Inadvertent Sock Monkey Socks

I’m still on the sock kick. These are the fourth pair I’ve made (I’ll post number 3 later – there is a story behind these) and I have to say, except for one incredible screw-up that wasn’t noticed until the socks were actually completed, these were fantastic!

When I asked Val what kind of socks she wanted, she said warm. Really warm. Thick and wooly warm. So I searched patterns, found lazy weekend socks. I made these in a yarn I had to test them and they came out pretty good. A few issues with the heel, and a little short, but overall not bad. I thought with the right yarn, they could be great for Val’s socks.

I looked through my stash of yarn and came across some yarn we bought in Edinburgh years ago. I loved the colors and thought they would make a great warm, wooly sock. And I was right – but the color of the brown yarn took on the sock monkey color when paired with the cream. Seriously – it didn’t look a thing like sock money brown in the cake, but knit it into a sock with some cream yarn and it really does. Once Bob said they looked like sock monkey, I couldn’t see anything else.

But no matter. Warm wooly socks can look like sock monkey. I followed the pattern exactly as I had done the first time, but I was able to make the heel correctly this time (I finally could tell what they meant in a particular part of the pattern) so I felt really, really good about these.

And then I finished and put them together. You see the problem, right? It’s not the size, or too many or too few rows or something that isn’t matching. Nope, I was extra careful with all of that. The heels are right, there are not any gaps. In fact, the socks are practically identical. And there in lies the problem. Somehow, I didn’t get the cable detail on the correct side of the second sock, so both cables are on the right side of the leg. Sigh. I literally noticed this after I completed the second sock, wove in all of the ends and put them next to each other. How I did this, I have no idea. But I did. So much for the perfect sock.

I’m taking this as a challenge, and a reason to make another pair of socks for Val. It may be a little bit (I have a list of socks to make already) but I will make them before the end of this year. A better pair. A perfect pair. A pair that doesn’t have a noticeable execution flaw. Challenge accepted!

But they are cute. Super cute.

Bathroom Renovation – part 3 – Paint & Tile

The bathroom renovation is progressing. There have been a few hiccups as there are with any house project but luckily nothing that has delayed construction too much.

Before the tile went in Bob and I painted. We could not remember the exact color of our bedroom, so we picked a paint we thought was close and just painted. It worked. We have a pretty, peaceful yet happy blue color.

I will fully admit that when the tile started to go up I got a little nervous. The large tile on the wall looked a little odd to me, but I just waited. I was sure that once in, I would be happy. Well . . .

Yeah. I’m happy, and especially happy with the shower floor and shelf. I can’t tell you how much those little things make me smile when  I see them.

There was also a minor mishap with the cabinet – they ordered the wrong one, so that wasn’t in as expected, but it was almost a good thing because we wanted the tile to go under the cabinet anyway, so it’s all good.

2018 Sangiovese

  • Producer: Malpasso
  • Location: Umbria, Italy
  • Year: 2018
  • Price estimate: Not sure (wine and cheese box)
  • Tasting notes: Garnet in appearance with aromas of spice, unripe cherry and bramble. Smooth on the palate with hints of nutmeg, dark cherry and a little oak. Tart. Medium long finish.
  • Conclusions: I’m a sucker for a good Sangiovese and this one fits the bill. It has a lot of the dark red fruit and tartness that a good Sangiovese has but isn’t as earthy as some can get. Bob is not generally a fan of this varietal, but even he liked this one. Paired with a pecorino (and other cheeses, of course) it shows why people tell you that what grows together goes together.
  • Notes: This was the second of our cheese and wine box wines and I have to say, I’m super impressed. Not only as the wines (and of course the cheeses) fantastic, there is something about the pairings that not only compliments, but changes the way both taste. It was more prominent with the white, but it existed here too. The cheese rounded out the wine and the wine brought out the nutty notes in cheese – it was kind of fantastic.

Sourdough Addiction

Before Val moved to California she gave me a sourdough starter and some pointers on baking bread. Fast forward a few months and I’m hooked. I may never buy a regular loaf of bread again.

Every week I am making bread – generally two loaves. Mom gets half of each and we keep half of each because as much as I love and eat bread, even Bob and I can’t eat two loaves in a week, every week.

Rustic sourdough, old fashioned sourdough, tangy sourdough, rye sourdough, pumpernickel sourdough … yep I’ve tried and tweaked and tweaked again various recipes and have now landed on three or four favorites and I make versions of two of them every week. It’s gotten so bad, I now have a second sourdough starter in my fridge because apparently one is not enough.

One absolute plus to all of this – Bob has discovered that he does not detest pumpernickel or rye bread. He thought he did, but he actually just hated the seeds that they tend to put in rye that gives it a slight fennel taste. My bread – he quite likes. And I know he does actually like it because he eats it even when I’m not home to put it on the plate.

 

Bathroom Renovation – Part 2 – Demolition

The bathroom project started! It took pretty much one day, but everything is out of the bathroom and ready for the next steps. Apparently (Bob was home, I wasn’t) it was loud and dusty and a lot of work, but it was done.

The shower and tub tiles were removed very cleanly and neatly, and the area that was under the tub was resurfaced. Alinea, of course, made her mark in the wet cement. Bob and I are calling it a nice touch and something we will always know. Part of her will forever be in this house.

We have a new half wall for the shower and later in the week the plumbing went in and the drywall, except for the shower area, was finished.

Over the weekend, Bob and I painted. I thought I had the chip or some paint left from when I painted our bedroom, but I didn’t, so we had to guess with the color. I think got close and I really like the way it is looking.

It’s hard to see in the pictures, but it is a nice, bright yet peaceful blue. I think it is pretty close to the bedroom color and will look great with the tiles and new vanity.

Next week is the shower walls and tile so we should get a better idea of the final project soon.

 

Bordeaux Blanc

  • Producer: Jean Marc Barthez
  • Location: Bordeaux, France
  • Year: 2018
  • Price estimate: not sure
  • Tasting notes: Pale yellow in color and a very light nose. Almost no aroma in the glass. Maybe a little orange blossom, chalk and citrus, but faint. A little effervescence. Tastes of Jasmine tea, lemon and other citrus. Medium finish.
  • Conclusions: Very good and paired incredibly well with a cheese plate. Easy to drink with just enough complexity to keep it interesting.
  • Notes: We have been part of our local cheese shop’s “monthly cheese club” for few years now and we love it. Last year they added a cheese and wine club and we decided to try that for the first part of this year. Two cheeses and two wines a month. This bottle came from the January cheese and wine club and was a great way to start. I also have to add, that the cheese Kiara paired this with – a California cheese in the brie style, but creamier – was amazing and the combination was particularly good. We can’t wait to try the red with the pecorino – notes to follow soon.

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Lazy Weekend Socks

My second attempt at socks and I have to admit – knitting socks is addictive.

Val asked for a pair of warm, wooly socks and I searched for good patterns. I came across this one with the cute cable design on the side and decided to try it. I made a pair for myself first (just in case there was something I had trouble with) and not only did they knit up quickly, they are super cute!

I love these. The cable came out great and they fit pretty perfectly. For Val’s I’m going to do a different yarn and am probably going to go with contrasting colors for the cuff, heel and toes. But for me – I love these and may kit a pair in the pretty blue yarn I picked up in California.