Monday, March 31, 2008

Raspberry Beret

This cocktail comes from I had to call them to get the recipe.

2 tsp rasberries
2 hunks ginger size of grape
1 oz simple syrup weak and watery
2 oz stoli raspberry
1/2 oz Dekuyper ginger brandy
1 tsp mango puree

The bartender said to muddle the ginger and the raspberries and add everything else.

I had to look up muddle in the dictionary. I particularly liked these 2 definitions listed below.
1. verb: make into a puddle
2. verb: mix up or confuse

Really excellent mango puree can be purchased here otherwise goya can be used .. or I bet mango juice can be used but don't know.

Christina's Spice & Specialty Foods
Neighborhood: Inman Square
1255 Cambridge St
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 576-2090

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Project #6

March 30th, 2008
Right now I fee like there won't be one. I am over the whole knitting thing. I promised to make something for Tatyana and Masha. Tatyana picked out this yarn that this other woman used and I remembered it because it matched her eyes. I don't know who picked it the teacher or the customer but it was a perfect match. I for some reason think it's midnight blue but I am not sure that it is. It has gold tinsel in it which comes out when you knit. Very nice. The teacher told me to make a swatch in stockinette and I did one in .. believe it or not I do not rem the name of it. It's the one where you knit all the time on both sides. Garter .. I cannot believe I cannot remember. To be continued as always ..

March 31st, 2008
There is yarn. This is after saying on Saturday that there is 95% chance there is not any. I hope this comes out good. For some reason I feel like this yarn looks like that stuff the knights wear from like King Arthur's court. I am done being all emotional about knitting so this entry will be strictly technical. I know I said that last time but this time I actually mean it.

9:02 PM
My mom thinks I went crazy. I may have. These things kind of go unnoticed.

April 1st, 2008
No knitting today. Somebody was not able to find out if the yarn is from the same dye lot and they are not even sorry.

April 5th, 2008
Maybe yarn today but I am not going to get it.

April 6th, 2008
I don't think I want to knit anymore. I am sad because now I have to find something else to like. Also I think I am losing my creative edge. Tired.

April 7th, 2008
Birthday ..

April 8th, 2008
I got the yarn. A box of it. Tatyana may want another design so I cannot do anything quite yet. The instructor was very nice today. She casted on for me .. ? She asked if I wanted her to do it more then once. Of course I gave in after the 2nd time. After all I was casting on from 7:20 pm until 8:30+ I told her I can work on her sweater .. that did not go over well. The yarn is I don't know not my favorite. It's blue with tinsel and the tinsel has a mind of it's own which makes it hard to use but I will figure it out hopefully sooner then later. Tired. Not making sense.

April 18th, 2008
I just re-casted about 1000 times. I keep using #3 and #5 needles. The difference is not noticeable to an untrained eye and even to my semi-trained eye but I cannot deal with the knowledge. I know it's not correctly done. I have blisters on both index fingers, my joints hurt on the left hand and my hands are locked in a knitting position. It's 9:04 PM and I am on row #1. Someone forgot to twist the yarn. It's not enough that the tinsel is completely separate from the blue, the strands of blue are also completely apart. I had 10 rows done from last night but I undid them and for what ..

April 27th, 2008
2:19 PM
I am recasting once again. I undid Tatyana's sweater. I don't know why because it will take me a day to get to the point I was at. I knitted an entire ball of yarn. Anyway .. instructor said to just knit on one 6" needle and one 5" needle and then switch to 6. Funny .. this is what I kept doing over and over when I was confusing the needles in between the two sweaters. Anyhow I forgot which side to use the 6" and which side to use the 5". By side I mean purl and knit so I just undid the whole thing. For some reason I tend to take impracticality to its heights.

I just looked at the ball of yarn I rolled up and immediately thought of this ..
Последним из замка вылетел петух, изрядно пощипанный, но не побеждённый…» (из м\ф Бременские музыканты) only the main character is different. Photo below. I don't even know where Bremen is. Someplace in Germany I hope.

April 28, 2008
I restarted today with another ball of yarn. The above can be ball #2. I don't think I cannot handle it as ball #1. Besides it's all curly from being re knitted and needs some time off in the bag to straighten out .. I hope.

11:44 PM
I knitted one ball and connected the "изрядно пощипанный" one. I hope the piece is not too tight. I really do not want to undo it.

April 28th, 2008

I finally have a picture to post here on size 5" needles. This yarn reminds me of a tea set where the top had a gold line around the rim and then the cup is another color or is white and has a design on it .. another words something from the past. This is done in all different tensions unfortunately because I cannot just do one. I hope it's OK. I measured 35 loops and it was about 5 1/2 inches and 6 stretched so 6X4 is 24 ..and she wanted 25. "Measuring is your responsibility" is echoing in my sick head. This yarn is called Serenata which is also a Toto Cotugno song. It's the only other time I heard this word. This probably means serenade which is quite a romantic name for a blue ball of yarn with sparkles. I am not sure who Toto Cotugno really is. I thought he was Adriano Chelentano for the longest time and I had no idea who that was either. All I know is the songs.

April 29th, 2008
Some sentences on tension. The loops should slide easily on the needle and not hang on for dear life. As you knit the loop push it up onto the right needle so it's not at the very edge.

May 2nd, 2008
I just had to undo 4 rows and put 140 tiny tiny stitches back on the needle. I thought I was past all this. As I am going through the stitch splits up into little strands that like go all over the place and make the piece look messy. In addition I keep doubling the tinsel and I have yet to figure out how that happens.

May 3rd, 2008
I got to see the other sweater someone made with this yarn except she doubled it so the braids looked a lot better. I saw her try it on and I could not help but notice how perfectly it fit in the shoulders. I am absolutely certain I will never be able to do that.

June 25th, 2008
OK. I am back here again. It's only been several months .. I did a couple of rows. I now am the proud owner of 5" circular thanks to the shrug .. so I do not have to have 140 stitches on a 5" straight short needle. I am past 10 inches however .. will find out on Saturday what to do next.

June 26th, 2008
I wonder if I am done wasting my time with always immediately unraveling because something is wrong instead of trying to think of a constructive way to fix it without wasting time .. a.k.a. redoing. I am becoming like the teacher .. I resisted this part for a long time I don't really know why. I guess I thought if you fixed something then it is no longer perfect. She does not waste time .. her entire life is structured according to this principal. Well .. OK I am going to stop wasting time as well.. but unfortunately only in knitting.

June 28th, 2008
I learned how to make pleats today. You take half the stitches of the length of the pleat you want to have, put them on another needle in the front and knit as if you would a shoulder. On the opposite side you put the needle in the back so the pleats are facing each other. I did a cute job on them today and I will have to undo .. Tatyana wants the bottom to not be as tight. The instructor was acting like I used to, excited over every new knitting things .. she was like 'look you made a pleat' I was like .. great. I was a grouch today.
But whatever .. I never made a pleat before. So it was exciting.

June 29th, 2008
9:14 PM
I am a little sad I have to undo the pleats. They came out so nicely ..

July 1st, 2008
10:56 PM
OK. We are back on track. Tatyana redesigned everything so now I am making something totally different. She did very good redesign research. I have to remember that the sleeves cannot be as puffy as the photograph and she wants a flowy sweater. Nothing should cling, be tight or form fit. I am looking forward to pleats and puffiness. I have never done either one. I was so stressed out today. Tatyana was wearing perfume and the instructor is allergic. I was worried she'd go into anaphylactic shock or at least have a few words to say on the subject but everything went better then planned. Tatyana saw this sweater at the instructor's house and it was lavender and green. Kind of like the portrait she has in her house done in pastel colors of the same type. She said those were beautiful colors and I was like that sweater is terrible. Then I understood that saying a sweater has beautiful colors is like saying a person has beautiful eyes.. a.k.a. everything else looks a lot worse.

July 2nd, 2008
10:29 PM
I am not sure if my tension is correct. I think it's too tight but I cannot tell for sure. I will not see the instructor for sometime. I was able to knit really well after my gym class. Usually I cannot function in the evening at all.

July 3rd, 2008
I am having a horirble day at work and it's like the last day before the holiday so this really should not be taking place. I was looking at and so many people make socks. Why would you make a sock is beyond me. You cannot really wear it with a shoe unless you live in Antarctica, it's a lot of effort and no one can appreciate it because they cannot see it. I think people who makes socks are just afraid to make real thing like a sweater because that would be out in plain view and people may have something to say about it and that would be scary.

July 13th, 2008
Knitting in the car makes me nauseous.

July 15th, 2008
The instructor undid the bottom part today of 90 stitches. I think she removed one row as in pulled it out and then made me knit from the bigger piece using the unraveled yarn remains from the smaller piece. Of course I ribbed the 1st row instead of stockinetting it so I had to undo a full row and the stitches were all split and a mess. I am tired and a little sad. I think the instructor feels the same.

July 16th, 2008
I did not realize that when we did the pleats we decreased the back. I am insane. How do I manage to be this way. Yesterday I was like .. why does this say 100 and she was like because we got rid of 40. She is the instructor.

July 18th, 2008
I bound off the bottom after knitting from the middle down in stockinette. My first minor knitting 'surgery' Of course I did not do it alone but it looks like nothing ever happened .. very plastic. Impressed. Started on the binding off for the back. Cannot decide if I want to slip stitch or knit the 1st one. Tired. G told me that once she messed up a cable and Irina fixed it for her. She cut and knitted again. Apparently there is this whole area out there I have not thought of .. Knitting Surgery .. and here I was thinking I knew it all. I knitted 2 together of the glittery blue yarn last night for my back decrease. I kind of like my bind off although in places the yarn is split and this is completely evident since it's the edge.

July 20th, 2008
Cape. Sunburn. I have 76 instead of 78 stitches. I am not sure where I lost the other 2. I feel like I did not have 100 after the pleats in the 1st place but only 98. She switched the pleats so many times it's very possible. Lots of split yarn. Not sure what to do about that. I also slipped the 1st stitch on decrease #1 and then knitted the first loop on decrease #2-7. I am disappointed. I thought I was done with the instructor dependency.

July 21st, 2008
Today is one of the instructors' child's birthdays. I think he is 21 on the 21st. I need a lesson in apostrophe placement. I am wondering about the 76 stitches. I am also wondering about my apartment door lock. It's not working right and I am sure the maintenance man is in the process of destroying it as we speak. By the time this day is over my apartment status will go from having a broken lock to having no lock at all.

3:40 PM
No news on the lock.

July 22nd, 2008
Another Tuesday night. I don't know why I go anymore. I guess I needed info on the 76 stitches. Apparently being a few stitches off on a fine yarn makes no difference because of the 'fine' situation. Had this been done on a 9'' we probably would have to undo for one missing one.

July 24th, 2008
I am on the wrong side for everything. Wrong side on the back, wrong side on the side and potential wrong side on the opposite side. I bound off at the wrong row I think and this is the result. I of coruse can unbind, knit and bind but it's too much work and I may not bind off the same way or split stitches when I undo. I want to ask the instructor but she is closed, she is not happy with me and she will just blow this off and be annoyed at my indecisiveness.

7:17 PM

July 25th, 2008
Everyone's Birthday .. Alex, Irina .. and such a pretty number. Tired. Did not knit at all. I feel like I have to go Saturday and Tuesday just to do some work. Knitting in the summer is just not something to do. It's like eating ice cream in the winter. I am bad with examples but you get the idea .. it's hot, everyone is outside etc.

July 29th, 2008
I came to the instructor's house to knit today and almost left immediately. It was so hot at the instructor's house and these totally new people came in and suddenly I did not want to deal with new people and being hot. She asked me if I was leaving so of course I said I will stay. I would never say no to her in this particular situation. The instructor planted me by an open window. She had on a blue dress which was on the darker side with some gray in it and some kind of blue stone jewelry with diamonds .. not sure if anything was real. For some reason when I mention diamonds I have to be sure that they are real because to me is the epitome of all gem stones and I cannot simply just say diamonds without any sort of backup. The ensemble reminded me of my grandmother. I don't know why .. blue always reminds me of her and the knitting instructor always reminds me of my Russian past. Must have been the combination of the two. I did the back today finally and some of the side. The side I messed up but she said it was OK. I do not think I have ever not messed something up since I started knitting but that means there is room for improvement. The knitting teacher taught me that. She said she used to complain to her friend about her kids not getting all As in school and her friend used to say 'This means there is room for improvement .. ' Something like that.

July 30th, 2008
2:32 AM
I am not sleeping. Not sure why. I learned that you slip the first stitch to avoid knots on the edge. Finally. I had no idea why the Russians all slipped it. There is an actual purpose to it. I also learned that when you cast on one side looks different from the other, also when you bind off same thing. Feel not very smart. I have the back with one side facing the outside world and the front with the opposite side facing the outside world. The instructor said that no one will notice except her, but now it's her and me that will notice.

July 30th, 2008
10:49 PM
Knit-Knit I just realized that when you tie the yarn to start a new ball it produces a purl stitch. That's the big mystery. I tied a new ball and then it untied and I had no idea what to do, but then I did.

August 2nd, 2008
Big rain. The rain spray is coming into the room but I do not want to close the window. Besides I just noticed that the rain washed down the window sill. I can type without looking but only if I do not think about it. I looked at the bottom of what I am doing and understood what the instructor meant. One side looks like parallel little bars while the other looks like a bunch of spirals. I could not see it before when I compared the back piece to the side but I can see it on the piece I am working on very clearly even though it's pitch black in here because of the rainy weather. The rain is totally coming in. I completely do not mind but I should really wipe down the window sill and the floor for he is a slightly messy guest.

August 4th, 2008
I did one side up to the pleats which is like nothing, and started the other. Another words I have 1/3 of one side of the front done and like 1/9th of the other front. I hope I can finish this on time. I have 42 days left. I split some yarn on the button hole strap which is like a terminal mistake. I am getting careless. I have totally come a long way in terms of getting to know the yarn and controlling the tension to some small degree. I remember when I started how long it felt to do one row, how horrible it seemed that everything looked and now it looks fine. Of course I did my fair share of split yarn along the way but at this point in time it's impossible for me not to split. I am very slow and I look at what I am doing .. I seem to be not looking well I guess. Someone recently said that when I cannot accomplish something I dismiss it as unimportant. This may be one of those things. Is it? Flaw#1 announced.

August 5th, 2008
I forgot what color I made this initially. Today we just started at each other. I did not say 'Hi' and he was not sure if he should since he probably was not sure if he had remembered me. Also .. I don't know. I am weird.

August 12th, 2008

You will not get knots if you do not slip the 1st stitch. I should not have done that.

August 13th, 2008

Odd yarn: yarn other then what you were using to be used as a marker. Odd name also. I learned that if you make a pleat too loose you can pull through the yarn all the way across .. as if this is something that has to be specifically learned. It was a continuous string to begin with so it's open to pulling to make things tight.

August 14th, 2008

Why is this skipping lines? I did not format anything. Annoyed. I tangled the yarn on the back and two fronts. I may have to cut everything otherwise I will be untangling forever. I feel like I did better pleats on the back then the front. I had big plans of making excellent pleats on the front because I figured since my first time ever pleats on the back were so nice, things could only get better. I just remembered Elton John 'I guess they why they call it the blues' .. between you and me things can only get better .. Anyway apparently there was no room for improvement because I had huge holes at the pleat start and spent all of Tuesday pulling a string through in an effort to smaller the hole. Do I speak English?

August 17th, 2008

Pleats: I only did 1-2 by myself on the left side. Use 3 sections with even numbers of stitches. I used 5-5-5. Look at how you want the pleat to lay. In my case I took the last 5 on the left, then turned the middle 5 section so the wrong side was facing me (something like this) and moved all 3 parallel to each other. Then you knit the 3 sections into one. Tighten the yarn when you are done otherwise a hole forms next to the pleat and then you have to pull the yarn all the way through to smaller the hole. Someone asked me on Saturday if I did the pleats by myself. Of course I got all stuck up and said that the instructor positioned them and I knitted them, but then added "I did one by myself" I am a total attention freak.

August 18th, 2008

I am totally behind on this. I have to do a lot of the front and the sleeves. I just remembered that I forgot about the button hole completely. I did a lot of one side so that means I can do it on the other side. Hopefully it's the correct side otherwise this will be a man sweater. With my luck I am sure I did the wrong side first. I am trying to remember which side I did. OK. I think it may be OK. Still I cannot believe I forget about button holes after all this time. The instructor forgot to say anything also but I think she expects me not to act like an irresponsible person. I took some pictures of what I was making and will post them. They are mainly closeups of the pieces so you cannot really tell much. Still they are better then that terrible ball of yarn photo in here. I think if I use the MACRO setting things come out better.

This is actually a pleat ..

Tension .. tension

Window light falling on a yarn ball ..

August 19th, 2008

I keep looking at the April 28th photo entry and so much has changed since then. I knit a lot neater with this yarn, minus the splits. I use rounds needles and cannot even look at straight. I am looking up категорично .. means judgemental. I can identify myself correctly in both languages. Although I feel like категорично and judgemental are different. Kатегорично means more like my way or no way at all in reference to your personal style.

August 20th, 2008

New rule learned yesterday. If you screw up on one side, do not screw up on the other side just to be consistent. A mind is a terrible thing to lose. Why would I even think that since I forgot to switch needles on the back for the first ribbing row, I should do the same thing for the front. Also got a lesson on маслята from the knitting instructor.

August 21st, 2008

I am knitting the sleeve one by one and I am not stressing out over the increase interval and I understand one sleeve may be slightly different from another and I am OK with that. Let me clarify.. the increases on one most definitely will not match the increases on the other but again I understand that it does not make any difference. That is total knitting maturity.

August 24th, 2008

I hate moving. I don't think hate is a good word for it. Instead I would like to apply every related negative adjective to this event. I did 8" on the sleeve. The instructor said total 11" but I am not sure if that includes cuff. She has not been paying much attention to me lately and I have not really been needing too much so it's working out well. I undid one of the sides to the point where she put the pin as a stop designator. I had to because I did not decrease. However I am not sure she put it in the right place so I am waiting until I go there again. I am fat.

September 11th, 2008
I moved. I hate it. I did the sleeve today, I mean I finished it. I don't like the way it looks. I don't like the tension and the binding on the sides. I was casting on and I switched the yarn because it was too short. She showed us this a really long time ago, and I never did it. Always thought it was very difficult.

September 23rd, 2008
I cannot believe this sweater has taken so long. I did the sleeve cuff today. The instructor did the pleats, because no one really knows why. I had 67 stitches, lost one because we undid the bottom so we could knit from it down. She got it down to 48 so that's 19 that needs to be accounted for. There are 4 pleats so each one has consumed 4-6 stitches. Does this even make sense? She said she did 3-2-3 on one, and 3-3-2 on the other something like that. The cuff part that she did and I finished is beautiful. I think it's the most beautiful part of the sweater by far. I made the other cuff too loose and then when I decided to undo it, I realized that I left my round #5s and one of my straight #5s at the instructor's house! I hope she found them, and wants to bring them tomorrow to her class. I very carefully undid the two garter rows I did at her house, because row after the pleats was so loose, it contained holes. It's a big difference from the other, beautiful sleeve end. By the way I did the cuff on #5s, and the bottom on #3s. I had to buy #3s just for this project.

September 24th, 2008
The instructor let me have HER #5 in straight. My sleeve #2 does not look like sleeve #1 at all. Something is wrong, I am not clear yet what it is. I am trying to figure out why the instructor had asked me to join another yarn, when I still had the original left. I am wondering if this is why my sleeve #2 looks weird. I totally do not remember what that was for. Maybe when she did the pleats?

October 7th, 2008
For the first time in my life I am jealous.

October 15, 2008
I keep forgetting .. that you can count the ridges to see where you are instead of stressing out over counting stitches.

October 17th, 2008
Last night I was almost done with the right front piece and then had to undo back to the armhole. I noticed that my decrease was not very neat. I mean I noticed it Tuesday night but thought I was being careless. So at home I was being very neat and it still looked the same. So then I realized that I was slipping as if to knit for the right decrease instead of just slipping which looks normal. So now I have to redo everything. I think the instructor saw this on Tuesday but did not say anything. Maybe like me she thought I was being careless.

November 5th, 2008
The day after elections. I finished the sweater but now I have to sew. One front has 101 ridges and the other 103. The 101 one is longer then the 103! I am depressed. I started sewing and we had to rip the sewing yarn in half and tie it because it does not pull through. I am getting tired of the knitting instructor. She upset me one too many times.

November 16th, 2006


I cannot believe it. I spent all of Tuesday the 16th sewing and came in at night so the instructor could iron. I hope Tatyana likes it. I have absolutely no idea if she will or will not but I cannot redo part of it because of the nature of the yarn. I don't even know what I would do different other then maybe knit the 1st stitch on the rim. I hope this is what she wanted. I totally added to my sewing resume because of this. I remembered from Masha's shrug how to do the sleeves which I still cannot believe. I cannot believe the whole thing. I went in Tuesday morning, and I had like pieces of sweater and tangled yarn and around 5 PM I had this. The picture does not do it justice. Especially the 1st photo. By the way the fact that the sides are not the same is OK, since the sleeves were not the same either. I think this is the 1st time I did not do the sides and the sleeves together, with expected "Anna" results as usual:)

Thursday, March 6, 2008


These are just food places I have never been to and not sure I want to try but they caught my eye at one point or another ..
moo in Beacon Hill?

This is the only OK breakfast in the area that I know of and can tolerate ..

This is probably my favorite place of all times although it's been several years so I am getting over it ..

Some recipe blogs I will never use:

Wine section: