Friday, November 19, 2010

Eeeek! I'm Becoming my Mother-in-Law!

My MIL loved to garden and to cook. In her later years, though, she grew quite experimental in her cooking. Unfortunately, it would often go something like this:

"I know how (my DH) loves chocolate cake. I brought this new chocolate cake that (insert name of someone in her church) brought to the (insert name) funeral dinner last week. It was so good. I told her I just had to have the recipe. "

You taste the cake, which is interesting because it is brown, but not really chocolate.

Then she says, "Of course, I cut the cocoa in half because you know cocoa is just so expensive I can't afford the whole amount."

She also modified recipes by adding sour cream. The last incarnation of banana pudding had bananas, vanilla wafers, and THREE pints of sour cream! And you could really taste that sour cream, because, you know, sugar was expensive!

I have always wondered how much her friends appreciated being cited as the source for some of these recipes, such as non-chocolate cake.

Now, I'm doing the same thing with knitting. I started out to make the Three-Way Wrap--found under that name on Ravelry, as I've said before--not out of the cashmere blend yarn it calls for because I wanted a more rustic look, and I love tweed, and I don't have money for cashmere right now, and I needed something more easy care, and about a dozen other reasons.

Part of the styling on this wrap is its unstructured nature. It's a long strip of plain stockinette on size 10 1/2 needles. The edges are allowed to curl naturally. If a gauge is specified on the pattern, I didn't find it. I knit loosely, so I dropped to a size 10. The fabric was too firm--it's a wrap. It needs to drape, right? I also looked at the projects page and added a hem that someone else had used to minimize the curl on the cast-on edge. It certainly did that--it curled madly in the other direction and made the bottom edge even stiffer than the body so that it took away even minimum drape. Frogged after 3/4 of a skein. Decided to follow the pattern exactly--ignoring substituted yarn, of course--but after 5 inches, I decided that while I might be able to live with the curling sides, the bottom edge still has the effect of one of those old window shades that wants to spring up unexpectedly. I just know that I would constantly be fiddling with it. I did not frog; I just got out another skein of yarn and some size 11 needles, did a gauge swatch and some math to approximate the 16 finished inches I need, and I've knitted a 5 row garter stitch edge on the bottom with 5 stitches of garter going up each side of the stockinette. The bigger needles are making a more drapey fabric, and the edges are staying flat. So, for the record, I am knitting the Not-Entirely-Three-Way-Wrap-But-It-May-Still-Have-Three-Buttons. No sour cream.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love your sense of humor, and yeah, how DOES that happen to us along the way? "Knitgiver"