Sunday, August 31, 2008

sunday baking

Sunday Morning Granola.

Saw it on Milk Eggs Chocolate first.
Greatly influenced by Leslie's post.
Rose early this morning and baked.  
Filled the house with sweet and spicy aromas.
Ate mine with yogurt.  Yum.

White Milk Bread from Apples for Jam.
Have coveted the book for months.
Finally broke down and bought it a few weeks back.
Tried it once, and it didn't rise; I only had ap flour on hand, and it really does require bread flour.  
This time, it was positively perfect in every way. 
Slathered my slice with butter.  The kids ate theirs with strawberry jam.

Friday, August 29, 2008

i *heart* socks.

As if you didn't know it already.

Socks almost always flatter.
You never have to worry if they are hiding a bulge or a sag.
They typically don't accentuate a feature you try really hard to keep from daylight.
It's not of importance whether the color you selected is complementary to your skin tone.
Shouldn't you love socks, too?

The yarn is hand-dyed by Sarah, the [fabulous] Plucky Knitter. But don't expect you can rush right over and ask her to dye you up a skein, for this particular beauty was only dyed for Plucky Classics (of course, you could try to get into the next go-round). Hitchcock is her new muse, and this colorway, Madeliene Elster, was inspired by "Vertigo".
To remind me I'm not perfect, there are two mistakes, both in the same sock. 1. I forgot to twist a cable on the leg; 2. and maybe more distressing of the two: I knit the cuff a half inch longer on one sock! Yikes. Thank goodness they'll be covered by pants.

The pattern is the Baby Cable Rib (rav link) by Charlene Schurch. I don't like the Schurch toes, though, so I went with the toe from Charade (rav link, too), another lovely pattern featuring a nice, wide toe. I've knit a few pairs of Charades before -- and loved them, but it was Amanda's comment from a previous post that reminded me of the great shape again.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

in a month's time

The silence over here in my space of the knitting blogosphere is deafening.  Some days I'm a little disappointed in myself for not writing more and allowing flickr to be my only avenue to you.  Other days, I know that NOT spending the time posting is the best thing that I can do: my family needs my attention, my sanity deserves it.   I've resolved to be like Kerstin, Blogging Without Obligation.

July 24 was my last post, and detailed the Snicket socks that I adore but haven't yet had a chance to wear in our summertime heat.  That posting seems like a long, long time ago.  Even the "I've-completed-the-Snicket" high I was riding feels aeons away.  The last week of July was the finish of Pre-K for Annika and quickly melted into the first week August-- which was our last week of summer break.

When school starts, I always heave a sigh: one that's half-filled with relief at the prospect of a little more quiet, a little more time, and a little more routine; but the other half is filled with a little more stress, a little more scheduling, and a whole lot more commitment.  School is important to us, no doubt.  Our homework gets done on time, reading is done every night.  Instilling the study skills of a successful student is paramount, and I'm positive it is the same for a lot of those that read this blog.  This reign over school/home scheduling is not necessarily difficult, it's just the other side of the leaf I have to turn once August hits.  And this year, it's taken all of my focus since there are two children in school.

So in a month's time, not a whole lot of tangible things have been accomplished, but here's the run-down of what has been on the needles:

Pomatomus sock.  Began as a sock for me, but is too tight, so is now on its way to be socks for Laurel.  Socks that Rock Lightweight in Puck's Mischief.

Slouchy Cardigan from Greetings from Knit Café.  This pattern has caused some heartache for so many knitters.  The sleeve cap doesn't fit into the arm hole well, apparently.  I've looked and noted many knitters' modifications, but I'm just going to forge on with the pattern as written.  As an unexperienced sweater knitter, I feel that I really can't deviate beyond the pattern too much.  Debbie Bliss Alpaca/Silk DK in sky blue.

Baby Cable Rib Socks from Sensational Knitted Socks.  I love this pattern, as I do all of the patterns in this book, and it's sequel, More Sensational Knitted Socks.  I only have to finish half of the foot and toe of the second sock, and I've got another pair to add to my drawer.  I've found a couple of mistakes in the second sock: one twist I forgot to make in one cable, and I knit the cuff of the second sock two inches long but the first cuff only one-and-a-half inches long!  Thank goodness they'll hide under pants when I'm wearing them. The Plucky Knitter's Plucky Classics Superwash Merino Wool Handpainted Fingering in Madeleine Elster.

And here's what has been baking:

First week of school request: Chocolate Chip Cookies.  Plain-ol'-regular-off-of-the-back-of-the-Toll-House-bag Chocolate Chip Cookies.  Since these are Laurel's favorite, I won Mom of the Week.

Second week: Duncan Hines Brownies.  Laurel went grocery shopping with me and asked if we could buy this particular box because there were three box tops on the box.  Her new class is the recipient of most collected box tops award each year.  She is bound and determined to help keep the honor in place.

This week: Rice Krispies Treats.  (Do you see a trend towards laziness here?  And really, since they don't bake, can they even be labled a Cookie of the Week?  I don't know how much lower I can slum when next week comes around.  Pretty soon I'll be doling out Mother's Circus Animal Cookies.)  Oh, but I do add 1 tsp. vanilla extract to my marshmallow-butter mixture, a tip that was given to me by a mom from Laurel's first playgroup.

There is one possibly redeeming cookie here though, under all of this mundane.  Yesterday was the Annual Cream Can Dinner that my husband's Nebraskan family puts on.  Never heard of it?  Neither had I, until a few years back.  I was asked to bring a dessert, so I chose Fresh-Peach Drop Cookies from Cookies.  Fresh-Peach Drop Cookies sounds down home enough to finish off a Cream Can Dinner, don't they?  Too bad I forgot the cookies on the counter at home...

... because I really didn't want them at home.  These cookies are just okay.  They're very moist, and is suggested that they're consumed the day they're made.  If they're not eaten, they become even more moist.  Uh, like puddly-moist.  Anyway, I expected some great peachy flavor, especially because I bought organic peaches and a high-quality peach preserve.  Sadly, if it wasn't for the cinnamon-sugar topping, these would be nearly tasteless.

Oh, and remember how I mentioned that my mother-in-law said she is disgusted by the idea of me throwing away my cookies of the week?  She knew of my plan to bring these peach cookies to the Cream Can.  When I showed up with a Whole Foods Cherry Pie and Gianna's Ginger Snaps instead, she told me she'd need to know when to come out this week to eat up the peach cookies.