Sunday, November 30, 2008

Planning Ahead

The secret of success is constancy of purpose.
-Benjamin Disraeli

It's the last day of NaBloPoMo, and I think we can safely say it's been a success. I've posted every day even if I did sort of forget my third blogiversary. Regardless, it's been fun to get back into the rhythm. And to start thinking ahead to what I want my knitting to do and be in 2009.

So fun, that I almost got sucked into the idea of NaKniSweMoDo. Almost. The idea of knitting 12 sweaters in as many months appeals to me. It's complicated, and my husband assures me that the more complicated something is, the more I like it.

But then I stopped and pondered. And realized that I have like two or three more Dales I want to make, including the adorable baby Dale I'm starting today.

So then I made my plans: I'm going to knit whatever I want in 2009, whenever I want to. So there. And in celebration, I'm about to have a little cast on party. Right now.

I'm also going to be reducing the stash quite a bit. Right now I'm at 501 skeins and 96,417 yards, with 26 balls of Mission Falls 1824 cotton in the mail (another 2,200+ yards). Assuming I buy no new yarn in 2008, that'll keep me well under my goal of <100,000 yards on December 31st. The goal of <500 skeins will be a little closer, but I think it's do-able based on the projects on the needles and in the wings for December.

Of the remaining stash, more than 20,000 yards is laceweight. Will have to ponder that. But this past year of attempting (and pretty much succeeding) to reduce the stash has made me decide that my ideal stash size is probably around 50,000 yards. Enough to cast on whatever I want whenever I want, but also to buy tweedy yarn for the new IK whenever I want. That would be about 50% less than I currently have, which would be a little extreme for a single year of stash reduction. So I'm thinking that my goal for Dec 31st 2009 will be to have reduced the stash by 1/3 compared to Dec 31st 2008.

Oh, and because I still can't resist a joint complicated goal, I'll be doing the Knit 100 Balls of Yarn in 2009 with the Ravelry Stash Knit Down 2009 group!

OK, off to cast on . . .

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Saturday, November 29, 2008

Good Friends

A friend is the only person you will let into the house
when you are Turning Out Drawers.
-Pam Brown

Good friends help you dye yarn (way easier than I thought! The hardest part was finding an old pot at the Salvation Army!)
put together bookcasesand throw pizza dough in the air.Crust recipe available here.

Oh, yeah, and there was lots and lots of knitting. There'll be lots of FO posts in the coming weeks.

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Friday, November 28, 2008

Lounging About

Once a guy starts to wear silk pajamas, it's hard to get up early.
-Eddie Arcaro

I'm doing my part to shore up the economy today by lounging about in my new pajamas and shopping online.

Which leads me to all sorts of happy thoughts on my new pajamas, so let's talk about my very first sewn garment.
T's First Pajamas
Pattern: Simplicity "It's so easy" pattern 2731 for Misses' Pajamas (1st one here)
Fabric: a flannel snowflake print I bought at Joanne's last year on a sale. Anyone know why it says "not intended for children's sleepwear" on the selvage edge?
Notes: I followed the pattern exactly, as best as I could . . . which isn't saying much.
Best Thing About This Project: The lounging, of course!

It's not perfect - somehow I ended up with this accidental pleat sewn into the hem. Since I made them comfortably long, you can't really tell when they're on. I am proud of the buttonholes and the drawstring: JayJay encouraged me to make them by hand, since I'd forgotten the manual to my sewing machine and I couldn't figure out how to use the buttonhole feature without it. I think they came out pretty well.

Now I guess I'd better go stop lounging, and move onto a stressful afternoon of meeting the girls for a matinee!


Thursday, November 27, 2008


As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that
the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.
-John Fitzgerald Kennedy

I've been learning a lot about gratitude this year.

I've spent a lot of time working, and learning that my worst day being a doctor is better than the best day being sick. I'm grateful for that.

My husband deployed (and he ran a turkey trot this morning), and any day I talk to him is better than any day I don't. While we haven't been married very long, I think we're learning a thankfulness that will last a good long time. That we're grateful for any chance to talk; that nice real conversation is better than a quick "hello," but that a hello is better than nothing. That my mother is right, and there is an art of the greeting card. That there really is only one person who completes me. That we are strong people, and we're doing just fine. But we're stronger together. I'm thankful that we're learning this now.
Being thankful means taking nothing for granted, and enjoying the roses my husband sent. Being thankful means I need to go peel all those apples for the pie . . . and looking forward to having a Thanksgiving chicken for the first time in my life. Because I'm so very thankful for the friends I'll be sharing it with, and they just don't like turkey. I'm thankful that at least they like cranberry sauce!

Happy Thanksgiving!


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

That Other Needle

One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas.
How he got into my pajamas, I'll never know.
-Groucho Marx

Knitting? What knitting? I've been muddling my way through this:
Sewing patterns are a bit daunting if you're not used to them. It's a really good thing JayJay held my hand through the beginning when I got to see her last weekend. Otherwise I'm pretty sure I never would have gotten off the ground.

On a related note, did you know that you can actually use up a whole spool of thread?I'd actually never really considered such a thing. As I pondered when I saw that the price sticker said "Clover $1.29." That's a store that's been out of business for at least a dozen years, and I suspect that I stole it from my mom when I went to college some ten years ago. (Sorry, Mom!)

Here's a sneak preview of my first-ever sewn garment: The pajama pants are almost done, full details to follow.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tweed, Glorious Tweed

Ask where's the North? At York 'tis on the Tweed; in Scotland at the Orcades;
and there, At Greenland, Zembla, or the Lord knows where.
-Alexander Pope

I can't think of enough good things to say about the new Interweave Knits. The cover sweater alone is enough, and then the whole section on tweedy goodness. . . . It's too much.

And it's more than just the patterns. Beyond just liking a sweater or a pattern or a yarn or a color, there's another consideration when a project catches our eye. It's the fantasy aspect. What would my life be like if I, too, wore delightful tweedy bobble cardigans with belts? An idyllic countryside, or maybe a chic urban woman who bothered to wear something other than hooded sweatshirts on her way to work?

I want to live the life that the Blooming Cardigan conjurs up in my mind. (I think it's the belt, or the buttons on the top RIGHT collar, discontinuous from the rest of the buttons. Or something.) And I want to hang out there, wherever that is, with my sister, who would adore the Ropes and Picots Cardigan. We were raised in a cardigan-loving family of women who are always cold and go nowhere without a little cardigan, "just in case." And the shoulder detail on the Ropes and Picots! The whole thing also makes me wonder why I have never made something with a picot hem for my sister, who is so clearly - now that I see this cardigan - a picot sort of person. (You can tell from the photo here of her wearing Rowena. Clearly a picot person, isn't she?) Back to the new IK, it will come as no suprise to any of you that the Holly and Poinsetta Mittens strike my fancy, since they a) are mittens and b) are colorwork and c) are the least practical thing for the San Diego climate. To be a good enabler, I should point out that there is a kit available here for the mittens for a reasonable $55. That I think $55 is a reasonable amount to spend on mittens reminds me I should go donate money to the food bank given the overwhelming number of news articles such as this.

There is, however, a temporary solution to my stream-of-consciousness fantasy life. Tweed socks.

Warm and Tweedy Goodness
Pattern: William Street Socks, available free on the Interweave Knits site
Yarn: Regia Tweed, 6-fadig (sportweight)
Needles: US 2
Notes: I actually knit this toe-up with a short-row heel, which I rarely do. I liked the directionality of the cables and didn't want to mess with figuring out how to reverse it. Also, this pattern calls for what seems to be a crazy number of stitches, but the cables really pull in. The only mod I made was to do the ribbing for the entire back leg, rather than stockinette and then ribbing at the top.
Best Thing About This Project: They'll absolutely match the Blooming Cardigan. Too bad they're not for me.

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Monday, November 24, 2008

Another Way to Keep Warm

I once had a rose named after me and I was very flattered.
But I was not pleased to read the description in a catalgoue:
no good in a bed, but fine up against a wall.
-Eleanor Roosevelt

It was a whole 47 degrees this morning when I got in my car to head to work. For San Diego, that's definite sweater weather. Maybe even mittens, although for the whole 10 minute drive I tend to just put the seat heaters on and "tough it out." And actually, I tend to wear hooded sweatshirts more than sweaters when I'm dragging myself off in the pre-dawn hours. A morning person, I am not. Just ask my mom.

Speaking of my mom, she's a grand appreciator of handknits. You may recall that when I saw her earlier this month, she tried to steal my brand-new cowl. Since there's no good reason we can't both have one, I made another one:

(The color is truer in the original post - darker than here.) That's the Luxe Neckwarmer from Knit 2 Together, for those of you too lazy to follow the link.

Those cowls were fun. And if not entirely stashbusters, due to not requiring super-much yarn, they did provide a potential outlet for heretofore unusused lovely skeins.

Hence, the next cowl:

Nova's Birthday Cowl
Birthday Cowl, free pattern here
Yarn: Green Mountain Spinnery Mountain Mohair
Needles: US 8
Notes: Great easy pattern. Very similar to the one in the Odessa hat.
Best Thing About This Project: The way the yarn blooms.

The only challenge with this cowl is going to be finding someone who can wear this color so close to their face. It's a gorgeous coral which I used to great effect as an accent here and here, but alone it's quite bright.

So then I took a look at the rest of my Mountain Mohair leftovers (because I'm learning that leftovers - often in massive quantities are what happens when you do stranded knitting), conveniently sitting in a basket waiting their turn. And another cowl was born.

Almost Lichen Cowl
inspired by the Lichen Cowl from Lollyknits
Yarn: more Mountain Mohair leftovers
Needles: US 8
Notes: I modified this to make it narrower - the original can be wrapped twice around the neck, but I wanted a more straightforward cowl. I think I used 90 sts or thereabouts.
Best Thing About This Project: Soft fuzzy yarn, delightful colors - and "my" colors, and the perfect thing to keep a little chill at bay, indoors or out. Because any day you can wear handknits is better than any day you can't.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Under The Wire

But if the while I think on thee, dear friend,
All losses are restored and sorrows end.
-William Shakespeare

Well, I've had a pretty all-around crafty weekend . . . which explains why I'm blogging just before bed at 9:30 on Sunday evening. (I get up early.)

I knit. I sewed. I'm working on pajama pants - my first-ever sewn garment. It's going well, although even this simple pattern is more involved than I would have guessed. And it's a really good thing JayJay was there to hold my hand and show me which way was up in the pattern and lend me fabric scissors. Wow - they're sharp!

Anyway, then I knit some more and even cooked for friends. Like I said, crafty. But of course I have no photos as of yet.

So instead of a second photo-less post in two days, I'll share some photos I've been meaning to post since August. I believe I mentioned that my dear friend Kate D. (cheer her on for NaNoWriMo here) got married. You know she's a good friend when she invites you to stay at her parents' house for the wedding so that you won't be lonely because your husband couldn't come. As a bonus, I got to sleep in the presence of delightful craftiness.

Let's all admire the wonderful hand-embroidered pillowcases that Kate's grandmother made. They adorn the "extra" bed pillows on the guest bed, on top of a lovely handmade scrap quilt. But then, what to do with the other pillowcases, since there were more than could be displayed at the same time? In a stroke of pure genius, Kate's mom made them into valances. Aren't they perfect up there? What a great idea!

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

At A Loss

Blue flower, red thorns! Blue flower, red thorns! Blue flower, red thorns! Oh, this would be so much easier if I wasn't color-blind!
-Donkey in Shrek

There are no stranded colorwork projects on my needles right now. I don't know how to handle it. I'm beginning to think that this is really my favorite kind of knitting, although as soon as I say that I feel the urge to knit some cables. Regardless, I do think that stranded knitting is an important part of my balanced knitting diet.

So, what to knit next (in the colorwork way)? For the moment, I'm limiting myself to projects I can make from my stash.
Or should I just hold out until December 1st, when I'll be starting my Snowflake Socks (IK link) in a burgundy and cream?

Today I'll be holding off on casting on as I join JayJay for other crafty pursuits (like sewing! and playing with the baby!). Keep your fingers crossed for sewing in a straight line!

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Friday, November 21, 2008

All Done!

Be happy. It's one way of being wise.
-Sidonie Gabrielle

Wahoo! I love it. This is definitely the best thing I've ever made. And it fits perfectly. It's now drying on the drying rack, so expect a full on post with modeled photos next week.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Something From Nothing

I love talking about nothing. It is the only thing I know anything about.
-Oscar Wilde

I talk about my stash occasionally on this blog (note to self: take some pictures). Today, let's talk about the non-stash. I know we all have one. I'm talking about the partial balls of yarn that even the most OCD of us don't list on our stash spreadsheets. In my case, I separate out the sock leftovers from the regular ones. And while the sock leftovers are quickly overflowing their basket, the regular leftovers fill an entire wicker laundry basket by themselves. Sure, they don't count in my yardage, but they sure do take up space.

Steathily, in the last few months, I took some promising skeins and matched them with some promising projects in my Ravelry queue. And there you have it - something from nothing.

Halley's Comet Hat
Pattern: by Marnie McLean, free online
Yarn: Cotton-Ease in red (not quite as orange as it appears on the screen), about 1/2 skein
Needles: US8
Notes: Speedy pattern. Looks a lot better on.
Best Thing About This Project: Something from nothing.

Huckleberry Ascot
Pattern: from Interweave Knits, Holiday 2007
Yarn: (I think . . .) Lionbrand Wool-ease Sportweight in blue, about 1/2 skein
Needles: US 6
Notes: Great fun pattern, very clear, and intuitive once you get into it.
Best Thing About This Project: Something from nothing.

And, last but not least (and please ignore the photo issues - I just learned that you can edit photos in iPhoto and while it made the colors much more true, I can't fix what I did with the border. . .), a kerchief.

Apres-Ski Kerchief
from Handknit Holidays
Yarn: Knit Picks Decadence (now discontinued, which is too bad, because it was a great yarn for quick Christmas gifts!)
Needles: US 9
Notes: Technically the reverse stockinette stitch is the right side, but it actually looks good both ways.
Best Thing About This Project: Something from nothing.

Something from nothing doesn't just apply to knitting. Last week I stocked my freezer with homemade chicken stock.
The bones from a full chicken, and peelings from all my veggies that had been hanging out in the freezer waiting for this day. Gosh I feel industrious!

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Wednesday is for Works-in-Progress

I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple
in a field somewhere and don't notice it.
-Alice Walker

All this resurrecting old FOs, and posting daily for more than half a month, and shamefully little attention has been paid to what is actually on the needles.

How about a preview of the next FOs?

First up, finishing up the Socktoberfest startitis:

Little Child's French Sock from Nancy Bush's Knitting Vintage Socks, in a delightful purple Rowan Botany. This is a lovely sproingy yarn deep from the recesses of the stash, and it's looking good. I'm done the first sock, and a few repeats down the cuff of the second.

Next, My So-Called Scarf.
This was October's Yarn of the Month, but I've only just started paying attention to it. This exact yarn for this exact project has been stash marinating since December 2005 when I was visiting a friend in Seattle. We took the ferry over to Bainbridge Island, and there it was. About time, and isn't it lovely?Unfortunately, lace work-in-progress photos are less lovely. This is the North Sea Shawl from Folk Shawls, which has been in my mental queue since I first started knitting. That was one of the few knitting books the local library had when I started knitting, and I used to dream about the projects. No time like the present, using some lovely fingering weight alpaca in navy blue that my brother brought me from Peru. It's an easy repetitive pattern for now, and I'm enjoying it. I had been holding steady with those projects and the Dale, until this weekend. A one (or two, or three, or . . .) project knitter I am not. So I started Debbie Bliss' Seed Stitch and Cables baby sweater out of some blue Cotton Ease.
Is it just me, or does Debbie Bliss have the largest children? This is the 18 month size, and it looks like it would easily fit my 10 yo niece.

And, while it didn't make the photo shoot, I also cast on for the Aran Watch Cap from Charlene Schurch's Hat's On! book in a burdgundy Paton's Classic Merino. I need to be prepared for the annual family Christmas pollyanna, and picking names on Thanksgiving doesn't leave a lot of time for knitters.

The good news is that I expect to finish all of these except the shawl (but I will finish the Dale!) by the end of the month. . . which should help offset the stash aquisition for the Second Anniversary Sweater. Is it wrong to be happy that my yarn is backordered and hopefully won't come until December? Or is that just the kind of fuzzy accounting that got the whole economy in trouble?

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008


His house was perfect, whether you liked food, or sleep, or work,
or story-telling, or singing, or just sitting and thinking, best,
or a pleasant mixture of them all.

-J.R. Tolkein

The Dale comes along! The body is done, with sleeve steeks sewn. The left sleeve is sewn in, and the right sleeve is finishing, drying, waiting to be sewn in. Picking up stitches for my crewneck collar tonight.

So, while I slog along towards the finished line (yes, knitting a collar onto an entire finished sweater is slogging . . .), let's enjoy some other Scandinavian colorwork that never got it's day on the blog. The long-time readers among you will remember how much I enjoyed going to Scandinavia.

Ah, Selbuvotter gloves. Another true love. After making 3 or 4 small and fiddly pieces for the teddy bear, I gave up on that idea and reconsidered what to do with these gorgeous skeins of natural alpaca.

So I made this pair on the left, for me. Annemor #11 (Ravelry link). And I couldn't stop. So I made Annemor #12, on the left, below (Ravelry link). And I still couldn't stop. (And the yarn just kept on going . . .) Plus, Annemor #12 never made it to the Christmas basket before my husband grabbed them off my needles and claimed them for himself. So, along came Annemor #17, on the right below (Ravelry link). And that one made it to the Christmas basket.
What's the Plural of Selbuvotter?
Patterns: as above, from Selbuvotter by Terri Shea, my favorite book of 2008
Yarn: lovely alpaca, blogged here
Needles: US 2
Notes: The patterns are almost European in the way they don't spell out everything. But the charts are clear, and they were easy to knit. What I learned between the first and second pairs was to line up the sides of the fingers.
Best Thing About This Project: The husband liking them so much he stole a pair. Now we can coordinate. Can't you just see the Christmas card? Complimentary Dale sweaters, complimentary Selbuvotter gloves. . .

I'm just tiding myself over until I can get to Norway. Although earlier today I was struck with an overwhelming desire to go to New Zealand. The source was a map of the global incidence of esophageal cancer, but I'll take my inspiration where I can get it!


Monday, November 17, 2008


A boy doesn't have to go to war to be a hero;
he can say he doesn't like pie when he sees there isn't enough to go around.
-Edgar Watson Howe

Yesterday some friends and I went up into the mountains to escape the unseasonal 80 degree weather and smoke (from wildfires not that close to here).
It was all kinds of seasonal up there, and in the photo essay you can even see the corner of the Nantucket Jacket. It might be a cotton sweater, but any day wearing handknits is better than a day not wearing handknits.
The best part, though, is the pie. And the apple dumplings. And maybe that I got to finish half of the last sleeve of Park City on the drive. No, it was probably the pie . . .


Sunday, November 16, 2008


Great is the road I climb,
but the garland offered by an easier route is not worth the gathering.

OK, OK crewneck it is. The response is overwhelming, and I think we're all agreed that it would be a problem to interrupt the lovely snowflake. The good news is that now I think it'll be done by the end of the week. In the meantime, since I'm past the halfway point of NaBloPoMo, let's review a sweater I finished back during The Great Blogging Drought of 2008.

Gathered Pullover
Pattern: from Interweave Knits, Winter 2007
Yarn: Garnstudio Silke-Tweed, about 6 skeins
Needles: US 7
Notes: Great easy pattern in the round, no mods.
Best Thing About This Project: A great San Diego sweater.
There you see a sneak photo by my dad when we were in Santa Fe (James - that's a golden doodle - let's get one!), but you can see that it's in action. Unlike the Dale, this is the perfect weight sweater for most of the year in San Diego. Initially I was a little skeptical, but seeing Loribird's here made me realize it was the perfect project for this yarn, which is some of the oldest in my stash. I got it from the sale bin of a small shop in Rhode Island on a rainy day my senior year of college. Eek! Anyway, now it's finally come to fruition, and getting a lot of wear. In fact, I wore it out last night.


Saturday, November 15, 2008

Read the Directions

Children require guidance and sympathy far more than instruction.
-Anne Sullivan

I'm glad we're all so in love with my Dale sweater. I am, too. In fact, after being a good Marine wife and making Christmas decorations for the squadron this morning, I decided this afternoon was a nice sunny time to sew the steeks. Plus, I'm trying to ignore the fact that it's 84 degrees outside in November.

So, there I was successfully sewing in the arm steeks. No problems there. And then I went to re-read the instructions for the neck placket. I quickly noticed that I'd bought the wrong size zipper, but since I still need the shock cord for the bottom, that's ok. And then I read and re-read the instructions for what felt like the umpteeth time, trying to figure out the neckband/placket instructions. Those of you familiar with the . . . brevity . . . of Dale patterns know what I mean. And then I realized - she said, with a sinking feeling - that I had neglected a rather important section of the instructions relating to a certain "Pattern IV" that was supposed to hold the place of my placket and make it all nice and tidy. Hmmmm . . . too late for that part now that the sleeve steeks are sewn.

Are you following any of that? Recycling yesterday's photo for clarity, there are supposed to be vertical lines of black with 5 white stitches in between running from the top of the center star (the divet in the middle) to the neck band. The white stitches are the cutting stitches and the zipper goes in between (with some facing added that I still haven't quite figured out). Obviously, I forgot to cast off the 3 neck stitches at that point, which I had realized earlier, but figured I would just reinforce them afterwards. It's this Pattern IV of vertical lines that is missing. I was just cruising along on the pattern, enjoying myself too much to look at the directions.

As an aside, I also realized that the downside of being small and making the XS (which is a healthy 41" in Dale-land), is that I had to cut off some of the fun patterning on the sides - those two side snowflakes are just not there. Le sigh.

So, anyway, what should I do? Any knitters experienced in Norwegian sweaters, feel free to chime in. And everyone, feel free to weigh in on the aesthetics question:

1. Should I put a placket zipper in in spite of the missing vertical lines? Or just add the neckband and have a crewneck? (photos with zipper here, similar sweaters without zipper here and here)
Pro: I had always planned to.
Con: I'm actually completely in love with the way it looks now, with the center star being so prominent and I think it's not as dominant with the zipper.
Pro: I like plackets, zippers, etc. for versatility, and being able to unzip if it I get too warm.
Con: Too warm? It's already stranded Heilo. It's warmer than my parka.
Con: It's easier to make a crewneck.
Pro: After spending a gazillion hours knitting it, what's a few more for the zipper?
Con: It will likely look better as a crewneck given the Pattern IV issues.
2. And while we're asking questions and all, which should I make next?

Lake Louise? Notre Dame? Or have you seen the slightly more modern (and lighter weight, if I used Daletta) Liberec, brand new for the Norwegian 2009 Ski Team?

If it does have a placket, I'm definitely reading the directions all the way through many many many times . . .

3. And, for the existential among us, will knitting all these sweaters convince either my husband or the US Navy or both to move somewhere I can wear them?


Friday, November 14, 2008

Eye Candy Friday

Joy is not in things, it is in us.
-Richard Wagner

One sleeve to go!

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Things We Inherit

Think what a better world this would be if we, the whole world,
had cookies and milk every afternoon around three o'clock
and then lay down on our blankets for a nap.

-Robert Fulghum

Your regularly scheduled knitting post has been hijacked by the fact that tonight I'm working downtown at the free clinic for the homeless, and I kind of forget until now. So instead I'll share two other acheivements from my day off on Tuesday.

1. I baked biscotti. It was fun, and actually sort of easier than regular cookies. You bake them in a log and then cut the log into strips after it's baked to bake them again. I thought that sounded cumbersome, but it's actually easier than dropping or shaping individual cookies. Plus, I think they'll survive their trip to the either side of the world.

2. The biscotti are yummy, but this is the recipe I've got to share: Macademia Butter Cookies with Dried Cranberries. You'll notice that there's no dairy butter, the butter comes from pureeing the macademia nuts. It was an amazing nutty flavor, and good texture. Good thing I hid a whole jar of macademias when my father-in-law brought them back from Hawaii!

Macademia Butter Cookies with Dried Cranberries

⅔ cup macadamia nuts
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ cup sweetened dried cranberries, chopped
1 tablespoon granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 375°. Place nuts in a food processor; process until smooth (about 2 minutes), scraping sides of bowl once. Combine macadamia butter, ½ cup granulated sugar, and brown sugar in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed. Add vanilla and egg; beat well. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking soda, salt, and ground nutmeg, stirring with a whisk. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture; beat at low speed just until combined (mixture will be very thick). Stir in chopped cranberries. Chill 10 minutes. Divide chilled dough into 30 equal portions; roll each portion into a ball. Place 1 tablespoon granulated sugar in a small bowl. Lightly press each ball into sugar; place each ball, sugar side up, on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Gently press the top of each cookie with a fork. Dip the fork in water; gently press the top of each cookie again to form a crisscross pattern. Place 15 cookies on each of 2 baking sheets. Bake cookies, 1 baking sheet at a time, at 375° for 9 minutes or until golden. Remove cookies from pan; cool on a wire rack. Repeat procedure with remaining cookies.

It's even a Cooking Light recipe, so it's not too bad for you.

As I was packaging these up to send in a care package, I remembered a conversation I had with my mom the day before my husband deployed. We were in the throes of packing everything he needed for 7 months, and my mom started to tell me something I should do . . . I interrupted her because I knew exactly what she was going to say - that I should put little notes in his pockets, in between the pages of his books, and pretty much anywhere so that he would find them as he unpacked, or wore that set of camis, or what have you. The best part? I had already done that.

These are the things we inherit. And I'm all for passing on this awesome cookie recipe.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A Weekend in Pictures

The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.
-St. Augustine

As you know, last weekend I went here

(Santa Fe, New Mexico), to see these folks(my parents), and these folks(flitgirl's parents), and drink good coffeeand show off a new finished object.(Ignore that I really need a hair cut. Thanks.) I guess you know that a finished object is successful when it gets stolen within a day of being cast off. In a fit of excitement last week, I decided that November's yarn of the month was destined to be a cowl. It was delightful - this cushy handspun merino singles that I bought in the Union Square Greenmarket about 3 or 4 years ago. And feather-and-fan. And speedy. I'm so in love. (And so is my mom, wearing it above.)

Greenmarket Cowl
Pattern: Luxe Neck Warmer from Knit 2 Together (Ravelry link)
Yarn: handspun merino from the Union Square Greenmarket
Needles: US 10 (it's like knitting a hat, without needing dpns for the top!)
Notes: No changes.
Best Thing About This Project: I've already made another one of these (if my mom liked it that much, she's definitely getting one for Christmas), and started Nova's Birthday Cowl in some other yarn. This is the best bandwagon I've been on in a while!

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