Sunday, November 03, 2013

Rheingold Wrap: The Saga Ends

Six years.  Six long years later the Rheingold wrap is done.

As you may recall, I bought the kit from Virtual Yarns with the intention of knitting it for my wedding.  I would have made it, two, except that we moved the wedding date up by three months.  When it was not done, in my despair I cast it into a bin.

There it sat for two years until pity on the beautiful thing freed it for another go.  That is, until I started getting sore hands.  Another two year sentence freed the wrap again, only for it to be cast aside due to an error. It's the only error I can see in the garment.  I skipped a row in the second pattern repeat on the second half.  The error was only detected after I'd knit another few inches, and I was too distraught to tink it all back.  Or to look at it.  So back it went until I decided to finish it.

Damn it.

When I took the wrap out of jail for the last this past April, eight of the twelve pattern repeats were finished.  I worked on it with the monogamy it deserved until the knitting was done, even adding two more pattern repeats.  Then I found that I'd lost the finishing instructions.  After three emails to Virtual Yarns, they ACTUALLY emailed me a copy!

I did make a few other modifications:

14 pattern repeats
Grafted center seam in two colors
Applied i-cord edge in Lapwing
Modified color scheme for fringe
Sewn in lining of a silk/cashmere pashmina wrap

The finished wrap is about 66" long, excluding fringe.

Oh, and check it out in the final picture.  We've had a girl! I actually finished the knitting while in labor with her.  How's that for a labor of love!

Sunday, October 02, 2011

New Twisterino Colorways for Fall 2011 at Rock Creek Yarn

When you're in the yarn business, with the fall festivals comes new stuff. Here are several new fall and winter themed colorways in Twisterino sock yarn.

First, we have Twisterino in Pumpkin Pie. Remember, Twisterino is our squishy, springy two ply 100% superwash merino. Pumpkin Pie has kettle dyed shades of crusty biscuit and sweet pumpkin custard topped with spicy brown speckles.

We're celebrating Samhain with orange Twisterino overdyed in spooky black.

Can you see it? If you look really carefully you can find a skein of sock yarn in Woodland camo colors.

Or try knitting gifts from cheerful holiday colorways of cool Winter's Tale

And Sugarplum Fairy

Thursday, August 04, 2011

A Cheesitarian recipe: Enchiladas Salsa Roja

Some of us need dairy only meals now and then. This one is for the cheesitarians out there. For this one, you'll need:

1/4 cup olive oil
8 corn tortillas
1 yellow onion, sliced
1/2 pound jack cheese, grated (2 cups of grated cheese)
1 tbs ancho chili powder
1 1/2 cups hot water
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp salt
1 yellow onion, finely diced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tbs all purpose flour, browned in a 400 degree oven for 5 minutes
1 medium tomato, diced
3/4 cup vegetable broth or water
1 tbs red wine or apple cider vinegar
red pepper flakes to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Heat 1 tbs of the oil to shimmering in large skillet. Add sliced onion and saute until clear. Remove the onion and set aside.

Put the rest of the oil into the skillet and heat until shimmering. One at a time, fry the tortillas in the oil until pliable, but not crisp. Set aside. Drain oil until only a little coats the pan.

Add the ancho chili powder, salt, red pepper flakes, and garlic to hot water and set aside.

Saute the diced onion until clear. Add the cumin and browned flour and toast for a moment. Add the tomato. Saute 5-6 minutes until tomato is tender. Add the chili, garlic, and water mixture; broth, and vinegar. Simmer for 5 minutes to let the sauce thicken.

Add 1/4 cup of sauce to a 9x9 baking pan. Dredge one fried tortilla in the sauce left in the pan. Place on work surface and top with 1/4 cup cheese and a few slices of onion. Roll up the tortilla and place it in the pan, seam side down. Repeat with the remaining tortillas. Top with the rest of the sauce and any remaining cheese. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the oven.

Serves 4.

Cause I've been real busy

I haven't written.

Well, Saul was born on June 1. And I've been real busy since then.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Why the silence?

It's been pretty quiet around here for several months. Very quiet.

No, I didn't stop knitting, but I have been working on something else for the last 34 weeks and I haven't wanted to talk about it here. Until now.It's another boy, and G-d willing he'll be born in mid June.

Why the silence?

It's been pretty quiet around here for several months. Very quiet.

No, I didn't stop knitting, but I have been working on something else for the last 34 weeks and I haven't wanted to talk about it here. Until now.It's another boy, and G-d willing he'll be born in mid June.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Leek and Potato Soup

Eeek! I've forgotten to post for some time.

After last night's soup and latke dinner, I've had some requests for my leek and potato soup recipe. Here it goes.

1 1/2 pound potatoes
2 leeks
4 cups vegetable broth
3/4 cup half and half
pinch of nutmeg or 1/2 tsp of dill weed
salt and pepper to taste

Slice white and green parts of leeks into 1/2" rounds. Place in a colander rinse under cool water, separating the layers with your fingers. Leeks tend to have a lot of dirt and sand inside, so they must be well rinsed.

Peel potatoes and quarter.

Pour the broth into a large soup pot (at least 6 quarts). Add leeks, potatoes, and dill or nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Turn on heat to medium and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 40 minutes until potatoes are soft.

Remove soup from heat. With an immersion blender, puree the soup. Return to low heat and add the half and half. Stir until well incorporated. Serves 6.

Some tasty additions can be made to this soup to make it more hardy. Add 8 oz of cubed salmon fillet and place over low heat until cooked, 5-7 minutes. Shrimp also make a nice substitute. For a smokey flavor, garnish with a bit of smoked whitefish, smoked salmon, or crumbled bacon.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Jeremy Clark-Erskine Sentenced

Has the saga of this scoundrel finally come to an end? Jeremy Clark-Erskine was sentenced in Federal court in relation to his crimes out west last year. Will it be the end of this guy? I don't think so. He'll eventually be out, but this should slow him down in a few years. According to the FBI press release, which can be found here:, Erskine is sentenced to:
  • Prison: 81 months
  • Special Assessment: $400
  • Restitution: $49,118.95
  • Supervised Release: 3 years
Now, this is good but I don't think this is great. That's not a whole lot of time compared to the grief he's caused, and if he does pay his fines and restitution I'd worry about the source. The best news in this sentence are that due to truth in sentencing laws, he's likely to actually serve about 7 years. Also very cool were details made known to me by the FBI. The first is that the judge was really pissed about Erskine's impersonation of an Army officer while committing his crimes. According to the official I spoke to, part of the judge's order was that Erskine has to write a him series of letters detailing the lives of actual war heroes who died for our country. The other cool thing is that when Erskine is done in Federal prison, Indiana still wants him on a number of other charges. So he's not going to be walking among us for some time.

For any law enforcement who might be reading this, I'd ask two more things. It's about his supervised release. His victims, past and present, deserve to know that he won't hurt people during his supervised release and that he actually is supervised for the three years the judge ordered. Please make sure that as part of his supervision that he does not have access to computers and that he is made to wear a GPS device. You know his history and how he commits his crimes. These measures will allow the public to have the three extra years of safety from this jerk.

Friday, September 24, 2010

199 skeins of sock yarn

Take one down! Pass it around!

It's that time of year again. Time for the fall yarn shows. Creek Yarn will be at two. The first is tomorrow and Sunday. The Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival is in Berryville, VA, and hour to an hour and a half from most of the DC area. This is a really cool show, and I'm doing it for the third year. Shenandoah has really expanded what they do. It's now a weekend of large and small fiber vendors, livestock sales, contests, demonstrations, classes, and food. Last year they even had a winery. Seriously, either day you go is going to be a good one. Take the drive.

Next weekend is Yarncon in Chicago, IL. This will be my first (and probably only) year at YarnCon. This small show is part of the hand made movement in Chicago and features small produces like me. If you're in Chicago, come out for it. Really. There will be lots of products there that you probably can't find in local yarn stores. Yet. Let's hope for some scouting from LYS's. Small hand dyers make some really great products that should be featured more in stores. Ask your LYS to send someone, and come with!

So here is is. The stock. That's 199 skeins of sock yarn that are coming with me to Shenandoah. There's some more that's note quite ready that will come with to YarnCon as well. Besides all the sock yarn you know, Rock Creek Yarn will be featuring some new colorways as well as the Silk Sock. Our laceweight selection is also expanded.

YarnCon will be our last show for 2010. The next time you'll (hopefully) see us is at Homespun Yarn Party next year, if it happens again. Make sure you show your support for that show, and offer to volunteer or sponsor it, if you can. It is another show dedicated to allowing small fiber producers to sell retail directly to the public. Shows like YarnCon and Homespun Yarn Party are really the bread and butter for us and allow us to be in business.

So what else for next year? Decisions. Rock Creek Yarn has to make a number of business decisions. First, I would like to expand into more local yarn stores outside the DC area. If you'd like to see Rock Creek Yarns in your store, please make the introduction between me and the owner. Second, I will start carrying things other than sock and lace yarn. Right now, The Yarn Spot in Wheaton, MD has a whole bunch of a kettle dyed DK silk/merino blend. Look for that direct from next year. Third, I'm working on learning to use my new drum carder to make art batts. Fourth, patterns; I'm days away from publishing two sock patterns with more to come. Lastly, a big decision regarding shows. I'll let you know about that one later.