So the other day I was working at the dining table while Rahul was making dinner. Suddenly there’s a sort of scream from the kitchen, I look up, and there is a giant sheet of flame roaring up from one of the pots on the stove. All the smoke alarms in the house start screeching, of course, adding to the general air of panic and confusion as we tried to find a lid to stop the flame–I grabbed one and gave it to him, it turned out to be too small and just kind of dropped neatly into the pot, where the flames shot up all around it and the plastic lid handle started to melt; I ran and got the fire extinguisher, we balked at actually using it and getting foam all over the kitchen; and eventually we found the actual lid for the pot and clamped it down on top to stop the flames.

We have cathedral ceilings, so the smoke alarms are really hard to reach and turn off, so Rahul ended up batting one of the madly beeping alarms off the ceiling with a broom handle like he was hitting a home run. Cursing madly, we carried the pot (leaking dirty gray smoke) outside to our balcony and put it down on a pallet that we’d conveniently retrieved while dumpster diving (thank God we had it, instead of having to put the pot directly on the balcony, because the heat of it permanently burned a round black circle into the wood.)

Rahul lifted the lid off the pot, thinking the fire had surely smothered itself by that time, and a giant fireball shot out of the pot, reinvigorated by the sudden burst of oxygen, and narrowly missing burning off his eyebrows.

Then this morning, I figured I would make a bagel with peanut butter for breakfast. (Our friend Jason used to run a bagel shop in Long Island, and he gave us a bunch of frozen bagels from there that have been sitting in our freezer and providing us with delicious bagelly sustenance for weeks.) I heated up the oven, put the bagels on a cookie sheet (we don’t have a toaster) and went into the other room. About ten minutes later, Rahul yelled, “I smell smoke!”

“What? Really?” I had put them into a cold oven, not a preheated one, and I usually toast them for at least 15 minutes before taking them out. 10 minutes seemed way too early for it to burn.

But I opened the oven door and a cloud of extremely stinky smoke billowed out. I grabbed the bagel sheet and pulled it out and said, “It’s not the bagel!” The bagel itself was toasted to golden-brown perfection. Instead, for some reason, there was a tea light in the bottom of the oven, leaking molten, smoky wax all over the oven floor.

We couldn’t figure out how it had gotten in there, and thought perhaps it somehow got stuck to the bottom of the cookie sheet when it was on the table. Anyway, the house is full of horrible, smelly wax smoke, it’s cold because all the windows are open to ventilate the house, and I ended up eating Kroger brand potato salad for breakfast because Rahul said the delicious-looking wax-smoked bagel might poison me.

I think we must have offended the kitchen gods somehow. I am normally a confident mistress of that domain, but things are seriously not going well between us and the kitchen at the moment. At the very least, we cooked a very delicious meal the night the pot caught fire–wild morels scavenged from the woods and sauteed in butter, fagioli all’uccelletto (sort of, anyway–pinto beans with garlic, sage, tomatoes, bay leaf, and olive oil cooked in our new hand-me-down crock pot until meltingly tender), orzo, skillet cornbread…

Anyway, with all that excitement, I’m so glad I have a new project on the needles. A very simple, soothing, what-could-possibly-go-wrong sort of project: a Scrunchable Scarf made of some two-ply, worsted-weight handspun–the roving was labeled as Cotswold-Angora-Bamboo-Angelina but may have been mislabeled, as there is definitely no sign of glitz and the roving appeared to be a pretty uniform gray fluff. I dyed it with Kool-Aid to an overall sort of raspberry color (intended to have a more varied, hand-painted, look, but it’s OK, it’s nice anyway), cast on 21 stitches, and got started with the k2-p1 ad infinitum.

No matter how much I love the look of knitting acrobatics and show-off patterns, I love the process of knitting simple ribbed or brioche scarves–so relaxing and easy. This one is coming out sproingy and cushy and very rustic-looking–I didn’t spin it very evenly, and the yarn is pretty woolly and fuzzy anyway, so it almost looks like a boucle yarn when knit up, full of little lumps and bumps.

I also made myself a little chart to see how the farrow rib pattern used in the Scrunchable Scarf differs from one of my other favorite stitch patterns, mistake rib.

Farrow rib (*k2, p1* over a multiple of 3 stitches):

Mistake rib (*k2, p2*, ending with k2, p1, over a multiple of 4 sts + 3):


They both contain a column of moss stitch (alternating knit and purl) and columns of knit and purl stitches, but the farrow rib has some adjacent knit and purl columns, while in mistake rib the knit and purl columns are always separated by a column of moss stitch. This emphasizes the rises and dips of the knit and purl columns, while farrow rib comes out flatter because the knits are right next to the purls.

Also, I finished my Rusted Root and made a very pretty dishcloth with the leftovers (such a quick, pretty pattern), went to a knitting art show and MAKS with chemgrrl (she has a full report on her blog; I didn’t take photos because my camera doesn’t work well in low light with no flash) and have already made something really wonderful with my purchase from MAKS. Pictures next time! And I am tons of work and am feeling terribly behind with all the actual important stuff I should be taking care of, responding to emails and working on patterns and such, but hopefully I will have time for that in the next few days as well, assuming the kitchen doesn’t burn down in the meantime.

Since I don’t have photos of actual knitting-related things to show you, instead, here are some more pictures from the Monroe County History Museum. They had an exhibit featuring people’s personal collections. This person collects accordions and accordion-themed objects; here are some of the prizes from their collection.

I would totally vote for Sophia Travis.