Meetup! Tonight

Nest We’re meeting at Stacy‘s new shop tonight at 6pm-9pm.  Y’all come!  I stuck extra chairs in my van this morning…just in case. 

FYI on finding it…liquor store next door.  Nuff said.

The Knitting Nest
160 W. Slaughter Lane
Austin, TX 78747

512-291-8866

Question of the Day and a Mystery

Question of the Day:

Is everything in China made of lead?

I don’t really expect anyone to answer that, but after so many news stories, one begins to wonder.

Now, a Mystery for all those curious souls who have returned here to see if I really had given up blogging (I haven’t, I just took a couple of mental health weeks off):

Fiber Mystery

A friend and co-worker, Dyanne, showed me an item that her mom claims Dyanne brought back from Denmark in the summer of 1975.  Dyanne doesn’t recall anything about this item and quite frankly, I wasn’t much help in trying to tell her what exactly it was.  I felt like the innerwebs would know because all knowledge resides there, right?  The 70′s were a kinda fuzzy, imprecise time for some of us and perhaps there are those among you who are familiar with either the item, the region it came from or the purpose, because it’s just got us stumped.

Fiberweave2 Please help us solve the mystery, even if it’s just a guess or even a wild speculation.  My guess is that it is some kind of window treatment, but it would be entirely decorative.  The material seems to be like rafia and it is crocheted in chain form with these medallions appear to be some sort of hairpin lace construction, but I am no expert on this technique, (click to embiggen) it’s simply the impression I get from it.  Fiberweave4 The color is natural – it is definitely some kind of plant fiber and there are tiny knots all over it, so aparently the fiber was not spun into a single long strand and probably not created by a machine.  It doesn’t seem to be spun at all.  I think it is too fragile to be used for anything more than a window covering.  It is in excellent condition, no damage, snags, tears, or signs of critter munchings, because it has been stored carefully for over 30 years.

It measures 73 x 57 inches  or 190 x 145 centimeters.

In the summer of 1975, Dyanne spent 3 weeks with a Danish family in a small town called Tonder, on the mainland near the German border.

Does anyone know what this thing is?

In other news…

I have returned to work after spending 4 days home with a sick child.  Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t get strep throat unless you have tonsils – that is a myth.  Abby is better and tomorrow night is the school Father/Daughter Dance (I get the night off). 

Also, big knitting news, Stacy Klaus has opened her new Yarn Shop, The Knitting Nest – Grand Opening soon, but we’re not waiting for that, we’ll meet on Monday evenings to sit & knit and welcome Stacy and her family to Bubbaland, the coolest part of Austin (that would  be south).

Backpack I have been knitting, though I have nothing to show you.  Tote I DO have something to show of some sewing I have been doing.  I fell in love, Big Love, with Leisl‘s Day in the Park Backpack Tote pattern.  It’s just so clever, I can’t stand it.  I will have to wear it when I go to the Houston Quilt Show (I really watn to go, anybody else?) and Kid N Ewe.  I may have to make more.  In fact, oh look, there’s already 4 more cut out, how’d that happen?  Okay, so now you know why I have nothing to show for knitting.  But I HAVE been knitting.  AND it was like 62 degrees this morning when I got up – that’s sweater weather to me and it just happens to be the Autumnal Equinox today, so somehow, I will manage to knit and sew and cook and maybe look up and smile adoringly at my patient, indulging family. 

Gumbo!

Gumbo_2
Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

The secret to good gumbo, besides fresh as possible ingredients, is the roux.  I used a combo of vegatable oil and bacon grease (it’s a southern thing) and flour in an iron skillet and stir it over medium to medium high heat until the roux is the color of cocoa.  Set aside.

  • cooked chicken, cubed or shredded
  • sliced, cooked sausage
  • chicken broth
  • chopped onions
  • minced garlic
  • chopped bell peppers (red, yellow, or orange would do also)
  • chopped celery
  • chopped tomatoes, canned is fine.
  • sliced carrots
  • okra, sliced in 3/4 inch pieces
  • poultry seasoning
  • Gumbo fiile
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • rice
  • Kale (I only had one leaf – it is not part of the authentic recipe, but my family needs vitamins and I don’t like to waste food.  It doesn’t really affect the taste, just the nutrient value)

You can add red pepper (cayenne), but my family doesn’t like things as spicy as I do.  It was moderately spicy without it.

Cook the veggies and spices in the broth and add the meat when you get it cut up.  Add the roux and allow it to thicken the mixture.  Then add the rice, if you cook it first, you can add it just before serving or serve the mixture over a scoop of rice.  I add uncooked rice to the soup – just remember it expands, so don’t overdo it.

I served mine with some Italian peasant bread, but cornbread would be great too.  Mmmm, this was good and didn’t take all night to prepare.  I used okra, bell peppers and tomatoes from my garden.

Bon Apetit.