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Eek! Yarn, yarn and more yarn...

March 9th, 2006 (01:36 am)

current mood: sleepy

Today was Wednesday, the one day of the week I have a decent chance of running away from work for a few hours and going shopping instead. :P (There are other times I can run too but that usually involves Asian food shopping up North when things are really slow and we can leave the office unattended). So, after warning the boss that I was probably out today (stipulated to the afternoon), I got to run off to TWO local yarn shops! ^___^

First was Knit One, Chat Too, where I ended up picking up some Koigu PPPM wool for the Charlotte's Web shawl. So far I'm having fun with it. The pattern's been pretty simple (especially compared to the mystery shawls!) and it's been growing reasonably well. (Ha! Okay, I lie; I'm only 30 rows into it at the moment). I also picked up some new black mohair (SRK Ovation - mohair/silk blend) which seemed nice. There was another mohair / nylon blend I was debating but it didn't feel as nice to the fingers and was a hint more expensive to boot. We also put in an order for Fleece Artist stuffs but I'm not sure what exactly is coming in so it's a bit more the female sibling unit's wishlist I suspect? Maybe?? (I've given up on a pure cashmere afghan for now and am happy with the blends I'm working with).

While at K1C2, I saw a bunch of the Manos Handpainted yarns and was so tempted to pick some up. The girl tried tempting me a touch but I simply couldn't think of a single project I might want to try making! >_< Beautiful yarn / colours and I know it's not going to be there when I go back and yet I didn't buy it. I'm so going to regret that later on. ^^; But I'm also so not into heavier yarns right now. I have the great afghan project / the third great knitting attempt which has now been laid claim to. The female sibling unit has claimed it upon completion for her bed. It seems that the afghan she made me a couple years ago which I don't often use is "so heavy you can't move under it". It's a double sided wool afghan that she finished making in the summer of all things! Eek! Also on-going in heavier yarn is the Tri-Aran Shawl in aran weight yarn. It's going a couple rows a night usually and is turtling along. I'm not entirely keen on the aran colourway for this shawl; I'd rather have a nice green or earthy tone for it. I'll have to think about switching to a different yarn and use the aran for something else. :P

We then went down to Oasis Spa and picked up various stuffs there (finally! After we forgot last time...). We also hit Mona Lisa again where I got myself a journal with lines and made sure that the lines didn't try running away again. ^^; This the day after the female sibling unit picked up another journal for me as she needed to buy a birthday card and wanted to pay by card and not cash. There's something inherently wrong when you buy $20+ more than intended just so you can pay with plastic. ^^;

Then we hit Pudding Yarns again. I was sort of hoping they might have some more Koigu since I ended up getting 5 skeins of the same colourway for the shawl even though I'd hoped for mixing two but they didn't have any. I couldn't really see much for me there although the female sibling unit ended up getting some Luxury yarn for me (can't remember the exact blend. I think it's a fingering weight yarn). She also picked up some Rowan Kid Silk Spray for me in the beige-y colourway. And then she picked up two sets of DPNs by Lantern Moon...

I thought the Crystal Palace needles were expensive, but these... they definitely take the cake. Apparently they only come in size US 1-7 which is a small blessing. I've been trying them out tonight having cast-on for the Charlotte's Web shawl (that's since moved onto some regular Aero circulars after threatening to pop off the opposite end a few times) and the Magic Circle Shawl in A Gathering of Lace. I wasn't too sure about the needles at first because they didn't seem entirely straight, but like with all needles, it seems to really depend on what you're working with. They were absolutely beautiful with the Koigu PPPM! No splitting yarns or sticking too much or slipping; just yum. However, they seem a lot stickier with the Handpainted yarn. I finally decided to give in and work with the burgundy lace weight yarn I picked up and am using it for the Magic Circle shawl. Since I'm working in a lighter weight than the original, I expect the shawl will be smaller... which is perfectly fine with me since the original is 83" dia., half of which is 41.5" which is enough that, okay I shouldn't trip over it, but it's still getting awfully long. A little over 5' dia would be nice.

MS3 is moving slowly for me at the moment. I've been really bad since I really want to start moving to a circular but am thinking about waiting for the CP circulars to arrive from Blackberry Ridge. I've also been eyeing a new knit along (KAL) group for Sivia Harding's Fantasy Diamond Shawl pattern but I neither have the pattern nor am I sure about making that one. I have other of her patterns winging their way in that I'm hoping to make though so shall see what other KALs come along later. Which reminds me, the Caravan Robe's yarns will hopefully be arriving in the next week or so. ^___^ I need to learn to knit faster or be like an octopus with multiple arms to work on multiple projects at once. :P

Did I mention I'm debating asking the female sibling unit to pick up some more Wendy's Peter Pan in either 3-ply, 4-ply or the prints and making a regular, wrap myself up shawl for the chair? I really like the yarn, it's so soft, but since it's baby yarn, it comes in baby colours... >_<

Part of the female sibling unit's B-day present has arrived and is safely cached away, but still no shipping notice from KnitPicks. >_< If it doesn't ship in another 1.5 weeks, I'll have to consider something else. Maybe the rest of the Lantern Moon DPNs!? Yikes!

Oh yeah, and how is it that after a few hours of knitting, the female sibling unit has half the back to a sweater done while I'm maybe an inch further on my own project. There's something inherently unjust in that sort of disparity in progress. :P Oh, and she's also making the cutest pair of snake noses at the moment; supposedly they'll turn into socks but right now they look like jewelled snake noses. :P

Finally made the mocha pots de creme. They were quite yummy although they naturally made me a bit sick. Oh to be able to have milk products. >_<; I'll have to make the flourless choco cake tomorrow... if we have enough eggs?? I think I might be short after making okonomiyaki for dinner today. On top of the regular mixed seafood okonomiyaki, I like to have a fried egg (soft yolk) on top of the okonomiyaki. Messy but yummy. :P


Posted by: Too cute for evil (ginny_t)
Posted at: March 9th, 2006 10:21 am (UTC)
Mogeta <3 (sleepdebtfairy)

mmmmm… manos… It is yummy!

You can't have dairy? oh. *hugs!*

Posted by: Shadow (kagedreams)
Posted at: March 10th, 2006 02:26 am (UTC)

mmmmm… manos… It is yummy!

You're not helping here... >_<;;

Sadly I can't have much dairy (lactose intolerant). Believe me, the dessert lover in me cries. ;_;

Posted by: Too cute for evil (ginny_t)
Posted at: March 10th, 2006 11:03 am (UTC)
hearts & bubbles (rain16)

*giggle* I'm supposed to help? I am helping - I'm helping your stash! ^_^

Having recently acquired a vegan friend, I've been looking at some tofu alternatives. The tofu ice "cream" is almost there. And there are plenty of books with dairy-free desserts. And, bittersweet chocolate (my favourite!) has no dairy. Come to the dark side, we have no dairy. ^_^

Posted by: Laurie (ichi_san)
Posted at: March 9th, 2006 03:11 pm (UTC)

Mocha pot de crème ? Flourless choco cake ? Okonomiyaki ? *w* *w* *w*
*wants to go and live at Shadow's*

Boy, does it *all* sound yummy ! Aw, I didn't know dairy foods made you sick, how sad... é_è

Oh, I meant to tell you ! I'm finally trying your tsubu-an recipe this coming week end ! *is so excited* It took me AGES, but I managed to find azuki beans, in a little asian store downtown, AT LAST. I even found kanten (agar agar) to make yokan (don't know how to use that thing, though. It looks like some sort of powder). I'm so happy ! Will comment under your tsubu-an entry to let you know how it went.

Posted by: Shadow (kagedreams)
Posted at: March 10th, 2006 02:38 am (UTC)

*laughs* Considering how much time we spend eating, food has to be fun for me. ^^;

Good luck with the recipes! BTW, you'll probably want to make something for the tsubu-an to go. It's the base to many Japanese treats like zenzai, o-shiruko, mochi, youkan and others. I'll see if I can finish translating some more of the key pages on that site as well. ^^;

Posted by: wombat1138 (wombat1138)
Posted at: March 9th, 2006 10:04 pm (UTC)

I keep forgetting about the cabbage I bought a week or three ago with vague plans for okonomiyaki. Since I already used the yams[*] for something else and still have a buttered pan around from when I initially prepped the wrong pan for making brownies last night, I'll may give this recipe a try instead-- hopefully I can fake chickpea flour by dropping dried chickpeas into the blender and covering my ears while the cats flee at the unholy racket.

[*: When I was initially trying to figure out okonomiyaki from descriptions/photos, I was grating white-fleshed sweet potatoes into the mix, since they're available at the farmers' markets around here. Eventually the local Asian megamart produced a chunk of authentic(?) yamaimo, which deeply revolted the wombat-consort with its snotlike texture when I made him grate it while I was chopping cabbage. Perhaps it's not a coincidence after all that I don't recall making okonomiyaki since then, or at least however close my version thereof actually is; this last shopping trip was back to sweet potatoes again (orange this time), though at some point I think I also experimented with grating standard starchy potatoes for a result vaguely similar to latkes. Theoretically, I guess it would be possible to morph together okonomiyaki and Acadian rappie pie... but what I really wanted to ask was what sort of tuber thing do you usually toss in, if any? Yamaimo/nagaimo's snotlike qualities might hold the batter together but didn't seem to add any flavor, and extra starch is nutritionally superfluous.]

Posted by: Shadow (kagedreams)
Posted at: March 10th, 2006 02:48 am (UTC)

......I don't usually use fresh yamaimo although I think there's a powdered version that we've added to the base mix. It adds a depth to the okonomiyaki but no clearly distinguished flavour quality. I tend most often to "cheat" and use pre-made okonomiyaki flour mix and there's an additives pack for okonomiyaki / takoyaki with things like katsuobushi, ao nori, and small dried shrimp to give it more flavour, so I really only add the protein and maybe the egg on top. I've yet to remember to buy the kewpie mayo to add with the okonomiyaki sauce. :P

I think the main binder for okonomiyaki tends to be the egg in the batter more than yamaimo though.

Posted by: wombat1138 (wombat1138)
Posted at: March 10th, 2006 02:51 pm (UTC)

Generally I was tossing a few tablespoons of furikake into each batch for flavoring; thinly-sliced meat tasted great but made them even harder to flip. (Eventually I gave up on trying to flip them intact and just cut them into individually-flippable pieces once the first side was done.) But yeah, the eggs were the decision point last night on *not* making okonomiyaki and trying that new Indian recipe instead, which the wombat-consort rather enjoyed.

(Actually, *I* should hunt down some okonomiyaki prefab flour mix to compare the process/product; I know I've seen the stuff in stores.)

Posted by: Shadow (kagedreams)
Posted at: March 10th, 2006 09:27 pm (UTC)

Hmm... most of the flavour for okonomiyaki really comes from the sauce although things like red ginger can be added to the mix as well to give it some zing. Sometimes when I add some bacon over top, it'll make the okonomiyaki a bit stubborn to work with but it shouldn't be to the point where you'd resort to cutting it up. I'll post some recipes later; I know I've hunted down recipes from scratch before rather than mixes but I haven't tried them yet. (One was pretty insane making enough for several people for 3 meals/day for 3 days straight...) O_O

While you don't have to get the additive pack I'd mentioned, having ao nori and especially katsuobushi on top (along with the okonomiyaki sauce of course) definitely adds to the flavour. ^_^

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