Thursday, September 17, 2009

More things for the Kiddies

I'm getting ready to mail off (or send with my mother when she goes to visit) a package to my sister's house. The brown pocket hoodie is for one of the kids... The newest little kid will be getting a teddy bear (yet to be made) and a blanket

It's a nice snuggly cotton blanket... I used up all my scraps and bought a couple of new skeins to make sure it would be nice and big.

I think I reached my goal. The only problem right now is it is shedding a bit as I discovered when my little tomato insisted that he sit on my lap and wiggle as I worked on the last little bit (I think he might be getting a complex - I keep crafting and he loves each item a tiny bit as I work on it, and then I give them away - I'll have to make something soft for him soon). It's just leaving little cotton threads behind - I think a couple good washings and it will be fine.

Of course, I'm ruining all of the surprises for my sister, but since I won't be there to see her face anyway (and it's up to her whether she wants to show the pics to the kids or safe the surprises for them), eh.

I then wanted to try a new technique for spinning. These samples were core spun over some crochet cotton. One of them (the red) I spun a bunch first, and then let it untwist a bit as I corespun it. The other one is definitely more rough and twine-like since I didn't twist first. - so it's a little tight.

I felt I had played enough with the technique (I'll try it again sometime with different fiber) so I just spun normally the other fiber in that packet and started a little doll blanket.

This will be for my 5 year old niece in that family. As I finished it up I added some pink merino with some glitz in it, I think my girls are a little jealous. I might have to make them something small with glitz in it soon!

I'm still working on socks for my husband, a vest and a shawl for me, and of course, the teddy bear with sweater to finish up this package so I can get it ready to send!

Current Favorite Recipe

I know, I don't normally share recipes, but this one is good. I got this from the 'Reclaiming the Home' group on ravelry several months ago and every time we make these and they are eaten until gone, the begging for more begins. Let me know if you try them!

Chocolatl Scones

2C flour
3Tb sugar
1Tb baking powder
4Tb (1/4 C) cocoa powder
1 (or 2) tsp ground cinnamon
1C chocolate chips
6Tb chilled butter
1 beaten egg
1/2 C half and half or buttermilk or evaporated milk or sour milk (1Tb white vinegar or lemon juice + 7Tb milk, let stand 5 min)
1Tb more of the above milk
2 tsp cinnamon sugar

Preheat oven to 400F. Mix dry ingredients. Add chocolate chips. Cut in butter until butter pieces are pea sized. Leave a well in the center. Mix milk and egg together. Pour mixture into the well. Stir until moistened. Dump out dough on floured surface. Knead 12-15 times until dough is smooth and pliable. Do not overwork.

Pat dough into a circle 1/2 - 3/4" thick. Cut into 12 wedges. Place wedges 1" apart on baking sheet. Brush the 1Tb milk onto the wedges and then sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar. Bake 12-15 min until golden. Serve plain, with whipped cream, or with ice cream. (Can be microwaved for about 15 seconds if cold to make it warm and moist) Store in a ziploc bag, with the air squeezed out.

They will stay good for a day or two before starting to stale (but I've never had them last longer before being eaten). We've been making fresh whipped cream (heavy cream, a little powdered sugar, a bowl and beaters that have been in the freezer for a few minutes - Yum!) to top them, and I'm thinking some fresh fruit on the side would taste great. I'll have to try that next time....

Wednesday, September 09, 2009


It's 10pm. The house is quiet. Everyone else is asleep. So after finishing up some other things, I decided to catch up on the blog. It's been a month almost, but this time I have valid excuses. Many of these items are for other people, so I couldn't blog about them before giving them... well, one of them I will, but as it's for my nephew and he won't see if unless my sister shows him I think we can all survive.

First up was a baby shower gift. I finished these with plenty of time (more than 26 if I remember correctly) to spare. I took photos and even took the time to place them in a nice gift bag.

As you can see, I normally try to match my teddy bear outfit (if they have one) to another part of the gift (if there is one), unfortunately, in an effort to make the blanket as big as possible, I only had enough yarn left for a rascally little hat.

I made the vest out of other yarn in my stash.

Hopefully the little boy won't be as much of a scamp as his bear is.

...speaking of rascally little boys (like that segue?) I finished a sweater for my nephew. He's about a year older than my little guy, so I thought it'd be funny to put the sweater on him.

He didn't agree...

So here's a bad picture of the sweater...

...hopefully after I mail it out I can get a good picture of him wearing it.

I hope it fits him well, after all the measuring he endured for it (custom fit, except it should be baggy). I want a picture especially if it doesn't fit well - he just can't have the same expression in it as my guy!

I also finished the swap sweater. In the end it took 50 hours (dk weight, lots of little cables and lace... fun, but long). Isn't it a pretty color and stitch though?

I'm hoping that she won't have to block it all out every time it's washed, but I wanted to in order to make sure the fit was larger than needed.

I saw it on her on Sunday (without ribbon still - hopefully a pic of that when it's in too!?) It was loose and hanging just right and very pretty.

If it won't just dry flat and work then I will show her a quicker way of blocking than with all of these pins! I'm glad she likes it and it fits well, I hope she still likes it so much after many hours of sewing for me!

...and last for now, but certainly not least, is the sweater I finished for Curly. This is the reason my nephew got the above sweater. I needed/wanted to knit one from pattern before I tried to adapt for handspun yarn.

This is fiber she chose back in May at the MA sheep and wool (Fantom Farms). It was fun to work with when I spun it in July during the Tour de Fleece. I wanted something a little bulkier than what I normally knit with, but not as bulky as when you buy 'bulky' yarn in stores. I knit a swatch to see what size needle would work best, and then figured out how long around the sweater needed to be, and then cast on for the size that would give me that many stitches around her body. (It ended up being the 2T size, so I followed that around, and just made sure to knit to the right lengths for her). Having made the sweater once already really helped me know where I could adapt and where I should follow.

I think it worked out great - unfortunately, I was about 12 rows short in the hood (and only had about 10 inches wasted yarn - in 4 pieces), so she got a couple stripes of Cascade (violet) and then to tie that in I put the flowers on the pouch. If I had known it was going to be that close I would have spread it out and put random stripes throughout the whole thing, but I'm not about to rip out the whole thing to change that when this works fine. She loves it, and has even worn it out a couple of these chilly mornings.

I am working on a couple of knits for my nephew's family, but I've also started swatching for a couple of projects for me - and then I still have a sock started for my husband, and various spinning things - both started and planned. We started homeschooling again this past week - so I'm purposefully giving my projects a backseat for another week or so (still working on them when I can, I still need to knit/weave/spin a bit, right?) to give us time to adjust back to school schedule instead of summer schedule, but then I'm hoping to find more time again and finish a couple!