Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Kitchen Sink Cookies

Judging by the state of my studio, I am clearly a process oriented person. Finishing a quilting or knitting project may thrill some, but usually my interest has turned to the next great idea before the first is complete. The time has come for a fresh start, and a re-examination, of the many lovely unfinished fabric/fiber objects (UFOs) filling my studio.

Beginning in early April, I'll show before and after pictures of UFOs as they are wrestled to completion. Some will be quilts, others knit, and maybe a few yarns will be spun.

In the meantime, grab a virtual Kitchen Sink Cookie. I baked a batch of the real thing this afternoon. Tossing in a little of this and a little of that is my usual recipe, but here's what I used today.

Kitchen Sink Cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature

1-1/4 cup brown sugar, packed tightly

1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs

2 Tbsp. milk

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup white flour

¾ cup whole wheat flour

1 tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. salt

2-1/2 cups uncooked quick oats

16 oz. chocolate chips

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Options: Substitute your favorite chips, nuts, and/or dried fruits for the chocolate chips and nuts that I used. Make them the Kitchen Sink Cookies of the Day at your house.

Pre-heat oven to 375 F. Beat butter and sugars until creamy. Add eggs, milk and vanilla; beat well. Add flour, baking soda and salt; mix well. Stir in oats, chocolate chips, and nuts; mix well. Drop by rounded measuring tablespoonfuls onto un-greased cookie sheet. Bake 9-10 minutes for a chewy cookie, or 12 to 13 minutes for a crisp cookie. Remove to wire racks to cool. Place in tin to keep fresh. Yield: 5 doz. 2-1/2” cookies. Enjoy!

Labels: , , , , , ,

Friday, September 28, 2007

Sights Set On Rhinebeck

I'm not ready yet. While I'll definitely be there, the garter stitch wrap knit with the mohair boucle yarn purchased last year MUST be finished. So far the only purchase I made that's been used, or used up, is the nostepinde. Must keep knitting..... The Wildfoote socks being knit for Mom (shhh... don't tell her) are only 25% finished so just can't count them.

To enter into the true spirit of Rhinebeck madness, I've signed up for Rhinebeck Blogger Bingo 2007 as both a player and a square for Sunday. Tag me, tap me on the shoulder, say HI! and let's meet at Rhinebeck. I won't be bargaining for any fleece this year so I'm pretty safe to approach. Use caution however if I'm deeply engrossed in sock yarn. Last year I knew only a few people from the Milford Valley Quilters Guild. This year I'm sure to see a few more familiar faces. The week before the event I'll have a picture taken in my "going to Festival" outfit so hopefully someone will recognize me!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

A Year in a Post

Family moves and other commitments this past year slashed stitching and computer time to a minimum. I've chosen cyber names for my family since neither is too keen on having their names bandied about in cyberspace. Since my last post....

October - Purchased a large skein of mohair boucle and a nostepinde at Rhinebeck. Using my handy new wooden stick and the backs of two chairs I turned the giant skein into a huge ball. This nightmare of an experience sent me shopping for a ball winder and wishing for a yarn swift. My dear husband, YankeesFan, made my wishes come true when he gave me a beautiful tabletop yarn swift from the Knitting Zone for the holidays. All three tools have been in regular use since their arrival. Today I re-wound the giant, double stranded ball into two single stranded balls. Sigh - it took awhile, but now I’m once again happily knitting away on the garter stitch wrap started last November from a smaller ball. The second ball will probably be used for a lace shawl once I decide upon a pattern.

March - Attended the Quilt Professionals Network Conference and had a terrific time. Made this appliquéd block, a simplified mola, as a gift for this year's honoree.
In April my father-in-law, WWII Vet, moved in with us. It’s been an interesting experience for all concerned. Since the two of us are together most of each day, he’s taken more of an interest in what I do than YankeesFan usually does. We're getting used to each other's routines and suddenly I've had a lot more free time. In the past couple of months the pointy sticks are again flying and the keyboard clicking so I hope to see more results.

Finally got around to knitting up a skein of last autumns Kool-Aid dyed yarn from the socknitting workshop that I taught at PEEC last October. Here are some of the unknit balls & skeins still sitting in the stash, although not always on the rock wall.

We dyed yarn, knit baby socks, started custom fit socks, and generally had a terrific weekend. In September I taught basically the same program at PEEC as an Elderhostel program, and will do it again in November for whoever signs up. This year I skipped the baby socks and started everyone right in on their custom fit socks. Most finished the first sock or were close to finishing by the end of the weekend. This is a skein I dyed using the Wilton icing dyes. I'm delighted with the results and will try some more with the next yarn shipment.

Cobbler Socks – Knit Picks Bare Donegal, dyed with 6 packets Berry Twist Kool-Aid in the crock pot with vinegar. Knit top down, size 1 Knit Picks DPNs, using stitch pattern #1 from Lesley Stanfield’s stitch dictionary. The Improved SSK gave a smoother stitch than results from slipping both as if to knit or purl. Heel has a woven appearance that I’ve termed “Cobbler”. It’s what you get when trying to do the Eye of Partridge while paying more attention to knitting podcasts than the actual knitting, and making a few mistakes. Any mistake repeated is a new pattern and I rather like this one! So far I haven't been able to get a good close-up.

And speaking of knitting podcasts, what are your favorites? My iPod is refreshed as often as possible with episodes of Cast-On, Sticks & String, Knit Picks’ and Pointy Sticks. Brenda Dayne and David Reidy’s dulcet tones always make me cheer when I see that a new episode of one of their shows has downloaded. So many podcasts - not enough time to listen!
Last Friday was Knitting Day for me. I finally wove the ends in on a scarf made using a skein of the hand-painted yarn. Scarf knit on size 8 bamboo needles in a *K2, P2* pattern, ending in K1. The yarn was purchased from the Yarn Loft in NJ a couple of years ago. This summer Kim created a lovely little space in the heart of Newton, NJ after her previous location burned down earlier this year. A visit is well worth the time if you’re in the area. Friday afternoon I found the new shop crammed full of yarn, primarily luscious sock yarns including Schaefer, Wildfoote, Trekking, Tofutsie, and at least a half a dozen more brands. This visit I limited myself to a lively colored ball of Tofutsie and a couple of skeins of beige Wildfoote. The beige is my 91y.o. WWII Vet’s favorite color for his wardrobe, so a pair of socks in this is sure to be worn often.

After a burger for lunch I hustled up to JillDeal’s in Milford, PA for the every other week “Sit & Knit” from 5-7pm. There is something delightful about sitting and knitting with others in person – nothing wrong with online friendships, but nothing replaces face-to-face contact. We all found a little something to add to the stash, a couple of us snapping up a couple of balls of Kidsilk Haze after watching Wendy knitting a bobble ended scarf destined to be felted using a Nicky Epstein pattern.

Well, here's the results of my shopping spree this week. My first skein of Schafer Anne, Wildfoote for WWII Vet's socks, Tofutsies, and a couple of balls of Kidsilk Haze. The KSH may be turned into scarves for Christmas gifts if the socks are done quickly.
Next weekend Jill’s teaching a workshop in “Finishing” that I’ve signed up for. In the next few days I’ll need to finish 16 squares in various patterns as prep work. OTN Briggs & Little Regal in an oatmeal color on size 6 straights. So it’s back to knitting for me as I try to make 2-3 squares a day. I’m hoping to avoid my usual mad rush of stitching in the parking lot just before the program begins! 6 down - 10 to go

Labels: ,

Monday, April 03, 2006

Sock Crazed

Just off the needles, a pair of heavier socks - samples for my first knitting workshop Wild & Wooly Weekend 11/10-12/06 - at the Pocono Environmental Education Center. Most of the many programs I’ve offered there are quilting and crazy-quilting related. Time to share my newest obsession with the other fiber crazed folks in the area.

Socks: “Two Ponds Hiker”
Pattern: adapted from Yankee Knitter Classic Socks
Yarn: Jaeger Matchmaker merino DKMC # SH 784 CC # SH 661
Needles: size 1 bamboo DPNs
Gauge: 7 sts/in. on st. st2 x 2 ribbing
Started 3/15/06 Finished 4/2/06
There was a real difference in texture between the tan and the white. The tan felt soft and flowed well through my fingers. The white had a thicker texture and didn’t flow as easily. I have a few more colors in the stash, can’t wait to see how they behave.

The sock-in-progress basket empty? Not for long! Cast on an alpaca softy this morning. Time to use the gray alpaca yarn from Cria Cradle Farm that my darling gave me for Christmas. I finally feel confident enough to tackle it. Here’s a picture of one of the skeins, the ball I hand-wound from another, and the merest start of a sock. Using #2 Bryspuns I’m getting 7spi and a firm fabric. Altogether I have 13 ounces to work with, hopefully that will yield a couple of pair. I chose the Baby Cable Rib pattern from Sensational Knitted Socks.

Picked up a couple of skeins of Wildfoote at the Yarn Loft in Sparta NJ. Hard to believe they are two dyelots of the same color. Anyone have SY-400 Bluegrass in dyelot 006 or 008? Let me know if you’d be interested in a swap. If I don’t locate “mates” I’ll alternate rows to get them to blend.

Suffered my first knitting related accident - a bamboo splinter in the tip of my thumb. Not that a little thing like that is going to slow down the knitting frenzy going on around here!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Blue Socks

Another finished Knitting Olympics project hits the blogs. As it turns out I am an Olympic knitlete and a proud member of Team DPN, but not a gold medal winner. When it comes to estimates of time, as usual I seriously underestimated how long I would have to knit. (You're right of course. We should have just eaten out more and laundry really could have waited a couple of weeks.) When it came to the end of the second sock I opted to take my time and do it right rather than rushing to beat the clock. Lifelines were used again and again as I chose to rip back rather than accept a mediocre sock. The colors may be wild but these are otherwise fabulous socks. I am proud to have participated in the 2006 Knitting Olympics. In the spirit of planning ahead, I'm marking 2008 on my calendar now.
Olympic Rib Socks
Yarn: Trekking XXL
Color: # 104 bluesNeedles: size 1 bamboo
DPNsGuage: 7 sts/in. on st. st
2 x 2 ribbing and elongated corded rib body
Started 2/10/06 Finished 3/1/06

Keeping up with blogging is quite the task! Memories are surfacing of diaries started then left to gather dust.

Last week a wonderful thing happened. My sock swap partner sent me a pair of luscious Opal socks. They are decadantly soft and warm. Thank you many times over Patti F.!!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Out With The Old In With The New

Old plastic needles may have been the right size, but they snapped one after another. Turns out they aren’t very good for poking – just too brittle. Also learned the hard way that you must take the needles out of your sock before you try the cuff on. Another needle bit the dust, this time in 7 pieces. Picking up the stitches was rather unpleasant. My poor sock wound up being on 1 #1, 2 #2’s and 1 #3. That would seem to be pushing my luck to get it to turn out anywhere close to gauge.

Yesterday afternoon I made a lovely new set of 5” bamboo US#1 needles. Sanding the tips to satiny smoothness took a bit longer than anticipated, but was well worth the results. Polished them with wax paper but applying a layer of beeswax may give a better finish. Two sets of US#5’s are cut and sharpened now, just waiting to be sanded and polished. Love the set of #8 straight needles I made a couple of weeks ago from chopsticks and mother-of-pearl buttons. Also cut a drinking straw into tiny rounds for stitch markers. Their lightweight nature makes them perfect for using on the DPNs. Back on track now with Sock #1 being stitched on 5 matching bamboo DPN’s. Time to start the heel at last!

Ouch! All of my Knitting Olympic DPN poking is happening on a regular if unplanned schedule. Turns out I poke myself at least once a day. No need to search elsewhere for a victim. That’s what I get for knitting in front of the computer while waiting for one of my favorite knitting podcasts to download.

Attended the Embroiderer’s Guild meeting last night. At least half a dozen others were knitting too. Next month I’m trading my new socknitting skills with a friend for her beaded knitting ideas. Time to make one of those lovely amulet bags. It’s been years since I purchased the size 0000 straight needles and strung a hank of seed beads on a ball of pearl cotton. Time to make something to match my new socks!

Ooops - looks as if Berrin doesn't think much of my knitting while we're taking a walk.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Knitting Olympic Prep

There are approximately 3,000 Knitting Olympians stitching the global community together. Thank you Stephanie for spurring us on to compete with ourselves.

Supplies are crucial to adequate preparation. Mine include Trekking XXL yarn in color #104, a luscious mix of blues, some Brittany 5" DPNs and the book Sensational Knitted Socks. I've taken my measurements and chosen my pattern, p. 37 Elongated Corded Rib. Why is this a challenge (critical for the K.O.)? It will be my first sock that is fitted to my foot, first to have a pattern continuing from the leg through the instep and foot, and will be done on 5 (rather than 4 DPNs). I also have to get my tax paperwork in order so this will be stretching it!

Worked on increasing my stamina by knitting at least 4 hours a day and going for a daily 1 mile walk on steep terrain with my neighbor Berrin, a two-year old husky. It could be that he just likes the dog biscuits I keep on hand. I like having someone else along to be on the alert for hungry black bears. Beadlizard's advice on speed knitting is also well worth checking out.

Clearing The Calendar – means finishing OTN projects. Last night it was this super soft Patons Allure scarf which is destined to be a Threads of Compassion donation. This morning I wove the tails into the Lion Homespun prayer shawl pictured above. Sometimes I don't know who a shawl is intended for while it is being knit, but within a couple of days the recipient becomes clear.

This afternoon is my "Sit & Knit" group at the LYS. I've really come to look forward to this and only wish it were more often than every other week.

Happy knitting and good luck Olympians - athletes and knitters alike. Go Team DPN!!