(a good lil' geeky acronym to get this party started.)
for those of you who are fortunate not to understand the above (and i'm not talking about the stuff that envelops your spanakopita), it stands for first-in last-out. which, in other words, means that i'll blog first about the stuff that happened last, and then move back in time. it's the whole push-pop principle. (nope, not that either.)
i attended a two-day retreat + sponsor event at cape cod on monday and tuesday, and have lots of photos and random anecdotes from the trip. however, as we were all gently reminded that all communications to sponsors and invited guests at sponsor meetings are considered confidential, i don't have that kind of dirt to share, though i can talk plenty about soapy pickles, tyvek kites, and clear-eyed cassiopeia. stay tuned.
though all the getting up early, talking with a lot of people, and listening to presentations all day can get kind of exhausting. i was quickly reminded that my grad student lifestyle could not be more removed from the corporate world. i returned to cambridge yesterday afternoon and went home to altogether decompress.
i have been planning an exciting experimental activity, in which i overdye my 500gr (ten balls' worth) of ebay-acquired debbie bliss cashmerino aran yarn from an ashy, dusty pink into a gorgeous deep berry hue. (i am convinced that all the debbie bliss shades are horrible for asian complexions.) it has been sitting in my stash for about a year now, and though i did contemplate using it for a niece-worthy sweater (or two, she's small), i believed i could wrong a right and improve upon this obviously under-potentialed yarn.
here is the before picture. cute, huh? i did my research, and thought this was going to be a piece of proverbial cake. i managed to get everything into neat hanks, tying them securely, and with a hopeful jar of jacquard acid dye in vermillon that i picked up from nearby pearl.
all i can say is that i followed the 'recommended' washing machine instructions (before you say anything i realise that this is probably the best option... FOR FABRIC!) on the delicate cycle, and the worst happened. nope, not felting; the high microfiber content keeps the MERINO and CASHMERE from fulling. le sigh. even more harrowing:
um. i caused that. yeah. feel free to call me names like yarn murderer and fibre monstre. plus, with all that trouble, the dye didn't really sink in at all! (the darker colour you see is most likely the fact that the yarn is wet.) so, however way you look at it, basically stinky all around.
so down in the dustbin in went. a shame, though i know full well not to mess with debbie bliss stuff anymore. the yarn is expensive, the colours are wack, and the quality's not that worth it. i'd much prefer rowan or artyarns for my money.
overdyeing, i wash my hands of you. :)
to make myself feel less destructive, i decided to be a little constructive...
i espied the unsweetened cocoa and slabs of chocolate in my pantry (downright staples) and knew i had to one-up my roommate's irresistible chocolate-chip cookies from last weekend with a one-two punch of a (chocolate * 2) challenger.
i followed the recipe from hersheys and 'customised' them with a healthy 12oz (approx. 2 cups) of hand-chopped (whose hands? my hands) bittersweet belgian pound plus chocolate from trader joe's. i also upped the yummy factor by using president unsalted beurre from france. they're so fancy that they distribute the butter in half-pound slabs rather than plebian quarter-pound sticks. it's like a king-size bed versus a twin-size one. the superior luxury is clear.
by the way, for the highly dramatic cookie execution i used my powerful new kitchen toy. for those who have been waiting in suspense (both of you), it's a 9-speed kitchenaid hand mixer. it has a completely unnecessary digital readout! it's super powerful, and actually was quite heavy to keep upright. maybe i have traded one effort (elbow grease) for another (weight training), though does a mixing spoon have a glowing red number indicating each of the nine speeds? no, i didn't think so.
i have now deemed this batch of cookies as chocolate whoa-verload.
(speaking of which... this in today...)