Friday, February 22, 2008

The Domestic Demi-Goddess

So I have been baking my way through How to be a Domestic Goddess* by Nigella Lawson. I don't believe I've mentioned it before, because even my husband claims that I never told him before last night.

Last night it was the Butterscotch Layer Cake's turn, and it turned out okay. It looked beautiful (much more so before I cut it, but I had already started cutting when Bob said "You should take a picture! You should blog this!") but the flavors just didn't do it for me. It sounded so yummy, with caramel, cream cheese icing, and the batter for the cake - yes, I always taste it before I bake it - was absolutely delicious. Somehow when it was assembled it seemed like the flavors were all competing instead of complementing each other.** I do think that the recipe has great potential, and with a bit of tinkering I'm sure I could come up with a version that is more suited to my tastes. However, I don't think that I will take the time to do that, because the next cake on the list is Boston Cream Pie... mmm. Creamy is my texture of choice.

Anyone want to come over for a piece of butterscotch cake?

*My favorite book title of all time. I wish I'd thought of it first.

**A disclaimer, should Mrs. Lawson ever happen to read this post (which I seriously doubt): I am not saying that you wrote a terrible recipe, but simply that we have different tastes. At least this time. I like lots of your other recipes.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Wednesday, February 06, 2008


"If we expect to enjoy our life, we will have to learn to be joyful in all of it, not just at stated intervals when we can get time or when we have nothing else to do."

-Laura Ingalls Wilder

Tuesday, February 05, 2008


Yes, I know that's not really a word.

Last year I made two resolutions: To pay off our car loan and to make six pairs of socks. And, for the first time ever, I achieved both my goals. (At least, I finished on January 2nd, which was close enough for me.)

There are so many things I want to do that I have decided to try "montholutions" - changing one thing per month, in hopes that by the end of the month it will have become habit so I'll continue doing it as I work on my new goal.

Yes, it's a bit late, but I've been debating over what I should resolve for February. Lowering our electric bill? Finishing some long-deserted project? Giving my bedroom a serious organizing?

I think that I will go with the organizing. It's something I really need to do, I've been motivated to work on it lately, and I decided to start with my bedroom because of something my friend Holly once said. I can't quote her exactly, but it was something along the lines of "One's bedroom should be a restful place, a peaceful refuge within the home." I sleep fine in my bedroom, but lately it has become more and more difficult to find things I need and to walk through the room in the dark. I'm embarrassed for anyone to come in and see the mess, and, most of all, for the past couple of months I get a sore throat if I don't close the closet door at night. I think that calls for some serious dustbusting.

Think how pleasant it will be for me to sit and knit in my newly reorganized bedroom!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Lotsa stuff

Hi! I have, um, a lot to blog about since I've been playing hooky for a while.

Here's a sock:

You'll just have to trust me that there's a finished pair. I made these pretty long, about 10" from cuff to top of heel flap, and finished with enough yarn that I could have made them an inch or two longer. It still amazes me that plain old yarn can turn into socks. Every time.

I have begun attending a monthly knit night that meets at the home of a friend. Most of the women who come are brand-new knitters, but last week there was a woman who had been spinning and knitting for several years and it was really nice to discuss various techniques with her. Since she has eight years of spinning experience, I told her that I wanted to start spinning again and asked her opinion of wheel brands. She happened to have an extra (broken) wheel that she offered to give me! Yes. Yes, I'll take it.

It's an unfinished Ashford Traditional. The conrod joint is broken and it's missing a tension rod and one of the flyer hooks (a couple of owners ago it sat in a garage for several years, can you tell?), but those will be easy to replace. I've been considering converting it so I can spin left-handed - the way I learned - but that would be a major undertaking so far as I have figured it. But I don't want to have to re-learn to spin right-handed. I'll keep cogitating on it and perhaps I'll come up with an easier solution.

A pair of wrist warmers. These are knit from Urban GypZ Twisted in Rainy Day Blues. I copied Kimberly's but I can't find the specific post to link to. These took just over half a skein; I think I might attempt a matching hat with the leftover yarn. I'm quite pleased with them and they are going to the gift basket.

Finished Carousel socks. The yarn is Claudia's Handpainted fingering in Carousel (that color is now discontinued). The pattern is Yarrow Ribbed Socks from Knitting Vintage Socks. The yarn is pretty but it doesn't feel like it will hold up terribly well, and I think I could have chosen a pattern more suited to the yarn.

Lastly, some anklets in Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport. I believe the color is turquoise, and the pair took less than one skein. These are a gift and have been posted to the intended recipient.