Friday, December 12, 2008

Monkeys and Podcasts and Fermentation

Now, there's a combo.

It's rare that I knit the same pattern twice in the same month, but something about the Monkey pattern (search Knitty- it's there, free) calls to me. I'm tired of plain vanilla socks, and this pattern is so striking. It's faster than cables, but not as complex as really *open* lace. I still don't have the pattern memorized (in that I can't work it unless I have the chart with me), but it's pretty easy and it goes very quickly. This yummy yarn is from Beyond Basic Knits (link in Stash Enhancers), and it's the superwash. The colorway is called Fleshy, and it's a bit more peachy than the scan shows. It's lovely yarn, and it is knitting up beautifully. I'm almost to the heel on the first sock.

I don't know why it took me so long to discover Podcasts. I did one with Kelly Petkun of Knit Picks, after all. And I've had my MP3 player for 2 years. But I finally joined Royal Order of Podcast Listeners- they make the treadmill workout a lot easier to get through. I've subscribed to the Never Not Knitting podcast (blog with info here: ), and am working my way through their backlog. I subbed to The Best Week Ever podcasts too, but they're video and a little harder to watch as I jog. And then I found Librivox ( ), which has nearly 2,000 public domain books recorded and downloadable for free! I am currently listening to Pride and Prejudice (which is my favorite book in the entire world). The fact that I can quote huge portions of the book along with the reader makes my 30-45 minutes fly by (the volunteer reader definitely did a good enough job, though I am never entirely pleased with anything but my own mental voice on that book, Colin Firth notwithstanding). I also subbed to Old Time Mystery Radio through Zune. I don't have a link for their home page, but if you have a Zune or I-Pod, I'm sure you can find it. I've listened to part of one broadcast and it's a hoot (a dated, thoroughly sexist hoot, but a hoot nonetheless).

The Riesling has slowed its bubbling in the carboy, but has at least another week to go before we add clarifiers and rack it to another carboy for settling and clearing. The 3-gallon hard lemonade batch is fermenting slowly in the bucket (it has only dropped from SG 1.090 to 1.070 in 2 days. Good thing wine is not a race). I found enough frozen blackberries (tough to do here) to start a 6 gallon batch of Blackberry Melomel (a fruit mead- our favorite homemade wine), but then discovered that I don't have the right yeast, so I have to wait for that to arrive before I can begin. Mead is a honey based wine, and much slower at fermenting and clarifying- it can take 6-8 months (as opposed to 6 weeks with the Riesling). The Merlot and Muscat base concentrte did arrive (and why didn't I check to see if I had the proper mead yeast when I placed that order?). Amazing how much fun wine making is even though I maybe drink 2 glasses a month (except in December...)

And today is my knitting group's Christmas party. Yarn! Goodies! Friends! Presents! Laughter! Yay!


Anonymous said...

I cast on the Monkey sock last night. I have tried this sock twice before. We will see they say the 3rd time is the charm!!!

OzKnitter said...

Hi Kathleen. Just wanted to let you know that my book arrived safely and I love it! See here. Many thanks.

FiberGeek said...

Glad to hear you have discovered the knitting podcasts. I also listen while on the tread mill and at other times.

I have a list of podcasts I like on the sidebar of my blog at . This might help you add to your collection.

I also love the monkey pattern. I have made one pair using that stitch pattern and I will use it again sometime.

LizzieK8 said...

My library has OverDrive
and NetLibrary for free book downloads. I listen to books all the time while knitting and love my MP3 player so I can continue while doing the necessary housework that must be dealt with periodically.

Anonymous said...

You must go try Brenda Dayne's Cast-On! Fanastic podcast, the only near-professional quality in terms of production, much less content. None of the irritations of normal podcasts: crummy or no editing, poor reading skills, weird volume shifts, tinny static-filled audio (I still listen to Kelly Petkun though these glitches drive me crazy - it's how I found your blog!)