Tuesday, January 22, 2008

TV Mute Button Confession

I confess, I can't watch live TV without a remote Mute Button! First because the commercials are so much louder than the show - what's new; Second because they play the same few commercials over and over and over. I don't care for commercials, who does but why the same couple of commercials every few minutes? We watch very little live TV with DVDs and DVRs around here so my exposure to commercials is minimal and I'm sick of the same commercials; what about those that regularly watch shows live? How sick are they seeing the same thing over and over? I don't understand the repetition; there are so many commercials out there what do they hope to accomplish showing the same one so often it turns people and TVs off? Anyone know what's going on in the TV advertising world?

Now you know, I watch TV and videos in the evenings while I knit. I'm a big fan of Netflix; with the Writer's Strike I've discovered old TV Series DVDs. How did I miss Buffy and Angel the first time around?

I finished a UFO pair of toddler mittens this last week, only six years from start to finish.
Sock Yarn Mittens

My second thumb shows my knitting has greatly improved over those six years. The purple is Opal Sock Yarn left from a pair of Adult size socks.

I plied the BFL Rapture singles
Rapture close-up

The picture doesn't show the purple and green true to color. It really is lovely - I especially like the chartreuse strands.

Have you seen the My So Called Scarf pattern?
My so called scarf
I using Lorna's Laces, Bullfrogs and Butterflies in the Gold Hill colorway
My so called scarf close-up
A very interesting pattern to knit; this isn't mindless knitting. I have to watch it as it's hard to rip back and pick up invisibly. I guess the pattern stitches gives a twist to the yarn that shows in the work. I hoping the slightly visible lines block out.

Playing around online I found that Blue Moon Fiber Arts, the Socks that Rock people, also dye Roving/Top. The called it "Sheep 2 Shoe", love that name! I ordered a bag/ 8.5 oz of Superwash Merino. This stuff is so soft and easy to spin. Their directions suggest you split it into four lengthwise sections and spin a worsted 4 ply yarn. That would be way thicker than any socks I could wear around here so I split the yarn in half lengthwise and am only working on one half of the yarn. Four ounce 2-ply socks are the normal thickness I can get in my shoes.
Sheep 2 Shoe
(What appears gray in there is actually light blue and a medium dark Teal. This is a very nice fiber to work with.)

And I finished the January 2008 Mid-Month Dishcloth Kal on the Yahoo Monthly Dishcloth Group in Peaches & Creme.
2008 Jan Mid-Month Dishcloth KAL

When I gave #2 Daughter her Alpaca Chevron Scarf for Christmas #1 Daughter said she wanted one too, in Blue.
Chevron Scarf 4
This is Misti Alpaca Handpainted.

One evening I was lucky enough to be sitting at my computer when the email arrived notifying me of a Sundara Shop Update. I jumped at the chance to buy this sock yarn - her stuff never lasts long because it is so beautiful. I bought Cobalt over Mediterranean and Caribbean.
Sundara Yarn

The camera's back. The repair page said, "Camera tested within specifications. Replaced optical assembly." What does that mean? Either it worked which usually means it needed no repairs or it's broken and they fixed it. Anyway it was still under warranty from the last repair so all I'm out is the postage to ship it back, twice, to Canon in IL. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. What's your opinion, from the pictures above do you think it's fixed?

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Knitting, Knitting and Spinning

Two kinds of knitting today. I did it! Can't knit all the stuff I want fast enough so I've started a Machine Knitting Class. First day Karalyn had us on a machine knitting a water bottle sleeve.
This took about thirty minutes including the hand finishing (sewing up the side seam and weaving in ends.) I'm sure it would have been a third that time if I'd known what I was doing! Even the I-cord was machine made in about 20 seconds! It may be noisy but I can wear ear plugs for the short time it takes to knit something.

Now does anyone know someone that wants to sell an old knitting machine? That's the catch! You just can't walk into a store and buy a new machine. (I'm advised to stay away from the cheap ones you can still buy.) The hunt is on - even though I don't know anything about choosing a good versus junky one.

I'm back to working on my Mystery Stole 3. No pictures, it doesn't look much different than when I posted a picture back in July or August. I'm just about ten rows from starting the wing. And, yes, I am going to do the wing; it looks interesting. I know I said I wasn't but time has changed my mind. If I don't care for it I'm sure I can find someone that will want it.

My current traveling sock is one of the Kaffe Fassett Colors of Regia; (I never know which is the colorway Farbe or Partie?) Farbe 4255 Partie 23636. I like these colors.

I finally finished my gray alpaca/gray romeldale fiber I've been spinning for the past six month! No pictures yet.

All that gray I've been color starved! So I grabbed the brightest fiber I could find and started spinning. Vesper
This colorway is fittingly called "Rapture."
100% BFL hand-dyed Vesper Roving by Knitterly Things.

The problem-child camera is back at Canon for repairs. After talking to them it sounds like they only really examine your camera when it comes back for a second time. First time around they just update the software - grrrr makes me so mad!

The photographer had his camera out so I coaxed him to take these pictures. And I got them away from him before he could photoshop them - that's next to impossible. Otherwise you wouldn't see them until next week sometime...

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Recipe Box Show and Tell

Kay at Mason-Dixon Knitting shared her Mother's Recipe Box and requested we all show our Boxes.

I have two boxes; first is my Mother-in-Law's wooden box that I inherited.

Recipe Box_chicken

The Photographer can't remember a time in his childhood when it wasn't sitting on their kitchen counter next to the Sunbeam Mixer. It's simply stamped "Japan" on the bottom.

I'm sharing her Crazy Cake Recipe; both my girls as teenagers won ribbons at the Del Mar Fair with this cake.

Crazy Chocolate Cake

2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 cup shortening (we use butter or half butter and half Crisco)
1 cup cocoa
1 cup sour milk (1 tablspoon white vinegar and rest milk to equal one cup)
2 teaspoons soda
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup boiling black coffee

Put all ingredient in bowl of mixer in order given -
Do Not Stir until coffee is added.
Beat 3 minutes.
Pour into 2-8" prepared cake pans or a 9"X13" prepared pan.
(Dust pans with cocoa rather than flour)
Bake at 325 degrees F. for 35 mins or until a toothpick comes
out clean.
Cool and frost as desired.
(In our family it was usually chocolate ganache made from semi-sweet chocolate chips)

My Recipe Box is very plain beige plastic but it holds a special memory for me.

Recipe Box_NEW

Many years ago my old green metal 3X5 file box was overflowing - couldn't even close the lid. One Mother's Day my youngest bought this box and covered the lid with pink wrapping paper as my gift. I've used it and treasured it for years while the pink paper slowly deteriorated. Just this past November while she was over helping with Christmas baking she recovered the top as a surprise for me; she had no memory that the box was originally from her and the pink paper was her childhood handiwork. Seems fitting that she was the one that updated it's look.

My recipe to share is a cookie recipe that I have on a 1 cent postcard dated 1949 that my Mother received from her Mother. It's a soft cake like Oatmeal Cookie.

recipe 1

I usually add vanilla and walnuts and double the cinnamon; sometimes I even add chocolate chips.

The directions are difficult to read so I will write them out.

Put milk on oats in seperate bowl.
In second bowl measure flour, soda, baking powder, cinnamon
In bowl of mixer blend shortening, sugar and eggs. Add vanilla, raisins and nuts and stir in.
Add alternately, oatmeal and flour mixture.
Bake 350 degrees F. for 18 mins on greased cookie sheet.

I hope you try both of these recipes and that you enjoy them as much as the several generations of our family has. If you have any questions I'd be happy to hear from you.