Friday, December 26, 2014

T'was the Day After Christmas . . .

...and all through the town, not a creature was working or clowning around.
For the sales had all started at each crafty store, and the deals were just super,
The buys were no chore.

OK, that's about as far as I can take it. I knew JoAnn Fabrics and Hancock were having sales starting the 26th, so this morning I went shopping. We had been at my daughters in Milwaukee for Christmas morning and I noticed that she had a store-bought Christmas tree skirt. Well, that just won't do, said I, because I knew all the holiday fabric would be on sale right after Christmas. Next year she will have a new tree skirt.

All the yarn was 25% off, and I just couldn't help myself. I got enough for a couple pairs of socks, three skeins of yarn for hats for Green Bay school children, and enough Fisherman's Wool (Lion Brand) to knit a cabled sweater.

It was a little bit of heaven. Can't hang around here much this morning, I've got stuff to do - projects to finish, etc., so I can start these new projects. You understand, ...

Friday, December 5, 2014

Cold Weather Breeds Activities

There is something about a white landscape and crisp, cold air that makes me want to bake and knit until the cows come home. That is exactly what I have been doing. Of course the house is a mess, and I keep forgetting to do things (you know - run errands, make this appointment, call so-and-so) because my mind is all wrapped up in what should I bake today?

Usually, this time of year, I would be baking Christmas cookies, but since Dad passed the family doesn't congregate here anymore. It is easier if we are the travelers. Oh, I will do some Christmas baking, because it's nice to take goodies with you when you go visiting, but it's not like I am feeding a dozen people three times a day the way I used to.

Yesterday I decided to bake something that would use up my leftover sourdough starter. See, when you feed a starter it doubles in size, then you use about half of that in whatever you are making. Over time the starter begins to mount up. I have an old fashioned mason jar that I pour the extra starter into, and when it gets full, it's time to make something. Pretzels were the recipe yesterday. I do lack an essential ingredient – some kind of malt – that is used to coat the outside of the pretzel before it bakes. It's the malt that gives pretzels that dark brown color and that is what the salt adheres to as well. The recipe said you could use a sugar wash, which I did, but it wasn't quite the same. What do you think?

Today I will make another loaf of sourdough bread. We are out. That will leave lots of time for knitting as well, because sourdough starter and then the bread both need time to rise. I have lots of sock yarn to wind and socks to make so that should keep me out of mischief. Speaking of knitting, these are the things I have knitted by hand this month. Doesn't hurt that I am to be a great grandmother.

On the left are a pair of fingerless mitts that I started years ago. I discovered them in a bag yesterday and realized they were almost finished. I finally got it done. They sit atop a red and white dishcloth I will be taking to the guild meeting next week for the swap. The socks were not hand-made, but cranked out of yarn I got for a steal. The little booties are for the new great granddaughter and I've had a blast making them.

You all have a good weekend. Stay warm and dry.