Saturday, September 15, 2007


It rained. It actually rained twice this week, some on Tuesday and then again last night. We've been in somewhat of a drought this summer (again) and parts of the county have instituted mandatory water restrictions. I just read this morning that Loudoun County has been given disaster designation because of the crop losses.

Now the weather is finally cooler and hopefully we'll have a wet fall to bring the water table and reservoirs back up to normal levels. The leaves are beginning to turn, although that could be as much from stress as from the weather change. But still, you can tell that Fall is on the way, just by the way the light has changed.

The onset of autumnal weather makes me want to knit even more, if that's possible. I have visions of creating gorgeous, warm Norwegian sweaters and hats and mittens galore. And don't forget about warm, woolen socks, either.

I'm delusional about my knitting output.

A hat or two, maybe a pair of mittens, and one or two pairs of socks might be doable. A Norwegian sweater? Who am I kidding?! I can't seem to finish any type of sweater, be it adult, child, or infant-sized. But still the dream lives on.

Boxy Goodness
Despite the ennui that has pervaded my life this week, there were a couple of bright spots. On Tuesday, I got the first shipment from the Y2Knit ECOnnection club. On Wednesday, another installment of exotic fibers from the Wooly Wonka Fibers exotic fiber club arrived (Pygora goat...soft!)

And yesterday, at long last, Elizabeth Zimmerman's book Knitting Around made an appearance on the front porch. Tom opened the package before I got home and was dismayed to see that it was another knitting book. He doesn't understand why I need yet another knitting book. I tried to explain to him about how EZ was just an amazing knitter and an amazing woman. I shoved a picture of her in his face and exclaimed "Isn't she just the most beautiful woman in the world?" At that point, he looked at me and said "I think you've had a little too much to drink." (I had had a couple of sips of my Friday cocktail.) Oh, well. He waxes poetic about beer and rock climbs; I wax poetic about yarn and EZ. We're both a little crazy, I think.

Knitting Progress
The Clapotis continues to grow and the knitting has not yet lost its charm. I've finished about half of the straight repeats.

I haven't made any progress on the Monkey socks, given that I'm all wrapped up in Clapotis. But the Yarn Harlot is coming to a bookstore near me next Thursday, so it will once again see the light of day.

Living Lightly
I took the ecological footprint quiz againto see what I needed to do to live under the U.S. average (which is 24 acres per person). It turns out that I need to eat vegan, live in a green design residence, drive a hybrid, carpool, walk or bike everywhere, not fly anywhere, and eat 100% local, unpackaged and unprocessed food. That reduced my footprint to 5 acres, which is still more than 4.5 biologically available acres per person that is available now. I'd need 1.1 planets. I found that to be a bit discouraging, although we do have plans to buy a hybrid and our final home will be smaller and most likely be a green design. The next big thing I could do is reduce the number of miles I drive to work, which is going to be very difficult to do. Public transportation is non-existent for intercounty travel and I don't know anyone at work who lives in town.

But small steps are better than no steps. We can reduce the amount of meat we eat (see this article for an interesting discussion about meat consumption and greenhouse gases). We can walk to places in town more frequently than we do. We can replace more light bulbs with fluorescents (although the mercury in them has me a bit worried). Fortunately, we have a pretty good farmers market, so we can get relatively local fruit and vegetables during the summer, as well as beef, pork, and lamb. Here's my haul from this morning:

Eggs, garlic, tomatoes, eggplant, apples, celeriac, parsley, and salsa from Chef Eloy. He had one container of XXXtra Hot Salsa, which should be yummy. We usually get the Xtra Hot, which sometimes isn't hot enough. The pumpkins are beginning to come in too.

We're having friends over for dinner tonight and will be serving:
  • Shrimp Bisque

  • Rockfish Roasted with White Wine, Tomatoes, and Black Olives on Toasted Couscous

  • Grilled Eggplant

  • Grapefruit Tart wth Chocolate-Pecan Crust

The main course and dessert are from the Inn at Little Washington Cookbook. The recipes in this book are outstanding and are not that difficult to make, although some of them can be time consuming, especially if there's reduction involved.

Well, I've got to go...time to do some cleaning and cooking!

Bon appetit!


PurlingPirate said...

Dinner sounds lovely! I'm trying to figure out what to do with the butternut squash I bought.

I started a sweater years ago. Cheesylove from Knitty. I finally decided I was never gonna knit the sleeves. It's now a vest.

Sheepish Annie said...

I'll be at your place for dinner. I'm going to have to put a pretty big footprint on the planet to get there in time, but sometimes these sacrifices must be made. I generally take seconds so you should plan for that. I will want to borrow your EZ book and I will be hugging Clapotis so it will probably require a washing.

Sounds reasonable to me...and I'll even bring my own Mountain Dew. I'm good that way.

Anonymous said...

Man... It is great to be your friend. ;) Do you cook for the same people, or do you have different groups you cook for? I took that eco footprit quiz the other day... I was embarrassed! There are so many things I need to change, it's almost overwhelming.

Anonymous said...

your menu sounds so good! and your clap looks so pretty!

you get to see Yarn Harlot soon? YIPPEE!! i can't wait to see pictures! don't forget your camera!