Alpaca and Cilantro

Sometimes I’m in a starting mood. Lately, I’ve been in a finishing mood. Creature Comforts is done except for stitching down the pocket linings. A new sweater I’m test-knitting is finished except for blocking and buttons (wove in 18 ends this afternoon!). I don’t have pictures of those yet, but here’s a little alpaca eye candy for you.

First up is a blocking shot of Skuld, pattern from Knit and Knag. When I first saw this shawl on Ravelry, I knew I had to knit it. Had to. Soon. As in immediately.
Blocking the Skuld shawl
This blocking picture is a bit of a tease, as I don’t yet have a shot of it off the boards, but I’ll remedy that soon.

This shawl is part of a three month “Seasons of Lace” series. For $24, you get one new shawl pattern each month throughout the summer, each of them inspired by one of the norns—the Scandinavian fates, who spin, measure, and cut the thread of life.

As you can see, the shaping of this shawl is unique. I pinned it out doubled over to make sure the two halves were symmetrical.

I knit this shawl from one of my favorite yarns: alpaca marl from Henry’s Attic. It comes in big, 600-yard skeins, and I weighed mine carefully as I progressed to be sure I was using every bit that I could, which resulted in my getting an extra repeat on either side of the shawl.

At the same time that I was blocking Skuld, I pulled out another project for blocking—Victorine, pattern from Baxter Knits, worked in a different color of Henry’s Attic alpaca marl.
Bob is helpful
I’d knit this shawl for Melissa, so of course Bob (who is not our cat, but who loves her with such a passion that he’s made the one-mile journey from his “official” home to her yard nine times now) had to help with the blocking.

*****

And now for the cilantro part of this post.

Melissa is one of those people with an instinct for making up her own recipes that combine flavors in interesting, delicious ways. Case in point: her latest creation—

Thai Cilantro Pesto

In a food processor combine the following ingredients, blending until they reach a thick, pate-like texture.

1 large bunch cilantro, coarsely chopped
1 handful or so of basil
4 tablespoons hot pepper infused olive oil
2″ length of ginger root coarsely chopped
1/2 cup peanuts
salt and pepper as desired
1-2 teaspoons water as needed to achieve desired texture

If you don’t have pepper-infused olive oil, just add a pinch of whatever kind of hot pepper you prefer.

The finished product is deliciously complex, spicy, tangy, and just a bit sweet all at once. Serve it as a spread on crackers, baguette slices, or toast or stir it into warm pasta. Yum!

July 07 2010 05:44 pm | Uncategorized

5 Responses to “Alpaca and Cilantro”

  1. Chris on 07 Jul 2010 at 5:55 pm #

    I sure love me some Bob. Look at those paws.

  2. Anna on 08 Jul 2010 at 6:39 pm #

    Your Skuld looks lovely! It’s a clever way of blocking too, to make sure it’s symmetrical.

  3. thea on 09 Jul 2010 at 10:18 am #

    oh my god that sounds tasty. And the shawl is gorgeous too…..

  4. ellen Strauss on 09 Jul 2010 at 10:45 am #

    Lace by the Norns seems especially appropriate after our immersion in the Wagner Ring!

  5. Linda on 10 Jul 2010 at 11:07 am #

    Love that lace, and Bob!

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