Saturday, June 23, 2012

Review: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

I've been under the weather for a few days, which meant that I read Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children in one sitting yesterday. I thought it was very compelling, and scarier than the usual YA-fantasy that I read.

I found it a little slow to get started (and I wasn't thrilled with the protagonist), but about 30 pages in, it really picked up. I don't want to give too much away (spoilers!), but I thought that the premise was excellent and I can't wait for the second book (not sure about the movie, though...)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day, Dad!

My dad gave me a love of sailing (which we have been doing all weekend - hello, RYA keelboat level 2!)

And a love of photography. The sunset in Stowmarket on Friday night as we were walking home:

Thanks, Dad!!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Sun and Rain

We're still having the wettest "drought" ever. Sigh.

At least we had a pretty sunset the other night.

Monday, June 11, 2012

The right tools

After my last post, my friend Lesley (hi, Lesley!) sent me a text to ask if I wanted to borrow her wool winder. Um, yes, please.

Useful and beautiful. Sign me up.

Silken kilometer, now fully wound.

Thursday, June 7, 2012


I've had two recent cowl commissions, both as a result of wearing mine. First was another of the Honey Cowl pattern, ravelled here. This is a BEAST to cast on - it's 220 stitches and because it's so long it's quite tricky to make sure it's not twisted. Also, I normally use the long-tail cast on method so it's not unusual to get to 200 stitches and realise there's not enough wool. Anyway, third time's a charm. And once it gets going, it's easy to knit and looks so pretty.

I was a little disappointed with the Sublime wool that I used - there were three knots across my two skeins, both in the middle of the balls. YUCK. It's soft, though.

This one's almost done - it's not a colour I'd ever have picked out but I think it will look really pretty. I may have to block it, since it's a slightly smaller yarn than the pattern calls for and is a little bit narrower than mine. I should have just cast on 10 extra stitches at the beginning but I didn't think of that until about half way through. Bah. I really like the way the pattern looks, though, and it falls really nicely on the neck. Good thing it's still super-cold (hello, tights and wool sweaters in June).

If you want to commission me, just email. It seems like an excellent way to feed my wool habit (and avoid a continuous pile-up of sweaters!

Next up, a seashell silk shawl with a KILOMETER of silk yarn that my mom bought for me at at the Fiber Fair. I'm having a bit of trouble winding the skein into a ball - it keeps tangling. We'll get there!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Recipe: Melissa Clark's Rhubarb Compote

A few weeks ago, the mother-in-law handed me some home-grown rhubarb from their garden. They'd tried to give us a rhubarb plant a few years ago, but it was added to the list of Plants That Do Not Like Kate's Garden. (Sorry, Mr. Azalea and Ms. Hellebore.)

Anyway, since I am apparently entirely unable to grow it myself, I was very grateful for the donation. I made a rhubarb crumble for the boys (which was eaten too quickly to be blogged), and then I remembered this video recipe for Rhubarb Compote from Melissa Clark (of best-ever Calzone fame).

I love how pretty and glossy it looks when it's coated in melted sugar and its own rhubarb-juices, right before it starts to break down. Doesn't it look like candy?

Here it is, over yogurt. I was being semi-healthy. My favorite combo? Over vanilla toffee crunch ice cream. YUM.

If you see rhubarb at the farm market and aren't sure what to do with it, now you know!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Recipe: Grandma's onion vinaigrette

I've always loved artichokes. (Sadly, John is not a fan). My family likes them too, so we had them fairly often during the summers when I was growing up. I've since found out a few things. 

First, a lot of people have never eaten an artichoke and have no idea what to do with it.

Second, nobody else that I've ever met has eaten them with anything other than melted butter. Except my family. Who eats them with my grandmother's onion vinaigrette. YUM.

My mom used to make this in her older-than-I-am Tupperware quick-shake, and we would eat what most people would consider to be excessive amounts of vinaigrette with our artichokes.

Oh, and there's a secret ingredient which most people are scandalised by. I've looked around the web and I can't find many similar recipes!

Recipe: Grandma's onion vinaigrette (for artichokes)
Makes enough for one artichoke, if you're like me...

1/2 small onion, finely chopped
3 tbs olive oil
1 tbs vinegar (cider, white wine, or red wine)
1 tbs ketchup

Mix until emulsified, and enjoy.