Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Comforting Stuff

I love wool socks! For at least 3 seasons of the year they keep my feet toasty and comfy. Because purchasing commercial wool socks with enough wool to be useful is getting pretty difficult, I am knitting more and more of them myself. I normally do a short row heel and this time I decided to try a flap heel. Well, the pattern I chose was pretty plain, however there were very clear instructions, including photos of various steps. It was an interesting experience because there were a number of errors. I figured out most of the corrections were myself, found some errata listed on line and found one mistake that wasn't yet listed. I emailed the author who got back to me almost immediately which was pretty awesome. It turns out that most of the mistakes have been fixed in the second printing, so if you're going to purchase Teach Yourself Visually Sock Knitting, check to make sure that it is the 2nd printing or later.

I made cookies. Yes, you're laughing thinking it isn't much of an accomplishment but believe me it was more than a trial in patience because I had to use a toaster oven. Currently we still don't have a working stove. We were given one, but it has a downdraft system which, after getting the hook up instructions from the company - very speedy reply on that one as well, we realize we can't use. We'd have to pull down some cabinets and at least part of a wall to figure out a way to vent it, which likely means dealing with lath and plaster. That is just too big a job right now. So while I wait for the electrician to wire a place to put a stove anyway, I made cookies in a toaster oven. It came with a small cookie sheet type pan and having no other tiny bakeware, it was the main deciding point.

It took me nearly 3 hours to bake one batch of cookies! I do believe that there is some sort of time/space distortion making the inside of a toaster oven much smaller than the outside.
Regardless of the time and effort, they were pretty delicious. I used this recipe for Oatmeal Toffee Cookies , omitting the coconut and using 3/4 cup Skor Toffee bits and 3/4 cup chocolate chips.

There is madder soaking for an upcoming dyepot. I haven't yet dyed with madder here so don't know what type of colour can get with the water. I used just tap water from our well, without any additives to see what baseline colours I will get. I soaked about 125 gms of roots in warmish water for about 40 minutes. By this time the water was just starting to turn orangish from the rather bright yellow it was at first. I drained off the first soak, added more water and watched the red colour develop. Within a couple of hours the water was really quite red. I've got some grey sheep fleece spun up to use in this dye pot as well as some white shetland. It won't be ready to use for a few days yet though but I'm quite excited to do some "real" dyeing as it has been a while.

1 comment:

vandy said...

Nice to see the first colours from that dyebath. Hope you had a nice time playing with it on the weekend.
And you will email me an address? I've already forgotten what you said it was. Sigh. Senility!
vandy