Someone should use it

A propos of nothing in particular, have you ever tried making pesto with cilantro instead of basil? You skip the cheese and use about twice the garlic and use peanuts instead of pine nuts and it’s awesome. And if you add some peeled-lengthwise carrots into the noodles just as they finish cooking, you can feel like you’re in some cool cooking show saying things like, “and don’t be afraid to use what you have on hand, Liz, that’s what innovative cooking for quick meals is all about…” and it’s tasty. I finally tried this tonight, after intending to do so pretty much every other time I’ve had cilantro going wilty in the fridge after using about 1/5th of the bunch for a recipe and forgetting about the rest. Good times.

But a propos of work in the kitchen, I’ve got to get on the holiday baking. Have any of you seen the cookie recipes emerging from Smitten Kitchen lately? Mmmmnnnnggghhh. Knitting, you’ve got competition this week.

In any case, speaking of other forgotten, possibly wilty things, remember how I was knitting a Moderne Log Cabin blanket? Yep, it’s still there. Still in the WIP category of my Ravelry projects, and believe me I’ve pondered the idea of putting it into hibernation. I’ll knit about 4 rows, then become weary and put it aside, and pick it up about 10 days later and knit another 4 rows, then repeat. At least Beatrice likes it. (Apologies for the blurry):


I draped it over the footstool so that at least one creature in the household can get some enjoyment out of it, which kitty does indeed. She even slept on it all night one time, so there’s that. It’s not the most active WIP ever, but to put it into hibernation makes me fear I’ll never get it done. And yet would forcing myself to finish make me even more weary? Oh, the decisions.

In other news, after digging myself into a horrible pit of misery for a short while earlier this week, I forced myself to chill today and begin on the holiday do-nothing time. (I have to start writing lectures soon ohgodohgodohgodohgod but am going to try to work up to that in increments). The Ivy League Vest has seen quite a bit more action as a result, and is now a couple of inches past the progress in this photo:


Thanks to my stress-addled brain, I’ve done a few mishaps along the way, but in large part these are mostly colour errors. A couple of times on the large peeries I’ve forgotten to change the background or foreground colour partway through, for example. But thankfully peeries are forgiving and still look good. I’m glad now that I started with this first – by the time I get to Venezia perhaps I will have trained my brain to read colour charting a bit more precisely.

The other thing I’m grappling with is the stitch counts – this pattern indicates # of decreases very clearly, but I find I’m more comfortable with indications of stitch counts remaining, of which there are not so many. I’d like to know for certain how many sts are supposed to be left behind for each shoulder, as for example. I can backtrack that info from the rest of the pattern numbers, but sometimes I just want the security blanket of knowing for sure, yanno?

My wee brigade of Korknisse does continue to grow. I did this little subset on Sunday at my sister’s place and then added four more today. They continue to be adorable, and I continue to want more. I am debating whether to add any to the tree as ornaments or to just keep them as little standalone decorations.


I am pretty easy about the corks – regular cork, newfangled plastic recycled corks, whatever. I mean, when you are basically making tiny knitted hats and sweaters for wine corks, the composite material of said corks is probably the least of your worries, right? 😉 But I have started to ponder the fact that these wee darlings could use a bit more diversity in their population, which is certainly aided by the plastic corks that come in different shades. (Note to self: locate silver marker to provide black Korknisse with eyes.)

And what of the California corks? Is it wrong to make them knitted hats, as they come from such warm climes? Would they prefer brighter colours? Or perhaps cotton duds, not wool? A person could get a little too involved in such a project as this. You’ll have to keep me in line. 😉


  1. Nope…I’ve been to California several times. I’m a-thinkin’ they want your left over soy-wool, bamboo and recycled sari silk yarns…just as long as it’s all dyed with eco-friendly dyes. For the French wines, you could then use the Debbie Bliss cashmere and Adrienne Vittadini yarns. Ooh, for the North Carolina wine corks, you’d have to use the left over bits of dish cloth cotton. OH! For a cork from a nice German Reisling, you could make a black wool turtleneck!

    Yeah, come to think of it, I’m really no help, am I?

  2. Glenna and Meg, step away from the corks. Y’all have been sniffing too many wine fumes.

  3. kat person! · ·

    in fact, californians , like southern italians, get oh-so-excited when the temperature gets down to, say, 12c, and parade about in uggs and those caps with the ear flaps and little tassel on top. with snowflake patterns, please! perhaps challenging if you’re knitting it for a cork…

  4. I love the idea of the cilantro pesto and the first thing I thought of was adding lime! Yummmmy!

  5. It’s perfectly OK to get over-involved in the Korknisse Kingdom of Kuteness (oh dear, KKK?), in their bid for world domination. Is there a King and Queen of the KK?

    I think your work on Ivy League is amazing, and I’m glad Mod Log is still on the go – I love the big blocks of colour. And I put something into hibernation on Rav, but at least with Rav you can ‘see’ it on there, rather than it being shoved into a cupboard and forgotten. Guilt will out!

  6. the fair isle looks great, you work fast on it. K’s could have bells on them?!

  7. mm.. the Ivy League sweater looks deliciously gorgeous!

    And I agree with “kat person!” – Southern Californians freak out whenever there is rain, and whenever the sun isn’t out. At the risk of shaming myself in front of people who have to deal with “real weather,” I will admit that I wore a hat, gloves, and a scarf yesterday, along with a thermal shirt, jeans, knee-high boots, and a hooded sweater. It was 50-55 degrees out. Sad, I know.

    Whole point of that long ramble – it’s okay to knit sweaters and hats on your California corks ;D

  8. I’ve made pesto with Kale also – almost anything green and leafy will work!

    Your vest is AMAZING!!!!! I love it!

  9. I thought I’d already commented on your Korknisser, but apparently I didn’t! I LOVE them, though I suspect myself of loving the word “nisse” being used by people non-Scandinavian. 😛 I remember when I was younger I felt bad for the countries who didn’t have “nisser”, because those jingly elves in red-and-white tights and shoes with bells on them just weren’t the same. 😉
    Also, great idea to mix up the colours a bit. 😛 Perhaps you can do ‘nativity’ korknisser, if you get my drift? One from America, one from Greenland/Alaska, one from Scandinavia, one from France, etc. That would be very cool!

    Oh, and the steeks… I started feeling sweaty just at the though of it. 😛 I’ll be watching your progress on the Ivy League vest very closely – I am very excited about the steeking!!

  10. I feel steek-watching sickness coming on! I watched a vid of someone cutting their steeks on Autumn rose and it made me feel quite ill.
    Still loving the korknisse 🙂 My first potential attempt has been foiled by a broken cork. Darn – must drink more wine.

  11. I have missed you so much! I’m catching up…
    the little corks from California? if they’re going to live with you I’d say bring out your warmest wool because when it comes to COLD? They haven’t a clue… :^) They’ll go into shock… dress them extra warmly!

  12. Oh holy cow…how brilliant are you, dear Floderten? A Korknisser nativity? Wow. That might rival my mom’s crocheted nativity that’s as old as I am. Check it out on my Flickr page:

    (I think clicking on my my name may take you there. I haven’t upgraded to a pro account just yet, so go to page 3 for That Seventies Nativity Set)

    But that’s what you can do with the broken corks! Swaddle them in tiny Big Bad Baby Blankets and tiny bonnets! Am I dedicated enough to try knitting an uber-tiny fair isle ear flap hat for a cork? Thread and toothpicks? Hmmm, clearly I need to drink more wine.

  13. Alright, after Meg’s comment, I’m going to need, nay, DEMAND some Korkn Big Bad Baby Blankets!! Those things need swaddling. >:)

  14. I’ve never been crazy about cilantro, but I totally agree with your substitutions making you feel like you’re in your own cooking show! I personally like to pretend I’m Nigella Lawson sometimes. I know how lame that sounds.

    Your korkies are so sweet!! And the progress on your vest is so amazing…. what mistakes?!

  15. Oh yeah, in my drive to swaddle my cork army in hand knits, I almost forgot….

    Make a pesto outta this:

    A combination of cilantro and basil, with a little leek and coconut milk with cashews (or peanuts). It’s a thai-licious on fish or noodles.

  16. Don’t stress about the blanket – a few rows here and there will add up (it might take a while, but that’s knitting…)

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