Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Fall Love & a Recipe

I love fall.  Actually, I love all the seasons, but right now I'm really love fall.  The air is pleasantly cool and crisp, the leaves are turning bright red and orange, and its still sunny when I get out of work.  What's not to love?

The new season also has me contemplating all the warm, hearty food that I was skipping in the summer. I started to crave something hot for breakfast to counter the chilly mornings.  My autumnal food craving inspired me to experiment with one of Robert's and my favorite breakfast foods, steel cut oatmeal, and combine it with a fall classic, apples.  The result is simply delicious.

Apple Cinnamon Steel Cut Oatmeal

4 cups apple juice
1 cup steel cut oatmeal aka Irish oatmeal (I use Country Choice Organic)
2 tbs cinnamon (you can add more or less depending on your preferences)
2 small to medium apples cut into small chunks

In a medium sauce pan bring the apple juice to apple a boil.
Slowly stir the oatmeal into the apple juice.  Continue to stir and allow the mixture to boil until its thickened a bit, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the apples and cinnamon.
Lower the heat to medium and allow the oatmeal to simmer, while stirring occasionally, until it reaches the consistency you desire, approximately 30 minutes.

The oatmeal right after I stirred in the apples and cinnamon.
The oatmeal freezes and refrigerates well. It will last several days in the fridge.  I highly recommend making this over the weekend and refrigerating it in serving sized containers so that all you have do each morning is microwave and enjoy.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Gettin Ready for the Cold

 One of my coworkers claims that if squirrels have bushy tails early in the season we will have an especially cold winter.  He claims that the tales are looking extra fluffy this fall and thus I am preparing. 

Bavarian Tulip Mittens from last year's fall Interweave Knits are ready

Scarf in Old Shale pattern using my handspun underway.

Ok maybe I'm not entirely convinced by that squirrel tails can predict the weather, but its as good a reason as any to knit.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

FO: Sewing Machine Cover

My sewing machine and I don't always get along. When I first got it for my birthday a few years ago, I had to send it back because the stitch selector didn't work.  And then for a long time we were good, for the most part at least.  More recently, the feed wasn't working, and Robert and I spent a whole evening poking around inside the bobbin area.  I dusted it, and it still didn't work.  Robert dusted it, still didn't work.  I was looking into repair shops while Robert dusted the inside again and viola it worked.  Yea, my machine was that dusty.  It was then that I realized I'd have to buy or make a cover.

After procrastinating for a respectable amount of time, I looked around at patterns on the internet and bought fabric.  Using this and this tutorial as my guidelines I made this:

My version doesn't have a pocket, but I did a lining inside and then used double folded bias around the edge.  Isn't it adorable?  Can you tell those are little birds kissing? Here's a close up so you can really appreciate the cuteness:

Now I can leave my sewing machine sitting on my desk, ready to use, and not have to worry about it getting super dusty again.  And it's so darn cute it makes me happy to look at it.  Maybe it'll make me sew more, but then I'd have to remove the cover.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Tour de Fleece Week 1

Since I have a wheel now I decided it would be fun to participate in Ravelry's Tour de Fleece, which is a  spinning event that coincides with the the Tour de France.  And it just happened to start at the same time as my vacation so I did lots of spinning this past week.  Here's one very full bobbin of merino/silk, and I have another well under way.

I also spun in the car on my Bosworth on the way to and from the Cape. It didn't even make me motion sick, which knitting and reading sometimes do.

I enjoyed my vacation week in Cape Cod tremendously, but its back to work for me now.  Besides I had to come home to get this:
Its a Gripping Yarns Rose spindle in East Indian Rosewood.  It's beautiful and so delicate.  It's smaller than I thought it would be, but since I've never seen a supported style spindle in person I wasn't sure what exactly to expect.  I also love the little sample of merino/silk she included from Corgi Hill Farm.  Now I just have to learn how to use it or maybe I'll just continue to admire it.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Spinning Tuesday: Bells of Ireland

So after sitting around for weeks, I finally washed my green BFL from Corgi Hill Farm.  Isn't it pretty?  Spun and plied on Lendrum.  I have about 300 yards of DK to Worsted Weight yarn.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Another New Toy

I just go these:

Yep, those are hand carders, which I found used on etsy.  They're quite old, and at first they turned my wool brown because the teeth were rusty.  But I've now worked enough greasy wool through them that the rust has been cleaned out.  Now, I get fluffy white rolags like you see above.

The motivation to buy carders was that I finally decided to do something with this:

That is a whole bunch of wool I was given by an acquaintance with sheep.  He gave it to me a year ago, and I just let it sit around because the thought of processing 3 fleeces was kinda scary.  But now that I have my wheel it actually seems doable, and I'm having experimenting with preparing my own fibers.

Its definitely a different spinning experience, and I've been practicing long draw drafting.  My earlier attempts at long draw weren't all that great.  It just didn't work well with the fiber I was using.  However, this fleece is suited to woolen spinning with its short downy fibers, and I've been having a lot more success with long draw.  It's a good think I figured out how to spin this stuff because I have a lot more to do.

Friday, May 20, 2011

FO Friday: Annis

I have something to admit.  I am not a process knitter.  Of course I enjoy the process of knitting, but mainly I knit because I want the finished thing not just for the sake of knitting itself.  Annis, however, is one of the exceptions.  Recently, I had a hunger for lace.  For whatever reason I really wanted to do a whole bunch of yarn overs and decreases just because it is so fascinating to see them grow into the pattern as you knit.  So I searched through my stash, matched yarn with a pattern, and cast on.

To satisfy my lace craving I picked Annis from Knitty 2010 and used Dye Dreams Panda Sox in Seashore, which I bought at the CT Sheep and Wool Festival last year.  I loved the pattern, its simple and pretty.  But this was my first time doing nups and at first they were a giant pain.  After some research though I started knitting them very loose on the right side and then used a smaller needle to knit the stitches together on the wrong side.  This made the nups so much easier, and while they're not perfect I think they look pretty good for my first experience with them.

As typical with lace, it took a good blocking to open it up and make the shawl really shine.  Now its lovely and drapey.  I think the bamboo in the yarn helps with drape and makes it shiney. These photos don't really do the color just.  In the sun, the color ranges from deep turquoise to blue and has lovely sheen.

I didn't really need another shawl, but I do love it.  It should be perfect for all those cool spring and summer evenings I'm waiting for.