06 August 2014

Smoking Ice (for MakeHartford makerspace)

I am a member of the MakeHartford makerspace, and on the first Wednesday of every month we do a Show-and-Tell event.  This month's started when I posted a link on the MH Facebook page showing how to make a carbonation rig.  Our newsletter editor was very interested and declared the theme for August, and said he would create the rig.

What could I do that would be cool and demonstrable for a crowd without actual onsite cooking?  Lacto-fermention is one thing, at least the setup with a tasting of finished products, then I saw an article about making smoked ice for mixed drinks.  Really??!  Yes, really, and I knew that this would intrigue people.

When talking to people about my intention, the reactions were great.  Once they realized that I was not talking about

  • Dry ice (which does smoke nicely on its own)
  • Consuming street drugs
  • Some slang for excellence at winter sports

they became genuinely puzzled because of course smoking involves HOT while ice needs COLD, and the two seem completely incompatible.

NOTE - this is a holding article so I can put the link into my handout for Show-and-Tell.  Stay tuned for the full post with photos of my process, and some reaction shots.

04 August 2014

Go-Go Dancing and Knitting and Crocheting Things

It may actually surprise a few readers that I did NOT do these at the same time!  Last night - so just barely into August - I went to a party at a local venue.  Theme was "Deep Blue Rendezvous" and part of the inspiration was The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, so one of the costume suggestions was light blue clothing and a red watchcap.  I told a friend I would lend one to him, then realized I needed one for me.

And of course, far be it for me to have a plain red watchcap:

That's based upon the Trilobite pattern, but with a repeat of three instead of four.  It took less time to knit than you might think, at least once I got the cast-on number right.  Most of it was knit on Saturday, finishing about 6:00pm.

We had a LOT of fun dancing to The Aquatudes, which turns out to be one of four surf bands in Connecticut.  Fun stuff!  There were DJs in another room and after The Aquatudes finished, we danced there.  Typical of a lot of the parties I've been to here, whether you have a partner or not is fairly irrelevant. There was a Poseidon, a sailor, several persons in swim gear (including an inflatable stingray that was passed around), and lots of people in red knit caps, including the friend at right who's also wearing one of mine.  Several members of a local burlesque troupe mingled, often dancing on boxes of flashing lights like go-go dancers, and when the hour waned and the crowd thinned, I was pulled up on a box for a bit.  Yep, that would be my new thing for August, and completely unplanned by me - go-go dancing.  Even, go-go dancing with members of a burlesque troupe!

Of course, that was not my only knitting.  I finished a cotton top I'd started a couple months back, just in time to wear to brunch today.  Not entirely happy with it so it may head to the thrift store after a wash, but I want to wear it because this group saw me knitting on it at previous brunches.  I didn't get it done sooner because I've been sidetracked by mostly charity knitting and crocheting, such as these items, which I wrote about on the charity's blog, especially about the yarn in one of the singleton hats:
Eighteen wool yarn and sock yarn baby hats ready to mail.
Easy crocheted caps with earflaps for warmth and ties to stay on.

These five hats came from two balls of Patons Classic Wool.
The center one is a favourite pattern of mine from KnitPicks.

"Onesie" hats, unlike any of the others, mostly doubled yarn.

Pairs of hats - same yarn used, although the center one is a
different pattern, not the standard watchcap.

The crocheted hats pattern is a Lion Brand one, and the hat in the centre of the picture of pairs is based upon a Lion Brand pattern but done in a single weight of sock yarn.  The others are two or three strands together - three of sock yarn, or one sock yarn plus a DK or sportweight wool - in a basic watchcap pattern on 56 or 64 stitches.

Do you remember back in May when I knit four black-and-grey sweaters for boys in orphanages in Kazahkstan?  I now have photos of the delivery.  Only three of the boys wore their gifts when posing for the camera: