Generated by Snapshirts* from my blog. I think it must only look at recent posts because "matthew" does not appear. Since he moved to Minneapolis I have not wrote about him as often as I did last year. I guess I am doing a creditable job in knitblogging, since the words knitting, knit, yarn, lace, sock, and socks are all in larger type.
* Click on the "custom" icon and ignore the $18 price tag. It does not apply unless you are going to have your cloud printed onto one of their items of merchandise.
I suppose the upside is less risk of identity theft.
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Tornadoes and severe weather in MN and WI today, but not right here. I took a nap in the afternoon (yay! naps!) and woke enough to hear rain and maybe some wind, but went back to sleep. The power went off for about half an hour at about 6 pm. And that was that.
#2 son called at about 6:30 to tell me he was fine. Apparently there were tornado warnings for the Eau Claire area, where he and his girlfriend are visiting her mother for the weekend. I was grateful for his thoughtfulness, although I had no idea he was in peril.
Smokey called shortly after from work to tell me about the tornado that touched down in Hugo, a far-flung northern suburb of St. Paul; a 2-year-old boy was killed, his older brother was critically injured, and 20 people were unaccounted for. Yikes.
#1 son is in Chillicothe, Illinois for an outdoor rock festival that he is attending with a very good friend from college whose family lives there. Chillicothe is in northwestern Illinois, which may be in the path of the storms. But I am NOT a worrier, so I am NOT worrying about him. He is driving his friend back to law school in St. Louis tomorrow so I won't see him again until Tuesday.
So I am doing what all good knitters do when their families abandon them.
Give thanks to the Knitting Goddesses.
Have a beer.
Knit while listening to an audio book.
Knit while watching a DVD.
Knit while meditating on my good fortune.
Eat chocolate without sharing.
Read knitting blogs.
Finish the current pair of socks on OTN.
Think about what to cast on next.
Do NOT make dinner.
Compare stash yarn to patterns; ponder same.
Wind yarn into a delightful center-pull ball (Brooks FarmAcero, mmmmmm!)(The second link is to Ravelry; the color I have is the same as the second skein on the left, the one in mimknits' stash)(I have two skeins of that color and one of a similar color that has some deep blue in it; all acquired from Norma when she destashed at New Year's)(I am now all a-quiver to cast for something from this gorgeous stuff, never mind the 3 or 4 other projects currently OTN.)
I think I may need some input on a project I am contemplating. Pictures and words tomorrow. If I get out of bed soon enough :-)
It is a nice walk, albeit almost completely uphill, from my house to our mailbox. Wednesday was a beautiful day so I strolled up the hill to see what goodies Gary The Mailman had left us. In a small town you know everyone. Gary's wife is the librarian in the next town south of us.
I wasn't expecting anything special so I didn't take my camera with me. You will just have to imagine the lovely picture presented to my eyes when I opened the box. A largish white plastic mailing envelope, plump and soft. Could it be... yarn?
It was from a certain knitblogger so yarn was an excellent guess. Either I won something in her recent contest or she was just being a generous friend. I forget which. Aren't knitbloggers just the best, most generous people on earth?
ETA: Okay, I went back and re-read her post about the winners of her blogversary contest. I was not an *official* winner as chosen by the Official Random Integer Generator. She was being extra-special generous to send me something. Wowzers.
Let's take a look, shall we?
What is not visible in this photo is the lovely peppermint fragrance wafting from the envelope's contents.
First, there was what every knitter needs:
A knitting-themed [temporary] tattoo and a feline-themed bookmark. The latter is actually one of Cathy-Cate's Moo cards, I think, but it is destined for a new life in my house as a happy bookmark.
There was a chocolate-nut-caramel confection that lasted about 5 seconds, or as long as it took me to rip it open and pop it into my mouth. Mmmmmm, good.
Here are the official contents, in a less-than worthy photo:
The soap is Queen Bee Driftless Flood Relief Soap, with lemon & peppermint, proceeds of whose sales benefited, through the Sow the Seeds Fund, the farmers in southeast Minnesota and southwest Wisconsin who were flooded out last August. (In case you are wondering, "driftless" refers to the terrain of that area, which is the only area in thousands of square miles of the Midwest that was not scraped flat by glaciers in the last ice age.) A worthwhile cause, to be sure.
The yarn -- that's what you are waiting for, right? the yarn? -- is Cherry Tree Hill Supersock DK, a 100% superwash merino. Cathy-Cate e-mailed me to ask my color preferences, to which I responded "jewel tones." Boy, oh boy, is this jewel-toned or what? The color sends little thrills up my spine.
There are a few random strands of blue-brown in there, too, but I missed them in the photo. I have never knit with Cherry Tree Hill, so this will be extra special. The yarn will soon become a pair of woolly warm winter socks for me for next winter. I've been looking forward to making myself some heavier socks -- these will be my first pair.
What is most remarkable to me is how much he looks like every other child in the family, from his grandfather's brothers and sisters in 1950s black and white photos to his cousins in Kodachromes in the 1980s and 2000s. Family ties are stronger than we know.
Those of you who come here for the sparkling prose, heart-rending insights, and outrageous humor will just have to look elsewhere for those today.
Today, we talk knitting.
I have become a knitting machine. I think it is because I was knitting-deprived during The Tax Season From Hell, but for whatever reason, I am drivenam compelled find myself knitting a lot. Really a lot.
First, there were these socks, which are now done and worn and washed and worn and washed and worn again. Several times. What with the lateness of our spring, my hand-knit wool socks are still in the rotation almost every day.
The remarkable thing about these socks was how incredibly fast -- for me -- I knit them. They were knit on a US#0 needle. I know, I know, I said not too long ago that life is too short to knit on zeroes. Apparently I was wrong.
These socks took me about a week and a half to knit, maybe less. Since every pair of socks I have ever knit in the past has taken more like two months, I have clearly encountered a warp in the space-time continuum. I plan to remain there until further notice.
Yarns: Online Supersocke 100, Caribic Color, #738; cuff borders, heels, and toes Knit Picks Essentials in black, turquoise, and red, respectively. None of those colors are on the KP website right now. Weird. Needle: Addi Turbo US#0 circ, Magic Loop. Pattern: Generic stockinette top-down sock, 60 st. Mods: As is apparent in the photos, the red toe is longer on one foot than the other. We shall call it a design feature and leave it at that.
Notice the new black clogs in the first photo. I bought them specifically because they will show off hand-knit socks. When I told my husband that he laughed at me. "That's certainly the first thing I look for in a pair of shoes," he said. Cretin.
Determined to use up every scrap of the patterned yarn, I immediately cast on for a pair of fingerless mitts with what I had left.
I am wearing them right now because it is chilly today. I used the basic mitten pattern in Ann Budd's A Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns to do the gusset, then continued in 3x1 rib until they were long enough. The edging is the red and turquoise from the socks. Easy peasy. And warm. And snug enough that they stay on well.
There was still a tiny bit left of the yarn so I made another Kleenex Kozy. No picture, though, because I haven't sewn the sides together. The pattern, such as it is: cast on 36 st on US#1s with fingering weight yarn (if you happen to have sport weight yarn, cast on 26 st on US#2 and carry on with the KK), knit 2x2 ribbing for a half inch or so, change to stockinette until the thing is nearly long enough to wrap around a pocket package of tissues, switch back to 2x2 ribbing until the whole thing is 7-1/2 to 8 inches long. Sew up the long sides, overlapping the ends so that you have to dig a little to get at the tissues -- an opening that gaps is tacky, don't you know.
Somewhere in all that knitting on zeroes and ones I made Maggie's socks. And cast on for some more socks on US#0s. These are going swimmingly, as well.
ETA: I wrote this post last weekend. I am now decreasing for the gusset on sock #2. They will be done by the weekend.
Colors in the last photo are most accurate, except there is a more constant undercurrent of green than may be apparent.
Actually, I knit these to the heel, then decided they were a bit too tight. They are a gift for my SIL, and if they were kinda tight on my legs I knew they would be no more comfortable on hers. So I frogged and cast on again, 68 st instead of 64 and on US#1 instead of US#0. That size seems to be perfect. I went back down to the zero needle when I got down to the ankle and decreased 4 st when I got past the heel and gusset. The yarn is Trekking and I am loving it. These will be difficult to give up.
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omigod, the first hummingbird of the season just checked my deck for the feeder. Gotta go boil up some nectar for them. See ya...
First up, some Cute Overload. You will find some interspecies snorgling -- kitties, puppies, bunnies. Cuteness abounding.
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Last week our senior dog, Bear, had surgery to remove a tumor on her right hind leg. I was worried about her; she is something like 13 years old and the vet said they would do the surgery under general anesthesia. I dreamed about it the night before, and in my dream she died.
Happily, I have never had any semblance of foreknowledge nor ESP nor any of that woo-woo stuff. She came through the surgery with flying colors and continues to do fine. Amazingly, she seems to be walking better, trotting up and down the stairs much more easily than before. The incision looks great, even though we were woefully negligent in applying triple antibiotic ointment to it. Giving her the oral antibiotics 2x/day? Forget it; we are lame.
But we noticed that she was licking the incision on her first day home, and we were worried she might try to chew out the stitches. So we did what the vet recommended: we put shorts on her. Backwards, to allow for the plumy tail.
Needless to say, she didn't wear them long. I found them discarded under her table in my office, where she spends much of her nap time.
But she was one stylish -- albeit silly -- dog for a short while.
Judging from yesterday's comments, I may have worried some of you bloggers, made you all anxious about whether your blogs met my impossibly high standards. Apparently my tongue was not shoved far enough into my cheek.
I delight in you all and will read your blogs whether you put up those navigation things and a preview post button and even if you have eighty zillion totally undecipherable CAPTCHAs. I may not comment in the latter case, but that is my loss, not yours.
My brain was not functioning quite at full power yesterday, so I forgot to link to Erika and Chris as I had intended. There, fixed.
Also, today as I was perusing blogs I remembered something. If you have one of these puppies that shows all the dates that you posted?
You are good to go. My thanks.
Anyway, thanks for reading, thanks for commenting, and a million blessings on Cathy-Cate, who commented three (3!) times, plus worried herself silly about how to put those navigation things on her Wordpress blog. She figured it out! Thank you, C-C! I shall give thanks every time I read your blog :-) I think I am obligated to send you some chocolate now, right? Right.
Once again, thank you for listening to my little rant. I shall endeavor to be more agreeable and less, um, forthright for the immediate future.
I've been reading blogs long enough to have developed my own habits and my own set of pet peeves. In the furtherance of my "It''s all about me, all the time" effort, I am willing to share my gripes with you here. I am generous that way. You can thank me later.
I use TypePad. Amy uses TypePad. Norma uses TypePad. Vicki and Trudy and eurolush use TypePad. Whenever I click onto a blog and discover that the host is TypePad, I do a little happy dance in my chair. Until, that is, I decide that I simply must share something with the blogger, and so I comment. But if the blogger has turned on "Always require CAPTCHA" I weep with despair.
The programmers at TypePad must really, really have a thing about spammers because when this option is set, they require the commenter to fight their way through multiple CAPTCHAs before the comment is accepted. At first I thought it was just me -- maybe I was utterly incapable of typing the displayed letters and digits. Eventually I learned that TypePad always does the multiple CAPTCHA thing. This is extremely frustrating, for this commenter, anyway. I used to have my own blog set this way, but when I discovered what it pain it was on other blogs, I turned it off. I haven't had any spammers in nearly two years ::knock on wood:: Check your TypePad blog to see your settings (Weblogs | (click on the title of your blog) | Configure | Feedback) and consider turning off the CAPTCHA requirement. Thank you for your cooperation.
If you want a little protection from spammers after turning off the required CAPTCHAs, there is another option on that page that you might want to try: you can turn off commenting on your posts after a set period of time -- one month, a year, something in between. Seems to me that should help. I recently got a snotty comment on one of my first posts (September, 2006) so I turned off comments on posts older than six months. Try it; you'll like it. Maybe. Whatevs.
The reason I do the happy dance in my chair at TypePad blogs is because right up there at the top of every post are navigation links:
Maybe that doesn't matter to you. Maybe you read everyone's posts in your Bloglines or FeedBurner or whatever aggregator you use. Maybe you don't care whether you read every single post from a blogger. For myself, I always click on the first unread post in a particular blogger's feed in my Bloglines so that I read it in the blogger's chosen setting. Seeing the layout and appearance of the blog helps me recognize which particular blogger I am reading. (Yeah, lame, I know, but I gotta work with the brain I've got. Visual memory and all.) And once I read that post I want to read the next one without having to go back to Bloglines to get the link. TypePad makes that easy (see above). Blogger has finally made it easier, too.
So, please, if you use Blogger, go take a look at your blog and see if you have this at the bottom of your post. If you don't, fix it.Thank you.
I have never had any trouble with Blogger's CAPTCHAs for some reason.
Don't know why, don't care. It just makes me happy, and anything that makes me happy has to be a good thing, right? Right.
Oh, and while we are talking Blogger, there is another thing you should check in your settings. Do your commenters have to have a Google/Blogger account to comment on your post? If this is what your comment page looks like:
you are making it very difficult, if not impossible, for many people to comment. I happen to have both a Google account and a Blogger account, but that does not necessarily mean I can comment. Don't know why, just know it doesn't always work. Makes me unhappy. Boo hoo.
If you wonder why you should bother, your might want to read the first part of this exchange on another blog I subscribe to. This is how wars get started. You don't want to be the cause of KnitWars2008, now do you?
WordPress is versatile and robust blogging software. It does not, however, automatically give that previous post/next post link thing that I like so well. I know it is possible -- both Chris:
and Erika (I think):
have it on their blogs. So, WordPress users, make a Kat™ happy. Check your settings and find that navigation thing. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your check chocolate is in the mail.
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Thus endeth my diatribe on blog software and hosting. Discuss among yourselves. After you have checked your own blog.
We used to watch this show every week. We saw the original British show, then the American version. All fourteen episodes. (My TV-watching has been the kiss of death for more than one series -- Twin Peaks, Northern Exposure. The latter had been running for several seasons, then I discovered it. Bam! Canceled.)
Smokey had a crush on Theora (we always thought her character's name was Fiona; it sure sounded like Fiona). I liked Edison/Max myself. Smokey now has a Max Headroom kid's sleeping bag that he unzips and throws over his side of the bed when he gets cold.
The perfect way to spend Mother's Day, imho, is knitting. And if the opportunity presents itself, to do that knitting with others. And if all the stars align perfectly and one has been really, really good, that knitting with others is in a class taught by Annie Modesitt.
Shepherd's Harvest Sheep and Wool Festival happens over the Mother's Day weekend every year at the Washington County fairgrounds, north of St. Paul. I went two years ago and had a blast, bought yarn and more yarn. This year I decided to take an introductory lace class being taught by Annie. Perfect to get my lace mojo into working order.
Saturday it rained, but I planned ahead and registered for the Sunday class. Of course, the class was only offered on Sunday. That just proves the power of my planning and my excellent foreknowledge of the weather.
Sunday was a beautiful day for a drive.
The trees in the St. Croix river valley were just starting to green up.
I knew I was in the right place when I got out of the car and saw this:
Shepherd's Harvest is no Rhinebeck or MDSW or any of those big Right Coast festivals. It's down home and human scaled, a perfect non-stress way to spend a day or two. With my declared Yarn Fast of 2008 in mind, I arranged to arrive at the fairgrounds just in time to have lunch before the class started at 1 pm.
Many others had the same idea about food. To me, this was a long line; from what I read of others' experience at the aforementioned Big-Ass Festivals, this is nothing.
I had a lamb burger, a small tray of veggies with dip, and bottled water. $5.75, reasonable. No pictures of the food -- I didn't want the others seated on my left and right and across the table to realize just how weird we bloggers can be.
A quick run to the rest room before class and I was set. Oh, you would like to see the rest rooms? The stalls were cute.
Annie had the Poultry and Rabbit building all to herself for her class.
But the day, although bright and sunny, was windy and quite cool and inside that building it was even colder. So she organized us outside in the sunshine.
There were twelve of us, the perfect number for a class -- small enough to get any individualized help one might need, but large enough that one (me) didn't feel any pressure. And I learned a few things, too.
We all made swatches using a lace pattern from Romantic Knits. The original scarf, which Annie had with her, is knit in light green Tilli Tomas Disco Lights (100% silk, sequined). Try to imagine just how gorgeous it was in the sun with the gleam of the silk and the sparkle of the sequins.
The class ended shortly after 3 and the festival ended at 4, so I thought I was safe from yarn-buying fever. Wrong. I succumbed to the wool, er, cotton and silk fumes. But I'll save showing you my acquisitions for another post. Let's look now at what I saw after I left.
When one is forced to drive one of these (Smokey was using my little car)
one must endure this.
But sometimes one is lucky enough to observe this at the next pump.
Some llamas from the festival were on their way home, too.
I walked over and put my camera between the bars to get an unobstructed picture of one of the pretty faces, but my viewfinder suddenly went black. Another llama had come over to check out the camera, up close and personal-like. That happened every time I tried.
Well, almost every time.
No, that llama is not about to attack me; I caught him (her?) in mid-chew of his/her cud. Check out those eyelashes!
The owner tried to get one of the llamas to demonstrate how it gives her a kiss, but the llama was having none of it. They all were tired of people and tired of being on display. They were ready for a good roll in the grass and some nice quiet *me* time. I guess we can all identify with that.
I made a pair of socks for Maggie, #2's girlfriend.
She and #2 came up this weekend; I finished grafting the toes on Friday evening and left them on the table when I went to bed. She found them when they got her sometime in the middle of the night, and she liked them so well she didn't take them off all weekend.
I am ashamed to say I started these w-a-y back in February. There were two reasons they took so long to finish: the tax season from hell, during which my brain was unable to handle anything more difficult than the Mason-Dixon dishcloth pattern; and once tax season was over, Maggie was 75 miles away and it was difficult to try the sock for size upon her dainty foot. Originally I started them toe-up, but when she tried them on a few weeks ago -- I was past the heel at the time, maybe even on the second sock -- she said they were fine, but #2 confided later that she told him they were a little tight through the ball of the foot. Since I wanted them to be perfect, and since STR heavyweight knits up like a flash, I frogged the sock and reknit it. Once I had the size worked out it only took me about a week, of on and off sock knitting interspersed with knitting on another project, to finish the pair. I knew by that time that I had plenty of yarn so there was no need to do toe-up; besides, I can knit a generic top-down sock without referring to a pattern. ::pats self on back::
Thus endeth the Saga of Maggie's Socks. It tickles me that she likes them so well.
Not so much for the oh-pretty-pretty as for the how-about-that. The first one is English, the next perhaps some southeastern Asian language (could be Cambodian, Laotian, or Vietnamese), Español, and perhaps Somali.
Yep, they/we are downright serious -- and cosmopolitan -- about their/our recycling in Minneapolis.
I love tote bags. If I could travel easily with just tote bags, I'd do it. In fact, whenever I go somewhere, whether for an hour or a week, the endeavor always involves one or more tote bags. There are tote bags everywhere in my life. Here is just one pile.
There are library-themed tote bags:
That last one is adorned with this button, which I love:
I have knitting-themed tote bags:
The button on the Knitty bag (this is my favorite bag because it is deeper that any of the others, plus it has handles long enough for it to work as a shoulder bag):
It is not really such a great button, but I was so delighted to find a knitting button at an anarchist book store that I had to buy it plus the little one next to it, in commemoration of Andrew being arrested at the Republic national convention in New York in 2004. Yep, that's my boy.
Some bags are travel souvenirs. I bought the one on the left, below, in Chinatown in New York City when I accompanied Matthew's high school drama group on their 2004 trip to see Lion King and Phantom of the Opera on Broadway, and the sock bag on the right at Purl Soho when we went to NYC for Andrew's graduation last spring.
The Chinatown bag works best as a bag for smallish projects because the handles are probably not sturdy enough for hard wear. It is currently transporting a pair of socks and a pair of fingerless gloves, both WIPs coming soon to a blog near you.
This messenger bag came home with me from the Madrid airport on the way home from South Africa.
It also caused me to be the target of some very pointed questions from Homeland Security at JFK. "Why does this bag test positive for explosive materials, ma'm?" "I have no idea, sir."
Then Customs started in on me about all the biltong I had in my suitcase. But that is a story for another day. Today we are discussing tote bags.
Some commemorate places and events gone by.
Clockwise from upper left, a bag from the Minneapolis public school my kids went to and loved; a Marshall Field bag I inherited from my MIL, who lived in Chicago most of her life; a Macy's bag I have no remembrance of acquiring; and three souvenirs from past tax conferences, aka knitting retreats with CPE credit.
Arghhh! The electricity just flickered -- it happens frequently in the *summer* -- and I lost about half this post because I had forgotten to click on Save for rather a long time. Crap. Retyping...
I try very hard to remember to keep these in my car to avoid having to use plastic or paper grocery bags:
Just last week the mail carrier brought me these to help in that endeavor:
But why am I boring you all with an exhaustive recount of my vast inventory of tote bags? I told you all that so I could show you this, my latest treasure-toter:
It was handmade in Guatemala and is my belated Christmas present from Andrew. The flowered section is hand-embroidered:
I have much to tell y'all, but I only have three hours and nineteen, er, eighteen minutesbefore the intertubes close up again. Ready, set, go!
Since Andrew got home from Chiapas and set up his new computer he has been BitTorrent-ing like crazy -- all the episodes of Battlestar Galactica he missed and every album released during his absence. Or so it seems. My poor little Mac Mini cannot compete in the War For Our Bandwidth; it times out at least 80% of the time that I click on a link. I finally insisted that Andrew release our DSL to me from 8:30 to noon every day. Which is why I have a deadline to finish this post. Three hours and, um, fourteen minutes left.
What to tell you about first? How about what we had for dinner yesterday? Æbleskiver!
What are æbleskiver? You may very well ask.I could not possibly comment.*
[frustration] Even though I am writing this during the time when Andrew's downloads are limited to 10K/sec, my MM continues to time out over half the time. Go to Plan B: do the blog post using my Work Laptop (which continutes to reside with me so I can take every available CPE credit available free through my employer). For some reason the WL doesn't seem to have nearly as much trouble sharing the DSL connection. But in order to do that I have to copy the photos I have taken since the last blog post to my thumb drive, then copy them to the laptop. Argh, my 64MB thumb drive only has 3MB free, and even though I delete every frickin' file that is on it, Mac Finder still tells me there is not enough room to copy anything. Go to Plan B1: run downstairs and ask Andrew he has a thumb drive and can I borrow it, please. He's not in his room (must have gone for his morning run), but his laptop is downloading on his desk; I pause all his downloads to see if that will help. Run back upstairs, try the MM; nope, no better. Play solitaire while allowing blood pressure to drop to normal levels. Idea: maybe Andrew isn't out running, maybe he is in the bathroom. Check, discover this is the case. Ask about thumb drives; yes, he has two, a 512MB and a 128MB. He fetches them for me upon emerging from bathroom. Bigger thumb drive turns out to have <100MB free; smaller one locks up my MM. Return both to Andrew, ask if he can delete anything on the larger one and free up some space. He does, returns it to me. I copy photos from MM to thumb drive to work laptop. Whew. [/frustration]
Where was I? Oh, yeah, what are æbelskiver? Let's let the experts tell us:
I love that they compare the size to a very large hailstone.
ETA: Upon rereading this post I find I have done what Andrew calls "burying the lead." Æbleskiver, as it says in the newpaper ad above, are Danish pancakes. Onward.
So Andrew and I hustle on over to West Denmark at 5 pm (me thinking that this is a good time, the early rush will be over and the chronic late-comers won't have arrived yet) and discover there are roughly a gazillion cars parked along the country road in front of the hall. We go in, buy our tickets, and find we are numbers 240 and 241; a few moments later they call numbers 150 to 160 to come downstairs and eat. So we have some time to wait. What a time to have forgotten my knitting.
But there is entertainment. I encounter another county board member whom I have been meaning to call about a resolution which he is bringing before the board at the next meeting. We chat for awhile, and he explains his thinking to me.
More time to wait. I think I'll show you a bit of the hall where we waiting.
The Danes were a sea-going people:
I always thought Leif Ericsen's name was spelled Erikson and that he was from Norway. That is probably because there were far more people of Norwegian than Danish heritage where I grew up in southern Minnesota.
There was music:
But best of all, there was æbleskiver-making.
Let's take a closer look, shall we?
Yep, very large hailstones, all right.
There were two stoves and two crews making the hailst--, er, æbleskiver. Crew One, above; Crew Two, below:
That's Mike, Andrew's friend and mentor and hero in the green "Got Luck?" t-shirt. Mike is a long-time peace activist. He's an organic farmer and a substitute teacher and coach and speaker. He was arrested in his younger days for throwing blood on the White House; he has traveled to the Mideast multiple times, once meeting with Yassar Arafat. More recently he ran for the U.S. House of Representatives on the Green Party ticket, opposing Rep. Dave Obey -- one of the more liberal Democrats in the House -- from the left. (He got 27,00o+ votes: Dave, take note.) He is also the person most likely to help out with any kind of local volunteer/fund-raising effort; his wife Barb was working in the downstairs kitchen. They are dear, dear, very idealistic people.
The æbleskiver batter was mixed in the downstairs kitchen and rushed upstairs in handy buckets carried by the kids of Crew Two:
Cooking/baking æbleskiver is a labor-intensive business. Each person on the cooking crew tended one 7-æbleskiver iron, except for the real experts, who tended two. First, a squirt of oil into each large-hailstone-sized indentation in the pan, then a ladleful of batter. As soon as the bottom of the æbleskiver cooked, the crewperson turned it a quarter-turn using a special skewer:
The cooking and turning would continue until the outside of the æbleskiver was the perfect shade of brown. Sometimes the crewperson wasn't paying close enough attention and an æbleskiver would get too brown, even black. The rejects were tossed into the bowl in the center of the stove; you can just see the edge of it in the above photo. After I took these pictures the crew let me steal a couple of the rejects for Andrew and I to sample. Mmmmm, even the rejects were good!
Eventually our numbers were called and we trouped downstairs to the eating area. Because I was very hungry and not as good a blogger as I could have been, I have exactly zero pictures of the actual dinner. Instead, I will use my words: we were each given a plate with 3 æbleskiver and a 4" link of medisterpolse (Danish sausage, mild, about 1" in diameter, and tasting distinctly of cloves). There was a pitcher of water, a thermal carafe of coffee, a small pitcher of warm syrup, and a bowl of sodsuppe (fruit soup) on every table. I had had fruit soup once about thirty years ago and remembered it as being kinda yucky, but I found it quite tasty yesterday. It's made with dried fruit stewed in (sweetened?) water, probably with some spices, and served cold. I'd never had the sausage before, but I'd like to have it again. Soon.
Happily this was an all-you-can-eat kind of dinner because three æbleskiver and a hunk of sausage is not nearly enough to fill one up. Æbleskiver taste pretty much like regular pancakes, only lighter. Three of them equal about one medium-sized ordinary pancake. We -- Andrew and I and the three other people at our table -- kept asking for and getting additional bowls of æbleskiver. We didn't push our luck by asking for more sausage, darn.
Oh, yes, there was dessert, too. Our choice of apple crisp or a lemon chiffon thingie. We Scandinavians really like our sweets.
This is purportedly a knitting blog, and if I were any kind of decent knitblogger I would have photos to show you of the lovely Norwegian sweaters that I saw. You will just have to make do with this instead.
* Anyone know where that quote is from? I don't think googling will help you; it didn't give me any results, but I know where I remember it from so that's okay.