Knit: Interlock Leaves

FO: Interlock Leaves

Interlock Leaves
Pattern | Interlocking Leaves by Kelly Porpiglia
Yarn | Cascade Yarns Heritage Solids & Quatro Colors in Anis/Lagoon
Needles | 2.5mm, 2.75mm (gusset and heel flap) and 2.25mm (cuff)

Finally the perfect fit!

After three projects, I finally found the right combination of cast-on stitches, needle size and gusset/heel flap styles to get a pair of socks that fits just right all over. This means 60 stitches, 2.5mm needles for the body, 2.75mm for the gusset & heel flap and 2.25mm for the cuff. I have grown to enjoy the feel and look of a heel flap, even in toe-up socks. Yes, I still knit a lot of my socks toe-up. I have yet to enjoy knitting cuff-down. Perhaps I can’t bring myself to try it out for fear of it not fitting or having to discover the magic combination all over again.

FO: Interlock Leaves FO: Interlock Leaves

Pattern-wise, this was lovely to knit. The pattern pops out well with the lacework and “wrong” side parts. For a change, I made my socks longer than before. The leg section is about the same length as the foot section which gives it a nice overall appearance but I wouldn’t go any longer without adding increases for the calves. I might scout around for some elastic thread for the cuff just to make sure that it holds up nicely but otherwise, this pattern, especially the heel flap, is a definite keeper!

Initially, I had planned for this to be a travel project – to knit during those long hours on the plane, in transit but somehow I ended up finishing this way before I even saw any travelling time. Currently, I am working on another sock project but it seems that I might finish this before I reach the airport too! Ohdear! To counter this, I have two skeins of fingering weight alpaca yarn to turn into shawls but this is to keep me occupied while I’m house hunting back in Malaysia. I might end up getting a skein of sock-weight yarn from the local yarn shop tomorrow…just in case. I’d love to order online but one issue with that is 1) I don’t have anything to wind the yarn up into yarn cakes and 2) the timing is tight as I’d be leaving for Lyon next week.

Hm, we’ll see how this goes.

Ravelry Project Page Ravelry info available here.

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Sundried tomato & mushroom risotto

Sundried tomato & mushroom risotto

Moving makes life miserable because you find yourself cooking up all sorts of things just to finish off that little bit of rice, dried goods or whatever else you have in the pantry. This time, it’s that small amount of arborio rice and a small box of sundried tomatoes. I didn’t really follow a recipe for this – just whipped it up based on what little I knew about risotto. I am familiar with making a basic risotto – onions, rice, white wine and stock. After that, it all depends on what you’d like to “flavour” it with.

This recipe is quite versatile, packed with flavour and suitable for kids & vegetarians. If you want to go even further and make it a vegan dish, skip on the butter and pork belly. For an added kick, you can add other varieties of mushrooms – shitaki, oyster, whatever rocks your both. You can even adapt it by omitting the tomato & mushroom combo, and replace it with zucchini, eggplant, pumpkin, broccoli, pea, seafood, prawns, ham…whatever you want, really.

Sundried tomato & mushroom risotto

Ingredients

Five handfuls arborio rice
1 cup sundried tomatos
1 cup sliced button mushroom
Beef stock (at least 1 to 1.5 litres)
1 medium-sized onion – diced
1/2 cup white wine
150 gms diced smoked pork belly (optional)
3 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste

Method

  1. Before you start cooking, soak the tomatoes in a pot of warm water until they are soft – I took about 30 minutes. Remove, chop into rough bits and place aside. Keep the water used for soaking the tomatoes – it will end up as part of the stock. In a pot, bring the beef (and tomato) stock (or water + beef stock cube) to a gentle simmer.
  2. In another pot, saute the diced onions and smoked pork belly (optional) in the butter and oil on a medium-high fire until soft but not brown. Add in the rice and stir until the grains are translucent. Add in the white wine and stir.
  3. Gradually add in the beef stock while stirring constantly. Add in the mushrooms and chopped sundried tomatoes. Continue to stir. Keep the mixture simmering and add more beef stock when necessary. The rice will absorb the stock as it cooks.
  4. Cook for 20 minutes or until the rice has absorbed all the stock.
  5. Remove from the heat, and add in the cheese as well as salt & pepper to taste. Mix well and serve immediately.
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