Saturday, August 30, 2008

Are any of you still there?

Thanks to those of you who asked where I've been. I really appreciate your concern. It's been a busy summer - some travel, lots of work, and I was a bit ill for a spell. I'm fine now after changing my diet a bit. I'm eating lots of fresh veggies, no red meat, no refined or processed foods, no sugar, and have radically reduced my caffeine intake. Giving up sugar was surprisingly easy, but harder to cut back on coffee. I love green tea, especially sencha and matcha, but I like my cuppa too.

I thought I ate well, but I didn't eat nearly enough veggies. I've been cooking them from scratch and have really developed a taste for them. My current favorite is Osaka mustards.

Osaka Purple Mustard Greens

Rather than cook them in the traditional southern style, I saute them in a tablespoon or two of olive oil with lots of garlic. They are delish. I've also found a good recipe for vegetable broth that I love to sip throughout the day. It isn't the usual veggie broth, besides the usual carrots, onions, and celery, it also has daikon radish, bok choy, nori seaweed, shiitake mushrooms, garlic, and ginger among other ingredients. I just chop, cover with water and simmer on low for an hour. Cooking from scratch is labor intensive. Fortunately, I like to cook.

Veggie Broth

The Coat is finished except for weaving in the ends and sewing on the buttons. That's not much to do, but I really didn't have the energy. It didn't help that I was also up all night watching the Olympics for two weeks, then the Democratic Convention last week. You actually had to watch them!

Here it is blocking. After the cutting the back, grafting, and seaming it, I didn't like the way the right front looked, so I took it apart, re-knit the right bottom panel, cut 2-3" from the top panels, and re-seamed. I finally got a garment that I like and fits nicely.

The Coat

Despite all the alterations, it was really a simple knit. Well, it was easy to knit, but I did have to wrap my mind around the Japanese numbering and charting system. Having learned how to graph the pattern at the Habu trunk show last year made the process easier and more precise in terms of the number of rows one has to knit. The main problem I encountered was that the instructions were for a large size, but it knit up as an extra large. The written instructions didn't always match the guidance on the charts, so when in doubt, I went with the charts.

Nicole, what problems did you have with the pattern?

I'll try to finish it up soon, but I'm taking business trip to Moscow in a couple weeks and don't know how much I'll get done. I'd like to wear it while I'm there so I'll give it a good go.

Frau Weubel, I'd love to come back to Frankfurt! I don't have any plans right now, but since I've made a few knitting friends there and love the city, I will have to arrange something within the year. Please keep in touch.


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