Tonight was Imogen Heap‘s concert. She put on a great show once again. The opening acts were good too. They also came out to help play around half of Imogen’s songs. I especially enjoyed Tim Exile. He has assembled some hardware and software to record live samples for looping and modifying. His final song was created by passing a wireless microphone around the audience. He recorded whatever words or sounds were made into it and created an interesting song. The video of him performing “YouTube Killed the New Wave Star” can give you an idea of his process, though he creates all of the samples himself in this case. I purchased the CDs from both opening acts.

Eisley played a concert tonight. Technically they were one of the opening acts, but I was not really interested in any of the other bands. A few people stopped me on my way out of work, so I was a bit late in arriving. The timing ended up being perfect. Eisley was just started to play a song when I walked up to the venue. They are selling an EP with a couple new songs at the concerts. A limited edition lithograph was included with all sales. Overall a fun evening.

My plan for today to take some photographs of my completed Hemlock Ring Blanket. The sun did not fully cooperate by hiding behind clouds all day. Holding up some poster board paper as a low cost reflector helped intensify what light was available. I have not looked at the resulting pictures yet, so I may still need to try again on a sunnier day.

Sammy has been extremely helpful with this project. Today he was kind enough assist in measuring the final width by laying on the blanket. Looks like the estimate of 2.5 cats was spot on.

Temperatures in Austin have stayed on the cool side the past couple days. I decided to leave my Hemlock Ring Blanket pinned down for another day of drying just to be sure. It might be a bit of overkill, but I would rather error on the side of caution since this is my first attempt at blocking. Doubly so due to this being my first lace project too. Sammy helped out again by keeping a close watch for any problems.

Everything I have read about lace knitting indicated the item will not look like much until after blocking. This certainly seems to be holding true for me. There were some lacy features visible yesterday afternoon, but the blanket looked more like a wrinkly bundle of yarn most of the time. All of the holes in the pattern really opened up with the tension of pinning it down.

A few areas are still puckering up a little. I saw someone selling modified instructions to help the entire blanket lie flatter, so this was something I was expecting to see. It certainly does not take away too much from the overall blanket. This should be a great looking accessory for my living room when it is finished.

The knitting on my Hemlock Ring Blanket was completed several weeks ago. The next step is to wash and block it. I decided to purchase interconnecting rubber floor mats as a blocking surface. That way I can adjust to whatever future projects I attempt. The number of mats required would depend on my blanket’s final dimensions, so I laid it out to get some measurements. Sammy was kind enough to offer his assistance. Right now the blanket is 1.75 cats wide. I estimated it would end up around 2.5 cats wide after blocking. Everything fit well on a 3×3 grid of mats. Hopefully it will be finished drying in a day or two even with our recently lower temperatures.

I was rather disappointed at missing my chance to visit Kreuz Market while in Lockhart a couple weeks ago. Last week a plan was formulated to rectify this unfortunate situation. I would undertake another road trip on Saturday afternoon ensuring Kreuz would be open for business. Delicious, delicious business! The plan was pure simplicity.

As with most plans, it did not hold up through execution. In fact the plan was altered far before Saturday even arrived. Fortunately the alterations only enhanced the plan’s enjoyment potential.

Additional barbecue explorers joined the swelling ranks as word of my epic quest spread through the land. Eight adventurers in total embarked from Austin last Saturday. Our destination was Black’s Barbecue. While this establishment was not included in Texas Monthly’s Top 5 BBQ restaurants, it was deemed a more palatable initiation into barbecue adventures. They provide plates, utensils, and even (gasp!) sauce.

We hoped the onion skull was not a portent of things to come.

I partook of their jalapeno cheese sausage once again. Unfortunately the leap of faith did not result in a greater reward. My slices of brisket were quite good, but several of my fellow travelers received extremely dry selections. It appeared to be luck of the draw as to which section of meat was sliced.

A clock tower stood above the surrounding buildings as we left Black’s. A unanimous decision led our intrepid group on a side quest to discover where they originated. We quickly arrived at the Caldwell County Courthouse a couple blocks south. My friend Bic showed off his new boots for a picture.

Another educational nugget was gleaned when I spotted Smitty’s Market one block further south. This establishment was ranked second by Texas Monthly. It is housed in the original location of Kreuz Market before a family feud resulted in two competing locations. One brother took the Kreuz Market name a few blocks north while the other brother retained the business location. Surely this will be a future trip’s destination.

My descriptions of Kreuz’s addictive jalapeno cheese sausage intrigued my friend Bic. He expressed a desire to purchase some of their cold sausages to try later in the week. I fully backed his plan and purchased a case of sausage for myself. Hopefully this will quell the necessity of another trip in the near future.

Having said that, my travel mates all expressed a desire to traverse the distance back to Lockhart to try Kreuz Market for themselves. Stay tuned for the next exciting chapter in our barbecue adventures.