Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Tweedy New Year

I've had this Aran wool from Kerry Woollen Mills that I got at Dublin Bay Knitting Co. in Portland, OR awhile back. I have been saving it up to do an Irish tweedy vest of some sort. Here is my first try at doing one. The pattern: Bramblewood. I found the yarn to be very scritchy and stiff. I tried spraying with water and blocking out a bit to see if it would change and "bloom" a bit, and I think it would. Then as I went along, it just didn't seem the cables were "popping" out as they should so I am not sure I want to continue this vest,as the cables are on both back and front sides.
Though I do love this pattern...

They show up a bit more on the top section, as that is what I sprayed and tried to block, poke and prod the cables to come out a bit. I have set this one aside for now.

Instead I found an easy Green Day vest pattern that I am trying since I have plenty of the yarn to begin again. And maybe it will be easier to work with this new pattern.

It has a twisted knit row every third row on the hemline. It calls for other cables to run from underarm to hem on the sides, however I am omitting those cables.

I'm liking it so far...It's very cold out here and nice to be working with tweedy wool.
Happy Knit Year!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas Knitting and hello, yellow bird artwork!

Merry Christmas to all! I was blessed by handmade cards by my "artist" daughter. She will be very likely to sell her artwork on etsy, and also has her portfolio and contact information up online. She is a graphic designer/illustrator/sudio artist. You can find her work here:! And her blog here:

...and sheep stitch markers given to me by my son in law and other daughter. Shown here working on my next project, with "happy" sheep adorning my needles!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Push the Reset Button

Shortbread #4 is the same version as below, except using only 6 Tbl. corn starch and about 1/2 c. (?) or more ground almond meal, adding 1/2 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. vanilla. I pulled out of oven when it started to get golden. Cut while warm. Then dusted with powdered sugar while warm. This tastes very much like our family favorite, Almond Crescents, but easier to make in a 9 x13 pan!
Shortbread Try #3: This time I used the whole cup of cornstarch. Not even a "scant". Felt weird putting that much cornstarch in. I also added 1/2 tsp. salt since I used unsalted butter and we decided shortbread has to have salt to taste right.

It came out like this, but I put back in the oven to see if I could get it to cook a bit more after I cut it.

The edge pieces looked like this. The center ones were poofier.

I would have to say the flavor was good. I dusted with granulated sugar prior to baking. Recipe calls for powdered sugar dusting after it comes out of the oven, which tastes great too, we found upon our last test trial.

The cornstarch seems to make it taste a bit lighter and a bit crispier on the edge pieces, but seems to add a puffiness to the center pieces that is also nice.

Knitting along on the 1 x 1 rib scarf in between batches of Scottish Shortbread. Using O-Wool...easy knit, easy going...vacation pace!

Trying Scottish Shortbread Recipe #2: This one called for scant 1 c. cornstarch. I only had but a few tablespoons, so I threw that in, then added about a few shakes-maybe 1/2 c.- of ground almond meal for good measure. I also added in 1/2 tsp. salt this time, since I used unsalted butter. Kind of like a combination of our family favorite recipe for "almond crescents" mixed with the shortbread recipe below-minus, as I mentioned, most the corn starch!:

Baked as directed and here are the results, after shaking on the powdered sugar:

Mighty good, mighty good. Yes, indeed. I gained a pound just looking at them! I might try this one again after purchasing more corn starch and see how that turns out doing them again with the 1 c. cornstarch. The ground almonds are a great addition, by the way!

Pushing the reset button on life and going into Christmas baking mode around here....Recipe attempt #1 yielded a thin cookie. I used unsalted butter and therefore, it was not quite as salty as it probably should've been. I sprinkled granulated sugar over the top before baking. Here is how they appeared after being cut. Not too poofy. Might need to use an 8x8 pan to make double the poofiness.

The recipe I used was from here:

My husband was happy to test them out. We decided it needed the salt and maybe I would try another recipe until I hit it right.

And a bit of mindless easy knitting on a scarf using alternating colors of O-Wool. In a knit 1, purl 1 rib. I am slipping the first and last stitch of every 2nd row purlwise to have the edges look cleaner.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Fast Fingerless Gloves

These lovely gloves "winged" their way all the way to my knitter friend in the UK, where I hope they will keep her toasty warm while they are experiencing quite a snow storm over the holidays.
This link here:
How to Knit Fingerless Gloves
is a video I found with a super easy "recipe" for fast fingerless gloves. I know you thought I'd never make any more after last year when I made like 10 pairs of Fetching. I have made alot of these easy pairs in the past few days. Easy because no cabling is required. And they don't have thumbs. But you could add them.Use bulky worsted weight yarn. Size 9 needles. Or 10. Cast on 24. K2 P2 in rib for 15 rows for cuff, then knit in stockinette for 12 rows (or more for longer gloves), K2 P2 rib for 4 more rows and cast off in rib. Sew the side seams leaving room for your thumb. Voila! A bit of leftover stash used up.

Two -toned gloves using a smaller gauge yarn, casting on 34 instead, and using a lighter grey on the trim.

And a few gifts are made!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Yarn and coffee in Mt. Vernon, WA

A sneak preview of my upcoming project: Mythos. It's a sweater using fingering weight yarn on size 7 needles. Slow going with the stockinette stitch, but I am alternating between two colorways of yarn that keeps me "paying attention." If you want to see a fabulous version of Mythos, you should check out my side bar and go to Busy Bea Knits. Hers is fantastic!
I got to visit the Wild Fibers yarn shop in Mt. Vernon, WA on our way up north today. They had a fantastic selection. I really loved all they carried. All the great "names" in yarn: Cascade, Noro, and Debbie Bliss, Spud and Chloe, Berroco, Rowan, Manos del Uruguay, etc... and some pretty hand painted sock yarns. They also had some really cute buttons. Plus, they were open on a Sunday. Cute sign in the bathroom that reads: This bathroom is very old- it used to be the jail! The toilet will not flush properly unless it has stopped running from the previous flush....

Ristretto coffee had a nice latte made for me, not too hot... and festive straws for the season. Ahhh...