Like a mallet to the head…

I didn’t know whether to go with the mallet title or a blue and gray/civil war type thingie.  I opted for the mallet because I’ve still got a giant tupperware full of yarn in the garage that is much scarier than civil war re-enactors.  Use some stash, me thinks not.

So what am I doing instead of packing to go to work for a week tomorrow morning.  Winding skeins of Isager 2 into cakes thank you very much.  I saw the Stripe Study Shawl pattern and immediately bought it.  Please note I waited twenty-four hours before buying some appropriate yarn, so clearly I don’t have a problem.

What’s that?  No, nothing’s been finished projectwise, but thanks for playing.  Lovely parting gifts and all.

Excuse me while I go swatch and refuse to pack.  It’ll serve me right if I don’t pack enough undies and have to wash my “smalls” out in random hotel rooms and dry them with a hair dryer.  NOT that I have a problem…

Lemon-licious

Oh yum!  As you can see I made the Whole Lemon Bars and after extensive tasting, a panel of my friends and I have deemed them delicious.  They are just the right texture, very very lemony and not too sweet.  Even the shortbread base is super yummy.

The other thing we all agreed upon is that if you don’t like marmelade, you won’t like these bars.  You use the whole lemon and end up with little peel and pith nuggets.  I think these are delish, but if you’ve got an antipith-er in the house you’ll have to strain the lemon mixture.  I’d imagine you’d lose some of that lemon tang that makes these so yummy, but they’d still be super.

My baking notes:  I used a scale to measure my ingredients (in grams) - much more accurate (and easier); regard the recipe note that David’s whole lemon was about 6 oz/175g and I used two lemons to get that weight; my baking time for the completed lemon bars was a few minutes shy of the suggested time – overbaking these would be a crime.

Now get baking!

Blooming

It’s no secret that I love spring and cherry blossoms can instantly make me happy.  Around these parts everything is blooming and allergy sufferers have begun stocking up on their meds.  Yay!

We have been having “weather” lately, mostly rain and winds – with a smidge of hail the other day and I’ve worried that my blossoms are a sodden mess.  Driving home from the airport the other day allowed me to survey the blossom population north and south of the Golden Gate, and happily I can report that they are just fine.

Since I’ve got blossom fever I thought I’d show you some pretty blossoms from around my house.  First up is my current sock, a simple short row sock made from Vesper Sock Yarn in colorway Wild Berry.  I’ve scratched out the “Berry” on the label and written “Blossom” since that is obviously a mistake ;-)  See how the yarn matches the V-day flowers that are still alive and kicking?  Clearly more Blossom than Berry.

Next is a blossom earring (I do own both of them btw).  I’m pretending it’s a cherry blossom even though the card said made in India.  They must have cherry blossoms in India, it’s a huge country fer-pity-sake.  Of course my iPhone cover is a cherry blossom homage too.  I thought I’d troll etsy for some cherry blossom necklace fun, but as I already own two blossom necklaces I thought I’d just window shop.  But isn’t this and this fabulous?

Today my spring-like fun will take the shape of making lemon bars.  I came across an intriguing recipe and want to see how it compares to my perfect lemon bars.  Stay tuned for lemon fun!

When life hands you…

…a big old bowl of crap, I start knitting washcloths.  Yup, I’ve come to that.  Who knew washcloths are so stinking easy?  I guess thousands know this and I’m late to the party.

I’ve been knitting baby themed washcloths (patterns are here) for the baby who was supposed to get that wacked out version of the Moderne Baby Blankie I made a bit back.  That blankie matched the nursery, but then I visited my preggers friend the other day and the girl painted the damn nursery.  It no longer matches.  AT ALL.  Seriously.

I’m gifting it anyway, they can use it as a play mat or dirt shield or some such.  I’m whipping out a few cloths (that incidentally match the new nursery scheme) to make a little gift bag.  The rest will come from Kohls.  There’s only so much a girl can do for the unborn.

When to say when?

I need your collective thinking caps to be donned people!  Here’s the SAT question:

I’m knitting Elektra subbing lace weight yarn for sock/fingering weight.  My yarn starting weight was 3.99 oz and I now have about 1 oz left.  The scarf unblocked is about 10″ long at the center panel (pattern gives finished length about 14″ blocked).  I’ve got about 48 rows of lace charts to start working before bind off.  I’ve knit about 140 rows of garter to get to about 10″ in length.  I increase 8 stitches on every other row, so every row I work will need that much more yarn in the lace section.  Soooo….

When do I start the lace section of my knitting?  I really want to make this scarf as big as possible and use up all my yarn, but of course I do NOT want to run short of yarn I probably can’t find any more of.

Argh!!  I’d guess if my garter row gauge is 14 row/inch and I’ve got 48 lace rows to knit, that would give me 3.5″ if my lacy gauge is similar to my garter gauge.  If I’m shooting for about 14″ blocked (or bigger) and I’m at 10″ now, I should knit another inch of garter before starting lace charts.  I’m pretty sure I’ve got enough yarn for that, I mean I’ve got 1 ounce out of 4 ounces left.

Sound plausible?

AND in totally unrelated news, I saw the first of the cherry blossoms yesterday while driving home through San Francisco!!!  I love cherry blossoms and that means it’s spring!  I know we’re early in that, and I’m going to Chicago in a few days and will find the existence of cherry blossoms a sad memory in that frigid clime, but dammit – they are here in San Francisco.  I may even go to work early so I get some photographic evidence to share.