Sunday, February 25, 2007

How I Spent My Sunday

Lately, I have been in a sweater slump, so much so that I read with alarm Sheepish Annie's post in which she mentions the dreaded "I Started a Blog and Now I Can't Seem to Knit Sweaters Anymore" Curse. All my sweater issues can be summed up by that one horrendous word gauge. I have a jacket on the needles, that I swatched for last autumn, and I seem to have gauge. I got side-tracked for awhile with the Landscape Shawl and the Aran Pocket Shawl and the pink and periwinkle sweater swatches. But, the Landscape Shawl is done, the Aran Pocket Shawl moves along steadily as TV knitting, and the pink and periwinkles sweaters remain swatches and ideas for now. So, maybe it would be OK to really work on this jacket. Maybe I won't have a tremendous gauge disappointment. I did a little appeasement for the Gauge Goddess this afternoon.

IMG_1554.JPG
Why yes, that is a 10 lb. chocolate bar. M bought it.

M really did buy the 10 lb. chocolate bar the last time we shopped at Trader Joe's. It was only $20, and he couldn't pass up the bargain. The jacket pattern is from Knitter's recent book of jacket patterns, and this one is by Jean Frost, who writes nice patterns with good fit and detailing. It is a good style for a bosc pear like me. Not too huge, but not too fitted either; neither too long, nor too short. And I like knit/purl brocade patterns. They are interesting without creating bulk like cables or holes like lace. The yarn is Cascade 220, a personal favorite, and I love the shade of blue--neither too dark nor too light. It's all just right. Or, it could be all just right, if I keep gauge.

I had trouble reading the chart for the brocade pattern. This caused me much shame, especially when I broke down and wrote out the chart as knitting text.

IMG_1556.JPG

Then I realized that I could read the chart well enough to transcribe it to text, so it was only during the knitting that I kept screwing up. After far more puzzling than should have been necessary, I realized that I am most used to reading knitting charts for socks knit in the round where every chart row is read right to left. Or, I've knit from charts where the backside row is "in pattern" with the right side row, so the chart is pretty much superfluous for the WS rows. But with this brocade pattern, every row is different, and the wrong side rows were from left to right. Arghh! I have now accepted that I needed to write out the pattern, and that that is OK. So now it's all up to Mistress Gauge being kind.

I really spent most of the afternoon working on a manuscript for work and rewriting much of the statistical analyses. FUN! FUN! FUN! Therefore, I cajoled M into making me a new cocktail as soon as it was a reasonable cocktail hour.

emerald cocktail.JPG
The Emerald Cocktail made with Bushmills 10 year Irish Whiskey

The recipe for the Emerald comes from Esquire Drinks by David Wondrich; it is a Manhattan made with Irish whiskey instead of rye and orange bitters instead of Angostura. I would call it yummylicious, but if I call it that in my blog, and then M reads it, he will never ever make me another cocktail as long as we both shall live. So, instead I will say that it was quite smooth and good, not as brawny as a rye Manhattan, but still rather sophisticated. Wondrich describes it as "delightfully smooth and mellow," and I quite agree.

Perhaps if the chocolate was not to Mistress Gauge's liking, the cocktail was.

Cheers!

7 comments:

Brigitte said...

Chocolate? Manhattans? Cascade 220? Oh, I would have been in absolute heaven! Although I doubt I would have accomplished a whole lot...

Kristy said...

I didn't realize there was such a curse! I'll have to be careful :)

I have a hard time reading the backwards charted rows too. I'm glad you found something that works.

nova said...

Clearly I need to find my way to a Trader Joes.

Lorraine said...

Uber-chocolate and cocktails! You wicked girl!

I am also a pear, though more the Anjou variety.

Sheepish Annie said...

I didn't appease the Mistress well enough and the curse continues here at Sheepie's House Of Knitting Mishaps...it seems I have developed an allergy of some sort to the wool in my sweater. If it's not one thing, it's another!

But, by golly, I got guage!!! :)

Nice work on your jacket. I think yours will go far better than mine!

paula said...

That is a good idea for the chart-impaired, like me. I kinda think I am a visual learner, but I can't get charts. At least I can't get beyond what is charted. A little chocolate-hmmm?

Beth S. said...

Ten. Pounds. Of chocolate. From Belgium.

And a cocktail.

*swoon*

You are my kind of knitter!