Friday, January 29, 2016

Hand Dyed, Hand Spun, Hand Knit

Superwash Merino - Batch 1: Green Hand Dyed
Superwash Merino - Batch 2: Yellow, Blue, and Green Hand Dyed
Singles Spun (S Twist)
Each Batch On Its Own Bobbin

Then Plied Together (Z Twist)

And Knit Into Baby Booties
With Mini Pom-Poms!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Simon Says: The Squeaky Wheel

It's not supposed to yell like that is it? Simon asks as the spinning wheel squeaks and sqicks and squaks loudly. I am spinning up some of my hand dyed Falkland wool from my first experiments with breaking Wilton. 

Broken Brown Singles

No. I tell him. It's not supposed to. And I spend some time hunting for the right oil to oil the wheel with. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. I say laughing to myself.

Simon eyes me.
What would a barking wheel get? he asks. Could I get some grease too?

I take the hint and we get our lunch.

That's much better. That, I can sleep through. Simon says when his belly is full and the wheel is humming quietly again.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Cranberry Pumpkin Nut Bread

My Red Kuri Pumpkins got squash borer beetles which means I only got a few Kuri Pumpkins. Not enough for my regular pumpkin bread, and not enough for pumpkin pies. So I adapted a recipe. Cranberry Nut Bread became Cranberry Pumpkin Nut Bread.
The bottom stayed in the loaf pan -- it wasn't greased well enough. Oops.
Golden Crusted Bread

2 cups flour (I used bread flour, this time)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt (sea salt)
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 tablespoon ginger

mix together and then make a "well" in the center of the dry ingredients
use the well as the bowl to mix your wet ingredients

1/2 cup pumpkin (red kuri) pureed-ish (some chunks are good)
1 cup chopped cranberries
1 cup almonds (I used whole, but think slivers would be better)
1/4 cup baking (olive) oil
1 cup evaporated milk

mix wet ingredients in well together first and then combine in dry ingredients from the sides

put into greased loaf pan and bake at 350  for 50-60 minutes

Yummy Slices
It slices better if you can wait until the loaf cools, but I usually find that my baked goods require sacrificing the clean slice for at least half a loaf, while it's still warm and the smell is throughout the house and the butter melts instantly.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Swiftly Flow the Days

I loose track of the calendar sometimes. As I grow older I find it easier to believe that a person could lose track of how old they are. I never used to believe those stories about the older generations not being quite sure how old they were. And yet I find myself forgetting my physical age as I practice being. Being present for the moment seems to melt the solidity of the past in ways I can't quite grasp. As though tracking time is what gives it it's reality, but living through it does not. 
How does it happen that living in the moment, living in the now, causes time to slip by so much more quickly? In my head these very deep (too deep?) thoughts are followed by that song from Fiddler on the Roof. You know the one: 
"Sunrise, Sunset, Sunrise...
"Swiftly fly the years, 
"One season following another,
"Laden with happiness and tears."
The melody loops in my head picking up lyrics randomly and truly: "I don't remember growing older, When did they...


Thursday, January 21, 2016

Thumb (Not Finger) Painting

My sister helped her three boys create the cutest picture of birds perched on wires for their Gran's birthday present. Some of the little thumbprints were placed too high or too low, but I think that just makes it more adorable.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Update Soon

Things are happening here. Lots of things. One of those things is that I (finally!!) bought new batteries for the camera and will soon be posting a nice photo-filled bunch of posts.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

First Foots, Family, and Friends

Happy New Year All!

The Wise Woman was my "first foot" this year.  I think that bodes well.

For those of you who don't know the custom, Scottish families believe that the first foot across your threshold in the new year sets the tone for the whole of the coming year. It can be family or friends, but that person must not have been in your house as of the stroke of midnight December 31st.

Tradition has it that the best first foot is tall, dark and handsome, and he should be carrying gifts.

I notice Scottish traditions often tend to set the bar high like that. One day it might even happen.