Dishcloths. Dishcloths are good.

Boring. But good.

Especially on plane rides.

I went to Houston recently, and I decided to knit on the plane. I had blunt suitable-for-children scissors and bamboo straights (US8/5mm). And Lily Sugar 'n Cream cotton.

8 knitted cloths on a coffee table

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So, that's what I did on my vacation!

Wow. I finished something.

mini mittens blue 20071223

My mother bought a Santa Claus doll that was supposed to hold a bell in one hand, but the bell was missing, and my mother didn't realize this until later. When she showed me the doll, she pointed out the missing bell. And really, it looked odd; the hand was definitely in a I'm-holding-something position. So, I figured I would make a pair of mittens for that Santa to hold instead of the bell. Blue, the same as the mittens I made for my mother.

Pattern at
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    accomplished accomplished
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Apple cake recipe

The recipe as I got it from my mother, who got it from a woman named Pat Rushton in 1974 or so. (No idea where Pat got it.)

1 large egg
1/3 cup oil
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Beat all these together.

1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp soda
dash salt

Stir well.

Slowly add:
2 cups cortland apples
1/2 cup nuts

Bake at 350°F, 45 minutes shallow, 60 minutes deep.

3 oz cream cheese
1 cup confectioner's sugar
1 1/2 tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla

This recipe can be doubled.
A few notes:
"Shallow" = 8" by 8" cake pan. "Deep" = 8" by 4" loaf pan.

The oil-based tea bread recipes from the 1970s seem to call for too much oil. I'm not saying this from a dietary standpoint, but from the standpoint that when the bottom 1/2" of a slice is grease-soaked, there's something weird going on. I'm not sure what happened, since I know these recipes worked in the 1970s, and I can only assume that something about the ingredients changed. Does canola behave differently from corn oil? Is flour milled differently now? I tend to use egg white products; does the lack of yolk (and the yolk's emulsifying abilities) make that much difference? No idea, but whenever I see a recipe calling for more than 1/4 cup oil to 1 cup flour, I change it.

In addition, I tend to use whole wheat where I can, and to use turbinado sugar if possible. (If you use white sugar, put in perhaps a tablespoon of brown sugar before measuring out the white sugar. It'll give a similar effect.)

With that in mind, here is the recipe as I made it (it's a double batch):
1/2 cup egg white product (not Egg Beaters, but a similar product)
1/2 cup canola oil
1 1/2 cup organic sugar
1 tsp vanilla (Penzey's double strength - yum!)

Beat all these together.

Sift together:
1/2 tsp nutmeg (Okay, I winged this. I just grated nutmeg until it looked about right.)
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves (can't resist the cloves!)
2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp (baking) soda
1/4 tsp salt

(When I sift these ingredients together, I typically end up with some bran (a tablespoon or so) in the sifter. I just dump that in too. My main concern is making sure that nothing is clumping.)

Add to the wet ingredients, and mix well.

4 cups of sliced/chopped cortland apples (Honestly, this is a really unfussy recipe. Slice, chop, whatever works. As a guideline... If you have something that looks like it would work on breakfast cereal (roughly the size/shape of banana slices or raisins), you're good.)
1 cup chopped walnuts

Add slowly to batter.

Grease and flour two loaf pans (mine are 8.5" by 4.5"), divide the batter into them, and bake at 350°F for 1 hour 15 minutes. Cake is done when a toothpick (or skewer) comes out clean.
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    accomplished accomplished
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A green winter song

Well, I don't have any new fiber projects done. Working on a blanket, but that's going really slowly, and I seem to be stalled on everything else.

Except singing.

Someone posted a poetry writing contest on knitting. And ordinarily, I wouldn't have thought anything of it, but she included "song" as one of the required words, and that made me think and before I knew it...

Listen as I sing my song,
Like a bird all a-twitter.
Days are short and nights are long,
In these cold days of winter.
I am glad my hands are full,
As I sit and dream,
Of bright and soft and squishy wool,
In red and green.
  • Current Mood
    creative creative

Crocheted hexagon

The story:
In September 2005, someone posted a request for help figuring out a crocheted hexagon. I was intrigued, and had a try at it. I think I figured it out.

I liked the motif well enough to use it as one of my images, and in July 2006, I got a question about it. Since the instructions that I had given the original poster were screened when crochet went inactive, I am repeating them here.

The instructions:

Chain 4, join in the first chain to form a ring

Round 1: ch2, *sc into ring, ch1* 5 times, join with a sl st into ch2 space (= 6sc separated by ch1 spaces (looks circular at this point))

Round 2: ch2, sc into same space, ch1, *sc into next ch1 space, ch1, sc into same space, ch1* 5 times, join with a sl st into ch2 space (= 12sc separated by ch1 spaces (looks lumpy/circular at this point))

Round 3: ch2, sc into same space, ch1, *sc into next ch1 space, ch1, sc into next ch1 space, ch1, sc into same space, ch1* 5 times, join with a sl st into ch2 space (= 18sc separated by ch1 spaces, with distinct corners formed by sc-ch1-sc (looks slightly hexagonal at this point))

Okay, I'm bored!

Basically, the corners are two sc in a ch1 space, and everything else is 1 sc in a ch1 space, and every sc is separated by ch1.

A larger view of the motif:
katrina hexagon

I used Lily Sugar'n Cream (Delft Blue and Rainbow Bright), and an H8/5mm hook. I tend to crochet tightly, so I made a conscious effort to crochet loosely. From side to side, the motif measures 7.25"/18cm, and from point to point, it's about 8.75"/22.5cm. Nine rounds of the main color, then 2 rounds of the contrasting color.