Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Some Works in Progress

I've been a busy worker bee lately. I need to take advantage since I usually get sluggish in winter. I'm totally on a roll and checking things off my to-do list at a furious pace.

We made beer.

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I don't even like the taste of beer. I keep trying it, thinking one day I will get over it and be the average beer-drinking american. I drink beer and I feel bloated and full of burps and unwell. Because I drink it so slowly, I never get a buzz going and spend the rest of my time desperately searching for a glass of wine to wash the taste out of my mouth.

I do like to make things though. I seem to like to make things that people will ask/tell me, "You could get that at WalMart/Target/Safeway, etc for cheaper/easier". Also, isn't science fun? Starches and sugars being converted into alcohol for our pleasure? It's entertaining on so many levels. Get to work, you yeasty bastards!

Please observe my wort.
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I'm in love with the way everything smelled in the brewing process. It's currently sitting in the fermeneter, getting big and strong and alcoholic. If anything, I figure the one with the beer is the one with the friends, so this will get drunk by someone eventually.

My brew-happy co-worker also informs me that no one has ever died from drinking home-brewed beer. Always a huge concern of mine.

So I cheated and even though I took a dumpling-making class, I went out and made someone else make them for me.

Mandoo in Koreatown makes their own dumpling, right then and there. They are beautiful little gems that are the perfect cold-weather cheap-but-delicious eats. There's pretty much no limit to how many dumplings I can eat.

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If this woman goes missing it's because I've kidnapped her. She'll be safe in Brooklyn, I assure you, making a mountain of dumplings in the comfort of my own kitchen.

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Now I'm inspired...I will make dumplings very soon. I've been also making pickles lately. Cukes and cauliflower and garlic and hot peppers and pretty much anything else I can put in jars. Then I make bloody marys with the leftover pickle juice. It's fantastic.

I've been knitting and spinning as well, but I'm slow with the picture taking.

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This is the Devon sweater by Norah Gaughn. It's from her lovely little book of men's knits that was published by Berocco a couple of years ago. This picture is a bit old as it is now done the sweater with the exception of the ribbing around the neck and blocking. It took no time at all- I really love making sweaters that are huge swarths of stockinette stitch, with some interesting details thrown in to keep things interesting. I used Cascade Eco in the lichen colorway (the yarn color doesn't show up true in the above photo at all, and that's my fault).

I finished another handspun hat, but I need daylight to do it justice in photographs.

I cast on for a pair of ribby socks in BMFA yarn. Socks are my daily commuting activity and I feel kind of lost if I don't have a pair in the works.

I spun up some fiber:

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I made a big fat 3-ply from it. It's very soft, and I would imagine that it really blooms up nicely with all that downy baby camel in it. I'll post pictures soon.

Oh, and my mom got me some Angora fiber. She bought it at the Fryeburg Fair, which is an enormous agricultural fair that happens every fall in picturesque western Maine.

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It's lovely and soft, but I think the downy fibers need some humidity in the air in order to be manageable- the static really creates a monster.

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