Knitting and a Movie
Friday, December 30, 2005
      ( 1:35 PM ) Rebecca  
JˇlatrÚ og jˇlagj÷f

Long time, no posting, I know.

Last Friday (the 23rd) we were going to put up the Christmas tree. We hauled it out of the basement (yep, it's fake) and started putting it together. As we put the branches on, we were perplexed how wobbly it was. We took it all apart and found out the screws were stripped and they just wouldn't work. Since this was late Friday night, there wasn't anything we could do, so we went to bed not knowing if there was going to be a tree. I figured I'd go looking for a leftover live tree when I was over decorating the church for Christmas Eve. While I was at church, Ingi called me and said he went to the hardware store and they were able to find larger bolts that worked. So when I got back, the tree was up and ready to be decorated. Hooray!!!

We had a nice Christmas Eve dinner here with my family. I got some fun little crystal compote glasses at the antique shop across the street to serve the Jˇlagrautur (Christmas rice pudding that you hide an almond in, whoever gets the almond gets a special present), since I didn't have any pretty bowls. I'll post the recipe later, his mom's recipe is the best.

And I got a VERY FUN Christmas present. Actually, two. I got a Lush Snow Fairy gift set, and the book ŮrÝhyrnur og langsj÷l, which you can order here from Schoolhouse Press. Everything in there is gorgeous but I think I settled on which one I am going to make to start with.

Happy belated Christmas!
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Monday, December 19, 2005
      ( 7:45 PM ) Rebecca  
Hann kemur ß morgun!!

Been spending the evening straightening up, mostly. It's kind of fun. I did stop on the way home to get Inox replacements for my broken 2mm needles. Who thought making anything that small of wood was a good idea? The Inox are really nice, and don't stab my fingers (I have this weird way of knitting, where I poke my finger, but they aren't sharp). So in between cleaning and bread experiments, I've been working on that wristwarmer again (poor lopipeysa!) This is such an addictive little project. If it is actually useful, maybe I'll have to make some as gifts next year.

Another entertaining way I've been wasting time is reading this exposÚ on reality TV by Kurt Harland of Information Society. Now, I liked their geeky obscure cyberpunk stuff like "Mirror Shades" back in the day, but this makes me really appreciate them that much more. Really, worth the read.
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Sunday, December 18, 2005
      ( 1:59 PM ) Rebecca  
A house full of cookies

So I think we ended up with 7 kinds of cookies, although I may have lost track. And if I make the marsipan candy thing then does that count as 8? I think my family has issues deciding when is enough cookies. But it was grand fun anyway although I was so exhausted afterwards.

I succumbed to shiny-object-itis and started some lace wristwarmers from Nordic Knitting with some natural shades of Shetland yarn I had kicking around (from the Highland socks that would never fit anyone). They are coming out really nicely, but I am knitting them on 2mm wooden needles, and someone broke one, and I broke another, so I'm back to lopipeysan until I get replacement teeny needles to finish them. I've gotten about halfway done with one, a little less.

I've also started my Jˇlabrau­ recipe experiment and will probably finish that Tuesday.

2 DAGAR!!
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Friday, December 16, 2005
      ( 6:15 PM ) Rebecca  
Jˇlabakstur

Tomorrow my mother and sister are coming over to do Christmas baking. We are going to make way too many cookies for any human being to eat, for all the various family gatherings and whatnot. All I know is I am bringing some to work.

I made the dough for pipark÷kur tonight so my nephews can roll it out and cut it out. It tastes SO GOOD, I just want to eat all the dough.

Pipark÷kur

1 1/4 cup sugar
2 sticks butter
1 egg
150 ml Golden syrup
4 1/4 cups flour
6 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cocoa
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp white pepper

Cream butter with sugar. Add egg and then golden syrup. Mix dry ingredients and add. You can roll it out then or put in the refrigerator overnight. Cut into shapes. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.
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Thursday, December 15, 2005
      ( 6:03 PM ) Rebecca  
EftirvŠnting

Hann kemur Ý 5 daga!!!

I am ready (maybe??) to start on the yoke for lopapeysan. I had knit the body on too-small needles (the Denise not being the correct metric size, that is my only complaint with them.) But I am thinking of switching to the correct size for the yoke, seeing as I tend to knit colourwork kind of tight and if I knit this too tight it won't go on. If it looks weird, I'll just frog and try again.

I stopped at the LYS for the right size Addi. I've been thinking of knitting a Fana cardigan for my niece for a future gift (cute pattern in an old issue of Prjˇnabla­i­). So I ask while I am there, "Do you sell any braid?" She replies, "Try the fabric store." "It's for a Fana sweater, you don't have that?" (thining I have never seen that sort of braid at the fabric store). Then she says something which makes me think she is talking of the Setesdal sweaters with the fabric on the top. I said, "No, I'm looking for the braid to go down the front of a Fana cardigan." She, obviously lacking a clue, said, "When you order the Dale kit you can get it as part of the kit." "But it's not a Dale pattern." "Oh, you can't order it separately." JŠja, I'll just order it from someplace like Bea Ellis. I don't like that LYS anyway. Besides, Bea Ellis has the Sisu yarn the pattern calls for. Sometimes I think I'm from another planet when I go into these yarn shops looking for traditional things. No, I don't want buttons in the shape of houses. No, I don't want yarn with sequins and glitter in it. And no, I don't want $50 yarn hand-dyed by yaks under the third full moon.
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Tuesday, December 13, 2005
      ( 8:06 PM ) Rebecca  
Ermi 2 er b˙in

So sleeve#2 is done which means now I will be working on the sock for a portable project. No way am I sorting out the chart for the yoke away from home. Maybe it will be a good killing time project for a week from tonight while I am waiting for him to drive here.

There are some cute kid patterns in the current Prjˇnabla­i­, they finally have photos online. It's always the kids' sweaters that are so cute:


There's also some crocheted-looking things. Maybe I should get it and make a crochet project to conquer my fear of crochet. There's a bag and a wrap sweater thing.

My next project will hopefully be laufavi­arvettlingar (leaf and vine mittens). There were some lovely old photos in Nordic Knitting, which I took out of the library (it also has me wanting to learn more about two-end knitting). I did a google search and came across a pattern, but it's very old-fashioned and hard to follow. So I am hoping that between the vaguely-written pattern (an example would be the translated "Cast on 14 stitches on each needle, but 15 on one": ok, so are these knit on 3 or 4 needles? I was able to sort it out later because it talked about how many stitches went on each thumb needle), the photos, and my knitting experience I'll be able to come up with something workable. That's half the fun, actually. Also, the pattern calls for sport-weight yarn, whereas the photos use a much finer yarn. So what I think I will do is a first batch in sport-weight (because I am impatient) and then if I come up with something I am happy with, revisit with a finer yarn.

Been listening to Songs for a Blue Guitar by Red House Painters. Amazing stuff. Ingi minn ordered it and had it sent to my house and said I could listen to it. Being the curious little girl that I am (yeah, I totally identify with Pandora), I had to open it. On first listen, it was OK, but then I heard the cover of Silly Love Songs, and that just blows me away, I can't even describe it. And after listening to the whole album again, that man can just do some amazing things with a guitar. It's indescribable.

I'll leave you with a link to the most fun knitted animals ever (not safe for work!!!)
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Sunday, December 11, 2005
      ( 4:28 AM ) Rebecca  
The end to the Saga of Windows

Yesterday we put in the windows (well mostly my stepfather, but I sort of helped). It's a good thing I called, because I WAS right. The corrected measurements windows fit just fine. And that room is worlds warmer now.

We had a lot of snow Friday. I walked out to get the mail at the post office (no way did I want to drive in that) and get something at the hardware store I didn't need. The snow came up to the top of my boots. Granted, we probably OFFICIALLY had only 25 cm. I think there were just drifts (or my house, where we just have more snow) that made it that tall.

It was a good thing I went, though. Ingimar had sent me a fun cookbook, Jˇlahef­ir. I was going to put a link, but I don't see anything about it on Nˇat˙n's website. Anyway, he knows I am a sucker for these things (cookbooks in general, but holiday-themed ones especially). It has some nice looking recipes too. Truffles, Christmas ice cream (which looks really nice but I never make ice cream anymore) and various meat recipes. One I know I won't be making is Ůorlaksmessuskata because he hates skate. Or hangikj÷t because you just can't get that here. (Hmm...think I should try that as my next email quest with Whole Foods? ;))
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Wednesday, December 07, 2005
      ( 7:30 PM ) Rebecca  
Happy Post Day

So today I got a box of random assorted hard-to-find Scandinavian foods including Kavli shrimp cheese. It's still not as good as the Icelandic one but you can't mail order that. I tried talking Whole Foods into importing it but I can't find an ingredients list on the www.ostur.is website and they are picky about food additives. Maybe one day when I'm bored I'll share the email conversation I had about chocolate covered licorice with them.

On the other end, my Christmas package arrived in Iceland, safe and sound, it wasn't lost or held up in customs or full of broken glass as various other packages I have sent have managed to do. And the gift recipients didn't even get a look at the customs form, even better. Everyone was raving over the pink baby hat I made and sent, which was really nice.

I. told me a funny story today. "I was trying to figure out why the picture of the sleeve of your lopapeysa looked so familiar. It was something more than it being a traditional Icelandic design. Then today at work my boss walked in wearing the same exact sweater!" His boss told him now when I wear that he'll feel like he's at work. It's funny that it ended up the same colour combination when I just picked colours I liked at the shop, the pattern called for greys or browns, not blues. I wonder if his boss's wife was yarn shopping at the same place.

I came up with a great, easy wine cozy idea that looks so cool. I'll take a film picture and upload it later.
What you need: one old wool sweater, scraps of cool jazzy yarn (the gaudier the better), embroidery floss
Felt wool sweater by washing it in hot water a few times, let dry.
Cut off sleeve, trim so that the sleeve comes up the neck of the wine bottle with a bit hanging off the bottom (about 3 cm, or a little over an inch).
Using embroidery floss, run gathering stitch about 2.5 cm (1 inch) from edge, leaving ends free to gather, Pull ends tight, pulling up the edges of the fabric into the inside, so when you are done it looks flat on the ouside, bunchy on the inside. (this works best for a bottle of wine with a concave bottom). Tie ends tightly so that it holds.
Slip bottle of wine in, tie your shiny happy gaudy yarn around the neck as an accent.
And there you go, a very pretty way to deliver that bottle of wine.
Need an inexpensive but good wine? Try here
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Monday, December 05, 2005
      ( 6:00 PM ) Rebecca  
Myndin og Jˇlabrau­ I

So I finally have some pictures:
Domino Potholder


Sleeve #1 of Lopapeysa:


Norsk sock #1:


And a little knitting inventory: done with patterning on sock #2, on tedious ribbing bit. Done with patterning on sleeve #2, on tedious-but-fast increase stockinette bit. Somehow I have elves that eat stitch holders, so I need to get a new stitch holder before continuing on the second sleeve. (No second sleeve syndrome, only sans second sleeve stitch holder). And I had forgottn why Addi Turbos are called that. They really make a difference. When I make another lopapeysa I will definitely just use Addis all the way and not the Denise (even if it weren't for the fact that Denise doesn't get correct gauge). Ingi minn thinks I will be done with lopapeysan before he comes. I have my doubts about that, but I should be at least onto the complicated colourwork bit. I will take my own advice and make myself a key with colour names for that part. I think I learned my lesson on the first sleeve.

Baking: I tried a recipe for a Christmas raisin bread from a Christmas cookbook I have, it's a Finnish bread called Pulla. Now it's a perfectly decent raisin bread, but it wasn't crusty enough. Next weekend I am thinking of making a brioche bread dough (as opposed to the classic desserty brioches, I don't like the term brioche for bread but it's now become "the" term for an egg bread) and adding raisins and citron and baking it in a steamy oven to try and get a thicker crust. Will post experiment results.

I also made the birthday cake recipe here. It calls for a chocolate peanut butter frosting. It came out quite well, although I used a smaller pan size for the layer cake. (It was confusing when reading the recipe about whether or not you should double it for 26cm pans. I opted for 20cm pans and not doubling, and it came out just right.) I'll post a translation if anyone is interested.

And I've been watching Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds: The Videos, which is fun, especially the duet with Shane McGowan.

15 dagar.
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