Thursday, November 17, 2011

Of Place Mats and Little Leg Warmers

"In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer." - Albert Camus

Today was the first day of Arctic wind here. All around the country, people have already had snow storms and freezing temperatures, and here we've been having balmy, muggy weather up until this week. Winter is not far behind.

To celebrate the arrival of cold weather (hey, if I wanted warm temperatures, I wouldn't be a knitter), I'm going to do a post about two very cheerful and warm knitting projects. 

First, I finally finished the first placemat in the set I am making to go with the china pattern I've been collecting, Pistoulet. I have 8 place settings, so I must make 8 place mats. It's tedious, tiresome work knitting a tightly woven mat, but the result is worth it:

The pattern comes from this book. One down, seven to go...

I also decided that I must make a pair of these baby leg warmers for someone's baby. ANY one's baby, really - the cuteness factor on these is too much to resist. Remember, I do knit for hire, and my prices are reasonable (shipping only within the U.S.).

Stay warm this winter!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Thanksgiving Dinner Menu

"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." - I Thess. 5:16-18

It's Thanksgiving once again, and once again I will be cooking the feast (with a little help from my family now and then). Picking the menu is always a bit of a chore - everyone in the family has one or two dishes that they absolutely have to have on the table. So, here is the finished menu:
  • Turkey in brine. I recommend the Apple Sage mix.
  • Mom's Grand Marnier Chestnut Stuffing (sorry, top secret)
  • Butternut Squash Soup with Cider Cream
  • Gravy and Bread Sauce (the bread sauce is a British thing, from dad's side of the family)
  • Cranberry Sauce
  • Mashed Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes
  • Glazed Onions 
  • Parsnip-Pear Puree (be sure to scroll well down the page to get to the recipe)
  • Brussels Sprouts with Apples
And then there's dessert. Last year I made pies for the first time, including apple pie. They were big hits with my family, and are making reappearances this year. In fact, I'm making a "dry run" of the apple pie for my church's Community Sunday meal this weekend.
  • Rum Raisin Apple Pie. Absolutely seals the deal for a memorable Thanksgiving.
  • Gingersnap Pumpkin Pie. A delicious variation on an Autumnal classic.
Good luck to all of the chefs who are in charge of cooking the feast!

What Would Lizzie Knit...

"If the knitter is weary, the baby will have no new bonnet" - Irish Proverb

Once again, I find myself drowning in yarn, with only my set of interchangeable needles to keep me from going under. Between the baby pram set I'm making on commission (see my last post for more details), a Christmas present or two, and some long-running projects for myself, my list of projects-in-progress is already groaning, and there are lots more waiting in line to be started. And then I went and stumbled upon this little gem:

Yes, indeed they did. A compendium of knitting projects inspired by the Jane Austen novels, as well as the movies based on the novels. The Chawton mittens, Evening Spencer and Northanger Abbey Hood patterns are among my favorites. A must-have for the Austenite knitter - I just picked up my copy today at the bookstore for US$15. Eventually, once I have more room on my knitting to-do list...

Thursday, November 10, 2011

My Knitting Wish List

"When you wish upon a star, your dreams come true" - Jiminy Cricket

Compulsive knitter that I am, I love Knit Picks knitting supply company. They have beautiful, beautifully priced yarns, interchangeable needle sets, etc. In short, the Nordstrom of knitters. They are currently running a contest where we desperate, impoverished knitters can compile wish lists, share them with multiple people, and thereby be entered to win the contest. So, here is my wish list.

The yarn on my list would be used for these two projects:

These Paris Mittens. They seem rather tricky, but as I love knitting as well as Paris, I'm really looking forward to making them.

This Evenstar Shawl. Beautiful, ethereal, terribly complicated. Just the project the work on during the long winter months...

In other knitting news, I've recently been commissioned by a friend's mother to knit a 4-piece pram set for her new grandchild. The pattern is vintage 1970's by the Patons company, and is written using British measurements. It is Patons pattern #1410, "Sweet Traditions"

Wish me luck with the contest, and happy knitting to all!