Sunday, September 17, 2006

August 50th

So I did something stupid. Was participating in a knitting Secret Pal swap--and I had great fun trying to spoil my secret pal, but somehow July whizzed by and the July package didn't go out until the beginning of August and then I managed to procrastinate so that I would barely make it for the end-of-August package except that the knitting needles I made didn't get out of the kiln on time so I was going to be a day late on mailing it.

I asked if this year August could have 32 or 33 days. My spoilee was very nice and said no worries. All would have been well, except...I was browsing through the blogs of some of the other people involved in the exchange and admiring the fine knitted gifts that some people had given and even though I sent my pal hand-dyed, handspun yarn and some lampworked gifts, I hadn't actually knitted anything. And she seems to have a backlog of yarn, and sometimes it is nice to get the knitted thing already finished instead of having to knit it yourself, especially with my landscape yarn for socks where the yarn is complicated enough that the best sock patterns are the simple blah stockinette stitch socks. And I figured I could whip out a pair of socks in a day. And it would be practice for Sock Wars.

I got the socks started and realized I cannot knit a tall pair of socks in a day in the gauge I was doing. Maybe I could do anklets. Maybe. I don't know when I got so slow. It's not helping that I did a 3:1 rib with a improvisational cable increase and then couldn't find a nice way to cast off.

Four different methods of casting off is now August 50th and her socks (and the rest of the delayed package) are finally ready to be shipped. This afternoon. Right after I finish typing this.

Hopefully "Pepito" realizes how lucky he was only to have to wait one week for his birthday present. I finally made him model for pictures.

In other news, I went to a friend's wedding Saturday in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Beautiful location and a wonderful party. I've known her since kindergarten and she's so amazing. Finally got to see her and Decadance (her dance troupe) dance. Great music, dance lessons, lots of dancing interspersed with delicious food, and there were alpacas!

And there are alpacas in Alaska who are also very cute and soft and my pal in the spinning/roving exchange went to an alpaca farm and took pictures and sent me some beautiful roving and raw fleece. Pics are at her blog. She also sent a very cool hat pattern and a sweet seashell. I'm really amazed at my self restraint yesterday in resisting the temptation to start spinning the alpaca right away. Instead, I spent the day removing the spiders one by one from my room and replacing their webs with a shelf for textile books, organizing my yarn/fiber stash or part of it at any rate, washing some raw sheep wool, finishing the aforementioned socks and making a next-to-last-hurrah dinner with my friend Danielle before she leaves for Seattle. Tonight is the going away party, but we figured it would be nice to have a smaller dinner yesterday so we could actually hang out.

I haven't mentioned the reason for this blog's title in a while, but that's partially because winter squash has been out of season. (And partially because although one can cook up a butternut squash every week indefinitely, after a while it seems to become stubborness.) At any rate, yesterday we cooked squash. Well, three butternut squashes to be precise, which in retrospect was a mistake. You see, whenever I have people over for dinner, it never seems to be an intimate dinner for four or anything mildly sane like that. Our household is four to begin with plus sometimes significant others, plus many friends come in clusters. We ended up with 7 people last night, which worked out great, but I was planning for the possibility of 9-10, and I'm not good at making large meals and I figured it would be tragic to run out of gnocchi. So three butternut squashes went into the oven, then were poorly drained before the smooshing which led to a mere monster of gnocchi dough. I'd called Danielle to warn her dinner might be delayed on my end, by half an hour or so. By the way, never trust me on Time. We don't get along so well. There's so many past misunderstandings, that our relationship is really unfixable. Time and I, well, we're just on different wavelengths; it's not like either one of us is right or wrong, you know.

My roommate came home and was promptly put to work. As hungry people showed up, they were given tasks to further whet their appetite. And I was distracted from warning the gnocchi makers that we probably didn't have to cook the whole monster that night.

So mounds of gnocchi later, we sat down to dinner. And it was good. One of the most delicious salads I've had recently courtesy of Danielle...fennel, cooked onions, sprouts, apples, mixed greens and other mysterious yummies. Tomato and cheese (blue cheese on one, brie on the other) pies topped with fresh basil. Butternut squash gnocchi with garlic sage butter. And plum galette with icecream and gingersnaps for dessert.


Lori said...

Wow, my mouth is watering reading about your feast - sounds like it was worth waiting for!
Glad you liked the alpaca!

Lori said...

Wow, my mouth was watering reading about your feast - sounds like it was worth the wait!
I love the frog needles!

Anonymous said...

You remembered! I do realize how lucky I was. I can't wait for it to get cold so I can show off your handy-work.
- Pepito

Evelyn said...


Kim, I am your secret pal spoilee and I'm giggling with glee tonight. Thank you so much for the box of lovely goodness. The socks are just magnificent and they fit perfectly.

I have always wanted to try knitting silk hankies since reading that article on (I sense a new addiction coming on. . .) But the needles. All I can say is omigod! I really do love frogs, but to have handmade--for me--glass needles? I'm absulutely beside myself. This is the best August 50th EVER!!! ;-)
I did not know that the glass buttons were hand made. I've been admiring them and pondering what I'll use them for.
So, thanks again. You've been a fabulous secret pal.