Thursday

[knitting] A year of handknit baby items...

Last Sunday morning after I cast off both striped Coffee Bean sweaters and sewed in all the ends, I picked up all the baby sweaters and brought them to my craft room desk. I dumped out all my buttons and started pawing through them...

I've been procrastinating sewing buttons on baby sweaters by knitting more baby sweaters. So many buttons to sew now! 😅

I finally settled on:

Final button choices. Make it work. #knitting #buttons

The crazy sweater got small mis-matched buttons:

This sweater is getting mismatched buttons.

All the finished sweaters, which I brought to my sister's yesterday:

Done. ✅✅✅✅✅✅

She had all the handknits that I've made over the last year for my niece laid out:

My sister laid out all the handmade things I've made for my niece. ❤️💛💚💙💜 Still so much I want to make...

So much made! So much more I want to make!

We distracted the little one with a video of herself, so I could snap a picture of her in one of the cardigans:

Distracting Ripley with a video so I can take a pic of her wearing one of the sweaters. 💜💚💛💙💖❤️

Awwww...

This was the state of my table at the end of the couch after working on so many projects:

My end table after working on a dozen projects. Time to organize and pick a new dozen.

Time to organize, put everything away... and start a bunch of new projects.

Wednesday

[knitting] Coffee Bean Cardigans

Two little striped cardigans:

Coffee Bean Cardigan

Coffee Bean Cardigan

After forcing myself to be all laissez-faire about my lack of control over the color pooling in yesterday's short-sleeved cardigan, I think I wanted order for the next projects. So two striped cardigans it was.

The pattern is Little Coffee Bean Cardigan (free on Ravelry) and the yarn is Salishan from Knit Picks. Never heard of that yarn? It was one of KP's first, when they first opened online. It's sooooo discontinued. Four colors (two balls each) have been in my stash for ages. I'm often digging through my stash looking for superwash yarn (I don't have much) to make things for my niece and even though this yarn's ball band said "hand wash only", the wool/cotton fiber content was enough to make me knit a small swatch and machine wash/dry. It didn't felt so I knew I could use it for baby stuff.

These were quick knits- apart form the sleeves. I'm adding striped sleeves to the list of things I hate to do. You know what's already on that list? Sewing buttons. I've been knitting so many baby sweaters and putting off sewing buttons by knitting more baby sweaters. This inevitably led to a pile of baby sweaters that all need buttons.

So I spent Sunday Morning with my button stash and settled on the following for these coffee beans:

Wooden buttons by @katrinkles_knitting_jewelry #knitting #buttons

Buttons and thread

Happy with how they turned out. I'm heading over to my sister's today to drop them off.

Tuesday

[knitting] Crazy sweater

I finally finished up a pile of baby cardigans for my niece this past weekend- sewing buttons on them and everything (just like proper sweaters have!). I wrapped up this interesting little number:

Eyelet yoke cardigan (sans eyelet yoke)

I was on an eyelet yoke cardigan kick after the first two I made came out so cute. Then I pulled out some colorful yarn and did the same pattern but with no eyelets. My main beef with the finished sweater is that the colors don't line up in the front. Doubling-down on on the lack of symmetry, I opted for small, mis-matched buttons from my button stash (hey- at least this used up some lone buttons!).

One thing to note is that it's short sleeved. Ran out of yarn. Can't remember the yarn name off the top of my head- I bought two balls at Country Woolens before it closed this winter. 

Monday

[cooking] Chocolate Bundt Castle

I ordered some fun cooking things last week (my reward for making it through another week of 6 am to 6 pm work days)- a couple of which were new bundt pans. I used a chocolate pound cake recipe from King Arthur Flour (from their Baker's Companion Cookbook, not the chocolate bundt recipe they've posting online for the Year of the Bundt) and poured it into a Castle-shaped pan.

Chocolate castle cake with powdered sugar snow. Next time I'll make red velvet and it can be a Corps castle. #baking #yearofthebundt

The resulting dark Dutch double cocoa cake was so dark, it was hard to distinguish some of the features. And since it's still doing this here:

Winter 4eva

I decided a dusting of powdered sugar over it all would make a nice, snowy castle.

This cake is great. So dark, so chocolate-y. I reduced the recipe by 1/3 for fear of the cake rising and boiling over, but that didn't happen. I would happily make this recipe again and do the full ingredient amounts. The castle bundt worked perfectly. I sprayed with non-stick spray right before pouring in the batter. I baked at 325 for 45 - 50 min. Not the full suggested time because of the way the batter is distributed (thinner at the top of the turrets, thicker near the base), my nose had me worrying about burning.

Friday

[misc] Rocky Friday

Rocky has figured out a way to hippty-hop all the way up to the top of the cat tower:

The rabbit has found a way to climb all the way up the cat tower. Time to rearrange some furniture around the bottom. 🐰 #houserabbit

Things were moved around the base after this picture, so he's not able to do it again.

TGIF. Next week marks another busy BUSY week for me. I'm going to sew some buttons this weekend and work on some sleeves. And rip out those socks. I'll take the snowshoes out for a spin before the snow melts next week. And the Green Mountain Fiber Festival is happening in WRJ. I might have to check it out and pick up a few things ;)

Thursday

[knitting] Two striped cardigans

Working on two little striped cardigans:

Striping all the things... #knitting

The bodies of both are nearly done. Then it's on to sleeves and button bands.

Wednesday

[knitting] The Newbury

After seeing a very famous person in a knit cowl/hood combo, I asked for help identifying the pattern on Ravelry and someone (of course) found it: The Newbury. I was so happy to see it offered as a knitting pattern. I found the project page on Rav and ordered some yarn. It was a quick knit- I made most of it during one movie.

Newbury cowl

I knit the pattern as written, except for the part that used US 17 needles. I don't have any US 17 and I didn't feel obligated to go out and get some since that was the first time in all my years knitting that I've ever done a pattern that called for that size.

Untitled

The wrapped-stitch pattern around the edges is a little "hole-y", so when I have the cowl up around my mouth, wind still shoots through the gaps in the stitches. I would make this pattern again but not use a lace pattern for the borders.

Untitled

The yarn is GGH Husky from Love Knitting. This was the first time I ordered from them and I definitely would again. Here's what I got:

Love Knitting delivery

The yarn was in a large drawstring organza bag (TOTALLY reusable as a project bag- awesome!) and a little catalog booklet with free patterns. One of the free patterns is for a lavender sachet doll. I grow lavender and just started collecting/drying it last year- you can see all my little lavender sachets on the right. So I think little lavender sachet dolls for drawers might be my go-to gift for the holidays this year.

Plus, this yarn is ~$4 per ball. I used 4 balls making this cowl/hood, which bring the cost of materials to $16. Just talking about it makes me want to order more yarn and make a couple more of these. This project is near instant gratification.

Tuesday

[cooking] Pi Day Quiche

3/14 was an epic snowday. Figures we get the blizzard of the year in mid-March. Since I was working from home, I was able to make a savory quiche for Pi(e) Day:

Pi Day ham and onion quiche. #piday #snowday

I recently used a 40% off coupon at Michael's to get a tin of alphabet cookie cutters. I adore jojoromancer's instagram (#piegoals) and all the words she includes in her designs. 

A lot of good the stupid alphabet does me when I want to put 3.141592653589793238462643... around the outside. Argh! I never have the things I need when I need them! Why don't I have numeral cookie cutters?! I had to make do with a pi symbol and PI PI PI PI PI PI PI PI around the outside. 

After baking:

Pi day quiche. 🐖 #piday

Just a simple cheese, ham and onion quiche. I make an all-butter double crust from King Arthur Flour's Baker's Companion cookbook. I roll half out and place it into the tart pan and refrigerate it. I layer the bottom with slices of Cabot sharp cheese. I get ham-ends from the Co-op (so cheap!) and chop it into chunks. Then thinly slice half of a small vidalia onion. I mix 4 medium eggs with 1 cup milk and pour over everything. Bake at 350 for 50 min.

The other half of the double-crust is still in the fridge. I think I'm going to make cute little blueberry tarts with that later in the week.

Monday

[misc] Murderface Monday

This is a busy time of year for me at my work, hence the silence all last week. Basically I leave the house before 6 am, get home after 6 pm. Then I just make supper and go to bed. And it didn't help that I had a cold all last week, so... it was not fun. I spent this past weekend relaxing and hanging out with Dollar and the cats. 

Murderface, finishing off a yawn after I woke him up for a picture:

Murderface, ending a yawn
 

Then I went to find Penny. Here she is... finishing off a yawn after I woke her up for a picture:

Penny, ending a yawn.

All right, fine. Maybe I'll leave these cats alone to nap in peace.

Actually, I had to move Penny:

Penny

So I could get that afghan back. I finally pulled out some yarn and figured out where I was in the pattern and added a new round. It's slow going but I'm ready to wrap it up. It's nice and dense and heavy- it's keeping me so warm while I work on it.

You know what I'm not working on? My Sock Madness socks:

First round Sock Madness. This is going sooooo slowwwww 🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢 #sockmadness11 #sockmadness #twistedmadness

I was so excited to start this year's SM11 but I'm hating this pattern. It's very slow going and the stitch is completely tedious. I keep wanting to persevere. At this point, I'm to the ankle of one sock and halfway through the leg of the other... but I think I'm going to rip it all out. Which makes me feel like I've completely wasted about 20 hours of knitting time but I know I'll be happier. I'm really quite stressed out and anxious at work (which will ease in another month or so), I don't need to ALSO worry about a looming deadline for making a pair of socks that I hate. I have about 50 free socks patterns in my Ravelry queue that I know I DO want to make, so I'm just going to print off 5 of those patterns and have my own low-stress Sock Madness. In fact, I'll just call it Sock Sanity. 

I know this is the right decision because I've already abandoned these socks and went back to other, fun things that I actually want to knit and finish. I finished a baby sweater and started another:

Little Coffee Bean Cardigan.

I washed and blocked 4 little finished baby sweaters. I started digging through my button stash. Just have to sew buttons and then they'll be ready to be gifted to the niece.

Will prob be working from home tomorrow- winter isn't over yet. We've got 12 " - 18" of snow forecast! Looks like I'll be able to take the snowshoes and snowmobiles out for another spin this season.


Friday

[knitting] Vintage Tools

My grandmother has been giving me lots of her old knitting/crafts stuff- tools, old patterns, unfinished projects. It's all been interesting to go through. If I ever want to take up stenciling, I've got a ton of patterns to choose from now. I haven't taken the time to research some of the more unfamiliar tools. Right now, I'm just sorting and organizing.

Vintage Knitting Tools and Notions

Vintage Knitting Tools and Notions

Vintage Knitting Tools and Notions

This was tucked into one of the knitting books, as a bookmarker:

Found this tucked away in a knitting pamphlet.

Eeeee! When the state abbreviations were new! I looked it up- it's from 1963! My grandmother probably kept it for reference.

There are a couple unfinished sweaters that she gave me. One with a missing sleeve and no yarn to make another sleeve so... I don't know what I'm going to do about that.

Then there's this mask:

Among a bunch of unfinished projects that my grandmother gave me is this. I think I'll seam the back shut, add some embroidery and call it my #waqollo mask. To wear when I'm rioting.

Literally, WTF. It's quite nice and tidy work- all that remains is to sew the back shut (looks like my grandmother hated sewing as much as me!), it's just so... funny. 

My grandmother has given me lots of her oooold recipes as well, which I want to start trying. I would love to start posting all this vintage stuff. Maybe to a new blog or maybe here under a new tag. 

TGIF. Work is about to get crazy busy so I'm going to try to relaaaax this weekend. 

Thursday

[knitting] No eyelet yoke cardigan

Using this colorful yarn to make a no eyelet yoke baby sweater:

Okay, one more baby sweater

I recently picked up a couple balls of this superwash DK yarn from Country Woolens before it closed. I thought, "Oh how fun, I'll use it for another eyelet yoke cardigan. But I'll omit the eyelet rows." But... I feel like it's turning out kind of... Ugly? Too colorful? Crazy? I don't know. Whatever, Imma just keep going. Baby's not gonna care that it's hideous- that'll come when she's in her teens.

Wednesday

[knitting] PussyHat3

Finished the third PussyHat:

PussyHat #3

It was in a state of "almost done" for weeks, I just ran out of yarn and back to rip back an old project to get more. And then skein and wash the yarn. But now I have lots of good-as-new pink superwash:

All that kinky pink yarn washed, dried, skeined. Good as new!!!

Sunday morning I got out the swift and ball winder to wind one smallish skein of pink yarn to finish the hat. I resisted the urge to pull out a bunch of random skeins from the stash to also wind into balls. (When I start winding, I want to wind everything.) I did find a 7-year-old project that has been monopolizing a 16" pair of US 7 circular needles- that green linen stitch cowl in the middle. 

Morning projects. That lime green, color pooling, linen stitch, neck warmer in the middle is going to the frog pond. It's been untouched, monopolizing a set of needles for... at least 7 years. #knitting #knittingufo

Ugh, the color pooling. I hated it from the get-go but rather than ripping it back, I just buried it away. Well, it's all gone now and I'll use the yarn for what it was originally intended- socks.

Speaking of socks- the specs for the first round of Sock Madness were released yesterday! Time to stash dive!