Monthly Archives: July 2007

OT – In Search of the Ultimate Coffee Fix

Those of you who know me know that I like to drink coffee.  I drink one cup of coffee a day, in the morning, like a cat’s chain event, must have coffee before functionality. 

This is a little odd – even to me - because I come from a tea drinking culture…I was raised in an environment one drank tea hot even when the temperature soared over the 100 degree mark.  I liked my tea with significant amount of sugar, which has carried into my coffee ritual.  Though I never drank cream with my tea, I have to have an exact amount of cream with my coffee (1 teaspoon). 

Maybe because I drink only one cup a day or maybe because I like my coffee to taste good I have become a little selective.  I admit, I do live in Seattle, the land of Starbucks and home of the fancy coffee drinkers land but I have never had to utter more than ‘a medium cup of coffee please’ when ordering at Starbucks, or Tully’s or anywhere else for that matter.  I have been living in Seattle close to 7 years and I still can not remember the proper names of the coffee sizes, venti, grande, small, medium…someone help me please!

I do admit to ordering the occasional shot-in-the-dark (cup of coffee with a shot of espresso), but that is only when I know that the coffee is weak and does not taste particularly well.  Ummm, I will keep that coffee experience to myself for now.

But what I like the most is making my own coffee.  Buying my beans, grinding them first thing in the morning, the smell, the sound of the machine percolating and picking ‘the cup’ for the day.  One must have the right cup!  The rim cannot be too thick or too thin; the cup cannot be too big and/or have a wide mouth – after all who likes to sip coffee poured 30 minutes ago or be able to dunk face into it. 

My Coffee Mug Version of Blue Faced Leicester This is one of my favorite cups.  I bought it while shopping in Bracknell, UK.  It is adorable with the sheep and a rooster painted on it and a little peachy sheep painted inside the cup.Peach Sheep - do they really exist?   I especially like the fact that white sheep on the outside has a blue face, reminding of Blue Faced Leicester while drinking and making me smile (as though it is not enough to be sipping delicious java goodness). 

I must admit, I have been having difficulty procuring/finding nice cups that are made in the US or for that matter simply not made in China.  Did you know that tableware made in China has been found to have lead in the glaze!?  Not tableware, but I had to pack up and return 50+ pieces of Thomas the Tank Engine (made in China), to the manufacturer as a part of we-found-lead-in-the-paint recall.  What worries me most is the fact that my babies played with these toys (those of you who have small children know that everything goes into the mouth), and ate from plates made in China.  Before I quit this not-so-pleasant portion of my post, please share with me your online sources for tableware and/or coffee cups that are lead free.  Of of topic, I was in Bed Bath and Beyond to purchase some tableware and I could not find one single piece of china that was not made in China!  That blew me away.  

OK back to topic, for that one single cup of coffee one’s experience must be as close to perfect as possible.  This is when Torrefazione’s Italia Palermo blend comes into the picture. Torrefazione's Italia Palermo Blend  To put it simply, this blend rocks!  It is deep without being bitter.  It is strong without making your hair curl and leaving a bad after taste.  It smells like coffee (duh), with a hint of dark chocolate and sunshine (the latter bit re sunshine made up by me).  Great aftershock without leaving you with the why-did-I-drink-that-coffee shakes or the heart burn (if you ever had over roasted coffee you know what I am talking about).  This is the coffee drinker’s coffee.  Perfect even without sugar (hark), and great with a fresh baked scone or a slice of bread with butter and honey.  PELASE NOTE – I have no financial affiliation with Torrefazione nor will I benefit in anyway from this post.

Finally, the hen? That is all from me tonight.  I know this is supposed to be a blog about knitting related matters but for me coffee is closely related to beautiful yarn and knitting.  I hope you enjoy reading about my coffee adventures (hint more coming later).

Sending good thoughts your way.

Sue Fulay

Mystery Stole 3 in Goby – Version I

I am sure some of you know of the Mystery Stole 3 knit-along (MS3), with 6000+ knitters joining in the conversation.

I am knitting several versions of the MS3, to see what it would look like with different yarns.  I love knitting lace (that is putting it mildly – I love the magic of lace, what one can do with lace stitches always amazes me).  I also like to experiment with different weights of yarn while knitting lace, which is how this post came about.

OnLine Goby in Subtle Rose - Little Knits When deciding on which yarns to try for MS3 I did not limit myself to lace and fingering weight yarns and picked from yarns that I liked including Goby, a 35% viscose and 65% cotton yarn by OnLine yarns.  OnLine Goby in Ruby Red - Little Knits On skein this is a beautiful yarn, with its silky sheen and softness and viscose peaking in and out of the cotton fiber.  It looks like a little jewel.

Mystery Stole 3 Detail I cast on and knitted my MS3 with US size 7 needles (4.5mm).  I started with bamboo needles and really did not like the experience.  The viscose content of Goby did not do well with my old bamboo needles either.  So I switched to Addi Turbos, and this worked better but was not really what I wanted either.  I finally tried my Addi Lace needles and found the right needle for Goby, the pointed ends of these needles worked very well.

MS3 knitted with OnLine Goby I stopped this version of MS3 when my first ball of Goby ran out of yarn, which was not sufficient to finish clue #1 (which has 100 rows), but came close to it. 

 

MS3 knitted with Goby When I compare this MS3 to the other versions I find that it is larger and more substantial and would make a lovely summer/fall stole.  It has great drape and the yarn shows its sheen very well.  That being said, I will not complete my Goby MS3.  I am going to make a cardigan with Goby instead. :)

One more version coming up later this week, as soon as I finish one more clue.

Hope you are all well and knitting with a smile.

Wish you were here

This post is for Hilary who knows good yarn. :)   Hi Hilary!

I know it has been a while since I posted and my excuse, a good one, I have taken over 1000 frames of photos of new hand painted yarns of all kinds.  And, and…I am participating in the big knit-along for MS3 (Mystery Stole 3).  And, as if knitting one was not enough, I am knitting a few versions of MS3 with different weight yarns.  More on that on my next post.

Fleece Artist Nova Sock at Little Knits So I finally got all of the Fleece Artist Nova Sock colors up.  I hope you enjoy them – we love how Fleece Artist colors show on this yarn.  Since I have posted about Nova Socks before I will keep this portion of my post short and sweet with a little hint on new sock yarns that are coming out from Fleece Artist & Hand Maiden with unique fiber compositions.  We hope to have some in by mid to late August. 

Fleece Artist Country MO at Little Knits We were also lucky to get in Country MO as a closeout, a 100% mohair yarn hand painted by Fleece Artist.  The folks at Fleece Artist were nice enough to share couple of patterns with us:

Lady of the Lake by Fleece Artist at Little Knits Lady of the Lake has directions for three sizes with small, medium and large, and uses 4/4/5 skeins of Country MO. 

Fleece Artist Celtic Vest at Little Knits Celtic Vest was designed for Fleece Artist’s Scotian Silk yarn but we think it could be knitted with Country MO with minimal adjustments.  Directions are given for a 38” bust fit and we believe two skeins of Country MO would be sufficient for this pattern.

And…here is a quick review of Country MO by our own Kersten:

Ever notice how beautiful people seem to instantly be forgiven for all their faults?? Well, I’m having the same experience with Country MO.

Fleece Artist Country MO at Little Knits Like any skein of FA yarn, Country MO is beautiful to just look at and hold. No need to wind or knit or otherwise bother. But I’m a knitter, and winding and knitting is what I do. I wind wool in my kitchen. The swift is clamped to the table and the ball winder to the seat of a chair. I carefully untwisted the skein and mounted it on the swift. The minute I started winding, I knew I was in trouble. Let’s just say that Country MO sheds with a capital ‘S’.  The vacuum got hauled out to clean up the mess. But all was forgiven once I looked at the wound Country MO; it is just as beautiful in a ball as it is on the skein.

OK, so being a glutton for punishment, I decided to knit with MO while wearing black pants. There was little shedding! No way, you say. No kidding. I guess whatever loose fibers were in the skein flew off into my kitchen during winding. Besides, did I mention this is gorgeous yarn??

Fleece Artist Country MO at Little Knits Knitting with Country MO certainly gave me a greater appreciation for Fleece Artist. The yarn has a gorgeous sheen. The twist is loose and is similar in weight to Cascade Pastaza. There is a halo, as with all mohair yarn. My washed and blocked swatch did not show any fading at all. It has been living in my purse for the last week (don’t ask, I don’t usually test drive swatches). To my surprise, there has not been any pilling, matting, or shedding that I can tell.

Felting is not such a hot idea. I tried this one.  DH commented, Nice mice when he saw my felted swatches.  Long mohair fibers mean long-haired felted swatches. If you have the desire to make a felted shag-like rug, this would work beautifully! Or furry cat toys. Or a wig.

Country MO does have an itch factor. It was lessened somewhat by washing, but is still noticeable. It would be perfect for outerwear. This heavy worsted/bulky mohair would definitely be warm. With 200+ yards per skein, there’s enough for all kinds of accessories.

On #9, my gauge is 12st x 20rows/4 , after blocking. My felting was done using #11 and #15. Both worked equally well for felting.

Gorgeous colorways, generous skein size, soft, squishy mohair. FA is a dye wizard. Her artistry is apparent in Country MO.