Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Snickerdoodles, I now know what these are. Growing up and reading American kid-fiction Snickerdoodles were something a kiwi kid recognized as a food, and more specifically a treat food .. but we here in New Zealand had no idea what they were. Last week I checked in on Smitten Kittens blog, to find two things, she has had a very cute baby, and she posted a Snickerdoodle recipie. Well ... with photos like hers it doesn't take to much to get me cooking, so last Sunday Toby and I made Snickerdoodles (part of me just wants to repeat the word over and over - snickerdoodle, snickerdoodle, snickerdoodle). I have only SK's opinion that this is a pretty good Snicker recipie, but personally I can't imagine they could get any better than this. Smitten Kitten writes "In theory, they can be stored in an airtight container up to one week, but I say good luck wtih that." She was right, today we baked another batch, this time Poppy and I. I might need to explain that sometimes Poppy gets called Doodle --- I'm not sure quite when or why that happened, but she is our Doodle .. so Doodle helped me make Snickerdoodles today - and that made for a great family joke. But knitting, yes there has been knitting, and Hemlock ring is done, done, done, washed and blocking.

Hemlock is now 48" across, point to point. I had to have a wee think about how best to block this one. I drew a series of concentric circles on an old sheet. We buy these sheets at work from the local laundry service, at $2 each they are worn thin but make perfect drop clothes for the textile print room, and as staff we often buy some to take home for use there. I pinned out the inner curved sections .. and finally the outside curves. I used my foam mats over the carpet, with the sheet as a top guide layer. Hemlock ring needed severe blocking to get flat, something I suspected from the Ravelry forums, and stretching it out so much caused the foam mats to curl up. My collection of round river stones, saved for holding down card patterns came in useful, as did the peti-point wrapped brick doorstop that I embroidered in another craft life.
I think I got it flat, and 'square' - with all the decrease and increase lines lined up, and even, and sorted. I have taken over the living room for the next 24 hours .. but often Thomas the train layouts or other activities have prime floor space .. so its a family give and take thing. I will leave this blocking and stretched out until tomorrow morning, just to make sure its 'set'.

There was other knitting, I worked on Mojo, so now I have 1.3 Mojo done (sorry no photos). We had 2 days away to Te Anau, the glow-worm caves were fabulous. The kids were even more fabulous, no hint of fear or terror at walking into the caves and the damp and the dark. I had forgotten how dark dark is when there is no light ... save the glow worms. Yes you can see the glow worms but not much else, not even your hand in front of your face. We did see amazing amounts of spring lambs with their mothers, lots of active fleece - I wondered what breed they were and what some one would spin or knit from them.

In Te Anau we visited the caves, and they were every bit as spectacular as I remembered as a kid. Starting with the boat ride up the lake, and ending with sitting in the dark and the quiet watching thousands of little glow worms glitter in the caves. Next day after the caves we did a silly thing, we hired a family quad bike. A four wheel push-bike, built for 4 people. Poppy had it easy, her little legs were to short to reach the peddles. Toby loved it, we signed a contract that we would obey the road code, not go off road or on the footpath and that we would keep under 10kmph. Easy - I don't think we have giggled as much with any other family activity. If we lived on the flat - I'd consider one as standard family transport.

Next we stopped at the Waiau River suspension bridge at the start of the Kepler Track. We didn't do the track, its 3 days in total I think, but the kids were pretty excited to tread on a real suspension bridge. Apparently their only knowledge of such things is from action and adventure movies were bridges regularly fail mid way and leave heros and heroines dangling. Me - I was as always just in awe of the scale of the location, the trees, the mountains, and the river. This is the river they used in Lord of the Rings.

We also stopped at Lake Manapouri for lunch, locally made pies and ice cream. Lunch was eaten outside with jackets and hats on and this spectacular view. There was no way we could sit inside the little cafe and view this thru the glass and cafe posters and curtains. The good thing about going in the off season is the sandflies are no where to be seen. As a kid we were regularly eaten alive by sand-flies on our camping holidays there.

So .. tomorrow I'll lift Hemlock, and I'll spend some time with the lathe.
Take care
na Stella


KathyR said...

Beautiful scenery, Stella. I've never been down to this part of the country but would so love to go. Good to know that there are no sandflies at this time of year, too. Sandflies and I, we don't make a great team!

Your Hemlock Ring blanket looks absolutely lovely! Well done!

Knitting Linguist said...

Hemlock is lovely! The recipient is one lucky baby :) And I love the pictures, especially of the family in the push-bike -- what a wonderful and fun thing to do! I think that I remember that particular suspension bridge; I have a terrible fear of exposed heights, and if that's the one I'm thinking of, it's a miracle that I got out into the middle and back again without having to be carried off screaming :)

Anonymous said...

Beautiful Hemlock !!
Nicky (Akld)