22 Nov

Emmett Watson’s Thompson Turkey

As a kid growing up in a Seattle home with a P-I subscription (and later the Times), every Thanksgiving for many years I read a familiar recipe: Emmett Watson’s Thompson Turkey. Watson printed it in his column every year, and though I’m sure it was just an easy way to slack for a column, and I’ve never actually cooked or eaten a Thompson Turkey, the recipe itself is part of the Thanksgiving ritual, right down to the closing lines: “You do not have to be a carver to eat this turkey. Speak harshly to it and it will fall apart.” Another local columnist, John Owen, had this to say about the Thompson: “A Thompson Turkey emerges from the oven neither white nor dark. It is usually charred blacker than a newspaper columnist’s soul. ” Jean Godden, another P-I columnist and now city councilperson, said “No one has ever eaten a Thompson Turkey and lived to tell about it. But that’s understandable because no one has ever actually baked one of the things either.”

So. Has anyone tried it? Anyone dare? I don’t eat turkey anymore or I would have tried it by now. Really.

13 Nov

Pattern: Diane Sweater from 1921

1921 Fleisher Yarn ad

Recently I was looking through the book For The Love of Knitting, which includes many pictures of vintage knitting patterns and books, and I noticed that one of the illustrations was of a Fleisher yarn company ad from 1921. The ad included a complete pattern for a very cute drop-stitch sweater, which it claims takes “less than two days’ time”! Now, here’s the neat thing — anything published pre-1923 is in the public domain in the United States. So this ad and the knitting pattern it contains are in the public domain (probably why the book included it). So I’m reprinting the 1921 pattern here for anyone who is interested.

More photos and the pattern text after the jump!

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09 Nov

Knitting New Scarves: a finished scarf and another in progress

I promise some non-knitting content soon, seriously. Anyway.

I recently got a book from my zooba.com queue without really knowing anything about it. (“Oh, a new knitting book. It seems OK; I’ll put it in the queue.”) When Knitting New Scarves arrived, at first glance my reaction was strictly “meh.” “So they look a little funny,” I thought. “Would I really want to knit these?”

But then I sat down to read through the book, and within moments I was entranced and amazed. The scarves that Lynne Barr designed for this book aren’t just the usual “flat scarf, flat ribbed scarf, cable scarf, lace scarf, striped scarf, plain scarf in really expensive yarn” rotation we’re used to seeing in most knitting books. These scarves use techniques that are sculptural, and even architectural. (She mentions specific buildings that inspired some of the designs.) The scarves have waves, flaps, “chain links”, “beads”, and all kinds of 3-dimensional shapes we aren’t used to seeing in scarves. (Some of them have to be stuffed with batting to get this shape, but most do not.)

Even the designs that don’t work for me (and there are some that don’t — Labyrinth, for example) are all fascinating and inspiring in their creativity. I immediately put the Linked Rib into my Ravelry queue, and ordered the required yarn from a Ravelry member. But while waiting to get started, I had a thought.

(Photos after the jump.)
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