Sunday, August 27, 2006

Bagely Experiment

I like bagels a lot. A super lot. If sesame seeds are involved, even better. However, white bagels aren't really unusually healthy, and whole wheat bagels are harder to come by than I think is necessary. So, I am currently trying to make bagels. I assume it will take a few tries. Sadly, I fear I have already failed making authentic, chewy, bagely bagels... the recipe said that the bagels should initially sink into the water, and mine did not sink. Here is a picture of my creepy bagels floating in the water- yes, I feel that they look creeeeepy at this point:

And here is a picture of them, fresh out of the oven:

Ugh, waiting for tasty bagels to cool down is evil! The verdict? They taste good, are kind of chewy, but are not quite bagely. Not sure what to do to improve the situation, but will keep trying. And, I think we can all safely admit that they are not unusually attractive, or even in size. But they certainly have character and taste good with a schmear of cream cheese!

Earlier today, Cece came on by for some knitting, but instead, crocheting ensued. My grandmother taught me to crochet when I was little, and my mother taught me to knit. One of the first things I ever learned how to make well was cotton dishcloths. Today, Cece and I made crocheted dishcloths- here is mine:

I feel like there are just too many 'holes' in this pattern for it to be a truly useful dishcloth, but it was still fun to make, and I've been wrong before- maybe the 'holes' will not be a problem. Who knows- maybe Cece will post a pic of hers on her blog!

It also turns out that it's a good thing that I crocheted instead of knitted... I have been toiling away on a sweater for Cece's stepmother, which she pawned off on me because she hated the yarn. I think the yarn is okay, but the pattern is one of the worst written patterns. Ever. I did another sweater from the same book, but I don't remember having such ridiculous problems. Cece started working the back, so when I got the materials, I continued. But then? It said: 'work until same length as front'. Argh. So, I switched to knitting the front... when I got to a certain point, I had to knit a yoke piece, which I was told to knit until it was 'long enough to reach the center back'... which I can't finish until the front is finished! SO irritating. So the latest thing is that I began knitting the right front piece... and forgot about the buttonholes. I am beside myself with irritation and serious amounts of woe. To make matters worse, I had some flowers in my condo that started to die and now I appear to have a 'fruit fly problem', despite having thrown away the flowers and put all food/ fruit in the fridge, and I've been throwing away the garbage and everything. So, now, I have a good number of roommates. Luckily, they only eat my garbage and not my GOOD food. Sorry, that had nothing to do with knitting, but was still entertaining, at least to me!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Back to Work

Sigh. Another summer has slipped away from me, and I started back at work this past Monday. However, I am at a new school, and new means different, unknown, and full of potential. That can be fun! However, since I'm new AND the school has never had a full time social worker before, I don't really think they know what to do with me this week, and I have had serious moments of intense boredom. I mean, it really doesn't take much time to set up one's office, particularly when said office contains a desk, a file cabinet, and a desk with chairs. And a closet, 1/3 of which is permanently locked. I unpacked my meager belongings in about an hour. On Monday. Several days ago. And, I have no computer... yet. I have been assured that said item is forthcoming.

Now, one thing that IS fairly exciting for moi, miss Bead and Fiber Babe, is that there is an after school program, and I have been cordially invited to teach an after school class in whatever subject I might like, pending appropriateness as determined by the funding source. I think it needs to be somewhat educational, and there needs to be a finished project. Hm. A finished project, like, perhaps a baby blanket to be donated to a local charity? Why, Knitting and crocheting are certainly educational! There is math, planning, patience, cooperation between peers, and there is learning about charities and stuff. It is a groovy prospect. And of course, knitting and crocheting require enough patience that the annoying, impatient kids will drop out immediately. BUWAHAHAHAHA!

I will let you all know if I will indeed be teaching some sort of fiber arts class. Cool!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

I Have Returned

Well, I'm back from my trip to Eastern Europe, and am ready to talk a bit about it, and possibly even post a photo or two. To get the knitting news out of the way, I decided upon Baudelaire from Knitty, in a nice blue, but will take a pic when sock #1 is done. That's right- I couldn't bear packing less than enough yarn for 3 pairs of socks, but didn't even manage to complete a single sock! Funny how that happens.

Anyway, I traveled with my sister, which was good. The weather was pretty lousy- we had exactly 3 sunny days in two weeks, which is unseasonably lame. We went to the Czech Republic and Hungary. Here are a few photos, starting with the old town square in Prague:


Next is a shot of the Prague and the famous Charles Bridge from Prague Castle- there was a castle in every town we went to, actually:
Here I am, being silly with some public art around the corner from Wenceslas Square. I tried to get Liz to pose, but she haughtily declined, and was very grouchy about having to take such a silly picture:
Can you believe they have these cows all over the world? I had seen them in Boston, but now have seen them in Prague and Budapest, too. Cool:
After Prague, we went to Cesky Krumlov, a picturesque little town encircled by a winding river. There was a castle there, too, and here is a picture shot from the castle- ain't it purty?
And again with the purdiness, a shot from the hostel we stayed at:

And in Budapest, a pic of the outside of one of the Turkish baths that we went to... now, THAT was a relaxing day!

And, finally, the Parliament building in Budapest, on the third of three sunny days.
It was a lovely trip, full of goulash, sauerkraut and dumplings. Oh, yes, and some beer. Some cheap beer.
I'm glad I went, but I definitely started to miss some of the creature comforts of home! I missed you all... all three of you...