Friday, July 31, 2009

Tea and Muffins

I have no knitting to show.

I work on the Summer Lake Shawl every single day--but--the amount of yarn left doesn't change!

So, in lieu of knitting, I'll share my tea and muffins with you.

I've been baking Boogie Knits Banana Muffins for quite a while. (Scroll down to Monday, January 29.) BTW, her current blog is here.

I made the basic muffins -- without nuts or sugar, though. The applesauce (even though unsweetened) makes it sweet enough for us. And I mashed three bananas.

However, what's fun is taking this recipe and trying all different things:
substitute orange extract for the vanilla
adding chocolate chips or dried fruits
omitting the cinnamon and nutmeg
using a mixture of nuts
using almond extract
grating lemon or orange into the mix

You get the idea.

The tea is ice tea concentrate thanks to Kay of Mason Dixon Knitting. (Scroll to the end of that entry.)

And she got the idea of the concentrate from Angry Chicken. It is brilliant! I'm my own Starbucks!

I soaked 8 peach tea teabags in a quart of cold water for 9 hours. Next batch, I'll soak the teabags for longer. YMMV

Now to go have some iced tea and a warm muffin!

Have a good weekend!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Re-entry to Reality

It's been rough. The fact that it's hot and humid in NYC doesn't help.

I keep wishing we were still in the Adirondacks.

Right about this time of day, Mama Duck and her babies would be visiting.

And Moose would be looking for somebody to play with.

Sigh. . . .

Friday, July 24, 2009

Packing up Report

The Summer Lake Shawl is being packed up--still on the needles!

Didn't get much done on it this week.

But there were books read, ice cream eaten, sunsets watched,

ducks kept track of, flowers sniffed,

a dog played with,

black fly bites to be miserable about (I have photos--believe me, you don't want to see them!)

The Summer Lake Shawl--off the needles--and the lake will meet again next year.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The REAL Summer Lake Shawl

It's been a bit chilly here in the Adirondacks. Ice still on the lake type of chilly.

OK, I'm exaggerating--but we've had temperatures in the 40s and 50s at night. Daytime temperatures have been in the upper 60s to low 70s.

A few years ago at Rhinebeck, I bought a shawl. A Russian hand-knit. Never wore it. I thought it was too pretty to wear.

As we were leaving for the mountains last week, for some reason, I threw the shawl into my bag.

It's been a lifesaver! OK, I'm exaggerating again. But it sure has come in handy.

It's a blanket when sitting in the chilly cabin. In the mornings, I've tossed it over my nightgown. When we go to town, it's around my shoulders. I've worn it on the dock. I've eaten ice cream in it. The shawl and I have enjoyed a few wine spritzers on the porch.

One evening, I even used it as mosquito netting!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Adirondack Videos

I discovered how to make videos using my camera! These two look the least like the Blair Witch Project.

The big excitement of the day is when the baby ducks come by. I've never seen such young ducklings here before. Most of the duck families we see have teenage-looking ducklings. But these guys still have fuzz on their heads.
(The whirring sound you hear is a seaplane flying overhead.)

The Adirondacks are home to hundreds of waterfalls. Here's one of them--the Bog River Falls in Tupper Lake.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Toe tappin'

Sunday afternoon found us tappin' our toes at an "Old Tyme Music Concert." Country and bluegrass and lots of fiddlers.

This guy was good

But this guy (George Herriger--three time NYS Fiddle Champion) was even better

What does one wear and do at an outdoor concert on a chilly afternoon?

I'm real glad I brought wool socks and a couple of wool shawls with me. Last night the temperature was in the 40s! And, yep, I'm still working on the Summer Lake Shawl.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Summer Lake

The summer lake meets the Summer Lake Shawl:

Um. . . yes. . . there's still needles in the shawl. I didn't finish.


that's OK!

Last week was a busy one. Didn't have much time for knitting. Went to knit night on Wednesday and held the shawl up. Wrapped it around me. It wasn't long enough.

I planned on blocking the shawl on Thursday. One of my knit buddies jokingly said I'd be knitting all night.

This wasn't a joke. I knew I'd be up all night to finish it.


then somebody else asked why I couldn't block the shawl while I was away.

OH! The heavens opened up. Choirs of angels sang. Of course! I can finish the shawl at the summer lake and block it. And still have time to wear it here.

So that's the plan!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Why do I. . . ?

One evening at knit group, a friend saw the folded magazine subscription card in my yarn and went to pull it out.

I screamed and nearly tore her hand off.

"NO, NO! That belongs there!"

When asked why, I explained that Handmaiden Seasilk has the reputation for being very tangly. I used the swift and ball winder to wind it. When the yarn was carefully removed from the winder, I inserted that folded card into the center of the ball. This prevents the ball from collapsing in on itself and the yarn getting tangled. (I also work from the outside of the ball to prevent the tangles.)

Another "Why?" I've been asked is:
Why do you have the shawl all wrapped up in a black ribbon?

No, it's not in mourning.

This is a trick I learned from one of my knit group buddies. It's just that the shawl has gotten quite long. Folding it up and tying it makes the whole thing a lot easier to handle. Folding and tying it also prevents me from strangling myself on it.

One more "Why?"

Why does it look as if my knitting bag has grown antennae?

I don't like point proctectors. I find they often don't stay on. And things can happen within a knitting bag. I push my knitting way down into the center of the needle, but I still fear that the stitches will work their way to the tip and hop off.

So I pull the ends of the needles out and tie the top of the bag very tightly. The knitting stays nice and snug in the bag and can't work itself to the tips.

And that's why!

Pizza Party

Late afternoon on Friday, I found myself near John's--one of my favorite pizzerias.

We haven't had this thin-crust yumminess in quite a while, so it didn't take me long to figure out what I wanted to bring home for dinner:

"Large, whole wheat Margherita, double sausage, please."

Since the wait would be 20 minutes or so, I took my knitting and an iced tea to the restaurant's backyard. And, a couple of rows later, there was a pizza ready to take home!

Took the pie home in a cab and the cabbie told me I could either pay the fare or give him the pizza. I love my NYC cabbies, but not that much that I would hand over a John's pizza!

Monday, July 6, 2009

4th Report

J is for the July 4th celebration in NYC!

On the 4th of July, we ate some cookies

looked at NYC through a porthole

saw Tiki Barber and Rob Thomas up close

admired the red, white and blue Empire State Building. (Photo thanks to the hubster.)

And, OH YES, we saw fireworks! (More terrific photos from the hubster.)

Next year, I want to wear these shoes!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Happy 4th of July!

It looks to be a beautiful, sunny day here. A good day for knitting al fresco.

But tonight I'll be putting the knitting needles aside---because we'll be going here.

Have a Happy 4th, everybody!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The State of the Shawl

July 1.

Including today, I have 16 days to finish the Summer Lake Shawl if I plan to wear it to the summer lake.

The length is currently 45 inches. My ideal length is at least 68 inches.* That's a difference of 23 inches.

I've been averaging an inch and a half a day. So in 16 days I could knit 24 inches. So it looks like there will be a shawl!

Last night I wrapped the shawl around my shoulders to get a sense of how it feels and drapes. It's incredible! The drape is light and slinky and feels just so very good.

I wish I could knit 24 inches in one day because I can't wait to wear it!

*An unknown factor for me is the blocking. Will the Sea Silk grow an extra 20%? I like the holes the size they are--I don't need them to open up more. So I'm thinking that this fiber shouldn't be aggressively pulled and tugged. A gentle blocking is all it needs. If anybody has pointers on blocking Sea Silk, please feel free to share.