Sunday, August 29, 2010

Taste of History

One of my projects is going through my Grandma's old cookbooks. Grandma loved to cook, and she loved, loved to make cookies. I never remember going over to her house and not having some type of cookie there.
Her cookbooks were well loved, and improved by a myriad of recipes written on the pages, that she'd found or been given, some with improvements.

This recipe, beats the traditional chocolate chip cookie recipe hands down!

Ranger Cookies
375 degree

1 Cup Shortening
1 Cup Granulated Sugar
1 Cup Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
1 tsp vanilla (I increased to 1 tbsp)
2 Cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 Cups quick cooking oats
2 Cups crisped rice cereal  (now I feel like I'm the Food Network..)
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup (ha! Try 2!!)

Cream shortening and sugars together. Add eggs and vanilla, mix thoroughly.

Sift flour with salt, baking soda and baking powder. Add to wet mixture and mix well.

Mix in oats, coconut and cereal, then add chocolate chips.

This forms a dry cookie dough, drop onto your cookie sheet and gently shape into a ball. Flatten slightly with the bottom of a glass.

Bake at 375 for 10 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Move to a rack to cool. Try not to eat all of them at once.

2 notes:

First - using Shortening instead of butter may sound weird, but I think it makes a lighter cookie in the case (texture, not calorie) you could certainly exchange it for the other.

Second - Ranger cookies it looks like appeared in the 1930's I have no idea where she got this recipe, but it's definitely worth making today.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Tour de Fleece Revisited

My friend and fiber enabler Susan of Spinning Bunny Sponsored a team for the TDF, which ended up being the one I was most active on. Susan's fiber is totally addicting, I really should just send my paychecks to her every week.

As part of that team, we could buy specially dyed fiber that matched the team colors. I of course ordered a pound in Blue Faced Leicester and silk. That is my new favorite fiber right along with Falkland. It came right before leaving for Seattle, and while it rode with us out there, only a bit made it onto the spindle. So yesterday I started to spin this in earnest.

The rest of the singles on the bobbin waiting to be plied

Oh my goodness, is this gorgeous! It's spinning so fine that it just keeps going and going and going.. Tonight I finished the first bobbin, and started to Navajo ply it. I ended up with 250 yards, after the first half of the bobbin. This yarn wants to be a lacy something or other. I love it with the N-ply, I'm really enjoying that technique.

Navajo plied skein    

So pretty! Look at the light to dark pinks, purples and grays!

Hopefully tomorrow I'll finish it off, with still another 13 oz or so to spin. The debate is whether or not to spin all of it this fine or try to spin it heavier for a 2nd project.. Decisions decisions! Life is tough!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Sometimes others say it best


I must down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea's face, and a grey dawn breaking.

I must down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull's way and the whale's way where the wind's like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over.

By John Masefield (1878-1967).
(English Poet Laureate, 1930-1967.) 

Soul Of a Sailor by Kenny Chesney

He walked in with a salty sway
Lookin' like Blackbeard in his day
A brother in arms just like me
I was born a son of the sea
I can't be still, I can't be tied
The only time I feel alive is

When the wind fills my sail
Riding on a lifelong swell
Let my heart take me where it wants to go
That's the soul of a sailor, the soul of a sailor

He slid a stool and a beer to me
Said, you know, we're both a dying breed
Here's to love lost and newfound friends
And living out life in the boat we're in
I can't be still, I can't be tied
The only time I feel alive is

When the wind fills my sail
Riding on a lifelong swell
Let my heart take me where it wants to go
That's the soul of a sailor, the soul of a sailor

Let my heart take me where it wants to go
That's the soul of a sailor, the soul of a sailor

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Funny Thing Happen on the Way to the Spinning Wheel

Which had been safely stored away from the cats while on our trip. My yarn stash caught my eye. My poor little neglected yarn stash. We had bought small containers to store yarn in, but popped the yarn into it rather haphazardly. Nothing labeled, nothing organized. Wrong on so many levels!

So, out came the containers, and all the yarn to sort.
Neptune works hard containing potential runaway yarn
I sorted by type (commercial vs handspun), and then by color in the handspun, or brand in the commercial. I counted yardage and recorded it on a slip of paper. Then the containers were labeled, and the slip with all the yarn in it, sealed inside.

I ended up with over 100 skeins of handspun recorded and stashed, and around 25 high end commercial yarns. I didn't record the acrylics that live on the bottom shelf, and I know there's more handspun hiding somewhere. But it's a start!

And now I can spin with a clear conscience, I'm just gonna need a bigger closet! Or a yarn store...

Which container does the yellow go in again?


From work mostly, which has turned into a Twilight Zone of weirdness; leads to many things.

 For me, it leads to Etsy and random fiber purchases, especially if someone is having a good sale on batts.
Which in turn makes me feel guilty about the wool closet.

Which in turn makes me feel guilty that since coming home I haven't spun (being too busy knitting with patterns, and well, working).
Which makes me feel guilty for buying random fiber.
And then it makes me think of the 7 pounds of black alpaca waiting to be processed.
Which makes me realize I need to empty more totes.
Which bring me back to the lack of spinning since vacation.

I need a goal. A good goal. I mean, I spun like crazy during the TdF because I am crazy psychotically competitive. Seriously.

So, with that in mind. I am setting a September goal.

Neptune approves of my choices evidently. He's partial to Alpaca

To spin the following:

6 oz Louet Northern Lights roving

2 oz Yellow Alpaca batts

4 oz Superwash Corriedale Party Dress (that is seriously, almost 3 years old)

1# Merino/silk roving

1# BFL/Silk roving

10 oz Alpaca/cormo roving

The cat will not be spun.

Plus finish 2 more scarves, and 3 bags on my loom.

Starting today.

Will ya stop with the camera flash already! It's 2:00AM!

The game is afoot!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

It's Our Little Secret...

Shhhhh! Don't tell anyone. Be very, very quiet..

I think I'm starting to like to knit.

Ok, ok, I think I'm starting to like to knit.

No one could be more surprised than me. Really. I have always knitted out of a sense of guilt. All this yarn, and no one using it in a creative manner. It oozed guilt. I mean, a spinner that doesn't knit or crochet? Kind of weird. I spin for the joy of creating art, but to most people yarn is utilitarian. Sure it's pretty, it's for a purpose.

But then, I found Noro. Noro Taiyo, in these mesmerizing colors. That are begging to be made into something. I started sneaking home balls of Noro. Surely no one would notice the labels if I mixed it into the bins of handspun..

Scarf #1, the start of the addiction

And then I found circular needles. Because I've always, always lost needles, typically halfway through a project.
Scarf #2 - Knitted long ways, my Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor scarf

I started knitting scarves, I joked I'd have a scarf in every color of Taiyo. They were my take along projects, sometimes sitting in bags for weeks, sometimes finished in just a few days.
Number 3 - finished at the ocean, lots of errors, but so pretty! and peaceful! And Taiyo-y

 On the last trip, I finished my latest scarf, and then something clicked. The next scarf that I started (out of one of the 6 skeins of Taiyo purchased on the trip), morphed magically into a shawl. A triangle shawl no less. Yes people, I broke through the limit of the rectangle. And I liked it! Yes, I liked it!

Picture missing due to secret project taking place using Shawl

After the shawl was done, which turned into a slight obsession, I started on the next. I found a pattern on Ravelry. And I figured it out. And I am sticking to it. I am using a pattern! And I am liking it! I've even picked out what pattern to use next.

Multi-Directional scarf in the works
Yes, I am a knitter! Maybe someday I will even make another sock! A sweater! A lace cape! Ok, or maybe I'll stick to my scarves. But I have discovered patterns. I am a knitter that follows patterns. I am proud.

I am surrounded by warm colorful scarves - in 90 degree heat!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I Blame the Cats

I totally blame the cats for the missing cameras. Yes, notice the plural.

Look at this evil face plotting mayhem

Or this one - the image of evil -

And we won't even start about this one - already caught in the act once!

I have the memory stick. I have 2 actually.

I have the hooky-up cordy thing

I have the extra batteries

I have the battery charger thingie

I can not find any camera. At all. We own 3.

Hmpf Clearly one of the cats hid them to further their agenda. Cause there's no way I lost it in unpacked strewn clothes, under the couch, or under a mountain of wool. Actually I've looked there. Double hmpf.

I was going to blog about all sorts of things. All which required a camera to illustrate. But no, it'll have to wait.  At least I still have some vacation pictures to post. Bet y'all can't wait to see them!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

10 Spot

We had invited my sister and her family down to the ocean with us, and rented the cabin next door as well. Let me just say, The Lighthouse Resort in Long Beach WA is amazing! It's the 2nd time we've stayed there, the first was in one of their new townhomes, right off the beach. This time we went with the cabins, which were originally built in the 1950s. They were charming and so fun! We had a huge yard to play in, and a lovely walk to the beach, just long enough to get the kids raring to see the ocean. There were public grills, an indoor pool, journals to read from past tenants, and driftwood sculptures that people continue to leave in the rooms. There's even a ghost rumored to haunt the cabins!

So anyway, everyone got to the beach on Sunday night, and we headed out to have some fun Monday, Tues, and Weds Here's what we did:

Learned about the Navy, shipwrecks,and crossing the bar 

Astoria Maritime Museum - look at this ivory yarn swift!

And glass balls

Saw a Sea Lion!

Ate lunch overlooking the bridge and harbor

And the kids had their own table - very grown up

Snuck in some TV (When I wasn't looking)

Or colored with Grandma

Battled Lance for the couch

Saw the church where a relative was struck by lightening while preaching

Marveled that the flowers on Grandma's grave were still blooming

Looked for names we were related to in the old cemetary

Pondered life and death

Back home to the beach

Clearly discussing wave jumping strategies

He was happy - even more kids to play with!

Man overboard!