Thursday, October 30, 2008

A Finished Object!

Originally uploaded by 3Birds
This turned out a little smaller than I'd planned, probably because Wren is growing so quickly these days. I'm very glad she requested extra-long sleeves. She'd wanted them to reach almost to the tip of her thumb and so they would have done if her arms hadn't grown 2" since I took her measurements just a few months ago. As it is, they fit nicely but she won't be wearing it more than one season so I'd better have some granddaughters in my future! I would change a few things if I could wave my magic wand, but I'm reasonably happy with it and Wren loves it so I'm chalking up another success.

This was knit in O Wool 'Balance' on 4mm needles. It's a basic seamless raglan underneath the decorative touches. I used an open cast-on and the picot hem is closed by knitting the cast-on stitches together with the final row of the hem. This gives the bottom some weight and helps it hang nicely. The sleeve cuffs are made the same way. The bottom of the sweater is a simple eyelet every 6 stitches on every 6th row, and the sleeves echo that with a purl bump every 6 stitches on every 6th row; both of these patterns are offset on alternate rows. The neckband and high-waist are both moss stitch, and the top of the sweater is plain knit. Magic-wand changes would include lengthening and flaring the 'skirt' part of the sweater, lengthening the sleeves slightly,deepening the neckline, and making the neckline bind-off tidier.

dinner tonight: stir-fried bok choy and carrots with a cashew,ginger and garlic dressing over soba needles

Monday, October 27, 2008

4 o'clock Snack

Originally uploaded by 3Birds
When we're feeling anglophilic (which is often) and peckish (that's britspeak for 'a bit hungry' as if you didn't know) we call our morning snack "elevenses" and our afternoon snack "tea." Finch adores our teatimes because he gets to drink that very grand and grown up drink we call, well, 'tea'. His is half milk, (or cream if we're feeling indulgent) and he guzzles it with great gusto. None of us take sugar; the children because they fancy themselves sophisticated and I because I've sworn off sweetened drinks but we do like a nice sweet munchy.

On a recent trip to Trader Joe's, we had a delicious munch of the best graham cracker I've ever tasted spread with cream cheese and pumpkin butter. I immediately dumped a box of the crackers and a jar of the pumpkin butter in my cart. I swapped in creme fraiche for the cream cheese because I'm still in a snit over the unavailability of cream cheese without various gums and stabilizers. The graham crackers are a little pricey, so I'm going to experiment with making my own. I also have some starter for homemade cream cheese. Given the price of dairy, I'm sure this will be more expensive than the commercial products, but it will be free of guar gum, locust bean gum and carageenan. I think that strained yogurt might make a good and thrifty substitute as well.

Some of our other favorite afternoon snacks:
bread and butter dripping with honey
sliced apples and cheddar cubes
chocolate-dipped bananas
apples cooked with 5-Spice powder and brown sugar
leftover polenta sliced and fried in butter either drizzled with or drenched in maple syrup (Wren and I drizzle, the boys drench)
and of course any kind of cake or cookie but especially Victoria Sponge or snickerdoodles

dinner tonight: chickpea stew with moroccan spices served over whole wheat couscous