Well, you all know by now I like to Knit In Public as much as I can. As always I like to show everyone just where that was, provided it was interesting. Saturday one of my WIPs and I were treated to a traditional Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony. I’d call that interesting 🙂 Seeing as I have recently joined the Southern Summer of Socks KAL (and I am afraid to take my embroidery out of doors these days), I thought I’d better take along my first SSoS project. Meet sock one of Socks For Myself For Once…
She has a rectangular toe cast-on and has acquired the beginnings of a forethought afterthought heel. SpinWeaveKnit suggested this heel option when I took this WIP to another cafe later the same day. I had not heard of it before (the heel not the cafe), and I have not yet gotten around to looking it up, so I am not certain I am doing it correctly. I am sure, however, that it will work and so I am ploughing on through. The basic concept – as I understand it so far – is that you cast-on extra stitches; work a wedge toe type heel on these new stitches and half of the old ones; then pick up stitches along the cast-on edge and knit in the round again with the picked up and remaining original held stitches. I think I made that seem more difficult than necessary, all the more reason to look it up I guess. I’ll do that.
Oh yes, I mustn’t forget the cafe. (skip ahead a paragraph or two if you don’t like food and want to get back to the knitting in a hurry – huh, yeah right!) Made In Africa, is a little place at the back of an arcade in Moorooka (a suburb in the south of Brisbane). It is quite close to home for me and I had decided to explore the sudden burst of activity that seems to have occurred in this small retail precinct. What I found hiding at the back of the arcade was a new cafe and gift shop run by a local man Tesfaye Tefera. They have baskets and carvings for sale and a pool table at the other end of the room (not for sale though). The menu is still a bit sparse at this stage, but the important stuff is covered. You can get a good coffee (from the best of Ethiopian beans I was assured) and a slice of cake. Chocolate mud cake, carrot cake and lamingtons were on offer when I was there and they were the cheapest I have seen anywhere in years. They have salad and there was a few kiddie bits and pieces too. What I ordered though was one of the three traditional Ethiopian dishes on the menu. I don’t remember the name right off the top of my head but it was a beef dish with butter and rosemary. I guess that makes it similar to sega wot (sp?) but perhaps a little more flash. It was served on injera, of course. Have a go if you haven’t tried it, it is an experience. Lucky for me I had heard of these dishes before and I believe I was able to conduct myself without causing myself any real embarrassment. Injera is a sour pancake like thing and this is what your dish is served on, it also serves as your utensils. Yup, you tear a bit off and pick you food up with it. I think I read somewhere that you are meant to make a roll of the torn bit of injera and scoop stew up with that. It was not happening quite so elegantly for me. I am very sure my host would have given me a fork if I had asked (he was most hospitable), but I am proud that I did not. I can use chopsticks after all, so how much trouble could a bit of crepe be? Hmmm, actually don’t answer that 😉
Just as I was getting ready to leave (ie. finishing a round on my sock), the traditional coffee ceremony was just beginning. How cool is that? Of course this meant I got to knit a lot more and I had to have another coffee, and it was probably all educational to boot. Admittedly my arm is way too easily twisted when it comes to new food. The ceremony is going to be performed every Saturday I was told, to show off the culture some. There was incense, a traditional coffee pot and little traditional cups without handles. The beans were roasted and ground right there in front of everyone, I am told that is part of it. The resultant coffee was good AND strong (think Turkish) and it comes with popcorn. Again I ask, how cool is that? I guess it is safe to say I was pretty impressed with the whole experience. The hospitality I encountered was very nice indeed and I learned that there is a possibility that they made be hosting some cooking classes in the future. Count me in!!
By the time I left Made In Africa, almost half of what I had knitted on that sock had been done there. I had cast on and worked half the toe increases the night before. That morning I had finished the toe before I left the house on my culinary adventures. This is the cast on…
It is the rectangular toe cast-on I mentioned earlier, I am uncertain which website I found it on (it was some time ago). I think it was either Knitter’s Review or Sock Knitters, I’ll track it down if anyone wants to know. Mostly I just wanted to show that it really does begin life as a rectangle, a tiny one at that. I really like this cast-on, but I will use better increases next time. If you squint at the first pic of this post you can see my toe is a little puckered. That is because I have been pulling my M1 increases really tight to help close up the holes they are leaving. I have determined that I am not doing them quite right. I have been given a few tips and will be trying them all out soon, to see what will work for me.
If you have managed to read this far, wow, thanks. As a meagre reward, I’ll leave you with an extra picture of my sock. You know, to try and balance out all those words. This is what she looks like this minute, look closely to see that heel I mentioned