Baking and crafts and yarn, oh my! December 23, 2008Posted by jeninmaine in Crafty, food, kidlet, knitting.
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Yummy. It took a little doing to figure out the right proportion of flour + dough so that it didn’t stick to the mold, yet didn’t immediately fall out, either. I used a standard Springerle recipe, except instead of anise oil I substituted 3-4 tbs of vanilla extract. It damn near killed my mixer as it calls for nine cups of flour, in addition to the other ingredients – the dough gets very stiff toward the end so I had to take the bowl off and finish mixing it by hand. Ooof. Love my mixer. You’re supposed to let them age but I can attest that they taste good 5 minutes after coming out of the oven, a day later, two days later…they’re awesome with milk, dense yet sort of fluffy, if a cookie can be such a thing.
This is kind of a dark photo but Kerry wanted to see what I made with kidlet and I was testing out the A mode on my camera. I need more practice.
This was fun – we made a paper garland out of some acrylic yarn and punched out shapes – you can recycle greeting cards for this purpose, or, in our case I grabbed four random sheets of scrapbooking paper to try it out. It was a good project to do with kidlet, I punched out two sizes of each shape and he had fun gluing them together. Thank you, Martha!
Another Martha project – these are ornaments to be are hung on the tree and treats are put inside the cone. I figure we’ll bring a bunch to my MIL’s and hang them on her tree.
I am not at all ashamed to admit that I love Martha Stewart. I realize that she doesn’t possibly come up with all the cool stuff in her magazines and her website, but still, it’s the kind of organization and “everything-just-so” that a Virgo like me drools over. If only I were half as put together. She’s the modern day June Cleaver.
Therefore I must tell you all about the Martha Stewart website. If you’re not familiar with it, go NOW and get yourself an account. Why? Because everything that is published in her magazines is on the site for free and you can bookmark things in your “collections” which is so amazingly useful! I have Firefox bookmarks but they’re not organized at all and half of them have sketchy descriptors so I don’t even know what they’re for any more. The MS website is just so slick and pretty and I’ve been clicking around saving recipes and craft ideas and I LOVE IT. LOVE.
Like OMG Puffy Maine Pancakes LOVE.
I’m working on some last-last minute scarves for xmas due to finding some gorgeous super bulky yarn called Ironstone Fun for a steal at WEBS (Kemma, take note) – $3.99 a skein, marked down from $12.99. I got three skeins of three colors each. My idea is to make a scarf/hat/mittens out of each color, but we’ll see how far I get. I could always make a mess of scarves. It will hopefully knit up very quickly.
Speaking of xmas prep, things are moving along pretty well, all told. I finished the Springerle cookies and Michael was a HUGE help in getting a good chunk of gifts wrapped tonight, as well as putting the kids’ photo into some photo ornaments I picked up.
I moved on to ginger spice cookies – oh mah gah, y’all, these might seriously have unseated Snickerdoodles as my Favorite Cookie, Ever. I really love simple cookies with few ingredients that are easy to make, yet so irresistible. The only PITA with this recipe was chopping up candied ginger – it sticks to the knife – but oh WOW these cookies are good. I’ve really had to steel myself not to eat them all and instead save them for gifts.
Well, I think that’s plenty of blah blah blah for one day.
Spinning, cat, socks December 17, 2008Posted by jeninmaine in kidlet, knitting, spinning.
Tags: cat, kidlet, ladybug, lucy lee, munchie, regia, schacht, shetland, socks, spinning
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Spun some Shetland top and navajo plied it.
Finished kidlet’s socks. He loved them so much he immediately wore them to school.
The socks are knit toe-up so the heel is just a flap with a gusset, only the stitches are being picked up along an extended sole instead of the heel. It’s wicked easy and looks nice. Kidlet’s feet are bigger than the pattern allows for so I came up with some modifications as I went. They’re listed on my Ravelry project page but in case you’re not able to make it there here they are:
1. I used Judy’s Magic Cast-On for the toe because it’s awesome and I love it.
2. From the toe I increased to 44 stitches total instead of 40.
3. I started the heel flap at 4″ as instructed, but then because my son’s feet were bigger than I remembered and too big for a 6″ sole I went to 8″ before starting the heel shaping.
4. This made the heel gusset larger so I picked up 16 stitches instead of 14 for a total of 64 stitches – it worked out to picking up every other row along the flap.
5. I then decreased back to my original 44 sts for the cuff.
6. I used the Elizabeth Zimmerman Sewn Cast-Off which made a nice stretchy cuff.
I got them to match as kidlet didn’t want tall socks, and the height he specified just happened to end the first sock right before the pattern repeat for the skein, so it really was serendipity. I may even have enough of the skein left to make a wee little pair for Margaret :)
Judy’s Magic Cast-On is so totally worth learning if you knit socks. It makes a perfect, beautiful toe that requires no seaming. I hate seaming. You can even knit your loose end into the first row so you won’t even need to run it in – just snip it when you’re done! Couldn’t be simpler. The cast-off is extremely easy, too, and worth it as I always tend to pull too tightly.
I chose this pattern as I was looking for an easy, basic sock pattern in childrens’ sizes that used fingering weight yarn. This was deceptively difficult as there are tons of wee baby socks made from fingering yarn, or childrens’ socks made from sport or worsted weight yarn. Perhaps if I ever became a knitwear designer I could find a niche in the 4-to-11 year old sock arena.