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Five years into widowhood, after one year of incredible happiness and nearly 14 years of single blessedness. Have given up perfect manicures and pretty hands in order to resume playing the soprano recorder and to see if I can figure out how to play bluegrass banjo. Singing in the shower. Still really, *really* love to knit!

Saturday, January 05, 2008

What's on my plate today?

Metaphorically, and otherwise? It’s Saturday morning. I am eating the last bowl of potato leek soup for breakfast ~ because I can ~ and planning the day’s adventures.

There will be cooking; I am sure of it but not sure what. Nigella has a phyllo-wrapped pie that intrigues me: garbanzos, rice and something else, baked in a springform pan. I have two leeks that need to be used up, and a dozen or so stalks of green onions that are wilting in the fridge. Which has arrived at a stage of critical mass that is like to make me crazy. Everything in there is still fit to eat, but for how much longer? I think a second lazy-susan is called for; the one I have, which used to keep my mug collection under control at the old apartment, now has vinegars on the top round and miscellaneous small unopened containers on the bottom, and lives in the pantry.

I get nervous when there’s no food in the fridge; understandably so. And I get even more so when I can’t tell what’s there and in what condition. For me, the Eleventh Commandment is along the lines of “Thou shalt not waste food.” I’ve ranted on that topic before. I like to productively use up every scrap of food that enters our door, though I’m long past the point where I feel it has to be done in one sitting.

And I need to set up a system that segregates my leftovers and cooking experiments from LittleBit’s take-home bits and bobs and from the “to share” assortment. It doesn’t help that she is allowed/encouraged/enabled to bring home giant bags of fresh tortilla chips from work. It wouldn’t be so bad if there were still six or seven of us here at home, and they’d be gone in an hour, but when they’re taking up half a shelf in the fridge, or half a counter, I get twitchy. I regretfully threw out almost an entire bag yesterday.

Can you bear one last meditation upon food before I get to the stuff you came here for? The pineapple chutney was *amazing*. It starts out sweet and unassuming, and by the time you eat the last couple of spoonfuls at the end of the meal, there is a lovely warm glow in your mouth from the curry powder, but it never gets bitey or overwhelming.

OK, OK, on to fuzzier topics. This is the swatch for Eleanora, finished at work yesterday but not bound off or washed, because I’m going to carefully frog it and wrap it about the cake and knit the actual sock from the center while this yarn relaxes.

The bottom section is on 2.0mm’s, for a gauge of 17 sts and 24 rows to two inches. The middle section is on 1.75mm’s, for a gauge of 19 sts and 27.5 rows to two inches. And the top section is on 2.25mm’s, for a gauge of 17.5 sts and 20 rows to two inches. My Sisters of the Wool thought that the middle section was gorgeous but fiddly. They looked ~ to a woman ~ worried when I said that someday I’d like to tackle a me-sized sweater in that weight yarn at that gauge. Something that had enough going on that it was obviously not machine-made, and would keep me busy for months and months and months.

Not sure if I will actually cast on for Eleanora today. I haven’t compared my gauges to what the pattern specifies, but I think the gauge on the middle section is about what I need for the cuff as specified in the pattern. And I haven’t decided how to tweak the pattern, so I don’t know how many stitches to cast on. Maybe that will all come together in my head while I’m puttering in the kitchen. And really, if the gauges match at the beginning like I think they will, I’ll either need to pick up a second circ or invest in some 00 DP’s.

I put another half-inch or so onto the Stripedy Sock at the dance last night. I need to try it on to see if the calf increases are progressing at the right speed.

I think I will probably finish knitting up this first ball of yarn sometime this week; it’s getting very light and airy and wobbly-looking. At which point I will need to put it on a lifeline so I can bring the second sock to the same point. [Unless I spring for the second circ today and can whip through the fold-over cuff for the first Eleanora.] And then Jeri’s scale will come in handy to divide that third ball of Ditto neatly in halves, and I will have to somehow tag the mini-balls so that I don’t inadvertently reverse the striping sequence.

[Speaking of striping sequences, didn’t you just love the Harlot’s socks that she posted yesterday?] And I want to finish the heel decreases on LittleBit’s Firestarters today, so I can start galloping toward the finish line and get that second sock underway.

I think you can pretty much take it as a given that there will be no casting on of the Spring Shawl Surprise today.

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