Monday, January 31, 2011

stitched together

This is one of those projects that I couldn't be happier about finishing. I honestly don't know why it took me so long. (Probably because I am a little (a lot) intimidated about quilting.)
Remember me talking about the twelve square quilt?
{Twelve women make twelve quilts in a virtual quilting bee. Each month a different quilter mails out fabric to the other members of the quilting bee. Everyone makes a quilt square using that fabric and fabric from their stash, according to some specification, but also bringing their own unique voice to the square. The squares are mailed back to the originator and they have the makings for a full quilt!}
So, eleven others made my squares. The only thing I had to do was sew the squares together and finish it off. The months passed and finally I decided to implement Kristyn's 15 minute method. Fifteen minutes a day. Or, fifteen minutes every other day. Or, fifteen minutes a week. I'm pretty sure I did fifteen minutes a month. Because that is how long it took me. Months.
I backed it with a thrifted sheet. Machine stitched it together and hand stitched the binding. I stink at hand sewing... and I'm okay with that.
I am beyond thrilled to have this finished. And the squares that the eleven others made couldn't be more special to me. Eleven gorgeous squares, made from eleven talented women, stitched together to make one sweet quilt for my Libby.
Pretty darn Amazing.
Happy Monday!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

hearts

I'd like to knit a huge amount of these. I thought about attaching a piece of grosgrain ribbon (or just a piece of yarn) while sewing it together and hanging from some twigs that I have in a vase. I think that would look really fun. Or, attaching them to Valentine's Day gifts. Or, filling with lavender and throwing into a drawer. Or, how about leaving the top open and filling it with little love notes!
But, for now I am just tossing them into a vase in the center of the table. I like this, too. They are meant to be felted. But to be quite honest, I am not even sure this yarn will felt. However, it is the perfect use for all those leftover little balls you have. (Suzanne!) This pattern accomplishes the shape of the heart by knitting short rows. I found a free pattern here that uses increases and decreases to do the same.
If you ordered the place mats (thank you!) remember to decorate them for yourself or for your sweeties. They are still available and if you order before February 7, you, too, can have them for Valentine's day.

Friday, January 21, 2011

I've been making hats.

I have sort of been on a hat kick. Easy to make. Easy to wear.
Simple Hat from Cables Untangled. I really love this hat. The cables are fun and everyone in the family can wear it. Yarn: Cascade 220 tweed. Color, 7612.
Tetsubou by Kristen Johnstone. I was lucky enough to win this pattern over on Kristen's blog. Love this hat and I adore the I-cord tie in the back. Yarn: Cascade 220 superwash.
Zig Zag beanie from Interweave knits, fall 2008. This was fun to make and the yarn I used was so soft and furry. ("Furry" injected by Andrew.)

My good friend, Michelle, is on her way over to help me clean out my closet. We do this a couple of times a year. Seriously, grab a friend, (a friend that can be brutally honest with you) a bottle of wine and try on those clothes! Donate the items you no longer need, wear or that just don't look that good on you. (This is where your lovely, honest friend comes in.)
Have a fantastic weekend!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I've been baking.

So, we've had snow-days, half-days, delays and holidays. Resulting in an extra break from school and me drawn to the kitchen. Baking.
Okay, if you have tried making pop tarts, you know how delicious they are. Best eaten right from the oven. Or warmed later. With a big glass of milk. (I haven't had a glass of milk in years... coffee for me.)
Then I tried the sour cream orange cake (5th recipe down) from the Moosewood cookbook. Not too sweet and perfect with coffee. I almost omitted the glaze because I didn't have an orange liqueur and didn't want to buy a big bottle. However, they have those little bottles by the check out in my liquor store. Containing a perfect 3 TBLS just like the recipe suggested. I think that made the cake.
By the third batch of pop tarts, I feel like we discovered our favorite way to make them. I rolled them super thin. Seriously. Almost paper like. 3" x 4". Then, we put a B I G spoonful of the filling (Triple the recipe for the filling. You won't be sorry.) along one side and fold the piece in half. And then, after they cooled, drizzled brown sugar icing on top. Now THAT was the perfect little pop tart. Small, cinnamony and delicious.
{For the icing we melted 2 TBLS of butter and added 4 TBLS of milk and 1/3 cup of brown sugar. Mix well. Add 1 1/4 cup powdered sugar and 1/2 tsp of vanilla. Mix until smooth.}

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

hi

I've been a little off my game over here. This morning, I ripped out the second sleeve of my Elizabeth sweater. I reversed the decreases, so the sleeve was pretty tight near the underarm. That just wouldn't do. And last week, I made hockey pucks. No, seriously. Hockey pucks.
I didn't really catch it with the first batch. I thought that I had just forgot to roll them in sugar. So, next batch, I rolled. Then I realized that wasn't the only problem. They were heavy. As in, really heavy. Checked out the recipe. Whoops... I used baking powder. Not baking soda. And it was a really big whoops. Cause I had doubled the recipe.
When you don't succeed, try, try again. And so I did. And they turned out exactly as they should. (It wasn't my first go around with these. We love them around here.)
Over the last few times I have made them, I decided I like them a little smaller. They pack up nicely to give to friends.
I did finish a little knit. Made for a special friend. I had this yarn in my stash for some time. I turned to one of my favorite books, Pipsqueaks. Over the years, I have made my children several sweaters out of this book. It really is a great one to add to your collection. You may even be able to find it in one of your used book stores. Speaking of used books... I recently stumbled upon the Moosewood Cookbook. Where have I been? And how did I ever live without it?
The snow is falling and this morning I stocked up on butter, flour and sugar.
Have a great one!

Saturday, January 01, 2011

1.1.11

Libby asked for a store bought hat (shudder!) and I get that. The whole teen thing... I guarantee she will come back around.
However, she said she would love if I made her flip-top mittens. Okay, then. I'll get right on that.
I modified the flip top mitten pattern from the 60 quick knits book. A simpler version with a 2 x 2 rib instead of the lace pattern and a shorter flip because she thought she would mostly wear them as mitts. She thought she would only need the "flip" if it got too cold at the bus stop.
I knit these in Cascade 220 superwash, #817.
To all my friends who knit, crochet, bake, sew, read, drink wine, sing, dance, drink coffee/tea, take photos, stop by my little space here and to those who bought my place mats...
I wish you a very Happy 2011!!!

Now, let's get knitting!