About power

In the various conversations with neighbors and friends this past week the word electricity was never used. We all said “Is your power back?”, “We are still without power.” and so on. And truly we felt powerless after a windstorm with winds up to 100 mph fell trees and power lines causing major problems in the Glendale/Pasadena area. Our house was without power for three days and three nights, and I know that those of you on the east coast who went as long as a week a while back in much harsher weather conditions know something about it.

We were actually very lucky that our next-door neighbor, who is connected to a different grid and got his power back within eight hours, let us string a cable from his house to ours so we could hook up one thing at a time. Mostly we hooked up the computer so Ben could work and then a little space heater, but we still we had to throw out all the food in our fridge and freezer and it was cold (I know, I know… Southern California cold). All my pasteis de nata, all the croissants and baguettes, the shrimp… It was sad.

package from Sweden

My eagerly awaited package from Sweden

But in the middle of it all I received a special package form Sweden, my Christmas present to myself: a Wild Apple pullover kit. That’ll keep me busy for, uh, six months or so? There hasn’t been much knitting going on here in the past couple of months following yet another hand injury and distractions of various nature. Now I hope to get back to it. A Bohus kit is a thing of beauty and I find it especially appealing at Christmas time. A book, a fire, a kitty, and a Bohus project. What more can a girl want?

Wild Apple pullover kit

Wild Apple pullover kit

Knit for penguins

The little oil-soaked penguins of New Zealand need you.

penguin sweaters

I didn't want to steal images, so this is not as cute as the real blue penguins in their colorful sweaters. For those, follow the links in the text below.

Please, check out the Worldwide Campaign To Knit Sweaters for Penguins to prevent them from ingesting poison while they wait to be cleaned up.

These tiny sweaters are a quick knit. Instructions for the Penguin Jumper in 8ply are on Skeinz’s spring newsletter.

Now I have to find some wool of appropriate thickness. 8-ply doesn’t mean much to me, and unfortunately there is no mention of gauge so I’ll have to guess based on the needle size. It also seems to me that it would be easier to knit this in the round up to the wholes for the wings (are they called wings?). What do you think?

859 Fåglar

My latest book acquisitions arrived last night thanks to Ivar in Sweden. After several unsuccessful attempts at procuring these booklets online on my own, I was lucky to exchange goods with Ivar and getting my hands on these three little books by Britta Johanson:
— 7668 Stjärnor (7668 Stars)
— 893 Hjårtan och kronor (893 Hearts and Crowns)
— 859 Fåglar (859 Birds)

The birds are my favorite, especially the little goofy ones in the first few pages. There are more books in this collection of charted designs and I hope to get them in the future.

Inspired by Mozza

It seems that I always preface our dinners with some kind of disclaimer (I overcooked this, I undercooked that, there’s not enough salt, there’s too much salt, I burned the garlic, it’s not right…), and Ben’s usual response is “Can I enjoyed it anyway?”

Caprese

Mozzarella di bufala, pesto, slow roasted cherry tomatoes, crostone with homemade ricotta.

In this case ricotta is a misnomer and I am using the word only because that’s what everybody calls this kind of homemade cheese. Real ricotta is the byproduct of cheese making, where you use the whey left over from making mozzarella. This ricotta is made with milk, heavy whipping cream and — dare I say it? — lemon juice. If you can’t find good ricotta, this is a good alternative.

If I seem fussy about ricotta it’s because I know what the real thing tastes and feels like; the texture is different and so is the flavor. My favorite ricotta happens to be made with sheep milk, and that adds to the difference. Not that there were any leftovers, mind you.

Pesto and olive tapenade

Pesto and olive tapenade on the side.

So much pesto… I think we’ll have pasta al pesto tonight.

Caprese Mozza style

The photos are bad, but the food was good.

Pesto, tapenade, homemade ricotta and slow roasted tomatoes were all inspired by recipes from The Mozza Cookbook and for the most part I followed the recipes exactly (I replaced burrata with mozzarella di bufala and I was missing an ingredient in the olive tapenade). The styling leaves much to be desired. What can I say… by the time everything was ready to be assembled I was too hungry to bother with style.

A collar by any other name…

I refuse to call it cowl.
The word irks me, to the point that I’ve resisted knitting one until now, I suspect, because of the name. Don’t ask me why; I haven’t the faintest idea. I know a woman who breaks into hives if anyone says “moist”.

Do you have a word that makes you want to scream? Please tell me — I need to know that I am not insane.

Collar or cowl?

Collar or cowl?

This is a mindless knitting project so I don’t care that it goes slowly. And even for a unitasker like me, it does not preclude conversation.

stitch detail

A stitch I made up

I might even finish it this month.

the other side

The other side

Yeah, yeah… all of you fast knitters snickering in the background. I know it’s only the 3rd of the month.


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