Saturday, June 28, 2008

A Girl Knits in Brooklyn

After wandering through the jewelry and t-shirt shops of Brooklyn Heights, and finding myself in the lesser of the two yarn shops in Brooklyn, I relied on to get me to a delicious spot for lunch. I found myself with a grilled cheese panini and lemonade in the back yard of the Flying Saucer Cafe. It was perfect. Having lived all of my early life on the East Coast, sitting in this backyard felt like home again. I worked on my Tyrolean Stocking and enjoyed my Adirondack chair in the shade.

Who is Stealing Yarn?

After a week of working in New York, I took a day to explore Brooklyn for the first time. Ok, this was not entirely free of thoughts of spotting BrooklynTweed on the streets or in the shops. So of course I used the yarn shops as anchor points. doesn't work well for the Brookyln area, at least I couldn't get it to find any shop... but be a Silicon Valley-centric thing, because it's great for the West Coast yarn shops. So I relied on the reviews from Google Maps. I made my way toward Knit-A-Way on Atlantic Ave.

This shop was so strange! First of all, the beautiful old storefront is marred with SEVERAL signs about shoplifters. How many people in Brooklyn steal yarn? Many apparently. And then when I walked inside he woman at the counter was on the phone talking intimately about how she was too hot/cold at night to sleep comfortably with her husband. She mentioned doctors, sweat, blankets, the whole shabang. This was what I was listening to as I perused the largest wall of needles I have ever seen. Want a choice of any size needle in bamboo, wood or metal? This is your place. I continued to listen as I wandered past the cashmere yarn (BEHIND GLASS!) and then on to the long wall of acrylic yarns. Finally, I have seen Vanna's Choice in person.

There were actually some really lovely yarns in the mix. Some dark gray wools that I wish I had bought. And an interesting purple yarn that I justified buying by claiming it could be used for one of the many baby sweaters I need to knit. The yarn is Classic Elite Bazic Wool and it has a very cool twist to it, so I'm curious to see how it knits up. I expect it to have a stiffer, bumpier texture in stockinette than a regular wool.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Things should be experimental

This weekend was blissfully domestic for me. I have very few responsibilities at home, not being a parent or caretaker... so weekends when I actually stay home and take care of things are rare and, sorry, if planned correctly, delightful.

On Saturday this weekend I met my dear knitter friends for an afternoon of knitting. It was lovely. Granted, I arrived with a quarter of a sweater completed and left with nothing-- they helped me to realize I needed to rip back the Wonder sweater (shown below) completely because it was too big... but, actually, it was OK. I think I feel at peace with this because it's better to find out your work is too big than too small, because then you have to think about needing more yarn and how it will take so much more time. But when a garment is too big... then you start over and it will be faster to knit this time, and it will take less yarn! :)

Saturday evening I did a deep dive into Whole Foods to find interesting foods to tackle two recipes I have been wanting to try for awhile. I started with Turkey Kibbe Kebabs from Food & Wine, June 2006. I really enjoyed the Parsley, Lemon and Walnut sauce that went with this grilled middle eastern dinner. But I probably won't make it again, it was so much work for something unspectacular. And then, because I LOVE trying weird cooking techniques, especially those having to do with meringues or gelatin, I made Greek Salad with Feta Mousse. That was delicious and really cool to make the creamy feta-flavored fluff.

And now it is Sunday. After a soul-nourishing trip to the farmer's market which reminds me of how good life is, I came home with a pile of ingredient for food and drink experiments. I have been wanting to make some Campari-like beverage using orange peels... just because. I don't even drink liqueurs very often, but they intrigue me! So I bought oranges to peel and caraway seeds to add to coffee beans and vanilla beans to stir into gin. I will let it sit for months to see if tastes good. I'll let you know. It's just an experiment.

But even better is what the orange peels led me to. I couldn't throw away the insides of so many oranges! So I thought about making sorbet. And because I had also just bought several bunches of mint and had watched someone on foodTV make mint syrup, I concocted a plan to make Orange Ginger Mint sorbet, after my very favorite tea from Republic of Tea. I'm not even sure they make it anymore, it's so hard to find. But I thought it would be a great balance of flavors.

I will post the recipe later this week if it turn out that the sorbet is delicious.