Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I don't eat many sweets, except when I'm dieting. Yesterday, I was so hungry that I couldn't wait for the candy I was eating to dissolve in my mouth, so I chewed it. It pulled out a crown. I had to wait until this afternoon to have it cemented back in. I like my dentist, but I could have done without the emergency visit.

Taking out dead shrubs with a pruning saw is hard work. These aren't just any shrubs-- they're 12 feet tall, with bases a foot across. They're shrubs rather than trees only because the branching goes all the way to the base. It was hot enough today that I'd cut down one branch, and carry it into the shade to cut it into lengths that would fit into the green bins.

I'm halfway through the top I'm currently knitting. I haven't touched the sock since I put it down to make the top. I feel guilty about abandoning the sock, even though I need summer tops a lot more than I need more handknit socks.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I'm 1/3 of the way done with the top I'm knitting. At least, I'd better be, as I've used up 1/3 of the yarn I have, and I can't get more. I'm using the simplest possible stitch pattern that's not garter stitch or stockinette: round one, knit 13, yo, k2tog, repeat to end. Round two, knit every stitch. This yields a field of stockinette, punctuated every 2 1/2 inches with a column of eyelets, in my gauge of 6 stitches/inch. I know I'm tired when I can't figure out what round I'm on, plain or patterned.

Francis Lam's eggplant recipe turned out good, but no better than my usual technique with eggplant, of cutting it up and cooking it any old way until it's done. A mistake I won't make again was to use white wine for the unspecified "liquid" in the recipe. The resulting dish was tart, which I didn't want from an eggplant. Stock or water would give a more mellow result. Mushroom stock, to keep the results vegetarian-friendly.

I had dinner with an Emmy-winner last night. Congrats to Craig, animation writer extraordinaire.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

I've been dieting since January. After two months of being stuck on a plateau, I'm losing weight again-- 8# in the last two weeks. In consequence, all I can think about is food, food and cooking.

I made ice cream two days in a row this week, a quart at a time. Other than licking the beaters, I haven't eaten any of it. Yesterday, I made dozens of savory pastries for a picnic dinner for three people. While we ate them as lunch, and snacks both before and after the Red Green show, there are still several left.

Today, I'm indulging in a recipe that I can indulge in without sabotaging the diet. I'm doing Francis Lam's eggplant pasta sauce:

So far, I'm drying the tomatoes. I think my oven temperature is not correct; the recipe says that the tomatoes should dry in about two hours at 200 degrees. I've had them in the oven for five hours so far, and they're still juicy.

I'm really looking forward to this. I only discovered Francis Lam last week, when his ginger-scallion sauce appeared in "Salon," and I'm completely smitten. If you like good food writing, prepare to spend a few hours in the Francis Lam section of "Salon."

Saturday, June 26, 2010

A group of us went to see Red Green tonight. He only did one gig in California, and people came from as far away as Bishop and Ridgecrest.

When he came on stage, my first thought was, it's really him. He looks just like he does on TV. I'm an Angeleno, born and bred. I see movie stars in their cars, in restaurants, at Disneyland: nothing. For Red Green, I'm totally starstruck. Who'd'a thunk?

Friday, June 25, 2010

I tried to finish the sock in one go, but I failed. A couple of days ago, I looked through my stash to find the yarn for the next project. I saw a couple of possibilities, but nothing compelling. Yesterday, I remembered a couple of bins of yarn I hadn't checked the day before. Voila! There sat the perfect yarn for a summer top, a cotton/rayon blend in white and various shades that, combined, read "green." I brought the bag of yarn downstairs. I might have knit a couple more rows on the sock, but I had cast on for a tank top before the news was over.

The funny thing is that I wasn't crazy about this yarn when I bought it. I bought it only because it was $1/ball at an estate sale. I hope I have enough to make a top of appropriate length; short tops are the bane of my existence. It's not very elegant to tug at one's top, trying to keep one's tummy covered.

I went to the Persian market this morning, with the purpose of buying some pomegranate concentrate for ice cream. The pomegranate concentrate was less than $3; I spent over $40. Everything just looks so darn tasty, there! I call it "the Persian market," but it calls itself "international," and rightly so. While there are enough Persian specialties on offer to justify my identification of it as Persian, they sell anything for which there might be a demand. Besides Persian specialties, they carry Spanish delicacies, as well as Armenian, Bulgarian, Russian, Indian, Greek, and even Mexican. Among other things, I snapped up a bag of jamaica, the red hibiscus blossoms used for tea, which I haven't been able to find, lately. I was disappointed that they didn't have any taramo, the salted cod roe used in Greek cuisine. That's tasty stuff, and not easy to find. This market has had it in the past; maybe they'll have it in the future, as well.

Back to the pomegranate ice cream: My intention was to make Humble Pie's recipe. As usual, I changed it. I couldn't use liqueur, after all, given Tom's metabolic intolerance to alcohol. I also added eggs, since I like eggs in my ice cream. Ta da! While Humble's gelato came out a lovely shade of pink, mine looks like chocolate more than fruit. The pomegranate concentrate has a duller color than the liqueur, and the yellow of the eggs combined with the purplish color of the juice to make a lovely soft brown that really doesn't say "pomegranate." The liquid is chilling, now. I'll freeze it later. I expect it to taste good, even though the look was unexpected.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

When I was loading my car with groceries today, a panhandler asked me if I could help him out. "I'm only twenty cents short of the price of a Big Mac," he said.

I don't like to give strangers money; I don't want to support their habits for alcohol or drugs. I don't want to let anyone go hungry, though, so I fished through my bags and handed him a package of hot dogs.

"I don't want those!" he said. "I have no way of cooking them."

I pointed out that they're fully cooked. "They don't taste as good when they're cold, but they won't kill you."

He handed them back. "I'd rather have a Big Mac."

I told him I understood, and went on my way. I did understand. He didn't want food; he wanted money. If he had been hungry, he would have taken the hot dogs.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Sometime in the past several months, I seem to have turned into a girl.

Sure, I've always been female, even aggressively so. My careers, after all, were as a cook and a nurse, and my hobbies have been gardening, knitting, needlepoint, and more cooking, but I've never gotten shoe shopping.

There have been stretches of my life, whole years at a time, when I've only owned one pair of shoes, and didn't feel a need for more. When I've been in a line of work that dictated a certain form of footwear, say pumps in the office, or white flats with a nursing uniform, I've had one pair for work, and one pair for my days off. No big deal: shoes were just something I wore to keep from getting cut, if I happened to step on a piece of broken glass.

All that changed in January. I indulged in, not my first pair of expensive shoes, as I had Birkenstocks in college, but my first pair of fashionable, good-looking expensive shoes. From the first time I slipped them on, they felt better than going barefoot. They made me feel taller, prettier, more prosperous. I bought a pair of sandals in the same price range, to cover my feet correctly with summer clothes, and then another. A few months later, I bought some pretty ballet flats I found in a catalog, and now I have my eyes on some sandals in different colors, and some clear plastic ones to show off handknit socks.

You may still find me, at any given time, wearing jeans and t-shirts, but I'll be wearing very nice shoes with them.

Last night, after Tom got home from work, we went to Disneyland to see the fireworks. The fireworks didn't disappoint, but the whole Disneyland experience was something shocking. Even though we arrived after 8 pm on a weeknight, there was a line to get into the parking lot comparable to a Sunday morning. We had to wait for a tram, which I hadn't expected. Once we got inside the park, hoards of cast members herded the guests into one-way sidewalks, waving us along with flashlights, like traffic cops at a broken stop light. Leisurely strolling while people-watching was an impossibility. We got good spots for watching the fireworks, but it proved impossible to get to any rides in the dense crowd. It took us another hour to leave the park, between fighting the crowd and waiting for a return tram.

We plan to go back next week, to see the new show at DCA. Other than that, I may wait until school is back in session, before I go back to Disneyland.

In knitting news, I've turned the heel on the second sock, and am now racing up the leg.

Monday, June 21, 2010

My appetite is back, darn it. Dieting was so much easier when I was recovering from the "stomach flu," and had no interest whatever in food.

Today, I wanted to go for a long drive, a long hike, make a quilt, and design a cabled sweater, so I did none of that. After doing some gardening, I mostly avoided knitting the second sock of a pair I have grown to dislike. I think it's time to start a different project.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

If you haven't yet seen "Toy Story 3," go see it. Right now. It's that good.

Somehow, Pixar keeps surpassing the standard is sets with each film. I don't know how they do it.

Not So Humble Pie keeps publishing candy recipes that look so good, and are so entertainingly written, that I have to make them. I don't eat them; I just make them. One of the tenets by which I run my life is, "If it ain't chocolate, it ain't candy."

Other such tenets, which are widely, although not universally, reliable, are: "Anything called Red Rock Canyon is worth visiting," and, "Tom Cruise does not make good movies."

Saturday, June 19, 2010

I feel fine today, but still stayed home from the chocolate party. Some of the other potential guests are in delicate health; I couldn't risk exposing them to The Bug. Oh, well. It's better for my diet to avoid having to judge a competition of chocolate cookery.

I've knit not-quite-half of the foot of the second sock. Aside from constantly fantasizing about all the other things I could be knitting, I'm doing okay.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Well, that was an adventure.

I came down with a terrible stomach bug last night, the worst I've had in 15 years or so. I'll spare you the details, but suffice it to say I lost 4 pounds overnight. This morning, I was tired and weak, with a slight fever, and still not able to keep anything down, so I let Tom talk me into going to see a doctor.

By the luck of the draw, I got the same doctor who, a few years ago, misdiagnosed an infection on Tom, which almost cost him his life. This time, he erred on the side of caution. After hearing my florid symptoms, all related to a stomach bug, he decided that he'd better rule out heart attack. I was put on oxygen and IV fluids, and whisked away in an ambulance to the hospital down the street.

Tom was worried. I kept telling him that any cardiac problems I might have would be somewhere between imaginary and trivial, but, coming from a woman lying on a gurney in an emergency room, hooked up to batteries of electronic monitors, my arguments were unconvincing. It only took a few hours for their tests to demonstrate that my heart was fine; my problem was a stomach bug.

After I came home, I slept for a couple of hours, ate some Jello, drank some fluids, and felt a lot better. They gave me something in the IV to combat the nausea. Tom knew I was on the road to recovery when I picked up my knitting and *finished the sock!*

I'll have to skip the chocolate party this year, though. Darn it. I shouldn't cook for people-- I could be contagious-- and I certainly am not up to tasting two or three dozen other chocolate desserts for purposes of judging. Next year.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

I've almost finished the sock. Then, I'll have to make a friend for it.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I'm back from San Simeon. The elephant seals are in fine form. I saw at least two otters each day. On my way back today, I saw seven zebra, including three cute little foals.

Tom has been laid off again. Our health insurance goes on COBRA in two weeks. I hate that, if we have to pay for it ourselves, it has to be such a sucky policy. I wasn't crazy about it when Tom's employer was footing most of the bill.

I'm scared, of course, but I know we'll get by. I'm not attached to LA, and I more than half hope he'll find work farther north, maybe even far enough north that I'll be able to move to Oregon full time.

I could go back to work, now that my back is better, but I hope it doesn't come to that.

Monday, June 14, 2010

I never did make an opportunity to finish deadheading last week. Too bad: in my experience, roses that are borderline, that may or may not rebloom, are prompted into doing so by well-timed, hard pruning. The climbing Cecile Brunner that I hard-pruned to make room for a lime tree is in a second bloom cycle now. This rose doesn't usually rebloom until the weather moderates in the fall. Since our weather doesn't usually moderate until winter, climbing Cecile Brunner can be regarded as a once-bloomer in this hot-summer climate.

The reliable repeat-bloomers are putting on a second flush, in my back yard. There's a dark pink, almost red, Austin with a great cluster of oversized blooms. I think it's Dark Lady; I'm not keeping the accurate written records I used to keep in Riverside.

I did a bunch of cooking yesterday, but still no practice run of my entry for the chocolate competition coming up next weekend. I've been working on it as an Einsteinian thought experiment for the last three months; I think I'll be okay.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Strawberries are officially in season. While they are available year-round here in California, since they get their sugar from the sun, they're best during the long days of summer. The batch I bought at the farmers' market today is the best I've had this year-- way better even than those I got last week.

Cherries, plums, and apricots are also available in abundance. I don't buy plums, as I'm devoted to only the Satsuma variety, which is not grown commercially any more. I've tried to grow the tree a couple of times, but it only lives a few years, here. The one at my parents' house (childhood memory being the reason for my great love for this variety) lived for decades, but didn't produce fruit after the neighbor who grew the pollinizer removed his tree. We never learned who that neighbor was, or what the tree was, but Satsuma isn't self-fruitful, so it must have been out there.

I did buy a cherry pitter in Santa Barbara the other day, so I can toss cherries into my yogurt, and not have any pits to slow me down. The season is short, so I tend to eat as many cherries as I can hold, during the few weeks that I can get them.

Now, all I'm waiting for is peaches. Funny how much easier it is to get one's allotment of fresh fruits and veggies during the summer.

When did this become a food blog, instead of a knitting blog? My hand has been sore, lately, and it's hard to manipulate size 0 needles with a sore hand. Maybe I'll pull some bulky out of stash, and knit something fast. Wait-- didn't I promise myself that about a month ago?

I did a major Spring Cleaning a few weeks ago. How come I see so little improvement in the parts of the house I use every day? I'm looking at you, computer desk. I did find my gardening goggles, which my eye doctor wants me to use while tending roses. I am fully healed, but jamming my eye into a rosebush was the least pleasant part of Thursday's activities.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Soooo tired. All the late nights and early mornings are catching up with me. If I had my druthers, I'd sleep until noon tomorrow.

Friday, June 11, 2010

The owie on my eye yesterday turned out to be a bona fide corneal abrasion. I made an appointment with the eye doc when it still hurt two hours after banging it into a rose bush. She put in antibiotic drops and a magical "bandage contact" that made it stop hurting right away. I have to go back in tomorrow, so she can take the bandage lens out.

Today, I went to Santa Barbara with a friend, and spent both too much time and too much money shopping. Good lunch at Palace Cafe, though. As far as I know, that's the best Cajun/Creole restaurant west of the Rockies-- or more than ten miles west of the Mississippi, for that matter.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Scottish candy recipe I followed yesterday yielded a Mexican candy I remember fondly from my childhood. I don't remember the Spanish name for it; in English, it was called "milk fudge." It's grainier than an Anglo-American fudge, and tastes of nothing but milk and sugar. I didn't like it much as a child (if it ain't chocolate, it ain't candy), and don't now, but it does call up pleasant memories of visiting little Mexican markets with my mom.

I set to work pulling out some moonflower and ivy from around my roses, with the aid of a hula hoe to cut them off at ground level. I lost all enthusiasm for the job when I took the stub of a pruned-off branch square in the eye. I can see okay, and it doesn't hurt all that much, but I think I'm done in the garden, for now.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

I told Tom I was going to take today off. I lied.

I decided the shrub by the front door was about 9" too tall and wide. Cutting it to size removed just about every green leaf on it's top and front. At least the side facing the sidewalk to the front door still has some leaves. I really gave it the Morticia Addams treatment.

There was still room in the barrel, so I then deadheaded the roses in the front yard. They needed it badly; we've had some hot weather over the couple of weeks since I last deadheaded.

And I dug up the "trees of paradise" that had not only popped up while I was out of town, but had grown to four feet tall. Guys, I was only gone ten days! "Tree of paradise" is a vile, ill-smelling weed. It infests both homes I own in SoCal; I hate it with a round passion. It is incomprehensible to me that it was originally brought to California by people who loved it, and didn't want to live without it.

While I was deadheading roses, I pulled on a dead branch, meaning to break it off. Half the bush came up; the root was rotten. Why can't that happen to "tree of paradise," instead of roses? Yeah, yeah: that's the difference between a weed and a garden plant. Weeds are hard to kill.

Speaking of hard to kill, I'm getting a little tired of tearing moonflower off my roses and assorted shrubs and trees in one corner of my yard. If you're ever tempted to plant it, don't. It's a thug.

Not So Humble Pie,, mentioned "Scotch Tablet" in today's blog. I had never heard of it, so I looked it up. Once I learned what it is, I had to make it. It's a kind of grainy fudge, judging from my results, made of only sugar, butter, and condensed milk. What's not to like? I beat it by hand, like the directions said to. Added to the pruning/weeding this morning, I've had quite the upper-body workout today.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Where to begin?

Life has not been dull lately. Tom and I took a ten day vacation to Oregon, interrupted by a two-day trip around Washington and a jaunt across the border to Butchard Gardens, on Vancouver Island.

We initially drove up the east side of the Sierra Nevada, mostly for the scenery, but secondarily to visit Schat's Bakkery (I think that's how it's spelled) in Bishop. We had hit most of the little touristy things on the southern end of the 395 on our trip to Death Valley a few weeks ago, so we drove straight through to Bishop, where we spent a stupid amount on bread and pastries. Across the street, a crafts fair was in progress. I could see antler chandeliers from the highway. I've wanted an antler chandelier all my life, so we pulled over to investigate.

The chandeliers came in two varieties: too small, and too expensive. After talking it over with Tom, I selected a bunch of raw antlers, with the intention of making my own chandelier. It won't go with the rocket ship drapes in the living room in Astoria, but I don't care.

We spent the night in Reno, at the Hilton Gardens Inn. It was a lovely hotel, but the best part was the price; Tom had gotten it free on points. The free room didn't come with breakfast, but the pastries from Schat's were a better breakfast than any hotel provides.

On Day Two, we continued north on the 395, then on the (frazzit frazzit-- I don't remember the number) past Lassen to the 89 north. We stopped at the viewpoint, from which you can see both Lassen and Shasta in one field of view. I've been there before; it's breathtaking. This trip, it was breathtaking for a different reason. The results of the firestorm that swept Northern California two summers ago were all too evident. Most of the Hat Creek area had been reduced to cinders. It was a sobering view.

Burney Falls, however, was as beautiful as it ever was. Besides the double cascade over the cliff, there are hundreds of springs on the cliff face itself, where an aquifer drains. No photograph can do it justice.

As we had gotten an early start, we reached Astoria on the second day in time for dinner. Tom indulged me with a trip to Duggar's, a small, locally-owned chain of seafood restaurants. Warning: if you're ever in Oregon, order the small portion. It'll be enough.

Sunday, we went to the Sunday Market. Astoria is rightly proud of its Sunday Market. We bought a remembrance for the friend who looks after our cat, and the best crab cakes I've ever eaten (and I've eaten crab cakes in New Orleans). Sunset Magazine recently did an article in which it postulated that Astoria is a terrific place to eat seafood; it was right. We may have spent the rest of the day vegging. I don't rightly remember.

Monday, we drove down to Cannon Beach. We had already eaten lunch when we smelled Pizza a'Fetta (all spellings approximate) and weren't hungry, so we drove down to Tillamook and came back to Cannon Beach for dinner. Pizza a'Fetta is far and away our favorite pizza joint in the galaxy, and we don't live that far away from Casa Bianca in Eagle Rock.

This is sounding more like a food blog than a knitting blog, isn't it? Can I help it, if the restaurateurs in Oregon know what they're doing?

On Tuesday, we drove north along the Washington coast, in order to be able to say that we've driven every inch of the 101. It was a bit of a disappointment; tree farms line most of the highway, which don't have the charm of real forests. It was suitably beautiful in those spots where the national park sent out feelers to the highway, though. We pulled into a spot labeled only "Big Cedar" to find an stunning sight: a giant forest goddess, with daughter-trees of many different species growing from its roots and branches like children seated on Grandmother's lap.

West of Port Angeles we drove through another beauty spot, Crescent Lake. I'll have to go there sometime when I'm not in a hurry to be somewhere else.

We arrived in Port Angeles in time to catch the last ferry to Victoria, which turned out to be the loveliest city I've ever seen. After dinner (forgettable), we walked through a neighborhood park-- wow.

Wednesday, I woke early and took a walk through the neighborhood near the harbor. The weeping conifers knock me out; nothing like that grows in Los Angeles. The government buildings and hotels, built of stone and styled like palaces, were worth the trip by themselves. There was also a forest of totem poles tucked in a garden behind the provincial museum; I'm going to have to make another trip for that.

Once Tom was up, we went to Butchard Gardens. There are no words for the wonder that is Butchard Gardens. The gardens in Epcot Center, in Orlando, that are made to evoke Butchard in plants that will survive in Florida, don't come within 1% of the reality. We saw visitors from Germany and Japan; if they came only to see that garden, it was worth the trip. The closest I can come to describing it is to say that, if you took the Huntington Gardens from San Marino, and planted them in the Redwoods, you'd be almost halfway there. Most of the plants there wouldn't survive one summer in LA, except the roses, which weren't yet blooming. All these lovely and exotic plants bloomed in luxuriant profusion. Two words for any garden buffs who might chance upon this blog: blue poppies.

Having been told that one hasn't been to Canada if one hasn't eaten Timbits, we stopped at a Tim Horton's on the way back to the ferry. I bought a big box, figuring we could have leftovers. No, once we had tasted them, we were helpless to stop until the box was empty.

After the ferry, we drove all the way back to Astoria, this time around the east edge of the Olympic Peninsula. It was a bit of a strain, getting from Port Angeles in the late afternoon to Astoria by dark, but we had shopping to do in Astoria, and limited time in which to do it.

Thursday, we rented a truck, and drove it to Costco, where we spent a large fraction of our income tax refund on several huge bookcases (almost 4' wide by almost 8' tall). Once we had unloaded those into the garage, we took the truck to a discounter, where we picked up a sofa and a recliner. We were able to handle the recliner by ourselves, and prevailed upon a neighbor to help us bring in the sofa.

Oh-- I failed to note a couple of stellar meals in Astoria. The Wet Dog Cafe has so-so lemonade, but the best French fries I've ever tasted. I usually only eat two or three fries-- as a middle-aged woman, I have trouble digesting fat, and avoid fried foods. After giving Tom half my fries, I greedily devoured the rest, and regretted it for the rest of the day. My sandwich was pretty good, too, but oh, those fries... And, one mustn't forget Drina Daisy. The chef there is Bosnian, and probably the best cook in a town known for good cooking.

We left Astoria early on Friday, in time to miss the hysteria that was the 25th anniversary of The Goonies. We reached Newport noonish, and visited the Oregon Coast Aquarium there; we're members. After a few hours in the aquarium, we got to Port Orford by dark. I'm glad we did, as a nice policeman pulled us over to let us know that we had a headlight out. Since it was still daylight when he pulled us over, there was no ticket involved. He approved our choice of a breakfast restaurant (The Paradise Cafe, which makes the best pancakes the world has ever seen), and pointed us to a respectable motel.

We never would have found this motel (The Castaway, if memory serves) on our own. It was tucked away off the highway, on a bluff overlooking the port itself. While the physical condition of the room was only one notch above dump, the owner practiced a high level of hospitality. While the room was small, and amenities few, there was free wifi, a full selection of cable channels on the TV, books, magazines, and puzzles free for the taking, and a view of the ocean it's rare to find in rooms for twice the price.

Saturday, after breakfast at The Paradise (and their bacon is almost as good as their pancakes) we doubled back to Bandon. We walked around the harbor until it was time for Game Park Safari to open. There, we got to cuddle lion cubs three weeks old, and pet a leopard too old and rambunctious for lap-sitting. We reached the nadir of the trip as we left; an agitated chimpanzee threw poo on Tom. Oh, well, he probably wanted to buy that new t-shirt anyway.

We tried to get to a Honda dealership for a new headlamp, but found out the service department at the one in Eureka is only open on weekdays, so we holed up in Cloverdale before sunset.

Sunday got us home mid-afternoon. Tom was willing to drive, so we could pick up the dogs (our dogsitter lives 80 miles away from us). We switched into his car, since mine isn't street-legal after dark until we get that headlamp replaced. As soon as we got onto the freeway, his display went dark, except for an ENGINE! warning. We turned around, got back into my car, picked the dogs up (they were glad to see us), and prayed that the Highway Patrol wasn't patrolling for burned out headlamps that night.

Poor Tom didn't have a moment to recover from his vacation; the problem with his car turned out to be the battery pack. On a Prius out of warranty, that's as big a deal as they come. While back at work, in a rental car, he shopped around to find another Prius, in stock, equipped the way he wants it. He should be able to pick one up tonight.

So, that's it for our vacation. Yesterday, I tried on the sock I've been working on for the last two weeks, before casting off. Due to the inelasticity of the stitch, it wouldn't go on over my heel. It took an hour to rip out a week's worth of work and get the sock (or what's left of it) remounted on the needles properly. As the yarn crimped and tangled like ramen, it took another four hours to get it rolled back into a ball. This morning, I'm back to knitting on it. I'm glad it's not a gift, and I don't have a deadline for finishing it.