Thursday, September 27, 2007

Open-Work Rib Socks

Should you ever want to knit socks, and only want to buy one book on the subject, and are inclined to take my advice, you'll buy Charlene Schurch's "Sensational Knitted Socks." It has directions for every technique you'll ever need, complete sizing for babies to old men, lots of stitch patterns, and complete instructions for four, five, or two circular needles (all valid options for knitting in the round). These are an open-work rib stitch, knit on two circs., with heel flap and wedge toe. The yarn is Cascade Fixation, an elasticized cotton that tries and fails to be more pleasant to work with than your average cotton.

Lamb Chops

with brown rice and green beans. Sometimes I put myself to sleep with my own dinner menus, but lately convenience has trumped inventiveness in a big way.


This pattern is called "Jaywalker," and has been sweeping the nation. Seriously; there's a Flickr group devoted to it, and last time I checked it was up to 4,000 different pairs! I can see what the fuss is about, as the stitch pattern is simple, but visually very effective, and produces a nice, clingy, bias fabric. The guage is ridiculously tiny, but they knit very fast. These are made with Koigu, on Addi Turbo circs. #1.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Lobster Cakes

(made at a terrific deli) with quinoa and white turnips. It's turnip season again! I'll have to get a shot of our verdant garden plot, lush with tiny turnip greens.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


These were actually completed way back in May, before the Great Sickness made knitting impossible, then immediately shipped off as a birthday present for a beloved aunt. The pattern is called "Monkey" and is another of those that is absolutely all over the knitting blogosphere. The yarn is Koigu, a hand-painted yarn famed for its softness and resilience; it was in fact a total delight to work with.

London Fashion Week

Happening now, available for viewing at I'm told this is very much the underdog of the NYC/London/Milan/Paris Fashion Week(s) quartet. So far, for my money, the shows worth having a look at are Duro Olowu and Erdem; the latter of which features wonderful prints that I wish I could see in real life. Everyone talks about Christopher Kane, the wunderkind who, last year, came up with neon, skintight, Versace-esque mini dresses in stretch lace accented with plastic saftey-latch belts; they were kind of great, though I'm not sure why they lit everone on fire to the extent that they did. His current collection is all chiffon and ragged denim; the reviewers are agog, I am a bit mystified.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


with brown rice and spinach. Like everything else made with spices, the pumpkin pie was twice as good the day after. (True also, I find, of anything made with chocolate.)

Monday, September 17, 2007

Happy Fall!

The high yesterday was only around 80, and that's good enough for me. To some people fall means leaves and football; to me, it means winter squash. I love the stuff; few things excite me more than the sight of a big pile of different kinds at the market. One of my favorite things to do with it is make pie, which is less work than it seems like it would be, and good for a week's worth of breakfast and dessert. I follow the recipe in The Joy of Cooking, and use an ultra-simple butter crust (one stick of butter, 1.5C of flour, one T ice water). Before I die I'd like to be good at pie crust, but for now my solution is not to worry about it too much. This particular pie was good, but I made two crucial errors: 1) I forgot to put a pinch of salt in the filling, so the whole thing tastes a wee bit flat to me. 2) I roasted an actual pumpkin. The pumpkin was so little and cute that I overlooked a key rule of winter squash: any of them is better than pumpkin. Butternut, for example, makes a terrific pie. That said, it wasn't until I'd had thirds that I was able to adequately refine my criticisms. For actual dinner we had salmon, brown rice, and spinach.

Whole Wheat Pasta

with butter, anchovy paste, garlic, and parsley. Also arugula salad and tomatoes. The anchovies were snuck past my spouse who never would have eaten them knowingly, but loved the dish.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Wowed by Wu

Who is this Jason Wu, who looks to be about twenty, who makes the pretty pretty dresses, any one of which I would delightedly wear?

Balls of Fury

At last! And really, it was very funny. It was made by Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon of "Reno 911," and had a lot of that show's virtues: performers who know what they're doing, genuine wit in the writing, and a weird way of actually making their idiotic characters sympathetic. Thomas Lennon is a white-hot bolt of energy as the deranged East German ping-ponger who challenges our hero, former child champion Randy Daytona. The latter is played by Dan Fogler, whom I would normally call the poor man's Jack Black, except that he's actually fantastic and, the IMDB informs me, a Tony award-winner. Christopher Walken swans about in kimonos and Gary Oldman's "Dracula" hair without so much as a wink at his ridiculous get-up, dropping his lines in that weirdly langorous New Yawk honk of his. I loved him. I liked the whole thing, but this much I know is true: no one in the world liked this movie better than my spouse. Did he chortle at every testicle-injury joke? Yes he did. It is a fact that on the ride home he started to worry that the movie wasn't well-enough publicized, and to wonder how he might launch a word-of-mouth campaign.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Grilled Salmon

with brown rice, roasted cauliflower, and tomatoes.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Spinach and Feta Sausage

with brown rice, field mix salad, tomatoes, and red peppers.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

America's Previous Top Model

So...I watch America's Next Top Model. I have thought about stopping, as the seasons pass and it gets progressively harder to take Tyra's self-righteousness and the fact that they are no longer even trying to find model-like girls but going straight for the head cases, but I haven't. I still watch. And today it paid off! For the first time ever, I spotted an ANTM winner (Danielle, season..six?) in an actual, honest-to-goodness fashion show. Go here and click on the black woman in the long yellow dress; it's her! Seriously, the only onther time I've seen one of the winners of that show do anything remotely fashion-related was the time I saw Yoanna (season 2) modelling a hat in a Hanna Andersson catalog.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Fashion Week

So far, I would wear just about everything I saw by Narciso Rodriguez and Vera Wang. I thought there was also a lot to be said for Rachel Comey.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Embossed Leaves Socks

This is one of those patterns that everyone who knits socks has been making. It's very pretty (click on the photo to enlarge if you want a better view of the texture) and not too hard. These particular ones were knit using Seawool, a blend of wool and a silk-like fiber made from seaweed. This fiber is said to release nutrients as you wear it! I am a sucker for yarn with ambition. Unfortunately, the only color that isn't true in the picture is the rich, glossy purple of the socks in real life. (Though that too looks better when you enlarge the picture.) Addi turbo circs. (#2), pattern in Interweave Knits' "Favorite Socks."

Photo shoot styled by E.O. Wittman.

Friday, September 7, 2007


Oh man. You know how my life could be one hundred percent more soulful? If I were fifteen years younger, and seriously strapped for cash, and a musician, and dressed always in warm layers. Maybe if I smoked, too, but probably hanging out with people who smoke a lot would do just as well. That's what I gather, anyway, from "Once," a lovely, lovely, romantic movie that manages to be both dreamy and realistic at the same time. We saw it last night (*again* the spouse's choice; I clearly need to leave movie selection up to him from now on) and it just broke my heart. It was a salutary corrective to the high-buff sheen of last week's "Nanny Diaries." I stand by what I said about melting at the sight of expensive clothes, but good heavens--"Once" is a pretty powerful reminder of how frighteningly (and exhileratingly) unadorned and unpolished love and attraction are.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Grilled Salmon

with brown rice and "salad mix" salad. Salad mix is the humble name for, in my opinion, the greatest reason there is to belong to our local CSA: spicy, crunchy, delicious melange of lettuces, Asian cabbages, and unnamed green goodies. I could eat it all day long.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Fried Chicken

brown rice, and summer squash. In case anyone wonders, la petite princesse has the same thing every night: tofu, cheddar cheese, and fruit of some kind. Often she also has a bowl of cereal as a snack, and she invariably insists on dessert (usually a popsicle).

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Happy NY Fashion Week!

It starts today--are you as excited as I am? Marc Jacobs is fresh out of rehab; will his collection garner its usual ecstatic reviews? Will the Rodarte girls show a single pair of pants in their whole collection? Over in Paris: is Olivier Theyskens capable of making an evening dress that costs less than $25,000? Will his bosses at Nina Ricci be more tolerant of his price point than were his Rochas masters? Youth wants to know!

Italian Sausage

with brown rice, fried okra, and fresh tomatoes.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Twisted Flower Sock

Normally I would wait to post this until I had knit the mate, but I'm so pleased to have finished something that I'm going ahead. This "Twisted Flower Sock" is the design of Cookie A., a San Francisco-based knitwear designer specializing in socks. She's all about crazy complicated texture, as am I; I felt that this would be a good total-immersion pattern to get me back in knitting shape. And so it proved! Though, like most knitting, it looks more difficult than it really is. For the nerds: size 2 Addi turbo circs; Louet Gems in lilac.

Flank Steak

with brown rice and roasted cauliflower.