Culinary Curiosities and Such

A couple of weeks ago, I was in the mood to try something new for dessert.  I usually don’t eat dessert after dinner, but rules are made to be broken.  I found a fourteen year-old Sunset Magazine recipe that tantalized my taste buds…chocolate shortcakes, fresh raspberries sitting on top of creme fraice mixed with heavy whipping cream, and drizzled with raspberry sauce.

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Photo credit: Mary  Lou Fall
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Photo credit: Mary Lou Fall

With a dessert this scrumptious, I decided to go all out for dinner.

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Photo credit: Mary Lou Fall

Six slices of prosciutto placed side-by-side topped with six fresh sage leaves,

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Photo credit: Mary Lou Fall

wrapped around a pork tenderloin roast. Baked at 450 degrees until  meat thermometer reached an internal reading of 150 degrees.

Photo credit: Mary Lou Fall

The roast was served with potatoes baked in coarse salt placed alongside broccoli.


Machine Knitting 101

Today, I dusted off the box of my Lk150 Kntting Machine and went to class.  The class was an introductory class with guest designer and instructor, Mike Horwath of at Purlescence Yarns in Sunnyvale, CA.

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Photo credit: Mary Lou Fall

An introduction to the machine parts and purpose familiarized us with the set-up of the machine. Immediately, the machine was threaded beginning with a cast on edge.  The test swatch included stockinette stitch, increasing, decreasing, performing purl stitches, unknitting, fixing dropped stitches, and binding off.

Switching from knitting needles to using tools was a bit of a challenge for me.  I wanted to manipulate the yarn with my hands, instead of using the transfer tools and tappet tool.

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Photo credit: Mary Lou Fall
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Photo credit: Mary Lou Fall

By the end of class, I started to get a bit more comfortable working with a machine versus the relationship between knitting needles, the sensory touch of yarn and my own personal rhythm with the needles and yarn.



Step By Step

Sometimes, the best adventures are those not planned.  On the spur of the moment, my husband and I decided to take a day trip to Point Reyes National Seashore.

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Photo credit: Mary Lou Fall

The main attraction for the day was the Point Reyes Lighthouse.

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Photo credit: Mary Lou Fall

After evaluating the path down to the lighthouse, my husband decided to wait for me at the top.  So, I began the journey step by step.  Along the way, I captured beautiful photographs. Here’s one of them.

Photo credit:  Mary Lou Fall

I successfully reached the lighthouse, and began the journey back to the top.  On my way up to the top, I noticed each step was numbered.  There are 308 steps down and 308 up.

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Photo credit: Mary Lou Fall

It was sheer determination that motivated me to walk down to the lighthouse.  For the last five years, I’ve realized how determined I am.  Specifically when it comes to learning something new with challenges.  Take for instance, I attempted to knit a pattern with short rows twice. I’ve decided to try the pattern again.  Perhaps the third time’s the charm.

Silke designed by Julie Weisenberger of Coco Knits “is a drapey, flattering tunic with front points that hang down lower than the back” in a slip stitch pattern.  With this attempt, I decided to knit and block the swatch due to the linen content in the yarn.

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Photo credit: Mary Lou Fall

The damp swatch was pinned vertically  to test the effects of gravity  on the gauge. This makes sense to me because the garment hangs vertically when worn.

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Photo credit: Mary Lou Fall

I’ve cast on 226 stitches using a Size 7 needle in  Schoppel Leinen Los 70% wool, 30% linen, Col. 7653M.  The tunic/cardigan is knitted from the bottom up in one piece.

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Photo credit: Mary Lou Fall (Rocks collected from Drake’s Bay, Point Reyes National Seashore)

I need to work straight until piece measures 9″ from the CO edge, and then the cardigan fronts are worked independently. I am determined to knit this pattern step by step.



Mirror, Mirror On The Wall

This week, I had the opportunity to attend an event sponsored by the Silicon Valley Chapter of IEEE Photonics Society.  The event entitled, Computer Vision In The Study Of Art: New Rigorous Approaches To The Study of Paintings and Drawingspresented by Dr. David G. Stork, Rambus Fellow.

The two-hour presentation by Dr. Stork basically examined the recent controversies in the study of art, especially David Hockney’s assertion that 15th-century painters achieved a new level of realism with the help of lenses and mirrors.  Works by Caravaggio, Vincent van Gogh and Mondrian were discussed,  but the focus of this post concerns Jan van Eyck’s, Giovanni Arnolfini and His Wife.

An excerpt from an article written by Sarah Boxer  for the New York Times, December 1, 2001mentions,

David Stork, an associate professor of computer science at Stanford University, considered the little convex mirror in van Eyck’s Arnolfini wedding picture, the mirror that, Mr. Hockney suggests, van Eyck could have flipped over and used as an optical device. First off, Mr. Stork said, a mirror of that size would never have worked. To get a lens that would ”hold Arnolfini, his wife and dog,” he would have needed a huge mirror, sliced from a sphere seven feet in diameter.

Arnolfini Wedding
Portrait of Giovanni Arnolfini and His Wife, Jan Van Eyck, 1434,  copyright, The National Gallery, London
Image downloaded from Wikipedia

And that is just the beginning of the trouble. If van Eyck had used the lens in a camera obscura, he would have had to paint upside-down, Mr. Stork said. Then there is the lighting problem: the projected image in a camera obscura would have been too dim. ”To mimic the conditions indoors on a gray day in Bruges,” he said, would require hundreds of candles, and then, even if the artist were to survive the fire hazard, ”the color looks wrong.” 

I am in awe of the technological talent needed to develop computer methods which reveal a different side of a painting or drawing.  The art historian and viewer can begin to see below the surface of a painting/drawing.  Given the current analysis, Jan van Eyck did not use optical devices. Stork further explains, “A constellation of reasons lead to the increase of realism in Renaissance painting round 1425 – some technical, some cultural and there may even be an optical reason.”

The Secret History of Knitting

Happy Sunday! Hope your day is going to be filled with fiber goodness! Yesterday, I was chatting with a couple knitters about the history of knitting. I suggested this video from Makeful, thinking it would be easy to find. Somehow though, searching youtube for ‘secret history of knitting’ didn’t return this?? I had to scroll […]

via The Secret History of Knitting — FogKnits

The video is divided into segments, so when the screen goes dark wait a few seconds and the next segment continues.

Happy Birthday To Me

A few weeks ago, along with my husband, I celebrated my birthday at one of my favorite places.  My husband surprised me with a trip to the coast.  Here are a few photos of my birthday celebration.

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The direction of the winds changed which affected the migration of the ladybugs.  There were so many along the waters edge.
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At the end of a 2.5 mile hike, we encountered a beach decorated with rock sculptures.
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Sea glass.
Ready for dinner.
Swordfish at Cafe Rio, Aptos, CA.
The end to a beautiful day.

I had a wonderful birthday and look forward to at least forty more!

You’ve Come Along Way Baby

Recently, I took the plunge and purchased a new Baby Lock Ovation serger.  The Baby Lock Ovation has an exclusive “Thread Delivery System” which eliminates the daunting task of manually threading the upper and lower loopers and eliminates the inconvenience of tension adjustments.

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For the last thirty plus years, I’ve been using a Bernette  for Bernina Funlock.  Over the years, I’ve grown quite attached to my first serger because together we have enjoyed the pleasure of constructing Halloween and dance recital costumes along with child and adult clothes.  But, I’ve decided it’s time to charge ahead, in order to create and construct new garments using current technology.

At first, I was intimidated by the size of the Ovation.  I removed it from the box, sat it on the dining room table and just stared at it. “What was I thinking?”  I decided to take a Sewing With Knits class at Eddie’s Quilting Bee with Sally-Ann Flak.

Sewing With Knits #2
Kwik Sew K3766


Using a Nicole Miller graphic print fabric, I constructed the complete top with my Baby Lock Ovation serger.  The fit is amazing and the fabric is beautiful.




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