Monday, June 30, 2008

Too funny not to share....

Miss LakeKnitter Emmy has a valid point in her most recent blog post, in that Ravelry may be sucking up a lot of what used to be prime blogging time. I can definitely relate.

Being as my latest passion is spinning and drop-spindling, I've been spending a lot of time chatting in Ravelry's Spindlers group, where much inspiration, encouragement, education, admiration and (most dangerously) enabling of stash-enhancement (for both spindles and fiber) is taking place.

Case in point, some recent acquisitions:

Spindle: Lotus Lace Spindle by RestlessPeasant (on Ravelry)
Fiber: 80/20% Merino/Silk in "Cabaret" from Tempted, on The Loopy Ewe

Recently somewhat started a discussion entitled "Spinning becoming a passion?", about how her knitting projects have gone neglected by the wayside, while she becomes more and more enchanted with creating yarn on her drop spindle. Oh, how I can relate.

Many people voiced agreement and cited their reasons for loving spindling, including its portability and the ability to take advantage of stolen moments while on hold on the phone, or waiting for a pot to boil. This prompted someone to suggest the creation of a bumper sticker that says something like "Spindlers do it during every spare moment".

Which then led to an even racier bumper sticker suggestion:

"Wheel Spinners do it in the orifice".

I know, I know. Tacky and classless.

And hilarious.

Made my day.


Friday, June 20, 2008

Crock Pot Leg o' Lamb

Being as I live alone, I'm not much of a cook, (the burners on my stove are turned on once a year, whether they need it or not), but I do like my crock pot. So far, I've really only been successful with split pea soup, but I'm determined to expand my repertoire.

I joined the "CrockPot Love!" group on Ravelry, where there's lots of great recipe suggestions, and someone recently posted a link to this awesome blog called "A Year of Crockpotting". Basically, the gal is cooking a different recipe in her crock pot every single day in 2008, and even better, she's blogging about it, complete with photos and reviews of the success or failure of the recipe, and her family's reception of it. Oh, and all her recipes are gluten-free, in case that matters to you. (Not an issue for me, thank God.)

Anyway, I stumbled upon her leg of lamb recipe, and was inspired to try my own. So, here is my version, complete with photos:

The beast:

The "dry" ingredients for the rub:

The liquid ingredients:

In progress:

All cooked and ready for dinner:

It was actually very good, although a bit salty (even with those low-sodium liquid ingredients). I think that rosemary-ginger rub has a lot (too much?) salt in it.

I love the smell of lamb, but this stunk up my house house all day while it was cooking, and that would have been fine last week if the air conditioning had been working, to clear the air. Alas, my heat pump chose that very day to die on me, during our oppressive heat wave, and so the humidity and lamb smell just hung around my hot house all day.

It was still a good leg of lamb, and I'm fairly proud of myself, because it's the first successful non-soup item in my crock pot, and my first, ever, home-cooked lamb.

So now I'm rooting around in books and on the internet for my next inspiration for the crock pot. It may very well be the "Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic" recipe that came in my crock pot's owner's guide. I just need to go buy a chicken. And a boat-load of garlic....

So, what's your favorite crock pot recipe?

Monday, June 02, 2008

Glass Spinning Wheel

Work has utterly consumed my concentration these past few weeks, so, in a shameless attempt to fill the lengthy void between blog posts, I'm sticking my head up for a second to give you the following:

(Feedblitz email subscribers click here to see embedded video)

So, how portable do you think that thing is? ;-)

While I'm here, how about a brief fiber-related update?

I've been knitting a bit on my Prism longtail wrap with the yarn and pattern I purchased in Wisconsin in April, (I got a lot done down at the lake last weekend), and I'm also spinning almost every day on whichever drop spindle happens to be nearby. The spindle collection continues to grow, and I really need to find some time to document them all. Not sure when that will happen, however.

I am no closer to a wheel purchase, (again -- still no room for one), but have decided that in the meantime, in in the interest of faster yarn production, and thanks in part to inspiration from this video podcast, I'm going to try using an electric spinner, (I can always clear a space on the coffee table for that). I have narrowed my choices down to Jerry Womack's Butterfly spinner (the little wicker gizmo seen for sale in the main building at Maryland Sheep & Wool). He will very graciously ship one out to me on spec, and allow me to test drive it for a few weeks before I pay for it. If I don't like it, I can ship it back. But I've got a feeling I will like it.

I've done a lot of research on the various models, and have even gone so far as to create a Ravelry group for electric spinners (since there was an obvious lack of such a forum), and the folks who own Butterfly spinners swear by them. So I'm looking forward to receiving mine. Jerry says I should have it in a week or two. Maybe then I can finally reduce some of the fiber stash that's been accumulating around the house! :-)