drove the button lady crazy because I first asked for these woven buttons, but then I asked her to pull down other colors and wooden buttons and stuff before changing my mind and going back to my original choice. $0.75/each–I’m not sure if that’s cheap or expensive or what, but at least they were affordable.

This is only my second sweater ever (the first one had no sleeves, so it was basically a tube). Came out pretty well, even if it took forever!

Posted in Finished Objects 2010, Sweaters, Uncategorized at February 8th, 2010.

Here’s a link to an interesting project–send your sweater to this guy’s mom and she re-knits it into a scarf or this month, cut-off gloves. (My concern would be if you sent a seamed sweater instead of a continuously knit one, but anyway.) 

In knitting news, (which I almost just typed as “knews”) I have a completed project to show you! But probably not until this weekend, when Adam finds his camera battery charger so he can help me take photos. (By the way, I just looked on the dining room table, and I think I see it.)

Posted in the Business, Uncategorized at February 4th, 2010.



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.