Today is actually about one of the many benefits of living in an area that is still rural to a degree. Three doors down from me is a little sub/chicken place that I stop in several times a week just to chat with the owners. And they have been in business here for years and know everyone. The one brother has a farm and in the summer he will bring in extras and give them away. And some of the regulars do the same. Well, yesterday one of the regulars brought in some pheasants eggs and some regular chicken eggs. No one wanted to try the pheasant eggs and people just aren’t used to green eggs yet. I took them though. I know some one who will use them up. But first a photo shoot before delivering them. The pheasants and chickens are on a farm only a few miles from me.
Monthly Archives: February 2008
I had promised the guys who work on the town maintenance crew that the next time I baked, I would bake something specific for them. These are the guys who when they plow snow try not to pile it too deep in front of my house. I have a retaining wall at the edge of the sidewalk and there really is no where for the snow to go. And when there is a lot of snow, they try not to pile it into the bottom of one of my driveways. (One of my driveways lines up exactly with a street where if comes onto the main road.) In years past when we have had quite a bit of snow, they have even helped to plow out the bottom of my driveway and break up snow that had become packed on the sidewalk. They also go out of their way to help the more elderly citizens of the town with snow removal or such. (They have been known to to do this on their own time as well.)
So Sunday was spent baking banana bread. I use a variety of recipes to make banana bread but I think I may have finally found a favorite from the Joy of Baking. I like coconut and lime zest in my banana bread but when I am making it for others, I like to stick to simple traditional recipes.
I ended up with a total of 7 larger loaves of bread and 2 small ones. My mother wanted some so I gave her a few loaves, But I took two loaves to the guys on the crew yesterday at lunch time. Their favorite lunch spot is actually three doors down from me. I walked in and made sure that I handed the bag containing the bread to the one who loves banana bread. Once he realized what it was, he started peaking at it. The others were teasing him and saying that they were going to have dessert first and some one needed to go and get a knife. The look on Big Rick’s face was priceless when he heard them threatening to take away his banana bread. His response to everyone was that they might get a few crumbs if they were nice to him for the rest of the day.
And yes, he will share with the rest of them. But Big Rick told be that he also love zinni bread and that he would even grow the zinni if I would make him zinni bread. So come summer, I will be baking zucchini bread for winter treats for Big Rick, Marty, Charlie and the rest of the crew. I am wondering if I can make bread from frozen blackberries. They all said that they would try it if I made it for them. So if any one has any recipes that you like for strawberry or blueberry bread, please let me know. I will just change the berries.
Friday’s weather was supposed to have been a mess. Well, it turned out to be a flop. There was a little bit of snow; there was enough for maybe an inch depending on where you measured it. And there was a little bit of freezing rain but it was in the form of freezing drizzle. And yet yesterday, the weather was nice and sunny. And there were hints of spring right around the corner.
My mittens are actually much further along than the photo would indicate since I worked on them all day Saturday. I needed to get out of the house so I went over to my favorite LYS and sat there and knit all day. There were a few other regulars who stopped in and stayed to knit for awhile as well. There were some drop ins for knitting help so I pitched in when the shop got busy by helping out. Mitten #1 will be done by tonight except for the thumb. I always save thumbs for last.
And yesterday was spent in the studio ironing. I had traded some one some sock yarn for some 1930′s prints a few months ago and I just got around to actually washing them. I prewash all of my quilting fabrics so that I never have to worry about them. WEll, I never realized exactly how much fabric was in the box I received. I still have ironing to do if that gives you any clue. Once I am done ironing all of the fabric, I will post a picture of it. Now I need to get my quilting motivation back to start designing and making quilts.
Well today’s photos aren’t actually of Frederick but of Washington, DC which is about 40 miles to the south. Or if you dare driving, figure about an hour with regular traffic. Rush hour is another story. When I went down to Knit Happens last Saturday, I stopped on the way back to take some photos from the scenic overlooks along the west bound lanes of the George Washington Parkway.
When most people think of Washington, DC, they think of a big city. And DC is a big city. But the amazing thing about the Washington Capital area is the number of parks and how green it actually is. Running along the Potomac shoreline on the Maryland side is the C&O Canal. The towpath runs right into the city. There is also Rock Creek Park which occupies a huge swath of the city. And these two major green spaces are only two of many parks hidden in the city and surrounding areas. Late winter is not necessarily the best time to photograph the city’s parks but you can see how the parks form a huge part of the city and the people who live there.
Yesterday’s weather forecast was for snow showers with maybe up to an inch. Once it finally started snowing, it turned into a pretty snowfall with with roads just getting a dusting. The total amount according to the paper was 1 to 2 inches but it was enough to coat everything with a nice layer of clean crunchy snow. I really liked how the snow stuck to my slate roof early on.
But yesterday did have a disaster. I have been knitting a pair of mittens that I have been working on a design for for a few days. And I realized that the thumb gusset was huge!!! So it went to the frog pile and was restarted yet again last night. Hopefully this time the math will work out better.
And when I opened my email this morning, I had a message stating that I had won a prize over at a new online ‘zine. I had heard about a new ‘zine dedicated to increasing British representation in the online fiber arts community a while back so I checked out their site. I also joined their email listing so I would be up to date as to things going on. ANd the first issue of The Inside Loop just went live this week.. Their goal is to make sure that the items used in the designs are readily available in the UK. There are some great designs in the first issue, so I would urge you to pop on over to check out the designs. There are several that have caught my eye. I really have to hurry up and finsh something so I can start one of the new ones.
Saturday was a day of adventures. I had planned on finding a local wool on the hoof farm near me. And although I was on the right road, I never found the farm. But I saw some interesting sights on the road that I will be back to investigate with with camera.
My other plans for Saturday was to head to Stitch DC using Metro. But Metro was backed up due to some repairs underway at Metro Center. So as I was headed towards the main roads, I called my brother for directions. I changed my plans and decided to head to Knit Happens instead. My big drawback to going to Knit Happens has been the parking. I do not parallel park ever. Well, if I can pull straight in I will parallel park but that is it. My brother is useful for some things including directions and making sure that there is parking near where I want to go. And lucky for me, my brother was home when I called. He found the website for the store pretty fast and was trying to tell me how to get there. I already had a pretty good general idea of where the shop was and all I needed was the cross streets. And my brother looked up and told me where the city parking decks where located. I don’t mind walking a few blocks to get somewhere if I can park in a parking deck. So I had him send me a SMS with the information and headed south. (My oldest nephew is getting really good at looking things up for me as well. He has been known to call me to tell me about a “new” yarn shop he may have found while playing on the web.)
I used to spend quite a bit of time the the DC area years ago. So getting around the DC area is pretty easy for me either using Metro or driving. And while I was driving along the George Washington Parkway headed towards Alexandria, I remembered how much I enjoy the area. So I will be going back down that way more frequently now.
I walked into Knit Happens and the store is as pretty as you would expect from the photos on their website. The store was busy when I walked in but both Holly and Rossana both made sure to greet me and point me towards what I was looking for. And I ended up spending a bit of time there sitting at the table knitting with both Holly and Rossana and Dani!!!!! Yes, Dani of Knt ‘n’ NASCAR fame was there sitting at the table.
I learned several things while I was there. Among them, Rossana is not just a talented yoga teacher but she truly understands the magical properties of sock yarn. It is a great massage tool in the right hands. And Dani can really hold fast to her yarn diet despite being surrounded by lots and lots of pretty yarns. I didn’t do as well since I bought yarn. But in all honesty, two of the skeins were for a project I am knitting right now and only one skein of the sock yarn was for me. The rest the yarn was all for gifts.
I know that I will be back to the store know that I know where the parking deck is located. And the next time, I will take the time to walk down to the waterfront and enjoy river. Along the Potomac River are several walkways that allow you to be close to the water. And the whole area of Old Town Alexandria is fascinating.
It is easier to explain yesterday in photos.
I spent yesterday either in the living room or my studio listening to the sounds of ice sheets falling off the roof. Slate is such a nice roofing material. Ice falling off slate makes a wonderful crashing sound. And even when I went up to the attic to look through my storage boxes up there, it wasn’t as cold as you would think. And there is a metal roof on the very top of my roof where there is very little pitch and I love to go up to the attic in a rain storm to just listen. (And having just read an article on slate roofing, I am happy to say that my roof is over 90 years old and holding strong.)
I did some cleaning up in the studio yesterday looking for a quilt top. I am trying to get find one that I want to take to the machine quilter this weekend but I can’t find it. That says something about the state of the studio doesn’t it? But I am thinking that it is between some fabric on the shelves. So I am doing a serious clean up of my fabrics at the same time. One of the members of my quilt guild teaches at a local middle school and I am donating fabric to her to use for her classes.
And of course, there is nothing better to do while you are staying indoors than sit and knit and listen to podcasts.
(ps- all of the photos are up on Flickr for the bigger view. I do suggest looking at them in the larger views.)
Okay, it is pretty easy to guess that the way to a teen age boy’s heart is food. And my nephew is no exception. My stitch group alternates between two ends of the county and once a month, we meet at the Starry Night Bakery. And the bakery has this wonderful sinfully rich chocolate éclair. Well, I am pretty sure that it is sinfully rich but I trust Steph’s word on this one. I was good the last time we were there and had a vegan cupcake. Well, I mentioned this death by chocolate monster to my nephew. And I seriously doubt that any 13-year old boy has ever meet anything chocolate that they won’t eat.
So I asked Steph if she would mind picking one up for me last Friday since we were meeting on Saturday at the opposite end of the county. And she was nice enough to pick up the éclair and 3 vegan cupcakes for me. My nephew has sent me a few SMS about when was I going to get him this chocolate treat. When I dropped off the treats to my brother’s house, my brother and SIL were at the Barry Manilow concert in DC. The tickets were a Christmas gift to my SIL from her mother. The kids were being watched by their other grandmother and I timed it so they had just finished dinner. The youngest boy was just happy to see me and could care less about the treats but the older two were happy to see them. I seriously had to keep the oldest boy from eating the entire éclair in one sitting. But as you can tell from the photo, the taste testing of the cupcakes went well. She wanted to know if I had a recipe so we could make some. And the youngest is a ham when he sees the camera. He wants his picture taken and he wants to see every picture taken.
It is snowing today and it started early than predicted. I did hear one of the tv weather forecasts last night say that none of the models really agreed so it would be hard to predict. But I was woken up at 5 am by the sound of the plow plowing my driveway.
And yesterday, I received some new yarn in the mail. I received the spring shipment for the Loopy Ewe sock club. And the spring color is called Refresh and it was dyed by Yarntini. I also received a package from Anne at How the West Was Spun. She had posted several skeins of yarn up on her blog late last week asking for opinions on which yarn she should use for her new project. Well I voted for the Raspberry Sea Wool and I mentioned that if she decided to not use it, that I would l love it. She emailed me and send the skein of the Sea Wool. In exchange, I have selected a skein of sock yarn out of my stash that are more her colors and am sending it to her. I picked out a color for her that will work later in Project Spectrum and I think is much more her. I hope she likes that yarn I have picked for her.