------------------------------- ------------------------------------ On and Off The Needles

Friday, April 27, 2007

You Know When It's Right

I have this weird semi-theory about knitting socks. When I start a new pair, if I don't get a good feeling and it starts off semi-hitchless, I abandon the project. One of the two elements just isn't working - either the yarn or the pattern. Sometimes, as with the Turkish Stockings I knew it would work if I kept at it - I just had a gut feeling. Other times, the gut feeling just isn't there and I know that the pairing just won't work. Such was the case with the Shelridge yarn and the Canal Du Midi pattern. There are quite a few twisted stitches and ktbl's - the yarn just wasn't cooperating. I'm not sure if it's because of the nylon content, but it was a bit "hairy" for my tastes. I did a few pattern repeats and took a look. The pattern was getting completely lost in the heathery qualities of the yarn. I did like the color though, so I thought about just doing a more lacy stitch pattern. After leafing through some pattern books, I found one that I thought may look nice. Halfway through a pattern repeat, the yarn was just driving me nuts. The ply wasn't quite tight enough, so I kept splitting the yarn. The love just wasn't there. The more socks I knit, the more picky I become about sock yarns. I want a tight ply. I want a smooth yarn. It's just my preference for sock yarn. So, I frogged and rewound it into a nice center pull ball and traded it for something I can use. Cash. It will go towards some nice, smooth, tightly plied sock yarn at the festival next weekend. (Oh my gosh! Next weekend!!!) I don't feel bad - we just weren't right for each other. The yarn was purchased two years ago at that same festival. Before I really got into knitting socks. Before I really knew what I liked in a sock yarn. Live, knit and learn.

After making no knitting progress in three days, I dipped into the stash and with clouds approaching outside, the happy, bright orange color of the Shepherd Baby Wool jumped out at me. I got it on sale last year at a Fabric Place closing in Connecticut. It's really soft, and the color is just great. With the Double Start Cast On and ribbing complete, I dove back into the Canal Du Midi pattern.

Canal Du Midi
A good pairing.

Speaking of good pairings, having a professionally trained chef for a husband isn't bad. When we have time, dinner always looks absolutely amazing. Last night was no exception.
All sorts of yummy antipasti tidbits. We sat, talked and ate with our fingers. What could be better. With him in school full time, and my two jobs, we don't get many relaxing dinners. It was a real treat. And quite yummy too!

Dessert was on me. We had a big bag of limes, and quite a few eggs. Loving anything tart, I searched for something that would use a bit of both. I found this recipe for Lime Chiffon Cake on one of the food blogs I read. It was a really easy cake to make - being that I love lime, and we had so many, I doubled the amount of zest called for.
Lime Zest
Chiffon cakes are always fun to cool. There is that little freak out moment when you flip the pan over, but all usually ends well.
Cooling Cake
I actually used this very old square tube pan that I got from my grandmother. There are not too many occasions to use it, so I was glad to put it to some use.

The cake was amazing. Light, fluffy, not really sweet, and full of lime flavor. A perfect balance. The recipe seems versatile enough you could use any citrus - lemon, orange or I was thinking pink grapefruit would be very different.
Lime Chiffon Cake Slice
Tucker, Ravin and I are off to an agility trial near my parents house this weekend. It will be nice for them to get some quality time with the grand-dogs!