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Sorry for being away for so long, folks, but I’ve been eating. And tearing from city to city. And having endless cups of ginger and cardamom tea in what has been a smoggy and biting, yet glorious Delhi winter, to say nothing of gazing at crisp, sunny views of the great Himalayan ranges from Shimla and Kufri. Many of the items on the agenda posted last time have been successfully achieved and some pictures will follow, but here are some snapshots to start with. NSG, if you’re reading this, this photo of the gajar halwa my sister made on Christmas from these really blood-red fresh carrots is for you:
I also ate something I have never eaten before: Sattu ka Paratha, which is like a fried, Bihari cousin of the Marathi thalipeeth. Absolutely delicious.
Not much knitting has been happening, (so no red pullover progress) but the spouse has been enjoying the cups of tea at Ganga Dhaba and elsewhere in these:
Specs: Knitpicks Merino in Asparagus, just over skein was used, on size 3 needles. Basic glove pattern from Katharina Buss. As you can see from the other photo, I started off making the fingers really long, into tipless gloves, but abandoned that idea because he didn’t find them that comfortable. They’re very soft and comfy!
Regular blogging will resume soon, but in the meantime, I hope everyone is having a good holiday season, and my best wishes for the new year!
edited: to correct some basic grammatical errors!
I sat down to make a list of things I need to do before I leave for home in the next few days, and quickly abandoned it, partly because I realised there was no way I was getting all of that done, and plus, it made me think of a more interesting list: what I want to do on my month-long holiday when I get home in a few days. I’ll be in Delhi in winter after a long time, but also in Pune and a couple other places, including Shimla. So without much ado, on the agenda is:
1. Sunday morning, after a lazy breakfast, head to the old city in Delhi to soak in the winter sun and hunt around for some gems in the legendary Daryaganj sunday secondhand book market. Find a tea stall afterwards and hotly debate the bizarre ideas of "urban development and beautification" that threatens these old urban institutions. Check out what’s playing at the old Golcha cinema, most likely shudder and move on.
2. Go to the Nizamuddin dargah in Delhi for the Thursday night qawwali. I have missed this too many times already. Later, get lost near Nizamuddin and hopefully emerge at the railway station and attempt to retrace path (am not hoping to do this but something tells me it will happen, yet again, even though, sadly, I will not be on my trusted Vespa from many years ago)
3. Eat the carrot-radish salad available at every street corner in Delhi in winter, with the
farty black salt garnish. I positively disliked this back then and just want to make sure everything’s still the same.
4. In Pune, after recovering from the shock of the New Software City transformation that renders neighbourhoods unfamiliar even in a few months’ time, argue with old librarian at the BISM library for permission to see an old manuscript I’ve been wanting to work on. Do my best to make it there and back without being seen by an aunt who lives right next door.
5. Comb the Sonya Maruti Chowk neighbourhood, where all the historic jewellery shops are in Pune, with my sister in order to find the perfect sparkling nosestud. Attempt to dislodge heart from throat while riding pillion with sister, while secretly sighing with relief that she is a much worse driver than I ever was. Later, browse in the needlework and wool shops in Tulshibaag, buy really really cheap Pony needles and gawk at the acrylics. Eat some kutchi dabeli at the stall opposite the Shagun store, and/or bhel at Navratna. Check out some Puneri cotton sarees at Peshwai.
6. Take the Kalka-Shimla train up into the hills. Walk around the
old Viceregal Lodge Indian Institute of Advanced Study and unwind. Try to find an old dhaba from years ago where I had absolutely the best alu parathas with Amul butter EVER.
7. Read Shrilal Shukla’s Hindi novel Raag Darbari, which I just started and which is hilarious.
All of this interspersed with an academic conference, catching up with old friends at the good ol’ alma mater (those of you who know about JNU and might be reading this, some of the stuff in that wikipedia link is hilarious) and at my old job, some grading, eating sinful amounts of food and marvelling yet again at all the weirdos in my extended family. Oh, and hopefully plenty of knitting.
I cast aside the pullover and cast on for something else. But I want to say that at least half of it is Elann’s fault. I ordered some extra skeins from them sometime back for my red pullover, since the twisted stitches made sure what I had wasn’t enough. Now it turns out I only thought I placed the order. Since their website wasn’t working for some reason then, I just postponed it and then clean forgot.
So after I did finally order them, I hyperventilated for a while that I wouldn’t be able to finish this pullover anyway, because the package wouldn’t arrive before I left next week, and what had I been killing myself over all these days???? Then I relaxed and figured that this was my perfect excuse; basic rule, is it not: no yarn, no knitting.
And so, whistling, I cast on for what Spud, sometime back, called tipless gloves:
They’re basic gloves, cast on 48 stitches, 2×2 rib, the rest stockinette, without an inch of the tip (or the top). I know that a pair of green mitts are no match for a red alpaca pullover, but hey. You got to work with what you have. The yarn is from my stash – Knitpicks Merino style in Moss – I trust you can see the halo shining brightly behind me, for virtuously using up what I have. These are actually a test pair; if they make typing easier in an unheated room, I’m going to whip up a couple more nicely patterned pairs.
The thought that this does not have 312 stitches per round is cheering me up immensely. Now if only I’ll be able to finish these in time, at least…