Total Pageviews

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

A long tail and tale.

It may be a silly or small thing to some people but I am very excited this evening because I have taught myself a new skill. I can do long tail cast on, thanks to pressing the stop start buttons on UTube and The Knitting Answer Book. Last Wednesday I had taken this book with me as it is a small format to knitting group so I could cast on the Puerperium Cardigan. The pattern specified long tail cast on, however it was very unsociable and difficult at the group to try and follow the printed page so I gave up and crocheted squares instead. 

This evening I realised it is knitting group tomorrow so I needed to have cast on this cardigan as I also hadn't touched the second sock where I am in the middle of turning the heel, again not a project where I needed to concentrate. 
The pattern casts on at the neck, I have cast on and knitted the first row.  

All part of my mantra which is keep learning, not just skills, but knowledge, ideas, methods. Even if I become a teeny bit excited when something works out. The elegance of the cast on appealed to me, it seemed a good method to for this left hander. 

Yesterday (Bank Holiday Monday) I tried out a new recipe, it was for shortbread, taken from the weekend paper and an article about the new WI cookbook. Firstly, find newspaper, then the right supplement, cut out recipe, read ingredients, tick have them all. Next fine the right tin and measure it, this involved searching for a metric tape measure, upstairs to sewing basket which is as far from kitchen as possible, take tape downstairs noticing ironed tablecloth on the way so take that down too, take off dirty cloth, put in washing machine for overnight wash, put on clean cloth. 

Back to tin, yes, it is right size, so tape measure back to sewing basket, in kitchen clear worktop, notice teapots need emptying so do that. Two teapots as I have builders' tea and Ian has green tea at breakfast. 

Gather ingredients, start measuring out, even sieved the flour twice, once while weighing, then into mixing bowl, then measured butter and tried to cut it into even sized cubes in preparation for rubbing in. Third item to be weighed was caster sugar but it had to be mixed with flour before butter was rubbed in, sugar was still in the weighing bowl so had to fire up the electronic scales to weigh sugar so it could be added before butter cubes. Why didn't the recipe list the ingredients in order of use? Another niggle for me was that recipe was all metric measures, I don't have an eye for metric measurement, whereas I can 'see' imperial quantities. Yes, I know it sounds daft but it makes life simpler if one knows how much to weigh out. Who forced everyone to use metric measurements in domestic cookery, maybe that is why I have tended to use old recipes. 

Anyway, the shortbread worked, quite crumbly, a quick handy store cupboard recipe. What I didn't tell you was that at the same time as I was racing around the house I was catching up on Woman's Hour the subject was craft, why it is popular today, why Design and technology appears not to be encouraged in schools, difference between craft and design, not sure sound of a sewing machine on the radio really worked, thankfully one can look  at the website to see what one heard.  In the kitchen                                      two pints of milk were simmering on the stove, with a noisy milk saver drowning out the iPad sound. It was too much, trying to do three things at once, make yogurt, shortbread and concentrate on listening. Thanks to Podcasts we both listened to the programme over lunch instead. 

When recipes say preparation time is five minutes there is no allowance for searching for the recipe, cutting it out, measuring the tin, getting ingredients out, weighing them and then rest of packet to the cupboard. No mention of whether one should line or grease the tin, I didn't but the biscuits turned out easily. 

Here they are in their buttery goldeness on the kitchen table cloth. If this glorious weather continues perhaps biscuits with morning coffee in the garden tomorrow.  


  1. After all that hard work to make the biscuits, you certainly deserve to sit in the sun in the garden to enjoy them!

  2. It always amazes me how many different cast-on (and, for that matter, off) techniques there are.