Postcards from Rhinebeck ’14

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IMG_6516.JPGIt was so good to get out of the city this weekend and head upstate to Rhinebeck for the New York State Sheep & Wool Festival. The weather was the most perfect October weather you could ask for, by turns dramatic, steel grey skies with the woods all orange and red and gold and the clearest blue sky and sunshine with cold air and chilly breeze. It was perfectly cold and that meant that the hand knits could be worn comfortably, but not so cold that you needed a jacket over them. Florrie finished her Aunt Fred and it looked so great on her, I would have lost my marbles knitting a whole sweater in that fiddly sport weight wool. Kudos to her. I wore my Astoria cowl, it was snug and perfectly warm.

Florrie had much more shopping restraint than I did, I bought two skeins of Miss Babs Yowza in a really pretty green/blue/grey colorway (Shaken Not Stirred), the line for Miss Babs wool was predictably long, a giant bag of Maple Cotton Candy, some Hot Maple Mustard (it’s seriously the best thing ever), a gorgeous cherry wood stirrer/spatula from Chester B. Basil’s stall, some beautiful grey/green ceramic buttons from Melissa Jean and on the way home when we stopped off in Tivoli at Fabulous Yarns I got a squishy red skein of Blue Sky Alpacas Extra.  I’m not sure if it was because it’s the third or fourth year that we have gone, or if it was in fact smaller this year. Not sure, but it was fun and we got to scratch a few goats and sheep under their chins, and see so much beautiful wool.

Until next year Rhinebeck, maybe I’ll get my act together in 2015 and have my own sweater to wear. :-D

-Marie

 

 

Aunt Fred

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I’ve wanted to knit Aunt Fred by Pamela Wynne since first seeing it at Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool last year. There was something so cosy and unfussy about this knit that I was drawn to. I loved the pattern, a sort of mini houndstooth. It wasn’t until late summer when Maire and I were making our fall plans that I decided to cast on. Around the same time I’d fallen in love the Blue Sky Alpacas Metalico. It’s soft and delicious and has a little lustre. I did hesitate in choosing this because the weight was finer than the pattern required. I paired it up with Blue Sky Alpacas Sport, which is one of my all time favourite yarns. I paired the platinum metalico with a medium charcoal grey. After a few swatches to work out the new gauge and some double checking of calculations, I began.

 

Ricochet

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Vineyard: Ricochet

Region: Sonoma coast

Country: USA

Vintage: 2010

Importer: n/a

Grape: Chardonnay

Alcohol: 13.5%

Price: $19.99

APPEARANCE:

Clear Clean and bright, pale gold with hints of granny smith green.

NOSE:

Citrus! Grassy meadows and pineapples with a subtle undertone of grapefruit and baked goods.

PALATE:

I feel as though I have been tricked! Watery and astringent are what hits me first. After this assault on my palate bitter fruits, lemons and grapefruits begin their attack. My mouth was uncontrollably drawn into a pucker. Charred bbq pineapple follows. Will this never end? The wine never mellows, the harsh astringent gets stronger on the finish.

PAIR WITH:

I tried it with a variety of cheese, this cheese luckily coated my tastebuds enough to protect it from the mouthwash taste of the wine. Maybe a creamy pasta or fish in white sauce dish.

Florrie‘s footnote:

I could feel this burning the lining of my stomach. This was one that ended up down the drain. This highlights the importance of trying a wine before serving it to guests at dinner.

Definition of the word, Ricochet; ‘is a rebound, bounce or skip off a surface, particularly on the case of a projectile’. Which is exactly what I wanted to do after drinking this.

Fig, Hazelnut and Orange Shortbread

Fig, Hazelnut and Orange Shortbread

4 oz Unsalted butter

2 oz Sugar

2 oz All purpose flour

2 oz rice flour or corn flour for a grainier crumb

2 oz Hazelnut meal

¼ tsp salt

2 oz dried figs

Zest of 1 orange

1 Tbsp orange juice

1 oz Raw sugar

Pre heat the oven to 300℉

Cut the butter into small cubes and put in a mixing bowl or food processor. Add to this the sugar, flours, hazelnut meal and salt.  Using your fingers combine these ingredients until little pea size balls form,or blitz until combined. Dice the figs, add that and the orange zest to the crumb mix. Pour in the orange juice and stir with a knife and gently squeeze the mix to bring it together. You may need to add a tiny amount of cold water. Be careful not to drown the mix, it is meant to be crumbly.

Bring the mixture together into a log shape and wrap in plastic warp. Shape the log so that it is approximately 2×2 inches square and 6 inches long. Twist the ends of the plastic wrap to help obtain the shape. Gently flatten each side of the log on the counter to make a rectangle.

Chill in the refrigerator for 45 minutes.

Unwrap the log, roll in the raw sugar pressing lightly. Slice the log  into 1/4 thick slices and put onto a parchment lined baking sheet,

Bake for 25 – 30 minutes.

Enjoy F.

52 Project: 41/52

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Grey and cool this Monday morning in NYC. Fifth Avenue is prepping for the Columbus Day parade this afternoon. You can see all the blue police barricades set up and waiting. If I had been thinking, I would have brought my lunch with me today, oops. That means I have to navigate my way through the crowds to get some grub at lunchtime. Oh well!

The trees on our corner are starting to shift, they aren’t that vibrant summer green any more. There are little bits of gold and brown creeping in, and the greens are now deeper, tawny olives. The colors are coming.  It’s kind of funny how quickly they come and go here in the city. Upstate they change over the course of several weeks as frosts creep in, here it can happen as fast as a weekend. Blink and it’s gone.

Have a wonderful fall week! -Marie

Free Pattern: Morel Hat

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I actually cast on for this hat months ago… I bought the wool at Rhinebeck last fall, and I knew I wanted to knit it into a scrumptious, slouchy, textured hat. But then summer happened, and it got set aside. When Florrie came up with that delicious spicy mushroom dish a few weeks ago, an idea was born. We thought that it would be super fun to pair a knit with a recipe. We didn’t use morels in the recipe, but the texture of the wheat stitch in the hat reminded me of morel’s tall textured caps. The recipe is included in the pattern PDF for you to make and enjoy. Both the soup and the hat will warm you up on a chilly fall day. :-)

Morel features an elongated wheat stitch with pretty eyelet detail at the brim. The ribbing along the brim will stretch to fit many sizes, but there are instructions for a small and large hat. The hat is designed to be unisex, but if you feel that the eyelet is too feminine, you can knit the yarn overs twisted to close them up.

Finished Measurements
Small (Large)
7in (9in) / 18cm (29cm) wide at brim, laid flat
18in (22in) / 46cm (56cm) circ. gently stretched
8in (10in) / 20cm (25.5cm) high, laid flat
Finished weight of large hat 3.5oz/98g
Gauge
8 stitches & 8 rows per 1 inch in wheat stitch.
Needle
1 pair US5(3.75mm) 16in/40.5cm circular needles, or needles to obtain gauge.
1 set US5(3.75mm) double pointed needles
Suggested Yarn
Miss Babs Northumbria DK (100% Bluefaced Leicester Wool) 240yd/3.5oz (225m/100g)
For project: approximately 235yd/3.5oz (215m/98g)
Colorway: Candied Pecan
Notions
Darning needle for finishing

Download the FREE pattern at Ravelry