Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Close - knit.

Grandpa left us in May at the age of 97. His wish was to go back to the small mining town where he lived as a child, so we spent last Saturday with family remembering Dad/Grandpa/Great-Grandpa at a beautiful lake near his hometown.

Also spent some time in the museum getting a glimpse of what life was like way back when.

We found a few pictures of Grandpa's older brother - one in a band playing the xylophone and a couple others of him leading marching band - fascinating.

I am especially glad that my kids could see this piece of their family history and share it with their grandparents and cousins.

I couldn't help sneakily snapping these shots in the museum as well - history knitted into these pieces - history tangled and unclear.

The mysterious past - we unravel and try to understand what it may have been like. We find our own meaning and connection as we knit that past into our own story.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Something Worked!

Not a knitted creation but I just had to share!

It's been a bit of an ordeal trying to figure out how to make things for my youngest son to eat. For about the last 8 months we've been trying to adhere to a diet that eliminates (for the most part) everything he enjoys due to food intolerance issues.
Dairy, wheat, gluten, eggs, citrus - the poor kid!

In any case, I have done lots more cooking from scratch than I have ever done before in my life being the lazy, take-out kind of girl that I am. There have been a few successful creations that are "Drew-safe" and acceptable to the rest of the family. There have been far more unsuccessful creations - mushy pancakes, dense like a paper weight scones, adzuki bean ice-cream, mustard green smoothies...Needless to say I have ended up eating lots of interesting things that everyone else (not so) politely declined.

But this is my greatest gluten, egg, dairy free creation to date. A trip to the local farmer's market scored us lots of yummy, fresh, green goodness including these substantial fellows

And though I am happy to eat zucchini raw or grilled or lightly sauteed with onions, there are others in the household who would rather eat a plastic bag than deal with this mild-mannered squash in it's most natural preparations. So of course we move on to the zucchini bread.

So out came the food processor, in went the zucchini and out came oodles of grated goodness. (3 cups for the bread, 2 large tupperwarefuls in the fridge, and a bag in the freezer).

The bread looks and tastes wonderful, and I'm just happy that my youngest can enjoy this along with the other kids instead of having to eat his "special" treats while they dig in to their own yummies.

Here's the recipe - mainly for me to be able to look back and see what I did, because that is another problem I've had - not writing down the recipes for the few successful experiments in the kitchen! Feel free to try it out, but remember this is a KNITTING blog - I am no culinary expert and will take credit for only my own FAILS in the kitchen!

Gluten, Egg, Dairy free Zucchini Bread

2 cups rice flour
1 cup tapioca flour
1 tsp. each - salt, baking soda, baking powder
3/4 tsp. xanthan gum
2 tsps. ground cinnamon

1 cup vegetable oil (you could probably do 3/4 cup and be fine)
2 cups white sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. ground flax mixed with 6 Tbsp. of water (acts like eggs)
1/4 cup apple butter (because I had it in the house - applesauce would be fine)
2-3 cups grated zucchini

1. Grease 1 Bundt pan (or 2 loaf pans) Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
2. Mix flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum and cinnamon together in a bowl.
3. Beat flax mixture, oil, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add dry ingredients to the creamed mixture, and beat well. Stir in zucchini until well combined. Pour batter into bundt pan.
4. Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and cool completely.

At long last we have a winner!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Niece in October.
She gets this bright little thing.

Yarn: Berroco Comfort (Acrylic, nylon blend = squishy soft and easy care)
My own pattern
Size 9 needles

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Another Reason to Love Knitted Socks

All those crazy colors you would never don on more highly visible areas of your body are completely acceptable when on your feet - and a sneaky little bit of fun when you slip off your shoes and admire them throughout the day!

Nice and stretchy with the Cascade Fixation yarn.
Toe up using Magic Loop. 44 sts

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Summer Stash Survey

Purchase of this

Prompted this

Which became this

And that's just the one cabinet - now to the closet!

- oy -

Monday, August 02, 2010

The monsters made me do it.

Those monsters taught me Judy's Magic Cast on and that was the end of it - I could no longer simply look at hand knit socks with admiration - I had to partake.

I tried out knitting a pair of toe up socks from Wendy Johnson's Socks From the Toe Up
and had success and now am completely sock smitten. This book is phenomenal for getting a handle on basic toe-up construction. Several different toe and heel options are clearly explained so the knitter can pick and choose what she likes. (And I'm all about the choices and messing about with perfectly well written patterns. I think I've followed maybe 2 patterns word for word, stitch for stitch, without amendment in my 6 year knitting life.) The whole toe - up thing, like knitting sweaters top down, is just more intuitive for me. For some reason these methods trick my brain into thinking I am going faster. Knowing that when I'm done knitting there is no seaming waiting for me helps keep me going.

I even finished a pair of Cuff-down socks that I started 3 years ago. (See this post) The monsters also taught me that grafting is not such a scary endeavor, so the small amount of Kitchener Stitch at the toe of a cuff-down sock is no longer my enemy. (Though I will still choose toe-up more often!)

I love that there is always something new to learn in knitting. When I first started I would never have dreamed there were myriad ways to cast on, turn a heel, shape a shoulder, incorporate a multicolored flying monkey motif in the center of your sweater, and all the rest.

Call me simple-minded, but this endless looping of string never ceases to fascinate me and I am so glad for my entanglement.