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Category Archives: Knitting
Another knitting project finished, the oh so sweet Bunny Beanie! It flew off the needles on Saturday, nice to have a project that’s done in a day and darling to boot!
The pattern calls for a picot cast on and I didn’t bother— not that it isn’t a great idea but the likelihood that the brim of this beanie will be rolled tight enough to obliterate that little detail is fairly high. Plain cast on, plain edge.
I used an aran weight yarn from stash in off white, the ears are lighter weight in a rosy pink and I think it’s a chunky cotton but I’m not sure as the ball band had disappeared. Once again, the pattern calls for a pink (inner ear) angora but since I had none I swapped it out. I think the inside of the ears would be adorable in an eyelash yarn.
One ear above…. seamed along one edge so it makes an ear, folded on the bottom so it has (and holds) it’s shape but also it gives the ears something to “sit” on as it perches on the beanie. I left a bit of goosey loopy-ness inside the ears which is actually the first and last stitch of the pink yarn. You could stitch it so it’s completely smooth as the ear sits….. I liked a bit of texture.
I know I’ll knit this again as a bunny for a baby gift in the future, I’ll also use the beanie base for other cute baby toques! It hasn’t been washed with a gentle blocking pat down yet, sure to make it even cuter!
On the biscuit front (because biscuits make the world go round), my ‘daily’ biscuit recipe is Crisco based—– my last batch was butter based.
But I asked myself, how can you incorporate a little bit of softness?
Is that possible?
And I made a sheet of biscuits using half butter and half butter Crisco. Both pans of biscuits were cut using a sharp knife into 6 portions, no round cutter used, both had the same treatment. Exactly half ice cold butter and half butter Crisco. Non self rising flour and the same amount of leavening.
You can see that there ARE layers, but not as many. The flavor was divine divine divine! The crumb was tender and quite soft. These biscuits even at half and half favored their Crisco Mama more than their Butter Daddy. I was expecting flakier I think….. but they were only slightly more flaky than a traditional Crisco biscuit. But good, believe me when I say that!
My favorite? I surprise myself when I say that those butter beauties are currently enchanting me…. calling me…… the siren song of their buttery layers telling me that we are meant for one another. Damn. They’re good.
The recipe is my riff on the Epicurious classic using buttermilk instead of cream and salted butter.
2 cups all-purpose flour (I used King Arthur)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter (I used salted)
3/4 cup heavy cream (I used buttermilk)
Preheat oven to 425°F. and lightly grease a baking sheet.
Into a large bowl sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Cut 5 tablespoons butter into bits and with your fingertips or a pastry blender blend into flour mixture until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add cream, stirring with a fork until just combined. Transfer mixture to a lightly floured surface and gently knead about 3 times until it just forms a dough. Pat dough into a 6 1/2-inch round (about 1/2 inch thick). I cut mine with a knife into 6 biscuits with one sharp quick stroke of the knife.
Using a 2 1/2-inch round cutter cut out biscuits and arrange about 1 inch apart on baking sheet. Gather and pat out scraps and cut out more biscuits. (I patted out the biscuits and cut into 6 biscuits using a sharp knife and carefully placed them on a baking sheet)
Melt remaining tablespoon butter and lightly brush onto biscuits. Bake biscuits in middle of oven until pale golden and cooked through, about 20 minutes. (I didn’t butter the tops).
I’m glad to kick February to the curb and to be honest I can’t complain about the horrors of weather that much of the country has had! This week along the SE Coast it’s been 77 one day and 55 the next!
With the Aran Baby Cardi finished I’ve been auditioning new patterns for the project that will alternate with the Hue Shift Afghan. WHICH by the way, I have not picked up since the Olympics break (with good excuse, I’ve had a few projects to get off my desk work-wise) and I’m actually going to be happy to see it again. Okay, maybe happy is the wrong word— but I do need to get it going again!!
I’m anxious to knit a fun little project, the Bunny Beanie! It’s adorable and from a bit of yarn play and swatching it looks as if a chunkier yarn will be called for.
Super cute and so is that adorable baby!!! Its a free pattern HERE.
Try as I might the white yarn wont work unless it’s doubled and I hate to knit with yarn held double. I have a bit of an off white aran weight in my stash and that yarn will likely get the starring beanie role.
The BIG New Project will be Fanny Fouche! I adore Ellen Mason Patterns for their style, ease of knitting, fantastic directions and clever wit. When it came time to choose a pattern for a new sweater this one was on the short list and made the final cut. You may remember that I knit another of her sweater designs a couple years back, Lorna Suzanne. LOVED to knit that sweater and it’s still a favorite!
I showed off the swatching in progress on Facebook with no details as this will be a gift for my daughter.
The yarn had to be acrylic for my daughter who never in a million years is going to fuss with this, and that is a tall order. I decided on Brava from Knit Picks, it’s soft as can be and strong as well. I love this color which will look great on my blue eyed child with the great figure.
And you’re right—– the Baby Owl Hat is not done. I think after such dedicated knit monogamy I’m feeling a bit restless and swatch and plan because I can!
I’m extremely glad to see February leave. First, it’s been too cold for coastal Georgia by a long shot and as we inch toward March (one of my favorite months here) the azaleas are beginning to show a bloom or two, it’s as if a few of them can’t wait another second for spring either! It’s the end of bridal show season which means a bit less stress and definitely fewer weekends on my feet.
Olympic knitting is over, this time I didn’t assign myself a crazy stress producer and was able to get the Aran Baby Sweater finished to include the wash and block in fairly laid back time.
I’ll be back to catch up after I– well— catch up!
After blocking the sweater became very very soft, rather unexpected in an Aran sweater but this kept it’s nice stitch definition while being ultra soft for Baby G. Love the buttons too, think they turned out really great!
The Aran Baby sweater is just waiting to have the sleeves inserted and the side seams closed. And those buttons which escape me.
I’m re-drafting a couple of tunic patterns for perfect fit. Mine needs booty room (ahem) and the other needs room for large upper arms and narrow shoulders. That’s the difficult mod, to make arm room that doesn’t totally affect the bodice fit, lower sleeve enormousness and shoulder sag. Once the patterns are complete I’m ready to start Spring Sewing! Stay tuned.
The fit is great with the use of the princess seams and it gives a few more gentle pattern alteration opportunities to have more seams to spread out changes. I’ll be making the version in the photo without the braid detail (for the first one anyway).
I’ve cast on for the amazing Creativebug (love love love the website)— and Maggie Pace’s adorable Owl Baby Hat. Linen stitch….. not my favorite but it creates a lovely fabric. Definitely takes a bit of concentration to keep it going.
Don’t you love the soft pink and the gray together???? The contrasty parts and areas of definition will have a dark charcoal.
The arrival of some great springlike weather has gotten me out of bed early, working on projects late and getting work in general in gear so I can not only create with renewed energy but get out on my bike and enjoy it! Working a big wedding show this weekend will slow me down a little for sure!
The shoulders of the baby sweater are seamed and the collar is ready to be knitted on:
Collar done, check!!! From here it’s all downhill. Well, if I could decide what buttons to use!
Hasn’t Olympic events watching been good? Well for the most part. As a hockey fan and a St. Louis Blues fan in particular, seeing the USA crush Russia and Blues player T.J. Oshie come out as somewhat of a hero in this game—- well it sweetened my weekend for sure!
The Aran Baby Sweater has made progress, even after a brain misfire where half of the first sleeve had to be frogged back. So it goes. Off it went and the sleeve then finished up nicely. Sleeve two is in the works and should be done by Monday evening at the latest. (I know, never say that it tempts the knitting gods!)
Still loving the pattern, loving the yarn and adoring the sweater!
Yarn came. In a big box.
I’d placed an order for some yarn to knit the Baby Owl Hat on Creativebug—- you know this has been on my hot list for some time. Once I knew that there was a pink baby on the way it made ordering yarn easier and I decided on a soft pink, a pale gray and a darker gray:
I love the yarn combo and went with a Knit Picks trio of colors.
Admitting how completely I did NOT pay attention to my order (unlike me completely) it was a huge surprise when I opened the box. Apparently I had some yarn in my queue at Knit Picks and somehow the yarn I’d been thinking about made it to my cart! I’m ever grateful that Knit Picks is such a moderately priced yarn!
Below is a sweaters worth of yummy blue, a deep denimy blue in their Brava which is a super soft really nice acrylic. I want to knit a sweater for my daughter who is NOT going to take the time to handwash and block so this easier care yarn will be perfect.
I’m thinking of knitting another Ellen Mason sweater (her designs are gorgeous and a little bit retro, the instructions are outstanding)—
Don’t you love it?
Then I must have put some baby blue on hold before I knew baby pink was the order of the day….. so there was some of that…… along with a lovely green because I still want to re-knit the leaf baby cardi.
Right now I’m knitting feverishly on the Aran Baby Sweater…… on it goes!
And by the way, Happy Valentines Day!
I’m not enjoying the Olympics as much this year for some reason. Maybe it is the huge time difference that makes every single network (including NBC) shout out the results in advance of their airing or maybe it is that the viewers are down and they think no one cares. Regardless I’m watching the games in the evening and sometimes during the day. My work schedule has been a little heavier than anticipated but that’s okay as well.
The Aran Baby Sweater continues to be SUCH a joy to knit!!! The vintage pattern directions mean that there is no chart but as I learned to knit by written directions it’s no big deal at all. I’m loving the result and as of this morning the back and a front are done with the other front moving on. I’m almost afraid to go back to mitered squares they’re going to seem incredibly dull!!
Can’t wait to see it blocked, this yarn really has a nice “fulling” without obliterating the pattern and stitch detail. Normally I hate hate hate Seed Stitch but in a baby sweater it goes so much faster!
When it comes to keeping a pattern under control I’m completely Old School
Individual row counters are assigned a stitch pattern and threaded onto a stitch holder. Then every row the row counters are moved forward and the directions and their corresponding sticky notes also move ahead. I know plenty of knitters who keep patterns in their heads and do not need to track them in any way, much less two. I am not that knitter. Long ago I learned that I knit happier and more relaxed when I gave in and made double dog sure that I’d know where I was at all time with ease.
As I write this, I’m about 1/3 of the way through the other front, adding buttonholes as I go. When it comes to buttons for this sweater I have absolutely no idea, usually that’s all been decided beforehand. The buttonholes per pattern instructions are ‘two stitch buttonholes’, fairly large openings. I’ve decided that if I go with a smaller button I’ll just put a couple little tack stitches in the sides of the hole to snug them up.
Knit On! May your countries team win!
I made my goal of having the first half of the Hue Shift Afghan done! The two halves together give not only a sense of accomplishment but a peek at how gorgeous this afghan is going to be!
Half down, another half to go (after Olympic knitting)!
The ‘new’ half is furthest away on the left side of the photo above
I love to see how the colors move together with the diagonal ‘line’ of the mitered square adds interest and motion.
Super pleased at the half way point for sure!
Now a brief break for Olympic Ravellenic Knitting, next up:
This gorgeous baby sweater, in a rosy pink
With the Olympics starting in less than two days I’m in the final big push to afghan goal before beginning my project(s) for the Ravellenics.
Eligibility: Any knitter who, embracing the “Citius, Alitius Fortius” ideal, would like to challenge themselves while embracing the Olympic spirit, and is just whacked enough to play along with me.
Concept: You must cast on a project during or after the Opening Ceremonies of the Winter Olympics (Feb 7, 8 PM Sochi time)- and finish before the Olympic flame goes out (Feb 23). That’s 13 days.
- The project must be a challenge for you to complete in 16 days.
- There are no rules about what a challenge would be. Like the real Olympics, there are many areas to compete in. If you are a new knitter, then a garter stitch baby sweater might do…If you are experienced, well. I’ve already considered Torino. Use your own conscience.
- While this is intended to be somewhat difficult (like the Olympics) it is not intended to ruin your life. Don’t set yourself up for failure. (Olympic athletes may cry, but they do not whine pitifully, sob and threaten members of their family with pointed sticks because they haven’t slept in five days. ) This is intended to (like the Olympics) require some measure of sacrifice, and be difficult, but it should be possible to attain.
- No casting on before the flame is lit (mod: no casting on before Opening Ceremonies, because we have no idea when the flame is lit.)
- Finish before the flame goes out.
- You may swatch before the games. (I consider this “training.”)
Knitting Olympics rules by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
Afghan first, my goal is to complete the first half of the afghan, three blocks remain as I write this. That means that I need to knit with some madness tomorrow through (bad math disclaimer), 11 a.m. on Friday. I think I’ve got it (knock knock).
I’m ready for the start of the Olympics as it relates to knitting (which is everything!!!)—- and have swatched for my opening project, and have the yarn wound and project in a clear protector along with needles at the ready.
Look at that beautiful swatch! Garter border on both sides so it lays nice and flat- washed and dried– carefully measured. Wish my swatching was always this meticulous. It is decidedly NOT!
What are YOU creating during the Olympics?