Sunday, February 11, 2007

For the Seafood Lover (and Gauge Heretic) in you

I missed a week of blogging last week. Call it a blogacation I suppose. What was I doing? Everything except taking pictures or sitting at my computer or knitting it seems. I know, lets not speak of this non-knitting/picture taking/blog reading/writing episode any longer. There are more pressing things to discuss.

Like the excellent dinner I had last night. Husband & I drove to lovely Bayonne, New Jersey to meet my dad for some much needed Bayonne soul food. Not traditional southern American soul food-which is also something I do adore and rarely turn down. This is Bayonne Spanish soul food. Rincon de Espana is always a family favorite. And I love going with my dad, we tell him what we want to eat and then he orders in spanish for us. The waiters are probably better with spanish than english, it is Bayonne after all. For stick to the ribs, tasty spicy stuff you want to eat when it's 10 below outside, it's just the ticket.

Garlic shrimp, spicy chorizo sausage and yes-snails!

The appetizers are always coated with delicious golden garlicky olive oil. You always have to dunk your bread in the bottom at the end, just to savor one last bite. A lot of the dishes at Rincon come in these huge tin-metallic pots that they've probably been using longer than I've been alive. But I think that just makes it better. Big pots of yellow rice, seafood, plates of meaty spare ribs and delicious sliced and fried potatoes.

Paella Marinera and friends

Sorry, I know somewhere out there there is a seafood hater cringing at that last picture! (Sorry!) Pitchers of fruit laden sangria and creamy flan for desert completed the feast. And of course the company was great too!

Me and Dad

Anyway, on the knitting front my dad says he really likes the socks I knit him for Christmas and is eagerly requesting another pair for Father's Day. I think that's doable, I have enough time. And of course it's always easier when knitting for people that you know appreciate the work and really enjoy the finished project.

Which is not always the case with myself-I can be so picky! The project I'm working on now isn't even done and already I'm all whiny about it.

Yep, it's another sweater! Already! Well, everyone seems to be in this reduce-the-stash yarn diet spirit so I figured I should play along. This is acrylic-Patons Candiana I bought with my husband's aunt in Queens last year. I'm trying not to discriminate against the acrylic but somehow it just always happens and I sound apologetic about it for some reason like I do now. But I like this acrylic, it has body without being scratchy or crunchy. In a way it almost feels like cotton to me. You'd think I'd be happy to already have the back almost halfway done. But there have been issues. Issues of the worst kind-gauge issues. When I started knitting this I knew I was knitting tight. I just couldn't relax the tension for some reason (Wonder why Jana? Stress much?) Anyway my hands were hurting and but I liked the gauge (20 stitches to 4 inches) and I just kept going for some reason. However, yesterday something changed. I was all curled up with a nice cup of tea, knitting and watching Good Night and Good Luck and having a grand old time. When the movie was over I felt like the sweater was looking kind of big. Sure enough when I got out the gauge check it turns out all of a sudden it was coming out only 19 stitches to 4 inches. What's up with that? It's not a huge difference, but was still kind of annoying me. So today I just said "Screw it!" and went ahead and changed from size 6 needles to size 4 MID SWEATER. I know, how bad is that? But hey, it did get me back to the original gauge. I'm hoping it doesn't end up causing major size issues or anything. But the acrylic is pretty tough and even. And in my experience the sweaters I knit (especially the few acrylics ones I have done) seem to just stretch out on their own no matter how I knit them anyway. So maybe it will be ok? It's not a sweater I'm planning to wear to the Oscars or anything, maybe something to just keep on my chair at work when it gets drafty. And after I knit it I will have more room to buy more yarn. Which seems to be my main motivation right now. Pathetic, but yes, true.


KnitXcorE said...

that food looks delicious! I hate the bayonne smells (hehehe)...

Tracy said...

That food looks amazing, except for the snails; I'm sure if I tried one it's be great but it's one of those foods I just don't see any need to try.
You're so brave to switch needle sizes mid-project like that. But if there's anyone I know who can pull it off it's you mama!
(Really, it's not your Oscar's sweater? What will you where then?)

sunneshine said...

The food does look amazing!! Switching needle size with acrylic is better then most yarn - you may need to block it twice to even out the piece. I can understand not wanting to frog it back after all that work!

Anonymous said...

Hi I'm a friend of Tracy's - as a person who has been raised on Spanish food - I can confirm its all good - but be careful you WILL stink of garlic - Mary

Necia said...

Hi Jana,

Long time............ Oh my that food looks amazing. I'm minutes from Bayonne, and will more than likely be checking this restaurant out, being you so highly recommended it. I really need to jump on the stash busting, but not yet. I however, really do like Patons Canadiana. I just made some legwarmers with it, and I love the stitch definiton and how my cables popped, even with the black colored yarn. It gets thumbs up from me.


Jodi said...

Good luck with the sweater! My friend is knitting a sweater with beautiful dark teal Patons Canadiana right now, and it seems like an awfully nice acrylic.

That's a cute picture of you and your dad. Mmm... Spanish food.