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1  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Exploring the Asian food market - need international help! on: December 29, 2005 09:20:03 PM
Every time I go to my local Asian food store I curse myself for not bringing paper to right down the names of the more esoteric vegetables so I can look them up when I get home.  Well, this time I remembered, but after excitedly googling each one I'm still mystified.  I can find crude descriptions and recipes for them, but I don't know what I really need to try, or how best to prepare it.

Here's the list:

Banana blossom
Bac-Ha/Vietnamese rhubarb
Sinquo/chinese okra/silk gourd
Opo/bottle gourd
Arrowhead/Chinese potato
Galenga root
E-too (I couldn't find out anything about this - it's some kind of leaf)
Rau-ram/vietnamese coriander
Mogua/hairy melon
Nagaimo/mountian potato/long yam
Ngo-om/sweet cumin/rice paddy herb
Ngo-gai/mexican coriander/saw-tooth herb

So for anyone who's eaten any of these, what I'm wondering is:
What's it like?  Does it resemble any western vegetables?
Is it good?
Is it worth making an extra effort to try it?
How do you (best) prepare it?

I know I could just be adventurous and try them all, but I'm worried that in my ignorance I'll break my back in the kitchen just to try four different kinds of potato.
2  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Penis Cozy! (work safe) on: December 22, 2005 11:07:12 AM
On my site made the mistake of asking people for suggestions of what I should make next.  Someone wrote to me requesting a pattern for a Penis Cozy, and I thought, since there'd been so much discussion of them in blogland, that there must be a pattern somewhere.  I googled in vain, finding no pattern and, in fact, no proof that anyone had actually made one.  So I decided to remedy the situation.



The pattern is on my site, and more pics will be there soon.
3  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Squid Hat on: December 11, 2005 10:05:47 AM
I made this for the Squid Swap.  It's supposed to be a Squid Hat, but it's more of a squid-head-attack-simulation.



More pics and a pattern at my site http://www.StrangebutTrewe.com/squidhat.htm
4  KNITTING / Knitalongs / Digestive System Knitalong: Part Five, Stomach! on: October 28, 2005 03:22:05 PM
To see the finished Digestive System, click here:  http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=60206.0

Part Two is up!  Go here http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=60493.msg576447#msg576447
Part Three is here:  http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=60493.msg592664#msg592664
Part Four:  http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=60493.msg604062#msg604062
Part Five:  http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=60493.msg620875#msg620875

My plan is to post a new set of instructions and some progress photos every couple of days.  I'd love to see your progress too.  If you have any questions, or my instructions don't make sense, PLEASE ask me to explain.  I know I need to work on my pattern-writing skills!

Part One:  Materials

You will need:

1 set U.S. size 6 (4.0 mm) d.p.n.s
1 set U.S. size 8 (5.0 mm) d.p.n.s
1 set U.S. size 10.5 (6.5 mm) d.p.n.s
a tapestry needle
waste yarn for temporary cast-ons
stitch markers (or more waste yarn)
a stitch holder
polyester stuffing

Yarn (what I'm using is in parentheses)

Angry Pink:  Worsted Weight, 1/2 oz.  (Caron Simply Soft Brites: Papaya)
Mellow Pink:  Worsted Weight, 2 oz.  (Red Heart Super Saver: Rose Pink)
Shiny White:  Sport Weight, 1/4 oz.  (Bernat Baby Coordinates:  Natural)
Yellow-Pink:  Super Bulky Weight, 6 oz. (Red Heart Baby Clouds:  Creamsickle)
Soft Pink:  Bulky Weight, 1 oz.  (Bernat Softee Chunky:  Pale Antique Rose)
Burgundy:  Worsted Weight, 1 oz.  (Red Heart Super Saver:  Burgundy)
Green:  Worsted Weight, 1/4 oz.  (Red Heart 4 ply:  Emerald)

Here's a picture of my yarns, in the same order.  



This is a great stashbusting project provided you have a lot of miscellaneous pinks.  If not, I'd love to see someone make an alien digestive system with different colors of green or blue!
5  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Slit Throat Choker - with pattern on: October 26, 2005 10:27:26 AM
I made this for the Blood 'n' Guts, Horror 'n' Gore swap.  It's not terribly complicated, but I'm kinda proud of myself for coming up with the idea.




Slit throat Choker

Worsted weight red wool lopi, F-Hook

Button loops:  Ch 15, turn, sc in 6th ch from hook, *chain 2, skip 2 ch, sc, repeat from * twice more.  -button Loops complete-
Turn work 90 degrees.  The remaining rows are perpendicular, with each blood drip being two rows.
Ch1, sc in bar of previous sc, sc again in last ch of foundation chain.  These now count as 3 sc.
ch8, turn,
*sl in each ch, sc in each sc, ch1, turn,
sc in each sc, ch4, turn,
sl in each ch, sc in each sc, ch1, turn,
sc in each sc, ch6, turn,
sl in each ch, sc in each sc, ch1, turn,
sc in each sc, ch8, turn,
sl in each ch, sc in each sc, ch1, turn,
sc in each sc, ch4, turn,
sl in each ch, sc in each sc, ch1, turn, 
sc in each sc, ch8, turn,
repeat from * until choker is desired length.  Cut yarn, attach button and weave in ends.

Since some people are having problems with this pattern, I also made a chart.

6  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Knitted Digestive System - what every girl needs! on: October 26, 2005 10:24:11 AM
I made this for the Blood 'n' Guts, Horror 'n' Gore swap.  I've had the idea for a while.  I spent way too much time sitting in Evo-Devo class thinking, it's a tube, isn't it?

Better pictures and a rudimentary pattern are now on my website!
http://www.StrangebutTrewe.com/knitgi.htm

In its entirety:


Some close-ups:






The Knitalong is now active!  Check out http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=60493.0
7  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / DIY devoré? on: October 24, 2005 02:27:32 PM
Whaddaya know about devoré?  I just ordered fiber etch and some fabric from Dharma Trading.  Their instructions make it sound like it can be a little tricky.  Has anyone else tried this?

Here's the link to Dharma's devoré page, in case you have no idea what I'm talking about.
http://www.dharmatrading.com/devore/
8  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / The Swap Gallery / BLOOD N' GUTS, HORROR N' GORE SWAP gallery! on: October 24, 2005 10:58:03 AM
I got my package from Topolino on Friday (hooray for priority mail!), but unfortunately it's taken me this long to find batteries for my camera.

Here are my lovely goodies!

A canvas bag with a stencil of Herbert West from Re-Animator, with quote.


A neat decoupage box with pictures from horror movies.


Four blank cards with skulls and dripping blood, and a really awesome visible man pendant.


I think I'm going to use the pendant as a zipper pull on my purse, and the bag is already full of stuff!  Thanks muchly!
9  CLOTHING / Shoes: Completed Projects / Light up shoes - for grown-ups! With link to tutorial. on: October 24, 2005 10:55:29 AM
My father altered these shoes for my fiancé.  It's so nice when the boys get along.  They're men's dress shoes that light up when he walks.  Also, the shoes were worn by Chris O'Donnell in the movie Sisters (we bought them at a studio yard sale).



The lights actually only light up one at a time; I photoshopped them so they are all on.

My Pop has a great tutorial on his site if anyone's interested.

http://id.mind.net/%7Etruwe/tina/shoes.html

10  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / The MANY ways of describing yarn weight on: October 09, 2005 02:47:41 PM
In trying to buy yarn from a variety of sources, I've found that there are at least half a dozen ways of describing yarn weight, ranging from the Standard Yarn Weight naming system, to the wraps per inch, to the yards per skein.  Could we Craftsters compile a comprehensive chart that would simplify this process? Especially, I've found that a lot of less-knowledgeable vendors (like on Ebay) only use the yards per skein, and which varies not only with the gauge of the yarn but also with fiber content.

I've got this for a starting point.

http://www.yarnstandards.com/weight.html

But it doesn't talk about yards per skein, or that crazy numbering system that weavers have.

Edit:  Also, it doesn't mention lace weight yarn.  And what happens to when you use two strands of any given weight?
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