Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Bouncey Beret

This beret pattern was a quick knit. My gauge swatch was a little tight, 3.75 to 4 stitches per inch rather than the specified 3.5, which was ok with me. The pattern photo made the hat look like it was a generous size. Even with this slightly tighter gauge mine turned out fairly big. I like the hat, but I think I'd like it better just a bit smaller. I'm planning on knitting another and will use either smaller needles or cast on fewer stitches.

Pattern Error
I found one error in the pattern.

For the final row 9 sts remain, you are told to cut the yarn, leaving an 18" tail and then to seam the hat. It doesn't tell you what to do with those live 9 stitches that are still on the knitting needle.
Leave the stitches on the knitting needle, cut your yarn (I cut it 24" and had just enough length).
Thread the end of the cut yarn through a tapestry needle. Draw the threaded needle through the 9 live stitches, dropping them off the knitting needle and gently tighten, closing the hole.
Now sew down the seam to the ribbed brim.

The yarn is absolutely yummy. I used 'Rustic' by Cascade Yarns. It was new at my LYS.
It's wonderfully soft and I love the subtle variegation.

New Technique: Knit One Below
Used in the above pattern.

Insert R needle into the K stitch below the live stitch on the L needle.

Wrap yarn knitwise around R needle.

Draw yarn through the K stitch and pull newly formed stitch plus the live stitch off the L needle.

Viola, new stitch formed.

I was a little hesitant to pull the live stitch off with the stitch knitted below, but it really works. Almost like magic :)
This technique creates a raised, somewhat elongated stitch and resembles ribbing in its look. The resulting fabric however is not as tight and elastic as ribbing. It just has an interesting texture.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Warm and Spicy

Ethiopian Spicy Tomato Lentil Stew Recipe.
I made this stew and served it over orzo pasta. It was really yummy, a flavorful spicy not hot and easy to make.

As usual I made a few substitutions.
- red lentils instead of brown
I don't like using more than one pan so I wanted to cook the ingredients all together. I had heard (maybe on Food Network) that it's not good to boil spices for a long time. Red lentils cook more quickly than the brown, plus I like how they look.

- canned, no salt added diced tomatoes for the fresh tomatoes.
It is winter and canned have a much better taste and they are easier - open the can and dump.

- little slivers of ginger instead of grated
I like the little burst of ginger flavor as I'm eating the stew. It's such a lovely surprise for the taste buds.

- freshly grated black pepper for the cayenne.

- no fenugreek
I don't have any and didn't want to buy it. This stew has a long list of spices and I figured it wouldn't be missed.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Charting a Course

Love charts?
I read on Kkhymn's blog, who read on Orangellous' blog, who got the idea from Astroknits for a Knitting Chart Generator. It's a program that allows you to type in a written knitting pattern, row by row, and receive the pattern in chart form.

I haven't tried it yet, but it looks like a great idea. If you give it a test drive, please let me know what you think!

P.S. Currently on the needles.

I really love the red yarn. It's soooo soft. Stay tuned for the finished objects :)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Award Season

KKhymn has just honored me with the Kreativ Blogger Award. I always appreciate that people visit and comment on my blog.
I'm passing on the honor. Please visit the following wonderful blogs.
Sassa's Click, Click


If you've been nominated and would like to pass the award on, here are the guidelines.

1. Copy the award to your site.
2. Link to the person from whom you received the award.
3. Nominate up to 8 other bloggers.
4. Link to those on your blog.
5. Leave a message on the blogs you nominated.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Smelling Like a Rose

OOOOO, aren't these lovely. Rose shaped soaps by Layla, what a fun Valentine's Day gift this would be to get. Too bad V Day is tomorrow.

Hmmm, maybe Mother's Day. I'll have to drop a not-so-subtle hint ;)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Buttons, Photos, Vintage Fun

That's the tag line for Donnapool's shop. I couldn't resist featuring this adorable shot of her kitty, Sebastian. Hmmm, I wonder what fascinating scene is unfolding outside that window.

She has many more wonderful photos, buttons of all kinds, ACEO's and even a few plush toys.

Learn more about her and her shop by visiting her blog.

Friday, February 6, 2009

One Sweet Date

One of the Etsy Blogger topics for this month is to describe a favorite valentine date.

I love to cook. I love cooking with my sweetie. I'm thinking a lovely lasagna. This Eggplant Lasagna with Parsley Pesto looks like a great new recipe to try. A wonderful red wine and a crisp salad of baby greens would be perfect accompaniments.

For dessert, cupcakes! One for me and one for him. Maybe something from Cupcakesinjars.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Seeing Red

February is the month we think of hearts and flowers. The month where the color red covers displays of cards, candy and flowers.

How clever of the American Heart Association (AHA) to use this month to bring the issue of women and heart disease to our attention.

So while you thinking of the valentine card and gift you are giving to your special someone, think of yourself, think of the women you know, visit AHA's, Go Red for Women. This site is full of helpful information on keeping our hearts healthy and happy.

And the photo. It's of a shawl I made using a bright red, super light yarn. Not terribly warm but oh so glam, it's perfect to wear tomorrow, Wear Red Day February 6th.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Heart You

I found this sweet valentine card in BBesigns shop.

I really like sending valentines. Some years I've sent them instead of Christmas cards. I like the idea of letting my friends and family know I'm thinking of them at times other than the traditional ones. And I think it brings a bit of brightness to what can sometimes be a dreary time of year.