Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Double Duty Kitchen Scale

When packing up my kitchen last April to fill the container that was headed to Finland, I didn't pack my measuring cups and spoons. I thought, we're not moving until the end of June... surely I will bake cookies or bread or something in the next 2 months? Needless to say, I didn't use those cups and spoons before our move, and then they just wouldn't fit in the luggage so we stored them in Vermont with a whole lot of other stuff. I figured I would just buy new ones when I arrived.

Of course now I live in the land of metric, so cups and teaspoons and tablespoons are foreign here, and so I was forced to invest in a good old digital kitchen scale. It's somehow easy to convert the measurements to grams and then just weigh it out on the kitchen scale. I'm not embarrassed to say that my brain just doesn't function in deciliters quite yet, nor does it work in kilometers, kilograms or degrees Celsius. And after 3 months of being here, I am STILL converting Euros to dollars in my head.

But the kitchen scale has been wonderful. I've managed to make some of my signature baked goods, sort of as a way to make it feel like home for the girls. I've had success with my special chocolate chip cookies, although now they are more like "chocolate chunk" cookies. 

They don't sell chocolate chips over here... the folks in the grocery store had NO idea what we were talking about. Solution: we're buying huge Fazer milk chocolate bars and cutting them up into small chunks. 
Yep, that says "200g"... these are HUGE!
And my banana bread, also with Fazer chunks, is quite tasty.
But the other night I needed my kitchen scale for another reason. I had a skein of Trendsetter Venus and wanted to make a scarf with it. This is a beautiful yarn that is made up of color coordinated pieces of different yarns. When twisted up into a hank, it's quite beautiful, as all of the yarns really work well together, However, if you were to just cast on 20 stitches and knit, you would end up with large chunky sections of each yarn. NOT a bad thing, just not what I envisioned for this skein. So I would the entire hank into a ball. (Note the old fashioned ball... guess who forgot to pack a ballwinder?)
I plopped it on the kitchen scale to see exactly how many grams I had. and started to wind back a smaller ball from the large ball. I checked off and on until both I had two balls that weighed the same amount. And then SNIP. Two balls, ready to be worked double stranded. 
What a great way to use this yarn and really blend the fibers.
It's still got a "chunky" look to it but it's way more subtle. I love it!

Here's the easy 2 row pattern:

1 hank Trendsetter Venus (split into 2 even balls and used double stranded)
size 11 or 13 needles - our choice (I used 11s but am a somewhat tight knitter)

Cast on 13 stitches
Row 1: (k2tog, yo) rep to last stitch, k1
Row 2: (ps tog, yo) rep to last stitch, p1
Repeat to end and bind of loosely.


zigeunerin said...

I love this post! I can relate :-) I've lived in Germany more than a year now, and still converting Euros to dollars in my head! I wonder how long I'll be doing that. I haven't done chocolate chip cookies yet, but your photos are giving me the courage to go for it!

Jill said...

I think I'm doing the currency conversion because I am still in shock at how expensive everything is here! And the cookies were worth baking... that is the ones that got baked. My family is bad. We actually prefer the dough!

Patti said...

Love the scarf! Scales are MUCH better for baking. Whenever given the option, that's what I do. My daughter just had a lesson in using the kitchen scale in order to make soft pretzels (I bet that reminds you of home! ;) )