Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Spring Awakening

To me, nothing says spring food like asparagus (well, and Cadbury Mini Eggs, but that's for another post). When I saw asparagus at the Larchmont Farmer's Market on Sunday, I had to buy a couple of bunches. I didn't know what I was going to do with them until I saw this post over at The Kitchn about asparagus tarts.

Tonight, I decided to attempt the Bon Appetit recipe for Asparagus-Ricotta Tart with Comte Cheese. And oh. my. god. This was amazing.

I subbed in 8 oz. of Neiman Ranch ham steak for the salami, to make the tart more substantial. The tart has asparagus in every bite because you puree the bottom half of the stalks with the cheese and egg. Trader Joe's carries both frozen puff pastry and comte cheese. So yummy!

What says springtime food to you?

Walking after midnight in a new skirt

If I try really hard, I can actually finish a crafty project or two. It doesn't happen every day, but sometimes I just need to hunker down and finish something.

Drumroll, please...

I give you the Walking After Midnight crocheted skirt!

The pattern is from Doris Chan's book, "Amazing Crochet Lace." I am attempting to make a serious dent in my stash of yarn this year, so I decided to use this rayon chenille yarn by Blue Heron that I picked up at Stitches West last year. It was a really simple pattern, and I'm very happy with how it turned out.

The yarn is beautiful and plush. Just about every knitter & crocheter understands the chenille quandary—the yarn is silky and oh so soft, but it worms!

What is worming? According to Jimmy Beans Wool,
"Worming occurs when a loop of yarn pulls away from the knitted [crocheted] fabric and coils back on itself...Chenille yarns are constructed of short tufts of fibers anchored into a central coiled core yarn, and it's precisely this coiled nature of the core yarn that gives rise to worming. It's like when you hold both ends of a length of string and then twist and twist and twist... eventually, if there is any slack in the string, it will coil up on itself. Chenille starts with some twist built into it, and the more twist you introduce when knitting it, the greater the likelihood that you'll get some worming."
The worming in my skirt is pretty active, but I did my best to steam the heck out of it to get more of the coils to straighten out. The fact that the yarn is variegated helps hide the worming, too. I don't know that I would buy more of this yarn, simply because of the worm factor, but is fantastic to touch.

So another project finally completed. Honestly, I think I only finished this skirt because I told myself I couldn't cast on for Wendy Bernard's Ingenue sweater until I was done. On to the next project!