I finished all of my Christmas knitting projects a few weeks ago which made me feel pretty pleased as punch, as any of you who craft know, Christmas knitting projects tend to get finished in a frenzy on the 23rd and 24th of December. The day has a way of sneaking up on you. At least it does on me. Not this year!
This is going to be a rather home made kind of Christmas, so I had been knitting up a storm to boot. When suddenly all of the gifts were finished, ends sewn in, I still had this magnificent momentum and energy to get more knitting done. So, I made a little something for myself!
I’m excited to show you all my Christmas knitting projects, but I can’t until the day passes. I’d love to share but I simply couldn’t risk ruining the surprise. So, you’ll have to make do with my latest project.
I started in on Emerantha by Susanna IC using a Schoppel Crazy Zauberball (such a fun yarn to work with! It is a little bit prone to tangling if you use it as a center pull, but then it’s a surprise every time the color changes! You don’t know what is coming next!)
But then, half way through the bottom lace section, I made a pretty nasty mistake, and had worked across an entire row (all 345 stitches, for those who are counting) before realizing what I had done. So, I frogged the whole thing and started again.
Insert frustration here. But this is what you get when you don’t watch what you are doing carefully. That, and frogging is a part of being a knitter. It was just so much work to do just to pull it apart.
When I finished the bottom lace portion, I reached another point of confusion. I found the way that the short row instructions were set out was a little bit confusing. But after watching some videos on youtube, and learning that German short rows are my short row of choice, I managed my way through.
I couldn’t manage to get my short rows to work out so simply that the the top edge lace didn’t need some fudging to be both centered and with the right number of repeats, but where a pattern fails you (or you fail a pattern) innovation can go a long way. I also learned some good techniques that I’m sure I’ll use in the future, including placing beads in a pattern (so cute!) and the aforementioned German short rows.
To be honest, I can’t say that all of the trouble I ran into was the fault of the pattern. I do feel that there were parts that weren’t as clear as I would have liked them to be, but luckily years and years and years of knitting experience let me muddle through to having a pretty piece at the end.
I have the shawl being blocked right now, and I really do think it turned out quite lovely! Please ignore the detritus of clutter on my dining room table.
And now, for likely what you really came here for: the food!
(recipe from Lydia H.)
1 lb pecan halves
1 egg white
1 tsp cold water
1/2 Cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
a sprinkling of freshly ground nutmeg
- Separate the egg putting the white into a large mixing bowl.
- Add the teaspoon of cold water to the egg white and whisk until quite frothy.
- Add the pecans to the bowl and mix until all of the nuts are coated with a slick of frothy egg white.
- In an different, smaller bowl, combine the sugar, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg stirring until they are evenly mixed.
- Sprinkle half of the spiced sugar over the nuts, stirring to distribute it. The egg white will hold the seasoning to the nuts. Repeat the process with the remaining spiced sugar.
- Topple the nuts onto a buttered cookie sheet, or a cookie sheet lined with a silpat, and bake them in a 225° F oven for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and allow the nuts to cool before serving them as a delgihtful snack before a holiday dinner, or packing them into hostess gifts.
Lydia is the mother of a really good friend of mine, and she makes these nuts for Christmas. They are legendarily good. I felt so fortunate when she shared the recipe with me.
Her spiced pecans are deceptive, they really aren’t so difficult to make, and they use rather everyday ingredients, but taste like they took a good deal of toil to make and make a person think there must be a secret ingredient. I guess that’s the nutmeg?
Mr doesn’t have a review this time, as he is allergic to this tasty treat, but the first time I made these spiced pecans he came downstairs to the kitchen and asked what smelled so good, so that is something.
This time last year: Caramelized Onion and Bacon Dip
And the year before: Butter Tarts
And the year before that: Cheater Tortellini