Spooky knits!

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

A good day. June 14, 2010

The pattern I am knitting, Annis, is a crescent-shaped shawl described as ‘piquant’ (which, according to Knitty, means ‘A little something for the seasoned knitter. Daring but not exhausting’). I’d say this is overestimating the difficulty. The lace rows were simple but there were nupps involved which tend to freak people out. The rest of the shawl is simple knitting and purling with short rows. It’s definitely a TV/movie knitting project.
This morning I knit while watching The Unbearable Lightness of Being. I have seen quite a few Philip Kaufman films lately.
I’m almost through with the short row section which essentially means that I’m nearly finished with the shawl.

This yarn is very soft and is kettle-dyed so there is a bit of color variation. I like how there is a subtle striping effect in the body of the shawl. I am looking forward to seeing this blocked.
Speaking of blocking supplies, I still haven’t received the blocking wires I ordered. For some reason they shipped separately from everything else. I did receive the yarn (because I had to have enough in my cart to qualify for free shipping and there is always room for more laceweight) and it was not what I expected. I ordered ‘deep waters’ thinking it was a deep, murky marine suitable for a Shipwreck shawl. What I received was this vibrant, royal blue yarn:

I’m sure this would work but it wouldn’t be what I pictured which is really what I want for that shawl — a deep, murky color with a bit of glittery beads like grains of sand or light dancing on water. Perhaps I’ll use it to make Forget-Me-Not; I received that pattern in a swap last year and have it around here somewhere. Or maybe I’ll use it for something more ambitious, I have 3 skeins of it after all.
Still, I’m disappointed it isn’t what I had envisioned.

In non-knitting news, today I baked blondies loosely based on Dorie Greenspan’s recipe. I ran a bit low on chocolate chips so I used what I had and added sweetened, shredded coconut; roasted, salted almonds; pecans. I’m thinking they will still be good.

There was also time for a rousing game of tug.

Life is good.

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Pretty thing (also halloween things). October 28, 2009

Filed under: Baking,Knitting — Spooky @ 10:03 pm
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So I joined the ravelry hysteria and cast on for a wildly popular cowl called “Pretty Thing” (which you can see and purchase, if you like, from Ravelry or on Stephanie Pearl-McPhee’s blog here). Ordinarily I don’t bother with cowls. In fact, I’ve never knit one. I started a lacy cowl with handmaiden sea silk a year or so ago, even took it back and forth to doctor’s offices as we were visiting doctor’s quite frequently back then, and eventually unraveled it and that yarn later became a lacy scarf instead which I gave to my almost mother-in-law which is an action of charity that I regret nearly every day (no almost about THAT). The moral of THAT story is not to give beautiful handknit items to old cranky women who have no appreciation for handknits or delectable yarn. I learned my lesson.
Anyway, back to the cowl. I started this mostly because it seemed like the best use for the qiviut I bought in Alaska last year. I bought it in Ketchikan and thought then that I’d prefer quality over quantity — which I agree with even now — and could only afford one ball of yarn (it is $93 per ounce, or it was at the time). After settling the balance of my cruise card I actually could have afforded about 13 balls of qiviut (I drank their equivalent in vodka and raspberry puree). I am thinking that this will be the perfect use for this small, precious amount of fiber.
Here is what I have so far, about 18 rows in:

There is a soft halo about the yarn that I enjoy and I also rather like the openness of the eyelets and scallops so far. I don’t like the fact that the yarn is almost the exact shade of my harmony needles and thus difficult to see without natural or bright light.
Also, get this: I began knitting with yarn that we purchased on our last cruise the VERY SAME NIGHT that Stacey began looking to book our cruise for next year. Creepy, eh? We’re all booked for the eastern caribbean in 2010.

Stacey and I carved jack-o-lanterns today (still waiting for the pumpkin beer at the local brewery called Jacques O’Lantern, but I digress). Here they are, on display on the stoop:
This is mine. It’s supposed to be a haunted house with a ghost. Clearly I need to work on my carving skills.

And Stacey’s, which is clearly a witch in profile:

And lastly there is the matter of the cookies. In the spirit of halloween festivities, I thought I’d try this recipe for pumpkin blossoms. This is a remarkably cake-like cookie with candy corn kisses on top. The recipe warns that the kisses have to be frozen and the cookies have to be popped into the freezer to prevent the candy corn ooze. I found this to be true. In fact, most of the kisses dissolved into a puddle of yellow-orange oil at the top of the cookie. Delicious but not attractive. HOWEVER I suppose it is in the halloween spirit and will think of it as the gentle ooze of a zombiefied candy. The cookies are dense and are more like little cakes or muffins than proper cookies (but I like a thin and crispy cookie, so your mileage may vary). Interestingly, the recipe has a yield of 40 but I ended up with 72 cookies. I’m not sure how this happened but now I have 72 pumpkin cookies on my kitchen counter.
A few of the better looking ones:

That’s all. Tentative halloween plans: zombie crabs! In my belly!

 

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.