This, That, and the Other
July 3, 2009
And a happy Fourth of July to you. In anticipation of this year’s picnic up here, I have been researching deviled eggs again, and I hope to achieve some kind of eggy bliss this time. Sweet relish is definitely out of the picture. One friend up here whispered to me that she has a friend who puts finely ground . . . BACON . . . in the filling. And I have one recipe that really mucks about with tradition and replaces half the mayonnaise with BUTTA, a half a stick of butta, can you imagine?
What’s everybody making for their celebrations? I have been ordered to produce potato salad for our group, and I think I’m going with some kind of vinaigrette, green-beany type deal.
Blanketing the World Around Me
I am still motoring away on my log cabin blanket for Clif. It hasn’t gotten boring yet, not even for a minute. The secret, in this case, is having a lot of colors in my basket. I walk around the Assembly with my big bucket of yarn, looking like a crazy woman with a big bucket of yarn. But it means that at any moment, I can dive in and make some new combination of stuff.
Someone asked for the recipe for these squares. Here you go. (It’s supersimple, as these things tend to be.)
Clif’s Squares Blanket
Size 6 (4mm) needles
DK or the occasional aran weight yarns, the more shades the better. Inifinite is a good quantity.
Gauge: I didn’t check it. I just wantonly and brazenly STARTED.
Using a color, cast on 30 stitches. Knit 27 garter ridges (54 rows). Break yarn.
Using another color, knit 2 rows.
Using yet another color, knit 8 garter ridges (16 rows).
Cast off purlwise. Break yarn.
Turn the square you just finished clockwise.
*Using still another color, pick up stitches along the edge, one stitch for every garter ridge and one for every stitch when you get to the part where it’s the cast on edge for the first square.
Knit 1 row. Break yarn.
Using another color, knit 8 garter ridges (16 rows). Break yarn.**
Repeat from * to ** until your square is, um, square.
Weave in all those ends now, unless your plan is to break a world record in end-weaving down the road.
As for the ends, I experimented with spit-felting them; I tried weaving them in as I went. But it was too fiddly for me. I like to weave ends which I realize is a mark of perversity. Besides, it was really slowing me down to do all that fiddly end stuff when the fun for me is the simple act of cranking these squares.
The color plan here, such as it is, is to have squares with gray borders and squares with green borders. This scheme is not going to hold up very well once I run dry on green yarn. Let’s just say there’s a lot of purple in the bucket of yarn. I really do want to try to make this a 100% pure stashbuster. But I don’t know whether I will be able to stand it when the green runs out, because green is IT for me, just the best.
While cranking on this project, I have heard many interesting lectures up here at the Assembly, and I’ll share with you highlights:
1. Check your ductwork for air leaks. This is a house’s leading source of wasted energy.
2. One kilowatt hour of energy requires about a pound of coal.
3. The finest cut glass does not get dusty. Cheaper cut glass becomes foggy because the surface is not as smooth as the good stuff, and it catches dust.
4. Turn long-cooking oats into quick oats by chopping them in the food processor. That’s how the big oat companies do it.
5. Katherine Anne Porter spent 20 years writing Ship of Fools.
We hear that our audiobook is coming out soon, so if you’re wishing for some company on your next four-hour car ride, and your children don’t talk enough about knitting, well, you can bring us along with you. It’s called Mason-Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines and Stories from America’s Leading Bi-regional Knitting Blog, and you can find a copy here.
Have a wonderful Fourth! Go watch John Adams and think about what it would be like to START A DANG COUNTRY. And how lucky we are that the guys who did this weren’t TOTAL AND COMPLETE NUTCASES. We could have ended up with a Kim Jong-Il situation, you know?
PS: That’s Tinkerbell the dog, up top, who received a supercomfy knitted dog collar from her human companion, Stokes. Stokes is a brilliant young knitter, veering from crochet to knitting without a blink, and she can lay down the least buckety log cabin you ever saw.