------------------------------- ------------------------------------ On and Off The Needles

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Snowed In!

Well, it seems that Mother Nature waited until mid March to hammer us New Englanders with snow. It started Friday morning and didn't let up until about 6am today. That is a lot of snow! It was coming down at a good clip for quite a while before it changed over to freezing rain.

Snowing 3-16-07
In the end, about 10" accumulated in the flat areas. Some parts of the driveway had drifts of about 16"! Everything had that nice crust on it from the freezing rain. The dogs had no trouble punching through it though.
Ravin and Tucker in the snow
They have been loving getting out there and running around in it. I'm sure it won't last too long, but it was nice to have one big snow this year.

Since we weren't going anywhere for a few days, I luckily planned ahead and got supplies to do some baking. With all the great food blogs out there, it's no wonder I can't decide what to make! But, I narrowed it down to a few.
Baking all Weekend!
From the top left:
Baked Donuts
No Knead Bread
Peanut Butter Banana Cupcakes
Buffalo Chicken Fingers
Blueberry Banana Bread
The whole No Knead Bread

I have to say, I really loved being in the kitchen and baking again. Yeasted breads and sweets are some of my favorites, and the smell of dough rising baking is one of the best things you can fill a house with on a snowy almost spring day. Pretty much everything turned out really yummy. I think the Chicken Fingers were my favorite. Hubby made the entire recipe (Mac and Cheese with chunks of the Buffalo Fingers in it) - oh my gosh - so good! The ultimate comfort food with a touch of spice and heat. The banana bread I made as directed except I added in frozen blueberries. It came out really, really dense and took quite a while to cook, but it had nice flavor. Bread - homemade bread is just so darn good. Enough said. The donuts and cupcakes were a nice sweet to have - not sickening sweet.

Being house bound, aside from the baking, I did do some knitting. I knit a bunch on the Street Smart Hoodie (I think it was feeling neglected and passed aside for socks) and started my adventure of the Turkish Stockings.
Turkish Stocking Process
Since the cast on was one I had never done or even heard of, I read and re-read the instructions many times before delving in. Vertical Cast On didn't even reveal any Google results. So, I followed the directions and dove in (my typical approach).

It is very unusual how it's done - you start with a figure-8 cast on and work out from both ends - knitting one end with the tail and the other end with the yarn from the ball. You then pick up stitches in between to create the round.
Vertical Cast On
It allows you to start colorwork right from the first stitch and carry it up the sides or front. This picture was my fourth attempt. Needless to say it was not the last.

Once you start knitting in the round, you increase every round to get the toe. I tried to use the increase in the pattern, but it was creating holes no matter how I did it, so it got ripped. I tried the basic KFB increase, but didn't like how it looked. Rip again. I only started actually increasing once I got a cast on I was satisfied with. I probably cast on 5 or 6 times before I liked it, then ripped another 4 times to get an increase I liked. But, after (literally) an entire day of working on a toe, I have some progress.
Turkish Toe
It will need blocking for sure - once I tug and stretch it a little, the stitches even out a lot. The yellow runs up the side of the entire sock and the center stripes will branch out into a pattern. I'm just excited to finally be doing colorwork again! I can see this flying off the needles!

Tomorrow I hope to get more forward progress on the Stockings as well as maybe take the boys for a romp at the park in the snow. I'm trying to enjoy it while it's here!