Sunday, January 27, 2008

English Pancake Recipe

Mr. Puffy and I enjoy taking a break in our day to relax and enjoy a restorative cup of tea along with a treat (either sweet or savory).   It is generally acknowledged that the tea experience is enhanced when it is shared with someone and Mr Puffy and I do love our teas.

We enjoy teatime best with our feet up, enjoying a treat, and watching TV.  Currently we are watching To Serve Them All my Days, an adaptation of the novel by R.F. Delderfield. It is a wonderful story about David Powlett Jones, a Welsh miner's son who becomes a schoolmaster at an elite boarding school. Other than that I find it hard to describe this story because it is not a romance, but it is romantic; it is not a drama, but it is dramatic; and it is not a tragedy, but it is so very tragic at times. I look forward to watching this series every January so the cold that surrounds me mirrors the cold of the British Moors.

And whilst watching TV and drinking tea on a cold and rainy day, I find no treat as enjoyable as a plate of hot English pancakes!  They are very easy to make and oh so good and I've shared the recipe below.

English Pancake Recipe

1 Cup flour
1/4 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 Cup Milk

Lemon juice (Meyer lemons are preferred)
white sugar

1. Sift flour and salt into a small bowl. Make a well in the center and drop in both eggs.
2. Add about 1 tbsp. milk and then mix in a little flour from the sides of the bowl with a wooden spoon. Keep adding milk and combining the flour gradually until all the flour is absorbed.
3. Beat batter with electric mixer until batter is covered in small bubbles.
4. Let stand for 1 hour in a cool place.
5. Cook on a lightly oiled griddle over medium/high heat. Pour small amount of batter in pan and tilt pan to spread batter in a thin layer. Cook quickly and flip once.
6. Garnish with lemon and sugar and roll up like a crepe.

It's a good idea to have your tea tray prepared in advance so you can still enjoy your crepes while they are warm. This is one of my mother's recipes and she used to make them quite frequently for my sister and I when we were children.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

You Make My Day!

It's Award time in LA - and apparently not just in Hollywood! The amazing Monika of Smoking Hot Needles (and her needles sure do smoke) has honored me with the You Make My Day Award. Thank you Monika!

I think these awards are lots of fun because they are both a great way to discover new blogs and share new ones with others!

You already know my regular reads (I have them listed on my blog "sidebar") so instead I'm going to use this as an opportunity to highlight other knitters that you may not be familiar with. Some of these knitters I've found on Flickr or on Raverly and, alas, are otherwise blog less but nevertheless fantastic knitters. As an aside, the first knitter I've listed, I do not believe even speaks English but her knitting says it all. Enjoy.....

Jatta Soheltaa
Sherry - Pink Knitter
Carly - Kasiaiscarly
Pat - Pumpkin Knitter
Gravityvp - Ravelry
Colin - Knitman
Marie - Knittedgems
Adrianne - Yarnforbrains
Tiennie Knits
Candance - Sittinandknittin

I could go on, but rules are rules, and according to the rules I can only pick ten.

Friday, January 18, 2008

A Naughty Scarf

I must be in a knotty mood these days *wink* *wink* This is Dawn Brocco's Double Knot Cable Scarf pattern knit with worsted weight hand-dyed cashmere. Sigh. In fact, this scarf is so yummy it's good enough to eat - so I'm presenting it on a cake plate!

Mr Puffy insisted that I must knit something in Cashmere, at least once. He's such an enabler.

I quote directly from the pattern "Cables undulate. Their curves beckon to be noticed, and how better to notice them than to not have anything else surrounding them!" (emphasis added). Gotta love that.

I thought it best that I have a statue "stand in" for me (wrong sex, but it's the best I could do on short notice).

Project Specs:
Double Knot Cable Scarf by Dawn Brocco
US 8 needles
Finished Length: 76 inches
Yarn: Tess' Designer Yarn - hand-dyed Cashmere (FYI - this yarn was from the remnants of a special order for another customer and I do not believe she carries this weight cashmere as a stock item).

Another knotty side to me has decided what to knit with my Tilli Tomas Aspen yarn (sky-drop blue). I'm going to knit Stephanie Japel's (Gramprye's Knit) Cable-Down Raglan (Interweave Magazine - Spring 2007) a pattern that has enough knots to please anyone! There is a KAL for this project and so many beautiful interpretations that I am quite inspired!

In case you were wondering, yes, I am still knitting away on Flo. I'm making slow but steady progress :)

Sunday, January 13, 2008

A Family That Jogs Together

One thing really nice is that Steve and I are able to jog together in the mornings. We live on top of a mountain and have incredible views so it's a beautiful way for us to start the day with some quiet time together and get our exercise too!

A week or so ago Steve could not find his gloves for our morning jog so he borrowed my "Fetching" fingerless mitts. To put this in context, if I haven't mentioned it before, Steve is very particular and a minimalist to boot. He won't wear wool because it's "too itchy," he doesn't want a sweater because he already has too many, etc., etc. So, imagine my delight when he announced that he enjoyed wearing my Fetchings mitts! I can only suppose that it is the silk component that he likes. I immediately ordered the same yarn in his favorite color (royal blue) and now he has his own "Dashings" to wear on our morning jog!

Dashing Fingerless Mitts ~ free pattern ~ Knitty. Approximately 1.5 Skeins Noro, Cash Iroha (wool/silk 50% blend). US 4 Needles. I shortened them a little to suit Steve's taste and only did 2 cables instead of 3.

Steve, being Steve, also inquired "can not Mr Puffy also have a pair?" And I couldn't see any reason why not. I call them Pufflets.

As an aside, the little woolly lamb in the picture above is from our trip to New Zealand. It is made with a real fleece and emits a remarkably accurate bahhhhh sound! New Zealand is a beautiful country to visit. We went several years ago in December over our Christmas holiday and just loved it. One favorite memory is from a genuine "farm stay" where we spent the night in a cottage located in the middle of a pasture full of sheep. The cottage was slightly elevated and had glass walls (with curtains you could close) so during the day we had the sheep milling all around us. Truly an amazing experience. It was also fun to experience a little of farm life. After tucking into a traditional breakfast the farmer took us out to a pasture where he had herds of reindeer and sheep. He then proceeded to demonstrate the herding skills of his dog. His little dog was able to control the much larger animals without a bark - it was all done with running and staring down the larger animals. Really something to see.

I must be in a talkative mood today. I'm also going to tell you about a little something I found under my parent's Christmas tree. It is Colinette Tao and Parisienne yarn and it's going to be the Silver Birch hat from the Arboretum pattern book. I love knitting with the Colinette. It's soft and beautiful yarn. The colorway is Moss - in both the Tao and Parisienne. To be honest, I have no idea how this hat comes together. I keep checking the pattern to make sure I'm doing it right. It seems I am. So I'm forging ahead and hope it all becomes clear in the end!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Romeo, Romeo

O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo? Sorry for the cheap plagiarism. I couldn't resist because I'm wearing my Juliet Cap and am trying to get into character.

The Juliet Cap was designed by Kateri van Huystee, of Gifted Hands. I purchased the pattern from The Knitting Vault which has a ton of patterns from smaller designers. The philosophy of this designer really comports with my own. She designs very basic patterns and then combines them with fabulous yarns and achieves stunning results. She also adds little details that are nice such as the french knot used to top this hat, as shown in the picture below. I used Noro Cash Iroha and US 7 needles but she also recommends Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Worsted for this pattern which has gorgeous jewel toned yarn as well.

I also have her Field of Gold Rustic Wrap Pattern:

I simply love this design. I see myself wearing it as I stroll down Del Mar in downtown San Clemente popping into the local shops on a Saturday morning! That was something I did as a child in Santa Barbara. On Saturday mornings my mother would always take my sister and me out for a coffee and then we would look around the shops. To this day, I find no other way to spend a Saturday morning as enjoyable as a coffee out and shopping. I always manage to find a scented bar of soap, a good book, or other small treasure to bring home with me.

I'm having trouble finding the perfect yarn for it, though. The designer recommends Manos Del Uruguay but at 1,300 yards that's a bit pricy. Still, if I thought that was the perfect yarn for it I wouldn't mind. I am just concerned that the Manos might make it a bit heavy with that much yardage. Maybe not. Somehow I'm thinking I would like something with a little more loft than the Manos. It does need a rustic feel to the yarn, though. I know I'm being wishy-washy but with this much yardage you really need to be sure that the yarn is a good fit for the pattern....