giovedì 30 dicembre 2010

button, button, who's got the button???

... after 25 minutes or so of staring at a myriad of coloured mother of pearl buttons.. I chose 4 different ones.. hope mom approves! you can't really see the true colours..but they pick up the colours in the yarn

today my 7mm knitting needles (16" round and set of double points) arrived and so I will attempt the (in)famous SNAIL HAT tonight!! hope to post a pic of it tomorrow!

mercoledì 29 dicembre 2010

... meanwhile back at the ranch...

so today I finally put together my mother's "vintage" 1958 three quarter sleeve short jacket sweater (full description!)
click here

I really hate sewing the seams.. next sweater I will try the top down, bottom up, circular needle, no-seam method... I promise!
That being said... the sweater jacket really turned out nice... stylish .. and I can really see my mom wearing it!
Tomorrow off to buy some buttons.. the ones I thought about using are too heavy - literally - they weigh more than the entire sweater! I was thinking about some glazed mother of pearl.. will have to see what I find in town

so.. drum roll and sounding of trumpets... here it is!

domenica 26 dicembre 2010

... not just knitting....

Peanut Butter Kis... ehem... chunkies

obviously a cookie dough made with peanut butter, butter an other good stuff!
Once your dough is made you use the same method as above to divide it into 40 pieces which are then rolled into balls..
Each of the little balls is rolled in granulated sugar

next, place the balls about an inch apart on cookie sheet lined with baking parchment paper and bake the cookies in a preheated oven

(same dirty oven window as above..)

When you take the cookies out of the oven and before you remove them from the cookies sheet, press a chocolate (a hershey's kiss if you can find them) into the center of each cookie. The cookie will flatten out slightly and crack around the chocolate.. Now remove them to a cooling rack and allow them to cool well because first the chocolate will melt and then reharden. If you touch them before the chocolate hardens..... what a mess!! I know from experience!

the day after...

I finally did get around to doing some Christmas baking.. not much by my usual standards, but enough to diffuse a little Christmas Spirit and delicious aromas throughout the house!

I only made two types of cookies ... as opposed to my usual 8 to 10 types... Pecan Nut Tassies and Peanut Butter Kisses (named for the characteristic Hershey's kiss chocolate kissess that top them off, but which I cannot find in Italy.. so I used little rectangular shaped chocolate.. hard-pressed to find a new name for them.. Peanut Butter Chunkies??)
So here is a play by play!
Golden Tassies.. you start by making the little tartlets using a rich cream cheese and butter based dough

you then cut it into 4 equal portions, and then each portion into 12 equal portions.. you get 48 cookies out of this recipe

Now each little piece of pastry dough gets rolled into a ball and placed in the tartlette pan
Next you form the tartlettes - I have a unique little wooden tool to help me in this task

Now you are ready to add the chopped pecans.. about a teaspoonful to each tartlette

At this point, if you havent already done so.. you make the goo that holds the nuts together!

and you spoon about a teaspoonfull over the chopped pecans in each tartlette

you pop them into a preheated oven for about 20 minutes or so...
(don't mind my dirty oven window!)
and there you have it!


venerdì 24 dicembre 2010

'twas the night before christmas...

... and all throught the house.....
nothing was going on! no baking, no cooking, no decorating...
this year Christmas is going to be very simple in my household.. for the first time in 34 years!
as for knitting... that is another question!
I have finished all the pieces for my mother's vintage sweater and hope to start putting it together today!
but first.. last minute food shopping, lest we find ourselves without milk, bread and eggs!!!

Have a Merry Christmas!

martedì 21 dicembre 2010

No snail hat!

got sidetracked by a pair of slippers.. you know the old-fashioned classic slippers with the big pom poms that aunt rose or your granny used to make back in the 50s and 60s
nothing fancy, no intricate colour switches, just plain simple flat-knit slippers! You can make them to fit babies or children by using finer yarn and smaller needles, for adults use bulky yarn, size 9 needles, gauge about 3-4 stitched to an inch
Cast on 32 stitches leaving a long tail and continue as follows:
garter stitch section
row 1 and every odd row: k10, p1, k10, p1, k10 (the 2 purl stitches will create a nifty fake seam on the right side!)
row 2 and every even row: k all stitches (right side)
continue in this pattern until the piece is half as long as your foot, or the foot that will be wearing the slipper!
you have completed garter stitch section
ribbed section
Row 1: k1, p1
Row 2: p1, k1
continue as established in k1, p1 ribbing until the entire piece (including section 1) is 1" shy of the length of your foot (or the foot that ...)
Ribbed section is done
Decrease section
Row 1: k2 tog to the end of the row
Row 2: purl all stitches
Row 3: repeat Row 1
Slipper is essentially complete
Do not bind off stitches
Cut yarn leaving a 12" tail, using a yarn needle (you know the big fat ones with a blunt end and a big eye) run the tail of the yarn through the stitches remaining on the needle and pull tight to gather them (I usually run it through twice) and without breaking the yarn, sew the two edges, right sides together up to the garter stitch section. Cut off excess yarn if necessary and weave in ends.
Fold the cast-on edge in, half right sides together matching up the two fake seams and sew the heel seam using the cast-on tail. Trim yarn and weave in ends.
Add a pom pom if you want - I keep my simple for easy washing!
and there you have it.. Keep those tootsies warm on these brisk winter nights!!

on to the snail hat tonight!!

lunedì 20 dicembre 2010

knit on!

so.. today is an EZ day.. not an easy day but an EZ day!

tonight I attempt the EZ snail hat! I am thinking EZ thoughts and hope to bring you EZ news soon!

sabato 18 dicembre 2010

knit Viktims Anonymous is about to be born!

well it looks like it's a go!

Got back from Lu.c.c.a. about an hour ago... and if all goes according to plans in February 2011 we will have our first meeting!
So now.. how to alert the knitters of Lucca!

I will think about that after Christmas!

venerdì 17 dicembre 2010

today is a good day!

last year about this time my husband and I went to visit friends in Florence and it started snowing...
I will give you the short version.. we never got home until past 2am because all the switches on the train tracks were frozen.. the long version is much funnier but I'll save it for another time!
last night we went to Florence to visit the same friends..

and as the temperature went down and the sky started clouding over.. I started reliving the terror of being stranded at midnight in the abandoned Pescia station.. my husband, myself and 2 o 3 subjects of questionable character.. I will not elaborate...
however, my worst nightmare did not come true and by midnight we were safe and sound in our little lucca loft
but there is more to be happy about...
On Dec. 5th I wrote to LU.C.C.A. (Lucca Center of Contemporary ARt) asking if they would host a knit group... no answer and so I sighed and forgot about it.. but today... they answered and are enthusiastic about my idea
tomorrow I will trudge through the snow and go and discuss the details with the coordinator of the museum
and so...
let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

giovedì 16 dicembre 2010

knit Viktim

so today I was talking with daniela about a project I had in mind (more to come on that when things fall into place, if they fall into place!)
I guess I should tell you who daniela is... she is the reason I became a translator, she sent me on my first real translation related job and I have worked with her ever since
she has helped me to mature as a translator and over the years we have become good friends, albeit almost exclusively "virtual"
most recently she has been party to my creative bend...
it seems a day doesn't pass that I don't talk to her about some knitting or other crafting project I have in mind
and... like me, she has also started knitting .... again
yes, again.. because both of us knit as children and sort of left it on the back burner..
anyway... today I was talking to her about my nth knitting project... I hang up the phone and hear that little msn messenger jingle.. I open the window

 knit victim, are you still there?
knit victim, I like it...I think I'll open a blog named knit victim

and so...
Knit Viktim was born
I hope to be fairly constant in this new blogging adventure!