Thursday, December 30, 2010

An Ode to Split Peas (and other stuff like a 3 needle cast on)

I had a bunch of ham left over and was trying to think what to do with it.  So I whipped out my trusty Betty Crocker cookbook app and came across a Split Pea and Ham soup recipe that was unbelievably easy - once I found the yellow split peas it called for.  I followed the recipe and dumped all the listed ingredients into the crock pot last night and got up this morning to the most amazing soup I've had in years.  It was all of about 5 ingredients and BAM!  It made me curious, though, to find out the difference between the green and yellow peas (nothing) and I found out some really interesting facts.  Here's what it says on Wikipedia:

They are a great source of protein and are also a very lean and healthy type of cereal, with only 1 gram of fat per 350 calorie serving. Most of the calories come from protein and complex carbohydrates. The split pea is known to be a natural food source that contains some of the highest amounts of fiber, containing 26 grams of fiber (104% DV based on a 2,000 calorie diet). Fiber is known to help the digestive system and to make people feel full and satiated.

I used to make a lentil soup but hadn't even thought about it for years.  I will be making more in the future, I guararntee.  Excuse me a minute, will you?

OK, I'm back and I'll try not to drip on the keyboard.

I decided I had enough of the handspun used for the hat and scarf for mittens.  Now, knitters will know that these decisions are as often made by wanting something to be true as by being able to prove the thing is true.  I was sure.  OK, I was pretty sure.  Who said trust but verify?  I decided to ball the skein into two equal size balls, then I'd be able to handle any surprises.

My second decision was to work the mittens from the tips down, something I've never done before but I decided if I had to substitute another yarn to make up for any shortages, it would be better to do that on the cuff rather than the tips.  But, hey, there's not much to a mitten, right?  But how to start?

I've heard of 3 needle bind-offs but couldn't that work the other way around?  Couldn't you do a 3 needle cast on?  I know there are a number of ways to cast on socks and whatever.  This is just how I figured out how to do it and here's what it looks like:

  1. First I used a US size 7 double pointed needle (the size the mittens would be made with) and a US size 3 double pointed needle held together and did a long tail cast on to get 10 stitches.
  2. Next, I pulled out the 7.  Using the 3 gave me lots more room to work the magic.
  3. Using 2 size 7 needles, I knit 2 stitches from the first stitch on the needle.  I knit 1 stitch into the front of the stitch using 1 needle and I knit 1 stitch into the back of the stitch using the second needle.
  4. Then I repeated the process across, giving me 20 stitches.  This isn't a great photo of the needles but it will give you an idea of what it looked like in the process:
  5. Finally, I added 2 more needles and put 5 stitches of each of 4 double pointed needles and got ready to go.
 Then I just worked backwards, increasing on each side instead of decreasing.  When I got to the thumb, I bound off the number of stitches I would have normally cast on going the other way, knit around and then cast on the number of stitches I would normally have put aside on a stitch holder going the other way.  This does give you a little ridge at the bottom of the thumb when you have to go back and pick up stiches for the thumb but it doesn't show at all on the outside.

If I get a chance this weekend, I'll write out the pattern as I worked it but it was a very interesting new thing to learn.

Oh, yeah.  Did I end up with enough yarn?  Of course I did - with about 4 yards to spare!!

No comments: