Friday, December 23, 2011

I Know What I'm Doing - Who Said That?!

I woke up Wednes-
day morning and started to knit on the baby sweater with my cuppa when the light went on. This is Plymouth Encore and at 70% acrylic, this is the size the sweater will be when blocked. I looked up the yarn online and realized that the yarn is 20 stitches to four inches, and the pattern called for 18 stitches to four inches. It was an in-town day so I eliminated two stops and added one to Jimmy Beans Wool. It's over 50 miles from here, but when I'm in town already, it doesn't feel so bad.
My trip to town started with making a date to have lunch with my DD Chris. It was the day after her final exam and so we decided to eat on campus and then shop at the bookstore. She was telling me about the video that Kiernan and Alexia had made the night before about zombies as we walked through the building. In the back, I could hear something and then something again. Finally I heard - Sharon! It was Amy! We haven't seen each other for months and were passing through space and time at that moment - an unexpected treat.
I walked into the JBW store, which was surpris-
ingly busy for its remote location, and a clerk who was clearly helping someone else asked if she could help me. I said - I need to buy some yarn. Have I come to the right place?? Sometimes I crack myself up. The lady she was helping was holding some mohair in the exact color I was looking for. The clerk looked at my pattern and directed me to the same color in Lorna's Laces.

Then I wasn't sure about the second color. I asked if she could Google school colors for UNC, Chapel Hill, just at the same time a staff person came out from the back to see if she could help. She spun around and said, I graduated from there. Can I help you? This is what I came home with and even if I only have a week to make it, I'm really excited. I want to make an "NC" patch but won't know what size until the sweater is blocked. I've never made a patch before, but it can't be too hard, right? Benita included some white cotton in the box of fabric. I figure I'll iron it to some fusible interfacing, zigzag the outline and then cut it out, right?
This is a Knitting Pure and Simple pattern. I always photocopy patterns so I can write on them. When I got home, I realized I had left my copy at the store. No problem. I'd work off the original, only I couldn't find it. No problem. I'm using the copy that Diane emailed in 2003! The other one will show up some day, but it's obvious I need another studio cleaning. If you look closely on the bottom right you will see where Charlie has nibbled on the page.
Given the baby sweater deadline, I spent way too much time yesterday on the rug but I got it done. I've hemmed all my rugs - not a fan of fringe - but decided to hemstitch this time to eliminate the rug unraveling as I'm trying to zigzag the edge.

Again, I ran out of warp and was fighting for the last inches of string. Math and I are not friends, though we have worked out a tenable relationship. This time I was just wasn't listening, or something.
I pulled it off the loom last evening and laid it on the balcony. I couldn't wait to see it.
And here it is on the floor. This is an area just inside the French doors and heavily trafficked by our three large dogs. They have battered the wood terribly. I hate to cover our beautiful floors but I hate what the dogs are doing to them. I cleaned and oiled two areas today and really appreciate the protection my rugs provide. The subcontractor who laid the floors used an inferior sealant. The rugs are a necessary patch job for now.
I washed all the rugs today, getting ready for our Christmas Eve open house tomorrow. This is an earlier rug and I have to say that I like darker colors and more reds.

Hard Boiled Eggs: I bought a dozen eggs, planning to make Deviled Eggs for tomorrow. I read several places how to make perfect hard boiled eggs and printed an AllRecipes one that include the recipe and the technique. I could not get the egg shells off. My eggs look like they had teenage acne. I had a half dozen left so went back to the internet for how to make hard boiled eggs that you can peel, I boiled the other half dozen with 1/2 tsp of baking soda, chilled them for a couple of hours in ice water, and they peeled effortlessly. Apparently it has something to do with the Ph balance of fresh eggs. If you change the Ph balance with the baking soda, you don't have to think in advance and use older eggs.

"The trick to peeling hard-boiled eggs easily is to ensure that the eggs are several days old. Hard-boiling eggs that are farm fresh will yield to eggs which are virtually impossible to peel. Buy eggs and store them for 5-10 days before hard-boiling farm fresh eggs. This is because as the eggs age, the carbon dioxide present in the albumin seeps out, thereby reducing its acidity. Research reveals that reduced acidity assists in easier peeling." I got that information here. All I know is - the eggs are peeled.


Michelle said...

I'll have to remember that baking soda tip; I've wrestled with peeling fresh eggs too often!

Merry Christmas, my friend.

LA said...

Thanks for the tip! I get farm fresh eggs from a friend, and that little piece of information will come in handy!!! LOVE the rugs!

Theresa said...

Love the rug and the tip! Have a wonderful open house and Merry Ho Ho to all!

Life Looms Large said...

The rug looks great!!!!

And that egg tip is fantastic!! (I'd definitely not think far enough ahead to have old eggs, so baking soda to the rescue!!)

Merry Christmas!


Laura said...

If you leave the eggs on the counter for 2-3 days (the moisture content of the insides decreases, separating the membrane from the shell), you can peel them easily, too. Of course, that requires planning ahead, which I never do, so I'll store the baking soda tip away for future use!!

I miss coming to your house for Christmas Eve... I thought about coming down this year, but I've spent 3 weeks farmsitting, and needed to get back into my own space.

Have a Merry Christmas!!

Nina said...

Cool tip for the eggs. I didn't know that. I always keep eggs on the counter just in case, but I'll squirrel that idea away 'cause I know it will come in handy. I love the new rug..

Tina T-P said...

I boiled 1 1/2 doz eggs with the idea that I'd take them to work for our Christmas party - sadly I didn't have time to peel them & decided to take egg salad sandwiches to our church Christmas party instead - it was a good thing, because like your eggs, mind didn't peel worth a hoot, and I would not have gotten one single deviled egg out of the bunch. I'll definitely try the baking soda thing!

Merry Christmas from our farm to yours. T.

P.S. Made our reservations for the motel in Springfield for Black Sheep - there's another Olympic time trials happening that same weekend, so places to stay will start to become few and far between!