My current work in progress:

1. Segel, designed by Lea Viktoria, knit from Miss Babs Yummy 2-Ply Toes in the "Draco" gradient set on a 3.5 mm (U.S. size 4) needle.
2. Myriad stealth projects.

Pumpkin Pie

Today was pie day.

For the past 20 years I’ve used the “Autumn Pumpkin Pie” recipe from the October 1987 issue of Southern Living magazine. I found the recipe reproduced online here.

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Pie Ingredients 112107

Yes, in addition to pre-made pie crust I am using canned pumpkin. icon wink Pumpkin Pie

I used to make pie crust from scratch all the time. But the Pillsbury ready-to-use pie crusts are, in my opinion pretty darn good. So they are my Thanksgiving timesaver.

Here’s the pie ready to go in the oven.

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Unbaked Pie 112107

And here it is coming out — showing why I love this recipe so much — the topping! YUM.

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Baked Pie 112107

In addition to my culinary exploits today, I managed to finish the first of my Cable and Lace Socks.

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Lace and Cable 112107

It has tiny cables running up the sides.

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Lace and Cable Closeup 112107

And a lace pattern up the front.

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Lace and Cable A 112107

Because tomorrow is Thanksgiving in the U.S. I won’t be posting. But I want to say that I’m thankful that you all stop in here to visit and comment and tell Lucy how adorable she is.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Lucy sez:

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Lucy 112107

Wake me up when she starts messing with the turkey.

Challah!

Several of you guessed that I would be brining a turkey today. Nope, but that’s a good guess. I watched Alton Brown brine a turkey on television earlier this month and would really like to try it. But it’s just not practical in a small condo kitchen.

No, today I made challah.

Back in the day when I lived in a house with a big kitchen, I baked bread all the time. The small condo kitchen is not the best environment for bread-making. Still, I had the urge.

Milk, butter and sugar were mixed together and brought to a boil.

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Challah A 112007

After cooling, I added yeast, which thankfully I did not kill by putting it in the liquid when it was too hot.

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Challah B 112007

Eggs are ready to be added along with salt.

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Challah C 112007

And flour and Presto! Bread dough!

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Challah D 112007

(That’s my trusty 1982 commercial-size Cuisinart. It’s still working after all these years.)

The dough is ready for it’s first rise.

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Challah E 112007

Well, lookie here. It rose.

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Challah F 112007

I shaped it into loaves and set it to rise again. That’s cornmeal sprinkled on the baking sheet to keep the loaves from sticking.

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Challah G 112007

Before baking, I painted the loaves with an egg wash.

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Challah H 112007

Ta-da! Loaves accompli!

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Challah I 112007

I use the challah recipe from The Silver Palate Cookbook. The only change I make is to add some saffron to the milk when boiling it. This is the recipe I’ve always used and have always loved it.

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Challah J 112007

So . . . why did I make challah?

So we could use it to make French Toast! Yum! icon smile Challah!

I was on a “baking high” after the success of the challah so I quickly whipped up a batch of cornbread, to be used for the cornbread stuffing that will accompany our turkey on Thursday. Not roasted in the turkey though. I’m not a fan of the “in-bird” stuffing. My turkey will be roasted with an assortment of herbs and onions in the body cavity.

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Cornbread 112007

The cornbread recipe I use is documented here, in a blog entry on November 20 of last year. Freaky, what? I was making cornbread exactly one year ago. For the stuffing, I omit the sugar from the recipe.

Tomorrow . . . pumpkin pie!

But wait — this is still a knitting blog, so I’ll answer a couple of questions from yesterday’s post.

Michelle asked:

What is the deciding factor in whether you use a size 1 or size 2 for your socks?

For fingering weight sock yarns I always use a size 0 needle (2mm). The only exception is if I’m doing a cabled sock, I’ll go up a needle size for the cabled part.

Laura commented:

I started a pair of toe up socks with your generic pattern and Judy’s magic cast-on. Do you use this cast-on? How many stitches do you start with? I started with 12 but the toe looks a little too small. Yours look normal so I am curious what you do.

Yes! I always use Judy’s Magic Cast-on — it’s my very favorite cast on. If you haven’t tried it for your toe-up socks, I strongly urge you to give it a whirl.

I start with about half the total number of stitches for my sock. For example, if I’m doing a 64-stitch sock, I’ll cast on 32 stitches — 16 on each needle. I think 12 on each needle would make the toe too pointy for my liking. But your mileage may vary!

Lucy sez:

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Lucy 112007
Look at me! I’m adorable!

Where Did the Day Go?

How is it possible for a day to pass so quickly and for me to have accomplished so little?

There must be a rift in the time-space continuum.

I was out running errands this morning and didn’t get back ’til almost noon. But my fridge is now completely Thanksgiving-ready. icon smile Where Did the Day Go?

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Fridge 111907

(If you go to Flickr and look at the large size of that photo, you can see that there are pre-made pie crusts in there. Please do not judge me too harshly.)

And I did do a bit of work on a new sock project:

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Lace and Cable Sock 111907

This is my beloved Dream in Color Smooshy sock yarn in the Chinatown Apple colorway, purchased from The Loopy Ewe. The sock is being knit on a 2mm needle.

Love the Chinatown Apple colorway!

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Chinatown Apple 111907

So, not much else to report here. I do want to thank you for your continued good wishes on the state of my health. As long as I remember not to re-arrange the furniture or start carrying loads of bricks around, I should be okay.

I have a feeling this will turn into a food blog for the rest of the week. Tomorrow I’m going to be doing something particularly shocking!

Lucy sez:

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Lucy 111907

“I want no part of it!”

A Day Out

I had a busy day on Friday. First thing in the morning I went to see my neurosurgeon (who said I’m doing fine — just need to take things easy while I continue to heal).

By coincidence, the day before, I discovered that there was a new yarn shop that had recently opened a mere 5 miles from my doctor’s office. So after my appointment I headed over to the shop, Nature’s Yarns Inc.

The shop is located in a small strip mall in Fairfax, Virginia. It was easy to find and there was plenty of off-street parking in the lot.

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NaturesYarns 111807

I arrived there just as they were opening and the owner, Amy, very kindly offered me a cup of coffee as I cam through the door.

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NaturesYarnsA 111807

It’s a very nice shop in a lovely space — there’s a table and chairs in the front, and a couch and comfy chairs towards the back of the shop. Amy told me that there is a classroom in the back as well.

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NaturesYarnsB 111807

The shop carries a lot of interesting yarns you don’t often see — some of them I knew about, some I didn’t. Did I buy anything? You betcha! But most of it is a secret.

I can show you this however:

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Lawres Laine Bag 111807

It’s a lovely Lawre’s Laine bag, the perfect size for a sock project.

Speaking of socks, I did finish the Van Dyke Lace socks.

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Van Dyke Lace Sock 111807

These are made from Dream in Color Classy yarn in the “Happy Forest” colorway, knit on 2.75mm needles. I used one 250 yard skein for the pair of socks.

There was a question in the comments a little while back, asking why Teddy hadn’t appeared on the blog lately. Well, you know the life of a sock toe model is a busy and exhausting one. But Teddy consented to model a sock toe.

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Sock Toe 111807

Ignore this sock — it’s something I was noodling with this weekend. I’ve decided the color is not right for the pattern so you’ll not see it again.

What Lucy did this weekend:

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Lucy 111807

She’s resting up to help me with Thanksgiving preparations.

Good Day for Ducks

Quack!

Wow, did it ever rain this morning. Buckets, I tell you.

And the rain is a harbinger of colder weather, which is in the process of rolling in tonight. I couldn’t be happier. I like normal November temperatures in November. Call me crazy.

I knit happily on my second Van Dyke Lace sock last night and made some very good progress. Here you go:

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Van Dyke Lace Sock 111507

There were several questions about how well sportweight socks fit in your shoes. Well, it really depends on how loose your shoes are. icon wink Good Day for Ducks

But seriously, my sportweight socks are about the same thickness as cotton crew socks I wear with athletic shoes, so they fit well in those types of shoes. Also in my Birkie clogs. They would not fit in the dress shoes I wear to work, nor would I expect them to.

Spinning

Cathy-Cate correctly identified the colorway of the roving I showed in yesterday’s entry. It is indeed “Good Vibrations.” I may try to do a little spinning this weekend, but I’ve got lots of other things on my plate. We’ll see how it goes.

I haven’t really tried to spin since I started having serious back issues last summer. Well, when Sheri and Janice were here a couple of weeks ago, I sat down at the wheel for 5 minutes for a spinning demonstration. And while we were at Graves Mountain, I did a bit of spinning on Alice‘s single-treadle Ashford. I did start having some back pain while doing that, but I think it was because I was treadling with one foot. When I tried both feet on the treadle, it felt better. All my wheels have been double-treadle, so I have no experience spinning on a single-treadle.

By the way, did I mention that the only wheel I currently own is my Lendrum? I’ve been trying to downsize lately, so my other wheels have gone to new happy homes where they will be loved and used.

But while we were at Graves Mountain, Alice (I think it was Alice) mentioned the new Kromski portable and how much she liked it when she tried it, so now of course I’m tempted. I keep telling myself that I barely spin anymore so I don’t need another wheel.

I don’t need another wheel. I don’t need another wheel. I don’t need another wheel.

Lucy

Lucy weighs just under 8 pounds and my limit for lifting things is 10 pounds, so fortunately, I’ve been able to lift Lucy as much as I want!

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Lucy 111507

Lucy is so easy to please. A cozy cushion, a lamp for heat, her Momma and/or Daddy nearby, and she’s one content little kitty.