Wednesday, June 24, 2015

yarn along: elsie

Joining Ginny with this week's Yarn Along:
Knitting another Elsie cardigan and reading Fika: The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break, by Anna Brones and Johanna Kindvall -- an absolutely charming cookbook + collection of musings on Swedish coffee break culture.

I've also been tinkering around with a recipe for a raspberry rhubarb tart. Strawberry rhubarb has been done many a time! I think this version's a winner:

Raspberry Rhubarb Tart

Fruit Filling:
2-2 1/4 C. rhubarb, chopped (1/2-inch pieces)
1 1/4 C. raspberries
3/4 C. sugar
3 T. flour
3/4 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 T. butter, cut into small pieces

Tart Dough:
1 1/2 C. flour
4 oz. (1 stick) butter, cold, cut into cubes
1/2 tsp. salt
1 large egg
2-3 T. cold water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Make the dough by mixing the flour and salt in a bowl. Add the butter and use your hands, or a pastry blender, to break in the butter until the mixture has a crumbly, cornmeal-like texture. You can also make this in the food processor, using the “pulse” feature, being careful not to over-process.

Mix the egg with 2 tablespoons of the water. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the egg mixture, stirring until the dough holds together. If it’s not coming together easily, add an extra tablespoon of ice water.

Gather the dough into a ball and roll the dough on a lightly floured surface, adding extra flour only as necessary to keep the dough from sticking.

Once the dough is large enough so that it will cover the bottom of the pan and go up the sides, roll the dough around the rolling pin then unroll it over the tart pan. “Dock” the bottom of the pastry firmly with your fingertips a few times, pressing in to make indentations.

Chill the tart dough in the refrigerator while you prepare the fruit filling.

Combine rhubarb and raspberries in a large bowl. Sprinkle with sugar, flour, and lemon juice. Toss gently. Spoon into prepared tart dish, and dot with butter.

Bake until the pastry is golden brown and the fruit filling is bubbling in the center (35-45 min.). Cool on a wire rack before serving.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

yarn along: hamamelis

Joining Ginny et al. for this week's Yarn Along:

The lace pattern for Hamamelis finally clicked, and now it's coming along just swimmingly. I just started All the Light We Cannot See -- compelling and hard to put down!
Erik visited his grandparents over the weekend, and Paul and I spent a glorious staycation weekend here in Chicago. Chocolate croissants on the front porch, burgers at the Bad Apple, the new Avengers movie (going out together after dark! such a luxury!).
I even fit in some uninterrupted crafting time both mornings -- a little bit of hand quilting (not my forte, but I'd like to finish this wee baby quilt that I started eons ago) and a handknits finishing frenzy. So many buttons to sew on! Here's the first: 

pattern: lottie cardigan, by carrie bostick hoge
yarn: frog tree ewetopia, #1245, 3 skeins
needles: US 7 (4.5 mm) bamboo circs and US 8 bamboo dpns
size: 6 months


A lovely little pattern. I like that there is plenty of overlap for the front button bands. So many baby sweater patterns don't bother, with the result that the fronts tends to pull when buttoned.

The yarn was an absolute delight. My first time knitting with Frog Tree yarn. Ewetopia is a 2-ply merino, with a special twist -- one ply is superwash, the other is not, so the two plies take the dye very differently. It's a marled yarn, and it's so springy and squooshy. I found the yarn at Knit One Purl Two in Rockford, a very nice shop (much nicer than I expected given its location in a strip mall). I found the wooden buttons at Yarn Con -- I wish I could find this woman's contact info, as she sells a wonderful selection of wooden buttons in a variety of shapes and sizes at affordable prices. A real treasure!

Thursday, June 04, 2015

dispatch from the front porch

Today I squeezed in a little front porch knitting, which is pretty much the best type of knitting.

The pattern is Kirsten Kapur's Hamamelis, which has been on my to-knit list forever. Again, I'm using yarn from deep in the stash (hooray!) -- Dream in Color's Smooshy sock yarn in Nightwatch. The pattern's looking great, but the shawl seems small-ish considering that the second of four repeats of the main chart is almost done. I had a little trouble getting into the lace pattern, something that hasn't happened to me in a long time. There's something about garter stitch-based lace that just doesn't click naturally with my brain, esp. when there's patterning on both the right and wrong side rows. The yarn is springy and has kind of a tight twist -- it would probably make excellent socks.

Summer's finally here, and the university where I work is looking absolutely beautiful. Peonies on the main quads, plus look how quickly this spring's crop of ducklings is growing up!

Speaking of getting big so quickly, here's Erik reading a book. He inherited my love of Richard Scarry.