Saturday, 26 March 2011

I Have Seen the Light

I started working on a new baby blanket at the beginning of the week using some new bamboo yarn. This time it is a 80% bamboo and 20% cotton blend. Let me tell you, if you have never felt this stuff for yourself, it is as soft as the proverbial baby's bottom. This stuff is so luscious I want to unravel all seven balls and roll around in it like a puppy. Like all previous bamboo yarns I have worked with it splits with a great - but unwanted - efficiency. If I didn't like the feel of it so much I wouldn't use it. But then I get my hands on some new balls and just can't help myself.

So there I was, happily hooking my evenings away and I got this far -

- and was decidedly less happy with myself. I tried and tried to convince myself that it was okay but even I am not that much of an fool optimist. No, it would not do. I hate when that happens. So unravel it I did. Now it looks like this -

Can't you see the difference? I can.

I had a good friend come over on Thursday to sit and chat and do not much of anything as she is recovering from an operation. She is the professional to my amateur in the ranks of crocheting. I showed her my poor first effort and she saw what I did wrong right away. She showed me how to fix it - and it only took me three attempts before I finally caught on. Some days I more resemble a goldfish swimming in circles than a functioning human!

Not only did my friend show me the error of my ways but she gifted me with a crochet book. I never, ever look at these things because they are pure hieroglyphics to me. This one is good though, and I know that because it makes sense to me. How fantastic is that?! And it isn't full of patterns that boggle my mind. It is just a book that explains more crochet stitches than I am ever going to require or attempt in my lifetime. I am set. Only problem is I won't be able to plead ignorance any more.

So what looked like this -

Now looks like this -

Ah, now you see the difference! No big gaping holes where there shouldn't be any. I am quite happy with how it is now and continue on apace but having read the crochet book - really I did! - I now think I would try another way again the next zigzag crochet I do and compare the different methods. To make myself feel a little better, my first effort was actually listed as one of the ways to accomplish the pattern I am doing so I am slightly vindicated. But I would not recommend that method to anyone unless the multiple holes in blanket look was the one they were going for.

On a completely different note - I had a dig through my two freezers looking for some ground pork. I found the pork, and I also found not one, not two, not even three, but four chicken carcasses. They were swiftly removed and whacked into a stock pot with the carrots, celery, onion, etc. Now I am reducing a vat of stock that is making the house smell wonderful. Also steaming up all the windows but that is only because I cleaned all the kitchen windows yesterday and it is sod's law that I would do something within a day to undo my good work.

The pork is going into something I refer to as 'that Chinese pork dish' because I can't ever remember the real name for it. Also because I have bastardised the dish to such an extent that I would probably be ridiculed by anyone who has a purist's love for Chinese food. That being what it is, I like the results I get. It is full of flavour, very moreish and loved by the other three that live here. That's all I am going to tell you about it because I have been taking photos and I am going to blog about it tomorrow. Recipe and all.

Emily devoured almost half of the cheese and onion foccacia that we bought yesterday. She slathered it with Ardennes pate and rhapsodised about the combination. What on earth would I have done with kids who were picky? Poor blighters would have starved to death in this house!


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