Monday, September 11, 2006

Thoughts on Knitting and Food

First the Knitting

I finished my much-desired Diagonal Hat ...

I found out about this hat on Purlwise's blog (her hat is beautiful and you've got to see how her gorgeous Firebirds is coming along). Then Martha knit one up in a grey colorway Noro Kureyon, I just had to knit one. The pattern is fast, fun, and a bit of a puzzle. Really, if you want to have a good time with some varigated yarn, you should try it!

Pattern: Jean Wong's Diagonal Hat Pattern
Yarn: Noro Kureyon, 124
Needles: US6s

Currently, I'm trying to figure out a pattern for my Maggi's Aran Tweed -- I want a cabled, aran sweater for myself. I think I may whip out the Ann Budd sweater book and design a cool cable pattern. First however, I'm going to take my swatch over the my LYS and leaf through some patterns. Also, I ripped out my sock (Claudia's Handpainted) because I didn't like the size -- too loose. I'm trying it again with fewer stitches, but I may have to go down to US1s.

And Now the Food

I recently stumbled on this article from a writer/eater in the Philly area. The 100-mile diet in the article restricts your food to that which is grown within a 100-mile radius in order to support local, more sustainable, agriculture (BackBou and Zen Camel have recent posts about local food in the Mad River Valley of Vt and Urbanna, VA respectively).

I try to eat organic and local but the 100-mile thing is wild to consider. I always thought I was pretty hard core about food stuff. We make our own bread, using a sourdough starter that I made by capturing the wild yeast roaming around our kitchen. We belong to an organic CSA -- Amy's Garden -- that provides us with excellent veggies all spring and summer. We grow our own herbs and have rabbit-eye blueberries, alpine strawberries, and brown turkey figs in our little city garden. Fun. But hardly sustainable. Our flour, pasta, salt, olive oil, torillas, beans -- all staples -- travel thousands of miles before reaching our kitchen.

I often think about the incredible local Philly food we experienced with Liz at her Amish Market. Since that visit, I have made an effort to find a local dairy for our cheese and milk which I buy at our health food store. I still want to switch to local eggs; I'm going to try to do that soon.

The Buddist Monk Thich Nhat Hanh says that "eating is a deep practice." I like being mindful of the food that I eat. I enjoy providing healthy meals that nourish my family and are sustainable to our planet. (I most definitely love cooking in the new fancy kitchen!) Sometimes however I just want the kids fed and to bed before I go crazy regardless of how many miles the frozen burrito has traveled.

Now to go on a 100-mile yarn diet would be something interesting to consider!


Anonymous said...

Kudos to you for your attempts at living more consciously! It definitely gives us all something to think about. Nice hat, too!

Liz K. said...

One of our regular readers, the Purloined Letter, does posts about local meals that she gets from her food coop. I think she is in Takoma Park, MD. How far is that?

One thing that amazed me is that this weekend, when we were at the Mushroom Festival in Kennett Square, PA (the mushroom growing capital of the US) was the mention that it is rare to find a "boutique mushroom" around here. Most of them are shipped to the canners.

Great hat, too. I know this has been long on your to-knit list.

Teresa said...

Ilove the hat, I'll have to check out that pattern. If your thinking of an aran check out Janet Szabo's site Big Sky kniting. She had Follow the Leader Aran Knitting along (, which allowed you to design your own traditional aran sweater. I haven't done it, but kept the instructions. She gives great instructions for a cardigan, or sweater. If you want to switch out cables you can.

Wendy said...

That hat is awesome!


Mo said...

I LOVE the hat!