July 06, 2022

Matching socks!

I think I did it!  When putting these two socks, exactly side by side, it looks like the stripes match up exactly.   I think I even got it matched to the number of final rows in the toe decrease.  I couldn't find a way to photograph  them with the stripes perfect though.  Maybe if I had sock blockers.   However I don't really want to spend the money to purchase sock blockers, so I may just soak these and then pin them to shape on a rubber mat, like one would do with other pieces of knitting.  Not quite as simple and effective as a sock blocker, but I don't have to buy anything either.

The sock yarn was nice to knit with.  It wasn't splitty and didn't tangle.   Once I figured out where the repeat was, it was easy to find my starting point and I had a minimal amount of waste, which was also nice.  I managed to toss the ball band out by accident though, so I have no idea what the sock yarn that I used was called!  Despite the matching and constant checking to make sure my tension was the same, it was a fairly fun knit.

The solid socks which are a grey/brown colour haven't been quite
as much fun.    A lot of it has been my fault because I knit the first sock and then knit the blue striped pair before I did the second sock.   I also didn't think to write down the details as I was going, which did make it more difficult.   It's not a difficult pattern, but I started off the second sock with making the cables the wrong size and had to rip back half the top part, back to the ribbing.   Then I dropped a stitch in a cable and had to rip back to where I could pick it up because it was too difficult to try to hook it back over several cables.  Then I started turning the heel before I did the heel flap!  Argh, that was such a careless error because I had counted out the heel, meant to knit the heel flap, told myself to do it and then got distracted by something DH was watching on the telly.  Thankfully I found my mistake before I'd turned the whole heel.  To top it off, this yarn is splitty.   It doesn't seem to have much stretch or forgiveness to it, so it's not quite so much fun to knit with.   I wish now I'd gone for a more complicated pattern.  At least that would make the end result more worthwhile for all this fussing over a single sock that I've been doing.

My hip has been cranky lately and weaving on my Fanny floor loom has been difficult.  However there is a little Artisat loom in the guild room.   It's smaller than the Fanny loom, and has a smaller width to the treadle setup, which means less lateral movement for my cranky hip.   I was able to weave pain free on that little baby.   

This was a leftover warp from a tea towel class.   I just did a straight twill treadling and wove off this towel in about 2 hours, with little to no effort or pain.   I'd love to purchase a loom like this so that I could get back to weaving.   Not happening though because we need to replace our furnace!   That's been priced out so far to $7200 because we don't have a fuel tank, so are switching from oil to propane.  That's without a/c too!   It's not available right now due to back orders and increased demand.   We haven't had central heating for a decade or more, so it will be a change.   We'll still use the woodstoves, but it means we don't have to get up in the middle of the night to load the stoves and can be away from home for more than 3 hours if we so choose.  That will be an interesting change.


June 20, 2022

Stories of socks, benches and raccoons.

I wasn't going to make a new pair of socks until the autumn.  However, I was offered a trip  to the yarn store and came home with 3 new skeins of sock yarn.  This skein was a bit of a whimsy purchase.  I wanted something self striping.  The other two skeins were more abstract.  I'd not seen the pattern that this yarn made, but it was a nice yarn, so I wasn't sure what to expect.   I'm not a huge fan of this fake fair isle type stripes, however the yarn is so nice to knit with that I'm enjoying knitting them immensely.   I also decided to try to match the repeats, so I noted the start point and checked carefully for the repeat start so I could match the second sock to the first.  We'll see how that works out soon enough.

This bench left here when we moved into this house.   It had worn yellow painted legs, the screws were so rusty they were getting loose, and the wood on top was starting to rot.  It was really handy but the ugliest thing ever.   Last year it fell apart completely, but we couldn't get the wood to repair it.  This year, we found the right wood sizes.  DH painted the legs with black rust covering paint.  He even stained the ends and water sealed the whole thing.  It looks amazing now and should last for another 20 or so years.  

Raccoons -   

The other day we had a raccoon in the barn.  Well for several nights he'd been opening the door latch and getting in.  The chooks are pretty safe now, if they're inside since the entire pen is either solid wood or 1/2 in hardware cloth from ceiling to floor.   We put two jointed hinged latches on the door and locked them with snap carabiners.  No more anything without proper thumbs and the ability to slide the lock off the latch is getting into the barn now!  When I went to lock up the chooks the other night, one chook was inside and the rest refused to go into the barn.   The raccoon was in the pen, helping himself to the eggs.  It took two of us, but we couldn't get him out of the barn, and instead he just hid.  As soon as he did, the chooks raced inside for the night.   Not knowing where the predator was, we manually moved the girls into the greenhouse for the night, so they'd be safe.   The next day, we double checked the barn and secured the window better, just in case.   The chooks are staying in the pen for a bit.  They hate it, but with the raccoon out and about, I feel better about their safety. 

  Then today, while I was weeding the garden, I saw this critter coming toward me.  It was shortly after lunch time and he didn't seem at all afraid of me.  He's fairly young and luckily he waddled slowly enough that I could get into the house.  I watched him wander all over our deck before he headed off to where ever he was going.   I'm totally not impressed with a daylight loving raccoon hanging around our house.  Those poor chooks may spend most of the summer inside.  I really dislike raccoons.  I just wish they weren't cute.

June 12, 2022

Warmed over Chicken, 1896 recipe

This is a creamed chicken recipe from the Boston School of Cookery cookbook, by Fanny Farmer.  I used the recipe from the 1896 edition, but the one from the 1918 edition of the cookbook is exactly the same, and a bit easier to read because of the print quality.

It's a basic white sauce, with added diced chicken and mushrooms. I used ground chicken because I'd forgotten I'd used up the frozen leftover chicken from the last roast chicken.   The parsley garnish is because I had some which needed using up.  

The potato border was just mashed potatoes piped onto the dish, using a pastry bag and piping tip before adding the sauce.   I'd suggest using a larger piping tip though because any tiny lump got caught in mine.   It was an easy dish to make and it looked so pretty on the plate.

The chicken in sauce was quite delicious.  The white sauce worked perfectly with the chicken and was so easy to make.   Despite this being a dish of leftovers, I think with this presentation, one could easily serve this to company or someone you wanted to impress just a little bit.