Archive for October, 2008

Stalking the dangerous leeks

October 29, 2008

I pulled the leeks out of my garden because frost is beginning to become a regular thing and they were looking like they weren’t liking it all that well.  They may have been able to handle it outside a little longer, but I wanted to grab them just in case.  (So now I have to figure out what to do with all these leeks).

I was standing at the kitchen counter, cutting the “hairy” root ends off and rinsing the dirt off, when my 15 year-old cat decided that dangling leek leaves were very exciting to hunt.  He was amused for about 5 minutes by trying to attack the leek leaves that were hanging down.

I have really been knitting, but I don’t have any good pictures to share.  My free time has been spent cooking.  Even my not so free time.  I went to a naturopath last Friday and she wants me off of: wheat, coffee, peanuts, eggs, sugar, dairy.  It is amazing how many foods have these things in them.  So I am baking spelt bread, muffins, making granola, and trying to come up with interesting meals that are easy to make on a work night and don’t have any of the “forbidden foods” in them.  (Friday night, we had homemade pizza with real cheese, I figured I’d wait until Saturday.  This week I will be making spelt crust and using goat cheese, because goat milk is OK.)  I actually started a separate food blog, partly just so I can track what I am making and what is working for me.  I have to do this for the next month and then I go back to see her and then I guess we figure it out from there.  I am very lucky that my neighbour has milk goats, so I will be able to make my own yogurt and cheese (I think I might do goat milk mozzarella for next week).

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Saving the blanket

October 19, 2008

A few years ago, I started this baby blanket for a friend, but ran into trouble so I never gave it to her.

I ran out of yarn (it is knit from the edging up). So it’s a long, skinny baby blanket. (I probably shouldn’t have made it so wide). It is a really annoying stitch pattern, so it was a lot of work, and I’d hate to rip it out. So here are my choices:
Finish it off as-is and have a long, skinny baby blanket (probably not a very good choice)

Make another piece in the same stitch pattern, different colour yarn (I don’t love that choice because this stitch pattern involves knitting 3 stitches together, but so far I think it’s the best option)

Make another piece in a different stitch pattern, different yarn

Any other creative ideas on how to save this baby blanket? I don’t think finding the same colour yarn will work, since it was a closeout so I am sure that dye lot is long since gone.

Yesterday, we went to Rhinebeck. Once again, it was a mad dash through to see everything, because once again, it is soccer season and B didn’t have an early game. Also, I really need clothes now that it is getting cold, so we made a detour on the way to a used clothing store that has maternity clothes. I keep thinking one year we will go and stay over and have a leisurely trip through the fair, and actually be able to see people that I know there.

The only yarn I bought was for baby projects. I bought some nice DK-weight Icelandic sheep yarn from Frelsi Farm. We got chatting with the owner and she is very nice, she said they have Icelandic chickens so we are really excited about buying some chickens from her at some point. I bought some other yarn in different colours for a baby bunting, which I can’t wait to start. (I had wanted to buy yarn for it in Maine, but the yarn shop that used to be in the town we stayed was no longer there).

Viking Cables and Renaissance Faires

October 13, 2008

We went to a Renaissance fair on Saturday. I’ve never been to one of those, and it was sort of fun. The food was actually really good, and we got to watch a really funny comedian. I decided that I am too big of a geek to really enjoy these things, though. (There was a very timely episode of Big Bang Theory about this the other week). I can’t help being horribly disturbed by the use of polyester in the costumes, or the fact that everyone was wearing period-inaccurate costumes for Renaissance times (yes, there really were jokes about this on that show too). We did not wear costumes (I actually own a Renaissance dress, fairly authentic except for the use of hook and eyes here and there, that I made for my brother’s wedding several years back, but I doubt it would fit right now). When we got back, I was completely wiped out.

Tonight I am completely wiped out too, I was going to sew some pants while Ingi is working and B is not home for the evening, and I am just being lazy and surfing the internet and trying to get energy from a cup of decaf coffee. I don’t really even have energy to surf the internet. I hope this is not a sign of things to come and that I just have a sleepy day. I’m not ready for the no energy part of pregnancy to kick in again, I was enjoying that second trimester having energy thing. And hey, I have another month of it, so can’t I have energy for another month still? Maybe I will try doing some yoga exercises.

I decided I really want to make a Viking cable sweater for the baby, and I found Elsebeth Lavold’s Ymer pattern. I was going to buy the requested yarn, but the store didn’t have any colours I liked, and I had some stash yarn in the right weight. However, the yarn I was trying is kind of heathered, and I don’t think the cables are going to show up. The swatch in the photo has a cable on the left edge… do you think it will get better as I go along, or should I quit while I am ahead and try to find some new yarn?

Harvest and breadsticks

October 10, 2008

Apparently, this baby is off to a start on its Highland dancing career. It definitely is practising the Highland fling in there. Maybe I should knit little argyle kilt hose for it when it comes out. I think my mother-in-law would approve, she loves Scotland.

Ingi has a new job working evenings until 9:30 so I haven’t figured out if it is making me more or less productive to have the evenings to myself. So far I have done a lot of dishes and laundry.

We had some threat of frost (I am not sure if we had frost in my yard, but we had frost down the hill), so I harvested all my herbs and my kitchen is full of bunches of drying mint, lemon balm, and oregano, along with a glass of basil that I am intending to turn into pesto. I also picked all my hot peppers (jalapenos and ancho chiles) so now I have to figure out how to preserve/use them.

I made these breadsticks the other night to go with some soup. The recipe comes from some magazine from 2006 (I tore out the page so that was all the info I had). They weren’t as pretty as in the magazine photo when I made them, but they were really tasty. Another nice thing about these breadsticks is that they have a decent amount of protein (always important for me right now).

Sesame Twist Breadsticks

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups regular flour
2 Tbsp sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
8 Tbsp butter, cut into small pieces
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup sesame seeds

Combine dry ingredients. Cut in butter, until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add butermilk. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least one hour.

Roll out dough into 15×15 inch square. Brush with water and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Cut square in half and then cut each square into 15 strips.

Twist the strips twice, put on parchment-lined baking sheet, and bake at 425F for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

My cat peed on my homework knitting

October 5, 2008

My cat peed on my current knitting project, so while I figure out the best way to wash cat pee out of a mohair baby sweater that is in progress (along with the yarn!), I decided to start something else.

Baby pants, made with leftover yarn. I didn’t have quite enough of the white skein I was using, so I added a little from another skein. There is a subtle colour difference. I am trying to decide between just leaving it, because it’s just on the bottom of the butt that it is different, and then on the tie and the leg edging, or dyeing it with Kool-aid.

I also made a felted angel, from Familiens Juleideer 2007. I left off the decorations, because Ingi and I both think it’s nicer as an abstract. I was thinking of making a bunch of these to sell for a church fair next month, and I was trying to see how quick they were to make. It was basically a commute to work to finish one angel, so it’s not bad at all.

For those of you who are curious about the baby, Ingi got to feel it kick yesterday morning. It’s pretty cool that now one can feel it kicking from the outside.