Saturday, December 19, 2009

Yarny Holidays

If you have not read my first post, start at the post before this one, there are other pictures and even a recipe!

I've been knitting!

I've made some christmas dish cloths and I also made a cowl for my father's wife:

The cowl was difficult enough that it gave me the confidence to try something a little more advanced. So now I'm working on my first lace scarf.

I'm so excited about it! The pattern makes sense and it's actually turning out the way it's supposed to so far! I absolutely cannot wait to get it finished and blocked to really show the pattern.
Now, I really hope everyone has a happy holiday season or if nothing else a happier new year than 2009!

Happy Holidays!! (Knitting, Sewing and Baking! Oh My!)

As you may have suspected, I've been keeping pretty busy.

In November I had plans to go to the Carolina Renaissance Fectival with my dear friend, Heather, and her sister, Amber. This year I finally got up the courage to dress up. It was so much fun! It really did make it more enjoyable. The only problem was making what I had to wear fit. My bodice was significantly too small, because, let's face it, I'm not a little person by any means. I had to add a panel on either side. It would have been really easy if there had been a seam where I needed it to be, but nope, had to completely cut it up the side. I freaked out about it a bit, because I have no experience sewing clothes or making alterations of that nature. I managed to get over it though after I made that first cut.
I completely forgot about taking progress pictures to show what I did, but here's the fonished product.

I'm the one in blue. Heather is in purple. I can't wait until next year!
Then weekend after Thanksgiving we started getting ready for christmas. I love the holidays!
Here's a picture of our tress. Why, yes, that is the usual area for my crafting.

Then came the christmas baking...This year I made baklava.
And if you're interested, here's the recipe:
This makes 2 pans.
1 lb phyllo dough, thawed according to package directions
4 cups finely ground pecans
4 cups finely ground walnuts
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground clove
1 1/2 lbs butter (no, that's not a type o)
Combine nuts, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove.
Prepare work station. This is how I organize myself:

Layer 6-8 phyllo sheets one at a time, brushing each generously with butter. Sprinkle with nut mixture. Layer 4 more phyllo sheets, sprinkle with nuts, ad nauseum until you're left with 6-8 phyllo sheets to go on top.
Most phyllo packages come with 2 rolls of phyllo sheets. One pan is from one roll of phyllo sheets. You should have one roll of phyllo and half the nut mixture left.
Before it goes in the oven, cut it into your preferred size and shape. While you're cutting, preheat oven to 300.
Bake for 15 minutes, then cut oven down to 250 and bake for 1 1/2 hours.

15 minutes before baking time is over, start syrup.
You'll need:
3 cups sugar
1 cup honey
1 1/2 cups water
juice of 1 lemon
Boil all syrup ingredients together for 10-15 minutes (med high-med heat). Stir continuously.
This syrup recipe makes only one batch.
After baklava comes out of over, spoon hot syrup over hot baklava.