Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Knitting on the Road

Mark and I are on the road for the Thanksgiving Holiday. Four days in Austin then five in Dallas. Now packing my clothes was easy, one carry-on suitcase, done in about 5 minutes. But packing my knitting projects was another story. What to take for theplane ride and inevitable airport delays. Well, something small for starters, this isn't the time to be a hero and start that color-work sweater I promised Mark. Something in the round that I can do with magic loop, after all looking for a dropped double point needle in the coach section of the plane aint no fun for anyone involved.

So, I've chosen to make myself a pair of handwarmers from Knits Men Want.
Here they are from the book, knitted in Blue Sky Alpaca Merino blend. Very thick and warm.

But I just received a sample of baby camel yarn from Laurel at

The fiber and yarn comes from herds in Mongolia. Camel fiber is an undercoat, like Cashmere. Baby camel is the from the first shedding of a the young camels in spring. And the color is natural. What I didn't know was that 10% of all camels produce white fibers and that makes very rare yarn indeed!

I'm using an 8-ply version of this yarn which comes in 87 yard skeins for $14.95. There is also a 4-ply available for the same price with nearly double the yardage.

This yarn is a dream to work with, feels like heaven in the hands. I'm thinking I may need a sweater to match my new handwarmers.

So I'm stuck here at Bradely airport on a 2-hour delay, and expect that the rest of this handwarmer will be done (if not both of the them) by the time I reach Dallas.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

In the news at on the stage!

Great news. Mark's and my recipes are heading up the New York Times vegetarian recipe collection for the holidays. No, we're not vegetarians - we'll not in the past 30 years for either of us, though we both gave up meat in our early 20s. But we do love to find ways to make veggies the center of the meal at lunch and a few times a week for dinner. What have we offered up? How about a butternut squash pizza with caramelized onions and pine nuts as a Thanksgiving starter! Anyway, if you want to check out our recipes for the holidays, click here.

And there are a couple of cool articles about us in the Pittsburgh press. Click here for the article that just ran today. Very nice. And there are the recipes for the dishes we'll be making at 12:30 on the "celebrity chef" stage at the Pittsburgh Food Festival this Saturday.

Finally, there was also this pretty-tall-cotton piece recently in the faboo Pittsburgh magazine WHIRL (click here).

If you can't make it to the festival, follow us on twitter: @bruceweinstein and @markscarbrough. Or facebook friend us. We'll be chatting away this weekend. And if you're around on twitter on Friday at 3:30, we'll check in on the @finecooking holiday tweet-up.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Big Yarn - Small Yarn

Okay, so I bitched about knitting socks with sock yarn on size 2 needles. I even tried them on size 1 needles but just didn't have the stomach for it. But as I've written before, as knitters, we sometimes have to knit things we hate for people we love. And my friend Faye is going to get this pair of socks (almost finished) knitted with more love than merino.

And while I was still in sock mode, I took a stroll through the aisles of Stitches East this past weekend.

Sock yarn seemed to be the theme of the show. Booth after booth of it. One of the most beautiful was this light mossy green merino blend from Holiday Yarns. Talk about tiny yarn - 8 sts per inch on size 1 needles. I may just blend it with a skein of natu
ral beige yak yarn I picked up at Himalayan Trail's booth. Together, I'll probably get 4 or 5 sts per inch which will make this a perfect cardigan weight.

Then just when you're sure you're about to start knitting dental floss on toothpicks, this comes at you from left field.

No, it's not the velvet ropes they were using to hold back the crowd of rowdy knitters at the Hartford Convention Center. It's 100% polyester yarn that was bring given away at the Universal Yarn booth. Not sure exactly if I need a knitted bath mat or bathrobe belt, but it's sure soft. Even the dog didn't mind it used as a leash (he's a 65 pound collie, btw).

So we go from one extreme to the other. And somewhere in the middle I think I might just find a new sweater for this winter.