Friday, December 31, 2010

Year in Review

I thought doing this might make me feel productive, but it kind of has the opposite effect. But oh well- here are my accomplishments for 2010:


2010 patterns

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Pack Life

 fly

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(ugly carpet, acck!)

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K, I'll stop now.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Re-cuffing a hat (or mittens/socks/whatever)

(A tutorial, with horrible iphone pictures!)

So, let's say you have this lovely hat made out of Verb for Keeping Warm Annapurna, and say that your dog got ahold of it:

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I feel it necessary to mention that my dogs did NOT do this... it was my dad's hat from last Christmas, and my parents' goldendoodle has an eating-things-that-aren't-food problem. I assured him that I could reknit the cuff, and he requested dark brown. I thought I'd document the process. It's pretty easy, but hey.

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1. Using waste yarn and a yarn needle, pick a point a few rows above the damage (or the whole cuff in this case) and go under one leg of each stitch in a row, all the way around.

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(the circled leg is where the needle would go in next.) And so on, all the way around.

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2. Chop off the cuff a couple of rows above the stitching.

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(God these pictures are awful, I'm sorry. I'm not sure where my real camera was for this.)

3. Unravel down (or up) to the waste yarn. There'll be a lot of little pieces to pull out and it can be slow going, but it's not too bad.

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4. Stick a circular needle in along the waste yarn. Make sure you pick up any wayward stitches that you might've missed when putting the waste yarn in, heh.

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5. Snip the waste yarn and pull it out.

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6. Knit! Make sure to correct the stitch orientation if they ended up backwards, like mine did. Hehe. (Nice dropped stitch, too.)

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7. Put it on your zombie alter-ego!

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(Man, winter light + cell phone white balance = unfortunate looking Alex.)




The Offender (and my grandmother):
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Good thing she's cute.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Ack!

I just learned that I wasn't receiving emails when people commented on the blog, and blogger was marking a bunch of legit comments as spam- so, I sincerely apologize if your comment didn't show up, or if I didn't answer you! I didn't mean it! I just thought nobody wuvved me ;-)

Merry Christmas!

I got you a present! Sorta!

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I only bake once a year (it's hard on the wrists, man! Plus, I'm lazy.) but I discovered these little gems this year and they're too delicious not to share.They’re like Oreos, only with salted caramel goodness and a way better texture. They are also extremely buttery, so don’t say I didn’t warn you.


Caramel Sauce (you can make it ahead of time and put it in the fridge for a day if you want… just try not to eat it all. You’ll probably have extra though.)

¼ cup sugar
¼ tsp vanilla
¼ tsp coarse salt
1 ½ tbsp unsalted butter, cut into smallish bits
2 tbsp heavy cream

Measure everything out first – sugar in a small saucepan, cream in a cup, vanilla/salt/butter in another cup.

Heat the sugar on medium-ish until the edges go all caramel-looking. Spatula that shit around the pan, folding it inwards repeatedly, until the whole mess looks delicious and caramely colored and melty. Be careful, it happens fast and you don’t want to burn it too much. I think I overcooked mine a little, but it still tasted fine. This whole process takes about 5-7 minutes.

As soon as you get to that point, take it off the heat, toss the butter & friends in, stir til it melts, pour the cream in, stir more, then pour it into something that won’t melt and let it cool. Cover and refrigerate if you’re not making the frosting right away.


Cookies

1 ¼ sticks softened unsalted butter
1 1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg (separate it- you want the yolk and possibly some of the white)
1 ½ cup flour
½ cup baking cocoa powder (use the good stuff, c’mon. Unsweetened of course.)
½ tsp coarse salt
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder

Mix the butter and sugar together. This is hard if you have shitty knitting wrists like I do, so a mixer is nice. (No matter what I always end up digging my hands in to mix cookie dough up properly, so if that’s what it takes, do it. My poor limp wrists.) Then mix in the egg yolk. Save the white, just in case.

In a different bowl, mix the dry ingredients, and then toss them into the buttersugar and mush it up real nice-like. If it’s too dry to stick together at all, add a little egg white. You want the consistency of slightly dried out playdough- crumbly, but will stick if you squish it together.

Using a small melon-baller or a measuring teaspoon, sculpt tiny little half-domes and put them on a cookie sheet an inch or so away from each other. Normally I am not that fastidious about my cookie shapes, but you want to make decent little sammiches later, don’t you? If these seem too small (they ARE really rich, remember, and you eat two at once) you can use a not-quite-full tablespoon-size and they cook just fine.

Bake at 375 degrees for 8 minutes, rotating at some point if your oven is uneven (aren’t they all?) When you take the pan out, drop it from a height of about half an inch above the counter/stove/wherever you’re setting it. This makes the cookies flatten out a touch. (Don’t overdo it, though, or they’ll fly everywhere. Ask me how I know.) Let them there cool a second, then put them on cooling racks til they cool completely and stiffen up. Meanwhile, make frosting.

Caramel Frosting

¼ to 1/3 cup caramel sauce (it’s hard to measure, you’ll see.)
1 ½ sticks softened unsalted butter
1 ½ cup powdered sugar

Mix the caramel sauce and butter together. I found it helpful to do this on top of the hot oven, so they both softened up (my caramel had been in the fridge.) Add the powdered sugar (gradually, if you’re smart… I’m not.) Stir til it looks like frosting. Slap a generous blob between two cookies and dig in! They should keep for a few days in the fridge… but they probably won’t need to. Nommers!

(Adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe. I don't care what anyone thinks, the woman's a genius.)


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Pog approves. Or would, if she could have chocolate. Also, she's on clearance, apparently.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

What news!

Hello! We've finally moved into our new place. It's a very cool apartment in the top floor of a barn, on a beautiful piece of land... only problem is that, as it turns out, it can't get any sort of affordable, useful internet (useful as in... I want to watch Netflix without paying $20 per mg over 5 or whatever.)

So that sucks, and may limit the amount of time we can live here, but it's fun for now and I can still check email and everything on my phone.

We also picked up a new pooch! Two, actually. The second is probably a foster, so she'll hang out until we can find her a really great new home (though who knows, she may just end up hangin' around forever.) They were the only two dogs at the shelter and we couldn't just leave her alone there... it was not a very nice place. She's a real sweetpea but still sort of a pup and a bit rough on the other dog. (Incidentally, if you're in southern Michigan and looking for a really great dog, let me know.)

Anyway, this is Professor Rupert Q. Dogsworth, the one I intended to get:

Instagram!

And this is Pog:



(yeah, sorry, I just discovered Instagram)

I am in Christmas panic mode, and no one is surprised... I had all these grand plans to maybe even whip out the sewing machine, but my studio is still packed up and full of off-gassing ikea furniture and frankly, it's probably not going to happen. So...crap. I got most of the knitting done, though (except for Travis's, poor kid.) I've got a pattern or two at the type-up-and-photograph point, so...sneak previews soon. I'll try to nip into town for a blog post every now and again, but this whole no-internet thing really sucks.

Sure is pretty out here though-

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(of course this was all before the insane deluge of snow.)

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Dang local cat who won't stop tormenting my dogs from outside.


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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Steeking is Seereus Biznuss.

Heheh- one of my former Twisted bosses, Emily, just posted a video of her friend Alessandra steeking a Bad Oyster shawl (with helpful commentary, of course - "Don't say 'wait!' while someone's steeking!")

And even better... a Frenchie in a shawl! Lookin' good, Carat.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

So I caught a glimpse of my recent Etsy favorites today...

It would appear that Vivian's color sense has rubbed off on me.

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Heh.


Sorry the blog has been so dull. We're still waiting for our awesome apartment to be ready (soon!) so I've just taken these few weeks to crank out Christmas knittings, which of course I can't show here yet. I think I actually only have one thing left to do (plus all the blocking and whatnot) and that's only not done because I have to get white yarn (who buys white yarn? Ain't no white yarn in this stash, man.) So...that's good! Plus two hats for army friends, finished up a ridiculous scarf/shrug thing (pictures forthcoming), and worked on some supertopsecrety stuff ;-) Once we're moved in, I can start making batts again! Hoorah!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Home, is where I want to be...

Whew. So, we're back in Michigan. Have been for a week or so, actually, but I'm still getting my head back on straight. We're staying with Travis's parents for the time being, while we find a suitable apartment (it's hard when you insist on the level of dog-friendliness that I insist on.) I've got some patterns in the oven, but with Christmas coming out they're bound to get waylaid :-/ But here's a quick smattering of pictures from the trip!

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We dodged the bad weather, but got a nail in our tire somewhere in Buttholenowhere, South Dakota...and without a replacement for about 500 miles, we were forced into buying a full set of snow tires. But, oh well, I'm in Michigan now, it can't hurt to have snow tires I guess. We were delayed enough that we had to skip the House on the Rock, though, which was very depressing. Ever since Rocky died, I'd been telling myself "But at least now, you can go to the House on the Rock on the way home!" Nope. Rip off. Grr. But I did get to stop in Chicago and meet Sarah in person (no pictures of that, I'm afraid), and we did go to a sort of neat little museum in Idaho, and a crazy abandoned cement factory in Oregon:

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(Tyrannosaurus hands!!)

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(Sneak peek of something that will either be awesome or really terrible, I'm not sure yet.)

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It's good to be back, though. So crazy to be surrounded by countryside again, and deer and cranes and farms and donuts and cider and goodness! Travis has already secured himself a job at Zingerman's, at least for the holidays. I'll be glad to get our own place and start covering it in wool-dust. Itching for another dog, too. Or several. Sigh. Soon enough, soon enough.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Go Go Malabrigo, Vol. 2!

Six patterns in two days? Am I insane?? (Well, I formatted for about 12 hours yesterday, so I am now.) But anyway... The second Malabrigo ebook is nigh! By which I mean... totally here!


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Now, if you want the whole shebang: five patterns, including three worsted weight hats, some easy-peasey-squooshy armwarmers, and a cowl-thing, you can go right ahead and click this button:


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The whole ebook is $15 again, so 5 patterns for the price of 3!


And what are these patterns, you might ask? Let me give you the tour. (Click the names to go to their Ravelry pages, where there are more pictures and details. If I repeat them all here, this post is going to get waaaay too long.)

Hollywood Boulevard

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Merino Worsted beret! With a star on top!


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Dilih Wrap

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You might've seen this one on the blog some months ago. Very quick and easy and foxy and warm! Have I mentioned how I can't stop buying "Sunset"? I think I've gotten it in every base yarn, by now.


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Hypnotica

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Look deeeeep into my hat....


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Annelida Gauntlets

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Fancier and squooshier than your average ribbing ;-)


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Sweetness

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So darn cute you'll get a cavity.


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Hooray!! And now, I move. See you on the other side, folks!

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