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Warning. This is a picture heavy post and if you have zero interest in homebrewing you might get a little bored.

What started with this.

Eventually became this.

I am lucky enough to have a good friend Jenny from my culinary school days who has been delving into the homebrew experiments for quite a while now and she graciously agreed to be my guide during my first attempt at hard cider.

We went to Cellar Homebrew in Greenwood (conveniently quite close to my house) to pick up all the necessary equipment and we were off.

Check out that highly unexciting carboy full of fresh apple cider and yeast. Doesn’t look like much does it.

Here it is after 2 days. Hmmm am I sure I want to drink that in the end?

I will spare you a day by day collage of the cider as it brewed/fermented/whatever it is called.

Needless to say I had no idea watching CO2 bubble out of an airlock could be so fascinating. More than once or twice I caught myself muttering “It’s ALIVE!!!”

Of course the hard part wasn’t santizing a big 5 gallon glass carboy without dropping it, nor was it racking and bottling of the freshly made cider. Nope the hard part has just arrived.

The waiting.

See turns out hard cider isn’t all that tasty right after brewing. Really good hard cider requires time to age and mellow and essentially be all it can be. The earliest I’m going to start tasting the cider will be Christmas and I don’t expect it to start being ‘good’ until March 2010.  Based on the very young cider I tasted today I can expect this batch to get very dry once it’s aged properly.

I hate waiting.

Ah what a difference a month can make.

First I took another look at my stash and focused on a few yarns that I liked but didn’t love. After a little debating I decided to offer them up for destash on Rav. I’m still counting them in my ‘stash’ for now until I get to sell them but mentally I’ve set them aside. I have 7 skeins of Malabrigo in Pagoda that I planned on making my FLS out of but since I picked and knitted another yarn those 7 skeins have languished in the stash. The more I thought about it the less I wanted a sweater out of the yarn…so if you are in the market for a malabrigo sweater in reds you know where to find the yarn 🙂

Nov 1st stats:

Miles: 30

lbs: 35

Skeins: 224

How did I do it?

The Neverending Garter Blanket is done (insert imaginary happy dance here). I cast off the i-cord border at 11.40pm October 31st. I had finished the body of the blanket the night before (thank god for my backlog of Tivo recordings that made it bearable). I decided to weave in the ends that night because it is a task I hate. I finally finished that around 1am because I had to keep stopping to move a cat off the blanket in order to work on another section. The good thing is I know Nicki will migrate to the blanket whenever it is out.

I spent all of the 31st working on 4000+ stitches of i-cord bindoff. I hauled it with me to Sat knitting and made it through 1 short side before giving up. Once home again it was more random tv watching and since I had rented The Proposal for mom this week I decided to pop that in to watch too. It reminded me why I tend to not like that genre of movies.

Around 10pm I realized I still had an entire long section to work on and I started to panic I wouldn’t finish in time. Yes I realize it was an arbitrary deadline and really my goal for the year was to get it done by Dec 31st not Oct 31st. However after realizing how badly I was doing at my own Stashdown I NEEDED a win.

In hindsight I should have done the i-cord in a larger needle to compensate for the stretch of the garter stitch but I’m still happy with it. It might have taken 20 months to knit from beginning to end but it sure is comfy.

Now if you don’t mind…I’m going to browse Rav for a complicated lace or cable pattern, all that mindless garter stitch has made my brain cells fall asleep so they need a little kickstart.

Flickr Photos

blackwork sampler

More Photos

Dragonfibers

On the needles

February Fitted Pullover

Sapphire Waves of Grain

On the Bedside Table

The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan (ok not really since I can't find the book anymore)

on the wheel

Absolutely Nothing.

Stashdown 2009

January 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins of Yarn: 233 Total Weight:33.13lbs Total Miles: 27

February 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins of Yarn: 213 Total Weight:30.09lbs Total Miles: 26

March 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins of Yarn: 218 Total Weight:31.95lbs Total Miles: 27

April 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins of Yarn: 217 Total Weight:31.45lbs Total Miles: 26.5

May 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins: 229 Total Weight: 33.8 Total Miles: 28.4

June 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins: 210 Total Weight: 31.9 Total Miles: 27.7

July 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins: 201 Total Weight: 30.5 Total Miles: 26.5

August 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins: 228 Total Weight: 34.0 Total Miles: 28.8

October 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins: 254 Total Weight: 38.2 Total Miles: 31.8

November1st 2009

Balls/Skeins: 224 Total Weight: 34.9 Total Miles: 29.9

December 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins: 206 Total Weight: 31.9 Total Miles: 27.1

KAL

World Bread Day '07

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