Thursday, January 11, 2007

Dear Blog-

I wrote the following two days ago, and blogger decided it was so full of yummy goodness that it wanted to EAT my post rather than, well, post it. All I was able to recover was about 1/3 of the original. This made me so very annoyed with blogger that I couldn't bear to even look at the thing yesterday. So this morning I will work to replace was what eaten.

It is a very dark morning out there today. I couldn't get back to sleep after my husband left for work this morning, so I finally gave up and turned on my light to read in bed. I was surprised when I did get up and open the curtains that it was dark out there. We are supposed to have rain for the next three days and so it is rather cloudy this morning, but in the desert rain is never a given when it is predicted. We shall see. My asthma, which has not been behaving itself this winter nearly as well as it did last winter, has been especially nasty these past two weeks and I am just praying for a reprieve. It annoys me on so many levels - I have not accepted this asthma gracefully, it still really, really ticks me off that it has happened to me - and I think, If I can get this bad without even having a pet, then heck, I may as well have a cat. Because the only, only consolation for not having a cat was that at least I could breathe easier.

Ok, whining won't help (but thanks for letting me whine anyway), I'll go ahead and finish the following bit and then post it.

Dear Blog-

I know I haven't been here in a while, but I've been BUSY! Mostly with knitting. It is really hard to drag oneself away when the needles are flying and you are just humming along with a project. But I haven't forgotten that I promised you my applesauce bread recipe, and also a free pattern. I haven't got the pattern all set yet, but I can certainly put the recipe in here before I close.

Last Friday afternoon I returned home from a morning of playing Kit Dr. at the shop, and what to my wondering eyes should appear but a box from Morehouse Farms! Yipeeeeee! With my remaining Xmas money from husband and sister and her partner I ordered some things.

First there was the skein of bulky in olive that I wanted to make a cowl with like the one my sister has made herself. The pattern she used calls for knitting it in stockinette, so as you might guess, Friday afternoon I gassed up the needles and had to sit right down and knit the cowl up. Then I decided I really didn't like the typical stockinette curl at the edges, and that it might be better with some ribbing at the edges. As you can imagine, Saturday afternoon I ripped it all out, and then reknitted it with ribbing at beginning and end. I'm still not completely convinced that this is the end result, but it certainly is functional in either of it's incarnations. It may yet have a different stitch pattern before too much longer. Look at how thick the yarn is!

But Ohhhhhhhhhh! This yarn! It is like heaven spun into strands. Poofy clouds made into yarn. It is lovely stuff, so soft. I decided this year I would knit fewer projects, but that they would be more major in scale, and that they were going to be with really, really nice yarn, not just nice yarn or darned nice yarn. So with that in mind I also ordered their color sample book...

While I have been at their shop at every opportunity, it is next to impossible to remember all the colors clearly when you are on the other side of the country. I have already decided which color I will choose for a project from Louisa Harding's Winter Muse Collection, but before I get to that, I can knit THIS...

Yes, I have finally indulged myself with their Algonquin Cardigan KnitKit in natural chocolate brown. Can't you just see how gorgeous that is going to be? I can barely keep myself from wanting to start it right away. Luckily for me I am just short of where I will begin my armhole steek in my PW CYO. Look!

Those lavender lines you can see towards the top of my knitting are the pocket edges. The pocket edges on the right side of the sweater as you look at it are already sewn down and hardly visible, IMHO. The ones on the left are just tacked down for the moment with stitch holders. And I want applause here, because I worked that pocket edging in: two handed fair isle, knitting backwards on return rows, in 1x1 rib. And they look mahvelous, dahling.

I did break into something of a cold sweat because someone was telling me she doesn't think a crocheted steek works well with anything less than a 9 stitch steek, and I used a single stitch steek because that is what the pattern tells you to do. Tho they machine stitch their steeks. I'd rather not machine stitch mine, but time will tell. I checked out what Eunny Jang says about various steek methods on her blog, but my God, she uses these wide, elaborate steeks in her work! Paved six-lane highways of steekiness! Well, we shall see, somehow it all works out.

In the meantime - Applesauce bread!

1/2 C shortening or unsalted better
1 1/2 C sugar
2 beaten eggs
2 C applesauce
2 C flour
1/4 t salt
1 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t each of nutmeg, gloves, allspice, ginger
1 C raisins
1/2 C walnuts
2 med Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, chopped into chunks

Preheat oven to 350 and butter and sugar two standard loaf pans. Cream shortening and sugar, add eggs and beat well. Add applesauce and blend, then add dry ingredients and blend well. Beat until smooth and then fold in raisins, nuts and apples. Pour into loaf pans and bake 1 1/2 - 2 hours, or until cake tester comes out clean.


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