Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Long Way Around

Take your time, don't live too fast. Troubles come, but they will pass. -- Lynyrd Skynyrd
I'm sad to report that my KitchenAid mixer is broken. I discovered it wasn't working properly when I tried to make a batch of bread dough last week, and the dough hook wouldn't rotate all the way around. It would do a few rotations, then just catch and sit there, the motor clicking away, the hook jiggling in one place, and my dough all wet and gooey and yeasty. We did some surgery on it this weekend. With the casing off, it kind of reminded me of the anatomy model we had in my biology class with the skull popped off:

One of the gears is worn, so while we wait for it to arrive, I have to knead my dough by hand. This is a task I don't necessarily mind doing (me, the advocate for the slow life), but it's a task whose novelty quickly wore off once I started making bread regularly. For now, the long way is the only way, but at least we had two fresh loaves of bread for this week.

Yeah, I know it's another bread photo, but come on... bread is photogenic food. Check out this dramatic bread shot:

In the meantime, my yarn projects are also taking the long way around. I'm in this phase right now where I don't really feel like following a pattern. I've got a lot of yarn that I'm just wanting to experiment with right now, and since I haven't really found patterns to my liking, I'm piecing together ideas from all sorts of places.

I'm using a skein from my friend Tara's Etsy shop: a lovely skein of purples, blacks and greys with a generous 750 yards. I've bought it shortly before I moved last summer, and I wanted to see if it was enough to make a top out of.

I've been playing around with this pattern, with the plan to add some kind of sleeves onto it. It's been sort of a struggle. It's not even that the page is in Russian (Chrome has been translating it for me anyway), but there are a couple of things that are making it tough:
  1. The chart images aren't that clear, so I'm just making some educated guesses with them.
  2. My crochet gauge is wonky to begin with, so the fit might be a bit questionable.
  3. The low yardage makes me nervous that I'll run out before I end up with something wearable.
I started working on it at my parents' house during the holidays, but it's been ripped out over and over again while I try to work out the chart, change crochet hooks, and stretch, pull and turn the finished pieces into things that might fit me. Finally, just after Christmas, I gave into my fears, logged into my Etsy account, and bought another skein. I think I was lucky to find one the same colourway:

And well, while I was at it, I got another one (since I was paying for shipping anyway): 650 yards of fingering weight cashmere/merino/nylon in a colourway called "Buttered Popcorn."

And well, since Tara knew I was shopping, she sent me a little present to play with:

I am fortunate to have friends in "dye" places. Nyuk, nyuk.

So, this project will likely be a long time in finishing, but I'm feeling a bit more comfortable with it now that I have some extra yardage to play with. I might have a work trip this week, so I might get some work done on it while I'm traveling. I have no idea how it will turn out, but there's at least one fellow who is enjoying it right now. Seriously, this dog has a yarn habit. You can't stage this kind of stuff:

Anybody got any ideas of how I can get it back from him? I better go get some negotiation tools...

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