January 30, 2006

Commuter Knitting

Filed under:News!,Works In Progress — Aileen @ 20:58

Here it is! As promised! The Commuter Sock a la Magic LoOp!

I knitted this much today on the bus to and from Sandymount (I teach two kids there). I am using the Broadripple pattern, Tivoli Tweed in double knitting, and the fabulous new Addi needles my Secret Pal sent me. Mmm they’re delicious.

The double knitting weight in the tivoli tweed is really great for socks. It’s a wool-alpaca mix, which makes them itchy to wear until you wash them, but super warm. I like how they have good sock colours too. The navy, above, blue and an off-cream are colours that I’ve bought. In fact, I’ve put two balls of the creamy colour into my secret pal’s package. Let’s hope she likes.

Tomorrow I’ll have to turn the heel, and I’m very curious how that’s going to work out with this new technique.


January 29, 2006

Chicken Casserole

Filed under:Cooking,Finished Objects,News! — Aileen @ 22:07

Tonight, I made my favourite dinner, and thought I’d share my recipe with you.

Nobody takes my clucking seriously!

Note: You can substitute chicken with steak, pork or lamb no problem.

Ingredients (makes dinner for two):
2 chicken legs.
4 carrots.
an onion.
4 big potatoes.
a parsnip or some turnips if desired.
broccoli too if you like.

Ketchup or tomato purée.
Mixed herbs.

1. Fry your chicken legs with a little oil in a big pot. I like to use chicken legs because they’re much tastier than chicken breast, but use whatever parts you like. Frying them seals in the flavour.
2. While it’s frying, chop up your veg. Cut the potatoes in half if they’re monsters.
3. Boil the kettle and make yourself a cuppa. Squeeze some ketchup or purée into a jug, about a tablespoon is good. Shake your herbs into this, depending on your taste. Use the left over hot water in the kettle to mix this into a stock – about a quarter of a litre. If you’d prefer to use a chicken/meat stock cube, a la Oxo, fire away.
4. By now your chicken should be cooked. Pour in the stock, and throw in the veg. Bring it to the boil and leave to cook for a good half an hour.
5. If you want to put in broccoli too, wait until it’s 5 minutes from being ready, then throw it in on top.

I don’t really like boiling vegetables, but since all the vegetable juice here goes into the stock which you eat, I think it’s ok!

Got the other mitten finished! No embroidery yet, maybe tomorrow. But thank God they’re finished, it’s so cold these days.


FO! (sort of)

Filed under:Finished Objects,News! — Aileen @ 10:20

I was in the world of Zonk yesterday, so I sewed up my Lucky pieces and finished up the ribbed borders. It all fits together fine…. except for the borders. Here’s where I sewed the shorter border into the side seam.

And this is where I sewed five feet of border all the way around… only to find out that it was too short lol!

If it was any shorter than this, I probably would have cried, but this stubby little thing… I just had to laugh. I tried it on, and I think the problem is that I sewed the border too ‘literally’ onto the edge. It is far too floppy, especially around the neck. Why did this happen? Because I didn’t pin them together before I sewed it up!

Lesson learned 😛

I have no idea when I’ll have enough time to sit down and re-do it. But I have to go over to UCD today so I’m bringing my mitten with me. Hopefully I’ll have a pair to show later.


January 28, 2006


Filed under:News!,Works In Progress — Aileen @ 13:10

I am a silly knitter. I am very nearly finished knitting ‘Lucky’: last night, I finished the never-ending 62″ border (I figured I should do the longer one first, I’m ploughing through the shorter one). But the closer I’m getting to sewing it all up and putting it on, the less I feel like doing so. In fact I sort of want to rip it all up and knit it again.

Here’s the start of the border that goes around the front bits and neck, and forms part of the tie at the side.

How I’m going to attach it to the body, I am unsure.

Here’s the mitten I finished up yesterday. I was watching tv and zooming along, and only realised when I was about to start the shaping for the top that I’d completely forgotten to put back in the little intarsia motif that I’d had on my previous torture-device! So what I’ll probably do is embroider some lazy daisies on or something.

I was too excited about the Magic Loop booklet my Secret Pal sent me to do a test. So I got out my aero needles (stiffest circulars in history, I swear) and started the other mitten. It is a technique that allows you to knit in the round with a long circular needle. Now, I don’t mind using DPNs for socks and mittens, but for things like sleeves and hats, they’re just a nuisance.

At first, I was paranoid that I would get ladders at either edge, so pulled my stitches tight. Big mistake! I could just about get the stitches from the cable back on to the needle lol. If you leave them loose, the fact that you’re pushing them back on to your needle will tighten them up and eliminate any ladders. I love that. So here’s how I’m getting on with Mitten 2. I’m knitting the thumb gusset at the moment.

I’m a bit down in the dumps today. I probably should get out for a while, but I have to go all the way over to UCD tomorrow to rehearse so I should stay at home and work today.


January 25, 2006


Filed under:News!,Secret Pal 7 — Aileen @ 23:13

I have been so busy and stressed lately and today really looked like it was going to be one of my worst ever. I’d a masterclass in the morning and I played a work that I’m still not totally on top of. Then I had to teach in the afternoon, and go straight from there to UCD. I’ve been ‘engaged’ to do a gig with the choral scholars there; we’re doing Brahms’ Liebeslieder. Since I’d never met the choir before or Des, their leader, I was pretty anxious for it to go well.

I cleaned out my wardrobe at the weekend. About once a month, we get a plastic bag and a notice through our door telling us when there will be a collection for unwanted clothes for charity. So this morning, I nipped out in my pyjamas to put out my bag of clothes for collection, and I met the post man. I said hello, and he said, I have a parcel for you! This was really lucky because if I hadn’t gotten up I wouldn’t have heard him knocking, and I would’ve gotten a note saying that I had to go collect it from a depot somewhere up in Finglas.

So check this out! My secret pal sent this great box of niceness.

Two balls of the softest alpaca laceweight wool. Wow. I can’t wait to knit this up. And! (this is the bit I love) a booklet about the Magic Loop technique, and a bamboo Addi circular needle to try it out on. Fabulous!

Check out this deadly card and bookmark she made for me too. The bookmark says, “As you slide down the banister of life, may the splinters never face the wrong way”. Whoever you are, you are seriously talented with your card-crafting abilities.

So it cheered me up so much that I had a really great day! I played well in my class, teaching was good and my rehearsal was great. Thank you so much, secret pal *hugs*

I have been putting together what I’m going to send off to my secret pal. I’m going to do it this weekend. Hopefully I can send her as good a day as mine sent me 🙂