Thursday, March 27, 2008

Not quite closing the Garden Gate

I sort of finished the Garden Gate afghan. I ran out of yarn so I stopped knitting (obviously) but the afghan is a bit too short. I took it over to Really Knit Stuff (where I bought the yarn) for a consultation with Paula.

What could I do to make it bigger? I vaguely remembered that I bought all of the green yarn that Paula had. Could I add on end pieces in a contrasting color? Paula and I decided that I could add to both ends of the afghan with a dark blue. Unfortunately, she has to order the yarn for me so the Garden Gate will go into hiatus until the yarn arrives. I’ll post a picture when I’m done. I’m really liking the texture and color. And it feels so nice too.

The big furry critter in the background is my Maine Coon cat, RumpleTeaser. She likes to have her picture taken. It's all about the cat.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Knitting sick – or is it sick knitting?

I’m not a very good knitter when I’m sick. For the last week and a half I have had the super cold that is going around. I pushed myself to finish the Easter egg nests for the granddaughters (free pattern on the right sidebar) so I could ship them north. I made a small mistake on one but I said “good enough was better than none at all”.

I knit some rows on the Garden Gate throw. It was slow going and I know I dozed off in mid-row a few times.

The pattern is from the Little Box of Knitted Throws by Martingale knit with Jarbo Garn Raggi.

I did order yarn from Knit Picks (Swish worsted) for a Rambling Rows afgan. My intent is to make one for each granddaughter for Christmas. Most of the colors I wanted were on sale so that was a bright spot in my day. Such little comforts..

Both granddaughters are girly-girls - and I am so not - so the afgan colors will be pinks and purples with some blue for contrast. Hope I don’t get a tummy ache knitting with colors like bubblegum and ballerina!

Friday, March 7, 2008

A better nest

I wanted to improve the egg nest I wrote about in my last post and make it a bit sturdier. I used 2 stands of yarn and larger needles for the sides of the nest and that did the trick. The nest is no longer floppy and squishy and holds the eggs just fine. And the shape is better too.

The pattern is posted in the right side bar. The nest is a quick knit – about 2 1/2 hours start to finish.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The eggs are falling out of the nest

Easter is looming and there are granddaughters to send treasures to. And what better Easter treasure than a hand knit egg nest.
Last Friday I was at my LYS buying Euroflax linen to send to my mom in Detroit. Mom was interested in my washcloth projects
and wanted to knit one. While picking out the linen I noticed that wonderful Paula, LYS owner, had several Easter egg nests scattered around her shop. Paula had crocheted them without a pattern and I thought I could recreate a nest as a knitted item. The Prodigious Knitter happened to be there and we conspired - yarn, technique, color - it was great.

First attempt, not so good. I had this weird cone thing going on – not very nest like. I started over with bigger needles and this version came out better. I like how it looks but it was a bit too floppy and squishy.
So I am going try again, but when I knit the sides I will use 2 strands of yarn to make it more substantial. After all, can’t have the eggs falling out of the nest.

I’ll post pictures and pattern in a day or so when I get the next version done. Right now, there’s a Jameson Irish whiskey and a piece of dark chocolate waiting for me. After the work day I had today, I deserve them both.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Today was a baking day. The temp reached 74 this afternoon so it was wonderful to open the windows and let the fresh air mingle with the aroma of fresh bread and cookies.
The bread is 100% whole wheat sandwich bread from the
King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking cookbook. This bread never fails and the organic white wheat flour is sweet with no bitter flavor. I like to make the dough in my bread machine and bake the loaf in the oven. The bread machine does all the work and I get a traditional shaped loaf.

The cookies are oatmeal peanut butter chocolate chip. The cookie recipe is also from the King Arthur book but with a twist. A co-worker gave me a jar of peanut butter powder and I added 2/3 cup to the dough. The cookies turned out great. All whole grain – oat flour and oatmeal - with a peanut buttery taste.

The peanut butter powder is from Bell Plantation in Tifton, GA. It's pretty cool stuff. I added 1/4 cup to a box of instant chocolate pudding and it was like eating a peanut butter cup. Yummy...