Thursday, January 28, 2016

Official Socks!

Surprise! I've made socks!

Ennui Socks

Okay, in no way is this an actual surprise to anyone that has had even marginal contact with me or my blog. But still, it's exciting! More socks!

The colorway of the yarn is called Like, Totally Rad. That amuses me more than it probably should. Less amusing was the difference in the beginning and end of the skein. One end had lots of pink and on the other, that pink was significantly less intense. I'm sure you can tell which sock came from which end. But oh well, whatcha gonna do? I'm still going to wear the heck out of them.

Once these were done, naturally I cast on for more socks. But this time I'm actually knitting for someone not me. That's right - it's time for Dan to get more socks!

Escalator Socks

I might even try to finish them in time to call them a birthday present.

Monday, January 11, 2016

I'm Still High From the Fumes

I finished my bunny slippers!

Thrummed Bunny Slippers

They've been mostly finished for a handful of days now, but I was waiting for the weekend so I could spray the bottom with Plasti-Dip. I managed to not get a picture of it, but the soles are bright pink.

Even with the Plasti-Dip soles, I am a little concerned with their longevity. They are just so soft and squishy! My felted slippers are about to hit two years old (next month) and between holes and patching, I think they are about done. Of course, they didn't have any type of added wear resistance to their soles, but still. I'm not easy on my slippers. So I'm not sure how long the bunnies will last. We shall see!

In other news, I forgot to share a few things I knit last year for other people.

Mitts for Mom Claudia's Socks
Grace's Socks Bill's Socks

So that brings my sock total to just 14 - much smaller than last year's 30 - but I also did three pairs of fingerless mittens, a pair of gloves, a pair of shorts, four sweaters, a shrug, nine donuts, and a handful of other random little things. All totaled, I ended up in the same ballpark yardage-wise as last year so I'm pleased.

Not sure what my knitting plans are this year. I might end up splitting my focus a bit because I want to learn to sew and how to make sauerkraut. In the mean time, I'm knitting some socks.

Socks for Euni

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Almost 20 Years Later

I managed to finish my sweater just before ringing in the new year. And now it's all blocked and lovely and I've been wearing it today and I love it so much!

The Sweater Formerly Known as Shokei

It's hard to believe, but this sweater is made from the yarn of my old school uniform the year I was in Japan. Almost twenty years later and I'm wearing it again - in a cuter incarnation - and that makes me so happy!

(Significantly less happy was the task of actually knitting the sweater. There were lots of weak spots in the yarn which resulted in a lot of ends to weave in (you can see some on the back of the sweater above). I had to redo the bottom a couple of times and there were lots of issues that popped up through the process. I thought a couple of times I would have to rip back and start all over, but everything end up okay in the end and the sweater is awesome! Yay!)

Cidering, Part Six

Angry Orchard Hop'n Mad Apple

Angry Orchard Hop'n Mad Apple
5 out of 5

The smell is really nice - light, refreshing, sweet and crisp - with both apple and grape notes. The taste is more grape than apple - a crisp white grape. It's got some strong dessert wine notes to it along with a tartness at the end. You can totally taste the hops in the middle - some nice citrus sweet notes as well as something that, when strong in hops reminds me of dill pickle. It's not dill pickle here though, just "flavorful, smooth hop". This one isn't super sweet - it's more of a dry sweet than a syrupy sweet, but it's nicely balanced on the refreshing side of things. And I think, while not very beer like, would be a great by-the-pool refreshment.
Square Mile Cider Co Spur & Vine Hopped Apple Cider

Square Mile Cider Co Spur & Vine Hopped Apple Cider
2 out of 5

Okay, the smell is definitely hoppy. A pungent, almost-pickle-like level of hops. I'm not a huge hoppy beer girl, so I was concerned, but the taste is a lot milder than the smell. There is a short note of fruity apple on the end, but the majority of the taste is very beer-like though without the typical strong bitterness. Dan said it is very much lager-like and I completely agree.

For those looking for a replacement for a kind of regular beer (Coors, etc), I think this would be a good GF replacement. I've never cared much for American lagers though so this one isn't for me. Woodchuck Hopsation

Woodchuck Hopsation
3 out of 5

The smell is tart and grape-y with a note of not-quite-pickle hops. The hops make it slightly bitter, but it pairs nicely with the tartness of the apples. There are some dry champagne notes to it and a nice aftertaste with some good hop/citrus notes that aren't bitter.

Overall this just falls flat for me. It's not offensive, just sadly boring. It gives hints of greatness but just doesn't deliver. Dan, however, says it tastes a bit of sour, a bit of funk and nothing really worth anything. He hated it.

Virtue Percheron

Virtue Percheron
4 out of 5

The taste is different than I expected - it's wet and sweet with a little pucker at end but it blends with the front sweetness so it is very well balanced.It makes me think of white wine and grape juice. I can taste the funk from the yeast on my tongue after a sip and it reminds me of El Gobernador but this funk does not taste of bandaids; this has nice levels of funk.

This one is probably not my favorite cider, but it is really well done. Dan and I both think it might be a bit sophisticated tasting for our general style but we do quite like it.