Let the past sleep, but let it sleep in the sweet embrace of Christ, and let us go on into the invincible future with Him. (Oswalt Chambers)

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Comment Questions

Beth asked . .
Your socks always look so nice in photos. Did you make your own kids'-size sock blockers?
Yep. They're cut out of corrugated cardboard. I have to be careful not to bend them. Other than that, they work great for picture taking.

Carol asked . .
What did you have to eat on Thanksgiving? You never did say.
It was a very traditional Thanksgiving dinner with seitan in place of the turkey.

According to the Kroger Food Guide
Seitan is a chewy, protein-rich food made from hard winter wheat that resembles meat in texture and taste.
I won't go so far as to agree it tasted like meat, but it was very good.

Brother-in-law John spent most of the day in the kitchen. We woke to the smell of fresh baked bread and he made enough so we could have some for breakfast. He also made mashed potatoes, gravy, dressing, carrots, squash, brussel sprouts, and pumpkin pie.

One of the appetizers was green olives stuffed with a generous sliver of fresh garlic clove. Normally I don't care for olives, but this combination was a mouth watering zinger. Outstanding, but not for the timid eater.

The meal was delicious and lovely.

I was so busy smelling, tasting, talking, and enjoying that I forgot to haul the camera out and take a picture.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Knit Unto Others - Three

Knit Unto Others KAL button Knit Unto Others, a short, two week Thanksgiving knitalong where we knit to warm those in need of warmth.

My Knit Unto Others goal is four pair of children's socks for CIC. Here's the third pair.

Third pair of CIC socks for Knit Unto OthersYarn: Cascade 220, 100% wool

Color: Royal blue

Needles: Clover bamboo premium circular knitting needles, #5.

Gauge: 5.5 stitches/inch, 7.5 rows/inch

Pattern: Simple ribbing with a four stitch, four row cable down each side.

The socks are knit on 36 stitches, 18 instep stitches, 18 heel stitches.

Tomorrow is the last day of the knitalong, and the fourth pair of socks is done and waiting for its turn in front of the camera.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Are We There Yet?

I'm home! Sister Doris and her DH John put much thought and effort into making sure we had a nice, relaxing, pleasant time in their beautiful new home in the woods of Virginia. And we did.

It was a lovely, family time with plenty of good food, good chat, and good company.

The airports were a nightmare. No one should be surprised by this, as Thanksgiving is the busiest travel time of the year in the US. In SW Michigan we also have the weather factor. Mother Nature was feeling cranky.

Wednesday morning I white knuckled it 20 miles to Mom's apartment in Kalamazoo to pick her up. The roads were covered with ice and it was snowing.

For those of you who aren't familiar with sliding around on slippery roads, white knuckle driving is when you grip the steering wheel tightly, thereby turning your knuckles white, because you instinctively but erroneously think you can prevent the car from sliding if you hang on tight.

Kalamazoo to Detroit, scheduled to take off at 10:25 am

Mom and I both brought books to the airport. Turned out we had plenty of reading time.

Chicago and Detroit were sending planes to Kalamazoo that couldn't land. They would circle for a bit and then head back to Chicago or Detroit. Since those were the planes we were scheduled to fly out on, there was no service to Detroit.

Every time a flight was cancelled, the disappointed passengers had to leave the secure area, stand in a long line at the ticket counter, get rescheduled, and then go back through security.

Finally at 1:30 Northwest brought in a big plane that could handle the weather and all the accumulated passengers. We boarded and headed for Detroit where most of us had totally missed our connecting flights.

It was the first plane to land and/or take off from Kalamazoo that Wednesday. It took 20 minutes to get to Detroit. Not even time to get up to full altitude or serve a beverage.

Detroit to Charlotteville, Virginia, originally scheduled for 1:30, rescheduled for 9 pm

We sat in Detroit for 7 hours waiting for the next plane to Charlottesville, which of course was delayed. We boarded about 11 pm and arrived in Charlottesville after midnight.

Charlottesville airport turned out to be very small, even smaller than Kalamazoo. Our plane held 30 passengers on very hard seats and had propellers.

What a joy to see our family standing there waiting for us. They whisked us to Scottsville and served us tea at 2 am before showing us our comfy beds.

Charlottesville to Detroit, scheduled to take off Saturday at 4 pm

While waiting to board in Charlottesville, we were informed that every NorthWest computer was down in Detroit and nothing was able to depart or land there. Computers were out for an hour and we got to Detroit 10 minutes before our flight to Kalamazoo. The gate we needed was about a mile away.

Detroit to Kalamazoo, scheduled to take off at 7:30 pm

How perverse is this? The first flight we were late for was the first flight of our trip that left on time.

Lunch had been a vending machine bag of potato chips. There was no time for dinner and no time for a stop at the restroom.

We ran through the airport as fast as we could go, and we were the last two people to board.

Here is where an amazing good thing happened. In anticipation of dashing through the airport, we had checked our luggage for the trip home. In some miracle of airport efficiency, our luggage also made the quick plane transfer and landed with us in Kalamazoo.

After gathering our luggage, unburying the car from under the snow, and paying our ransom at the long term parking gate, we headed across the street to McDonald's for a chicken sandwich and hot fudge sundae.

We agreed it was a wonderful trip and headed home to rest up before starting to think about Christmas.

Monday, November 21, 2005


Give Thanks to the LordHappy Thanksgiving to all my US readers.

Early Wednesday morning Mom and I are flying to Charlottesville, Virginia where we will be picked up by Second Sister (I'm First Sister) and taken to her beautiful new home in Scottsville. Third Sister is driving in from North Carolina with Griffin, her dog, to join us.

Second Sister hasn't told us what we're having for Thanksgiving dinner. Since Second Sister, her husband, and Third Sister are all vegetarians, it will certainly not be the traditional stuffed turkey I'm accustomed to.

Any body worried about Husband Bob? He's staying home with the dogs and having a turkey with all the fixings. I'm making Green Dream for him before I leave. Green Dream is a tangy lime jello salad with pineapple, cream cheese, marshmallows, Miracle Whip, and Cool Whip. It's the perfect complement for turkey, especially cold turkey.

I've been making Green Dream for over thirty years, so I guess that makes it a family tradition. Even the family members who don't like it expect to see it on the table.

We're due to return late on Saturday night, so there won't be another post until Sunday.

Knit Unto Others - Two

Knit Unto Others KAL button Knit Unto Others, a short, two week Thanksgiving knitalong where we knit to warm those in need of warmth.

My Knit Unto Others goal is four pair of children's socks for CIC. Here's the second pair.

First pair of CIC socks for Knit Unto OthersYarn: Knitpicks Wool of the Andes

Color: Violet

Needles: Clover bamboo premium circular knitting needles, #5.

Gauge: 5.5 stitches/inch, 7.5 rows/inch

Pattern: No written pattern.

The socks are knit on 30 stitches, 15 instep stitches, 15 heel stitches.

The stitch pattern is a multiple of 6 stitches, 6 rows.

Row 1: p,k2,p,k2
Row 2: p,k,yo,k,yo,p,k2
Row 3: p,cross2,p,k2
Row 4: p,k2,p,k2
Rpw 5: p,k2,p,k,yo,k,yo
Row 6: p,k2,p,cross2

Special instructions for cross2:

  • Slip 2 knit stitches as if to purl, popping corresponding yarn overs off the needle and letting them drop. The result is 2 elongated stitches on the right hand needle.
  • Grab the rightmost elongated stitch with the point of the left needle and lift it over the leftmost elongated stitch and onto the left needle.
  • Slide the remaining elongated stitch onto the left needle.
  • Knit the crossed elongated stitches onto the right hand needle, being careful to keep them in order.

When working the heel, the purl stitch from the heel needle was moved to the instep needle. The heel was worked on 14 stitches. The pattern was continued down the instep with 16 stitches, each row starting and ending with a purl.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Knit Unto Others - One

Knit Unto Others KAL button Knit Unto Others, a short, two week Thanksgiving knitalong where we knit to warm those in need of warmth.

My Knit Unto Others goal is four pair of children's socks for CIC. Here's the first pair.

First pair of CIC socks for Knit Unto OthersYarn: Knitpicks Wool of the Andes

Color: Violet

Needles: Clover bamboo premium circular knitting needles, #5.

This is my first project with bamboo needles, and I found them to be more comfortable for knitting worsted weight yarn at a tight gauge than Addi Turbos. In fact, I knit these socks in one day without my fingers hurting.

Gauge: 5.5 stitches/inch, 7.5 rows/inch

Pattern: No written pattern.

The socks are knit on 32 stitches, 16 instep stitches, 16 heel stitches.

The stitch pattern is a multiple of 16 stitches, 6 rows.

Rows 1,3,4,and 6: knit

Rows 2 and 5: k, ssk, ssk, k,yo,k,yo,k,yo,k,yo,k,k2tog, k2tog,k,p

When working the heel, the purl stitch from the heel needle was moved to the instep needle. The heel was worked on 15 stitches. The pattern was continued down the instep with 17 stitches, each row starting and ending with a purl.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Early Winter in SW Michigan

Cardinals eating sunflowers seeds in the November snowThe snow that started Wednesday kept coming down until we had about three inches on Thursday morning.

The first snow of the year often melts when it hits the ground because the ground is still warm. This snow didn't.

The first snow of the year often melts the next day when temperature rises above freezing. The temperature didn't rise.

It's Friday, we still have snow, and winter is officially here.

Pappy checking out the snow on the dog trailPappy likes the snow unless the temperature dips to the single digits and his feet get cold.

He knows if he picks his feet up and whines, I will carry him back to the nice warm house.

It's not that cold yet, so he's having fun looking for rodent tunnels in the snow.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Knitalongs in the Snow

Knit Unto Others KAL buttonMargene and Carole are hosting a very short, two week Thanksgiving time knitalong to remind us to share our knitting talents with those in need.

I don't do many knitalongs, but this one is right on target with my desire to whip up some CIC socks for the kids, so I signed on. I plan to start knitting this evening and hope to complete four pair of CIC socks during the next two weeks.

Click on the button if you want to join. Any charity knitting done in the last two weeks of November counts. Your choice of charity.

New Clover bamboo circular needles Next Wednesday Mom and I are off to Virginia for Thanksgiving at Sister Doris's beautiful new Scottsville home. Sister Carrie is meeting us there, so it will be three sisters, Mom, and my very outnumbered brother-in-law John.

Since we're doing airplane carryon luggage, I decided the time was perfect to stop at the yarn store and pick up some non-metal knitting needles.

This is what they had - Clover bamboo premium circular knitting needles. I scooped up two #5s, planning to knit mindless CIC socks while enjoying my family's company over the Thanksgiving holiday. The cords seem a bit stiff, but that shouldn't be too much of a problem with the worsted weight wool.

In January, Janet Szabo is hosting an Aran knitalong on the Aranknit list. It will be one of her patterns designed especially for the list, knit top down, and provide detailed instructions for inexperienced Aran knitters.

I've been wanted to do an Aran for some time now, and this sounds like the perfect opportunity. I'm daydreaming about yarn and colors I might use. I think it's a go.

First snow of the season on a pile of leaves Winter blew into SW Michigan today. High winds and some snow.

This morning I went grocery shopping and while loading the groceries into the trunk, the trunk lid blew down on my head. Ouch!

Before taking the dogs out for their afternoon walk I was highly motivated to haul out my Squall Parka and gloves. And, of course, I wore my new helmet hat. Warm. Very cosy. Nice.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Doggy School Lollipops

Opal Lollipop 1010 in a basic rib patternPattern: Basic Sock - see below for details

Yarn: Opal sock yarn, 75% wool, 25% nylon

Color: Lollipop 1010

Needles: Addi Turbo #1

Gauge: 8 stitches/inch, 10 rows/inch

Sometimes, like now, I like to knit self-patterning socks in a basic pattern with an attempt to have some ribbing for good fit and some wide stockinette bands to show off the yarn stripes.

These socks are a Christmas gift for Gail the dog trainer. All I know is her shoe size, so I wanted to knit in as much fudge factor/ribbing as possible and still have them a little prettier than just plain ribbing all the way down the cuff.

Here is the ribbing formula I used:

  • Cast on 64.
  • k2p2 ribbing for 20 rows - starting with p, k2, p2 .... p so the ribbing matches up with the pattern to follow.
  • Instep: p,k3,p,k3,p,k14,p,k3,p,k3,p (32 stitches)
  • Heel side: k3,p,k3,p,k3,p,k8,p,k3,p,k3,p,k3 (32 stitches)
  • Carry the instep pattern down the foot.

The **TOPIC TUESDAY** question on Opal Chatters List is:
Have any of you used socks as an extra gift by using the SOCK as the container for some other little goodies?

If so, how have you used your socks as "gift wrap".

What a great idea and so obvious once I read it. Now I can have fun finding little somethings to stick in Gail's Christmas socks. One sock can be from Sunny and the other from Pappy.

Sunny and Pappy have their doggy school Christmas parties four days apart.

Maybe I'll give her one sock per party and let her wonder what to do with the first one for four days before she gets the second one. Or would that be dangerous? She might throw the first sock out before knowing there's a second sock.

Maybe the socks need to stay together?

What do you think?

Monday, November 14, 2005

The Birthday Question

Your Birthdate: January 20

You are a virtual roller coaster of emotions, and most people enjoy the ride.
Your mood tends to set the tone of the room, and when you're happy, this is a good thing.
When you get in a dark mood, watch out - it's very hard to get you out of it.
It's sometimes hard for you to cheer up, and your gloom can be contagious.

Your strength: Your warm heart

Your weakness: Trouble controlling your emotions

Your power color: Black

Your power symbol: Musical note

Your power month: February

Everyone in knitting blogland is posting this - what would you call it? Blogthings calls it a quiz. I call it a question.

About a week ago, I went to the What Does Your Birth Date Mean? question. My results were so NOT me that I didn't post them.

Today I feel left out of the fun, decided to do the question again and post the results. Please don't think the results describe me.

My emotions are under control, thank you. I'm naturally blessed with the ability to keep my mouth shut and stay kind and polite even when thinking evil thoughts.

My moods do not set the tone of the room. In fact, I'm an introvert and tend to be very quiet and invisible in a gathering of people. I prefer my friends one at a time.

Maybe my whole life would have turned out different if I had known February was my power month.

The best thing about February is that it's short. I usually spend February hunkered down waiting for March, the month the snow melts and signs of spring appear.

February is a great month to wear black, though. Now what do you suppose I need to do with that powerful music note to make the world a better place?

Saturday, November 12, 2005

All the Leaves Are Down

Scenic and colorful fall viewThis was taken about ten days ago.

The trees were showing their last bit of glory waiting for the next windy day.

The windy day arrived, the air filled with leaves - leaves falling and swirling.

Fall view after most of the leaves are off the treesThis picture was taken today.

All the leaves are down. Those of us with dozens of trees and acres of land are wondering why we don't live on a small lot in town. Or, maybe I'm projecting my feelings onto my neighbors.

Anyway, I think town people take that leaf cleanup thing much more serious than we do. They have leaf bags and leaf pickup date deadlines - no matter if the leaves are off the trees yet or not.

We have leaf fires and compost piles. On cold short days when we'd rather be indoors, we think it's perfectly OK to leave those leaves until spring. After all, it's not like the leaves are going to smother our grass. Grass doesn't grow in the heavy shade.

Anybody want to come rake a bit?

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Helmet Hat

Helmet hat being worn by a personWhen I first saw this helmet hat in the Fall 2003 Knitter's Magazine, my first thought was: That is one ugly hunk of knitting.

My second thought, immediately following, was: Boy, does that look warm.

Being a pragmatist, the thoughts of how warm this helmet would be quickly overrode all thoughts of ugliness, and I added it to my list of things to knit.

It didn't get done for last winter, but this week I pulled out the magazine and knit one up in alpaca. It's going to be perfect for wearing under my parka hood when I walk the dogs.

knit helmet hatPattern: Turns Ahead Helmet from Fall 2003 Knitter's Magazine

Yarn: Knitpicks Decadence, 100% alpaca

Color: Tide

Needles: Addi Turbo #6 and #9

Gauge: 4 stitches/inch, 5 rows/inch

The pattern has two sizes, child and adult. The neck measurement for the child size is 11.5 inches, 14.5 inches for the adult. My neck size is 12.5. My head is small.

Both sizes have the same stitch count. The child size is knit in worsted weight with #8 needles. The adult size is knit in bulky weight with #10.5 needles. I decided to wing it with bulky weight yarn and #9 needles and use the child size plus 10% for the lengthwise measurements.

Knitpicks calls Decadence a bulky weight yarn. I don't agree. It looks and knits more like a worsted weight yarn. Using #9 needles, I got a loose, floppy fabric that was perfect for a helmet hat, but unacceptable for a sweater. I haven't tried this, but I'm guessing on #7s Decadence would knit up at a worsted gauge of 5 stitches/inch.

The guessing on gauge and size was successful. It fits my head snug but not too tight.

The pattern is an exercise in shortrows. It was quick and fun to knit. At the medium speed I knit, it took about four hours.

Bring on the cold winds of winter! (I don't really mean that.)

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Marguerite Needs . . .

Here's a silly little game that's been popping up all over Blogland. I couldn't resist.

Google "[your first name] needs" and post the ten best results:

1. Marguerite needs new routes for commuters.

How amusing!

From Wikipedia
Marguarite is a free shuttle service Stanford University offers to its students, faculty, staff, and the general public. Named after one of Stanford family's horses, Marguarite operates a few dozen bus shuttles throughout the university and the nearby town of Palo Alto, California.

According to the Marguerite webpages, the shuttle service serves 135 stops on or around the campus; in 2004-2005, it carried some 1.2 million riders; and it runs approximately 64,000 hours a year.

Note the misspelling of Marguerite. It happens frequently. The most common misspelling uses a "q" in place of the "g", Marquerite. Sigh.

2. Marguerite needs you to come play with her today! ...
She is lovable and sweet, though she requires an owner who can handle her large size!

Happy to report that Marguerite has been adopted from the Lexington Humane Society.

3. Marguerite needs nursing home care.

How sad.

4. Marguerite needs someone to love and respect her for herself.

Doesn't everyone?

5. Marguerite needs suggestions for speakers. She also needs help with calling sponsors, soliciting table reservations, set up,. guarding the prize table, ...

Marguerite needs some assertiveness training.

6. Marguerite needs someone to talk to.

But it's not easy. Her phoneline is usually in use with her laptop dialup.

7. Marguerite needs to give me more treats.

Is one of my dogs writing a blog I don't know about?
Is that how all the dog hair got under my keyboard?

8. Marguerite needs to have a rest for a while.

Please send a cleaning team and a lawn crew.

9. Marguerite needs to be reported on to the welfair for taking money from welfair.


10. Marguerite needs to be planted in drifts or used as filler between other more substantial plantings.

Oh, that explains what's wrong with me lately.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Tutti Frutti Done, Lollipop Begun

Completed socks knit from Opal Tutti Frutti in the Rainbow Ripple patternPattern: Rainbow Ripple by Linda Dziubala

Yarn: Opal sock yarn, 75% wool, 25% nylon

Color: Tutti Frutti

Needles: Addi Turbo #1

Gauge: 8 stitches/inch, 10 rows/inch

They're done and they're mine! They are a bit looser than I like, but not enough to part with them. I love the colors and the stitch pattern.

Ah yes, the pattern. So many of my readers asked about the pattern. I got the pattern from Linda nine months ago. At the time she was calling it a test knit. I emailed to find out if the pattern was ever published, and didn't get an answer, so there is no way to share this copyrighted pattern. Sorry.

If you are an experienced sock knitter who would just like a clue about the stitch pattern, I can do that with a clear conscience. It's a variation on Feather and Fan.

The pattern repeat is 15 stitches, 6 rows.

Row 1: k, ssk, ssk, k, yo, k, yo, k, yo, k, yo, k, k2tog, k2tog, k
Row 2: knit
Row 3: same as row 1
Rows 4,5,6: knit

In progress socks from Opal Lollipop 1010 in a very plain patternThese Opal Lollipop 1010 socks look washed out next to that bright Tutti Frutti, but they're a pretty pastel.

No pattern for these. I'm knitting them plain stockinette with some ribbing down the sides to help the fit.

They're destined to be a Christmas gift for Gail, Sunny and Pappy's doggy school teacher.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Frogging Tote

Frog pond tote bagThis arrived in the mail shortly before the big computer crash and trip to Idaho - one event very bad and the other event very good, but both very distracting, so I'm just getting around to enjoying my new bag.

First off, it's so cute. The slightly smiling woman is standing in a friendly frog pond where the frogs are helping her unravel her knitting. Rip-it, rip-it, rip-it.

(For those who don't know, "frogging" is knitter slang for ripping out knitting that didn't work or has too many mistakes to continue. It's named after the frogs who say, "Rip it, rip-it, rip-it".)

The caption says, "Frogging Is A Fact Of Life." Isn't that the truth?

Second, the bag is 15 x 15 x6, much larger than I thought it would be when I ordered it.

Third, the bag is much prettier and brighter than my picture. You can enjoy a better picture at Artemis Imaging - great service, fun products. No affiliation. Just felt like showing you my new bag this afternoon.

Diane of Artemis Imaging is a member of my EZasPi list. She also sells t-shirts, throws, sweatshirts, notecards, and mugs with the frogging design. Plus, she has some other great designs such as the "At Least My Stash Is Legal" picture. Would make a great Christmas gift for a knitter. Hint. Hint.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Answer Me This . . .

I don't usually do memes, but how could I not do this one after Elaine named me as one of her favorite knitblogs just before she tagged me?

Declaimer: Answers to these questions may change by the day - or even the hour. These answers only apply to the moment I typed them.

What is your all time favorite yarn to knit with?

If we define "favorite yarn" as the yarn I buy over and over and over again, my favorite all time favorite yarn is Opal sock yarn. It's pretty, practical, fun to knit, and it wears like iron. In addition, Opal has a great Yahoo List, Opal Chatters, that I enjoy very much.

Your favorite needles?

My circular needle collection is loaded with Addi Turbos and I use them for everything.

I want to try some of the beautiful wood needles, but I'm so afraid for my budget if they're as nice as I think they're going to be.

The worst thing you've ever knit or crocheted?

Modern Romance socks knit with Crocodile III've knit many awful things which I choose to forget and will not mention. Here's one I still have in my wardrobe.

A few years ago I knit Modern Romance, the February lace sock in the Sock Calendar, out of red Opal Crocodile II. The lace doesn't show because of the Crocodile and the Crocodile doesn't look pretty because of the lace.

After a lot of work - I even carried the lace pattern down the instep - I ended up with one of the ugliest pair of socks I own. Even though they are knit from a lovely lace pattern with lovely yarn, lovely plus lovely resulted in yuck.

They're on some cardboard sock blockers I made before I got the nice sock blockers I use for pictures now. That doesn't help them look any better.

And, if ugly isn't bad enough, the heel is too short and when I do wear them they slide down in my shoes.

Your most favorite knit or crochet pattern? (maybe you don’t like wearing it…but it was the most fun to knit)

I've knit a couple of tops where I started out with a lacy ribbing on the bottom. Then, I picked a lace pattern from BW and knit about four or five inches until I got tired of it. Then I picked another lace pattern from BW, etc until it was done. Total fun.

Most valuable knitting technique?

Partially done pair of socks showing pins to mark rowsI use these little plastic pins to keep track of my knitting.

They're used for:

  • Row counters. I slide a pin into every 10th or 20th row and I always know exactly where I am. That's what the pins are being used for in this picture.

  • Row counter for multi row stitch patterns. I slide a pin into the first row of the pattern. Then, when I have to put my knitting down, it's always easy to count up a short number of rows and know exactly where I left off.

  • Row counter for decreases or increases. Same idea. I slip a pin into the last one and it's easy to see how many rows I've knit since the last decrease or increase.

  • Markers. I slide the pin in between two stitches to mark a side seam or loop it around a stitch to mark a center stitch.

  • Anytime I need to mark anything for any reason and sometimes when I want to mark something for no good reason.

Best knit book or magazine?

The Barbara Walker Stitch Treasuries. I can spend hours and hours looking thought them.

They work as a unit, so I'm not going to try and pick my favorite except to say it's not the fourth.

Your favorite knit-a-long?

The CIC_Knit List knits for children in Eastern Europe orphan homes with inadequate heat.

Knitters from all across and up and down the continent knit a total of 321 toddler vests and sweaters in September and October. It was my pleasure to tally them up and thank all the knitters who contributed.

We also knit worsted weight wool children's socks for the kids.

If you think you might like to do some easy quick wool knitting that will make a big difference in a child's life, there is more information here.

Your favorite knitblogs?

There are so many good blogs, blogs where I consider the blogger to be a cyber friend, that I hesitate to answer this question. In fact, I'm going to rephrase it:

Name a few knitblogs that you have been reading over six months.(This version of the question is not an official part of the meme.)

There. That's better. I can do that.

A View From Sierra County Knitting, yarn reviews, burros, culture, nature, and a positive cheerful view of life.

Missouri Star Lace knitting, Aran knitting, adorable baby granddaughter, dogs, and a positive cheerful view of life.

The Woolen Rabbit Knitting, spinning, rabbits, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels (sometimes there are puppies!), and a positive cheerful view of life.

I am in awe of all three of these ladies with their multiple interests and talents.

Your favorite knitwear designer?

Alice Starmore. It's not that I actually knit her designs, but I have some of her books and consider them the ultimate knitting eye candy.

The knit item you wear the most? (how about a picture of it!)

This has to be my socks. I have about three dozen pair and I wear a pair every day. On grungy days, like days I'm working outdoors, I wear the socks I like least. I wear my favorites to church on Sunday.

OK, now to tag the next victims, but only if they want to do it.


Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Upjohn Pumpkin Torte

Looking for a wonderful holiday dessert?

Back in the 80s when I started working for The Upjohn Company, the cafeteria had a chef who made wonderful things from scratch. The Upjohn Pumpkin Torte is one of those wonderful things. It's a rich, heavenly dessert. Takes a little effort to make but it's not difficult and well worth the effort.

I'm posting this well advance of the holidays so you'll have a good excuse to make it twice. After all, you do have to make it once to try it out before the big dinner. Right?

This recipe was created to be sinful. Don't try to change it into something healthy. For the intended results you need real butter, real sugar, real cream cheese (not lowfat), real eggs, and whole milk.

This is the original recipe with my changes, suggestions and notes in parens.

Mix the following 3 ingredients together. Press into a 9 x 13 pan.
  • 1 pkg graham crackers - about 10 (I use 1-1/4 cup packaged crumbs.)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup melted butter (Use the real stuff.)
Mix the following 3 ingredients together and pour on crust. (I use electric mixer to get it smooth.) Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees F.
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 8 oz. cream cheese (pre-softened to room temperature)
Cook the following ingredients to a boil. (I microwave it two minutes at a time, whisking after each two minutes. It's hard to tell when "boil" happens in the microwave. Mixture will be noticeably thicker.)
  • 2 cups pumpkin (I use 15 oz can pumpkin. NOT pumpkin pie mix.)
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • dash salt
Stir the following into the pumpkin mixture while it is still hot. Let pumpkin mixture cool.
  • 1 envelope plain gelatin
  • 1/4 cup cold water
Beat egg whites and sugar until stiff. Fold gently into pumpkin mixture.
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup sugar
Spread pumpkin mixture onto cheese layer.
Top with whipped cream.

(I use real whipping cream whipped with a couple of tablespoons sugar and a teaspoon vanilla.)

No nutritional information. If you have to know, you shouldn't be eating this.