Friday, August 27, 2004

Stinky Kitchen, Pretty Needles

Last night, as I was working on Madli's Shawl, I realized that while I may not be able to get pointier needles, I might be needing some less slippery needles. The alpaca was just sliding all over, and I couldn't get a grip on it, and it was making the nupps very difficult. Yippee! An excuse to buy new needles after all! So after work today I went to my LYS and bought some Plymouth Bamboo needles, which are duly pretty and match the project much better than the aluminum I was using. Here's a picture of the new needles, my magnetic board, and my "progress".

Working on this shawl is giving me a headache. I keep making little mistakes, most of which I can fix, but it's frustrating. I just spent about half an hour trying to fix a mistake I couldn't accurately identify. All I knew was that I needed 15 stitches, and I had 16. So I messed around with it until I had 15 stitches, and nothing was dropped. That doesn't mean it was fixed, but I'm going to have to let it go, or else start over. I don't want to start over. I don't think the mistake will matter. I think it's because I'm doing the Knitalong that I feel a need to be perfect. Usually I just let minor mistakes go, and I don't care. But it could just be that I see this project as a big challenge, and I want it to come out right. The temptation to rip is great.

Earlier this evening I was looking into my refrigerator for a little something to eat, and I noticed a jar of kim chee I had bought to share with my friends at the "Cold party" last week, but had forgotten to take out of the refrigerator, and had taken back home. I thought "that would make a nice snack" and took it out. The lid was really hard to get off, and when I got out the rubber gripper thing and got it open, liquid spewed out of it, and when I got the lid completely off, the cabbage started expanding out of the jar! It was quite disturbing, actually. Bubbles were forming and rising to the top and pushing out more and more liquid, which was leaking all over my counter. I just stood there staring at it as it grew like some creature in a B-grade science fiction movie.

Now, I'm a food scientist, so I put my knowledge of food chemistry, microbiology, engineering and packaging to work to determine the cause of this unusual reaction. Could it be a temperature change? Had it been warm at any time? What could cause such pressure to build up? It was like opening a can of soda. Perhaps some of the ingredients were involved in a chemical reaction which formed a gas. I came to the following conclusion:

Bad kim chee.

Very bad. Very stinky. Very in the garbage and outside now. I think the smell has either dissipated, or else I've gotten used to it. Maybe I should light a candle....

But on a cooler note, look who commented on my T-Shirts! Carrie, of Carrieoke's Knitting Blog fame. She is one of my favorite blogistas, and I'm not the only one, she's very popular, but I'm too shy to make some stupid comment on it, so until I have something worthwhile to say, she'll continue to have no idea who I am, I'm sure. But she's the one who made the Cap-Sleeved Top from Interweave, which I thought was so much cuter than it was in the magazine that I started making one myself. (The fact that I'm using a weird yarn and may never finish the Cap-Sleeved Top is irrelevant.) I've been touched by knit-blogger fame.