Friday, November 30, 2007

Some Knitting and a blog Friend

I have been knitting, really, I have. I finished both the Girlfriend Swing Coats except for blocking and sewing on the ribbons, yay! I rarely knit something twice and I managed to do both of these before I really got sick of them. They are so cute! A little slow progress was made on the never ending Pulse sweater. I hate this thing! I know my brother will like it and really I don't want to waste the yarn. It is not yarn I would easily find a different use for and it is about half done, I can do this! The carrot at the end of the tunnel is casting on for my mom's Glenn sweater. I have been planning this one for some time. It is an ambitious project for me but I don't care if it takes a while because mom will enjoy it and I need something complicated to pick up every now and then. I finally got up the nerve to rip out and re-do the neck of the Durrow sweater for my twin brother. I had to wing it but I think it came out OK. It has been pronounced wearable and that is the important thing. My twin is always happy to wear the things I knit for him so he might be getting another hat soon. I think I will be casting on a bunch of new projects in the near future!

I went to a knit night in Hanover last night! I heard about it on Ravelry. It was exciting to finally meet one of my fellow bloggers in person! Amy from Fluid Motion was really nice and I had a great time. She had some totally awesome Christmas tree ornaments that she made out of yarn and little needles. I look forward to meeting the other knitters in the group. I have never had the chance to knit with a group of knitters mostly my own age and I think it will be fun times!

November, Up Close and Personal

Since this it the last day of November, I thought I'd share some close up pictures I've taken over the last month. I really like taking detail pictures. It captures the little things that you might not even notice most of the time. A detailed little picture can be the beginning of a whole imaginary world if you feel like looking for it. I guess it is an old childhood habit of making up stories and paying attention to things that don't matter to anyone else.

This last picture is actually a portrait!

If you look closely and use a little imagination you can see my shadow walking off into the woods in-between the real and shadow realms. My shadow is in the very center where the light meets the dark.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Vermont Before the Snow

I went for a walk a few days ago and took some pictures of the views from the farm before the first snow and after the leaves.

The fields put to bed for the winter.

A tree and a fallen log in the fence row.

Looking up the hill, across the pasture, towards the ridge.
The path by the old stone wall where the sheep barn was in years past.

The new pond site.
Madison, the cat enjoying the view.
Looking across the valley to the quarry where the whitest granite in the world is found.
This is November in Vermont.
In knitting news, I got my mom knitting again. She has not knit in my lifetime but there is evidence that she has in the past. I gave her a dishcloth and she liked it so much that she decided to make a bunch for herself. We got her some cotton, she borrowed my needles and after a small refresher course from me she was off and running! She is on her third dishcloth now and shows not signs of stopping. It has been fun to sit and knit with her in the evenings.
I have had a case of Knitter's ADD recently. I am sort of working on several projects but can't seem to get into any of them. The lure of a new project keeps distracting me.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A Farm Walk and Playing with Light.

I am back in Vermont safe and sound! I am staying on my Mom's farm while I find a job and a place to live.

My twin brother came over last weekend so we all went for a walk.

Look who came with us!

It was fun to see the differences on the farm since the summer.

The cabin I stayed in over the summer, too cold now for that.

The Raspberries that where so fruitful in July,

the guest cabin closed down for the winter.

the weather was beautiful if a bit chilly!

These guys arrived as babies in the early summer.

This is a special heritage breed, Bourbon red, that mom raised for some of her CSA families this year

They are smaller than the bronze turkeys that she has every year and they take longer to grow. It will be interesting to see what the difference in taste is on Thanksgiving!

My brother is a photographer so he gave us a camera lesson.

Mom has a new camera, her first digital, and I just have a lot to learn about taking pictures! Here we are heading into the woods to play with the light and water.

I try to get some fuzzy water and clear ferns.

Shooting Light and Shadow together.

Out of the woods into the light.

Looking up at an old tree.

All in all a perfect way to spend a sunny afternoon!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Last day in Germany

Today is my last day in Germany. I am flying back to the states tomorrow. I am sad to be leaving mein Gummibaer behind, he will be staying until the beginning of January and I will miss him terribly. I have enjoyed my stay here. I had hoped to find a job and learn about the pastry of Germany but that did not happen. Instead I spent a lot of time knitting! I stayed home while Gummibaer worked. I have always worked and I am not good at being idle so this was a hard adjustment. I found it to be very isolating especially in Germany because my German is very skimpy and people here are not very outgoing or patient with bad German. Gummibaer is almost fluent in German and he found at work that everyone was very nice and helpful, I think it has to do with the fact that he met them through work. It seems that Germans are more comfortable getting to know new people in work or school environments. By far the best part of being in Germany was getting to travel. On the weekends we went to see Amsterdam, Munich, Vienna, Heidelberg and many other places. I learned a lot of German history and saw many beautiful things.

Yesterday we went on one last walk while the weather was nice.
The weather here tends to be gray all the time but we managed to find some sun!
This is the bus stop at CentrO the biggest mall in Germany.
I love fall weather and I had fun looking at leaves that I don't see at home.
by the time we where on our way home it was gray again. We stopped to explore some old machinery at the Industrial Museum of the Rhineland.
Wish me luck in my travels tomorrow!
I am going through at least one airport that does not allow any knitting needles so I will not be able to knit at all until I land in Boston and get my bags back. I am not a happy camper, but I wouldn't want anyone to be terrorized by my sock knitting so I'll read a book. I have been saving Emma by Jane Austin for this trip!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

I'm a lucky girl!

Look what Gummibaer brought home for me.

Life is good.

I had an adventure today, I tried to make American chocolate chip cookies.

Now this sounds simple but it turned out to be more complicated than you might think.
First I took my standard recipe and converted it to grams, no big deal.

Then I went shopping. This can be an adventure because I only know a little German so there is a certain amount of guess work involved. I was not able to find shortening so I used all butter. The shortening in chocolate chip cookies is one of the reasons for the great texture that they have. Butter has better flavor but not as nice a texture that is why most recipes call for both. I could not find brown sugar so I used molasses and white sugar. Brown sugar these days is really a mix of white sugar and molasses so this is not a big change. There where no chocolate chips to be found so I substituted plain chocolate. Chocolate does not hold its shape the way chocolate chips do so I got a bit of a marbled effect. I also did not have the option of semi sweet so I picked milk which makes everything a bit sweeter. The vanilla I found is quite different than I am used to so I defiantly got a unique flavor.

So far so good. Now, I don’t have a scale so my measuring was mostly by eye. I used the grams on the packages to help me guess. Luckily I am very famliar with how the cookie dough should look and feel.

Next I had to pick a setting for the oven. The oven I have here is in Celsius of course, it has a fan and it is electric. So a big change from what I am used to. A little trial and error and I got some yummy cookies. They are not what I would call traditional chocolate chip cookies but they are good.
Now, I’m off to share with our German friends!!!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Jaywalkers and Swing Coat #2

I have not been feeling at the top of my game recently. I am a little sick and that always makes me grumpy.
I have been knitting though! I have an FO!
My Jaywalkers are done.

Gummibaer took some glamor shots for me. :)

Yarn: Opal Rodeo

Needles: US#0

Pattern: Toe up jaywalkers with a short row heel and a garter stitch cuff.

I am happy with these socks I will wear them often I'm sure.

I started my second Girlfriend's swing coat, this one for the little sister of the girl the turquoise one is for. I am hoping to have them both done for Christmas. The other one is back in Vermont and just needs the ribbons on the front and this one won't take long to knit up.

I am hoping I have enough yarn. I can get more if need be but keep your fingers crossed!

PS If you are on Ravelry, Look me up! I'm Bluemoonturtle.