Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Some FO's


I have a few FO's to report to you and no it's not cause I was waiting for the holiday to be over. In fact the only "holiday knitting" I did this year was the Winter Roses shawl. Nope I haven't reported these FO's to you purely because I have been lazy. Totally totally lazy. (I know, so out of character)

But these FO's deserve their day in the spotlight as do all my knits. That's why I have a blog after all

Fist up is a set I knit for the hubbs once the weather started to turn a tish colder. And by tish I mean BELOW freezing EVERY day!


The gloves are Knucks by Pamela Grossman
The hat is Turn A Square by Jared Flood
I love this set and my husband was pleasantly surprised with them. It was harder than I thought to try and hide something I'm working on from him but by the time I was working on the hat I was able to knit the whole thing in front of him with out him even noticing!

These have now become a staple in his daily outings. The hat is just long enough to cover the ears and the gloves leave your fingers free to check all necessary blackberry happenings.

I also knit this ADORABLE little barret/tam for my niece Lenni. It was a quick little knit that was so cute when it was done that it made me consider making one in my own size.


This is Baby Rollin' Beret by Woolly Wormhead
I used some Moda Dea Eclips yarn that has a subtle sheen to it. It knits up beautifully.


I was so worried that I would be too small for Lenni that I ended up making it too big (aak) but not to worry big sister Frieda is putting it to good use until Lenni grows into it.

Finally is a little knit just for me. I going to come out now and tell you that I heart Madelinetosh yarn. All of it. There is no bad tosh out there. The colors are just so vibrant and bold and the combinations are just right. So when I was wondering around my LYS trying to pick out some yarn for a super duper top secret project I noticed something oh so good and yet oh so bad. They started stocking tosh vintage.

After picking out my yarn for my super duper top secret project I noticed that I needed one skein fewer than I had planned. And clearly that is great! I'm saving money! Less yarn than I needed! So while I was smugly making my way to the check out I happened by the tosh. You know just to look. It's research really... That way I would know later when I needed some. Right? Well then I thought "WOW that blue is really gorgeous! I bet it would make a great hat.... and I did need one less skein of the other yarn..." and well I'm sure you know what happened from there.


So I give you crooked paths by Melissa LaBarre in Tosh Vintage in Norway Spruce - the pic of the yarn is pretty true to color. It's Ahh-MAZE-ing

I knit this hat in one night! I just didn't want to put it down. Between the pattern and the yarn it was a delight. This hat has also turned out to be one of my favorites and I wear it all the time.


There you go! See? Even though all I talk about around here seems to be cupcakes I'm still knitting. A lot. And I'll have some more FO's to report back to you soon!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Randomness


1. It's cold. Really cold. Like single digits cold. This I have decided is exceedingly cold... and apparently it's only suppose to get worse

2. I have never lived somewhere where and expected precipitin was snow and only snow for months.

3. It snowed yesterday and it wasn't in the forecast. How can the weather people not see that coming? It's snow. SNOW!

4. I have decided that taxi drivers that drive between 11pm and 3am are especially patient in their dealings with both customers and crazy drunks walking on the street.

5. I got to ride on the Christmas Express. Here I am coming back from the library and this rolls up.

6. They gave out free candy canes when we got on board. It made my day.

7. The weather man just came on the news and said this weekend won't be "warm like last weekend". Last weekend it peaked at 32 degrees

8. My hubbs' coworker LOVED the winter roses shawl. She immediately put it on and wore it all day. She is officially knit worthy

9. Is the air always this dry in the winter? Ridiculous.

10. I joined a sock knit along where we will all knit 6 pairs of socks next year. I picked out my yarn and I have the patterns. I'm set to knit! And very excited to be knitting with my Amiras again

11. My hubbs surprised me today by taking me to my favorite store and letting me pick something out. He's my favorite.

12. I made bread and it wasn't as scary as I thought it would be.

13. I baked cherry tomatoes and garlic in the middle. It was so yummy.

14. Weather channel says it's suppose to snow tomorrow. Great.

Monday, December 13, 2010

FO: Winter Roses

My husband has a coworker who has commented on every hand knit he's worn. Always inquiering to see if I had knit it and then mentioning the yarn, or how pretty the colors are, or lovely the pattern is. My husband relays these messages to me and always add that when ever she comments on a hat or scarf he tells her "You should see my wife's other knits. This is nothing in comparison" (isn't he sweet!)

This same coworker has gone out of her way a few times to help my husband get acclimated to the new team here in Chicago so I thought as a holiday/thank-you-for-all-your-help gift I would knit her a shawl.

I gave my husband the assignment to find out what her favorite color is confident that whatever she she loves I could stash dive and find it in my very :cough: modest :cough: stash


When my husband got home from work I said "so.... what's her favorite color?"

"You'll never guess" he replied

And after going through every color of the rainbow I ended with "Brown?"

"No"

"Black?"

"Nope"

I thought for a second... "WHITE!"

"Yes!" and then sadly said "but you don't have white"

I chuckled as I headed to my stash (wait I meant to say "modest" stash) and came back out with two different options. "I have plenty of white"

He picked his favorite and I started what is usually a lengthy search for a pattern but this time things came together quickly as I found Rosa by Kristen Hanley Cardozo right away. This is one of her newer patterns and after looking at it I knew it would look just fabulous knit up in white. I love that it has some design in the middle but also some stockinet that I could sail through to make up time as I wanted to get this shawl done fairly quickly...


It took me just over a week of knitting and Winter Roses was done. And I found it very appropriate that during most of my knitting it was snowing peacefully outside. As a knitter there isn't a whole lot better than having a good project to work on, a hot cup of coffee, a nice blanket to cuddle up with while it's snowing outside.

Pattern Details:

Pattern: Rosa by Kristen Hanley Cardozo
Needles: Size US4 KnitPicks Zyphers
Yarn: KNitPicks Bare - Merino Wool/Silk Fingering Weight. I had 4 grams left over.
Mods: None needed. This pattern is beautifully written with both charts and written instructions. I would definitely knit this pattern again! LOVELOVELOVE

Friday, December 10, 2010

Pendleton Blanket


Right after Thanksgiving I decided to finally check the mail... I wasn't expecting anything and who wants to get bills over a holiday weekend. Right?

But I was surprised when I went to my box and there was a note saying I had a package! OOOh the excitement! A surprise!!!

I ran to grab the package and found a HUGE box from my dad and step mom!


Once I got upstairs I ripped off the paper (Let's pretend that I waited patiently for the hubbs to get home... I tried. I really did. For like five whole minutes) I got all excited when I saw the logo on the box. Pendleton. It's a PENDLETON box!!! (I guess for anyone from the Pacific Northwest this is like a 6 year old girl getting a princess barbie) wrapped in sparkles. Pendleton Woolen Mills makes gorgeous woolen goods that will keep you warm through just about anything and are passed down through generations.


I had to catch my breath and regroup as remembered that sometimes my parents like to reuse boxes, and sometimes they put yarn in those boxes. So a list of possibilities ran through my head before I lifted the lid on the box. I found, to my excitement, a perfectly folded Pendleton blanket. Our very own (and very first) Pendleton blanket!

I unfolded it from the box and laid it out so I could see the beautiful images that the blankets are so well known for. As you can see the blanket my parents picked out has a compass with four moons. It's perfect.


It immediately found the perfect home on our couch where it's always just a reach away


And I love that it's reversible! (I'm thinking it's double knit then felted? hmm something to ponder)


But let's be honest, this is how it usually looks... Especially as the temperature out side creeps closer and closer to the single digits.

It's perfect for snuggling under while knitting and watching the snow fall outside.

I love it!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Ok back to the food


I know I know so much food talk around here but 'tis the season of eating loads of yummy food right?

So hubbs had a work thing and I decided that I needed to make cookies and cupcakes so that he could bring them and have something in hand. You know how it goes... ok ok maybe I had an anterior motive (Who me? ::looks around::)

I really wanted to make cupcakes and cookies because I was craving them. But I only need to eat one or two before I'm ready to move on to something salty... By making them for other people I don't have to worry about what to do with the 23 extra cupcakes sitting around

Anyhow back to the cookies. I decided to make these pumpkin and chocolate cookies that I found online. I made them before and they are amazing. You can taste the pumpkin with out the flavor being too strong. Also they aren't SUPER sweet cookies so I don't feel like I'm eating a sugar attack, in fact they almost have a cake like quality to them.

But most importantly they are so simple to make...


After baking the pumpkin cookies and letting them cool, I melted some chocolate chips over a double boiler and poured that chocolate in a piping bag (a zip lock baggie would work too) and cut off a little bit of the tip.


Then slowly drizzle the chocolate over the cookies. When you're done pop them in the fridge for a few minutes and the chocolate will harden up again and enjoy. Yum

After the cookies I decided make some chocolate cupcakes filled with caramel and with a caramel frosting on top.

Secretly I used a box to make the cupcakes but that's because honestly the boxed mixes taste amazing and stay moist plus when you add extra things like, say, caramel then no one will notice if the cake part is from scratch or not.

The carmel, on the other hand, I made from scratch. And I'll admit that I did buy some caramel sundae topping just in case I botched the whole thing. Here's my tip: When trying something new or something that can be temperamental (like caramel) always have a backup so that you aren't stressing that the desert wont turn out. Plus if you have a back up then for some reason everything turns out and you never seem to need the backup.

I had always heard that caramel was very difficult to make in that it can go wrong really quickly but perhaps because I was SO worried and wouldn't leave the stove I didn't have a problem. Some brown sugar melted down with baking powder and cream worked wonderfully. It didn't come out stiff enough to use as an icing on it's own so I took most of it and filled one piping bag for the cupcake filling. I had a round medium tip on the bag and just insert the tip into the cupcakes and squeezed out. Not wanting to over do it with the caramel I was kinda conservative in the amount I squeezed into the cupcakes.

Then to make the icing I took about a quarter cup of the caramel and a cup and half of powdered sugar with a half a stick of room temperature butter and whisked it together to make a nice light and fluffy buttercream caramel icing. If you wanted to make your own icing I would start with the powdered sugar and then slowly add the caramel and butter to get the consistency you like. A little of each will go a long way in powdered sugar.

I placed the icing in another star tipped piping bag and got to work

Before the icing could dry on the top I sprinkled some gold sugar on top and called the done!


They were fabulous although you can't really go wrong with caramel and chocolate

Tosh Vintage

There's just so much to tell you about that I don't really know where to start so I guess we'll start with what's first

I got yarn.

And I feel this important to tell you because looking back there seems to be a lot of food talk going on around here. Not that anything is wrong with that we all love food (especially chocolate caramel cupcakes but I'll get to that later)

So back to the topic


I got yarn. This is a big deal because I have been limiting my yarn intake lately for a few reasons. One is money and two is space and three is guilt (am I the only knitter that feels guilty buying new yarn when I have perfectly good yarn sitting patiently, waiting it's turn to be knit up into something beautiful?)

But I justified this yarn because well it was on sale and I don't really have yarn in sweater quantities and my lovely friend Charmaine got me the pattern, Coraline by Ysolda Teague for my birthday that I have been itching to cast on.


So I splurged and got some Tosh Vintage by Madelinetosh in the Celadon colorway . I didn't expect the yarn to have as much of a green as it did but I was actually delighted that it did. This icy light green is one of the colors I am most obsessed with lately and I couldn't have picked a better color to knit Coraline in.

And the Tosh Vintage is just as yummy as everyone says it is. I have been drooling over this yarn ever since I heard the rave reviews from Jocelyn when she knit up this cute cardi . I really trust her opinions on yarn so if she says it's ohhh soo yummy then I'm hunting the interwebs for a good deal. As usual she didn't let me down... In fact it was yarn not to start purring and drooling all over the yarn as soon as it came out of the box.

I'll keep you posted on my cardi knitting. I can hardly wait!