This, That and the Other


Spring does seem to be affecting my creative endeavors, as I am flitting between projects and crafts.
Tried the Smitten Kitchen's Light Wheat Bread recipe which was very tasty. Good toasted with peanut butter on top for a light breakfast.
Worked a little on nakniswemodo sweater number 6, the Climbing Vines pullover from Interweave Winter 08. I'm blaming the reading of other people's blogs for this project choice. Like everyone else I'm using Dream in Color Classy, my personal color choice... Loopy Ewe's exclusive "Don't be Blue." Two sleeves down and the rest of the body to go. This one might take a little while since socks are distracting me.
Then there was the completely addictive time suck of the Woolgirl sock club pattern Majestic. Knitting this with LOST season two in the back ground is pretty much all I did Monday through Wednesday.
small glided

Sock heel
After releasing myself for sock craziness I got out the sewing machine and tried to make one of those puzzle balls from "Last Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts." Yeah, that reminded me why sewing pisses me off. Stupid ball grrrrr.
To make myself feel better about sewing I had to cast on a new sock from left over Hazel Knits Euphorbia. Hopefully this will become something leafy fitting for spring. Grow happy sock grow!
embossed start

Twisted-V Pullover... the sweater that was meant to be


Take ten balls of yarn bought on a whim. Add a randomly free download from Interweave's Knitting Daily newsletter. What you get is the happy accident of my Twisted-V Pullover.


I was stalking...umm noo... checking out... yes.. book previews on Interweave site and took a liking to the Twisted-V Pullover in Simple Style. Then wonder of wonders Knitting Daily offered the pattern as a free download. But wait there's more... the yarn suggestion "Zara" was already in my stash. Score!


Construction was straight forward or should I say simple? :) Cast on in the round and knit that twisted rib until your eyes start to cross. Listening to a good audio book during this part will make all that knitting go much faster.

The length of the sweater can be easily modified here by adding or subtracting twisted ribbing before working the body chart. I tried on the partially completed body, measured the length and compared it to the flat length. It looked like I was losing about 1 1/2 inches due to negative ease, so I added an extra inch of twisted rib.

After finishing the chart you split for the armholes and start working the front and back separately. I also made a mod here, using short rows for the shoulder so a three needle bind-off could be used to join the pieces. Worked like a charm.

My last mod was to drastically increase the number of stitches that were picked up and purled around the V-neck. I picked up 60 for each side of the front on a size 34 because there seemed to have extra length there too. As long as you follow the guideline to pick up 3 stitches for every 4 rows then the finished edge looks great. (If you are using the free download the text says to check the back of the book for how to pick up and purl. Thankfully the internet will clear this technique up for you, hooray internet!)


If I was to do this sweater over again there would be only one change, to work a little more length into the body. Other than that it's perfect. I like the V-neck depth, the thin sleeves and the squooshiness of the yarn. It's flattering and people will never believe you knitted it. :)

This sweater can also be an awesome looking vest if you do a little finishing on the arm holes.

Sock Club Loot


Small March

It's mid March and once again I am part of the legion of unemployed. The last economic downturn taught me that small companies will lay off most of their QA department and this time I was ready. Emergency money fund... check, Emergency yarn stash... check, Resume updated... check, .... On husband's health care plan... check. Ahhhh I'm about as stress free as an unemployed person can be.

There won't be many yarn purchases now, but there are the two (already paid for) sock clubs to fill my mail box with new goodies. In fact I'm still enjoying just staring at the yarn from the February shipments.
A test
We are so pretty all together.

On the outsides Hazel Knits in Deep Peacock and Grape Harvest. Wendee also generously sent along some bamboo DPNs, a stitch marker, and nice laminated kitchener card. (Maybe some other stuff that I've already ingested. See what happens when you wait to long to blog)

In the middle from Woolgirl is Zen Yarn Garden Serenity sock with "the cashmere" in it baby! And booty lots of booty.

Barring any nasty weather there will be new sweater pics this weekend.

Cookie Cooking Weekend


In one week we went from snow and icicles...

To bulbs popping their heads out to the sunshine.

Suddenly it seems like the baking season is quickly coming to an end with so many new recipes untried. I couldn't let it slip past without a big cookie baking blowout. All recipes are from the Smitten Kitchen blog.

First recipe on the list to try was the World Peace/Korova Cookies. I'm always looking for ways to use up my bag of coco powder but often find cookies made just with coco are not chocolaty enough. This recipe also adds chocolate chunks which seemed a promising way to amp up the chocolate factor. I also admit to getting all fancy pants and buying Scharffen Berger for the chunks, the body is weak when it comes to chocolate.

This was one of those recipes where you annoyingly have to refrigerate the dough before it can be baked and transferred into your mouth. Usually this puts me off an recipe but when trying 3 different recipes this down time is a plus.

Hot these cookies are good but not that impressive, I like a sharper chocolate taste in the state. However the next day at room temperature..... Divine! The cookie base seems almost short bread like which contrasts nicely with the texture of cold chocolate. Using a good quality bittersweet chocolate for the chunks gives you a satisfying chocolate taste without being too sweet. I would make these again.

Next up the Thick, Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookie.
As a kid oatmeal raisin cookies were my favorite, even over chocolate chip. This might have been because my sister didn't like them as much which left more for me. Or it could have been because the 70's Betty Crocker recipe had a butt load of trans-fat Crisco in it (Because butter is bad for you right!!). Oh all the things we didn't know where bad for us in the 80's.

What ever the reason I have a nostalgic love of oatmeal raisin cookies and always like to try a new recipe out. This particular recipe is really your standard oatmeal raisin ingredients but called for the dough to be refrigerated before baking to keep them thick. My dough was probably chilled for an hour which may have been too long. I had a had time getting them to cook to the point where they looked done but were not very dark along the edges. Taste wise they are a nice standard oatmeal cookie, but Martha Steward seems to have ruined me for any oatmeal cookies without coconut in them. (I know it sounds crazy but you don't taste the coconut it just tastes fruity and good!)
Because of my love for Martha's oatmeal cookies in the Baking Handbook and the fact they always bake picture perfectly I won't be making these again.

The last cookie to try was the Crispy Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie.
Did you say crispy, chewy and chocolate all at the same time!!!! Excuse me while I wipe the drool off my keyboard.
Again the recipe ingredients were pretty standard for a chocolate chip cookie, but it was the first time I've ever melted the butter before creaming it in with the sugars. The addition of one egg plus another yoke was also interesting. Toward the end of mixing the batter texture was looking to runny, but then suddenly the butter firmed up and it was perfect.

So how does it taste? It really does taste crispy and chewy! My husband even used those exact words even though he had never seen the recipe. I like these a lot, not only for the texture but because the appearance of the baked cookie is top notch. They taste great hot, they taste great cold and probably good with milk if you aren't allergic to it. You can probably tell that I'll be making these babies again.

So anyone want to come over and have some cookies? :)
Oatmeal raisin on the left, chocolate chip on the right and world peace cookies on the top.

On and Off the needles


First up... what's off the needles is my 4th nakniswemodo sweater, Anna Bell's Cherry.
Slowly slowly, I am inching my way through all the finishing needed for a sweater knit in pieces. Boy does that process seem to take too long! Just to sew in two little sleeves took two Battle Star Galactica episodes and half of the commentary track. Ugh! Might be time to think about getting a yoke sweater on the needles.
Here's hoping that the end of next week this puppy has some buttons sewn on finally.

What's on the needles now.... a Twisted-V Pullover thanks to the good folks over at Knitting Daily who released this pattern gratis. This was super exciting since I'd seen this sweater photo in the Simple Style on-line preview and liked it. Then lo and below the pattern called for Zara and there was already a sweater's worth of this yarn in my stash. It was truly meant to be.
Mmmm twisted rib looks nice.

Orange is the new red


other orange

Orange is stalking me, it wants to be part of my wardrobe and won't take No for an answer. I tell it very nicely that it will always be welcome in my home full of orange trash cans and decorative citrus kitchen items. But other than the accidental orange-red coat it really can't be in my wardrobe. Orange next to my face...not so flattering.


Orange persists, tells me that it looks good with gray and don't I like gray? Aren't I knitting a gray sweater? How about an orange skirt? Wouldn't that be nice since it's not close to your face? Wear some gray tights and the whole skin tone thing is moot.
The widest part of my body in a bright color? No Orange I don't think so.

Orange gets cranky, trows tantrum, says it is just trying to lift my late winter mood. Why must I be difficult? Don't I know that Orange will not give up so easily. It stalks off in a huff.

I sigh and look around my bedroom, suddenly noticing that some weeks ago I moved all orangish sock yarn to my dresser top. Maybe I should just knit some socks from one of these skeins and hope orange is satisfied. If not I'll teased mercilessly at work when I walk in wearing orange skirt.
1. IMG_0158, 2. mosaic5071440, 3. IMG_0076

Proudly designed by Mlekoshi pixel perfect web designs