28 August, 2008

Blankie of Doom

Boathouse Baby Blankie Nr. 3

My boathouse is having an outbreak, a small epidemic, a raft, a WAVE of babies recently. The crew Stitch & Bitch group is dealing with it in our usual cooperative manner by knitting yet another baby blankie (this is number 3 this year). Our best knitter starts the blankie, and we pass it on from rower to rower, each knitting a section according to our knit-ability (or patience for tedious miles of cotton).

I have the knitting of the blankie this week, and it is not a happy time. The yarn is heavy worsted cotton/poly (ggh Tara), the needles are Addi Turbo 5.5 mm (US #9) and my hands are sore after 4 rows (144 stitches per row). I cannot love fat needles. Oh, and as you can see, it is cream-color, which means clean hands always and no tea anywhere near the thing.

However, I'm pacing myself and taking breaks, and might get done tonight with my 24 or so row section. Only 8 rows to go before I sleep...

17 August, 2008

Swatching: Shady Chic

Swatch: Cami Chic & Shady Verdant

Yarn: Hazel Knits Artisan Sock
Colors: Cami Chic and Rogue Shady Verdant
Cast On: 64
Needles: 2.25 mm (US #1) bamboo
Gauge: 7 stitches and 11 rows per inch
Notes: with a little planning, the Cami Chic makes a lively contrast for the picot edge. Cami Chic has sections of the Verdant color, so the colors serendipitously blend together - more like waves than stripes.

CO 64
Rows 1-6 K in main color (MC == Shady Verdant)
Row 7 K in contrast color (CC == Cami Chic)
Row 8 in CC * YO, K2Tog * repeat to end of row
Row 9 K in CC
remainder of the swatch is knit 3 rows MC, 3 rows CC, finishing with 10 rows MC

09 August, 2008

Spot On

I love digestive biscuits, and McVitie's are my favorite. I prefer the plain biscuits, and I've tried a good many different biscuit recipes, looking for the same tender crunchy not too sweet wholemeal flavor. They were all good, but none were quite like the real thing, until today:

homemade digestive biscuits

This recipe is compiled from several sources, changed to US measurements, and tweaked to my taste, which is for less sugar and oatmeal than most of the recipes called for. The dough is easy to handle and roll out, they smell fantastic while baking, and they are just about spot on for McVitie's texture and flavor.

Easy Digestives

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose or bread flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 Tbsp oatmeal (rolled or quick)
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup (8 oz) butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup milk

Cream the butter and sugar.
Add the dry ingredients and beat or stir (mixture will be crumbly).
Stir in the milk to make a firm dough.
Knead the dough a few times.
Roll out very thin, and cut into your favorite biscuit shape.
(or if hungry and in a hurry, just cut into squares).
Poke with a fork (to allow steam to escape and make them crisper).
Bake at 375 F (190 C, Gas mark 5) for 15 minutes.
Try not to eat them all right before supper.

Baking for Britain has a fine writeup about the history of digestives, with some traditional recipes.

07 August, 2008

A Perfect Day

Perfect Day Socks

Beat sock, despite its tough name, is a lovely soft smooth wool. The color is named "Woods and Frozen Lake," but it made me think of sandy beaches, blue sky and little fluffy clouds, maybe because it's summer now. The Garter Rib pattern is stretchy and comfortable. These socks are for me, and they fit, hooray!

project name: Perfect Day Socks
pattern: Garter Rib from Sensational Knitted Socks
designer: Charlene Schurch
yarn: Perfect Day Yarns Beat Sock "Woods and Frozen Lake"
needles: 2.0 mm bamboo dpn
size: 64 st cast on
my gauge: 8 stitches and 12 rows per inch
ravelry project link
notes: the only change I made was to use my best loved toe: the round one.