Friday, November 30, 2012

New recipe: cornmeal biscotti

Now that we're less than a month away from Christmas, I've ramped up my baking operation. First up: some biscotti for the Coffee Social at our local music studio. I'm trying to use up all the cornmeal in the pantry, so this recipe was an easy choice to make:

Cornmeal Biscotti from David Lebovitz

Verdict: they're great! I took his advice and added 1/2 cup of dried cherries (which I should have chopped but didn't).

New recipe count: 29

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Ten on Tuesday: 10 Mitts or Mittens I Want to Knit!

I can't believe you want me to limit myself to only ten patterns! I have literally over 100 on my Ravelry queue, not to mention all the books of patterns I own.

1) Karisma Mittens: I love a good cable, and these are just gorgeous.
2) Woodruff by Jared Flood: another great cabled pattern
3) Lucky Hearts Mittens: a gorgeous fair-isle mitten, and I actually bought the kit to make them last year. I think I'm just waiting to find the perfect recipient before I tackle them.
4) Antler Mittens: remember what I was saying about loving cables? Oh, yeah, baby...
5) Anemoi Mittens by Eunny Jang: these mittens have always been a goal of mine, from right around the time I started learning to knit with two colors. I might be close to being able to tackle them. The gauge is a lot tighter than anything I've ever made.
6) Fiber Fish Mittens: these are another pair I've been dreaming of making for a very long time. I still don't trust myself with entrelac.
7) Let it Snow Mittens: a much more subtle cable, very beautiful and understated.
8) Fallberry Mitts by Anne Hanson: a gorgeous mitt with long cuffs and a sweet cable.
9) Nunt's Cabled Wristwarmers: another gorgeous cabled mitt
10) NHM-10 by Terri Shea: I actually want to make everything in Selbuvottir, and I'm about 4 patterns into that project.
11) Glitten by Julia Mueller: I love the idea of the glitten and I have two cousins who desperately want them. I bought the yarn for both projects exactly a year ago, and then promptly misplaced it. This won my heart over all other glitten patterns because of the cool cabling pattern.
12) Chickadee Mittens by Susan Anderson-Freed: I really want to try out the top-down construction and see if it makes my thumb-joins any better. (Right now, they range from pretty-OK on single color mittens to just-atrocious on some of my two-color mittens.)

And yes, I know I went over ten. Forgive me?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Ten on Tuesday: 10 things for which I am thankful

I am thankful for so many things this year! It's been a year of some major transitions, most of them positive, and the rest I'm trying to view as learning opportunities...

1) My family. They're healthy, reasonably happy, and very supportive of me.
2) My job. In this uncertain economy, it's a blessing to have work I love at a respectable salary.
3) My co-workers. For all that I roll my eyes about certain things, I am very very lucky to work with such kind, conscientious people.
4) Our house. We moved in just about 10 months ago and it's been marvelous living in our own space. Sure, we still have to figure out things like the 2nd story storm windows and the north gutter, but overall it's a lovely space in a great neighborhood.
5) My health. These past three months have been the healthiest I've been in years, if not decades. The asthma is under control. I'm on a manageable diet. I have more energy and I haven't had a major illness all fall term.
6) My friends. Knitting group, reading circle, the other parents at the bus-stop... they make me smile, they make me laugh, they tell me how to resurrect my nearly dead rose bushes...
7) My crafting. I love that I know how to knit, crochet, and weave. It calms me down and makes me feel artistic. (This is a hoot because the people who know me in person know that I am NOT artistic... at all...)
8) My kitchen. It's just an amazing space and I love cooking in it.
9) Our president. I don't usually bring politics into the blog, but I lived in fear of the racist, elitist, misogynists taking over. They've been enthusiastically rebuffed for the next few years, and I am grateful.
10) Our local library. It doesn't actually save me any money, because any book I like enough gets purchased, but it has introduced me to so many new authors!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! What are you grateful for?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

FO: mittens for Hadley

I actually finished the knitting two weeks ago, but put off sewing in the ends until last night. These are for my colleague's little girl, Hadley. She says that she likes pink and yellow, but I didn't think the contrast was enough, so I used grey in place of yellow.

The mitten palm pattern is from Freja, a free pattern on Knitty.
The alphabet pattern is from Little Cotton Rabbits.
The snowflake pattern is my own.

Needles: size 3 wooden 16" circulars (2)
Yarn: Cascade 220 superwash

I know... I really need to be better at taking pictures of my knitting! I always end up taking pictures in fading afternoon light, which isn't enough to fully bring out the contrast in the colors.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

FO: Trenza Mitts in purple

I have several finished objects to show off; also, I've just returned from WEBS, where I took a class with the hilarious and knowledgeable Franklin Habit. The class itself, Garter Stitch Jacquard, requires a separate post, which I will attempt to write tomorrow.

For now, let's talk about my Trenza Mitts (rav link)

Needles: size 3 wooden 16 inch circulars (2), from Knitpicks
Yarn: Cascade 220 superwash
Mods: reduced the central cable from 3 crossings to 2

This photo does justice to the cables but not to the color, which is a very dark purple. They're destined for my son's teacher. She said that she liked the colors purple and yellow, and I couldn't find it in me to combine them into one mitten, so purple it is!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

New recipe: jam (or brittle) blondies

Late last year one of my students suggested that I start read Joy the Baker... and I'm sure much of my failure to lose weight over the subsequent months can be blamed on her blog. My most recent baking triumph is directly courtesy of her:

Brittle and Jam Blondies

I made a double-batch for Nikhil's birthday (using cherry jam, which is all we had in the fridge) and they were a huge, huge hit.

New recipe count: 28

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

10 on Tuesday: ten things on your mind right now

1) The election! (I voted straight-ticket Dem, and it looks like everyone for whom I voted has won)
2) The weather! (there's a nasty Nor'easter headed our way, and I'm supposed to drive down to New Haven and back tomorrow.)
3) Volleyball! (my team's last game is tomorrow, assuming it doesn't get cancelled due to weather)
4) NaNoWriMo! (Yes, I signed up. No, it's not going well.)
5) NaRoWriMo! (Just heard that Avon is taking open submissions of romance novels until Dec. 10th. Pity mine isn't really a romance novel...)
6) Tired! (too many late nights, plus a nasty side-effect from some medicine that kept me up with horrible nausea and stomach cramps two nights ago)
7) Final exams! (starting Monday, for the fall term)
8) Dogs! (I want one very badly, and my allergist just confirmed that I'm not allergic to them)
9) Idiots! (some friends of mine are spewing a lot of hate around Facebook and Twitter, most of it connected to the elections)
10) Red Sox! (After this horrible, horrible season, it's nice to see some signs of hope, such as David Ortiz getting a 2-year contract for DH)