Wednesday, December 06, 2006

best. secret. pal. ever.

She is spoiling me rotten!!!!I have a bounty of reading materials for winter break now:
  • Ina Garten's latest cookbook, Barefoot Contessa at Home; I bought Ina's first cookbook as a wedding gift for a friend a few years ago, and I could barely part with it. All of these recipes have a limited number of ingredients, and they seem very do-able, even on a week night. On my must-try list: Mexican Chicken Soup, Shrimp Bisque, and PB & J Bars.
  • Kate Atkinson's Case Histories. I really enjoyed her first book, Behind the Scenes at the Museum, so I have had my eye on this one for a while.
  • Melissa McConnell's Evidence of Love. I read a great review of this novel.
  • Kristin Nicholas' Colorful Stitchery. This is such a neat and unusual embroidery book. Nichols has a great eye for color, and her project ideas are fun and fresh. There are no frills or pastels here. There's an online SAL for the book.
And, for good luck, she sent me a little Lucky Cat figurine, who will grace my desk in the study with his presence while I prepare for my last prelim exam over the next couple months. There's also a booklet that explains the history of the Lucky Cat, Maneki Neko, a symbol of prosperity that originated in Japan and spread throughout Asia. Now that I think about it, there are quite a few of them in the Thai restaurant half a block away!

Maneki Neko hangs out with my latest WIP, a beanie out of Silk Garden to go with the latest MD scarf, a holiday gift for a friend of mine. Alas, so far only the dull colors have shown up.

I'm trying to clear out some WIPs and knit a few holiday gifts before I start in on my Hourglass sweater. I've had a Mason-Dixon baby kimono on the needles for quite some time. I picked it up again today, and I just don't like knitting with cotton very well. When it's done, it's done -- no pressure -- then no more cotton for me.

My brother-in-law requested a handknit hat for the holidays. He was kind of a hoot, because he was so specific. He wants a light blue beanie-style hat with a medium-wide light grey stripe. And he wants it to be machine-washable. I found a pattern that looks great via Flower City Knits, the London Beanie. I'm going to futz with the stripe and follow Maureen's modifications, since my BIL is also a member of the large-headed crew.

Do you have any idea how hard it is to find nice light blue and light grey worsted weight washable wool or wool-blend yarn in Chicago? I looked while we were in Milwaukee, too, and had no luck there. I was hoping to buy either Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran or Rown Cashsoft Aran (both of which I've heard a lot about but never tried), but no such luck. Apparently all of those yarns were shipped back to the distributor after the cashmere scandal to be re-labeled. UGH!!! The shops are just now getting some back in stock, but not in my desired colors.

I ended up buying something that was expensive and not quite what I wanted -- Lang's Zoom in heather lt/med blue and heather lt. grey.


Anonymous said...

Wow! That was super fast shipping. Yay USPS! But I hope you enjoy everything. I've read Case Histories and thought it was really well written. I'll be interested to see what you think. And I'm truly having a great time spoiling you! This is so much fun.


Karin said...

Wow! The Ina cookbook!!

Your SP rocks!!

Karin said...

Better yet--why wait a few weeks when I've got a link right here!

Two things of note:

1. Use 1.5 cups of water, not 1 and 5/8ths.

2. When he measures the flour, he scoops it right out of the container. No fussy spooning it into the measuring cup. His way makes for three dense cups of flour as opposed to three airy cups, so I suggest you scoop away as well.

janna said...

Odd about the lack of DB Cashmerino Aran. I bought it at one of my LYSes about 3 weeks ago, and had planned on buying more this weekend - I hope she still has it.

I was in Chicago last week - only made it to one yarn shop - Loopy - but I managed to spend money anyway! ;-)