Saturday, May 02, 2009


Sometimes you just need to take a little break from the oatmeal/granola routine.

I went to my first Zingerman's Mail Order Friday warehouse sale yesterday and bought two packs of the Arkansas peppered bacon ($7 each, normally $16). Man is it good. I don't eat bacon that often (for which my heart thanks me) but when I do, I like to make sure it is the good stuff. Occasionally I get it from the Farmer's Market or pick up the Niman Ranch bacon that Trader Joe's usually has. But this stuff is even better. It probably won't be as appealing to my kids--more for me!--because it is heavily peppered, which I love. But we'll see. They aren't awake yet, despite the bacon fumes wafting through the house.

At the sale, I also bought a pound of the Ig Vella's Dry Jack cheese, something I remember from being a kid in the Bay Area ($10 instead of $24), a half-pound of the 1-year cheddar ($4 instead of $7) and two packs of the Vampire Gummies for my kids ($3 instead of $5). The girl critter happens to be on a Vampire kick (she disguised two of her stuffed Pokemon with fangs and wings and brought them along to the sale) so I couldn't resist. And hell, if I get bacon, they can have some candy, though I did have to draw the line at the Italian Chocolate Cigar that she wanted and that was still $12 (normally $20).

Click here to see a list of what was on offer yesterday. It changes weekly (I signed up for their weekly e-mail while I was there) and I can see a new Friday tradition beginning. The stuff at the sale still is expensive when it comes to my regular food budget, but considering the quality and the discount and the treat factor, it seems like a pretty good deal. Not to mention all the samples the girl critter managed to stuff into her squirrel-like cheeks...

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Loving Ravelry

It took me a while to get into Ravelry, but now I'm finding it more seductive in the time-wasting department than even my Bloglines feeds.

It has a fantastic database that allows for all kinds of searches: by yarn weight, by pattern type, by just-about-any-search-term-you-can-come-up-with. You can read reivews of yarns before you buy them and find out which are evil and pill almost instantly or that split while you knit and drive you to distraction. And the pattern galleries have helped me make some decisions--you can see what the sweater looks like on real bodies, read about alterations people made, and find out if the pattern was well-written or made people swear a blue-streak.

Thanks to Ravelry, I have FINALLY found a pattern to use up my huge stash of Rowan Biggy Print Yarn:
Unlike many sweaters made with superbulky yarn, the people wearing the resulting sweaters in the Ravelry gallery did not look like they were drowning in wool. I have a tendency to get claustrophobic in bulky yarn sweaters and feel like I'm being swallowed up by a not-entirely-friendly sheep who wants its coat back.

I'm still searching through the Ravelry database for something to do with all the Swish Worsted yarn that I bought to make a wrap sweater (got 3/4 of the way done and realized that I look like I'm wearing a bathrobe when I wear wrap sweaters and ripped it out). I might divvy up the yarn and make this gathered pullover for me and some sort of sweater for Fiona who has commented lately on my selfishness as a knitter.