Monday, January 28, 2008

New Project!

This is the strange looking knitting, about 48 hours later. I'm very excited about this project and find it hard to stop to take care of things like meals and getting kids from school.

I misplaced my copy of Knitting From the Top, so I'm working out the top-down set-in style cap sleeves as well as I can from logic and memory. Seems to be working so far.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Adirondack Pullover: Finished!

The Front View

The Back View

Dance Like an Egyptian?

Pattern Available Here!

In other news, can you make sense of this?
You can make it bigger by clicking on it. More will be revealed next time.

Friday, January 25, 2008


Here's my second version of the Iron Mountain Hat, finished a couple weeks ago, but finally just photographed on a human head. I made this for Mr. SABLE, but he says it's a bit too tight. It fits Owen very well, though, and he says he likes it, so all's not lost. This one was made with a sport weight yarn, with a more rounded, less squared-off looking top than the original.

I also did finish Mr. SABLE's new Adirondack Pullover and it's washed ready to photograph. I took a couple pics flat on the kitchen floor with the glare of the overhead lights and the camera flash. The detail was absolutely lost. Craptacular photos. I hope to get a picture or two actually on the recipient tomorrow, when the temperature will approach the freezing point and it might not hurt to be outside for more than a minute or two.

Finally, a peak of the planning on my next project...
This is going to be a turtleneck pullover for my brother's wife. I played around with various textural details and think I have a plan now. I'm using smooth, classic worsted wt wool, at about 4.5 st per inch, and making a top-down with fitted sleeves. I'll put a fairly substantial cable down the center front, but leave the rest in stockinette stitch for several reasons. One, my S.I.L. is a bit busty and I want to work bust darts on the front. Two, my S.I.L. probably will be more flattered without the bulk that too much texture or too many cables can add. And, finally, three, I just want the elegant simplicity of stockinette st. for most of this garment.

The kids got out of school at 11:30 this morning, just putting the finishing touch on an already-doomed week. Monday: no school for MLK day. Monday night: the LE vomits at bedtime. Tuesday: LE stays home; seems fine. Wednesday and Thursday: I breathe deeply and drink gallons of coffee and before I know it, it's 3:00 p.m. and time to get my boots on. Friday: Home before lunch so the teachers can have time to fill out report cards. I think there are nearly as many disrupted school weeks as normal ones in our school year calendar.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


So I don't know where my blogging mojo's been lately. I've been full of resolve, but very few posts to show for it.

Well, you know, it's cold. Of course, you think, Wisconsin in January is supposed to be cold. But, even by our standards, it's cold. Tomorrow might possibly be so cold that we have a school cancellation. They do that for Wind Chill Warnings. Unfortunately, I can't find the definitive standard for Wind Chill Warnings here, but ours is apt to be about 20-30 degrees below 0, Fahrenheit, in the a.m. So, I might get an added day of togetherness with my offspring.

I could rant about all the various holidays and in-service days and half-days and such that the kids are not at school. There are a lot of them. Then, you throw in the various sick days and a couple of malingering days, and it starts to seem like way too much togetherness. How about weekends with a high of 1 degree F? And that ain't wind chill.

What else? My husband acquired a big (by my primitive standards) flat television, an XBox 360, and the game Rock Band over the course of the last 6 weeks or so. And, for the record, not one of these is an item I would have considered bringing home. However, much to my surprise, I seem to have a secret, previously repressed inner desire to be the lead singer in a rock band. I can't tell you how many hours I've spent channeling Shirley Manson, Mick Jagger, or Michael Stipe. In my fantasy world, I'm on tour with my band, wearing leather and torn fishnet stockings, belting out bad-ass lyrics with bravado.

Has there been knitting? Well, some. I'm this close to finishing Mr. SABLE's Adirondack Pullover. I hoped to have it done already, but lost a bit of time to refereeing the kid-fights on Monday (What? That wasn't what MLK was all about?) and then, the Little Emperor missed school yesterday because he threw up Monday night. I don't think he was really sick, but I felt obligated to do the 24 hours observation thing. I know a lot of parents aren't vigilant about keeping sick kids home but I feel it's the moral thing to do. What was I saying? Oh, yeah. So, I'm down to the last couple of inches of the second sleeve. A few ends, a quick wash and it'll be done.

But the pictures...

Did I mention the cold? Not sure when we'll get to pictures. If there's a nice sunbeam streaming in a window in the next few days, maybe I can get a picture of it lying flat.

There's also been some spinning. And it's not really the photogenic type of spinning. More of the Brown Sheep mill ends three ply I started back in August. I'm hoping to get to some slightly more exciting spinning soon.

You folks who live in warm places, wish us all well for tomorrow. We'll just be chillin', that's for certain.

Monday, January 14, 2008

More About Baklava

A short post to answer the questions...

Marie Grace, they used the recipe in the Joy of Cooking, omitting the lemon and orange zest. They were entirely self-motivated. Owen is definitely turning into a Serious Foodie (is that redundant?) so I expect he'll be making a lot more goodies as time goes on. As a toddler (!) and pre-schooler, he loved (really loved!) watching cooking shows on PBS. No kidding. A born foodie. His next ambition is to make marzipan from scratch. But we don't currently own a full-size food processor, just a mini-chopper, so he's thwarted in that plan for now.

Bezzie, they did not make the phyllo from scratch, but Owen has also expressed an interest in trying that. I think one needs pretty heavy machinery to roll the pastry layers that thin. And way better humidity control than we have.

For all of you who never tried making it, I say, don't be afraid. My husband has done it several times over the years. The first time ever, I explained to him the thing about buttering every layer and he misunderstood. He took a stack of several sheets for the bottom layer and buttered it, put in filling, a top layer (also many sheet thick), and buttered that. D'oh! We had a good laugh about it after, when I told him he really did need to peel every thin sheet and butter it.

My sister used to be the Queen of Baklava when she was in high school. I've made a number of phyllo-based main dishes, like spanokopita, and the main trick is to have your stuff all ready so you can work quickly and not let the pastry dry out. Keep the pastry between two layers of plastic wrap with a damp dishtowel laid on top.

Dale, I'm sorry to report that it will be long gone by Friday, except for the part that takes up residence on my derriere.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


It has occurred to me that blog posts about food are very popular. My bread post got many more comments than most of my knitting posts. So, never one to miss an opportunity to improve my standing in the blog-o-sphere, I give you tonight's dessert...

My guys made baklava today.

Posing with their creation

Yummy close up view!

I also took pictures of the lentil soup I made, but somehow, steaming in the big pot, it just didn't look as appetizing. Maybe I should have taken the picture of it artfully served in a big ceramic bowl with crusty baguette posed nicely on the side.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Here's the current progress on Mr. SABLE's Adirondack Pullover. I just need to finish one more sleeve, about 6 more inches on the body, and darn in ends. And wash and block. But I'm in the home stretch, for certain.

I've been playing with swatches for sweater for my brother's wife. I think I've hit on a good idea that might actually lead to a popular pattern. Stay tuned.

The kids went back to school on Monday. Just in time, too. Two weeks of togetherness was pushing our limits! I took a couple very long naps this past week; I guess I'm not back on the school schedule yet.

Hope you are all surviving your winters ok.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

First FO 2008

Click to make it bigger. You know you want to!

I've got chicken soup started on the stove and fresh baguettes from bread machine dough. Unfortunately, I'm out of barley which is my favorite chicken soup ingredient. I'll just have to use noodles this time.

We narrowly missed having the snowiest December on record here in Mad Town. 34.4 inches (the record is 35"). Our annual season average is only about 48 inches, so you can see we're ahead of the curve this year. It's a good time to hunker down indoors with chicken-vegetable soup and fresh warm bread.