Spooky knits!

I heart knitting. And zombies. And zombies who knit. With entrails. Or yarn.

TWD: Chocolate chocolate cupakes. October 28, 2008

Filed under: Baking — Spooky @ 6:28 pm
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This is my first week baking with the Tuesdays with Dorie baking group. We all get together and bake a recipe from Dorie Greenspan’s most awesome book. This week’s recipe — chocolate chocolate cupcakes — chosen by Clara.

I thought this recipe was perfect. It was my first time making cupcakes not from a cake mix (*hangs head in shame*) and also my first stab at ganache. I *love* dark chocolate and I thought the ganache was perfect — it wasn’t too sweet and once it’s set up it makes this delightful almost crunchy topping for the cakes. If I make these again I might pipe some filling into the center but other than that I wouldn’t change a thing. I didn’t find them too dry but I took care not to overmix them. I was surprised that mine didn’t seem to rise all that much — they were right at the top of the liner, making for a rather flat-topped cake.
I didn’t do much in the way of decorating — threw on some sprinkles and called it a day.

Only one picture. These didn’t photograph too well. I’m going to blame it on the lack of natural light plus the glossiness of the ganache — I’m sure it doesn’t have anything to do with my photography skills.

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WIP: traveling roses scarf. October 19, 2008

Filed under: Knitting — Spooky @ 4:54 pm
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I’m still working on this one. I made it through the third repeat last night (the pattern calls for 13 repeats). I’m using a lifeline at the start of each new repeat but so far haven’t had to rip back. I credit this to my insane attention to detail. I printed off one chart per repeat and have been marking off each stitch (with a bright yellow highlighter) as I knit them. This way I can look up and away from the chart/knitting to look at television or whatever and I still know where I am.
This yarn is so delicious, I love it. I want to make many, many more things with seasilk. It is also, apparently, impossible to photograph.

Here’s a poorly lit indoor one; it’s not great but you can sort of see the overall pattern best here:

I haven’t started on anything else. I’ve asked Terri to look into dyeing some yarn for me for the FLS that I’ll be knitting next month (along with every other knitter in the free world).

 

The fairest (fakest?) of them all. October 14, 2008

Filed under: Knitting — Spooky @ 12:46 pm
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I finished the fake isle hat at SnB last night, thanks mostly to Terri (I won’t mention here that she hasn’t updated her blog since JULY). I probably would have finished this in a day or two, it was so much fun to make, but I didn’t have double points in size 6 and the local craft store didn’t have them either.
After having made this, I’m not quite sure why it’s ‘fake isle’, except that the background yarn is variegated, making it appear that the knitter used several different colors. I think this hat would be nice in the reverse, with a variegated contrasting color. Actually I think this hat would be nice in two solid colors and I’m thinking of doing one with white as the contrasting color (or two shades of the same color, like a dark and light blue).
All in all, it wasn’t bad for my first fair isle project. I need to learn the jogless stripe technique because, if you look really closely you can see the center of the hat. I learned how to knit continental with an awkward two-fisted fair isle technique (knitting continental with the contrasting color and english with the main color). The final rows of decreases were fiddly and difficult and it required a good blocking to round out the pointiness of the top. It might need a couple good blockings to remove it altogether, actually.
Specs:
Yarn: Main (background) color: Plymouth Boku in colorway 9. Contrasting color: Columbia Minerva Knitting Worsted (vintage) in black.
Needles: Size 6 circular/DPNs. I used size 5s for the brim.
Mods: I changed the ribbing from 3×1 to 2×2 for a firmer, stretchier edge. I knit the smaller size and otherwise followed pattern as directed. The last row of decreases is confusing; at least it was to me. You start with a CC, then MC, and so on so that every other stitch is a different color and the pattern directs you to use SSKs and K2togs around to decrease, which would have you decreasing the different colors together. I thought this would obscure the pattern at the top so I slipped the first stitch to the right hand needle and decreased the like colors together instead.
Overall, a clear pattern, easy charts, and I’d definitely make another one.

Side:

Top:

Front:

Chillin’ on the back porch (you can see my jogged stripe in this one):

Sorry for the crappy DIY photoshoot. It’s early and S. isn’t up to take pics for me. We have a busy day planned — driving to Fairfax, then to the doctor’s office in Annapolis, and who knows where else.
Still plugging away at the lace scarf (not quite through the second repeat). I’ll likely cast on for another hat or two in between now and November (sweater making month!).

 

WIP: fake isle hat. October 10, 2008

Filed under: Knitting — Spooky @ 8:11 pm
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The scarf that I posted in the previous entry is still exactly the same. I haven’t done anything with it except take it to Panera to show off. I’m going to get back to it soon; my goal is to finish it this month. I’m going to thread a lifeline through before I start my next pattern repeat.
The reason I haven’t gotten back to it yet is that I started another project, a KAL with a couple of local knitters. We are knitting this ‘fake isle’ hat that was previously published on the now defunct Magknits. This project is my second hat — the first one was a mistake rib beanie I made for Stacey last year — and my first stranded project. I had a rocky start but now I think it’s ridiculously fun. I figured out how to hold one color of yarn in each hand so that I’m knitting english with my right (which is how I knit, anyway) and continental with the left. It’s still awkward and I’m probably knitting too tightly because I haven’t quite figured out how to control my tension with the left but overall I’m pleased.
I cast on Wednesday night and finished the first colorwork chart today.
Here’s where I am now:

I’m knitting the smaller of the two sizes, using wool — the black yarn is Columbia Minerva knitting worsted (part of my vintage yarn haul), the variegated one is Plymouth Boku (a wool/silk blend, more wool than silk). I was a bit worried that it wouldn’t fit, thinking for some reason that I have a ridiculously large head, so I put the live stitches on waste yarn and tried it on. It fits. I changed the ribbing to 2×2 and did it on needles one size smaller so I have a firm, stretchy edge. The colorwork creates a thick, firm fabric so the hat will be WARM. Maybe too warm, considering how Maryland weather has been lately. If that’s the case I suppose we’ll be moving to Alaska. They need nurses in Ketchikan and I need a climate where wool can be worn year-round. Everybody wins.

 

Knitting pr0n. October 6, 2008

Filed under: Knitting — Spooky @ 3:32 pm
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A funny blurb about knitting. Skip to 3:20 or so unless you want to sit through all the other stuff.

 

Amazing lace swap.

Filed under: Knitting — Spooky @ 1:45 pm
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As soon as I post this I will be putting the package together for my downstream partner. I will probably send it out in the mail today. I have to go to work around 2 pm to get a badge (because of course they don’t do things like this during the hours that I’m there) so maybe I’ll stop off at the post office on the way home.
Mostly I wanted to post pics of the wonderful package I got from my upstream partner, Katie in Brooklyn (have I mentioned how much I love getting packages from people in metropolitan areas?). Excuse the crappy cell phone pic (really hoping Stacey remembered I wanted a camera for my birthday).

Included: a hank of ivory merino, the pattern to the forget-me-not lace shawl that was at the VERY top of my ravelry queue (yay!), a few other skacel lace patterns, organic coffee (I drank some of this yesterday and it is SO GOOD), chocolate from Jacques Torres (hazelnut bark — I ate that already, a breakfast bar which is chocolate with raisin bran/cornflakes/etc — Stacey ate that, and a chocolate-coffee bar which has survived and I will be eating next weekend), and a yummy smelling knitter’s hand balm. Plus a cute knitting card.
Everything is so awesome!
I’m intimidated by the shawl pattern. Hopefully the scarf I’m working on now will serve as a ‘warm up’ for it.

 

Abby circles the drain.

Filed under: Knitting — Spooky @ 1:26 pm
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I frogged Abby. Part of the reason I hadn’t been knitting anything is, well, because I’ve been working but also because I found the project sort of tedious and I wasn’t sure if it would get any use when it was finished. Am I a cowl person? What kind of person wears cowls? I have lots of scarves, sure, and hats but cowls? I only have one full skein of sea silk and I wanted to make something fantastic with it, not something I wasn’t sure I would use.
So Abby is no more. Sorry, Abby. Sorry, Knitty, you know I love you. I’ll visit again soon.
I used the yarn to cast on for a KAL with the beginning lace knitters group on Ravelry, it is the traveling roses lace scarf. This is the first time I’ve truly knit from a chart and it requires more concentration than I expected. Initially I cast on with size 6 needles, ripped back and cast on with size 4 instead, ended up with an extra stitch around row 9 and started again and finally finished one full repeat.

That’s 23 hours of knitting, people.

Today I plan to cast on for this. For some reason I’ve been dying to try fair isle. I can’t explain it. I have one very bright multicolored skein of Boku yarn I’m going to use for the main color. I suppose I’ll go with black for the contrasting color, must see if I have black yarn in the downstairs stash (I have ‘dining room stash’ and ‘attic stash’). I have a feeling 2009 is going to be the year of the hat.

I’ve started to formulate a ‘wish list’ for the winter holidays. Maybe I’ll throw it up on the sidebar.

Also today I will be mailing out my package for the amazing lace scarf. And I will show you what I received from MY swap partner. But that deserves a separate post!