Recently, we had a special election to renew school funding and I signed up to be a poll watcher. What this meant was that I sat in my polling place for a few hours, checking to see if a group of people who committed to voting in favor, actually voted. It was promised to be dull work, and I was told to bring a book or something. I was also told, I couldn't talk with voters, especially before they voted, as my job was not to campaign. I brought my cardigan and sat in a corner. I swear at least 5 voters came up to me and wanted to know what I was working on and basically talk knitting. It was weird, how I suddenly went from being quiet and stay out of the way, into a distraction for one woman in particular who zeroed in on me BEFORE she voted. (Most people voted and then talked to me) It must have been ok though because I wasn't asked to leave and they kept letting me see the names.
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Monday, February 03, 2014
The yarn has flecks of silver, which didn't show up great from a distance, but sure made them fun to work on.
Details (needles, yarn etc.) have already been given. It is my favorite toe up pattern, by Ann Budd which was in Interweave Knits, Summer 2007.
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
The socks in question are my screaming green socks, which as you can see from the ravelry project page I linked too were completed in July of 2011.
I featured them in an entry on darning. I wrote about them multiple times (including here when I thought they might be too big. They have felted slightly). And again, they had both a hole and a place that needed some darning. I fixed them, but this is it. This is the LAST time I am fixing this particular pair of socks. They get another hole, and I'm .... doing something else with them.
Friday, January 17, 2014
And yes, I did need my own loom. But it was good one on one time for each girl to do a video tutorial with me. And I gave the other girl whatever I made, so win win. Unless someone wants to buy me one of my own (along with 1 billion rubber bands).
I mentioned that I started a sock on the driving portions of our vacation. I finished one:
I love love love the colorway. Although you can not see the silver. I don't care. They match my favorite ugly green sweater and so I am looking forward to finishing the second sock. I probably should have made the cuff a tiny bit wider and longer. Oh well maybe the second sock!
The yarn is Kraemer yarns, silk and silver. Estate Green is the colorway name. I'm using my US 1 needles. I called them on ravelry, "Socks to take my mind off things" which is pretty much what they are doing. I need to make another big sock repair push though. One of my pairs recently blew a big hole and I fixed it right away and then felt so virtuous about it, I vowed to fix the other two socks that need repairs.
Monday, January 13, 2014
I wanted to finish the dahlia cardigan in time for Christmas. And I did, sort of. I am not crazy about the fit, and I have some adjustments to make, but I am also majorly frustrated, so I put it aside and picked up a sock to make it through my post-holiday travels. I have one sock done and the other started, so I'll report on that next time. Let my initial report say, this yarn has silver in it and it is exactly what I have needed to get through the dark days of winter. SPARKLY!
Mostly I wanted to deconstruct, mostly so I'll remember it, my sea salt caramel adventures.
This is the second Christmas I have made a batch of caramels from this recipe I clipped out of the Oprah Magazine. And yes you can mock me if you want. The recipe is here and they are really good. But I have learned some things about this recipe and so I'm putting them all out here so I'll remember them, and maybe you won't make my same mistakes.
Ok, I have made three batches of this stuff and they all had two things in common. First, they take a way bigger pan than you think. My best result came with my second biggest pan. Although I tried it in my biggest pan and that wasn't too shabby either. The reason? I guess all caramels do this, but that cream and sugar just acts like a huge volcano. Second, they all burned to some degree. I think I have a solution for that, which I will get to later.
First the differences:
Batch one did not set right. In fact batch one was more like a caramel spread than wrap up pop in your mouth caramels. And in making batches two and three, as well as reading on the internet, I have discovered why.
Batch one on cookies covered in chocolate--if like gives you gooey caramel, make these puppies (you can sort of see the burnt bits in this)
Have you clicked over to Oprah and seen the recipe yet? Well, if you had, you might have noticed that one of the ingredients it calls for is "one can of evaporated milk." But it turns out that Meijer at least sells 2 different sized cans! (and yes, I saw the comments section on this issue--and they are just WRONG). So this year in preparing to make batch two, I went to Meijer and bought the supplies, which mean that because I do not usually do the shopping, and I easily get overwhelmed at the store when people are pushing me (yes really--today I kicked an old lady's cart because she rammed into me in the checkout line) I bought what I thought was the only size can they made--a 7 oz size. ANd Lo and behold, batch #2 set.
Now, batch number two also was a little bit of a learning thing for me, because when the hot lava of sugar and cream threatened to boil over in my second biggest pan, I TURNED THE HEAT DOWN. Oh yes, this was an epiphany for me. It still had burned bits on the bottom, but not as many as batch one AND ironically as many as batch three. In fact, I was able to isolate the burned bits to one side of my pan and so
eatprevent gift recipients from receiving burnt bits in their caramel. And also amazingly, the caramel set to a great texture.
Then we ran low on salted caramel for some reason, and I was implored by my husband to make another batch. And so HE bought the evaporated milk and he came home with the standard 14oz can. Now, I know the Oprah comments say the 14oz is what they meant, and one commenter says she raised the temp and used 12oz, but honestly I really think 7oz probably works better. I did some internet searching on this and found out that it isn't always the temp that effects the texture, but the milk products, which I guess makes sense. So for batch 3 I used 7 oz of evaporated milk. I got the consistency I wanted, but sadly, batch 3 also burned a bit more.
I think though, that the problem with the burning is something I can control. You see every other carmel recipe I've found has two steps, 1) you get your sugar syrup up to close to temp, and 2) you add your warmed but not boiling milk products and get it up to temp. So batch 4, which is coming as soon as I can justify eating so much caramel, perhaps after the dental work I need is complete. And I'll be trying a two step method. Hopefully, I'll remember to report back.
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
This year one of my daughters has a male teacher, which means lacy scarf is out, but warm scarf remains a possibility. The other daughter has a very hip young teacher, and I have been racking my brain for some hip knit scarf. I have not made any progress with this, and had resigned myself to gift cards and maybe making each of them an ipad holder (since the school has provided ipads to the teachers and students ). You know though how sometimes something just comes along that blows all your plans out of the water in a totally cool way? Well that happened today when the girls each brought home a letter from their teachers, suggesting that in lieu of holiday gifts, they'd like to suggest a donation to a charity.
Ok not just any charity. Their classes have all been reading A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park, which tells two stories, one of Salva in 1985 and Nya, in 2008. Both stories highlight the need for safe secure drinking water in a region often fraught with conflicts, sometimes over this very water. It is a really good book, and if you have never read it, I would encourage you to do so. Anyway Salva is a real person, who after escaping Sudan (sorry spoiler!) started a foundation to dig wells in South SudanWater for South Sudan is that charity, and the one the teachers would like to encourage. So even though there must have been a bunch of dust hitting us, as the kids told me this, I managed to choke out that yes, indeed we could do this. Knitting problem solved!
However, both girls were all sad about not giving teachers something. "Can we still bake?" they both asked. Oh yeah we can. If we didn't what would I eat all through December? This time, I think I'll make a more sizable portion for each of their teachers.
So now, I am concentrating on that list. So far, I have:
Hard candy in either a variety of fruit or peppermint. Or maybe fruit and peppermint, I have no idea.
Peppermint Marshmallows I made these last year and by the end, I was hoarding them.
Sea Salt carmels yes, this recipe was in Oprah magazine. I don't care. I made these last year and they didn't set so I ate them all myself to save anyone from eating them. They were particularly good on a trefoil cookie, covered in one melted dove dark chocolate. I think I need to cook them a little more this year
Truffles. Last year I wasn't happy with how they turned out. This year, I may dip them in milk chocolate. I'll try to update with this recipe and the recipe for the next item
Spiced Pecans. The recipe is from my husband's grandma, and I was sure I had shared it before, but I can't find it. Anyway, I love these, I have a batch in the freezer now because oatmeal tastes oh so good with them.
When I think about all these things, they are all good but the tastes don't really form any sort of theme. This, I tell you, bothers me. It really does because it feels like what it truly is, which is--here is a bunch of stuff I love making and eating--Merry Christmas! I suppose I shouldn't let that bother me, no one has ever said--yuck these don't have a theme. I couldn't get a hold of any trefoils this year either. Maybe I'll make a shortbread if the caramels don't come out again. Sound be a fun December.