Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Tuesday's Tin of the Week

I got a fantastic Halloween/Zombie package from Olive last Friday.  Inside she enclosed some thing for everyone including Hello Kitty dressed up as a skeleton for Halloween.  We laughed because we wondered with all the hype there is about Zombies, could Hello Kitty ever be a zombie and if so what would she still be recognizable?

Happy Halloween!
The Martini Knitter  

Monday, October 29, 2012

I Made Pumpkin Soup!

I have always wanted to make homemade pumpkin soup.  While living in Holland, every Fall I would look at the pumpkins in Albert Heijn and just stare at them willing them to teach me how to cook a pumpkin.  As an American, the only way I knew how to buy anything calling for pumpkin was to go and buy the Libby’s pumpkin puree. It was very hard my first 4 years of living abroad to find Libby’s pumpkin puree but with American online grocery stores popping up on the Internet and Globus here in Basel carrying pumpkin puree I have been able to make pumpkin pie in the American way … Libby’s Libby’s Libby’s on the label, label, label.  Sorry I probably just dated myself by reciting the old Libby’s TV commercial.

It all started by Gin saying that her friends were surprised to hear that she has never had pumpkin soup.  I said, “You haven’t? It’s the best. That’s it! Today I am going to make pumpkin soup.”  This was Saturday and so I checked my huge cookbook library and, surprisingly, I do not have a recipe at all for homemade pumpkin soup.  So I went to “the Vortex (aka my computer) and did a search for pumpkin soup.  I am pleased to say that “Chuck” did me proud.

“Chuck” is the name we give to any William Sonoma recipe we make, because Chuck William is the guy who originally founded William Sonoma, the cooking store in America.  The Shaker and I are known for saying to each other, “Go and check out what Chuck has.” “If it’s Chuck’s, you know it’s going to be good” and so forth.

So here’s the recipe from “Chuck” that I used and I bought “sugar baby pumpkins” to make the soup.

I did make a slight change to Chuck’s recipe; instead of putting the creamed apple cider puree on the top of the soup, I just added it all to the soup because Vermouth likes her soup with cream.  Gin liked it so much too, that she took a lunch portion of it to school today.

The Martini Knitter

Friday, October 26, 2012

To the Members of Ravelry – Thank You!

I got give a huge shout out of thanks to the members of Ravelry!  If it wasn’t for the comments and help suggestions that they wrote about their own projects, then I wouldn’t have been able to start, let alone finish, my Shalom Sweater. 

The original pattern has cap sleeves, but I need (and want) sleeves!  So a user wrote how to add sleeves.  The original pattern is a small, but another user made it a medium, and again this helped me. And lastly, the original pattern has 1 button and I wanted 3. 

Now I am waiting for the weather to turn cooler, because, boy this sweater is warm!

The Martini Knitter

Thursday, October 25, 2012

That’s Right! I Am Throwing Gin Under The Bus!

A few weeks ago, I was reading A Blissful Twist’s blog that is written by a young lady named Grace who lives in the US and is in the same year as Gin is in school.  Grace made a beautiful pair of fingerless gloves, which inspired me to go and find my fingerless glove project.  In the summer of 2011, we spent 2 fantastic weeks in Normandy, France and before going I did a Google search and found 3 knit shops nearby where we were staying.  I then went to knitted project binders and found a pattern for fingerless gloves that I bought off of the Knit Picks’ website by The Sweater Babe.

First of all I had shown Gin the pattern and she agreed that these would be perfect for when the air turns cool in the mornings. Not enough for a full-fledged glove (Olive made her pair already) but enough to keep your hand warm while texting your buddies on the tram/bus on the way to school.  I remember her distinctly saying yes she would love to have these fingerless gloves made.  But that was that.  The project remained in my sewing room; just sitting there.  I had good intensions of knitting them towards the end of Winter last year and the start of Spring.  But then came the move to Switzerland …

But this week, I pulled those fingerless gloves out and in less than 8 hours of knitting they were done! They are definitely different from Vermouth’s fingerless gloves as this pattern had instructions for the left-hand and the right-hand because of the cabling that lays on top of her hands.  But on The Sweater Babe’s pattern, she has instructions for a 3-pattern-repeat of the “Vine Pattern” and then there is “ribbing work” for where the thumbs are placed.  It doesn’t matter which is the left and which is the right making this pattern is truly a “no brainer” project.

The Thumb:

I got a little stuck on the thumb, but once I just worked the pattern as written and not to philosophize too much on what she was saying, then I understood it.

Then yesterday, I gave them to Gin saying, “Look! I finally knitted those fingerless gloves that I promised you.”

Gin: blank stare

I said, “Remember when we were in Normandy and you bought sock yarn** and I bought yarn to make fingerless gloves for you?  You said yes you would like them but they had to be blue?”

Gin:  “Oh yeah. But I don’t want them anymore. Just give them to Vermouth she loves her fingerless gloves.”

Now it was my turn to give Gin the blank stare.

What is so disturbing about this conversation is that this is not normal for Gin!  Vermouth, yes; Gin, no! To the point of almost never.  Well strike that comment!

I haven’t given them to Vermouth yet, because I am thinking about keeping them for myself now.  I need a pair for when I want to knit on the tram during the cold months.  It would save me time changing out of my gloves and getting to my knitting.

But now Gin has me going through “knitted gift anxiety!”  I am working on the gauge swatch for her Christmas present and if she doesn’t like it, I am literally screwed!  No one, besides Gin, wears an extra small in our house!

The Martini Knitter