What's Cookin'?

What's Cookin.jpg

I hate to cook.  I only recently started to call the kitchen by its proper name, rather than "That Room Where we Keep the Beer".  I'll get to the rest of this directly, but there is still more you need to know first.

This is the sort of week where everything that wasn't broken when I started, will be when I'm done.  Things that are not currently working in my life include:

        1.    Lightbulb in fishtank burnt out, causing fish to swim into stuff and nap excessively.
        2.    Lightbulb in task lamp on my desk burnt out, causing me to do the same.
        3.    Printer completely devoid of toner after weeks of ignored warnings (why do I never believe?)
        4.    Automotive Histrionics, including, but not limited to 
                a.    Mysterious "Check Engine" light appearance (why do I never believe?)
                b.    Weird trim piece where I always bump into the curb at work hanging at inorganic angle to rest of front bumper
                c.    Impending trip to Whidbey Island causes me to ponder classic Oil Change vs. Stranded on Shoulder conundrum
                d.    Phone call from mechanic stating that the "Check Engine" foretells an onboard computer software update, rather than impending doom.  Whew.  Oh and by the way lady, your brakes are completely shot.  Hand over your wallet.  Craptastic.
        5.    Unexplained dearth of bathroom tissue at my house necessitates frequent cries of "Which bathroom is the roll in now?" from behind one of three closed doors.
        6.    The kitten was neutered yesterday (Happy Birthday Jinx!) and now has to be monitored because he can't drink properly with his lampshade collar on.  Lotsa Laughs, but only for us, not the cat.  I feel bad about laughing at his pain.  Mostly because of the Karmic Debt I will, no doubt, incur.

It is into this chaos that I chose (for reasons which now escape me) to bring a skein of handspun yarn.  I decided to make 3-ply yarn, without really considering that spinning three plies might actually take three times longer than one.  Not having any feel yet for how much singles yardage equates to how much finished yarn, I elected to spin 4 ounces of roving, which amounted to just about one bobbin.  It did, indeed, take three times longer to spin than I had allowed.  To compensate, I stopped spinning with every washer and/or dryer cycle and continued my assault on Mount Washmore.  Multitasking.  Yeah, that's it (How come we don't refer to this by what it really is: Doing Two or More Things Crappily at the Same Time?).

The skein turned out just about like I had hoped.  As a new spinner, my expectations are refreshingly low, i.e.; Is the resulting substance String-Like?  Does it contain twist?  Is the twist mostly going in the intended direction?  You get the idea.  This substance was reassuringly string-like, so I pressed on to the finishing stage, in which (for those who haven't tried this yet) one washes and dries the twisted string to make it fluff up and act more like yarn.  That also went surprisingly well, though it, too, took longer than I anticipated.  So there I was with wet yarn, whose drying time was now cutting into my allotted knitting time.  Not to worry, said I.  There is a cunning plan!

Enter my appearance in the kitchen.  I had read on the internets that one can steam-finish yarn with impressive speed and efficiency using the "Microwave".  We keep ours in the "Room with the Beer".

The ensuing details are mostly too gruesome to detail, but suffice it to say that the aroma of burnt wool is somewhere on the scale of Nasty between overdone broccoli and raw sewage.  Phillip and the Smallies tried to be sympathetic, between dry heaves.  My disappointment was eclipsed only by my embarrassment.  I can't help thinking that I should really have moved beyond the "inadvertent combustion" stage of fiber artistry by this point in my career.  Perhaps next year.

The greatest casualty of the great Microwave Yarn experiment turned out, after the acrid smoke cleared, to be the towel the yarn was sitting on top of.  The yarn itself escaped with only minimal scorching, and of course, an aroma that only a mother could love.  Not this mother, but perhaps, some mother.

Phillip cleverly pointed out that my mother, a child of the Great Depression, would not approve of discarding the minimally-scorched product of my day's toil.  She would urge me to press on and find a way to use it anyway.  Since the yarn was intended to be a gift for her in the first place, I took Phillip's advice.  I knitted Mom's Mother's Day Hat in the smelly scorched handspun.  Luckily, washing the hat removed the lingering scent of charring, and blocking it revealed only a few spots where you can see the scorching.  I am reminding myself that Mom's eyesight is not what it once was, so the small discolorations won't bother her a bit.  And since she lives 200 miles away from me, I won't have to see the hat often enough to bother me.  Much.

So, what have you learned, Dorothy?  If you can't stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen.