Sunday, December 30, 2007

Hemlock Ring Blanket Progress

Here's a photo of my Hemlock Ring Blanket as of last night:

I am liking this pattern a lot. However, I'm not liking the doody color of this yarn. I had purchased it because it is the same one Jared Flood used on his blog, and I loved his pics of the finished work. I thought it would go with my brown tapestry-print sofa, but now I'm not so sure. Maybe I'll like it better when it's blocked....I have, however, seen some stunning ones on Ravelry that have been done in juicy colors, one in royal blue, and one in leaf green. I may need to make a more colorful one for myself, and give this guy-colored one when it's finished to my Dad for an upcoming B-day in Feb. We'll see. I bet he'd like a wool throw in Feb. (This all relates to this post, where I noticed that I crave saturated, intense colors during the winter months!)

DH's b-day is in early January. I have no plans to knit anything gifty, so unless something jumps out at me soon, he's getting nothing handmade. And that's okay, 2008 is the year of knitting for me :)

Wanna see what I got with my Christmas gift certificate to a LYS?

Wow, I'm in heaven. I am inspired by Opal's version of the Selbuvotter patterns, and plan on some mittens for myself. I want to do some fair-isle knitting, so I bought a bunch of random colors of Heilo and Dalegarn Baby Ull to build the stash! This is going to be so much fun!!!

I also got some Cashsoft DK and Cashcotton DK that was marked down. I don't even care what colors I get of this stuff, it is so soft and gorgeous! Fair-Isle hats, here I come :)

I splurged and bought myself the angora yarn I've been eyeballing for much of a year. After all, it was a gift certificate! It's Lush, from Classic Elite and man is it soft!!!!! The only problem: I fell in love with this lovely ice-blue color, and now I will need to get myself a new coat!! (My winter coats are red, and charcoal gray!) That's okay, a white puffy down coat would be really special, and I can wear any color scarf with it.

I was on a mission yesterday, to get myself an immersion blender. My daughter and I spent a very fun day traipsing around some great stores, like Crate & Barrel, and Williams-Sonoma, and Anthropologie. We had some Jamba Juice smoothies, and ate later at Roly-Poly, the rolled sandwich shop.

Anyway, we did all this w/o finding a decent immersion blender. I was bummed. I could not allow myself to go home w/o the one thing I really wanted to buy. So I dropped her off and went to Macy's, and....waddayaknow, they actually had one. (It was the last one!) And I was so happy to find it, I also bought a new Martha Stewart 5-quart skillet! They were both on sale--bonus!! I'm very pleased, now I can crank out some soup :)

Fun with photoshop:

I had made some onion soup from scratch after watching Michael Chiarello's version last weekend. Oh, was it simple and good! This recipe is mostly about technique. The discovery of a new technique (i.e. caramelizing the onions), really lights my fire! Now it will always be a great easy go-to dish, and I don't need a recipe to do it :)

For this soup, I figured out that you need about one onion per serving: I used three onions because it was a stretch fitting more than that into my pathetic cast-iron skillet; I got three yummy big servings out of it. The best onion soup I've ever had. My version used vegetable stock (I'm a vegetarian) and I forgot to add sage....But like I said, delicious!!!!! And done in about 45 minutes.

He then made a butternut squash soup on which he used an immersion blender. (Light-bulb went on: 'hey I need one of those') Then yesterday, I watched Giada de Laurentiis make some homemade tomato soup and puree it with an immersion blender. How easy that is compared to what I normally do: dump the steaming soup into my blender in small enough batches to avoid explosions of boiling liquid all over the walls--yes it's happened!)

My family (esp DH) is very finicky about eating chunky type soups, but if it's pureed they'll eat it! So I'm very happy with my new toys! (And I didn't leave Williams-Sonoma empty-handed: I stocked up on some more grey salt!)

Well, enough blabbering about food. DD flies back to her base in the California desert tomorrow morning, while I work a half-day >:| Today we go to a fondue restaurant for a nice family time--should be fun! Maybe I'll make some more soup on New Year's Day :) See ya then!

Mutlu yillar!


Opal said...

I think your Hemlock is coming along beautifully. I really would await judgment until it's blocked though. Lace is like an ugly caterpillar and it's only until it's blocked will it emerge into a gorgeous butterfly.

Thanks for the plug! I'm so glad you're going to start some stranded work. Mittens are much faster then gloves and so much fun to do!

Your onion soup sounds divine. I just don't have the patience to cook. Isn't that terrible? :)

hakucho said...

Your hemlock blanket looks lovely. I know the feeling about drab's much more fun to knit with bright colors. I still tend to gravitate toward blues. You'll love your new blender. I have a Braun hand blender that I use all the time. One of my sons is always making milk shakes with it. They are so easy to clean :)

happy knitting :)

Carola said...

Are you making two Hemlocks at once? Or am I missing something? One Grey and one White?

I'm a bit intimidated by trying to knit lace, not only because it looks difficult, but also because of that bunching that happens while you knit. What if it looks horrid when you block it.

All that work! Eek!

Looks to me like you're doing darn well, though.

Aim said...

Thanks guys! I am at the moment only knitting one Hemlock Ring Blanket. I am making lots of progress on that, and none on Ballerina. Oh, well. I have to decipher the crazy instructions to continue on that project....

Happy New Year, y'all!