Knitting and a Movie

This is yet another knitting blog

Monday, May 29, 2006

And what I did with an extra day off

So, of course I didn't accomplish everything I wanted to. I did:
* Mow the yard (always a challenge and a good workout with the reel mower, but I need to go back and trim some troublesome grass)
* Buy a zipper for lopapeysa and buttons for baby sweater #1
* Finish the body for baby sweater #2 (AKA bear sweater)
* Fix my toilet (the flush handle broke)
* Found a really good tutorial on sewing in zippers
* Wore Cleo that I knit last year (but apparently never took a picture of it finished)
* Ate supermarket sushi
* Attend picnics

The weather here has gotten so hot hot hot that I can't even think about sewing that zipper. I'll have to make time to do it though. I also decided after a few fumbled attempts and reading an online tutorial on crochet that I don't get what I'm doing and I need to sit with someone who understands the crochet stitches so I can figure out how I should be doing it.

I also made a salad, loosely based on a recipe at Cafe Sigrun.

What On Earth Do I Bring To This Picnic Salad
1 large package of mixed salad greens
1 small (or half large) eggplant
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
1 small zucchini
handful of sliced mushrooms
1 avocado
handful of grape, pear, or cherry tomatoes
handful of walnuts or pecans
balsamic vinegar
olive oil
sundried tomatoes

Slice eggplant, peppers, and zucchini. Place on cookie sheet with the mushrooms. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and olive oil, tossing lightly. Roast under broiler for about 15 minutes, or until they are starting to soften. (If you are not making this for a picnic that you are supposed to be leaving for in 15 minutes, I recommend cooling the vegetables at this point so the salad doesn't wilt.) Put salad greens in bowl. Put (cooled) roasted vegetables on top. Cut the avocado in the skin and then scrape into bowl. Cut up sundried tomatoes. Add them, the cherry tomatoes, and the nuts, and toss everything together. Get lots of compliments at picnic.

Finally, I caught up on my Netflix. I watched The Isle. This is the movie Lukas Moodysson would make if he was Korean. It was horrifying at parts but an immensely powerful and beautiful movie. Not for the faint of heart, but still a great movie.

Saturday, May 27, 2006


Well, we had some blue skies and summer weather this morning, then it poured, and turned out nice again. I feel wholly responsible for this warm weather, being near to finishing my lopapeysa. (Does that mean when I go to Iceland this sweater karma will continue and there will be incredibly high temperatures? I know kćrastinn minn won't miss that snow if I bring warm weather. ;))

And I know I need another project going like I need....well, something, but I am going to Iceland in 5 weeks (!) and one thing I wanted to bring was part of a baby gift, I had wanted to bring the blue jeans from Knitty. So what's a girl to do when her time limit is starting to run out? Start the project of course!

Note, the colours are not as obnoxiously bright as they appear in my artificially lit picture. I can't afford the Rowan yarn, so I am using Elann's Den-M-Nit Pure Indigo Cotton. So far I like it BUT what appears to be a centre-pull ball is actually a big ball of knots. So I am spending a lot of time untangling the yarn. (And if I don't make my deadline, I am making a fairly large size so I can always give them later.)

So yeah, all those lace projects are kind of just hanging out in a holding pattern. I'm almost done with the body of the bear sweater. I'm hoping over the weekend to: get the notions needed to finish the lopapeysa and the finished-knitting baby sweater (and maybe make some effort at finishing one or both), finish off the body of the bear sweater, and maybe finally finish the crocheting on Hulda. It's a three-day weekend here (THANK GOODNESS, it's been SUCH a long week), so I it could be a realistic goal. Maybe.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


We've had some chilly weather today (although nothing compared to the May snow in Iceland!), so I was really anxious to finish off the lopapeysa (although I don't have any zippers so I can't really finish it tonight). Up I went to the sewing machine. How do I work this thing again? I can't remember the last time I used it. It became really apparent why you want to have purl stitches to mark where you want to cut. I used red thread so I could see what I was doing, and even so I ended up going off track in the part where I forgot to purl. It's also really hard to wrestle a thick wool sweater through a sewing machine foot. Still, I finished that part, and here I went with the scissors:

So now that it's cut, I want to try it on:

It seems like I have possibly managed to make something for the very first time that will be too small? If not, it will be very fitted. Still, I am going to go ahead and finish this. Worst case I can wear it unzipped. And hopefully it will just be form-fitting, which is kind of nice.

And I mailed the fiancé visa paperwork today, which is at the same time both horrifying (will it take a long time? will anything go wrong?) and exciting. Kind of like cutting into a sweater you just knit.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Swap Brunch

This weekend I hosted a knitting swap brunch with some friends.
I made these cinnamon rolls, which I've made before and are really good. And other people brought some great other things, and we all forgot to take pictures.
So here's what I wound up with:

Some fun mohair and some crazy colourful yarn... there has to be something fun to do with this.

Some heavy grey sock yarn, which is always handy.

Then I finished the knitting part of my lopapeysa, so now I've got to do the scary cutting part. It's waiting nervously:

I also knit some more on the purple sleeve, which looks more or less the same. When waiting for a ride back from the car shop (for an oil change and a window mechanism repair) I thought I really should have some easy socks in progress because they are so portable. I think I'll have to start some soon.

Meantime, my tire has a bubble in it, so I have to get new tires. It's always something. So tomorrow I have to take the bus, since Tuesday I am already working from home.

And I can't believe that Lordi won Eurovision. I was listening to Rás 2 while I was working Friday and it was just full of the worst of Eurovision. Which made me think, maybe there should be a Knitting Eurovision. I'm not really sure how it would work, but somehow I feel like it should be glitzy projects. Anyone have any ideas?

At any rate, there's some time to figure this one out, so there is a Knitting World Cup coming up in the mean time (I'll edit to post the link when I find it).

Monday, May 15, 2006

Amazing Lace Challenge #1: Meet The Team

This post is the first of a series of challenges from the Amazing Lace Knitalong. So if you're wondering what on earth this is all about, there you are. :)

Who they are
Rebecca is a girl who lives in a New England town with a fiancé who lives in the capital of Iceland. Hálfskák is a shawl from the book Ţríhyrnur og Langsjöl. She is knit in köngulóarprjón (pine cone stitch), also known as gluggaprjón (window stitch). She has aspirations of becoming a wedding shawl. She is knit from einţćtt Lođband (Icelandic laceweight singles) in natural white and shades of natural browns. (This has got to be my favourite lace yarn to work with. It's really strong, and has enough fuzz to make a pretty fabric without being annoying to frog. Plus it still smells of sheep.) According to the book, the author thinks hálfskák is a word that can mean ţríhyrna (triangular shawl), so she named this one that since it was a fun word.

How they met
Rebecca received the One Thing She Really Wanted for Christmas (Ţríhyrnur og Langsjöl) from her boyfriend, but somehow managed to not see it coming.

The two of them started their journey when Rebecca thought Hálfskák would make a good wedding shawl and had a bit of extra yarn from another shawl, but then temporarily parted ways when Rebecca got missing yarn to finish the original shawl. They plan a few trips to Iceland this summer, including Djúpavík (in the Northwest part of the country). Hálfskák has the special honour of being made with yarn BOUGHT BY A BOY! He was so sweet as to pick up yarn at a shop near where he was working.

Trouble in paradise?

Hálfskák: "I knew you were going to be finishing Hulda because you had to give me back the needles you borrowed for her. But who is this? I thought I was the only lace project!"
Rebecca: "This is my cotton sweater that I started last year from the Rebecca magazine."
Hálfskák: "I thought you said it was over with her!"
Rebecca: "Well, we parted ways at the end of last summer. We just ran into each other this week when I had no other knitting at a baseball game. Honestly, it doesn't mean anything!"
Hálfskák: "But she's your favourite colour!"
Rebecca: "Yes, but you are for the wedding!"
Hálfskák: "HMMPH!"

Will these two be able to sort out their differences to work together on this project? Will a new teammate be involved? Find out in the next installment!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

A little rain

A little rain

So there was a little rain in town yesterday.... I noticed a Road Closed sign and had to go look.

The sign that you can't read says "No hunting", maybe it should say "No fishing"?

This guy apparently can't read.

Ah, who knew dandelions were a water plant?

I'm really excited because when I go to Iceland in July, we are going here.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Ég get heklađ!!!!!!

OK, I would hardly call myself a master crocheter, but the bottom border is done:

Now I still have to crochet the top bit. Then I can block it. (Must get more pins over the weekend).

I also figured I'd give a peek at the bears:

I recently finished a book I bought at the Goodwill store: Little Indiscretions. It's a mystery, but a fun, sort of character-study mystery. It was a lot more fun than I expected, and a quick read.

I now started Snow White and Russian Red, a novel by a Polish author that I took out of the library. I'm only a few pages in but it looks like a lot of fun. It's kind of reminding me of 101 Reykjavík so far. (Ingi minn, ég er ekki ađ segja ađ hún er eins góđ og 101 Reykjavík!)

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The Saltfish Experience
Or, I Have No Knitting To Blog About Tonight

The latest issue of Gestgjafinn has these great saltfiskur recipes. One of them, Saltfiskur Munkanna, is saltfiskur with potatoes and spinach and goat cheese. I was happy to find it (AKA salted cod) at Shaws, seeing as there is no fish market near me anymore. It comes in a wooden box here (it's an old New England treatstaple).

First step: open the box. It has a little lid that slides. This should be easy. But for some reason, the lid does not slide. After 10 or 15 minutes of struggling, the 10-year-old has an idea. Slide a screwdriver under the lid, hammer it like a chisel. Lid breaks and comes off without getting wood splinters into the food. (Future tomb raider?)

The recipe comes out fine, just exactly as expected. (If you like salt fish, then you will like this recipe. The spinach is sauteéd with garlic and onions, and then the sliced potatoes are browned and laid over top of that, then the fish is coated in flour and browned and layered over the two other layers, then some chicken broth is added to the dish and goat cheese sprinkled over top and the whole thing is baked for like 15 minutes).

But one forgets when one cooks fishy smelling fish that the WHOLE HOUSE smells of salt fish afterwards. (The same problem goes for Indian food. It tastes great to make, but your house smells terrible after.)

The good news is after ransacking the house for half an hour, I found my crochet hook. And I am getting a haircut tomorrow (although being long-haired, no one but me will really notice afterwards).

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Dreading Scary Crochet

Maybe it's late-night conversation mentality, but is it any coincidence that crocheting has the same word as the name of a volcano? ("Ađ hekla" is "to crochet" in Icelandic).

At any rate, the knitting on the Hulda shawl is done done done. Whoo-hoo! I think I may get a crocheting friend to help me sort out exactly how you crochet 3 stitches together. I think I could muddle through if I can't, but I have some friends who are whiz crocheters.

Then after I sort out that crocheting business, this will be the second shawl that I blocked. I still have big pink insulation foam rectangles on my back porch (from when I bought them with the intent of finishing the started-but-never-completed back porch that came with this house when I moved in). However, the help that actually knows that they are doing (AKA stepfather) is hard to schedule time with since he has a home repair business, and I certainly have no clue about these things. But conveniently, they are available to use for pinning shawls until they are insulating the back porch.

Since it's only the second shawl that I blocked, and the first shawl was, hmm, 2 summers ago I guess, I couldn't remember what sort of pins I used. And if they were the right kind. So I did some googling, and found this lovely tutorial on blocking lace by Yarn Harlot. Now THAT is a keeper link.

Here is Hulda with her finished knitting. (if it's named after a girl, it gets to be called a she. ;)) I wish I knew a better way to photograph lace when it's on the needles.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Stealing Knitting Minutes

Maybe it's the large amount of alone-time I've been having (I guess there are small blessings in anything) but I have been able to steal some minutes here and there to get some knitting done. The bear faces are done (although I'll save that picture for later). (Speaking of stealing, Ingi told me he and his coworkers witnessed a chihuahua theft the other day. This girl walked up and just put this dog on a leash like it was hers. Then a few minutes later the real owner came looking frantically for her dog. That's just wrong.)

I have this nasty habit of stabbing my finger with my needles from time to time if I am using small sharp ones, so I took a little break from the baby sweater to pull out an old friend, remember this one?

Somehow walking away from it helped me realise what I was doing wrong with the border, so I've made it onto the 3rd brown (although the 2 shades of dark brown look an awful lot alike if you ask me.) I forgot how much I liked working with the lođband. It smells wonderfully of sheep. The picture is kind of blurry but you see a peek of my knitting bag on the floor and the blue jeans help the holes on the lace stand out a bit.

And speaking of lace, I thought I'd join the Amazing Lace knitalong for working on Hálfskák.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Eldhúsiđ mitt

So here you go, as Maggan requested, some photos of my newly painted kitchen.

This is where that scary countertop stuff is on the wall. No, you don't see the line in the picture, and you have to look for it in real life. I found out at work today that putting that stuff on the wall was very popular here in the 50s and 60s. I still want to put some kind of cute red fabric curtains here (to cover that barely noticeable line) but they have to pass boy approval first:

Here is the pretty painted picture that I want to match the red (and green maybe?) when I paint some kind of stencil. (He rescued this out of the garbage some years back):

And here is my new shelf, which is too close to the back door to get a proper picture of:

The bears now have noses (the mouths get sewn on afterwards). I won't put a picture yet. I wonder if having the fun bear faces in the middle is like having candy before you are done with dinner though. ;) I worked on them tonight while watching Texas Ranch House (Sonja, maybe you can get it) which is a fun program where modern people go live like old ranch people in Texas in the 1800s.

I'm happy to think that the next time I go to Logan airport is to go to Iceland myself (end of June) instead of dropping him off again. I guess he had a fun time at customs though. Some guy came up to him smiling and said, "Do you feel like being random today?" He looked thoughtful, pointed to a security guy with blue latex gloves, and said, "Not really." They found this entertaining and searched the guy behind him. Then the guys running the x-ray machine were concerned about the steel-toed Doc Martens. "Do you have anything in your shoes?" "They have steel toes." (I told him he'd get a hard time over them, but his luggage was already heavy so he wanted to wear the heavier shoes.) They let him go which is good, can you imagine going on the plane in socks?

Oh, and another reason to like Icelandair. He had all these heavy car parts for his dad, so his luggage was over the weight limit. The girl behind the counter said, "You know your luggage is only supposed to be 23 kilos. Yours is (however many, I forgot). There's a $30 charge. We'll get it next time." Even with the $30 charge, it's cheaper than having to mail that stuff.