Today's Talk of the Nation was a scientific look at making New Year's resolutions. My favorite was the woman who called, asking about the logistics and requirements for making a Whole-Family-Resolution.
That encapsulates the reason that I never listen to talk radio. (Except when I'm in the kitchen cooking, which requires some sort of radio plus one glass of wine or beer.) (And all right, my daughters: that time I first gave everyone a chance to choose her own resolution before I started assigning, I mean, suggesting one for each of you. And I didn't repeat the effort, so one can learn new tricks, right?)
In other news, I'm on Attempt Number Three of the Foliage hat, a Leaf Lace patterned hat out of Malabrigo. Am I the loosest knitter in the world? Of the several pages that I scanned on Ravelry (over 2,000 Foliage made so far, so my thought that maybe it was the pattern and not me seems questionable), everyone else who's made this pattern from Knitty has stuck with the called-for size 5 and size 7 needles. Why, when I dropped down to size 6 needles, is it still coming out like a large knit bucket? I started over again last night, this time using size 6 needles and decreasing the total number of stitches from 96 to 80. (And yes, I am anticipating that I will be kicked in the behind again when this version comes out too small. )
The magic number of stitches for a hat seems to be 72-80 for me. Turn a Square, Kim's Hat from Last-Minute Knitted Gifts, and hopefully, Foliage, seem to fit best at that size - some 20 stitches less than most of these patterns call for. And, in sock knitting, the magic number is 48 stitches on a size 1 or size 2 40" circular needle used Magic Loop method. (This holds true whether I'm making socks for a man or a woman, so please explain that. Maybe the women have large ankles and the men slimmer ones? Maybe I shouldn't consider this further.) Many of the truly popular patterns, like Monkey socks, call for many more stitches, but since I'm already on the smallest sized needle that I ever thought that I would use, there's no chance of going into a negative-sized needle. And I could shave the pattern down, but then, isn't the point of sock knitting that it be Easy?
I have decided that I will become a Brooklyn Tweed groupie, because the projects and patterns found there are the most reliable, the most gorgeous, and the most visually appealing of just about anything on the Internet. I've made the Hemlock Ring Blanket, Turn a Square, started the Noro Stripe Scarf - and each piece is, in a Shaker-sort of way, authentic and dependable and beautiful. (Who thinks that Jared Flood is in line to inherit Elizabeth Zimmermann's mantle?)
In other, unrelated news, I've baked and given away two pans of the best brownies in the world, a pan of shortbread (how can butter and lots of cornstarch and some sugar turn into something so good), and two batches of biscotti from Chez Panisse Deserts. Time now to boil the potatoes for mashed potatoes to go with the left-over gravy, stuffing and turkey from yesterday's dinner. We had Thanksgiving late this year, because of India.