Monday, October 27, 2008

Baxter says "Thank You"

for all the good wishes. He is feeling much better, hardly limping at all, and has been taking extra pets and treats as his due.

I forgot to mention that the sock pattern is from my I Can't Believe I'm Knitting Socks book. The main yarn is some Opal, and the lace trim is leftover Lorna's Laces "Shepherd Sock".

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Well finally, it's about time

that I finished off the Crest o' the Wave Socks. And I did yesterday at Last Saturday Knitting. Now they are washed and drying.

After knitting the second toe, I realized that I hadn't brought a tapestry needle along - so much for grafting - so I just closed the tips with a three needle bind off.

It leaves a little ridge on the outside, but I thought "what the heck". Did have to leave the loose yarn ends unwoven until I got home.


We had a bit of a scare with Mr. Baxter this week. On Thursday evening, he did not show up for his dinner - highly unusual, usually he's down the stairs at the first sound of the cat food can popping open. So I thought he must have slipped out the door at some time. I went and called, but no sign of him. It was rainy and cold, not the sort of weather he is likely to roam in. I searched the house. I went outside and called again, and again, took a flashlight and searched around the yard and up and down the block.
Mr S and I finally went to bed with very heavy hearts. Owls, coyotes, cars, dogs, traps, a cold rainy night....

The next morning after Mr S left for work, I searched the house again, then went outside and called and looked and looked. By this time we were convinced that he had gotten outside and was in a very bad way unable to get home. I went up and sat at the computer to email Mr S that things did not look good. I turned around in my chair. And there was Baxter sleeping on the futon behind me. It was almost unnerving. He was most definitely not there when I sat down. It was as if he had just appeared out of thin air.

He was very lethargic, and it looked like he had a cut on his front leg. After a trip to the vet it seems that it was a bite, and he has been fighting an infection. He's on antibiotics now and improving nicely. I still can't for the life of me figure out where he was hiding all that night. But that's OK. We're just glad to have him back.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Thanks to all who left comments questions about the crumpets

I found the rings in a little kitchen supply store in Madison whose name I can't remember. I only stumbled on/into it because it is next door to the Penzey's spices on University Ave. They items were actually marked as "flan rings" (?), but I recognized their potential immediately. They cost just under $5 each, so I only bought two. As it turns out, two are sufficient, because I can have two crumpets going on the first side (in the rings), and two on the second side (without rings), and that's as much as the griddle can fit and I can handle at once.

They really were good (especially with blueberry preserves). I added just a little Penzey's "Baking Spice" to the batter, which was a nice addition. Mr S loved them, and even took some to work, and bragged them up. Now they are all gone - time to make more soon.

Tracy asked about English muffins. I've never made those (yet), but according to The Joy of Cooking the procedure is very similar. It just uses a different batter.
The Last Hurrah

Most everything has gone to seed or been frost nipped. But up near the front door the Impatience are still going strong, and a lone poppy is waving over the mums, while a couple of orange nasturtiums are nearly buried under them.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


It's a rainy day today, and for once I don't have a list of other things to do, so I decided that it was time to try out the crumpet rings.

I mixed up the batter from an Internet recipe. This was pretty easy and quick, even though it did involve yeast. (No kneading, just dissolve the yeast til it bubbles, then mix in the other ingredients.)

The resulting thickish batter is then supposed to sit for 1/2 hour. I probably rushed it by about 10 minutes. In the meantime, the griddle and crumpet rings were preheating on the stove.

Next the batter gets spooned into the rings.

It is supposed to cook until bubbles form on the top and the batter is "set". Then flip them over, removing the rings, and let them brown just a little.

OK, but whoops. On my first try, by the time the batter looked set, the bottoms has burned.

Also, the insides of the first two seemed slightly underdone. So I turned down the heat a little, and poured a little less batter into the rings.

Much better.

It's all pretty much like making pancakes, but slower. Quite a bit slower, actually. But not a bad project for a rainy day.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Studying Up

A couple of months ago, I mentioned to our village clerk that I would be willing to serve as a poll worker. She took me up on it, and scheduled me to attend some training sessions. So I spent Friday morning in Darlington at a class for election inspectors put on by the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board. I went with another woman, Barb, who is another first timer. We both felt a little bit over our heads, not least because by a fluke of scheduling, we won't get the basic poll worker session for another two weeks. But we did come home with hefty manuals. Looks like I have some studying ahead of me.

Barb and I are of opposing parties (a deliberate balancing on the part of the powers that be), but we both pretty much avoided any political discussion and had a nice ride over and back. And we did share a common goal of wanting to help the democratic process and to see that the election goes smoothly and according to proper procedures. Now to go start comprehending and remembering those procedures.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

I drove up to Madison yesterday

to have lunch with my Mom and take her to an eye doctor appointment (just her yearly check up). On the way in, I stopped at the Sow's Ear to drop off a charity project hat, and what did I see but Elizabeth's Shorewood Cardigan, displayed on a dress form up front. (You can see a picture here if you scroll down to Nov. 13). It was just gorgeous in person, wonderful use of color, and the pattern is available in the current Knitcircus magazine. That's another of Elizabeth's terrific Fair Isle designs on the cover.

Note to Marie in CA: Knitcircus is a fairly new publication, probably not showing up on the shelves of big bookstores. Ask your LYS if they are carrying it yet....(yeah, that's a plug).

On the way back from the eye doctor, we happened to be passing the Penzy's Spices store, so I had to stop in. I hadn't been in ages. Love walking around sniffing the different offerings, and I had been wanting to try one of their salad dressing blends - I chose Green Goddess, plus picked up some curry power and Baking Spice. Next door was a little kitchen supply store I hadn't been aware of before (maybe they are new?) and found these:

They are crumpet rings! I may have mentioned once or twice before that I am not much of a cook. But Mr S and I do love crumpets. So I'm going to give it a try.

In the evening, I took magnusmog's suggestion and knit on the purplish seed stitch scarf while watching/listening to the presidential debates, and knocked off at least 7 inches.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Blogger's Block

I seem to have it lately. It's not that I don't have anything to say. It's just that everything I want to say these days is political. I've done very little knitting, a little campaign work, and a lot (too much, I'm sure) of obsessively following news online.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Things to Come

We had our first frost on the ground this morning. Just a light dusting, gone by 7:30, but still portentous.

It's been a busy week: dentist appointment Tuesday morning, political pot luck Tuesday evening, which meant cooking in the afternoon. I made Mac and Cheese because 1) it's one of the rare dishes I can make reliably well, 2) it's good "comfort food" for a fall evening and 3) I knew at least one vegetarian would be attending.

Yesterday I subbed again for the High School secretary, so that was a full day gone.

Today, at least this evening after my shift at the library, I may actually get to some knitting. Those sock feet really need to be finished up. And there is a scarf I started over the weekend.
Big needles, seed stitch, nothing fancy at all. But the yarns are pretty. There is a little mohair halo, and though you can't tell from the picture, some metallic silver sparkle.
I'm all excited because the new Knitcircus magazine is out, including in it's contents my little handwarmers. And if you click on that linky, you can see their picture. Wheee!