stash busting

finished the shelburne mittens today!

i still have close to three skeins of the rowan big wool left in my stash, too. i've had this for an embarrassing amount of time - nine or ten years? eek.

still, it's getting some love now. and based on the fact that the last, lost cowl i knit of this took two full skeins, i predict that the cowl i've just cast on will use up all of the rest.

i'm using the same stitch pattern as for the mitts - p1 k2, with the k2 doing a cable twist on every second row. it's super stretchy, with more character than a plain rib. i may do a drawstring to make it hat-able as well, i think there's a pattern in one of my vintage books for a hat that is basically a tube with a drawstring - maybe in the lux book? we'll see when i get there.

whether cowl or hat, it will be a great companion to these thick warm mitts!


sick day!

i have been trying to fight off a head cold for the better part of the week, and i think it has finally got me. so, to bed.

but the good thing about that is knitting! i've finished a mitten this morning, and right away seem to have lost the 5mm circ i knit it on, so can't start the second. back to the madtosh cardigan i suppose.

speaking of madtosh, i got a skein of sock in esoteric in my stocking! will need to hunt down another one (or two?) for a cardigan in that. i am all fingering-weight cardigan all the time right now.

but still sad that my zigzaggy cardigan in knitpicks stroll got felted a bit in the wash. sigh. still wearable, but just not the same...

more xmas presents!

another present has been delivered, so here it is!

my cousin had asked for a pair of convertible mittens, so that was a no-brainer for me! i had started these ages ago, but the first pair turned out on the small side. fortunately the kiddo's teacher has fairly small hands, so those went to her.

then i cast on again with a few extra stitches!

these are patons classic wool dk; i really like working with it. i made a little shell out of it for myself too, in a different colourway. i have a feeling i am going to end up with more of this stuff. but i reeeeally need to stash-bust first.


xmas presents!

now that the day is past, i can post a picture of the scarf i knit for my sister!

i had always wanted to do a noro stripe scarf, but couldn't quite face the miles of 1x1 rib before. but after seeing the ninja colourway in mosaic, inspiration tipped the balance!

i paired it with another purplish colourway called fantasy (i think) and they really worked well together. as tedious as 1x1 rib is, watching the colours change and complement each other in different ways made this a really fun knit.


holiday party time!

just had our annual tree-trimming party! i laid on a big spread:

that's not even all of it. there were latkes that disappeared in seconds. and cheese cookies. and shrimp puffs. which disappeared quickly, so i didn't get a shot of the finished item.

i started with a quarter-batch of home-made puff pastry, rolled out super thin:

i counted how many shrimp i had and measured the pastry to ensure i'd have just enough for all the shrimp. my pound of shrimp counted out to 34.

i even used a ruler! then i put a dab of home-made pepper jelly on the end of each strip, and started rolling.

the wrapped shrimp went in the oven for 20 minutes at 400f. definitely need to be baked on parchment - the jelly inevitably oozed out and made a bit of a mess!

another savory hit: the goat-cheese tarts with red onion relish:

am i the only one who hears the voices of paul hollywood and mary berry every time i bake pastry? no soggy bottoms!

goat cheese tarts with red onion relish

for the pastry:
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cup pastry flour
pinch salt
1 tbs apple cider vinegar
ice water

cut the butter and lard into small pieces and chill. combine the flour and salt. using the tips of your fingers, rub the butter and lard quickly into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. mixing with a fork, squeeze a bit of lemon juice into the mix and a spoon of ice water. gradually add just enough ice water to make the pastry hold together in a ball. chill.

for the filling:
1 package goat cheese (10 oz)
1/2 package cream cheese (4 oz)
2 eggs
salt & black pepper

blend the two cheeses with a wooden spoon. beat in the two eggs, and season with salt a grind or two of black pepper.

roll out the chilled pastry into a rectangle about 1/8". line 24 tart cases. spoon the cheese filling into the pastry and bake at 350f for 25 minutes, watching carefully.

for the red onion relish:
2 red onions
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

slice the onions as thinly as possible. combine with the sugar in a heavy bottomed pot, and cook over low heat for 10 minutes covered, then uncover and cook for 15 minutes more. stir in vinegar, and cook, uncovered, for another 15 minutes. allow to cool.

and because i didn't get any pics last time, the hamantaschen:


it's beginning to look a lot like...

so behind schedule this year, but i finally have some xmas presents wrapped and ready to go under the tree! have a few more tucked away, will get them wrapped tonight. hooray!


knitting knitting knitting

i have finally reached the point where i can start shaping the neckline on my madtosh argylette cardigan!

i am working the fronts & backs together up to the armholes, so while it feels endless, i know i've got a lot done. the plan is to have a deep "v" neckline; i also figured it was time to draw up a little schematic so i do the right thing at the right time:

i'm not having much luck getting the pattern/colour to show up nicely in photos, but here's a close-up:

if it weren't raining, i'd take it out to our patio table. no such luck though.

and i am finding my fingers getting a bit sore from working on 2.75mm needles. may need to take a break to work on something else (especially since christmas is coming, eek!).