Monday, December 28, 2009

Button Up your Cup

This pattern has been simplified and moved to our new blog at:
Simply Notable

See you there!

First 2010 Project

I've spent more than a few pleasurable hours in these days after the Holiday rush planning my 2010 knitting. I believe most knitters enjoy the planning part of the process the most. That 'thinking' part in which everything goes perfect, each project is completed on schedule and shapes up just as the knitter had imagined. It happens so rarely in real life, but delivers every single time in the planning stage.

This Cashsilk Fern Lace scarf was started back in 2009 sometime. Dozens of projects have been completed in the meantime, but still it sits on the needles waiting its' turn. I avoided it because it frustrated me. Between the start of this scarf and now, I've learned what I needed to know so I can begin again.

When Grandma taught me to knit, she was teaching me some basic flat knitting in the Russian method. It had never occurred to me that I couldn't knit that way in the round, or that I'd have to make adjustments in the way I created my stitches with lace if I wanted to follow current patterns. Heck, I didn't even know it was different - it was just knitting to me. But mine didn't look like the patterns promised. Thankfully, the internet provided some answers.

I've learned that there are many ways to knit. I can now adjust my old knitting style to today's real world and make the results look as the pattern designer intended. I can avoid twisting my stitches, (unless I want to!) One of the more helpful resources for me were the Russian Knitting Technique group on Ravelry. I also gleaned some information from Annie Modesitt's site regarding combination knitting.

So going back to this scarf is much less frustrating now. I may have to rip back to correct some decreases, but I'm clear on how to do that now because I'm a bit more skilled this year than last and that my friends, is progress.

Welcome to 2010. Here's to greeting the New Year with a little more knowledge than last. (clink!)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Jelly

When my kids were growing up, we had several pomegranate bushes in our backyard. Although we tried to make good use of the fruit, we couldn't really make a dent in the deluge of ripening fruits each November/December. That is, until I discovered a recipe in Rosalind Creasy's The Complete Book of Edible Landscaping for Pomegranate Jelly.

I made jars and jars of it for many years, so my kids remember this as a yearly treat around the Holidays.

We've long since moved from my kids' childhood home, but a couple of years ago, I planted pomegranate bushes in the home I live in now - just so I could again make some of that lovely jelly. I managed six jars this first year of fruiting and it's every bit as good as I'd remembered. Sweet, but tart too with a distinctive tang. My Granddaughter's tasted it for the first time this year and genetics being what they are, they raved over it and declared it a favorite, just as their Mom had over 2 decades before.

I found another recipe online that makes a delicious Pomegranate Jelly , although I like to cut the sugar to 4 1/2 cups so it's a little more tangy than sweet. It always makes me feel so clever to capture that transluscent red tanginess in a jar.

Happy Pomegranate Days!