Wednesday, January 27, 2010
He said he wanted 'a dark grey hat with a light grey stripe at the bottom,' so we went to the yarn store and he chose the yarn, some nice alpaca. Good taste! I had so much light grey yarn left over I made a second, with some stripes. He loves them both. For the darker hat, instead of ribbing, I tried something new: a knit-on facing. Used a tiny bit of hand dyed cashmere- left over from years ago. The verdict: 'I really like cashmere!' Mm-hm.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
The first finished knit using some of the yarn I won with my golden ticket. Along with these, it has become a much loved winter accessory, used almost every day. And the pattern? I've loved Kim Hargreaves Haven scarf pattern since it was published but with the yarn it called for and the booklet the pattern came in, the cost was sadly way out of my budget.* Then one afternoon I was flipping through Barbara Walker's A Treasury of Knitting Patterns that I had checked out at the library, and there it was on page 209, the exact same stitch pattern as the Haven scarf, called by Ms. Walker 'Shell Lace.' Shell Lace is apparently a variation of a very old and well loved Shetland lace pattern, Horseshoe. Maybe this was Ms. Hargreaves inspiration? Anyway, 3 pattern repeats across with a garter stitch border all round and knit-til-the-yarn-runs-out, and there was my scarf, a kind of haven, keeping me warm from the northwest winter. Happy ending.
*Though in general I do believe it worthwhile to pay for and support independent designers whenever possible!
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Knitting a traditional icelandic yoke sweater is always something I've wanted to do; now I've done it. This has been done for about a month, but I've been late with documenting it. It's lovely and very warm, perfect for winter walks. I wish I could say it just flew off the needles, but like all of my knitting, it was an adventure. For some reason I had a difficult time with gauging the lopi; my gauge kept changing! Luckily I love to do the act of knitting, and don't mind reknitting something if it's not quite right. I must have reknit part of the body at least 3 times, the sleeves twice, and I experimented with the i cord button band at least 7 times before it was right! But I like that with knitting you always get as many chances as you need to make something with love that will last forever. And with each change I learn and get a little better. I love that I don't have to rush, at least with knitting.
This was also my first time steeking, which I LOVED. I also learned an amazing technique for shortening a too long sweater. (I stupidly neglected to block my swatches and the lopi grew up to 4 inches!) No matter, I followed this easy tutorial from Tech Knitter and within an hour I had the perfect length for body and sleeves. Think of it as a horizontal steek. Easy peasy.
One last thing, I named it the Helgi sweater because I always end up naming big projects in my mind. Easier than saying 'Icelandic Yoke Sweater'. I chose Helgi after my dear friend, and the only person I know from Iceland!
Monday, January 18, 2010
Sunday, January 10, 2010
Adapted from Nigel Slater's recipe for 'A Tart For Lunch, Supper, or a Party' from his book Appetite. One of my favorite cookbooks, one of my favorite food writers.
1. (first photo) Carmelize 3-4 medium onions in a bit of butter. Take your time, medium low heat.
2. Open up your storebought puff pastry from the freezer, and make little bird tracks with a fork. Score a light line round the edge for a nice crust.
3. Pile on your finished onions and and tuck in little bits of a gooey cheese, like taleggio.
4. Prune your little thyme plant. Nigel says 'enough leaves to make a little pile in your palm.'
5. Run your fingers down the woody stalks to let the leaves sprinkle down on the tart. Be sure to smell the fresh thyme on your fingers.
6. Bake at 425, around 15 minutes until golden and bubbly.
7. Claim a corner piece and share the rest with people you love.