I’m a winner! I recently (well, last month) won this book in a contest on the Craftside blog.
It’s The Complete Photo Guide to Knitting by Margaret Hubert, a very nice compendium of knitting how-to. It begins with a history of knitting, goes through tools and basic techniques, and a nice stitch dictionary. There are charts for the cable stitches, but not for most of the others. The pictures are large and clear. There are also some patterns to go with the stitch dictionary and techniques, including hats, scarves, sweaters, socks, and these very cute leaf coasters.
The most interesting part of the book comes at the end. It covers more advanced techniques in a section called Specialty Knitting Methods, some of which are covered by well known knitting authors and instructors. It includes intarsia (Sasha Kagan), entrelac, freeform, crazy lace (Myra Wood), twined (Beth Brown-Reinsel), and bead knitting (Judy Pascale), and one I’ve never heard of, ouroborus knitting by Debbie New. It’s described as “working in rings from the center out, each round getting larger with strategically placed increases that shape the garment as you knit. These closed circles result in very unusual, one-piece garments that require no cutting or seaming.”
I haven’t had much time to sit down and play with this book yet, but it looks great. Lots of reference material and some really fun techniques to explore. Here’s the freeform bag:
In other news, I went shopping for some staples at the Asian market last week (Fubonn, for PDX locals), and was enticed by the preserved ginger in the snack aisle. I bought it for theTeen, since he’s a ginger aficianado. You may recall that he started brewing ginger beer last summer, and even gained some fame in the local newspaper for doing so. Anyway, I decided that I needed to try putting some in scones. My first batch just swapped ginger for my usual chocolate chips, but it lacked…something. So I added a little more butter and sugar, substituted half and half for my usual skim milk, and used half chocolate chips and half ginger. A winner!
Ginger Chocolate Scones
Preheat oven to 425 degrees
2 cups flour (not whole wheat; I used unbleached white)
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder (not soda)
1/2 tsp salt
5 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1/4 cup preserved ginger candy, chopped (it’s sweet; I bought it at the Asian market in the snack aisle)
1/2 cup half and half (just barely, or it will be too wet)
1 egg, scrambled
1 Tablespoon chunky turbinado sugar (optional, but pretty)
Combine dry ingredients and stir. Cut the butter into pieces and then blend them into the dry ingredients with a pastry cutter. Stir in chocolate chips and ginger. Scramble the egg into the half and half, and then pour it into the flour mixture. Stir until blended, then knead on floured surface about 10 times. Form two balls with the dough. Pat out balls into circles about 7 inches in diameter, slightly mounded in center. Cut each circle into eight pieces. Brush tops with half and half (I just used what was left in the measuring cup); sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and let rise for 10 minutes. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until just golden. Cool on rack. EAT! To reheat, warm in toaster oven on lowest setting.
Makes 16 dainty scones. (11.17.10: Edited to up chocolate chips to 1/2 cup, instead of 1/4)
Hat tip to Lorajean for suggesting ginger AND chocolate when the ginger wasn’t quite enough on its own. Now go make some!