I’ve started off the new year with two new things:

the Old Norwegian Cast-On

I’ve been knitting off and on since I was a little kid (so 30+ years), and I’ve only just discovered that there are other ways to cast on.

!!!! Well, I be danged.

The way I’ve done it my whole life is simple and called the Continental Cast On or the Longtail, but Ann Budd in her Knitting Socks book says she prefers the Old Norwegian Cast-On, even though it’s bit like finger gymnastics.

I liked that sound of that. Finger gymnastics. I was intrigued. I like a challenge – especially those that require adept fingers, and this technique promised to be worthwhile if it was a favorite of a sock expert.

So, I spent a half hour puzzling over the diagrams in her book while the baby tore my bedroom apart.

Verdict: I’m converted. There is really only the smallest divergence from the Continental style, but the result is more solid (two lines of wool instead of just one), and the last cast-on stitch is more stable. It’s a keeper. Click here for written and visual directions if you want to try it. Or just ask me to show you sometime.

The Malnove Salad

Served this twice in the last three days and everybody in the family is hooked, including the teenager and the toddler.

It’s a cut-open-and-serve kind of salad.

In a salad bowl, toss salad greens, chopped steamed beets (already cooked from Trader Joe’s), French lentils (also already cooked from Trader Joe’s), and Brianna’s Ginger and Mandarin dressing. Proportions: I like using half a bag of greens, one entire package of beets, and 1/3 a package of lentils. Those lentils are great served plain for a snack too. Once my CSA basket kicks in for the new year, I won’t be buying bagged lettuce anymore, but for now…

P.S. There are SIX ways of casting on stitches for a knitting project, pictured and explained here at knittinghelp.com. Includes video tutorials of each!

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