Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Swell Hat

I made this hat last night at work in about 4 hours and finished off the top of it today.
I like the pattern It's the Swell pattern from Knitty without the ear flaps (I detest Ear Flaps).
I was inspired by this lovely hat made by Shadkitty
and was really happy about how quickly this hat appeared.
My model is cuter than theirs though. : )

I had forgotten how fast working on #10's was. The red is Rowanspun Aran and the silver is Louisa Harding Cashmere Aran. I think next time I'll go down to 9's and knit the large size of 99 stitches instead of using 88 like I did with this hat. It looks just a bit too loose for my liking. Now I have to think of someone to give this to.....


Oh My Children

One of my 10th grade girls just said in reference to my turquoise pashmina

"You have a fashion sense that's strange my father and brothers don't"

This has been a gay educational moment.


Monday, November 26, 2007

New T shirt; The Friendly Narwhal

He's just so cute and friendly. Flopper and I each got this one.


Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Martini Bar is Alive with the Sound of Music

Oh my.

I mean honestly this sort of thing doesn't happen anymore. the gentlemen singing are Andy Williams, Eddie Fisher, Bobby Darin. Honestly I don't know that pop singers could pull this off.


Back From Thanksgiving

So Thanksgiving was lovely. I went to Minneapolis to cook with my dear friend Ben and Peat Moss. We made a very large meal involving a goose pie, a pheasant with the head still attached, yak and venison mousaka, and one of my crepe cakes.

Friday evening I went to the Minnesota Orchestra and heard a number of lovely pieces including Mendhelson's 4th and a piece for four horns by Schubert. Phoenix invited me along and has amazing ticket karma and inordinately good connections. I'll have to remember to send him a thank you note. Tickets for 2.50 are much appreciated.

On Saturday I found a nice little (and I do mean little 12 by 8 w/ a closet outside in the hall) room in the Marcy Holmes neighborhood of Minneapolis. The house was built in 1890 and is a rather lovely blue and purple Victorian. The house mates are all biking earth crunchy punk kids who assure me that it is possible to bike in Minneapolis during the winter. We'll see about that. The neighborhood is fun; two blocks from nice bars and restaurants and at 250 a month for rent I'll actually be able to avail myself of such things.

I'm currently knitting the first of a pair of purple socks for Cashmere Blend and after I finish them will settle into Christmas hat knitting. I think I have three or four hats to knit by then. I've got 2 skeins of Noro and 2 Skeins of Malabrigo Angora set aside for them.


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Saddle Shouldered EZ Sweater Unblocked

It needs to be blocked but the weather has taken a turn for the frigid in Saint Cloud and I think it is high time I got around to posting about Flopper's sweater. This Bobby Blue Malabrigo Yarn has been through a lot. I originally knit Flopper flopper a whole Big Bad Hoodie out of Stitch and Bitch but we both decided it was hideous so I frogged the whole sweater and began searching for a new pattern. 8 skeins on #8 needles.
Eventually I was lead to the EZ book knitting w/o tears and Flopper settled on the saddle shoulder pattern. I've had the sweater finished for about two months now I just haven't gotten around to blocking it.

I'm especially fond of the lines that the seamless pattern makes along the "Seam". I liked the saddle shoulder more than the hybrid because it seemed to have a more fixed shape and all the EZ sweaters I had seen were rather loose to begin with so I didn't want to add to that.
Ribbing along the collar. Which EZ wrote unworkable directions for.
And cuffs and Hem.
Eli appreciates my knitting if not modeling for my blog. He's just not a sweater sort of dog.

I'll post some pictures when it is blocked and less lumpy looking.


Monday, November 19, 2007

Back from DC and the Mead is bottled

DC was lovely! I saw Fred, brushed up on my greek chanting, and ate at all my most beloved restaurants with my most beloved friends. DC is certainly high if not at the top of my list of places to work.

Flopper and I are getting each other cameras for Christmas and he got mine today so the quality of my pictures if not their artistry will be increased. Just in time to post the pictures of my finished mead.

As you might recall I made 5 gallons which siphoned and racked translates into 15 liters. Much to my sadness the 5 gallon stoneware crock that Dan bought me for an amazing 20 dollars has a crack so I will not be using it for pickling anymore. (Sad Face)
Seeing as these are meant as a gift I got the nicer bottles that can be reused. They were almost 30 dollars with tax but I'm sure Ben will put them to good use and a long life of alcoholic happiness.
Eli enjoyed liking up the mead that got on the floor from the crack in the crock. All in ll I'm rather satisfied with this batch the major cost of the project amounted to about fifty dollars and more than half of that was for the ale pail and bottles. The mead itself tastes like a sharp hard apple cider and I expect it will mellow a bit before too long.


Saturday, November 10, 2007

Finished Danica Scarf

It's done ! Now I just need to finish off my last sock and I'll be ready to go to DC with the appropriate knit gifts.
The scarf is made of two full skeins of Rowanspun Aran and knit up very quickly on 9's. It's about 6 feet long though bear in mind I knit wth next to no tension so most people might get a bit more out of two skeins of yarn.
I really love the woven effect that you get from entrelac.


Thursday, November 8, 2007

More Late Night Cooking

I have a handful of recipes from my mother. Mom has maybe a dozen recipes that she has down to an art. They tend to involve a large pot of something; macaroni and cheese, chili, "lazy lasagna". On the desert end of the spectrum she has three, Jewish Apple Cake, Old Black Joe Cake (it involves coffee and an angel food cake mold) , and Rice pudding.

I have the recipe for rice pudding and decided to try it tonight for the third time. Here's the thing though, the recipe calls for condensed milk and condensed milk scares the hell out of me. On some visceral level it just doesn't seem right. So I got to thinking; the Mom's recipe runs as follows.

Mom .....................................................Mine

1 cup of milk .......................................1 cup of milk
1 cup of sugar ......................................1 1/3 Cups of Sugar
1 14 oz can of condensed milk ..........1 pint of Heavy Cream
2 eggs.................................................... 2 eggs
2 tbl of corn starch .............................2 tablespoons of corn starch
1 cup of rice.......................................... 1 cup of rice
................................................................2 Tsp Vanilla
1. Make 1 cup of rice to 4 cups of water; bring to boil then let simmer for 25 minutes.
2. In a separate bowl blend 2 eggs and cornstarch; set aside.

3. in a large pot mix sugar and milk; heat slowly to high stirring constantly (start on low and every minute raise the temperature a notch or two continuously stirring).
4. When the mixture is steaming hot (NOT BOILING) Mix in egg/cornstarch with milk blend thoroughly.
5. Add Cream.
6. On large spoon full at a time add the cooked rice stirring constantly.
7. Stir until mixture thickens (10 minutes) ; you know because it starts bubbling.
8. Lower the temperature while stirring until you reach low then remove from heat and put rice pudding in a container; leave uncovered until cool.

The problem is this is not a pudding it's a custard. That happens to have rice in it. So the condensed milk has nothing to do with the custard setting; that's taken care of by the eggs and cornstarch. So I just got rid of the dairy abomination and replaced it with a pint of heavy cream. To make up for the ungodly sweetness of condensed milk I added another 1/3 cup of sugar and 2 Tsp of vanilla.
It is absolutely delicious. I think cream must have been rather expensive or hard to come by so they started using condensed milk instead.
For good measure I'm also roasting a chicken stuffed with shitake mushrooms and basil but it is taking forever to get done. I'm convinced there is something wrong with our stove it takes upwards of two hours to roast a 3.5 lb chicken . I'll just eat some pudding while I wait.

~Eikon @ Midnight

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Egg salad?

I'm making egg salad at 11:00 at night. There's something oh so very odd about that but it tastes yummy.
As soon as I move to Minneapolis my eggs will be receiving an upgrade courtesy of mooching of Peat's flock. Goose eggs taste SO good. Really all his eggs taste good.


Saturday, November 3, 2007

Dan's Fjord Horse

I love to visit Dan's farm because of the inordinate amount of history he has there. His great great grandparents, great grandparents, grandparents, and parents all lived and died withing 20 miles and most of them did all that within 2 or 3.
So in the parlor of the farm house...
On the piano resides one of his grandmother's childhood toys made for her by her own grandfather who was from Norway.
It's a Fjord horse pulling a cart.

Fjord horses are a native breed to Norway and a little bit of Sweden and I think the rendition is dead on.

Apparently Dan's great great grandfather made a horse and cart for each of his grandchildren with Dan's grandmother being the youngest grandchild. He came into the house, told his wife "I've finished her horse", and died that night.

Talk about family heirlooms with sentimental value. Dan is going to give the horse to one of his nephew. So the horse will have gone through five generations of Andersons in America. Beautiful.


Stave Church

So you live in a town with a replica viking longship built by a guy with a vision and too much time on his hands. How does one compete with that? Well by building a life sized replica of the Hopperstad Stave Church directly behind the building that houses the longship.
Here is the original.

And here is the replica in Moorhead , Mn. The lack of being covered in a 1000 years of pine tar makes it a bit lighter in color.
The church is a a solid 4 stories and completely constructed of timber with all manner of lovely norse carvings. The door was especially magnificent constructed in the very defensible and narrow Viking Fashion. You have to turn your shield sideways to fit through.
There is an arched walkway around the entire building which kept the snow off the building proper and allowed overflow to not stand in the rain.
Being Minnesotan they covered the carvings with Plastic for protection.
The first thing that struck me when I entered was the Baldachino over the side altar which had some amazing pieces of carving and the rood screen which is floor to ceiling and spared the ax by the Lutherans after the Reformation. Apparently the building was abandoned and left alone making this the single intact rood screen in Scandinavia.
The Baldachino is dedicated to Mary.
and was completed in the 1300's so instead of dragons it has flowers.
With the occasional monk thrown in.
My favorite feature of this church was the leper door. This was relatively common in the middle ages and kept the diseased or especially foul smelling out of the church but allowed them to receive communion because the door is cut into the sanctuary wall. Like a sacramental drive thru for the socially undesirable.



So when people in Fargo get bored there's no telling what they might do. For instance constructing a 74 foot long replica Viking ship and sailing it to Norway.
Apparently he started it in his garage and then moved construction to an abandoned potato factory outside of town. To get the ship out of the potato warehouse they demolished the back of the building and trucked it overland 300 miles to Duluth.
Here's Dan my dear friend and helpful tour guide.
The ships rigging.
Oar Holes.
Keel layout.
They sailed it across the great lakes and then through the Erie canal .
Then Down the Hudson to New York and across the Atlantic to Norway.
This is what happens when hobbies run amok. : )