Saturday, July 25, 2009

Summer Recipe Dump

Which is much tastier than it sounds. ;)
Sorry, no pics. We ate all this stuff way too quick.
I've been doing a lot of baking lately to keep myself busy. A month or so ago, I made this raspberry-rhubarb pie from the May Cooking Light twice in a few days. I used the frozen crust from Whole Foods, and it was fine. I would probably rate this recipe 5 stars (big surprise). Whole Foods sells boxes of powdered tapioca (next to the baking supplies) so you don't have to buy big tapioca and process it yourself. I didn't have the currant liqueur. I drizzled in some of the liquid from a jar of blackberry preserves.

I went with Maria to Gizdich Ranch at the end of June. We picked strawberries, olallieberries, and boysenberries. It was a whole lot of fun. I've heard fantastic things about their bake shop and juice as well. I made a couple recipes out of a Cooks Illustrated "Cooking For Two" book I bought at Cosentino's. The strawberry shortcakes were very short indeed because I used old baking powder. The cheesecakes did something really odd. I definitely need a new probe thermometer, an oven thermometer, and probably another new instant-read. I just bought a new instant-read and it was obviously way off when I used it to check some pork. :( Recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

On the 4th of July weekend I made muffulettas. The bread could use a little tweaking to get it the way we prefer, but everything was really good. Especially after I got salami that wasn't icky. Next time I'll forget all the fancy meats and olive salad and do something more like the Schlotsky's chain or Schmaltz's in Waco. Turkey, salami, cheddar, and black olives. I'm not excited about going to Texas in a couple weeks, but I'm super excited about going to Schmaltz's. Omg, cheddar soup.

I made the Ranier cherry crumble out of the back page of the June Cooking Light. It was awesome. I just got the August issue and I've already made the cast-iron burgers. I thought they were amazing! Tonight we did the fish tostadas from the same issue. They were tasty, but we both spilled food off our tostadas and onto the floor. We'll stick to tacos when we eat the leftovers.

I was going to make monkey bread from the King Arthur Flour site for no-blog-rachel's birthday, but I didn't wake up in time. I made lemon bars instead because they looked easy. The filling was much thinner than I'd like. I'd probably double the filling next time. One commenter on the recipe said the filling soaked into the crust, but I don't think that happened to me. I could tell the layer of filling would be very thin when I poured it. I may just ask Maria for her recipe.

Friday, July 24, 2009

WIP: Indigo Ripples Skirt

So I'm actually already finished with this except for finishing the i-cord and throwing everything in the wash.

WIP: Indigo Ripples Skirt, originally uploaded by Buxtrosion.
Indigo Ripples Skirt by Kat Coyle, from Interweave Knits Spring 2007.
I didn't make most of the modifications other knitters have. (I'll describe these real quick- A lot of people cast on the waist stitch number for one size larger than desired then increase just until the hip stitch count for the desired size is reached. This makes the skirt sit lower. A lot of people, maybe most, lengthened the solid part to 15" from the waistband instead of 12.5" for a more modest look.) I don't mind that it sits at the waist instead of lower, and I don't mind that it might be slightly scandalous. If it comes out way too short after washing, I'll surgically insert a panel and wash it again until the amount of fading is about the same. A lot of people have changed the gauge for a slimmer fit. I definitely wouldn't want the fabric to be any looser, but I didn't want to mess around with gauge and fit since I wasn't sure how much ease to allow for. What I decided- not much. Pretty much zero ease, maybe a touch negative. It's not going to be a hobble skirt, but it isn't too big either.

Do check the errata, for sure. In addition, I changed M1R to M1L on row 25, and rewrote rows 5 and 9 of the ruffle as * K2tog 3 times, (yo, k1) 6 times, k2tog 3 times* See the swatch below for why (click to view large).

When we do shop samples, we try to stick to the pattern as closely as possible so customers know what to expect. If I had wanted to do the modifications on this, I probably could attach a note on the tag saying "see Eunny Jang's modifications." (Actually she didn't drop the waist.) But as I said, I was fine with the rise and length as the designer intended. When I got to the ruffle, however, I was pretty stumped. It was clear the feather & fan rows weren't going to line up as normal. I looked all over Ravelry to find a good picture of the ruffle to see what it was supposed to look like. My search was in vain because the ruffle, well, ruffles. I emailed Kat Coyle but she couldn't remember which way it was supposed to be. I decided to go with the lined-up version because the other way looks "wrong" to me as a connoisseur of feather and fan.

Last time I made a shop sample (the Bonsai Tunic), the written directions for the armhole edging did not match the picture. I was curious which way Norah Gaughan intended, but she didn't remember. I'm thinking it's a good thing that I'm so anal, I mean observant.

I used the Rowan Denim available at Yarndogs (duh. It's a shop sample.) The magazine calls for Elann Den-M-Nit. The 2 are pretty swappable. They both shrink lengthwise after washing. Check out this great comparison.
The dye bled on my hands really bad. I didn't mind too much because I did most of the knitting on this project at home, so I could wash my hands whenever I felt like it. It freaked out Bryan for some reason, though. Can you tell how I tension my yarn?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

FO: Self-Striping Socks

Hand dyed self-striping socks.

Self-Striping Socks, originally uploaded by Buxtrosion.

I'm still here, I just haven't felt very chatty lately. If you see me, I could probably use a hug. I've finished a few things, but most of them aren't bloggable. I think I need an accountability buddy for getting patterns submitted or published. Things are starting to pile up, though I do think I'll be meeting some Sept 1 deadlines. I have a tendency to put off things that are just for myself. I need to get my business license to start putting things in my Ravelry shop which is all set up. I've got my free patterns off to the side over here ----------->
You don't have to be a Ravelry member to use the "download now" link. I'm beginning to learn the lesson that I need to speak up, take chances, and let other people help me. I got brave and asked somebody for a favor a couple of weeks ago and it actually happened! I'm moving into a supervisory role at one of my volunteer jobs which is progress, but frightening. I'm starting to collect other volunteer jobs. I hooked up with some people that will hopefully get my photography some exposure and may get me hooked up with screenprinting lessons. There's one more volunteer job I'll be applying for in the next month that I think would give me a different kind of experience that I'm looking for. I have several connections there, so hopefully it will work out. My brother's going to stay with us for a little while next month. He'll be 17 by the time he gets here!
I'm also feel like I need to do stuff with friends outside of knitting. Sometimes I just really need a break from this stuff. I want to get some people together to play bocce since I've never done it.

So, these socks.
I did the heel on 60% of stitches the second time and it was much better. I did surgery on the completed sock to redo the heel on 60% as well. I've typed up my notes, but it's not really a top priority right now. I do have an idea for another self-striping colorway.