Nana's Knitting Shop

Knitting tales of a lifelong knitter
and yarn shop owner.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

How Did This Happen?

How in heaven's name did it happen? Taking a cue from my friend, Theresa, I decided to go through my stuff over the weekend.

Because I consider myself a finisher, I didn't think I'd find much of anything sitting on needles. I knew what I was working on after all. I could see every project in my head and I knew, I just knew this was going to be a very short exercise.

I must be getting old because my memory has become very, very bad. I'm going to show you what I found and I'm starting with those things I completely forgot I ever cast on.

This little snippet is going to be the Flourish intarsia sweater by Kim Hargreaves. There are 64 intarsia flowers on it; oh yes, even the sleeves have flowers. It's being knit from Debbie Bliss Cathay. Even though I temporarily forgot about it, I know Sheila didn't! Note that there isn't a row of intarsia on it yet. I think 15 intarsia flowers would be more doable, don't you?

Where this little beauty was hiding is anyone's guess. It's going to be a lovely, lacy little vest made from Noro Aurora.

It was the thought of the sleeves on this magnificent sweater that made me put it "on vacation" for a while. It's been steeked and all it needs is sleeves and shoulders.

This little wristlet is the Bohus Blue Shimmer pattern. I started it in Susanna Hansson's Bohus Stickning workshop. Yup, that's a size 00 needle going on.

There's a new square. Spiders and leaves, pretty cute, isn't it?

And of course, there's the obligatory pair of socks. (No, my Prince, yours are not considered a work in progress. Yours are off the needles forever and you know why.)

There's the Forbes Forest scarf from Scarf Style in Bollicine Dolly:

Someone asked me if I could do the brioche stitch, so of course, I cast on this tam using 220 and Silk Garden:

There's the Debbie Bliss sweater using Blue Heron's Rayon Twist; cast on the day the yarn entered the Shop:

And last, but certainly not least are the two things I knew I was working on. Frankly, these are the only two things I knew I was working on. These are my current, can't wait to get 'em done projects, the only two I'm knitting regularly, the only two I thought I had got on needles.

The first is the Catherine Parr sweater using Cascade 220. Upon seeing the book, I dreamt about this sweater until it was on my needles:

And the "Oh, I love my sister so much, I'll just whip this up for her" sweater - Eunny Jang's Tangled Yoke sweater out of the magical, marvelous Venezia:

Having just finished the Swing Jacket,

I got all sassy thinking I could do two sweaters at once; what's the big deal? I'm the finisher! They'll both get done.

But then I stopped to start and finish THESE few things. Mittens for Eiley:

Another couple of boobs:

And Christmas ornaments for my pathetic little Shop tree:

Speaking of my pathetic tree, knit or crochet an ornament for it and take 15% off your entire purchase when you deliver your ornament! We'll be decorating the tree on Sunday, December 9 from noon to 5:00 p.m. Join us then for a great party, deliver your ornament and SHOP! We'll be serving some of Nana's traditional Swedish holiday dishes.

Can't make it to the party? Please deliver your ornament by Saturday, December 8 and SHOP then!

This project inventory exercise has taught me the following:
a. I now know where all my needles are;
b. My memory is totally shot;
c. I'll swing at anything anyone wants to knit with me;
d. I'll easily justify knitting with any new yarn that comes into the Shop;
e. And, last but not least, I'm not the finisher I thought I was.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Ah, Thanksgiving

I've been cooking Thanksgiving dinner for at least the past 25 years. I took over to give my mother a break and have been doing it ever since. And, I cook the exact same thing every year. My entire family looked forward to the exact same thing every year (right, family?).


And now, back to our story...Ah, those were the salad days. Since I'm one of those crazy people that only likes to do things I'm good at (cooking Thanksgiving dinner, knitting, Scrabble, crossword puzzles, never ever ever golf, running or anything resembling a contact sport), I reveled in the kudos, the rubbing of the belly while the diners said things like,

"Perfect again this year, dear. So much work, so very much work, you worked so hard, so very, very hard and it was absolutely delicious as always."

Of course, that was my Mother talking, but everyone else always nodded in agreement.

Now, if you've ever been to my house for Thanksgiving, you always know what to expect. I've cooked the exact same menu for those twenty something years. Tried and true recipes, so tried and true that they are now my own.

This gem has been on my table every Thanksgiving Thursday since the beginning of time:

Squash Pudding
Preheat oven to 350
1 whole butternut squash
3 eggs lightly beaten
1/2 C butter
1 C milk
1/4 C sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
salt to taste

Cut squash vertically into two pieces and bake face down on a baking sheet. Cook until tender. Mash squash (about 2 cups) with the butter. Add the remaining ingredients and bake in casserole dish for about 1 hour or until firm.

This looks and tastes like pumpkin pie!

So given that every dish is the same, year after year after year, how is it possible that now that the fab four grace our Thanksgiving table, the conversation goes something like this:

"What's for dinner, Nanny?"
"Um, I don't really like turkey, Nanny, what else are we having?"
"Stuffing, squash pudding, mashed potatoes, rolls, sweet potatoes."
"Can I have two rolls?"
"What's for dessert?"
"Apple pie and pumpkin pie. Everything's the same as last year."
"If I eat all my dinner, can I have pie?"
"Sure you can."
"Um, I don't really like turkey, Nanny, can I have something else?"
"There isn't anything else."
"Can I have another roll?"
"Me too?"
"Nanny, I think we just want rolls for dinner. Can we have dessert if we just eat rolls?"
"Can I have another roll, please?"
"Me too?"
"Nanny, I'm not hungry."
"I'm not either."
"I don't really like mashed potatoes. Can I have another roll?"

Would there really be anything wrong with serving pie and rolls for Thanksgiving dinner?

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Crochet Coral Reef - Just Go!

Grandson number one is in the Chicago Children's Choir (he sings like an angel and we are so very proud) and I took him to a retreat at the Cultural Center downtown on Saturday.

Normally, trucking downtown would not be my idea of a good 8:00 a.m. Saturday activity, but I knew the Hyperbolic Crochet Reef was there and I was a bit more than curious.

The brainchild of Christine and Margaret Wertheim at the Institute of Figuring in Los Angeles, the crochet reef was created to call attention to the plight of the world's reefs as a result of global warming.

The vision, the talent, the artistry is just astounding. Here are a few sample pictures. For more information and pictures, go here.

The reef will be on display at the Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington Street through December 16. Go!

And for your viewing pleasure, here are more pictures of the sweaters we're knitting:

Salt Peanuts by Veronik Avery. Yarn: Cascade 220

Minimalist Cardigan by Ruthie Nussbaum. Yarn: Tahki Torino

Cobblestone Pullover by Jared Flood. Yarn: Cascade 220

Green Gable by Zephyr Style. Yarn: Malabrigo worsted