Saturday, November 10, 2007

Name mix up

The reason I hadn't read the wildly entertaining book, Heat, is that I thought the author was someone else. Heat is by Bill Buford. I thought it was by Bill Bryson.

Bill Bryson is an author of many books, all of which I think have entertaining features about them, but would be better as magazine articles. The first chapter or two can be fun to read, but then his voice starts to grate on me and it feels cutesy and over done. This is not a widely held opinion of the author's books--plenty of people like them from start to finish. I think they usually have one or two good moments and the rest is repetitive.

So when people told me I had to read Heat, I told them that I thought the author became tiresome after about 50 pages and I didn't have the stomach for it. My sincere apologies go out to Bill Buford whose book I am about half-way through and am enjoying as much as a novel (which is high praise from me). I have laughed and learned and tried hard to keep track of a vivid cast of characters.

The book is also making me very hungry, so it is a good thing that at last night's auction, I was the winning bidder on a basket of delicacies from Morgan and York. This morning I enjoyed my morning coffee with some toasted baguette slices topped with a poached egg, a little sea salt and black pepper, and drizzled with the Montalbano olive oil that I acquired last night. I think I have a new favorite breakfast.

Right now, I'm at the point in Heat where Buford is learning about pasta and I'm pretty sure that later this weekend I'll be making some fresh pasta to drizzle with this golden elixir.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Sweaters for the small

I finished knitting the sweater for my kid's preschool auction a while ago, but didn't finish the damn sweater because of this:
a completely idiotic number of ends to weave in.

I've made this baby sweater (and a matching hat) many times and yet each time I start it, I forget that I could make it a hell of a lot easier on myself to modify the pattern and knit the front and back as one piece and the sleeves and hat in the round. Of course being a bit of a procrastinator, I left it until last night to finish the sweater (which had to be turned in to the auction today) and this morning I gave it a quick steam press and ta da!
One baby sweater and hat to go to someone's small person.

Meanwhile, I have started another baby sweater that is much more fun to knit and will have minimal seaming when the knitting is completed:
It is the February sweater from Elizabeth Zimmerman's Knitter's Almanac. You have to love a pattern that is only a half page long! I'm using Lion Brand Cotton Ease in Lime (it doesn't look very limey in the above photo...). This yarn was discontinued--and the Lion Brand website still says is discontinued, get it together people--but came back! It's only $3.99 for a 100g ball so it will total $8 in yarn cost for the baby sweater. I really like the yarn--it feels like pure cotton but the acrylic makes it much less likely to split while being knit. If you want to see what it (hopefully) will look like when completed, look at some finished versions on Flickr.