Yet another knitting blog, with elements of suspense and mystery thrown in ...

Friday, March 24, 2006

The Tam to End All Tams

It was the best of tams, it was the worst of tams.

Finally!! I discovered where the photo of my last and best tam had disappeared to. It was still at the photo developer shop where I had dropped it off originally. There is nothing like not losing an item to think you have certainly lost it irrecoverably.

Anyhoo. Here is my last tam for the Knitting Olympics gold medal which I earned by dealing with this rough blue English rug yarn (yes, it really is) contrasted with a microspun slippery banana-peely cream which looks good together, but is a bear to handle with its opposite yarn number in a pattern you are making up as you go along. It is a testimony to how quick one can learn to knit a tam, going from a plain one (pink one, see previous post) where you never let go of the directions, to a patterned one (green and pastel rainbow one) where you follow the directions when you have a question, to an intricate, off-gauge, mis-wooled, by guess and by golly, interpreting the changes as you go tam that actually turned out wearable. Whew.

Next stop, Moebius. I have a great deal of laceweight yarn that would be tedious to straight stitch into anything that would be remotely useful, so I decided to make moebius scarves as Christmas gifts for next year. To that end, I discovered a nice reversible pattern free on the internet for this use. I offer it here to interested parties:

The Feather and Fan Stitch.
This stitch pattern is divisible by 18. That means any yarn and any size needle can be used.. Determine the size you want by YOUR stitch gauge. Follow the needle recommendations on the yarn packaging. Cast on any amount (divisible by 18) plus any amount for border. Keep these border stitches in Knit Only (BOTH SIDES)
Work 8 rows of knit only at the beginning and ending of your piece.
Row 1: K
Row 2: P
Row 3: *K 2 tog 3 times, YO, K1 6 times, K 2 tog 3 times* repeat to border.
Row 4: K
Work until desired length. End by working 8 rows Knit

Knitting at Intersections

Knitting at Intersections

In every busy life, there can be found "pockets" of time to get the interesting things done. When I was working full time and had no moments to read, I would keep a book on the passenger seat, and at those inevitable long red lights I would catch a paragraph or two of Charles Dickens or John Buchan. Those moments were refreshing and invigorating, and "saved a day that else I had rued."

Now it is about knitting. There is a catch, however. I have found that the Very Instant that I find my place in my pattern and begin to step into the oasis of creative delight which is knitting -- the light changes. Even my children have noticed this. We arrive at notoriously lengthy red lights, and they take turns shouting out, "Mama, did you bring your _Knitting_?" just to see who "wins" at turning on the green light. I challenge each of my readers to tease the stop light fates by attempting this same effort. The only time there has been enough delay to get more done than merely finding my place has been when a loooong train is whooshing past the intersection. Please comment if any of you has found the same relationship between constructive use of wasted time in the car and getting all the green lights.

Currently reading: _The Knox Brothers_
by Penelope Fitzgerald
Just finished reading: _Ladies in Waiting_
by Anne Somerset

Currently knitting - a mis-gauged (I am compensating for this) pale brown half-lacy pullover by Adrienne Vittadini
as well as part of the Jean Greenhowe knitted nativity set (Currently only the manger and straw bed are finished. Next stop - baby Jesus.)

Knitting plans - plain knit stuffed Easter eggs by Jean Greenhowe. Pictures to follow.

Sunday, March 19, 2006


Here is what the internet was invented for!!! Flore-Marie's recipe for BELGIAN GREEN SOUP. Don't bust the door down, there's room for everyone!!

3 tbsp unsalted butter
5 large leeks, white and light green parts, rinsed well and sliced into thin rounds
2 large baking potates, peeled and cubed
5 cups chicken or beef broth

2 chicken breasts or 4 chicken tenders, raw, cut into 2" cubes
1 bunch of spinach, cleaned and WITH ALL THE STEMS CUT OFF

1 bunch of parsley

Melt the butter in a medium-sized soup pot (4 quarts or so) over a low heat.
Add leeks and cook, stirring occasionally for 15 minutes
Add the cubed potatoes
Add the chicken (or beef) broth

Add the raw cubed chicken
Bring it to a boil and reduce the heat and simmer covered until vegetables are soft and the chicken is done (appears fully whitened with no pinkness left)

When, and only when, all of the above is thoroughly cooked together, THEN
Add the spinach and the parsley and cook for 10 more minutes

Let the soup cool slightly then blend in a food processor
Return the soup to the pot, reheat slowly and serve
For a creamier texture, milk can be added, but do not bring it to a boil after that point

Ta-Dahh!!! This soup feeds your soul, and incidentally can help make you skinny.