My Adventures in Knitting, truly my Yarn-escape!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Tuesday's Eclectic Thoughts- A Sock Knitalong

      I joined a sock knitalong hosted by Mason-Dixon Knitting and it started yesterday.  So I have my sock yarn- an inexpensive Red Heart yarn I got at Hobby Lobby.  I like it's variegated blue and brown design and it's soft.  When I'm an expert sock knitter I'll delve into some more fancy yarn, like these socks made from a yarn with wool, silk, nylon and mohair: So Simple Silk Garden.

     Today I'm learning from a simple sock design Susan B. Anderson- How I Make My Socks and I will be following tutorials from Tin Can Knits- Let’s Knit Socks whenever I need some extra help.  I love their patterns with tutorials- the Let’s Knit a Mitten helped me this winter with my first Mittens and then Fingerless Glove-Mitts (Christmas Knitted Up).

     If you want to participate I have a wonderful list of nice sock patterns on last week's blog- Technique Thursday: A Sock-A-Thon and on the Mason-Dixon Blog last weekend they give you lots of sock patterns to consider:  Snippets: 42,799 Sock Patterns to Consider.

      My first order of business in making a sock is (according to this pattern) to cast on in the Long-tail Cast on.  Now I've done this once and it's intimidating to me.  So why, oh why couldn't I have my simple cast on for these Teeny-tiny needles and so thin yarn it could be thread?  I feel like I have been thrown into the deep end!  Ok, I know I promised myself I'd learn how to make socks.  I'm going to be a sock expert.  Make socks for Christmas.  Yup, I'm going to do this!  

       I was thinking on this blog post early this morning (I think at 5AM when the cat jumped on me to wake me up for food) and that I needed to master the Long-tail cast on and I thought of this quote in  "Drums of Autumn" (Outlander) by Diana Gabaldon.  Clair who is in the New World now has gotten
a basket of yarn and needles.  She's staring at them a bit forlornly and Jamie reacts with surprise. 

     "Jamie snorted briefly and picked up a needle and a ball of yarn.  'It’s no verra difficult, Sassenach.  Look—this is how you cast up your row.'  Drawing the thread out of the closed fist, he made a loop around his thumb, slipped it into the needle and with a quick economy of motion, cast on a long row of stitches in a matter of seconds.  Then he handed me the other needle and another ball of yarn.  'There—you try.'   I looked at him in complete amazement. 'You can knit'   'Well of course I can, ' he said, staring at me in puzzlement.  'I’ve known how to clickit wi’ needles since I was seven years old.  DO they not teach bairns anything in your time?..."  

     "  'They didna teach you, did they?  Besides, it’s no fine needlework, Sassenach, it’s only plain knitting.  Here.  Take your thumb and dip it so, …'   And so he and Ian—who, it turned out, could also knit and was prostrated at mirth at my lack of knowledge—had taught me the simple basics of knit and purl..."

"I cast an eye at my current project, some ten inches of a wooly shawl, which lay in a small crumpled heap at the bottom of the basket, I had learned the basics, but knitting for me was still a pitched battle with knotted thread and slippery needles, not the soothing, dreamy exercise that Jamie and Ian made of it, needles clicking away in their big hands by the fire, comforting as the sound of crickets in the hearth. " pps. 520-521 (Taken from "From Michigan to Montana" blog, full quote there)

     Today I'm going to bake up a treat for my husband who loves a simple sweet pound cake with his coffee and my daughter who'll grab it when she comes home from school. They're both amazingly skinny and I can't convince them to eat my health food or homemade sourdough bread if they were starving!  So the best I can do is take conventional recipes and switch out healthier ingredients.  So while I'm not willing to say this is healthy, the main added ingredients is canola oil and eggs to a box mix.  But it fooled a Chef I worked for who asked for the recipe (I'm cringing thinking- "Do I have to?).  So here's my  Spring Vanilla Pound Cake which is from the The Cake Mix Doctor.  And visit my Sweet To Be blog for more recipes.

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Bars

     If you're interested in switching up to healthier dessert recipes I am slowly trying to work these recipes by Chocolate Covered Katie into our family desserts.  My favorite (and my daughter's) is: Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Bars and One Minute Chocolate Mug Cake.  

One Minute Chocolate Mug Cake

     For the mug cake I'd recommend a tad less salt and use spelt flour.  Spelt flour is from an ancient grain and therefore has been not altered.  I found it didn't affect the taste, but it made me feel fuller and of course using a whole wheat flour (because spelt still is that) gives you more fiber and slows down any sugar absorption in your body.  I'm sugar sensitive so that's important to me.  But it also tastes very dark chocolatey and oh-so-good.  Don't over cook- it is literally seconds in the microwave oven and comes out with a little gooey top.  Very good treat for one.

Happy Knitting!

Join "Keep Calm & Craft On" to post your  projects on Tuesday or later in the week.
Nicole says: "The act of creating, in one form or another, preserves my sanity amongst the chaos of life. This explains why I always have more than one project going at a time as well as why my housework tends to fall behind. I enjoy seeing what others are working on and keeping calm with, too. What are you creating? What is keeping you going? Snap a picture or two and share it with the rest of us by leaving your link" on her blog, link above.

1 comment: