Friday, April 26, 2013

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Dear Mom,
Because they are my favorite, I am very particular about Oatmeal Raisin cookies. They have to be plump, soft and chewy, sweet and spicy. To splurge on a bakery-made oatmeal raisin cookie and find it bland and/or crunchy is such a disappointment.
Thanks to Ina Garten, my search for the Perfect Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Recipe is over.
The recipe is here, or in her Back to the Basics cookbook. (Or, the "green one" as my knitting friends and I refer to it.) In the book's margin notes, Ina suggests letting the cookies cool on the pan for a chewier cookie. I did and they are.
One other thing- I reduced the amount of granulated sugar from 1 cup to 3/4 cup. I read somewhere that you can reduce the amount of sugar in a recipe up to 25% without really affecting the outcome (other than calories.) In the calorie and sugar intake department, every little bit helps. Supposedly. But that is a subject for another blog post another day.

Monday, April 22, 2013


Dear Mom,
Before it all gets forgotten, or seems like Old News, I need to catch up here.
It's that blasted Catch 22. Busy, productive, and stuff to time to share it.

I took advantage of one of our very few dry, sunny days to take Elle out onto the porch for a photo shoot.

Off the needles:
This is Bermuda. I used about 1 1/2 balls of Noro Taiyo sock yarn. The combination of the pattern's short rows and the long color runs in the yarn make this look like I worked harder than I did.
The yarn is a combination of cotton, wool, nylon and silk. I think this will be a nice summer shawl. I may make another in shades of grey, white and cream. (I knit like I have the wardrobe and life and skinny arms and legs to support frothy, dressy things.)

Judy Jetson, my vintage Singer sewing machine-( you can read about Judy here, and here)- worked on another Schoolhouse Tunic. I tweeked the pattern a little bit more- putting the centered inverted pleat on the skirt front and drafting a new pattern piece, with no pleats, for the skirt back.
I used a men's tuxedo top for my bodice fronts. I love it when an idea works!
And I also adjusted the length. This one is somewhere between the shirt and tunic lengths. For me, this is just right, and this latest version of the pattern is my favorite. Time to try something different.
I have This Pattern next in line.


Monday, April 1, 2013

The Past Week

Dear Mom,
Except for the mountain that was plowed from the cul-de-sac into the front yard, all of last weeks snow has melted.
Revealing this-
One of the hundreds of crocus bulbs I've planted in the front yard. Last summer's heat and drought took it's toll and I neglected to add more to the lawn last fall. Hopefully this summer will be different and there will be another 100 bulbs blooming next spring. I get a thrill every time I see these brave flowers in my winter-brown lawn.

Yesterday I wore my Alpine Tweed sweater and the boldly patterned dress I sewed to church.

This dress is a lengthened Schoolhouse Tunic minus the pleats in the skirt. I wore this with a grey camisole and grey tights.  I love this cardigan. The dress is okay. I am still on a search for the perfect tunic/dress pattern. I saw Lisette pattern 2245 on Pinterest, ordered it, and it arrived on Saturday. I need some time to work up a little sewing bravery- I will mentally sew it a few times and then have to wake up one day with all the stars lined up and say to myself "today is the day"- and then I can start sewing on that one. Stay tuned.

By far, the very nicest thing that happened last week was this:

My friend, YarnshopAnne, made this quilt. For ME!

This was a thank you for a sweater I made and gave to her. She is most definitely Knit worthy, the sweater is perfect on her and I wanted her to have it with no strings attached and no thanks needed..... But I very happily accepted the quilt!

I have taken about eleventy-two photos of this quilt, and I move it about, trying it on in different rooms.  Right now it is on the railing between the family room and kitchen- pretty much so I can admire it all day long.

Thank you Anne!