Monday, July 24, 2006

Keeps Going and Going and Going...

I had an extremely lazy Sunday yesterday. I really did watch the entire Pride & Prejudice and work on my shawl. It was fabulous. The shawl is starting to look more like a shawl and less like a book cozy :) I was just starting to wonder how I was going to block 100% silk when I set out the shawl for progress photos. See how the shawl is squinching in? It's not even close to the 16" finished width (if only I could remember to set out the tape measure when I take photos):

But lay it out horizontally, and it pulls itself down into a 16" width!

It looks like gravity might be my blocking strategy, since that's how I'll be wearing it anyway. The yarn is so slippery, I can't imagine it holding blocking, so it's good that the shawl wants to be the right size! I still love the pattern. I've really gotten into a groove with it. It's easy to read and repetitive. With 36 rows to a repeat, I certainly don't have it memorized, but it's familiar enough that I can just glance and the notecards and keep going.

Knitpastis, I'm feeling very well, thank you! The second trimester has started out nicely...maybe I should put up a progress bar on Butterbean. Except I only have 6 months to get the apartment in shape for the baby. Ack!

Reading: Order of the Phoenix. Also, listened to Twelve Sharp while knitting over the weekend. Does anyone else get attached to audio book readers? The older Stephanie Plum books have different readers than 7-12, and I like Lorelei King so much that listening to 1-6 takes some getting used to (plus, they're mostly only available abridged, which drives me nuts). The first three Thursday Next books had one reader, then the last one had a different person. Urgh.

Writing: Still futzing with the early chapters.

Cooking: Isn't the ice cream Cooking Light great, Lee? Although, the Strawberry Creme Fraiche and Black Currant Mascarpone sound awesome. I did make Black Cherry Buttermilk Ice Cream, which is based on a Cooking Light recipe. I suppose it's technically not ice cream, since it's made with buttermilk, but whatever it is, it's good. And really easy. I haven't tried the other Cooking Light recipes yet, but several sound lovely.

I also made brownies for a gathering we went to. I made Mint Buttercream Brownies. I have a mixed review of this recipe. The buttercream was fantastic, but I did not find the brownie part to be remotely "fudgy," as claimed, and not nearly chocolatey enough to go with the mint. But I like a dark chocolate/mint pairing best, so you may think it's perfect. I would definitely make these again using a different recipe for the brownie base. I'm posting "my" recipe for brownies, which I think would work, omitting the nuts. I also want to post a link to this brownie recipe from Godiva, which is amazing.

Fudgy Walnut Brownies

1 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup Grand Marnier (or cognac or brandy or other flavored liqueur)
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
6 oz. chocolate chips
3/4 cup walnuts

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray. Mix butter and sugar well; add eggs, beating well. Add cocoa and Grand Marnier and blend well. Stir in flour and salt until well incorporated. Fold in chocolate chips and walnuts. Pour into pan and bake 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack. Cut into 18-24 squares.


Annie said...

The shawl looks really lovely! Nice going! And I also love Pride & Prejudice and can watch the whole thing in one sitting, Colin Firth with those long looks, Mr. Mystery, yah baby, yah!

Rain said...

Mmmmmm Mr Darcy. When you mentioned it a few weeks ago I sat and watched it too - thanks for the idea, I always enjoy it.

The shawl looks stunning.

Abby said...

I blocked a slippery silk lace rectangular stole by just pinning it out and spraying it with water and it made ALL the difference in the world and surprisingly the slippery yarn has held the blocked shape quite a bit. One note of caution -- mine grew a LOT when blocked, but it was a pretty open lace pattern which might be why....

KnitPastis said...

Love that movie! That has to be the most beautiful shawl to this day I have ever seen!

Tammy said...

I love audiobooks, I get more knitting done:) I tried watching one of those movies once, but could not get into it at all. So this year I finally listened to P&P and S&S on audio. I think I can sit through the movies now and understand what's going on.