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Archive for June, 2006

Half Moon Bay

Last weekend, Evan and I took a short afternoon trip to Half Moon Bay. It is bit surreal to me to be able to drive to the beach in twenty minutes (barring traffic of course). In college, we were about two hours from the beach and in grad school we lived about an hour or so away, making a visit to the coast a day trip activity.

A few months ago I took a knitting class (actually crochet for knitters) at Fengari in Half Moon Bay after work for a couple of weeks and, last Saturday, we headed to HMB around 2 p.m. (after hitting the Farmer’s market yet again). We explored the downtown for a couple of hours and then headed to the beach. We finished our visit off at Half Moon Bay Brewing Company, where we had good food, so-so beer and a pretty good view of the ocean.

It was a nicely spent afternoon, but it got me to thinking about how on the weekends I always feel this pressure to go out and do things in my new community. While I love travel and exploring new places, at the end of a stressful work week, I find a lot of comfort in spending the weekend doing nothing….sitting around the house, baking a bit, reading a bit, knitting a bit, etc… Now that I live some place where I am paying a high premium to live where we live, I feel an obligation to “get my money’s worth” and enjoy the area. For some strange weekend, it takes a bit of joy out of the weekends for me. I always enjoy whatever activity we do, but I do feel like I am wasting time if I spend the weekend doing nothing.

Evan at the Beach

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Bad news: We weren’t able to finish all of the broccoli rabe we bought at the farmer’s market the other week.

Good news: Quincy finished it for us. (He ate most of that bowl while we were at Half Moon Bay last weekend.)

Broccoli Rab

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Sock Progress

I was going to rip out the whole sock because of the stupid holes, but as I was ripping, I found that I could pick up the stitches from the heel and the instep of the sock just at the problem point. I also discovered that if I had really read the directions the first time, I should have picked up a couple of extra stitches in the gusset. The socks are now humming along and I am hoping that I can finish them before my in-laws arrive on Saturday. Since Evan desperately doesn’t want to go shopping for his mother’s birthday gift, he is doing all of the chores around the house so I have time to knit. He would rather do all the house preparations for his parents’ visit than spend a couple of hours shopping.

sock progress

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I finished Evan’s socks on Saturday. I got slowed down a bit this week as, at work, I rather unfortunately stabbed an 18-gauge needle into my finger. This gave me a good bruise and made knitting painful for a couple of days. He is very happy with them, but if I were to knit them again, I would go down to a size one needles rather than the twos I used, as the fabric is a bit loose. I would definitely knit with the Schaeffer Anne yarn again.

I immediately cast-on a new pair of socks, as I thought my mother-in-law would appreciate a cute pair of stripey socks (her birthday was yesterday and she is visiting next week). I used some knitpicks yarn I bought way before I actually learned how to knit socks. I finished the first cuff as we were driving back and forth from Half Moon Bay. I thought I would try something different with the heel, as I didn’t think that the patterning of the yarn would mesh with the heel flap/gusset approach I typically use (typical being my first two pairs of socks). I attempted the afterthought heel, as described in “Sensational Knitted Socks.” Once I figured out the provisional cast on, I thought things were working out nicely, until I finished the heel and started on the instep/foot of the sock. There were huge holes on both sides.

I have heard other people mention getting holes when they use some heel techniques, but I am not familar enough with sock knitting to figure how to avoid them. It could be because it is my first attempt with this technique. It could be fact that my provisional cast on was with slightly thicker yarn or that I used a rather solid stitch holder for the instep stitches while I worked the heel, both of which would make it more difficult for me to get the joins nice and snug. When I took out the provisional cast on, I was down a stitch, so maybe this is the result of that missing stitch? If you are a sock knitter and happen to be reading my blog, how do you avoid holes using the afterthought/forethought heel? Also, what sort of heel do you typically use with these self-patterning yarns?

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Dear all (three or so) of my blog readers, 

If you would be so kind, please leave a one-word comment that you think best describes me — it can only be one word long. Then copy and paste this into your blog so that I may leave a word to describe you.  If you haven't left a comment before, this is the perfect opportunity.

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I haven’t been posting about my knitting lately, as I was working on Green Gable for a friend, who wanted to be suprised by the color. Now that she has received her knitted item, I can write about it. I never got a great picture of it, but here is what it lookd like during blocking.

I knit the shirt using brown sheep cotton fleece, in the color sedona red. It was a quick knit and an easy travel project over memorial day weekend. It’s always a bit nerve racking when you knit a fitted piece for someone you don’t have access to on a regular basis, but she reports that it is good fit and loved the color. Woohoo.
Right now I have two projects on the needles. A scarf for a friend in Oregon and socks for my husband and his size fourteen feet. They used to call him claudhopper when he was growing up. Here’s a picture of the current state of the socks. He spent much of Sunday wandering around with the one complete sock on, so I think they are going to be a hit.

Evan's socks

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Fresh goodness

Last September, I visited the bayare are for the first time for fun as I contemplated taking a job here. After reading about the Ferry Building in a recent issue of Bon Appetit and being complete food-aholics, it was the first stop on our itinerary. Evan and I were immediately in love. Never before had we seen such a wide variety of fresh produce and other fine food products in one place before. The farmer’s market was amazing. Within moments of arriving, I was already imagining all of the wonderful meals I could (convince Evan to) cook up with the offerings there. My decision was made and I moved to the bay area in December. (While the produce sealed the deal, not wanting to do more than one job interview certaining had its own influence).

Once I arrived, with visions of fantastic meals dancing in my grad school exhausted mind, I went to my local grocery stores and was less than impressed. The offering were pretty much exactly what I could find in my grocery stores in Oregon, although more expensive. (I have to admit, though, that it was December.) I contemplated driving into the city on a weekly basis to buy my produce for the week at the Ferry building Farmer’s market, but it didn’t seem very practical.

As I have begun to adapt to life here, I realized more and more that the cities along the peninsula are all separate organisms and likely to have their own individual farmer’s markets. Last weekend, Evan and I visited the San Mateo farmer’s market, where foodspiration much like last September struck again.

I bought a half flat of beautiful strawberries and made some delicious strawberry freezer jam. (I’d post a picture of the jam, but they turned out looking rather gross).
strawberries
Both from the artisanal baked good for sale as well as reading Elise’s blog, I was also inspired to bake a loaf of bread. I used to bake a ton when I lived in Oregon, as I knew my fellow lab members would eat anything I brought in. Now that I am the youngest member of my research group in a real job, I am hesitant to bring in any baked goods. It felt really wonderful to bake again.

ummm....bread.

This weekend we visited again and came home with some great vegetables. Next weekend, I hope to get my sleepy husband out of bed early enough that the blueberries aren’t sold out.

onions

squash and potatoes

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