Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Tuesday's Tin of the Week


I have been on this baking kick lately.  The family can barely get me to make dinner, but baking desserts and cookies I am on it.  I made Hershey’s White Chocolate Chip cookies this week.  Ok, I didn’t actually have the white chocolate chips so I bought 4 bars of Lindt’s white chocolate and chopped them up.  so technically, the cookies in my house should be called “White Chocolate Chunk Cookies.”  Click here for the recipeSo ... where are photos of the cookies???  I apologize for this, the cookies are a little camera shy and safely tucked away into Gin and Vermouth’s tummies. 




Cheers!
The Martini Knitter

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Quote from Gin: I Like It, But ...


Finally something in a knitting project has gone my way!  For once, not having a project done on time has literally worked in my favor. I gave Gin her Roam Tunic on Christmas morning with an “IOU.”  I put everything in a large gift bag including the Knits Magazine – to give it the appearance that Gin was suppose to knit this herself.  It worked.  She opened it up and saw the magazine and the extra skeins on top and she said, “Am I suppose to knit this?” Then she saw the “IOU” and the look of relief on her face was heart-warming.  The other huge relief to my heart was that she liked the pink and gray combination in the yarn.  I felt like I was in the clear until Gin uttered one simple 3-letter word, “But …”

For once, the word, “but,” has worked in my favor! I am so glad that I didn’t finish the tunic by Christmas morning because Gin said she didn’t want the turtleneck all the way up to her chin.  Honestly, I think if I had knitted the 9-inch neckline it would have swallowed up half of her face.  So I agreed to make the neckline shorter but that it needed to be a rolled over collar to hide the decrease stitch work around the neck join. Also, since the yarn I was using was Alpaca, the yarn relaxed beautifully around the turtleneck opening giving it more of a cowl look. I like the stiffness of turtleneck in the pattern’s photo, but I was right in knowing that Gin would not like this aspect of the pattern around her neck.

The other change that Gin wanted was longer sleeves.  She wanted more of a short sleeve look rather than a cap sleeve that the pattern had.  We talked about how crazy she must think of me for knitting her a short sleeve tunic sweater in the dead of winter and in no less Switzerland of all places. And then I told her that the beauty that Alpaca bring - softness and warmth all in one fiber. 

Now for the word that I try to avoid in every pattern, “seaming.” I promise to never be frightened again by the words “seam” or “seaming” in a pattern’s instruction.   I bought a sport weight gray skein of yarn to do the side-seaming.  I did think that I might be able to knit this pattern in the round, but honestly, I couldn’t be bothered with figuring that out so close to the holidays.  The tunic’s back and front are worked separately flat and then joined at the shoulders by using 3-needle bind off method and then I used the mattress stitch to seam the sides together. It went together like “butter on toast” or better yet, “a pimento stuffed olive in a dry martini.”




So why did it take so long about writing a post about this project?  According to Gin, she didn’t have the right leggings to go with it.  I was instructed to go out and find thick leggings to go with it.  This is where the typical mother-daughter discussion comes in … I said to her that the tunic was to go with her skinny, black Zara pants/leggings.   Gin said absolutely not that the tunic required more of a thick stocking/legging then skinny pants.* But by shear luck, I found “charcoal gray” thick leggings and markdown 50% no less. 






And finally, my “I Rock!” moment:  Gin worn the tunic to school and she received many compliments including one from her favorite Chemistry teacher.  There is almost nothin’ better than hearing, “your mom made that?” and knowing that this will not shoved to the back of the closet!

Cheers!
The Martini Knitter

*Note to my English friends, “pants” referred in this posting refers to “trousers” not “knickers.” I can safely say that there is no way that The Shaker or myself, are going to let Gin out the front door wearing only this tunic and no “trousers.”  I apologize for the confusion.  

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Tuesday's Tin of the Week




When Olive sent this tin to me last month, I have to say my curiosity was peaked by “Tabasco flavored chocolate.” At first taste, it has this wonderful dark chocolate taste in my mouth with just a hint of chili flavor.  Then upon finishing, the spice kicks in at full force. Vermouth was not even remotely interested in trying it but Gin was up for it.  But sadly she spit out after moments of the chocolate entering her mouth.  Which I have to say: Gin never spits out chocolate so you can just guess how she felt about Tabasco flavored chocolate.




Which brings me to one of my all-time favorite movies, Chocolat, staring Juliette Binoche, Dame Judi Dench, and Johnny Depp.  There is a scene where Vianne Rocher (Juliette Binoche) serves Amande Voizin (Dame Judi Dench) a cup of hot chocolate.  Amande says that there is something wrong with her hot chocolate; the chocolate must be rancid.  Whereby Vianne states no the chocolate is fine; it has a hint of chili of in the chocolate.  So this gave me the idea of melting one chocolate wedge in with my cappuccino.  Ok … let me just say this - that I promise I will stick to only making martinis from now on

Cheers!
The Martini Knitter