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Monday, March 16, 2009

Who ate all the pies?

That would be me, or at least a goodly proportion of pie, maybe (πr²) x ⅓. My lemon pie turned out very well. I'd been a bit worried that I'd made the filling too frothy as a result of whisking the cream in on the high setting but it was fabulously smooth when I cut into it. The only place that the froth had stayed was right on the surface, just enough to give it a bubbly golden brown finish. I want to try a lime pie next (as suggested by Kate) and I'm pretty sure that you could make a fabulous coffee cream pie along the same lines too (maybe with liqueur and dark chocolate shavings). Somehow I find pie much less stressful than cake - there's no pressure to have it rise evenly, or at all. In fact one of the main aims is to keep the pastry flat.

I had a lovely time at Ellen's pie day. There was lots of knitting and Katie turned up with W and the baby, who is just gorgeous and very cuddly. I got loads done on the sleeve of the Minimalist cardigan and I'm now nearly up to the armhole shaping on the left fron which is the final piece. If I knit (and block and sew) like the wind I should have it done for the weekend.

Most of Sunday was spent spinning, either at the Wingham Wool Works fibre sampling workshop at East Hendred or afterwards when I got home and couldn't wait to try out the new fibres and tricks I'd picked up.

I sampled lots of different fibres on my lovely new Ashford drop spindle (stupidly I had not brought mine along - any excuse eh).

Plied fibre samples

From left to right we have: chestnut alpaca, green merino and tussah silk, dark grey Shropshire blended (rather unevenly by me) with lilac merino, white Falklnd, humbug Jacob, white Shetland, black Welsh and silk, red merino and silk, rainbow merino, beige cashmere, cashmere and silk, camel and tussah silk, and Wensleydale. The observant amongst you will have noticed that I have thirteen labels there but only twelve skeins. I'm not quite sure why, but I suspect that I plied the cashmere together with the cashmere and silk (oops). I should have been a bit more organized about alternating light and dark colours on the drop spindle I think.

Merino tops

Between all the sampling and shopping there were two really informative demos by Ruth Gough, one on spinning different thicknesses of thread and using gears and the other on Andean and Navajo plying and on making rolags and long draw spinning.

Long draw demonstration

I learnt loads and tried out some of the things she'd talked about, like counting treadles to get an even twist and the long draw technique when I got home.


My rolags aren't quite as impressive as hers but it's a start and I was able to spin a very little bit of yarn using long draw whilst watching a fabulous version of the Scarlet Pimpernel starring Anthony Andrews and Ian McKellen on ITV3 when I got back. I do love the Scarlet Pimpernel novels - they're a wonderful guilty pleasure.

There were quite a few people there that Ellen and I knew. Obviously Megan was there and also Sara and Ruth from the Sticks and String knitting group in Reading. It was really nice to see everyone's wheels and chat about spinning.

No spinning this evening as I cycled home in order to counteract my exertions in the pie-eating field on Saturday and my treadling leg's a bit tired.

1 comment:

Moggle said...

Wow, you did loads of samples! They look great. They're nice rolags too.