24 January 2006

minor roadblock

I finally got around to measuring my gauge swatch for the striped romper, and discovered that my gauge is too fine at 22 stitches per 4", rather than the 20 called for in the pattern. I went up a needle size and got 21 stitches per 4", but the stitches looked out of proportion to the yarn so I didn't even try the next needle size. I checked the ball-band and sure enough, the yarn I'm using is meant for the finer gauge. All yarns have an ideal gauge, or range of gauges, but fine cotton is evidently very particular. I've tweaked the gauge a bit with worsted weight and heavy worsted weight, with good results, but even a small adjustment in the dk weight looked wrong. I'm keen to use this yarn though, and for this particular pattern, so I'm going to knit the pattern one size up in the finer gauge.I think I'll end up with something the Finch will be able to wear this summer. I've been catching up on the housekeeping these past few days, and my knitting has suffered: no progress on the mitts, Wren's hat still isn't cast-on, and swatch cap is definitely abandoned for the nonce. I resolve to wind the second hank of blue wool so that Wren can begin her scarf, and to cast on for her hat myself tomorrow afternoon. We usually craft or bake in the late afternoon, listening to audio books or podcasts, so I'll look forward to a cozy afternoon's knitting and listening.

Onions, red bell peppers, garlic, anchovies, black pepper, and rosemary sauteed in olive oil, then simmered in balsamic vinegar and finished with a swirl of butter and a handful of chopped fresh parsley make a delicious sauce for pork chops. I served these accompanied by smashed red potatoes and a fresh salad. The chops were bone in rib loin chops, brined for about 30 minutes before cooking. Another winner from Cook's Illustrated!


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