Good Knitting Weather

dsc02705We have had the same forecast all week long. “Sunny today, with severe thunderstorms likely toward rush hour and into the evening.” Sometimes the storms come, sometimes they don’t. (That’s the view out my office window during a storm. Montessori pre-school across the parking lot.) Nothing says, “Hey, make some coffee and sit down and knit” like a good thunderstorm. Well, sometimes a good thunderstorm says, “Hey, make a fire and sit down with some hot chocolate and read a good book.” But this week the thunderstorms have been promoting knitting.  Good thing, because I have a bunch of projects that I’m working on.

dsc02706Several of you have asked what I used for blocking my Girasole. I bought two sets of these at Sam’s. I like them because they interlock (which also means they come apart for storage). The colored side is knobby, but the black side is smooth.  I used all of the squares in two sets to block mine, which turned out to be 72″ in diameter (just what the pattern said it would be.) So far, we have over 250 people KALing with us on this, and people are still signing up – how fun is that? It’s not too late to join. Details here.

We went to a dinner earlier this week and had the best cookies for dessert. I decided that I needed to come home and duplicate the recipe. (This was a catered dinner at church, so no one was there that could pass on the recipe to me.) I think they go well with thunderstorms and coffee and knitting. Or hot chocolate, fires in the fireplace, and a good book. You choose.

dsc02727Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

6 cups oats
2 1/4 cups flour
2 cups butter or margarine
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
2 cups brown sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla
3 cups dried cranberries
2 cups white chocolate chips

Cream together butter and both sugars. Add eggs and vanilla and mix thoroughly. Add baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and flour, mixing well.  Add oats 2 cups at a time and mix until blended. Fold in cranberries and white chocolate chips by hand.

Scoop into balls and bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes. (Cookies will flatten, so space well.) Let cool 2-4 minutes on pan before transferring to a wire rack.

Makes 6-8 dozen, depending on size. You can also freeze half the dough for later. I make the rest of the dough into cookie-sized balls, freeze on a cookie sheet, then transfer the frozen balls to a big zip-top bag when they’re completely frozen. Add a couple of minutes to the baking time if you’re baking the balls directly from the freezer later. If you click on that cookie photo to make it bigger, I think you’ll practically be able to smell them ….

Sheri whoishavingaGirlsWeekendwithKnittingDaughterthisweekend!
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31 comments on “Good Knitting Weather

  1. Brilliant! Those squares!!! Why hadn’t I thought of that before . . . well . . . I guess I’ve never had a shawl to block . . . BUT THAT WILL CHANGE!

  2. Thank you! I’ve been wondering how I was going to block this blanket, given that our house is floored with bamboo and slate and we only have waterbeds!

  3. I block on the guest bed, but I might still get some of those blocks…

    I’d lost my favorite cranberry/oat cookie recipe. That’s VERY close. I might have to make some soon to see just how close…

  4. We’ve had monsoon like conditions since last night and it really makes me want to curl up with a cat or two, some tea, and my lace knitting! Having cookies would be nice too! Yum. Even frozen dough is good (but oh, so bad!)..:-)

  5. I miss really good thunderstorms! Here in Seattle everybody gets all excited if there is the tiniest “boom” and by Tennessee standards, it doesn’t even COUNT. I want lots of booming and rain and all that :-)

    I love those foam mats! I have a set I’ve used for a couple years and funny you mentioned getting two for Girasole because I’ve realized I’ll need another set myself. Maybe I can find someone else who has one set and we can borrow each other’s set. I personally think someone is crazy if they buy the vastly overpriced 12″ set of blocks specifically marketed to knitters – you can get the big set for about half the price at Costco or Sam’s Club! They’re nice to throw down to cushion your feet too if you have a project like….baking pizelle…that has you standing a really long time in the kitchen!

  6. Perfect knitting weather! I’ve been feeling the same way here — it’s been grey and chilly, and I want to sit in my big chair and knit, which is exactly what I might do very soon. But it does mean that tomorrow morning’s early soccer game is going to be a wee bit cold on those bleachers :)

  7. Love that you’re sharing your Girasole with Gracie. I think she thinks you made it just for her. : ) Ben believes that every project I make is for him (socks, scarves, shawls or whatever.)

    I’ve got the crock pot going with an awesome easy chicken recipe and I can finally get back to working the needles after surgery. YAY. So I plan on getting some knitting done this weekend. Both of my children are going to be home. So we’ll have good food, good conversation, lots of laughs and family time. Add in knitting and it just doesn’t get any better than this.

    The cookie recipe sounds awesome. Thank you, Sheri, for sharing it. And your Girasole is beautiful. You’re tempting me into another project. Bad Sheri. Bad. : )

  8. I’ve been looking for a cookie recipe using dried cranberries and white chocolate chips. This sounds wonderful. I might add a little orange zest….

    Tomorrow afternoon is my local fiber guild meeting. The program this month is on crochet stitches. Other items on my weekend agenda include washing the car and delivering some items to Goodwill. And, even though I don’t NEED any more books, I may go by the Friends of the Library book sale (which is always massive) just to LOOK. (Right…) ;-)

  9. Ok Ok I’ve ordered the pattern and I’ve ordered the yarn for the Girasole. But I’m gonna finish my Whispering Pine and my DIC Classy FLS first so it might not make deadline but I’m gonna try. (Thanks to you and my plurk pals (aka WendyKnits) for twisting my arm ;) )
    I’m having a knit at home weekend and may finish a basket I started in April that needs about 30 min work. I’m also swapping location of my rubberstamping stuff (that I don’t use much) and my knitting projects “queue” (projects “kitted” with yarn and pattern). This will make the queue more accessible.
    I’m gonna have to make some of those cookies they look yum.

  10. Sheri,

    This may be a dumb question -but on your recipe- do you use instant oatmeal, or old fashioned?

    I’m gonna make these tonight for my hubby who is coming home from a week of traveling tomorrow He loves oatmenal cookies. Thanks for the recipe!

  11. That sounds like a great weekend! I am running in Race for the Cure, hanging out with my sister and nephews who are in town, working on Girasole and Whisper, and may do a little shopping.

  12. I have to try and make those cookies they look delicious.. Both my daughters (who are teaching me to knit) are away this weekend so I am hanging out with new friends at my LYS.

  13. Those cookies look great. I LOVE baked goods!!!! DH loves ice cream and I love baked goods, especially a good cookie.

  14. Neither of my daughters (15 and 17) have taken to knitting, although I look at some of the passionate teen knitters on Ravelry and am a little jealous. They are great kids, though, and their hobbies/lives have to be their own. I hope someday they might catch the bug, though.

    Sheri, what kinds of things are you and your daughter going to do on girls weekend? I always love to get ideas, as I am always trying to find fun ways to spend time with my daughters. BTW, if you’re looking for a chick flick, my daughters loved “He’s Just Not That In To You.”

  15. I am working at job #2 all weekend, but I hope to have enough time to start chart E on Girasole. The last row of chart D took me half an hour to knit, as I had to fight with the stitches thanks to all of those pesky yarn overs. I’m hoping it gets a bit faster or I may not have this done in time for colder weather! I’m looking into those mats for blocking, although they won’t help if I can’t find enough floor space to lay it out! I updated the pics on my ravelry page (I’m boutrosbabe over there). I have to switch to a cream color for the next section. Woo!

  16. Love the recipe can’t wait to try. And you were reading my mind, I was wondering what your girasole blocked out at . Rain continues here on the east coast and we are really quite sick of it. Everyone at knitting is feeling the excitement over this pattern. Can’t wait for my yarn to come to start the second one. First pattern in a long time that I care to repeat over and over.

  17. I have a day on each end of a labor-intensive weekend, so I’m finishing up a bunch of baby knits, and baking stuff for Sunday. And resting.

    Saturday and Sunday are Hamfest days – setup and then the actual Hamfest. A Hamfest is an amateur radio club’s show and sale. Hubby and I are in charge of setting up the tailgate parking areas, as well as other parking areas. On Sunday we’ll be directing people to parking spots.

    Hope to start the new baby blankie on Monday! Not a Girasole :( but I’d like to do one soon!

  18. Thanks for sharing the mats idea. I think I’ll stop at Sam’s today. Did you pin every point? How long did it take you to pin it out?

    I’m hoping to wind the yarn for my Girasole tomorrow.

    The cookies look yummy. Our high school reunion is in two weeks. Do you think it’s possible to lose 50 pounds in 2 weeks?!

  19. That cookie recipe sounds yummy! (I bet it would be great with walnuts in it, too – and also eating those cookies,warm out of the over, with a good quality vanilla ice cream!) This weekend I might do some KIP’ing; no definite KIP plans, but then again I KIP pretty much all the time, anyway. On Sunday, DD and I are going to BFF’s house for an open-house for her son’s upcoming HS graduation; he’s graduating Tuesday and DD is graduating on Wednesday. (They go to different schools.) We’ve been having similar forecasts a lot lately, too. Enjoy your weekend with KD!

  20. those cookies look delicious :-)

    I’m spending Saturday relaxing and knitting and on Sunday, if all goes well, we’ll be going to Shakespeare in the Park to see Twelfth Night with Anne Hathaway (fingers crossed that I’m in the right place in line to get my tickets)!

  21. Sounds like a fun girls weekend will be had at your house. Why is it that every time you have a girls weekend I have a swim meet and must get up before the sun does?

    This weekend (which started today at 4:30am), we have the Summer Sizzler swim meet in SoCo. Feel free to stop by and cheer swimmers on. I’ve seen some KIP happening while standing on deck officiating.

    Enjoy your knitting weekend.

  22. I’m hosting a Birtday Party for my 9 year old grandaughter. Part 1 is a pool party for the little girls from 2-4p followed by an adult party and cook out from 5pm until I hope no later than 8 or 9. The little girls are in for quite a surprise because the water temperature has dropped to 70 degrees. It was 80 only a week ago. The pool is solar heated but when we get cold rain we shut off the panels to keep the water from getting really cold. A hot sunny day the temperature will come right back up.

  23. Having a party for my son and his friend who both recently turned 18.
    And he can still surprise me — he came to me a couple of weeks ago with a book he picked up from the library…”Knitting with Balls” and asked if I’d teach him how to knit.
    I think the fact that I cracked up at the title surprised him in return. He loves it and is doing great.. His older sister is already a knitter so I am feeling quite pleased about the whole situation!

  24. Those foam mats are an awesome idea – even for when you have been putting off blocking multiple items – like holiday gifts and can block all together! OR with the work week I have had I may just put the pretty sides together, sit in the middle with a jar of bubble soap and laugh at nothing. Have to work Sat. Will finish installing my new dining room window trim (stained and sealed it myself – hand cut all including the window sill – had not had one there – previous owner had taken it out and I didn’t have a pattern (sigh) Can’t wait to get back to knitting my summer sweater – and finish it before Christmas :-) Hard to knit when your hands feel “swollen” from using a hand saw and coping saw so much in one week.

    Say – does anyone know of patterns to knit or crochet simple somewhat lacy home accents (not doilies) but maybe placemats, table runners, valances (am I nuts!) in washable maybe cotton or cotton blend yarns? I have made coasters – just knit up some wool yarn, FELT IT, then- cut it in squares and adhere it to either pre washed wool (can get in the fabric stores) or craft felt (cut in the same square sizes – adhere them together with CLEAR silicone caulk – makes the coaster water proof and nothing leaks through to your wood tables. Works great with hot or cold beverages. You just have to weight down flat between 2 sheets of waxed paper till dry and they will stay flat.

    I envy any of you who are making these cookies this weekend. Cookies sound good today – and pretty much any day.

    We’ve had lots of rain the past 2 weeks too – gosh if the sun ever really comes out – the real money is in selling sunglasses – everyone will be squinting :-)

  25. oh wow, going to make a big bunch of those cookies and freeze most (or i’ll eat them!) I can’t believe your weather!! We have almost broken our dry record of no rain for this time of year….almost 30 days now, lol, and here i am ordering a rain barrel today!

  26. I’ve copied that recipe down for future reference :) My weeked was taken up with moving furniture around, i got a lovely big display cabinet to put all my yarny stuffs in .. it is beautiful. But, having put all my yarny goodness in there i can see a serious flaw… it looks almost empty. I will have to put some serious dedication into resolving this minor flaw :)

  27. I didn’t do any knitting this weekend, but I cooked enough to feed a small army! Our weather was super sunny with only a spot of rain Sunday morning, much less knitting weather and more go for a walk weather!

  28. Thank you for the blocking squares idea. I’ve sent my sister on a mission to find them (she’s the one with the Sam’s membership) :-)

    Yummy looking cookies too!

  29. I knew there was a reason I hadn’t thrown out my daughter’s big ole alphabet mat squares! Yeah, it will be repurposed.

    And we are sick o’ rain in Dallas! Terrible storms last Weds eve/Thurs morn. I spent the large majority of Thurs thru Sun clearing downed trees at my parent’s house. Yuck!