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Showing posts from January, 2012

A Tale of Two Hats (and more reckless knitter behavior)

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Once upon a time I wanted a beautiful hand-knitted hat. I wanted to venture into colorwork and stranded knitting to produce something I could look at and love every time I wore it. With Cascade 220 yarn, size 4 circular and double-pointed needles, and the book Hats On! 31 Warm and Winsome Caps for Knittersat my disposal I was ready.

It was quick. It was pretty. The fit was perfect. Meet Lusekofte.


November 2010 should be thanked for giving me time to make something so right for myself, a hat that I would go on to wear almost daily for the next 6 or 7 months. There you have it.

Fast forward to Autumn 2011 and imagine my utter devastation when cold begins settling into my bones (or nose tip to be accurate) and my favorite knitted hat is nowhere to be found. I turned this apartment upside down looking for it. The office and car were also approached with a scrutinous eye. I racked my brain back to the breakup and wondered if there was some way it got shoved into a backpack on some camping …

The ginger beer has been bottled!

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Ginger beer round 2 happened and I'm hoping to find it wildly (not mildly) successful. We chose a recipe from Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers: The Secrets of Ancient Fermentationand brewed ourselves a good 4 gallons of ginger beer on New Year's day, my drink of choice. Great way to start 2012!

 Essentially, it went like this:

Per every gallon of water boil 1 oz ginger (plus extra for zing), 1 pound sugar, and juice of 1 lemon for one hour. When it has cooled to ~70 F, strain out the ginger, skim any scum, and pitch the activated yeast (guy at the brew store recommended cuvee yeast). Ferment until it's done working, about 2 weeks. After fermenting this batch for nearly 3 weeks we decided to take the next step though I think it still could have fermented a bit longer because of the cool temps. As it was, we primed the batch with 3/4 c sugar dissolved in 1 pint of boiling water and bottled it up after sanitizing our equipment. I think we ended up with a couple dozen 22oz b…

Spinning: Merino/Bamboo Yarn

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Handspun yarn from roving by Black Trillium Fibre Studio. 4 ounces, 60% Merino, 40% Bamboo. Colorway: Bumblebee.
This was my first time spinning anything except wool (minus my very first skein, a merino/silk blend) and the experience was fine. I found a bit of trouble keeping the fibers well-blended as the bamboo really wanted to stick with its own, away from the wool. The bamboo also added a real sheen to the finished product and the resulting yarn turned out far more silver and gold than I expected. Because of uncertainty regarding yarn color matching my skin tone I was beginning to think it might become gift yarn.... that is, until I washed it and found it to be as soft and squishy as a cloud and akin to being wrapped in love.
Spun in November 2011 on the middle whorl, navajo/chain plied 4 ounces, 238 yards. Finished product post coming soon!

Canning: Tuna!

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Let's keep this simple. Slow Food Seattle hosted a tuna canning class and I joined (with my good friend and her 6 month old baby, plus many others) in for the fun.

Lessons learned?
Whole slices partially frozen tuna will turn your hands into blocks of tender ice themselves after a solid morning of slicing the meat from the guts, dark spots, skin and bones. Your numb fingers may have trouble identifying bones, but you will get the hang of it. Soon you'll cut a tuna steak like an amateur.Save the scraps and trimmings for your cat. He/She will thank you.Work quickly and with help. If you're going to do this much work you might as well have a friend or two on your side. And each friend or two should have their own pressure canner. And if you work together you will laugh and have fun and then have a shared reason to moan about your tender hands (see #1).Have someone else take photos. This is messy.Pack those jars as tightly as you can. And don't skimp (or go overboard) with …

One more class...

My little sister convinced me (without trying) that I needed one more class. And with that Molded Papier-Mâché Dress Form made from a plaster mold I plan to tackle sometime this year (and its corresponding fabric cover), draping will be an exciting new approach to design.

#2002 An Introduction to Draping
Jan Bones, Lingerie Secrets
Draping is the art of creating clothing on a body or a dress form, no pattern required. Our bodies are round, curved, flat and angled, all at the same time and with draping techniques you will see how to fit fabric to the body. In this class, Jan will demonstrate draping on a real person. A basic draped design for the upper body will teach you about neckline shape, shoulder slope, dart placement and side seam location while the draped design for the lower body will teach you about waist, hip and dart shape. You will receive hand-outs with Jan’s step by step directions and diagrams.

Sewing Classes!

Cashing in on that plan to make clothing this year, my card is charged and classes registered-- the Sewing & Stitchery Expo is in March! If this ends up similar to last year's experience then I'm bound to be overwhelmed with new ideas and information, taking home loads of notes, and buying patterns and drooling over fabric and notions. I'm so glad my mom decided to make this her annual birthday get together and even better, my sisters are coming along too! There were a few time conflicts between multiple classes I wanted to take and ultimately I sacked Pattern Alterations (sigh) for Understanding Wool because sheep have an extra special place in my heart. Fitting Sleeves went out the door so I could learn about sewing a muslin since there are a few fancy dresses in my queue for the year, and sadly the 2 hour class on Pattern Grading (scaling sizes up and down) sold out very quickly.

Here we go! Details below for my faulty memory. I wish I'd written down the classes…

Citing my sources

Today I received an email inquiring about the actual ingredient list/recipe used for one of my canning batches and it forced me to devote some time and thought to the idea of listing an entire recipe on my blog, and what proper method of citing sources should be used. The internet is a treasure trove of information and I'm always quick to cite the books I use with an amazon link, but fearing copyright infringement has limited the way I write details about what's happening in my kitchen. The use of books, leaflets, and more traditional forms of printed recipes is not altogether lost on my generation, and while I celebrate the wealth of recipes online and the camaraderie of our virtual kitchens, I want to be sure and honor the authors and publishers that put hard work into the books I rely on.

So, with the help of David Lebovitz and the Food Blog Alliance I think I've found a way about it. The article Recipe Attribution confirms what I was feeling but worried wasn't with…