Saturday, July 26, 2008

Illusions of Progress

Before beginning my post, I have to say what a nice birthday I had. I woke up and Russ had coffee ready for me and my favorite Mornigstar Farms Vegetarian Sausage Links. Actually, he does that for me most mornings, but sometimes I have to put the sausages in the microwave myself! He had also changed our computer's background to a Grommit knitting picture that Cheryl at A Simple Yarn sent me a while back . The rest of the day was just perfect, nothing that exceptional, just relaxing and nice. Kai gave me a cute little inspirational book with beagles in it, and Russ fixed a nice dinner. The biggest surprise was Paige's present. In the evening, she put together a spa treament for me in the bathroom, complete with candles, bubble bath, a facial mask, classical music and a Skor candy bar. She had bought everything on her own, and I felt a little bad because she had told us she was driving over to a friend's house to pick something up. She was gone quite a while, and just as she walked in the door, Russ was saying to me that maybe I should go check to see that she was actually where she said she was. She heard him and was a bit miffed. She wasn't where she said that she'd be; she was at Rite Aid getting her mom a present! All of those nice birthday wishes from my blogger friends added to the day too.

I've decided that often I buy yarn just to make it seem like I'm moving forward with my knitting. If I need more yarn, I must have achieved something, right?. The fact is I haven't finished a knitting project in ages. Case in point, I bought this self-striping yarn at The Yarn Shop in Lincoln this summer. I had lots of free time when we were there, so I should have been able to finish several socks during our visit. I got half-way though with a basic sock and then decided that it was way too big, something that happens to me 80% of the time. I don't have a small foot at all, but most socks I knit are huge, even when I go down a needle size or two. I tried various patterns after that but was never satisfied. I do this all of the time. I'm like the frogging queen. Finally I decided to go back to the Citrine Sock pattern from Interweave Knit Holiday Gifts 2007 that I knit earlier this year. I had some trouble with it the first time I tried it but ultimately was very happy with the finished product. I've had trouble with it once again. I really think I have attention deficit issues. I'd get sidetracked while I was working on the heal and I'd have to rip it out. We're not talking a couple of times here. I bet I re-knit this sock at least ten times. I finally finished one sock this morning. This one sock is all I have to show for the month of June and July knitting-wise. I have, of course, continued to buy yarn, just a little less than normal.

I'm also not always so good about finishing books, but I still buy lots of them. if I like a book though, I'll finish it in a couple of days. I bought Crescent by Diana Abu-Jaber at the airport this summer, and loved it. The main setting is an Iraqi Cafe in Los Angeles. Even if I hadn't enjoyed the story, I would have read it for the food imagery. Abu-Jaber included a couple of recipes at the end of the book. I made her Tabbouleh Salad, which I wanted to love but only kind of liked; and then I tried her hummus recipe. If was fine too, but not fantastic. I make a lot of hummus. My family loves it, but I wanted to perfect my recipe, so I started looking around. There are only a few ingredients, so most recipes taste about the same. I finally found what I consider the perfect recipe. My family agrees that it fab, and it makes me so happy to have my kids get in the fridge so they can get some carrots and hummus to eat as a snack.


2 cans garbanzo beans, drained
1/2 cup tahini
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp. cumin
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp. parsley, minced

Pulse garbanzos, garlic, and tahini in a food processor. Add salt, pepper, cumin, and lemon juice, and pulse several times. Add olive oil and pulse until smooth. Sprinkle parley on top.


Thimbleanna said...

Happy Belated Birthday Ms. Karoline! Your illusions of progress knitting-wise are more than my illusions -- I finally finished a pair of socks but they took me FOREVER! They were on size 0's though -- I don't think I'll do that again! Love your little M.A. Hadley tea set -- I have lots of M.A. Hadley, but not that cute tea pot. Also, you commented to Brigette that you make a cilantro and almond pesto? Can we pretty-please have that recipe??? I'm a little worried about whether I'll like the basil pesto, but I know I love cilantro and almonds, so...maybe???

Hege said...

Your food looks so good - makes me hungry ;)

Wool Winder said...

The best thing I ever did when it comes to sock knitting, was take the time to figure out the number of stitches, needle size, length of cuff, etc. to fit my foot in a basic sock. It took a few tries to get it right, but I discovered that 64 stitches on size US 1 needles with sock weight yarn works for me every time. If the basic sock you were knitting was too big, you can reduce the needle size or number of stitches for a better fit next time.

JayJay said...

Thanks for sharing your recipe. I just love hummus!

I'm so glad you had a lovely birthday. As for the one sock, crafting is about the process so one lovely sock seems fine to me.

Alison Boon said...

Belated birthday wishes to you. Sounds like everyone treated you well. Paige's are so very thoughghtful aren't they? Great idea of yours to grab a friend and find a yarn store it sounds like a fabulous shop.

Rani said...

What a fun post! That hummus looks delicious. I'm going to try that.

I think that knitting in the summer has something to do with ADD/Knits. There are just too many things to see and do and the kids are all about and the sun is shining.

What a nice birthday. Putting on that screen saver is so romantic. Just for you. What a man! And what sweet sweet kids! Happy (belated)birtdhay!