Saturday, September 29, 2012

Steeking Fearlessly

That's right, steeking. Hardcore. Steeking, in case you've never heard of it, is cutting an item knit in the round to make it flat. Such as turning a pullover into a cardigan. When working in color, such as with Nordic style patterns, it is easier and faster to knit in the round. But cutting the item makes it ravel and fall apart right?
I took a class today at Fancy Tiger taught by Ragga of Knitting Iceland all about how to create a crocheted and/or sewn border and cut with impunity. Icelandic sweaters require knitting in the round, and they are really really warm, so cutting up the front to make a cardigan is optimal.

Tomorrow I will take my just finished baby sweater and wash, block, steek and zipper it. Mind you the baby shower is tomorrow night, cutting it close? I love to learn new techniques (like an alternative cast-on, and a variation on pearling continental...) so this class was an awesome wellspring of information. Here's to crafting with a deadline!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Etsy Finds - Mabon Harvest

Happy Equinox! Today and tomorrow the night and day are almost equal, and the sun is setting and rising at due East and West. It is the second harvest festival, a time to celebrate the abundance of the earth! Enjoy Apples and spices, grains and roots, vegetables of every type, and of course enjoy the cooler nights. Here's some finds to celebrate the harvest.
A lovely decorative piece from TheWhimsicalPixie11.

Embroidered alter cloth from SilveryMoonBeams
Delicate adornments from Thyme2Dream
Seasonal scented incense, perfect for rituals from OldWorldWitchery
A touch of the season for your home from TheShabbyWitch
A colorful treat for alter or house from AutumnSkyAdornments
May your season be full and productive! Remember, this is not just a time to harvest food, but a time to reap the benefits of all your hard work over the summer in any endeavor. What is your favorite thing about Fall?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Pear Pie

Now, usually I wouldn't do much baking with pears, they are already sweet and soft when raw after all. But our Farm Share delivered a large bag of both apples and pears this week, far more then one could simply eat out of hand! These large juicy pears were begging to be dessert! I made a pie, and got so many request for an encore that I thought I should share...

First I made the crust, 1/2 c. Butter, 1/2 c Whole Wheat Pastry Flour, 1/2 c. Wheat Flour, and a drizzle of cold milk. If you can't get the pastry flour you can use whole wheat flour. I recommend buying some kind of whole wheat flour for your pie crust as it makes for a nice nutty flavor. Also, if you use unsalted butter you will need to add a little salt.

Sprinkle some cardamon on the bottom of the crust. Core the pears and carefully slice them very thin. Arrange across the bottom of the pan, I like a thick pie, feel free the heap them up over the top of the pan.

Beat two eggs and 1/4 c. milk thoroughly,  then pour over fruit. It shouldn't cover the fruit entirely.

Mix 1/4 c. rolled oats, 1/4 c. sugar and a generous sprinkle of cardamon. Sprinkle across the top of the pie. Bake at 350 F until crust is browned and the center doesn't jiggle too much. About 45 min.
Enjoy when warm!

What is your favorite way to eat a pear?

Friday, September 14, 2012


I often buy old crafting supplies at estate sale, and *surprise* many of them have never ever been used! The tags on such items can be fascinating - a ball of yarn from Woolsworth's at 19 cents, a spool of thread from the Denver Dry at 14, a bag of embellishments from Ben Franklin's for 20 cents...

And this embroidery hoop, with a label for $1 .19. Really? That seems almost... expensive. So I get online to check, and a wooden embroidery hoop brand new cost 99 cents. So what's going on here? This hoop was bought at least 20 years ago, as that's when Woolworth's folded in the U.S.

Is the new one poor quality and made in China? Did manufacturing technology make these cheaper to produce? Demand is likely lower now, usually that makes things harder to find and pricier. Inflation never runs backwards, so how did this 5" hoop get cheaper over time? (Yes these are the kind of things that keep me awake at night.)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Sweater Crunch

One might think, that given nine months notice I might have plenty of time to knit a baby sweater. That assumes I start after the first sonogram... I have until the end of this month (that's when the baby shower happens) to make this lovely sweater and hat set for my friend's baby. The pattern is from the Icelandic sweaters book I bought, but I opted for a superwash yarn.  Let the race begin!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Icalandic Landscapes

Sorry for the slow posting lately, school is back in full swing for me, hopefully my last year! Here's a bunch of beautiful and exotic landscapes from Iceland.
 The view of Reykjavik from the church tower.

 A cairn field near the Althing Lake

 The path to the althing, more about that later.

 Geysir fields, where the geyser that all other geysers get their name from used to erupt.