Knitting and a Movie

This is yet another knitting blog

Monday, February 26, 2007

Bubble Bath Bars

I have been lamenting not having a Lush store near me. My absolutely favourite thing of theirs are the bubble bars. My mother's birthday was this past week, so I decided to try my hand at making her some.

All supplies can be purchased (at least in the States) from Snowdrift Farm. I find them to have the best prices in general for essential oils, which I use for cleaning products since I don't deal well with artificial scents. These bubble bars come out decently foamy, although I might like to experiment to see if I can get them to make more bubbles.



Sage Femme Bubble Bars
400 g baking soda
57 g citric acid
24 g coco betaine
27 g glycerine
2 drops green food colouring
1/2 tsp. clary sage
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp lavender
small amount of gum benzoin

Mix a little of the baking soda with the oils and food colouring. Add to remainder of baking soda and mix until it is evenly distributed. Add citric acid and mix well.

Combine the glycerine, coco betaine, and vanilla. Add to the dry ingredients and mix quickly. It will foam up a bit.

What I tried to do at this point is put it in rectangular soap molds that had been "floured" with baking soda. This didn't work so well, I kept having to push it down into the soap molds. Finally, I gave up and put it on parchment paper and tried to form it into little ovals. I think I might try hand forming it next time. If anyone else tries this, I'd be happy for suggestions or any tips that anyone discovers.

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Thursday, February 22, 2007

Aftur

I finished the first sleeve from Aftur from Lopi Book 25, as you can see I decided to go with my own colourway. The name of the sweater means "again", as in "g byrja nrri peysu AFTUR" (I am starting a new sweater again). The thing is, I realised this winter that there aren't enough sweaters that I actually WEAR in my wardrobe, that are warm enough and that fit and that I actually like. I seem to have too many gift sweaters that are in the wrong size but I wear them anyway because I have them. I really like this design, and I like the colours I picked out even better (just wait and see).



Anyway, the name of this sweater has special meaning to me, so I just had to make it. Aftur just happens to be the name of the song that I heard that made me decide that this band was worth going to see, and since that would be how I met a certain guitarist that happens to be my husband I'd say that is pretty special.

I just found out a friend of mine has a cool podcast of retro French music, check it out, it's really fun.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Bolludagur

Today is bolludagur in Iceland (I tried to find a good link but I guess just google it), so I got my mother-in-law's recipe and ended up spending most of yesterday making bollur.

Bollur

250 g margarine (NOT butter)
5 dl water
250 g (2 c.) flour
8 eggs

Melt margarine into water at lowest heat. Add flour and stir until it is all combined and thick. Set pot on back porch to cool (it shouldn't be too cold, 38C or so). When it's cooled off, beat the eggs in two at a time. The dough should be thick like bread dough. If it is too thin, beat in more flour.

Bake in tablespoonfuls on parchment-lined cookie sheet in 400F/200C oven, for 20-25 minutes, until puffed up and very slightly golden. DO NOT OPEN OVEN WHILE BAKING!!

Serve cut in half filled with whipped cream and jam or eggjaykkni, and spread melted chocolate on top (Whole Foods now sells Ni Srus chocolate, which of course is the best).

Eggjaykkni (egg custard filling)

90 g (around 3/4 c.) flour
750 ml milk
6 egg yolks
120 g sugar (around 1/2 c)

Heat milk and flour on stove, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens. Beat egg yolks and sugar with an electric mixer at the highest speed. When milk mixture is thick, add to egg mixture and beat at the lowest speed until all mixed. Store in refrigerator.

Some notes:
* You may want to use stick margarine. I'm not sure if tub margarine has more water than stick margarine, or if American margarine has more water than Icelandic margarine. Either way, my mixture came out too thin, and I ended up having to beat in a whole extra cup of flour (a little at a time) to rescue it.
* You MUST use baking paper underneath or they WILL stick
* I found in my oven I could only cook one sheet at a time because otherwise there was not enough air circulation and they didn't puff up correctly.

OK, so there is some knitting talk... I got an advertisement in the mail from Bergere de France and there is a really cute book of baby knits with this adorable jean jacket.
I am thinking I may have to order this book so when I make gift knits I can make something from here.

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Thursday, February 15, 2007

Finished mittens!

So my mittens have been mailed off to my mitten friend. I hope she likes them.


Some stats... I used 1 ball of Jamieson Shetland yarn, purple. I think it's around 30g. I bought 2 so now I have leftover purple yarn. I had 30g of green (Jamieson and Smith, not to be confused with Jamieson) and have 10g left, so it used 20g. I guess if you were making bigger mittens it would have used more like 30g. of the pattern colour and maybe 50 of the background.

With the stash yarn I used for this project and the stash yarn I used for the test knit, my stats for 2007 are 3 FO's, 69 g. of yarn used.

A LYS near me is going out of business. I bought a ball of the same colour, different dye lot, as some blue yarn I had that I was thinking of using for the dinosaur sweater. I did a test swatch with the two dye lots the other night while we watched Nightwatch, which was kind of a creepy thriller like Silence of the Lambs (and yes, I did have to look away a few times and say "Can I look now?"). You can't really tell the difference in the swatch, so I can use the 2 balls I already had for the body and the new ball for the arms.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

There's Been A Horrible Accident!

Well, no, really, it's just colouring paste. It sure makes good horror movie makeup, though, doesn't it? Especially when it's been in the cabinet for probably too long.

I used it to make Valentine's Day cookies. Happy Valentine's Day!

I had an exciting scare over the weekend. Friday night I helped B clean his room and throw out a bunch of old stuff because during the week we tore apart his room looking for some viola strings he mislaid. Saturday morning I woke up to find my wedding ring was not on my finger! I was in tears... all I could think about was in all the cleaning Friday it ended up in a trash bag. I looked in the usual places where I leave it if I take it off, I looked through the trash, nothing.

Then Sunday I said, "I am just going to take apart the bed and look one last time." So I took the duvet and pillows off, lifted off the mattress, and picked up the box spring. There my ring was, well under the bed. Either it bounced there or the cat played with it. I am just happy I have it again. (Oh and by the way, we were reading a local paper the other day and apparently we are trendy, platinum (hvtagull) is the "in" wedding ring material.)



(Adding the recipe...Ingi likes them which says a lot because he doesn't really like cookies.)
Valentine's Day Cookies
(They don't have to be for just Valentine's Day)
Makes around 14 very large cookies (Note to self: When making cookies for a classroom of 5th graders, use smaller cookie cutters so you don't have to do a double batch)

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups (plus any extra) flour
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix dry ingredients, add to butter mixture. Add flour as needed to make a stiff dough. Refrigerate for 30 mins or longer. Roll out on a well-floured cookie sheet. (Note, the dough will stick to your rolling pin and solidify and make it hard to roll future batches if you wait too long between batches). Cut into shapes. Bake at 375 F/190 C for about 10-15 minutes, depending on how thick the cookies are, if you have a dark cookie sheet, and how crispy you like them.

Icing for cookies
About 1 cup confectioner's sugar (flrsykur)
1 tsp vanilla
colouring (optional)
milk

Mix sugar, colouring, and vanilla. Add milk a little at at time to make a relatively thin but not watery icing. If it is too thin, add a bit more sugar. Frost cookies.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Driving up North

We went for a drive up to Vermont yesterday. The two year old Honda Civic has been in the shop for about a week now, it has a broken engine mount. These things shouldn't be breaking in a new car, and it's just over warrantee. I am not buying another Honda ever again, I don't think. Good thing we have the Dadillac. So we rode in 10 year old American luxury style.

While we were there, we saw this sign:

It kind of scares me. Why would a truck ramp run away into the woods? And what is it doing there? Is it going to come after us? Luckily, there were no signs of it.

On the trip, I worked on test knitting a friend's pattern. It was a lot of fun to make. I'm not sure if I'm allowed to post pictures or if it's secret so I won't say anything else about it for now.

We decided that Brattleboro, Vermont is very fun, and Bennington, Vermont is like a yuppie town that is trying very hard to be cool. Brattleboro has about as many coffee shops per square foot as Reykjavk. We did find a knitting shop in Bennington and Ingi was very sweet to wander around it with me. They didn't have anything too special, but they had a fun pattern for a lopapeysa-style sweater with dinosaurs on it, which we both thought would be a fun gift for our nephew. So I will probably start that in spring.

And Friday night I finished the first mitten. I sure hope my mitten friend doesn't have really big hands, she has "adult sized" hands which could be anything really. I have just under 2 weeks to do the second one. Maybe a week and a half. But I didn't want to knit this while we were driving around because I would have missed all the fun sights.