Sunday, February 17, 2008

Ice - and Fire(fly)

This is a morning shot; I didn't resize so if you enlarge it you'll see the whole deal.
Around in these parts, we know what it means when a) the Department of Transportation and the police say "Do not go out, road conditions are poor"; b) the forecast is for rain followed by slush (we call that our "wintry mix") followed by a nice soft snowfall; c) the Madison Transit buses are kept in their barns from 7:00 a.m. ON! When I see the guys on the teevee saying those things, my bilingual-ness clicks in and my brain automatically translates it to STAY IN! KNIT! KNIT! KNIT!

If you look closely at Lucy (that's my little lilac tree) you'll see each and every branch encased in glassy ice. Imagine that on all the trees, on the power lines - underfoot and on the roads.......we're all well-acclimated to this weather, which means, in part, believing the reports of bad driving and just saying "NO".

This is the back yard tree, bent under the weight of the iced branches .
It's been bent like this since last winter, but this is how it got that way. Don't be telling me "you know, you're going to have to trim that down." I KNOW and I'm dancing around with my fingers in my ears LALALALALALAAA....LALALALAAA you can't make me!" I will do it, I really will, when the City Arborist recommends the best time and comes to do it. But ladies and gennulmen, my trees are right up there with my cats. So please, no arboreal advice.

Those were taken yesterday, while it was still in the rain phase. As if by magic, it cooled off and began to snow in the afternoon, and while the forecast 8" didn't pan out, there were a couple inches of snow over the ice.

So, what does one do when one is charged by law to stay inside (without any ankle bracelets or anything, of course)? All together now: KNIT!! And I am glad to report that another toque is finished (I'll go try to figure out how to post that sort of thing on Ravelry) and another is past the increases and into the plain-knit phase! Do you realize? When THIS one is done I have....let's see...ONE MORE! And it's not a very long one! As I see it, I'll be completely done, entirely toque-less, completely finished..... just in time for the Trade Fair in Oshkosh !

For them what doesn't know, that's a wonderful two-day fair held in a huge building where sutlers and merchants and traders set up their wares appropriate to time periods including the Revolutionary War, French & Indian War, 1812 War, Civil War - and the buckskinner period. We always see a lot of reenacting friends from all time periods and have a wonderful time. It's our time to stock up on maple sugar cakes, dried corn, silk scarves and flints and other things for our personal use. And - (brace your feet on the floor, you may know what's coming) it's where people invariably seek me out and ask if I'll make them "one of those fine wool authentic voyageur toques you're so famous for". Now, if they put it some other way I might feel inclined to say "You know, Target has lovely warm caps in any color of snuggly polar fleece....." But you know, my toques really do have historic documentation, they really are 100% wool, and...and....(sigh) I still enjoy knitting them. For all my mewling, I'm a simple knitter and I enjoy tactile sensations like typing and like just plain knitting for inches and inches. Also it doesn't hurt that the reenactors pay me for them. Furthermore, I think I may raise my price some. I never have before.

The other thing we did as long as we were house-bound was, we made barbequed ribs. I love barbecued ribs about more than any other comestible morsels. Oh - lobster's good...but you know, that's usually prohibitively expensive. Ribs? Well, Mr Dearling got a honkin' big bunch -- ehrm...well, you know what I mean....on sale. There's a panoply of sauces available, and some of them are exceptional. I'd have to say, I've liked almost every one I've tried. But there's one you won't find at the market:

Lovely Daughter's Homemade Genuine Barbecue Sauce.

I don't know if it's the exotic blend of her African-American-Jewish-Lithuanian background or what, but this is, hands down, no question, absolutely the best barbecue sauce ever was. Almost. (Her father's was better; it wouldn't surprise me to learn that she was channeling him when she makes hers.) So I put the ribs in the 250 degree oven at 12:45 pm. I turned them over a time or two until 5:00 pm, at which point I slathered LDHGBS generously all over them. At 5:30 I turned 'em over and repeated the procedure. At 6:00 it was either eat them or chew my arm off. I ate 'em. And they were....well, you know. Beyond description.

HOWEVER! Quite some time ago, the Yarn Harlot mentioned that she enjoyed knitting while watching "Firefly", a teevee series that had been on the Fox network. Lovely Daughter told me it was the best thing that had ever been on teevee, so of course it was cancelled after one season. There was so much fuss made by the fans that a regular movie was made....and both film and series eventually drifted out of the public eye, EXCEPT for the absolutely wild-eyed fans, of whom LD is one. So she "just happened to have" the entire season on four DVDs AND the movie, called "Serenity". I sort o' tried watching the first DVD a while ago, without much luck - couldn't get into it, as we say.

Well, last night I GOT INTO IT. I finished the one toque before I finished the first DVD and was past the decreases and onto the circular needle of the second before I was half-through the second DVD. Let me just put it this way. WATCH IT! It really is excellent for knitting (do you find you knit faster in the tense parts?) and if you like futuristic sort of Star Wars-y stuff you'll love it. She told me I would if I ever gave it a chance. So I did, and I did, and I do.

This is the same backyard tree today, Monday, with the snow overlaying the ice.
It'll be snowing on and off today, but there's nothing to take me outside, so as soon as I hit "publish post" I will be popping in the next installment of "Firefly", leaning back and knitting my second-to-the-last toque. If I remain diligent, it could happen that I could finish it (shshshss...the Knitting Goddess might be listening; better to not tempt her.) I'll report when I send out these next ones - oh, and then - and THEN! I can go wallow around in the stash and pore over patterns and cast on a NOT-TOQUE! Makes me go all over goose-pimple-y. Ewww. Nevermind.

This is the view from my kitchen window. I find it so beautiful - the straight black line toward the right is the hanging wire of a bird feeder encased in ice. And as I write, it's snowing again, big soft snowglobe flakes. Some of us thrive in this weather....


Beth in WI said...

My IT guy is organizing Serenity Day 2008, check my blog for a link!

Anonymous said...

Well, THAT post was better than teevee, let me tell you! Thank you!

Are you going to tell us what's in that barbecue sauce?

dale-harriet said...

(laughing) I'll ASK the daughter about the barbecue sauce (she didn't learn it from ME) but I can tell you that she often says to me "You know, I never make it the same way twice, I don't know what's in it!" If she told me she makes it blindfolded with the Spirit of her father guiding her hands - I'd almost believe it. And Beth? I am SO going to follow that intriguing note and see what "serenity day" is....

Mary in Boston said...

I love Firefly and also Serenity.

My son gave me the DVDs of the series for Christmas. He is a good boy. ;-)

Glad to hear you are a fan too!

Alwen said...

Yay! I'm another fan of "knitting weather"!

My husband's friend lent us the Firefly DVD's. One of the coolest things about the blogosphere was that I mentioned watching Serenity in a post, and a friend I've known for probably 10 years commented about that -- she was a big fan! It's funny what you learn about people you thought you knew.

Anonymous said...

I love BBQ too. If you're ever down in Kansas City...look me up. I'll take you places. And the snow/ice pictures are just lovely and peaceful. The only thing I would have done differently would have been to make cookies too.

gayle said...

Oh, Firefly is the Best TV Ever! My daughter gave us the boxed set a couple of Christmases ago, with the instructions to "just watch it."
We ended up running a Firefly marathon - watched the whole set back-to-back. Love it, love the movie.
And I have the absolute best KC barbecue sauce recipe - only problem is, it makes about 5 gallons (restaurant recipe) and I haven't been able to get the spicing right when I try to scale it down... Feast or famine, right?
Love the blog, by the way.

Iron Needles said...

Stay in and stay warm, and enjoy the knitting and bbq...but not at the same time!

janet said...

Oh my goodness your world looks so very very cold. How do you manage? I wish you very warm thoughts from San Diego

Cindy G said...

On Saturday night an acquaintance mentioned that she had been at the beach party. So I was asking about various people she might have met. She was describing one person she found most interesting. I said, "That sounds like Dale-Harriet. Was she knitting toques?" Yes!

MollyBeees said...

I am a Browncoat through and through and glad to hear that you're another Firefly convert! You can't have Cap'n Mal though. Back off! He's mine all mine!

Kitty Mommy said...

Oh, I just love wintry weather, but I have to say this one is starting to wear on me a bit. I'd probably wouldn't mind so much, but the squirrelly, cabin-fever'd kidlings tend to interrupt my knitting time. ;o)

Alison said...

Dale- I'm a bit behind on reading your blog but catching up now. I'm SO happy to hear you like Firefly. That is one of my favorites as well. If you feel like continuing down the road of being a Scifi TV dork then I also highly recommend the new Battlestar Gallactica. I'd bet $1 that your LD likes it too!
PS- loving the photos of snow and ice, I *almost* feel a little cooler here looking at them!