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.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

WIP Wednesday

First, an update on something posted before:

The Corgi Hill BFL is plied. I decided to go for a basic 2 ply, and it looks lovely on the bobbin at least.  Of course it still needs to be skeined and washed but the spinning at least is done.

I also casted on a new projects recently.  (Don't worry, I've finished stuff too but that's for another day)
The beginnings of a the Beautiful Baby Sweater from 101 Luxury One Skein Wonders, which will be going to one of my co-workers who's having a baby towards the end of the summer.

Friday, May 13, 2011

FO Friday: Mother's Day Nutkins

 Like so many parents, my mom and dad are hard to shop for.  Fortunately, my mom can usually be pleased with one of my knits.  So when I realized that Mother's Day was approaching back in April I offered to give my mom any of the projects that I was working on at the time or to make something else for her.  When I mentioned I had a pair of socks on the needles she made her decision very quickly.

These are the socks she choose, Nutkins made with Dream in Color Smooshy in Beach Fog.  As many have said Smooshy is a lovely yarn.  The colors are vibrant and the yarn is smooth and springy. It even holds up well after wearing and washing.  It's just perfect for socks in my opinion.  The pattern was great too, though I decided to do my regular heel rather than the short row heel called for.   I'm a little sad to give them away, but of course my mom deserves them.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

WIP Wednesday

A half granny square shawl using Plymouth Zino.  I lost the tag so I'm not sure what color this is, but it looks nice in the pattern.

Two bobbins of corgi hill farm BFL.  I'm still trying to decide if I want to navajo ply them or just do a 2 ply.  We shall see...

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

WIP Wednesday

My latest projects...

A diamond rain vest in Knitpicks Comfy for my sister.  The back is already done so just the front to do.


Nutkin Socks in Dream in Color Smooshy.  They hardly count as a WIP since all I need to do is close up the toe on this sock and then weave in the ends.  Yay progress!

Monday, April 25, 2011

My New Toy

This year I got my birthday present early.

Its my very own spinning wheel!  A Lendrum double treadle that I found used on Ravelry.  The former owner is moving across the country so my family and Robert all chipped in so that I could give it a new home.

I have to say I am in love.  In the two weeks since I got it I've managed to spin a lot of fiber.  First, there's the 4 ounces of Romeny that I spun the very first weekend I had it.  Its now 120 yards of plush 2 ply aran weight yarn.  Its feels soft and squishy and I plan to knit it into a ribbed hat.

There's also the alpaca/silk I bought at Rhinebeck last fall.  Its now 260 yards of DK weight 2 ply. The loose blend of the fibers gives the finished yarn a tweedy look, which I love.

I also learned how to Navajo ply on it and made 2 mini skeins to practice

On the wheel now is Corgi Hill Farms BFL in Bells of Ireland.  The BFL is very nice to spin. The long fibers make it easy to draft, and its pretty soft.

This picture was taken Friday, and that bobbin is almost full now. If I keep this up I'll be plying by the end of the week.  Good thing the Sheep & Wool Festival is this weekend :)