Saturday, December 26, 2009

Finite Incantato

I love knit-cations!!! I have finished several projects - a few that never even got added to the WIP list in the sidebar. I made Indy a new sweater. I crocheted two scarves for John for Christmas. I finished my Multnomah Shawl. I finished a second Textured Scarf, the Karabella 8 one. I blocked a couple of things. I am currently working on Michael's scarf and finishing the third Textured Scarf. I have been doing all of this knitting accompanied by several versions of A Christmas Carol/Scrooge, Angels & Demons and Lost Season 5. Knit on.

I am eating yummy cookies my Sister made for me - chocolate chip, oatmeal and peanut butter. I bought the Caramel Macchiato kit from Starbucks, all is right with my little world!! Munching and sipping away.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

It's Cold ~ Starting to Feel a Lot Like Christmas

I finished one of the textured scarves (too small to be called a shawl) but I did not get to do any more knitting. I start vacation Monday. I have several things to block and ends to weave in. I also need to make two men's scarves. I don't do holiday knitting/crocheting because deadlines take the fun out of the process for me. But my boys are in need so I will whip up a quick crocheted scarf for John. Now Michael is special, I am planning to make him a really nice scarf. He is still wearing the one I made him 4 years ago and it's a little ratty. I am going to swatch Noro Kureyon tonight. I have four patterns I like (1) My So Called Scarf, (2) Cameo Faggot Stitch Scarf, (3) Gathered Scarf for Your Mother-in-Law, (4) and The One Row Scarf. All found on Ravelry for free.
Noro Kureyon

Oh and here are some yummy recipes I am thinking about trying also.

Butterscotch Lace Cookies

1 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 1/2 cups brown sugar (packed)
2 1/4 cups rolled oats
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp molasses, if desired
3 tbsp flour
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla

Add sugar to butter; pour over rolled oats. Let stand at room temperature overnight so oats absorb butter.
Heat oven to 375 degrees (quick mod.)
Mix remaining ingredients into oats.
Drop level teaspoonfuls of dough 2" apart on heavily greased baking sheet.
Bake only 12 cookies on a sheet.
Bake 5 to 7 minutes or until brown around edges.
Allow to remain on sheet a few minutes until firm, then immediately remove with spatula to cooling rack.

Makes 6 dozen cookies

NOTE: Do not make these cookies in hot, humid weather, as cookies absorb moisture from air and become limp.

tsp = teaspoon
tbsp = tablespoon


Caramel Refrigerator Cookies

1/2 shortening (part butter or margarine)
1 cup brown sugar (packed)
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

Mix shortening, sugar, egg, and vanilla thoroughly.
Measure flour by dipping method or by sifting.
Stir flour, soda, and salt together; stir in.
Form in roll 2 1/2" across.
Wrap in waxed paper. Chill until firm.

Heat oven to 400 degrees (mod. hot).
Cut in 1/8" slices. Place slices a little apart on ungreased baking sheet.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned.

Makes 5 dozen cookies.


Chocolate Crinkles

1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 squares of unsweetened chocolate melted (4 oz)
2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup confectioner's sugar

Mix oil, chocolate, and granulated sugar.
Blend in one egg at a time untill well mixed. Add vanilla.
Measure flour by dipping method or by sifting.
Stir flour, baking powder, and salt into oil mixture.
Chill several hours or overnight.

Heat oven to 350 degrees (Mod.)
Drop teaspoonfuls of dough into confectioners' sugar.
Roll in sugar; shape into balls.
Place about 2" apart on greased baking sheet.
Bake 10 to 12 minutes. Do not overbake!

Makes about 6 dozen cookies.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Variation on a Textured Theme

The Textured Shawl by Olane
a free pattern on Ravelry

Textured Shawls

I have discovered a nifty little pattern that knits up very quickly. I love Karbella Aurora 8 yarn specifically for its stitch definition, so this pattern is prompting me to do some more stash busting. I chose two colors at random.

This is the original recipe. The wine colored yarn is extremely hard to photograph.DSC04994
This one I am knitting in all garter stitch and textured stitches.
This third one is Argosy Cashmere Silk yarn I have been holding on to for awhile. I decided to move it from my "collection" to real life.
I cast all of these on Saturday. The last two I have completed 3 sections. The first one I have completed 6 sections (the photo is of the first 3 sections only). I will finish the wine colored one tonight, and possibly the blue one as well. Amazing.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Fiasco Supreme

I had a total fiasco last night on the Multnomah Shawl. Keep in mind I am on the feather and fan section, almost 400 stitches per row. What happened was, I went to slide the stitches on the right needle further up the needle/cable and they CAUGHT. The needle came out of a section of knitting and because the Socks That Rock yarn is slippery the stitches just popped out - running down the shawl for a few rows. I quickly grabbed my point protectors and stopped any further escapees. Then I grabbed a dpn and snagged all of the stitches I could see. Then I set the whole thing down and took a break. When the next commercial break came up in the Mentalist I pulled the lamp to the edge of the desk and took my glasses off. I am knitting this in Lenore which is black over dyed with burgundy. I discovered two more stitches that had fallen down. OKAY. I took a deep breath and tried to figure out how to determine which row the last saved stitch was on. I had to do this one at a time. The only saving grace was that I was in the K2Tog section of the feather and fan pattern, not the YO K1 section. It took about 30 minutes to get the section re-knit and I know at least one K2Tog is now an SSK, but I finished the row and put the whole thing away and went to bed.

What caused this fiasco more than anything else is the fact that the 337 stitch version needs to be knit on a longer cable than the original version. I just logged off of Knit Picks - I ordered both a 40" and a 47" 3.25 mm harmony needle. I love knitting shawls and I always need to knit the largest version. I have enjoyed this pattern so much I plan to knit a Stockinette version. I will need the longer cable for sure!!!!

So that's my tale of woe. I look forward to getting back to this project - as soon as my new needle arrives!!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Multnomah Marathon

Whew, I finished another feather and fan repeat on the Multnomah last night. I am only get through the 4-row pattern repeat in 2-3 hours of knitting. It's a marathon of knitting. I think there are around 370 stitches per row now. It is taking forever to complete a knit and purl row. The pattern rows go really fast because of the K2togs and YOs. But those straight knit and purl rows, I gotta tell you - they are lonnnnngggggg.

I think I'll do a little Henry VIII tonight for a change of texture and color. My project area looks a little wierd with only two tote bags there now. The finished objects: 2 pairs of socks, 2 scarves and a converted cowl are all tucked away. I have to block the scarves this weekend. The left over yarn has been added to the stash basket. I am not casting on anything else until the Multnomah is finished. I will most likely pick H8 back up when the shawl is finished. Getting some UFOs chalked up was just the boost I needed to get my knitting MoJo back. Finishing the 52 Pair Plunge was a major accomplishment too!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Switching to Swatching!

OMG - the light bulb just finally came on. I listened to the Knit Picks Podcast Episode 123 just now and it was life altering. I have started - and knit quite a bit - with the Luscious Single Silk yarn, photos below. Neither project was a keeper. Although instead of frogging all of that Feather and Fan, I am going to sew on a button and crochet a button hole and make it a neck warmer. If only I had SWATCHED that yarn befor starting either project, I would have saved so much valuable knitting time. What was suggested by the designers is to not only swatch for Gauge, but also to see what the pattern will look like and how it will drap, etc. The problem with the first project - the eyelets were too big and airy. I wanted a warm cowl, no holes to let in the cold wind. The second pattern came out with some odd color pooling. If I had knit about six inches of both those patterns I would have saved myself hours of knitting - and frogging. Another great tip from Knit Picks. I will be knitting two swatches from now on, one for the gauge given in the pattern and another for a part of the finished project to see if I like the fabric.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

I'm Tired

I went through all of my WIPs and quite a bit of my stash this weekend. I know I have the perfect yarn for some wrist warmers, mittens and the Frost Tapestry set in my stash. So I went stash diving. I ended up getting distracted by my works in progress. I figured since I would not be casting on anything new right away my time would be better spent knitting. The good news is I finished two scarves, added quite a bit to both socks and another scarf. I did find some "undocumented" sock yarn in my WIPs tote though.

I belonged to the Socks That Rock Rockin' Sock Club and the Wollmeise Sock Club, I did not add all of the yarn to my Ravelry Stash. Here they are - in order from left to right: STR Dragon Dance, STR Goody Goody, STR Muddy Autumn Rainbow, Wollmeise Okzident, Saami and Jultomte.

I added another 56 row repeat to my North Star Qiviut Scarf from the Arctic Lace Book.

I am about to turn the heel on my second STR Lapis Sock.
I am actually now working on the foot of the STR Gingerbread Dude 2nd sock.
I finished the Black Dimple Shale Scarf. I also finished the Tiger Eye neck warmer in Sundara Violet Over Black. The pictures came out horrible, I will take more pictures after I block the Tiger Eye scarf.
I fell down and bought the Addi Click set from The Loopy Ewe. They are awesome, I love BLUE cables.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Finished a Pair

I finished one Lapis sock and one Gingerbread Dude sock. I have completed half the cuff of the second GD sock and I will cast on the second Lapis sock tonight. I fell behind in my Manic Purl podcasts and (thankfully) missed the news about the Blue Moon Fiber Arts sale in November. I have a $25 Loopy Ewe Groupie bonus to spend. I just don't know what to buy. I keep popping over there looking around but I cannot make up my mind. Chrissy The Great also mentioned the new Twist Collective on her podcast and I found a gorgeous winter knitwear pattern I want desparately to make. But come on, I have a gazillion things on the needles. The pattern is called Frost Tapestry by Robin Melanson

It looks like a major time committment - soooo, it will probably end up in my never-ending queue. But isn't it lovely?!?!