Showing posts from December, 2008

Getting a few things done...

Here's the wreath I made by twisting a few leftover Xmas tree branches around a coat hanger and anchoring them with tin ties.

Given the weather, it was a miracle that our visitors arrived more or less on time, their luggage intact. It has been wonderful to have another knitter around. My sister brought 3 pairs of loosely knitted slippers with her and we felted them in the washer. I've never had so much fun sitting around the basement. The slippers fit well, and will take the shape of our feet, but in the beginning they looked like they were made for the Cat in the Hat. I like them all, but especially the ones on the left. Which pair is your favorite?

I heard that a few of you tried making shortbread. How did it turn out? Is anyone willing to fess up in the comments?

I've finished the Lace Ribbon Scarf and sent it off to Ottawa with Christina. Poor thing. Her plane back across the lake keeps getting delayed in increments of 1 hour. Maybe we'll have her back for the night a…

Getting in the mood

I've come to realize that wherever you live in a cold climate, snow is a much bigger deal if you are dependent on a car. If you live in the city and rely on public transportation, snow can be a pain, but it's not all that bad. I bussed it to work for 20 years and I still laugh when I see the reporters on TV standing in front of the local freeway, commenting seriously about 6 inches of snow. I am coming to realize why they do it though, now that I am more dependent on a car. Snow really does throw drivers for a loop. You have to worry about the condition of the car, the tires, gas, etc. It's taken me 10 years to get this through my noggin, but I think I'm finally catching up with the rest of the world. 
We had some intense snow yesterday but we were OK as we only live 8 minutes drive from work and have 4 wheel drive. If we had to we could have slogged home on foot. Personally, I love the snow. I do. Today, the sun came out and we enjoyed a bit of shoveling.

Then we drove …

Short, Dark and Surreal


In Which Helen Tells How She Makes Shortbread Cookies (in great detail and without apology)

Someone will be interested in how I do this. If you are  not, then just blog on. 
Warning: butter is involved. In large quantities!

This is the one thing I still make around Xmas time. This recipe yields about 100 stars, diamonds, moons, etc.
I start with 1 pound of butter which I cut up into chunks and place into a large mixing bowl. I don't pay particular attention to whether it is cold or warm, but I think it's on the colder side when I do this...

These are fairly fine chunks. They don't have to be this small. Anyway. Then measure 4 and a half cups of your favorite white flour, about a half a cup of ground rice and a cup of sugar.  The faint of heart should move on now. If the butter is unsalted, then I add a bit of salt at this point.
An aside about Ground Rice: This ingredient is no longer available in North America ( if it is, then I want to know where) but it is not strictly necessary to the recipe. You can replace it with another half cup or so of regular flour. Don'…

It's all worn off...

... the effects of my wonderful October vacation, that is. My vacation glow lasted until Thanksgiving week, when I caught a bad cold, now more or less gone. I'm left with sore ribs on one side. Coupled with dark cold weather, lots of spreadsheet duty at work, and waking up in the middle of the night with a pain in the side, I became convinced that I'd be lucky to get off with walking pneumonia at best. Lung cancer, more likely. 
I've had this feeling before. I usually ignore it and it goes away, but this time it was quite severe, so I went to the doctor. After much poking and prodding and running up and down the hallway with something attached to my finger, the doc informed me that I have inflammation of the ribcage cartilage. 
Go home and take ibuprophen, you've been coughing too much.  I have Not been coughing.  Well, sometimes people get it without coughing.  What else makes them get it?
Well, maybe nothing at all, it just happens.
Could you get it from Rolling Like a Ball

The Dark Side?

I forgot the current nightcap (a plain blue one for a man to wear at night) in the car and now it's locked up in the freezing garage. I'll have to start another and retrieve that one tomorrow. Or Monday.

Mittens in the Mail

Primetime Knitter is a modest and shy soul, but I'm going to thank her here on the blog anyway. 
Sarah Southgate  of the RKG wrote me last night to let me know that Primetime's Target Wave mittens have arrived here in Rochester, NY. A good home will be found for them. I understand that we now have met our goal of 300 mittens for the schools. We can now stand proudly with the knitters of the 1930's
If any of you Rochesterians out there who are reading this, know any details of the mitten distribution to the schools, please do write something in the comments.  I'll see what I can find out at the Guild meeting on December 8th.
Many thanks, Marjorie for your contribution and  inspiration! Here's a summer's day for you. Wish I could give you a real one!

Noro Nightcap

Yes I did.

Can you recognize the 1840 Nightcap pattern in this winter hat? As Franklin suggests in the pattern instructions, there are many possibilities. I made a few modifications.

The yarn is some kind of Noro, knit with a strand of Be Sweet Extra Fine Mohair. I'll have to look at the tag to see exactly which kind. It's around here somewhere. Oh. Oh. Oh.

The hat is knit over 91 stitches. I tucked up the edging and hemmed it under so that it looks like it's peeking out from underneath the brim. I used the double knitting stitch on page 26 of Barbara Walker's First Treasury to knit a hatband out of some leftover Regia Silk sock yarn. When the band got to be about two inches wide, I knit the live stitches of the band onto the inside of the hat, along the edge of the folded brim, taking care to spread the finer gauge stitches of the band evenly around the bigger gauge knitting of the hat itself.
Knitting this hatband was very fiddly. The double knit stitch has two rows ove…