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Saturday, March 29, 2008

Random thoughts while treading water

At 3 months, 14 hours to retirement, I think a lot about saying goodbye to a 27+year career. Having a virus also makes me grumpy and somewhat negative. Maybe it's time to take those blues CDs out of my car, heh. And now that my Pakucho is done, what next? So I decided to take Kim up on doing the Random thoughts meme. Everyone who happens by this post is also invited:)

5 Random Thoughts
1. Really, I don't need a $200+ knitting book, even if it is Alice Starmore's Aran Knitting. It's pure indulgence and there are more worthy causes.
2. I think about that 35 year old man who died suddenly of a brain aneurysm. He was a patient assigned to me by the health plan who(m?) I never met. He was single. Who was he? I will not miss worrying about patients at 3 in the morning or on holidays and weekends after I retire but no doubt I will still think about them. I still think about Mr. H from medical school days.
3. I want so much to knit the red Fleece Artist Marina. I just don't think anyone I know, including me will wear a tube scarf.
4. Is there a secret to cooking pancakes? Why do mine cook too fast or too slow, heh. I'll have to get my sister, master pancake maker to share her secrets.
5. I think about all kinds of other hats I might try on in the next chapter of my life...librarian, prison doctor, etsy store keeper, substitute teaching. All dreams so far. I have no experience in retail. I suspect there are a million other jobs I never even heard of. It constantly amazes me at how small my world is.

Hmmm, I just remembered, I gave up thinking for 2008...I'm supposed to be living in the NOW. So much for resolutions. But then again, maybe random thoughts are not the same as thinking. I think I'll just let the mystery be.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Pakucho Treasure, just about FO

Pattern: Centerpiece Treasure Afghan, Lion Brand Pattern
Yarn: Pakucho Organic Cotton 6 colors, about 2 skeins each
Needles: Knitpicks Options, size 9
Mods: Finished up with a picot bind-off. With the last color, I knit one row, then purled one row the did the picot bind-off, casting on two and binding off. I think that last purled row cut down on the curling.
I have yet to block or wash this thing. It's not quite a square or circle, and small like the the baby it's for. The yarn is very cushy. The stockinette is just the thing for mindless knitting while catching up on the netflicks.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Nautie, FO

Pattern: Nautie from Knitty (ooh just noticed the Spring issue is up)
Yarn: The last of the Classic Merino Peacock
Mods: I knit the face directly on the body, by picking up the bumps behind the bind off row so I could avoid seaming. Instead of casting off on the face I knit two together and used the last 3 stitches to knit the first tentacle. I have yet to make a eye as I can't locate my white felt so I cheated and used pelon for the photo shoot.

This strange critter is a fun, fast project. I don't know what to knit next. The Jo Sharp Soho I got for Cherry just isn't speaking to me. I wanted to do IKs Flutter sleeve cardigan, but the gauge was way off. Maybe the yarn really wants to be Cherry. I have reservations about the neck line, but may just make it for one of my tiny relatives.

The Totoro were a little disappointed that there wasn't a Peacock Totoro, but have let it go and moved on, heh.

Monday, March 10, 2008

My Lillehammer

Pattern: Cider Moon, Lillehammer
Yarn: Cascade 220 scraps and left over peacock Paton's Classic Merino
Needles: Size 5 circular/DPs

The Feral Knitter suggested I try holding both colors of yarn in my left hand when I complained about what a poor thrower I was so I watched a couple of you tube videos and off I went. This method of fer-alling suits me better:) Thanks Janine!

I had difficulty with the first row so I used a different method for it, doing one color at time. I was thinking this made the first row curl, but after reading about it discovered this is faq! A twisted German cast on was suggested, so I watched the you tube of this and will have to try it next time around.

I ran out of cream at the top and substituted peacock and so I have a big blob of it on top. It is a bit habit forming, but hard on my hands for now. I'm sure to run out of the peacock classic merino soon, but maybe there is enough for a Totoro:)

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Bar Harbor Shell Bag, FFO (finally finished object)

Pattern: Knitting Dream's Bar Harbor Shell Bag
Yarn: Lamb's Pride worsted, 2 sk khaki, 1 sk pine shadows, 1 sk onyx.
Light felted to preserved stitch definition
Mods: I cast on 7 stitches for the strap and did 3 st attached i-cord on both sides to make a wider strap.

The lining was challenge. I used two layer Timtex on the bottom and one layer of thickest sew in interfacing which was not as stiff as I was hoping. I thought adding the lining would stiffen it more, but it still is a little flimsy. My bag came out tall instead of inverted bell shape, stands alone, and all in all I'm quite happy with it. I may make one of those removable pocket things for the inside.

On another front, it finally happened. I knit a hat that actually fits me. Hah. Miracles do happen. I give you heart hat, top down beanie, in Peacock Classic Merino.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Wednesday Sunset

This portion of tonight's sunset was so fleeting. A real wow moment.

The lining for Bar Harbor Shell Bag is proving challenging, as is the closure. I found a lovely button to use,but the loop I used was too thick. Sigh, I feel more i-cord knitting coming on.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Oatmeal Nut Scones

I adapted the scone recipe from Joy of Cooking to use the stuff my friends Margaret and Betty had in their kitchen. I love scones, I like them sweet and buttery and I like them to have oatmeal and whole grain flour. I need that fiber to counteract the sugar, don't you know;)

Originally uploaded by acornbud

1 cup coarsely ground oatmeal
3/4 c whole wheat pastry flour
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2-3 teaspoon orange or lemon zest
2 eggs sl. beaten
1/3 c milk
1/4 c butter
1/4 c chopped almonds

Mix the eggs and milk together. Add the ground oatmeal and allow to set while preparing the dry ingredients.
Mix the flower, sugar and baking powder together. Cut in the butter until the size of small peas. (a pastry cutter, two knives or a food processor all work well!)
Mix everything together gently until just well blended. (other nuts work just as well). Add a teaspoon of vanilla if you like. If the dough is too wet make drop scones, about 6. If it is drier, shape into a 6 inch round and cut into wedges. Sprinkle sugar crystals or brush with egg wash if you like.
Bake 400 deg, 12-15 minutes on an ungreased cookie sheet. A lot depends on your oven.

To make glaze, start with 1/2 cup powdered sugar. Add lemon juice or Grand Marnier or maple syrup, and mix until it is smooth and flows slowly from a spoon. Apply to scone as soon as it comes out of the oven.

I think the flour can be replaced by ground nuts. I may try it.