Monthly Archives: December 2018

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Merry Christmas!

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Shortest Day

And so the Shortest Day came and the year died
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive.
And when the new year’s sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, revelling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us – listen!
All the long echoes, sing the same delight,
This Shortest Day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, feast, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And now so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.

The Shortest Day – by Susan Cooper

Shortest day

Black garlic

Black garlic is apparently a foodie thing these days. I’d seen it mentioned here and there, but it’s not like I have time to hunt down exotic foods these days.

Then I was at my local farm picking up my winter veggies and they had a large glass jar of black garlic bulbs.

I unwittingly asked if it was something they grew themselves. And that’s when I learned black garlic is just regular garlic, fermented!

You know where this is going, right? I love fermenting things.

Some googling taught me that clean bulbs are fermented somewhere between 120F and 190F, at high humidity, for at least 3 weeks.

Of course you can buy a tool for this. But some sites also talk about making it in a crockpot or rice cooker. I know from my yogurt experiments that both of those run in the right temperature range. But my rice cooker automatically turns off after 15 hours. And I didn’t want the crockpot dedicated to one thing that long.

Luckily I remembered I have a little dipper crock pot in the basement. It’s meant for keeping dips warm. I bought it a lifetime ago for overnight oatmeal.

And it’s just the right size to plug in, then ignore, for a month straight. For the first twoish weeks the cling film was covered in condensation. For the last two weeks I added a dribble of water every day, or so.

Looks just like black garlic to me! I think I’ll start by making some salad dressing.

Wintry

FO Monday

This was supposed to be FO Friday (because I like alliteration.) Better late than never!

I think that’s actually the motto of these mitts. I started them during the 2017 Gift-along. So they’ve been a whole year in the making. The pattern is Wishmaker mitts. And I had some very personal wishes I was knitting into these mitts.

knitted mitt with dandelion pattern on blurred background

Life doesn’t always go according to plans. And while my wishes didn’t work out, these mitts sure did. They’re gorgeous.

dandelion mitts with hands folded

I finished knitting them in July but then they just sat, ends not woven in, for months and months. I was in an emotional rough spot and I think these poor mitts got caught in the crossfire.

dandelion mitts one palm up

I’m finally starting to feel like I’m really back on my feet now. And this year with the GAL happening again I decided to weave in these ends and move on from these mitts.

one dandelion mitt

I might need to knit some Mayfield mitts in 2019, just so I have a gorgeous pair of mitts I can actually keep.

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Apples

Finished Finlaggan

Pssst, wanna see something cool?

back view of a woman in an olive sweater with cable details

I finished a sweater! I really can’t believe it. I used to be the knitter who could whip out a sweater in a month. This one took a year and I feel like that was speedy!* This is Finlaggan by Kate Davies. (my project is on Ravelry) It’s impeccably written and fits just like it should.

woman in olive sweater with plant balanced on her head

Don’t mind the uneaven hems, I was paying attention to something else and didn’t straighten them before the shutter snapped. It’s been ages since the last WIP post for this beauty. But that’s because it got so unwieldy as it grew. It’s hard to take pictures of 3/4’s of a sweater on the needles without them all just looking like a lump of fabric posed in different locations.

view of pocket with contrasting color inside

But I whittled away at it all spring. Took a break for most of the summer. And worked on the yoke on and off during the fall. Then in November I started planning my gift-along knitting, finished Willow’s hat, and couldn’t start any of the things I was excited about (because gift-along projects all had to start after 8pm on the first day.)

side view of a woman in an olive sweater with cable details

So I picked up this sweater and realized I was 6 yoke rows and a shawl collar away from done. I got it all wrapped up before thanksgiving, and then wove in the ends and did the blocking last weekend. Now I have a cozy new sweater! Which is great because winter arrived early and shows no signs of leaving us before spring.

back view of a woman in an olive sweater with cable details

Bring on the sweater weather.

*of course I was knitting other things too. I’m just not able to stick with one big project for that long.

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Snow snow snow

Travelling electric

I’ve been living with solely an electric car for a year now. I consider myself a pioneer, and I’m here to report that it’s not impossible.

People say two things about going electric. They worry about range. And the cars are so small. I could address range. But that’s been done before. Let me address size.

That’s my red 2013 Nissan Leaf next to my mom’s purple Chevy Bolt.

Mom’s got the back seat folded flat (she brought 4 turkeys to thanksgiving) and you can see she’s got two coolers, some rubbermaid tubs, and a whole lot of extra space.

Now the leaf has a smaller trunk. But also I have two Britax car seats in the back (in case you didn’t know, that brand is known to take up a lot of space)

Please note the black rectangle half buried in that photo is a full sized pack n’ play.

I can fit all that in the Leaf. Plus two kids and myself.

Electric cars = bigger on the inside