Saturday, December 19, 2009
Growing up near my Scandinavian grandparents, Valborg Lynnea and Rangwald Carl, meant our family celebrations were always a Smorgasbord. Salty fish, smoked fish, sour fish, I loved it all. Christmas Eve was big, with the large family descending on their egg ranch where Nana had been baking for weeks filling shirt boxes with fattigmann, sandkakor, rosettes, spritz and an array of others. I've made my share of these cookies for my own family, but now with just two of us in the house my cookie making days are few and far between. But today I made Spritz! Martha was on in the background the other day and she was making these precious little jewels, and remembering I had offered to bring cookies to a party, I dug out my cookie press. The recipe is basic and easy, here is Martha's, but cookie presses are not created equal. I've had many and disliked many and have settled on Marcato as my favorite for it's ease of use.
I'm feeling nostalgic and energetic and may bake my favorite, sandkakor or my son's favorite, kransekaka, hopefully both!
I wish you all a very merry Christmas!
Friday, December 4, 2009
My goodness this is big, but still, I love this sweater and it remains an elegant sweater even tho oversized. But this post is mostly about the yarn, not so much the pattern. While the Kim Hargreaves pattern is great, certainly a departure from my usual zero ease sweaters, I'm always captivated by oceans of stockinette and loved those big raglan sleeves. But back to the yarn: on super-sale at Little Knits, I couldn't resist the idea of using some Sublime yarn. I love their pattern books but have never seen or touched any of their yarn. On-line, the pale blue was so pretty, the price so great that I decided to overlook the angora content. Merino-Angora is 80% super fine merino with only 20% angora, and that couldn't be that bad, could it?
...you already know this, and I already know this, but jeez, the bunny fur that puffs out while knitting angora is almost unbearable. Forget wearing contact lenses; and glasses and eyelashes are no protection from the fearsome flying stuff. So why did I persist? Because touching it is heavenly and the fabric it creates is so pretty and incredibly soft, I can't sing it's praises enough.
Wearing sheddy angora garments requires extra attention: don't hug anyone, don't lean and stretch all over velvet eggplant colored sofas, and always carry a lint roller with you just in case you forget the rules. Just taking the pictures enveloped my black skirt with fluff. Because of this I'll probably wear this sweater most of the time with light blue jeans.
BTW, I have an extra skein, and if you'd like to try it out, I'd love you to have it, first come first serve, but I'd prefer to ship in the continental US please.
The particulars: Edie by Kim Hargreaves from her Precious book, size xs using 8.5 sk. of Sublime Merino Angora in color #74, Innocent.
Upcoming knits: Kim's new book Winter Blooms is out and she has created magic yet again. I could knit everything in this book and this is what I covet most: Ryder, Valentine, the sweater version of Briar, and just nuts about Fleur! In the meantime I am knitting as fast as I can to finish Effie and also making a cape in some brown and grey Rowan Ribbon Twist.