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Archive for September 19th, 2006

Three Skeins Now, Many Soon

Tuesday, September 19th, 2006

I’m still working on the eternal yarn-dyeing experiment. I’ve never dyed this much yarn in a short time. What that means is that then I have a lot of yarn to reskein and label and photo, and, and, and… As of right now it all has labels and the next step is to photograph.

Then we’ll see if I can figure out the new shopping cart or if I’ll just be putting photos up here on the blog for folks to see and buy through old fashioned email dialogues. We’ll see. I’ll have to ask Brian more about that cart now that I am poised to really benefit from it being up and running.

For the record, what I’ve dyed thus far is many colorways of 1/2 lb skeins in Cushy ColorSport. It washes/dries like a dream. Most often this yarn sells for baby blankets these days (free Cushy Blankie pattern if you buy a pound of the yarn) though I love it for socks and it makes a really comfy lightweight sweater.

Extra, Extra…

Midday GardenI also have three remaining skeins of a multicolored special 400-yd skein of my Tiptoe Sockyarn. Three skeins, that’s all. Of an exclusive colorway with many colors on it, that I have promised not to repeat again.

The three skeins are what is left of the Sock of the Whenever group August knitalong project. My skeins normally are 440 yards which will work for men’s socks, but these skeins are so totally girly that I did slightly smaller skeins (which makes them a little less expensive but still works for any size ladies’ sock up to large).

These special sockyarn (80 wool/20 nylon fingering weight) skeins sell for $19 plus shipping. You may write to me at Lynn@ColorJoy.com and order these immediately (photo above though the real yarn is more vibrant, almost electric). For these skeins only, I will not hold the yarn for a check, they need to be paid for within 24 hours of requesting it or I sell to the next person on the waiting list.

The Future?

The ColorSport yarns are not yet available for sale… the sun needs to shine before I can take photographs and move toward that, but it should be soon.

And sockyarn? I have a box of it skeined up in proper hanks for dyeing, waiting for the next block of time I can find to dye it. That will take a while to go through the same process the ColorSport is going through now.

When those skeins are ready to sell, I will show you some wonderful photos. They show socks the esteemed Debra Chinn has knit using yarn from the last batch of Tiptoe Sockyarn I dyed. She rocks!

What is exciting, is that although I could not acquire (as they say, for love nor money) any of this sockyarn to dye from May through August, I am expecting another shipment to arrive late this week. It will actually “land” in Lansing before I’m done dyeing the several cones I got in August. This is the right sort of problem, to have yarn waiting for me. One day at a time, though, my friends… and the ColorSport is first in line at this point. Other than the 3 Midday Garden special skeins, that is.

Food Suggestions Rolling in…

Tuesday, September 19th, 2006

Well, you guys are great. KC and Diana have sent me so many recipes between the two of them that I can cook for a month, I think, without repeating.

And they *both* have suggested Chinese 5-spice powder with the crockpot experiment. And what is odd is that I put some in that pot before I heard from either of them. It was really good with the chicken and sweet potatoes.

For the record, often 5-spice powder has more than 5 spices and depending who you buy it from it will vary. However, it will have anise and cinnamon for starters. Mine has white pepper which gives it a nice balance against the sweetness of the anise. If you have not tried this, it’s good on fish as well.

Joanne suggested the pressure cooker today as well. That’s two folks for pressure cookers. I’ll have to look up more about those as well.

Don’t stop sending suggestions just because I’ve written this thank you post. But thanks-thanks-thanks for all that has come in thus far.

Sarah’s ColorSport Socks!

Tuesday, September 19th, 2006

I’m behind the times, but I do try to go at least catch up with the photos on blogs of friend knitters before I go and see them. No sense having them tell you things they already said to the blogging world, right?

So I went to see Sarah Peasley’s Handknitter weblog. On September 5 she has pictures of socks she knit using Cushy ColorSport (handpainted superwash merino DK weight) that I dyed. Cool beans! It’s so exciting to see my creative “children” (skeins of yarn in this case) go out into the real world. And to have it be Sarah doing the knitting? It’s an honor.

Knitting guild tonight was fun, the first one since spring. I like this group. Even though it’s a big group, it’s very friendly and relatively orderly most of the time. I don’t get overwhelmed much in this big (40-50 per meeting, perhaps) group.

And I must say that when I walked into my first meeting in 2001, people were nice right away and I never felt like an outsider. The group has always been a warm place even when I’m not hanging out on off-weeks as some do. It’s a really good group.

Food Ramblings…

Tuesday, September 19th, 2006

Musings/Ramblings about Food and Cooking…

I bought a second crockpot today. The first one I had was good enough, it would hold 8 chicken thighs or 10 drumsticks, but there was not really room for any veggies or anything else with that meat. I do not like cooking, so when I’m doing it I want to make as much food as possible and freeze leftovers. So today I got a crockpot that holds two or three cornish game hens or a small whole chicken. Now I can do veggies or sweet potatoes in one smaller pot and meat with or without veggies in the large one. This seems just right to me, I can accomplish many frozen leftovers in one day of kitchen-fussing.

Cooking in a crockpot makes sense for me. Anything I can use where I walk away from something, have it work without me, and not need split-second timing, will be my friend. I never did well with heating food on the stovetop (I can burn oatmeal which takes merely one minute of boiling), and I am very capable of turning off a buzzer but leaving items in the oven after the buzz, which was set to tell me to pull them out. I am so easily distracted, that a crockpot which basically can not overcook if you leave it on the low setting for 8-10 hours, is just perfect for me.

So far I have only tried a couple of variations on chicken in the crockpot. Well, all except for one try at fish which just stunk up the house for a full day and a half after I cooked it. Yuck. However, for someone who has not cooked meat for a decade to have the chicken come out as well as it has, I’m happy. One day Rae gave me hints on what she does and another time Diana (sis in law) helped me figure out some new seasonings to try.

Maybe I’ll get this after all. I do *not* like meat ( I never did, not even as a child), and I don’t eat red meat (mammals) ever, but my health is requiring more protein than I could get eating beans. I have to eat poultry and fish right now, in order to stay healthy.

I’m at the point where there just were not enough restaurants in town where I could get food that did not make me ill. As much as I love Altu and her cooking, eating at her restaurant every single day was not good for me either… rotating my foods is really important right now. So here I am… cooking. Meat. After at least 10 years, probably 15 or more, of intentionally avoiding just that.


If anyone has any recipes or advice on how I can cook with the least amount of time/attention and the most amount of flavor, I’m all ears. I eat some beans still, can not eat dairy/cheese at all. I love split peas, sweet potatoes (can’t have normal potatoes), almost all vegetables.

I can not have fruit, corn products (including most sauces that come prepackaged in the store such as barbecue sauce), potato, egg, dairy, tree nuts, wheat, anything fermented or aged. I *can* have oats, poultry/fish, rice, rye, buckwheat, teff, tapioca, onions/garlic, spices/herbs, veggies (except for potatoes or mushrooms).

I do have satisfactory substitutes for eggs or wheat in most things, and milk in some things. I have learned to substitute a lot of things (honey instead of corn syrup, for example). So if you have a recipe with one minor ingredient on my “not” list I probably can figure something out.

I met a musician last Friday who was very excited about cooking vegetables in the presure cooker. We have two of these, one for the microwave and one standard one for the stovetop. Brian makes good black beans in a pressure cooker but I’ve never become comfortable with them. I like this idea and the crock pot method. What I don’t want to do is stand there at the stove while the food basically doesn’t need me there for 55 seconds out of 60, but I can’t walk away either.
If you aren’t into sharing recipes, that’s fine. However i know a lot of you enjoy cooking. My recipe posts get more hits than any knitting or music post I ever wrote! You guys came through when I asked for a granola bar recipe… I’m still fussing with the exact combination of ingredients I prefer, but I’ve enjoyed every bar I’ve baked thus far. So maybe someone out there has some great soup recipe or some set of flavors I can put on chicken that I’ve not imagined before. I’m not very good at working with herbs/spices yet so any input there would be most welcome.

OK, bedtime. The food is already getting hot and I need to sleep.

Monday is Computer Class Day

Tuesday, September 19th, 2006

Teaching, Old Home Week

I started my fall term at Haslett Community Education today. This is my only computer training “gig” that I do any more, though I spent 6.5 years as a corporate trainer and several more as a Y2K/custom database consultant. I also supervise a computer lab at Foster Center for 2 hours on Thursdays each week, but that is the extent of my computer career at this point. I enjoy my new life, but I sure do get energized by my Monday night classes!

I teach two classes each Monday. The 3:30 class is for folks who may or may not have a computer yet, but if they do they are not comfortable with it and/or look at it without turning it on. I am really skilled at working with these folks who have been afraid or otherwise avoiding the inevitable learning curve they must take to get going on the machine. I really love explaining things that make life so much easier for them.

The night class, from 6-8pm, is for folks who either took the first class or already are somewhat comfortable but want to learn more. This class is full of folks who come back every term. It is like a little computer club more than a class, though I make them work once they are there. These folks come to my dance performances, my singing performances, my art exhibits. They have picnics and invite one another. They are truly a community and I’m honored to share that community with them.

This term I have 14 folks in the night class, and only two of them are new to me. Some of them I’ve had nearly two years. We do repeat the same subjects but always with a different exercise so that they can learn one more way around the same challenges. The new people get it fresh, and the returning folks get review which helps them.

Each term I do something a little different during the course of the ten weeks (one term we did PowerPoint and other terms we have done Excel or Microsoft Publisher, depending on the interests of those in the class). No matter what, I always cover a good deal of word processing and Internet, peppered with word definitions as we work our way through topics. After all, “computerese” is truly another language, though it sounds suspiciously like English!

Cooking with Gas, as Mom Says

I am wiped out but I came home with tired feet, had leftovers/dinner that Brian heated up for me so I did not have to cook again (he is the best), checked my email and then headed back to the kitchen. I have a Working Woman Artists friend who had major back surgery and I’m taking her some food tomorrow on the way to another engagement. I figure if I can make enough food to split it with her, we all eat well and she can minimize the hours she is up and around. She needs to rest a lot, or at least choose carefully what things she does when she’s not resting.

So I made granola bars in the oven, and chicken with sweet potatoes and onions in one crock pot and cabbage/onions in another crock pot. Tomorrow I’ll also take her some shrimp in marinara sauce that she can heat up later for another meal. Then we will eat lunch together and after that I’ll go to my appointment.