Saturday, April 12, 2008

What's for Lunch? A Bento Box

Bento Box
Originally uploaded by OriginalTwistedSpinster
Sorry it's a bit blurry - it says "Dear Label. We are passionate about lunch communication. The lunch is a good day pastime."

I can hear you all thinking -- What? I don't get it.

I don't either, that's why I took a picture!

Today was HOT, so I got about half of the laundry and housework done. I even weeded the front yard garden area. When the temps hit 94, I decided to retreat into the house... that was 11am.

I did want to get to Marukai for a bit of shopping, though. I wanted to pick up some stuff for the spinning workshop next week (ROAD TRIP!). Lots of little stuff for $1.50 to $3.00, like sink plungers. Sink plungers, you say? Well, yes. Those are great for doing "yarn abuse." OK, yarn abuse? That's when you do a soft-felt of your yarn, to balance it.

I also got some brush cleaners. Those are little wire rakes, sold to help clean hairbrushes, but they're great for cleaning drumcarders.

I found another NHK craft magazine. I'll take pictures to share with the Flickr group on Japanese Craft Magazines - it's got papermaking, sewing bags by repurposing old shirts, and a crocheted floral scarf.

But what is a bento box, you ask? It's a Japanese lunch box. Go look at some pictures tagged with "bento box" on Flickr. These can get really ornate, with mothers carving little faces into sushi.

Frankly, they seem a bit small for the kinds of portions I eat -- but that's why I have hips the size they are. I didn't buy the bento box, but I did take a picture. I think it's like the "All your base are mine" thing.

Fiber progress? A few rows on the RGD, and dizzed a couple ounces of Stardust. We watched a couple of episodes of Torchwood, and I drafted more staples to card tomorrow. Not nearly as exciting as bento boxes with strange sayings.

I love the Internet

This morning, the Roketman told me he had an email from Mauritius, asking questions about the Portager website. (warning, it wants to run an ActiveX control program if you go there. It's ok, but here's a screenshot)

Background - Portager is the name of the boat that the Roketman is designing. The plan is to retire and travel on it- by land using a trail to transport it, and by sea under power, not sail. Think of it as a live-aboard tugboat-style boat.

So apparently, there is an engineering student in Mauritius who is building a radio-control boat using a solar panel, and was trying to find the equations for vessel power and hull speed, and a bunch of other engineering-type stuff I don't understand. He googled and found , and emailed for more information. Too cool. The best part is that he's truly researching, and not saying "Do my homework for me."

Friday, April 11, 2008

When I think of a title it'll go here

Not much on the fiber front tonight- there was a new Dr. Who spinoff on the SciFi channel called the Sarah Jane Chronicles. Funny, there was absolutely no publicity on it that I had seen. It's good, but it plays more like a preteen Saturday morning tv show. Lots of the usual aliens, lots of references to the other shows, but also a lot more bland. When I watch Dr. Who, I can't help thinking that it would give some kids nightmares. And the sexual content of Torchwood... that's probably why it's on BBC America and not the SciFi channel.

Sarah Jane Chronicles is like the baby bear for the Goldilocks crowd - "just right."

I started the gusset on the RocketGanseyDottir, and that's about it for fiber progress. But it's Friday night, and I'm sure I'll be super-productive ALL weekend long! (sez the lady who lives on De Nial.)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

It's Thursday

Ah, my knitting is now home where it belongs. Thank you, Phebie! And if you find my brain lying around somewhere, let me know.

The weather today was great-- it got up to 79F. It's supposed to get up to 90F this weekend! I just walked out of work and felt like "ahhh!"

Tonight, I made pizza for dinner- the quick scratch kind where I bought the premade crust, and cooked up ground turkey in bottled sauce, sprinkled liberally with Penzey's spices. People on Sheep Thrills have been raving about Penzey's for years, so I was really excited when one opened in Torrance. It's about 45 miles away, but I get over that way several times a year.

Oh, and I used Trader Joe's mozarella log on the pizza too. So, pizza sounds unhealthy, but not this way!

Fiber progress- I got about an ounce of Stardust spun, and about an inch knit on the RocketGanseyDottir. (short pause to find the measuring tape...) I'm at 12 inches, and the original RocketGansey measures 15 inches. I know that there's a lot of drape on the RG - that's a lot longer than the original length. I think I'll put the armholes at 13 inches... It's late, I need to think about where to put the underarm gusset. Tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

If I only had a brain...

For years, I've said that my theme song is "If I only had a brain..." You know the song, from the Wizard of Oz. (kinda appropriate, what with being from Kansas and all)

I mentioned last night that I couldn't find a size 6 circular, so at 5pm I'm thinking I'll run by the LYS, Phebie's Needlearts in Claremont. I phone her, and bless her heart, she says to hurry on down! (she usually closes at 5...)

I blaze in at 5:10, whereupon she says it's ok to look around a bit (she knows her customers!) I pick up a Noni purse pattern, the Adventurer, a hobo-style bag. (sorry, it's not on the website for some reason.) I also picked up the Debbie Bliss Luxury Collection, because I like the Alex cardigan. Now that I look at it, I see that I'll have to totally rewrite it for my own dimensions, because the largest size is for a 40 inch bust. Oh well, it's for inspiration, right?

So I pay for my haul, and scurry out of the shop so as not to be obnoxious. Before I get to the freeway, I realize I LEFT MY FREAKING KNITTING AT THE YARN STORE! AARRGH!!

So I'll just try to focus on carding and spinning some more Stardust tonight.

I swear, if I had a brain, I'd take it out and forget where I put it.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Stardust sample

Tonight, I knit up a sample of the Stardust, using the two-ply. It's a big sample, but I want to see if it's going to pill. Here's what I've got so far.

Sampling Stardust
Originally uploaded by OriginalTwistedSpinster
The bottom is a bit too curled - I didn't do the 10% stitch increase that prevents the garter-to-stockinette roll. Also, the plain section at bottom is on size 5s, and the diamond pattern is on size 7s. (guess who couldn't find any size 6s...)

My conclusions: I think I need to either find my size 6 circs, or go get a new pair. Come to think of it, though, I'd like to do another sample using 3ply.


Monday, April 07, 2008

Taking Lemons and Making Sorbet

There's not a lot of progress in the fiber department, but I plied the Stardust fleece I spun last night. There's 32 grams, for 84 yards. The plan is to wash it in hot water to set the twist, knit it into a largish sample, and abrade the heckouta it.

The reason I haven't gotten much done? We got a new Cuisinart ice cream maker. We have several quart baggies of frozen lemon juice, from the tree in the back yard. (the Roketman wanted to do some pruning, but still save the juice.) I decided sortbet was just the ticket! Oh, yum. But you really can't cook up the simple syrup, stir up the sorbet in the machine and have it the same evening, because it takes too long. The syrup has to cool, and the machine doesn't freeze it hard. The sorbet melted right away in the bowls...

I was amazed at how much sugar this called for - 6 cups of sugar to 2 1/4 cups lemon juice! (plus 3 cups water) I reduced it to 3 cups sugar, and 2 tablespoons stevia powder. It's still a bit tart, so I'll use 3T stevia and 3c sugar next time.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

S is for Spinning Stardust

I solved the neppy Stardust problem - I take the combed staples, draft them into cobwebby rovings, as worsted-straight as I can, and then put them on the drumcarder. Cranking slowly... When I've got about 10 grams on the carder, I diz it off with the smallest-hole diz I've got, about 1/16".

And oh, it spins like a dream! Will it be worth it, you ask? I think so! I got about an ounce spun this evening. (which is why I only got about an inch knit on the RocketGanseyDottir!)

An allee in the alley
Originally uploaded by OriginalTwistedSpinster
Here's tonight's pretty picture. I was eating lunch at 42nd St. Bagel in Claremont, just staring out the window, and then realized - hey, those trees are espaliered! It's hard to see how big these trees really are -- they have bike stands at their bases.

So, I dubbed this "The allee in the alley."