to the ladies of america

“It is customary amongst the German ladies to have at hand some light piece of work, with which they can at any time be employed…they consider their knitting or netting needles an indispensable accompaniment. And there appears to be a charm in the occupation that promotes rather than impedes conversation.

Our American ladies will doubtless find the custom one worthy of imitation. Many an hour which would pass tediously if they were forced to find topics of conversation, may be whiled pleasantly and profitably away, by the assistance of some agreeable employment, which interests without engrossing the attention.”

A Winter Gift for Ladies, being Instructions in Knitting, Netting and Crotchet Work, Containing the Newest and Most Fashionable Patterns, revised and enlarged by an American lady. Philadelphia: G.B. Zeiber & Co., 1848

My friend Nina sent me a link to an Antique Pattern Library, a project to scan and post on the Internet needlework patterns that are in the public domain. It’s pretty cool, and always a treat to read about the problems of American ladies 160 years ago. Oh, the horror! Being forced to carry a conversation! Which must be why I knit, to avoid talking. Cause me, I hate the talk.

Speaking of the talk, I apologize for the last post. I thought I had posted about that hat previously, about how I was at my bestie’s house in October, how she had started a hat for her husband, but put it down once she got carpal tunnels, and I volunteered to finish it in exchange for the needles it was on, Addi Turbos (lust!). How I finished it, and I got the Addi Turbos in barter for Will’s hat.

willshat.jpg

hello, my nose is pink. to match my glasses.

Will then sent me pictures of the hat “in action.” I wanted to get all creative about finding the hat in the wild, which didn’t quite work. Can I blame the writing craziness and incoherency on MBA app stress? I believe I can.

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sighted: addibarterhat

While on a jaunt in the woods, something flashed before my eyes.  Not my life, but a rare vision, or so I thought.  “Could it be?” I thought to myself.  “Surely, no!” my interior monologue continued.  “*Gasp* What else could it be?” the little voice wondered.  The addibarterhat, in the wild! Gallivanting among the trees, dancing with the woodsprites, whispering to the wind.   And then, just like that, it stopped.  It found its mate, and it was tamed.

will-in-hat.jpg

freewheelin’, until it was humanized

And now it snuggles cozily under the covers, accepting food and being petted, in its adopted home.

hat on bed

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la presidenta

Due to all of the organization, logistics, and networking I do for the should-really-be-weekly Buffy superstah! club, I have officially been appointed the President. I am studiously ignoring the resounding cries of “duh!” and “dorkwad.”

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productive train knitting

This morning I spent a very productive train ride knitting. Here’s where I was at the start of the commute:

mitts

Mitts For Me, in Malabrigo’s Merino Worsted, color: Pearl Ten (it is purpler than the picture)

And here’s where I was at the end:

mitts unraveled

Turns out I can’t measure my own hand. Even tho the size I thought I was (8.5″) matched up with “Mens Medium” in the pattern, I carried on knitting, figuring that size will out. I remeasured my hand this morning (7.5″). Yup, I’m a standard Ladies Medium. And while I hate ripping out knitting, and I especially hate frogging, my proposed fixes (decreasing about 6 stitches in the next row, or lightly felting it) seemed silly now that I knew I was in error, and not the pattern. Plus, it’s not like I got very far. *sigh*

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it’s the little things

I have been studying for the gmat recently (which explains the dearth of posts), so I’ve been getting good use out of my trusty mechanical pencil. It’s an unassuming cheap, rubberized grip pencil, and I love it. I love that I don’t have to carry a pencil sharpener. I love that I can retract the lead so I don’t find stray pencil marks. I love that the lead tracts and retracts with a satisfying click. It’s a simple pencil and it makes me happy.

So it was with much sadness recently when my pencil both ran out of lead and eraser. I’ve been scrabbling by, writing on an angle to not push to too-short lead back into the body, repositioning the eraser in minute amounts so it doesn’t fall out. Yesterday was extremely sad when both of these methods failed and I had to borrow a sub-standard generic mechanical pencil with the twist top. It’s really jarring to do math with a different pencil, it’s wrong somehow.

Today I went to Walgreens and bought some lead. They didn’t have the eraser refills. I then went to Utrecht across the street and bought the eraser, and some lead (it was cheaper than Walgreens! Hooray for a tiny bargain!). Now my pencil is refilled and is happy. I am happy.  The math? Still not happy.

pencil

evidence of my fabulous cameraphone picture taking abilities

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birthday bagel blogginess

Today is Mark’s birthday. Even though we are not celebrating for a few more weeks (nobody is around on thanksgiving weekend, and Mark will be gone for the next 2 weeks), I wanted to do something special on the actual day. I knew that he loves bagels with lox and cream cheese, and other than when we go to Saul’s, he doesn’t have them that often. I had recently seen Smitten Kitchen make her own bagels, so I decided to try it.

 

You start the dough at least one day before you want to cook the bagels. I could go into a jewish spiel about slaving over the stove, but I will benice and save you from my dramatics. It wasn’t really slaving, what with having a bread machine that can knead the (really stiff) dough, and it was fun making the bagel shapes. Putting them in the fridge overnight was such. hard. work.

 

Here are the bagels this morning, boiling in a bath of water, baking soda, and molasses (I didn’t have malt syrup):

 

bagelsboiling

floaty bagely goodness

 

 

Here are the just boiled bagels, topped with crushed garlic and salt, ready to go into the oven:

 

bagels boiled

the garlic is not that neon, but still yummy

 

Here is the final plating, with cream cheese (oh how I miss Temp-tee whipped cream cheese! Nancy’s Organic is so not as good) and lox:

 

bagels done

boiled, baked, bagely goodness

 

They were quite good, especially considering I used bread flour instead of super high gluten flour, active dry yeast instead of instant yeast, and brown sugar instead of malt syrup. The first batch did not have a super crispy crust, but the second batch, which was in the oven for longer, did. Mmmm! And Mark agrees.

Happy Undisclosed Age’th Birthday! I love you!

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nablopomo

I am not participating in nablopomo. I’m sure you figured that out already.

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