Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Navajo Plying

Today I taught myself how to Navajo ply using the joyofhandspinning.com's video tutorial. Its easier than I thought, and fun. I was very excited yesterday when I unraveled a sweater that was a silk, nylon, and angora blend and it was a lace weight single. I almost never get singles. This presented some possibilities. To the left is a photo of the unplyed yarn on my huge bobbinsand on the right is a a good view of the single before plying.

I decided to give it a bit more spin as it was a little fragile and to make a tighter ply. So I ran the whole bobbin through the machine last night and gave it a bit more twist. Today I plied it and it came out great. I love only having one bobbin to deal with and the balanced nature of the 3ply yarn that results. So here's the skein of the yarn I've made. Its so purdy. The yarn is a really soft and nicely drapey fingering weight now and can actually be used. I think I'm going to do this with the rest of the sweater too. Yay, I love unraveling singles.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Good ways to enjoy fresh black raspberries

Black raspberries grow really well here and they are really in season right now. A friend of mine invited me over to pick some a while ago and I also have bought some from the farmer's market. They are so ripe and fresh that cooking them seems to be a shame so I have a few ways I like to use them (other than stuffing my face) that let their ripe freshness shine.
I made a tart from a recipe on Epicurious.com the Raspberry Sour Cream Tart.
I made it just as written (with a few flubs on the crust, but all was well in the end) and it was extremely delicious. The lemon juice in the cream cheese and sour cream filling gives it a lovely tartness that goes well with the berries. Its also very easy and delicious to make your own graham cracker crust. I didn't have a food processor like in the recipe, so I just put the crackers in a plastic bag and crushed them with a rolling pin. YUM.

The other think I've been doing with the berries is concocting drinks that involve berries.

Here is my fresh black raspberry cocktail.

4 cans ginger ale or a bottle of your favorite dry white wine
24 or so berries

Wash and place berries in a small bowl or plate. Smash them with a fork until they resemble jam. Pour 4 wine glasses with your ginger ale or white wine. Pour an equal amount smashed berries into each glass and serve. If you really hate seeds you can strain the smashed berry to get rid of them, though it looks prettier with the whole bits of berry swirling around the glass.
Serves four

I'm actually drinking one right now. Its delicious!