It's been a rather productive weekend. I spent yesterday cleaning the downstairs, looking at candidates for the yarn shop, grocery shopping, and cooking dinner for some friends. We had a pork loin roasted with herbs, onions, and apples, accompanied by red cabbage with juniper berries and sweet potatoes. Tom made a spicy black bean soup for starters. The soup was followed by a salad of bitter greens with apples, stilton, and pecans, dressed with a sherry-shallot vinaigrette. To finish off the meal, I served a wheat-free apple cranberry crisp with vanilla ice cream. And of course, there was the usual assortment of fine libations. A good time was had by all!
One of our friends has a wheat or gluten allergy, so I'm always looking for wheat-free recipes, especially desserts. With the crisp, I found that substituting 1/2 cup of white rice flour and 1/2 cup of rolled oats whirled in the food processor makes quite an acceptable substitute for the flour measure. In fact, I actually preferred it. Maybe it's my imagination, but the substitution produces a lighter textured topping. Of course, the substitution wouldn't work if gluten was needed.
And I was truly decadent for lunch today. While Tom was munching popcorn and watching Monster's Ball, I whipped up an omelette aux ciboulettes. Along with a little bit of salad left over from dinner last night, some baguette, a small glass of Chardonnay, and listening to Vivaldi's opera, Orlando, I could almost imagine that I was back in gay Paris.
What? You want to know how the yarn shop search went? It too was very productive. I bought a lamp that was marked down almost 50%! No, seriously, it went well. I got a much better sense of what size space I'd like. There are two potential contenders, but one place is for sale and terribly overpriced. If we bought a shop, I wouldn't have any money for inventory. But maybe this place won't sell and the owners would be willing to rent with an option to buy. I think this space would offer the most options for me and support my vision of the shop becoming a place for the knitting community to gather. The other place I looked at was also nice and definitely affordable. A bonus is the that current tenant's wife runs a little day spa in the back. So my clients could not only buy yarn, but they could also get a facial as well! The downside is that the shop is on a small side street with zero parking. So the search will continue.
If you check my sidebar, you'll notice that there are several knit alongs that I joined. I'm notoriously bad at knit alongs, because mostly I never finish anything, despite starting off with good intentions. The most recent along is the Twisted Knitters. I joined in the hopes that I'd force myself to spin more, maybe get a crash course in dyeing, and then knit up the results of my labors. Ha! Other than buying The Twisted Sisters Sock Workbook, a drop spindle and some yummy roving (and trying to learn how to spin with a spindle again), I made zero progress, despite having close to six months to do the work.
So, you'd think I'd learn, eh? Nope. I joined the 2007 Rockin' Sock Club. I have no idea what to expect, other than fabulous yarn that gets shipped to me every other month or so. How great is that?! I think I'm actually supposed to knit the socks, but we'll see. I still have three sweaters and scarf to complete.
And if that isn't enough, I also joined Secret Pal 10. Other than the One Skein Secret Pal exchange, I've never been able to find the "official" secret pal information. (Hint: Do a Google search on "Secret Pal 10." Duh. I'm a computer professional; you'd think that I would have thought of that sooner.) I'm looking forward to this exchange. And after my final One Skein gifts that I sent went missing, you can be quite sure that I'm going to send everything insured and with a tracking number and maybe with return receipt requested!
I checked the gauge on the Christine sweater this morning. Alas, it's a little off. The pattern calls for 26 stitches over four inches and I'm counting 27. So, there you have it. My niece is a wee slip of a thing and this sweater is supposed to be a whopping 28-3/4 inches across the chest, so with a gauge of 27 stitches, the final chest measurement would be 27.4. (Of course, that's assuming that I'm doing the math correctly and that's a big assumption.)
Despite the evidence that I'm not getting gauge, I'm going to knit blithely on. The knitting goddess may smite me yet.
Emma is also feeling laissez-faire about gauge.