Monthly Archives: January 2008

Seams Like Trouble

I have a seamy quandary.

Tuesday night, I tackled the mattress stitch to attach my duster fronts to the back. Love mattress stitch! So satisfying.

Except on the left side of the duster, that is. Due to the duster construction, I thought I had a few too many rows in one section of the left front. So, I decided to rip out most of the front and reknit it correctly.

Of course, it turned out EXACTLY the same.

And then I realized I had just been holding it wrong before.

So, I finished seaming around 11:30 Tuesday night (partly my fault because I started at 9:00).

During class last night, I realized I was a bit unprepared because I hadn’t researched how to attach the shoulder seams. The teacher showed me how to do the backstitch, but I’m not happy with the results.

If the teacher’s side looks a bit unseamly (yeah, I’m not giving up on this pun), then my side looks like total warmed over crap.

Also, this is partly my fault. When I knit the back, I was left with 2 extra stitches on each shoulder. When this happened, I just shrugged it off. But now I belatedly realize that this affects how the shoulders look.

So, tonight I will be ripping out those shoulder seams and ripping back a few rows on the back to fix my mistake. And yes, this time it is a for-real mistake that I will fix.

I managed to pick up all of the stitches for the skirt last night. Now I just need to invest in a circular needle. My stupid Needlemaster cables join at wonky angles, making it unpleasant to knit large circular items. I’m okay with the 170+ stitches right now, but once I start increasing, it will be a pain.

I need a proper circular needle. *sigh*

But back to seams.

Any suggestions for shoulder seams?

Should I really use the backstitch?

Couldn’t I just take out the bound off edges for the shoulders and do the kitchener with live stitches?? Or is that not allowed on sweater shoulders?


Holy Cow, Indeed

I’m running a bit behind today, as my dad called and talked for nearly an hour and the Tilted Duster sleeves are taking much longer to finish off. Why am I underestimating the time required to do sleeves?

Here are the sleeves this morning:

I finished one of them while having a very tasty chai at Mississippi Mud Coffee House. This was my first time at this coffee shop, and I really enjoyed it. I think they make their chai in-house instead of using pre-mixed concentrate, and they serve it with a little ginger cookie.

Before I left for the coffee shop, I had my new weekend breakfast:

Oatmeal made with soymilk, honey, nuts, and dried fruit.

Unfortunately, the soymilk has been concerning me. I’m a bit leery of the additives in soymilk, of supporting the big soy corporations (even if it’s organic), and of the distance that soymilk is trucked (especially since it’s refrigerated – unless you buy it in tetrapacks, that is).

So, since I wanted to stop at Local Harvest anyway to pick up a few things, I decided to check out their cow milk.

And, yes, I ended up buying a half-gallon of milk produced by Heartland Creamery.

I felt pretty good when I left…fairly local milk without growth hormone and packaged in a glass bottle that I could return.

Then I arrived home and decided to look at the dairy’s website to make sure it really was local.
The blurb on the home page reassured me until I got to the last line…the line about how profits go to support their faith-based work with troubled adolescents and adults.

And then I realized that the “t” in Heartland is styled to look like a crucifix!

At this point, I wanted to return my milk, but I thought I should give them the benefit of the doubt. Not all faith-based work is creepy, after all.

So then I check out their ministry site, which was still a bit ambiguous. BUT, the links page includes a link to Focus on Family.

I am the complete opposite of Focus on Family, and I would rather my milk money not go to an organization that holds beliefs congruent to FoF.

So….I am going to drink the damn milk, but when I return my glass bottle, I will be sure to let Local Harvest know why I won’t buy any more milk.

They could at least post a disclaimer by the milk.

And I guess I’ll go back to my soymilk that’s trucked in from far away. Why do food choices have to be so hard?!!

250 Worms, Please

Today has been a good day.

First, let me say that I stayed in my pajamas until 1:00. What, are you judging me because of that? You shouldn’t because during that time, Porkchop and I ironed out the details (including most of the hotel reservations) of our trip in March. Over Porkchop’s spring break, we’re going to hit the road and go to Hesperus, CO, to visit one of my college roommates, then head over to Bryce and Zion National Parks, then hit the Grand Canyon’s south rim, and then return to Albuquerque via Flagstaff and the Petrified Forest.

Yay for trips!

I also did lots of straightening and dish washing while in my pajamas. Also, I did my taxes last night…have you?

After Finally Putting on Real Clothes
I went out and bought 250 red wigglers!

This is a project I haven’t written about because I didn’t know if I could go through with it, but I’m happy to report that I’m now composting with worms! So awesome!

Porkchop is the one who initially researched vermiculture and convinced me that it would work. She also built a one-cubic-foot wormbin last weekend.

Here’s the bin full of wet newspaper bedding and some dirt from my backyard:

Here are the worm containers:

I bought the worms at Paul’s Bait and Tackle Shop on Chippewa. The owner and the other staff are really nice and are accustomed to people buying composting worms. Paul’s Bait and Tackle is the only independently owned bait shop in St. Louis that still sells worm. It seems that Wal-Mart has taken over that market. So help Paul’s shop stay in business for another 49 years and buy your worms there!

Here are the worms in their little containers:

And here are the worms in the bin!

I’ll let you know how this works out! My only concern is that I need more worms and a bigger bin for all of the fruit and vegetable scraps that I produce (and tea bags…worms love tea bags).

After setting up the compost bin, I took my recycling to the center at Carondelet Park. I think I accidentally put some items that are considered cardboard in the paper bin. I hope I didn’t ruin that whole batch of recyclables.

Food for Me
I gave Sappington Farmer’s Market another chance this evening; I was still quite disappointed. The only Missouri-raised product that I could find was beef. They have a lot of Missouri grass-fed beef….which is great if you like beef. Not so great if you want Missouri squash.

So who knows from whence my acorn squash and yam came. I still bought them and roasted them and enjoyed them along with a porkchop.

I enjoy this combination of acorn squash and yams or sweet potatoes roasted with chili powder so much, it is obscene.

Hmmm….I didn’t make as much progress as I anticipated this week. I only worked on my Tilted Duster on Monday and Wednesday night. For most of this week, I suffered from a twitchy right eye, so I thought I should rest it when I could…which meant no knitting.

I hope to finish the sleeves tomorrow morning. I’m done with the increase section and can now start the decreases.

Have a great Sunday!

Take a Trip?

I’ve been ogling this seed website for the past few days, and I feel kind of silly because I just realized that the company is located a mere 200 miles away in Mansfield.

I know where I want to go this weekend!

(I probably won’t actually go, but it’s nice to think about.)

Share a Share?

Does anyone in the St. Louis area want to share a subscription to Fair Shares?

It sounds like it will be a great combined CSA, and we would need to sign up before March 1. Unfortunately, I can neither afford $50/week nor eat that much stuff in one week. So, let’s share and alternate weeks!

Leave a comment if you’re interested.

Back to Our Regular Programming

Porkchop is back in Albuquerque, and I’m back to watching Antiques Road Show on Monday nights. I love ARS, but I also love having Porkchop around.

The apartment is so quiet, save for the clock in the dining room and my downstairs neighbor’s boyfriend hacking up a lung every so often.

I have nothing to do but knit and miss Porkchop.

This week, I predict I make tremendous progress on my Tilted Duster. Currently, I have the back, the two front sides, and a third of each sleeve done. I would post a picture, but it would be just a jumble of green woolly things.

After taking Porkchop to the airport (murrrr), I went to Hartford for a chai and knitting. Had I gone directly home, I would have cried for a long time. I know this because I did cry for a while upon my return from Hartford.

Anyway, to distract myself from tears, I cleaned the kitchen and then made pizza crust dough. Nothing like washing dishes and countertops and then dirtying them for another cleaning to busy oneself.

I ended up with this pizza:

Black beans, avocado, chicken, bell pepper, red onion, cheddar cheese, pizza sauce, and a bit of salsa.

And the best part is that I’ll be able to whip up a pesto and sundried tomato pizza later this week using leftover dough.

Porkchop is having dinner with her buddy Patrick tonight. Even though the Packers lost last night, Porkchop and Patrick will surely find some humor in the black eye that Porkchop gave herself upon returning to ABQ. Seriously.

As a side note, I’m not the only one sad about Porkchop’s departure. Here’s Keetah saying, WTF? Who’s going to pick me up and stroke my soft underbelly now?

One Reason I Hate Time Magazine So Much

Nothing like a stupid article like this to start my morning off in an outraged mood.

Where does Time find such idiotic, asshat writers?

Guess What I’m Reading

You know I think about food a lot, right? Lately, my thoughts have been in overdrive…need to eat more locally produced things, I love oranges but the big bags aren’t organic and they’re shipped so many miles, I love bananas but they’re big gas-wasters, this meat is probably laced with antibiotics, how can I learn to garden without reading anything or putting forth a lot of effort, are these potatoes organic…and so forth.

Last night, I dreamt that I was at a small farmer’s market with only around 4 vendors. I made a point to buy something from everyone (which wasn’t too difficult since there were only 4 stands), including bell peppers, some sort of pickled vegetables, tomatoes, and more bell peppers. When I arrived to my dream-home, I found eggplants everywhere – in drawers, in cabinets, on the countertop.

Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegatable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life is starting to overtake my brain.

Things to See Later

While looking around the Tamarind gallery this past fall, I saw these prints by Willie Cole, which I love and wish I could have (even with Porkchop’s big discount, still expensive).

When I opened a piece of mail at work today, I was surprised to see one of Cole’s sculpture installation pieces pictured on a postcard! It was an announcement for this show at my university’s museum.

The show will also include things by Laylah Ali, whose work is pretty neat.

I’ve hung the show’s postcard in my office with a big note to remember to go see it. You should too.

Doing Touristy Things

This has been a really busy month, as we’re trying to pack in all sorts of things before Porkchop leaves on the 21st (sadness).
For example, last week, we attended the Blues – Stars games (courtesy of Porkchop’s boss at the UPS Store).

Then, yesterday, we went on the Anheuser-Busch brewery tour. We were excited to see the Clydesdales and the really old brewery buildings.

And the Bevo Fox.

However, parts of the tour were a bit stinky (the mash cooking, I think).

After the tour, I sampled a Hard Knuckle stout (surprisingly similar to Guiness) and a Chelada, which is Busch’s bid at the Latino market and is Budweiser, Clamato, salt, and lime. I thought the Chelada wasn’t so bad until I read more about Clamato (tomato juice, reconstituted clam broth, high fructose corn syrup, and Red 40…yum). Hmmmm….don’t think I’ll have any more of that!

The hospitality room at the brewery served pretzels, but they were pre-packaged stuff. So, afterwards, we stopped at Gus’ for a couple of sticks.

Friday afternoon, I picked up my yarn order from Knitty Couture – yay!

So, after the brewery and pretzels, I knit up a couple of gauge swatches.

I was eager to start the real knitting, but we had a wedding to go to last night. A co-worker of mine had her ceremony at the Jewel Box in Forest Park and the reception at the park’s visitor’s center. I’m not a big wedding fan, but this one was actually interesting and fun. The ceremony blended Jewish and Filipino traditions, and everything was so warm and genuine. The reception was totally entertaining – part way through the first dance thing, the bride and groom broke into a choreographed dance routine to Ice, Ice Baby, which was quite appropriate given that the bride is 6-months pregnant. [It seems that this choreographed routine thing is a new trend among young couples – I hadn’t seen any clips on YouTube, so it was all new to me.]

Although we drank a bit of wine last night, we woke up quite early this morning and made our way to the World Bird Sanctuary. After checking out the eagles and owls and snakes, we stopped at Serendipity on the way back home. We both had sundaes – mine was hot fudge with cinnamon and coffee ice cream (yum!).

For lunch today, we had butternut squash soup and roasted broccoli – also yum!

And now Porkchop is baking chocolate chip cookies!

Well, I only have 4 inches done on my Tilted Duster, so I have to get back to that! Have a great Monday!