Friday, October 31, 2008

FO: Homemade Caramel Sauce

Ever since I read this post about homemade caramel sauce, I've been obsessed with the idea of making some. Even though I bake a lot and am a decent cook, I avoid candy making, because of some sort of candy-thermometer-fear. Well, despite the fact that homemade caramel sauce involves melting sugar, it doesn't use a thermometer. In fact, the melted sugar can apparently also melt thermometers!

So - tonight I did it!

I melted sugar, which isn't pretty at first

melting sugar

but smoothes out quickly.

melted sugar

Once it's dark and smells a little like burnt sugar (but not too burnt!) you add butter, which makes it foam up,

adding butter to melted sugar

before you remove it from the heat and add the cream, which makes it foam up even more. I was a little bit busy stirring, so I didn't get a picture of that step.

The entire process took about 15 minutes!

The final product is very yummy -- I'll try to remember to take a picture of it when I put it to use!

homemade caramel sauce

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Yes, I do still knit (and blog!)

Red Scarf 2008
Details on Ravelry

The Red Scarf is finished, soaked, and blocked. It ended up about 65 inches long. I really love it. I can definitely recommend the Cascade 220 Paints. It hasn't been mailed yet, since I found out that the deadline has been changed to December 15. (So, if you haven't finished your scarf, you still have time!)

I also cast on for my Christmas stocking but haven't really gotten far enough for a good photo. Did I tell y'all how last Christmas when I got to my mom's, I discovered that the stocking I had had for years had disappeared and been replaced with one of those tiny miniature stockings? It was the same size as the dog's stocking! Mom didn't know what had happened to mine, so I decided to knit one just for me. The good news is that there will be no Second Sock Syndrome. The bad news is that it's at least three times larger than a real sock!

I've also been working on Daedelus. I'm at the beginning of Chart 6, which means more beads. While I enjoy the beads, it really makes for poor travel/work knitting!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Back Home

In the last 10 days, I've driven to Mom's, then to St. Louis, where I got on a plane to Dallas. Coming back to St. Louis four days later, I drove to Iowa City, and 36 hours later, got into a car with two co-workers and drove eight hours to Troy, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. Three days later (last night), we came back home. This weekend, I'll drive to Mom's again because the kitties have spent the last 10 days there, at "camp."

And I finished Shifting Sands (except for the blocking and mailing) and knit half a sock.

The pattern is a little pattern-y for the colorway, I guess, but I like it anyway.

I had so much knitting time because both trips were for knitting-friendly conferences. The first, in Dallas, was for the annual conference of the South Central Chapter (SCC) of the Medical Library Association (MLA), and the Troy conference was for the Midwest Chapter of MLA. The first is my "old" chapter -- these are regional groups of MLA, so when you move, you may find yourself in a new chapter. However, I just can't quite let go of my old chapter -- it's full of good friends and good memories. My new chapter is good, too, and I even know some people in it, through work in "big" MLA. But so far, it doesn't feel like home, so I decided to attend both.

I wish I had taken decent pictures at either meeting. Although I don't have any good photos of people, this picture is indicative of the good time we had at SCC!


My new chapter had an event at the Detroit Institute of Arts, which is really impressive.

Diego Rivera mural at DIA
Diego Rivera mural

Detroit Institute of Art
Amazing ceiling in the Main Hall

And don't worry -- we drank a little at this party, too!

I also returned from SCC believing I desperately need an iPhone. All that's stopping me is the knowledge that AT&T's service is really lousy on my side of town!

Sunday, October 05, 2008


I promised pictures yesterday so here they are:

My version of Shifting Sands, not quite done

Shifting Sands

And the same, up close. I love this pattern, and the yarn, too.

Shifting Sands up close

And here's Daedelus, up close. From a distance, it still looks like boiled ass, but up close, it's so pretty. Of course, it would have been prettier, if I'd taken out that pink lifeline....

Daedelus up close

Saturday, October 04, 2008


For some reason, as I sat here watching the Illinois-Michigan game (Oskee-wow-wow!) and frantically working on my Red Scarf, I decided to visit their site, to make sure I was right in thinking the scarf needed to be mailed by October 15. And -- hallelujah! -- I was wrong! I have until October 31!

Over th last two weeks, work has infringed a lot on my personal time, including time actually at work last Saturday and tomorrow. Plus, I will be gone to back-to-back conferences from October 10-20. Well, I'll be back for about 36 hours around October 16, but that's just enough time to do laundry! So I thought I really needed to get this scarf done, including washing and blocking, by Friday, and I just didn't see how it would happen.

Now, I'm still aiming to have the knitting done, or very nearly so, by Friday, but I won't have to wash, block, and mail until after I'm back from my travels to Dallas, Texas and Troy, Michigan.

(And hopefully, there will be pictures tomorrow....)