Saturday marked Twelfth Night, the Feast of the Epiphany, King’s Day and the start of the Carnival season here in New Orleans. It’s a short season this year with Mardi Gras falling on February 13. It’s a compact season so we must cram all the festivities and traditions into shorter span of time. We kicked off the celebration on Saturday night with the Phunny Phorty Phellows, a Krewe who heralds the start of Carnival with an evening ride on the St. Charles streetcar, decked out in full regalia.
From now until Fat Tuesday, our world will be filled with glitter, beads, marching bands and, best of all, King Cake! A traditional King Cake looks like this:
What is the significance of those creepy plastic babies, you may ask? Well, tucked into every King Cake is a “frozen Charlotte”. These bring luck and the responsibility of providing the next cake. (There is a whole long story behind this tradition…too long to relate here.) My favorite are the Galette des Rois, a traditional pastry filled with marzipan. These are found at the fancy hotels and better bakeries…a little harder to find than the usual sugary ones.
This sweet yeast bread will be absolutely EVERYWHERE for the next 5 weeks. It comes in all shapes and sizes with many different types of fillings. Everyone has their favorite and everyone swears by their favorite bakery. At my church group on Monday, we sampled Randazzo’s, Miss Joan’s fave. Miss Bette, owner of Bette Bornside Yarn and my personal knitting mentor, traditionally offers King Cake on Wednesday afternoons at her knitting group. Usually, Miss Bette runs a King Cake survey with cakes from several different bakeries but this year, because of the short season, she’ll be doing a “Best Of”. Miss Laura will be kicking off the King Cake survey at the Tipsy Knitters tonight with an offering from French Quarter favorite, Le Croissant D’Or. So I’ll be double-dipping on the King Cake today! <guilty snicker>
Who are these girls…?
…dancing at an undisclosed location in the bywater…
In the world of knitting whew! my life is crazy! I’ve been swatching like a mad woman for this and that, in large part for some self-publishing which has languished a little in the last year. I’m trying to pull some projects together for sample and test knitters so that I’ll have some hope of getting everything done.
I can’t say what this is for but look at this pretty haul. Oh how I wish I had time to knit this project myself! I’ve swatched it, so I know that this Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran Tweed is utterly divine. A blend of wool, silk and cashmere, it’s like knitting velvet…velvet mixed with butter. I love it. The color, #124 Jewel, is deep and rich and heavenly.
I’ve just finished a series of swatches in these pretty warm and milky tones. I’ve become so fond of simple, repetitive stitch patterns both for the pleasure of the knitting and the quiet beauty of the result.
And I find myself yielding to a love of old-fashioned stitch patterns like this Barbara Walker gem which I’m working up in Millamia Natural Merino. Something nice for a lucky sample knitter, no?
Hope your week is rolling out with as much fun as mine! See ya Friday 😉
ps.. Bonus points if you understand the meaning of this LOL!