Sunday, March 28, 2010


I made a lot of Mobius cowls as Christmas gifts. I made four more, exactly like that first one awhile back, for my mother, her three sisters, and my grandmother. I was able to get all five out of a bit less than two skeins of Knit Picks Shimmer in Sweet Pea. I have two more skeins, and am considering making one for myself, but I don't think I want to dip into those two fresh skeins just yet. You can do a lot with two skeins of laceweight, and I don't think I want to limit myself to millions of cowls, though I do love the pattern and how fast it works up. I also wore one for a day and really, really liked how it was, so now I'm wishing I'd made one for me. I do have some other laceweight looking for a project, though it's a bit thinner (KnitPicks Alpaca Cloud), that would work, and some as-yet unassigned solid colored laceweight...hmmm....

I got a bit artsy with some of these shots, so I've just shown off the nicer ones and not the oh hey, another blocking trapezoid! shots, and all the details are the same, except the exact working dates. I had some issues with my Boye Interchangeables set with the first one; the cords must be joined to work a mobius, and the join was sticking. I got an amazing Addi Turbo Lace 32" (80 cm) US4 needle for the others, and love, love, love it dearly. I can't wait to work on another currently hibernating lace project with these needles, it's so wonderful. I've decided to get the full set of 32" Addi Lace Turbos, and have just learned that they're in the process of prototyping and testing a set of Lace Clicks, so I may just get a set of those next Christmas instead of continuing the collection of 32" circular needles. Mmmm, I do love these things!

Pattern: May Flowers Mobius
Yarn: KnitPicks Shimmer in Sweet Pea, approximately .4 of a skein
Timeframe: One week per mobius, if I'm concentrating on it and it alone, but months really for most of them waiting to block
Mods: None, used Snapdragon Variation
Problems: None, this was lovely and amazing and I'd love to make more!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

FO Round Up 1: Clogs

I've got a bunch of finished items that just haven't been blogged. Let's start with clogs!

I made four pairs of clogs for Christmas. Four pairs of clogs for others, and those two that are about finished for Lee and I, six in all. I had a bunch of Patons Classic Wool that I'd just decided to make useful things out of instead of keeping it around for a possible future blanket that likely won't get made while in Japan, and I've already used about half of the 20 skeins I was saving. Many of those skeins went for these clogs.

The first one was all Patons, I had a skein of gray and the 20 skeins of Taupe, obvious choice to start with.

Pattern: Fiber Trends Clogs
Size: Men's M
Yarn: Patons Classic Wool, 3 skeins, Taupe and Gray
Needles: US13
Timeframe: December 10 - 16, 2009
Mods: None.
Problems: Felting wasn't perfect, but I don't think with my setup it can be.

I was surprised at how well it felted. I have a front loader with no hot water possible, and this felted quite nicely for the most part.

For the next bunch, I put some puff paint on the bottom so they'd have a bit of traction. Two pairs are going to my grandparents, and I will not be responsible for causing broken hips if I can help it. I didn't do it for the first pair and probably won't for the last two, unless they prove to need it during use.

Pattern: Fiber Trends Clogs
Size: Men's M
Yarn: Patons Classic Wool, 1.6 skeins Taupe, 3 skeins of Japanese dollar store wool in gray, and a bit of Patons in gray because I didn't have enough Japanese yarn.
Needles: US13, US11
Timeframe: December 13, 2009 - January 4, 2010
Mods: None.
Problems: Felting wasn't perfect, but I don't think with my setup it can be, ran out of gray and used a slightly differently shaded one.

I found a good yarn at the dollar store to use, but it was closer to a DK weight so required triple stranding to match the Patons. With the triple stranding, I thought it was slightly thicker so went down a needle size to match the same gauge as the Patons.

Pattern: Fiber Trends Clogs
Size: Men's M
Yarn: Patons Classic Wool, 1.6 skeins Taupe, 3 skeins of Japanese dollar store wool in green, and oddly had enough yarn this time.
Needles: US13, US11
Timeframe: December 28, 2009 - January 4, 2010
Mods: None.
Problems: Felting wasn't perfect, but I don't think with my setup it can be.

Pattern: Fiber Trends Clogs
Size: Woman's M
Yarn: Japanese dollar store wool in pink and beige, under 6 skeins of beige and 3 skeins of pink.
Needles: US11
Timeframe: December 30, 2009 - January 4, 2010
Mods: None, though I discovered that spit splicing the two colors together works quite well since it's going to be felted anyway.
Problems: Felting wasn't perfect, in fact, the soles didn't felt well at all. They shrunk, but are still very ridged.

I learned that I should use the US13 with the dollar store yarn anyway, and this yarn makes for awesomely cheap clogs. I may just be knitting more next winter for those who didn't get them this winter.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


I enjoy trying to make things, things I like to eat. This includes a few breakfast or dinner meals, but mostly it's baked goods, desserts, and candy. A number of the dinners I enjoy include baked aspects, like curried pot pie and a casserole with drop biscuit topping as well as biscuits, bread, and tortillas for other meals. My recent candy attempts have worked amazingly well.

First off, I made some butter toffee. Lee isn't a big fan of many of the things I make candy-wise, but he loves chocolate bars containing toffee. I wasn't sure how it would turn out, and nuts are expensive here, so I made it sans almond topping, but it was delicious:

I read quite a few different recipes, because I've found that especially with candy, there are typically many different possible recipes, but some aspects remain the same no matter what. I trust Cooking for Engineers quite a bit, so adapted their recipe:

Cover a tray with parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet. Mine has a gutter around the edges, and some of the toffee dripped down into the gutter but didn't stick to the pan at all. Parchment paper may or may not be necessary, but the recipe says to use it. First off, make sure your candy thermometer is reading reliably. Boil some water, it should be 100 C or 212 F. At boiling, mine reads 110 C, so I have to adjust temperatures by about 10 C.

Put in a saucepan at least twice as large as these ingredients:
225 g unsalted butter
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
A large splash (approximately 2 tsp) of water

Boil over low/medium low heat. Stir constantly; it will bubble up while the water boils off and will stay at approximately 110 C (120 C on my thermometer) while this happens. Then, it will thicken and the temperature will rise fairly quickly. Continue stirring and heating until it's at least 150 C but before it hits 160 C.

Remove from heat once it's at 150 C and stir in:
1 tsp vanilla

Pour onto the pan and spread using a silicone spatula. I grated a bunch of milk chocolate from a large block over half of the hot toffee, and laid a 60 g chocolate bar on the other half. Then, I spread the chocolate around the top of the toffee as it melted from the heat of the toffee. I tossed it into the refrigerator to cool for awhile, then broke it up. It was delicious.

Friday, March 12, 2010

WIP Down

WIPs must be finished. 34, if I'm completely honest about everything, is the number of WIPs I have.

Some can be finished easily. I have some little magnets that just need seaming and stuffing. Others are not so easily finished; a large lace stole, colorwork sweater, and two queen sized blankets as well as my cross stitches are waiting their turn.

At the moment, I have an at-home project and an out and about project. The at home projects are the last two pairs of felted clogs, just in time to store them for the summer. Oh well.

I ran out of yarn for Lee's, so used a similar color from a different pair to finish off the center sole. I'm triple soling them for maximum warmth and comfort. It's not noticeable unless you're really inspecting the clog, and once it's felted, will probably be invisible.

At this point, his are finished except felting, and I just have the final two soles and attaching to do to make mine.

My out and about project is the last of a string of Mobii. Mobiuses? Neck cowls.

I have 1.5 rows, and then the I-cord bindoff left to finish it up. I should have all three done this weekend, and will be moving on to sewing up the magnets so they're finally done (killing a whopping 10 WIPs) and probably taking one of the queen sized blankets as my take-along project. Must finish knits! So I can start more...

Thursday, March 4, 2010


I was going over my WIPs the other day. I have a lot. They all seem to come in pairs. I have:

2 pairs of gloves
2 pairs of socks
2 pairs of slippers
2 blankets
2 WIPs started pre-Japan
2 magnets, times 4, 8 total
2 pairs of socks to darn
2 WIPs that don't fit in the other categories
2 Art of Disney cross stitches
2 other cross stitches

I feel like I'm forgetting something...

Anyway, lots of WIPs, even more FOs, some baking and candymaking, and continuing blanket progress. Stay tuned.