Powerball, shmowerball

Well I didn’t win the Powerball tonight so I’d better cancel that bulk buy of yarn and fabric.  Hold please…done.

What I did do was finish my Paulie Cardigan.  I found some yellow buttons at the Joann’s last weekend.  I thought I’d get gray buttons but gray turns out to be incredibly hard to match.  Who knew there was such subtlety to gray?  So yellow buttons were my best bet.  Photo at right is of my boobs in the background, yellow buttons in the foreground.

I dutifully wove in the ends and blocked the cardigan and voila!  Finished.  I love the finished sweater but I did give myself double tennis elbow knitting this up on small needles without adequate break times.  Two acupuncture sessions have begun to help but  I shall be knitting my next sweater with fatter yarn and larger needles.  No word on what sweater that will be.

Sweater details:

Pattern:  Paulie by Isabell Kraemer (free pattern!) my rav link here; Yarn:  Fiber Optic Yarns – Foot Note (lovely stuff); Mods:  I didn’t do any waist shaping and knit a few extra rows to make the raglan lines long enough for my well developed shoulders.  I also didn’t do sleeve decreases until about the elbow level because I didn’t need to.  It’s just that simple.  Try on the sweater and work with the fit you’ve got.  My developed biceps did so not want to be decreased upon.  Only after I passed my enflamed elbows did any decreases happen.  The whole point of the top down sweater is to try it on as you’re going.  I knit on the i-cord edging from the wrong side since it looked nicer to me from that side.  I skipped the shawl collar since there was no way my yarn would want to be squooshed into folding over for ever and ever.  V-neck is fine and dandy.

All in all, I made a very low impact sweater.  I skipped most of the shaping and collar.  I just knit until I needed medical attention and here we have Paulie!

P.s. While it may look like I’ve just returned from the gym in these photos, rest assured these phots are BEFORE I went.  Sadly this was as good as I got today.

Hot cross buns!

The Easter candy has been in the stores since Valentine’s Day and for some reason I’m suddenly overcome with a craving for Hot Cross Buns.  Today.  Now.  Hurry!

Ok, there is a difference between hot cross buns I’ve had here in the U.S. and those I’ve had in the U.K.  The U.S. ones are sweeter and the cross is usually icing.  The U.K. ones aren’t very sweet and the cross is some kind of flour goo.  I wanted the U.K. kind and the google machine came up with this recipe by Nigella.  Whatever your feelings about Ms. Lawson, these buns are damn good.

I changed the recipe a bit by using Trader Joe’s Golden Berry Blend which is golden raisins, cherries, cranberries and blueberries.  I didn’t have cardamon pods or whole cloves so I added 1/8t of each to the list of spices.  I added 1T sugar and 1/2t salt to the dry ingredients list.  I used the microwave to heat the milk and butter and just let the dough rise for two hours until doubled instead of overnight.  The crosses were made with the flour goo that I spooned into a sandwich bag and snipped the corner off of to make a disposable pastry bag.  Super easy recipe and Yummy!  Plenty sweet with all the dried fruits and the house smells like heaven.  A win!

Scrappy tote

Yesterday I thought I’d get the lead out and make up another Renfrew Top that I’d already cut out last week.  I just needed to change the thread on the serger and try out my plan of serging the Renfrew Top rather than sewing it up with the regular machine.  It’s really not hard to change the threads on my serger, just a little bit fiddly so I’ve been putting it off.

So why am I showing a tote bag instead of a Renfrew Top?  While all these ideas were marinating in my brain, I came upon the lovely Jorth’s post about making a shopping tote bag.  I somehow thought I should change the serger threads and test the machine tension out on this tote bag.  So I grabbed some cotton fabric scraps and serged this tote up in no time at all.  I only needed the regular machine for topstitching and attaching straps.  Easy.  Make some of these up for your shopping trips if you’ve got scraps aplenty like me.  I immediately tested mine out with a quick run to buy wine.  Success!

WordPress does indeed hate us

I guess WordPress has made some changes to their commenting system in response to some VP asshat at WordPress getting their ID stolen or some such.  This has made commenting harder/impossible for some of you.  Cheryl has posted more details here.  I like her idea of you putting “wp.” before your real email addy as a clue for me to know it’s you.  I really don’t know what to do about this.  It’s a free platform that I came to after becoming totally dissatisfied with my pay service at Typepad.  I’m running out of ideas here…

Dreaming of baked goods

Ok, seriously.  I know!  But scouts honor, that was the best picture I came up with in the two seconds I allotted to take pictures before changing into pajama pants.  Since it looks like I’m dreaming in the one on the right left, I added cake.  Cake always makes things better.  The possessed demon face of the right picture has been cropped into oblivion.  You may thank me now.

What am I trying to show you?  Well it’s Burda skirt 10-2001-119 of course.  I made it from some lovely soft stretch babycord, so soft it looks and feels like velvet.  Let me tell you…I traced off the pattern from that horror of a Burda pattern sheet, adjusted the pattern to fit my womanly curves and cut my fabric.  All should be well, no?  No.  Apparently cutting stretch babycord sets some sort of spread demon free in that fabric and it was all I could do to stop the seepage.  I had to staystitch the heck out of it and steam it like a piece of broccoli.  Damn.  There are consequently construction issues (I’m looking at you pocket wrinkle sewn into the side seam and non matching waistband seams) but I wore it out of the house today and I didn’t get arrested or public shamed.  Win!

If you sew and want to know more, please click on the review at PatternReview.  If you don’t sew, know that this skirt now fits 1″ below my navel rather than at waist level where it started out the day.  This babycord must be some sort of mutant material that’s still alive!  I think a spell in the washer/dryer will kick some babycord ass.

Edges

First off thanks for the FB birthday greetings!  That was awesome to get so many happy notes!  Yes indeed, Monday was my birthday.  I had a great birthday weekend and am still on vacation.  That’s right, I’ve got two weeks vacation for my birthday.  That is how I roll.

Now you’d think I’d have lots of crafty efforts to share with all that time off, but no.  I don’t.  I’ve still got tennis elbowS and have for the most part stopped with the knitting until the pain subsides.  I did finish the neckband of the Paulie cardie though since I’m itching to knit.  I worked a row now and then, stretched and I seem to have survived.

The neckband is super cute with the icord bind off in contrast color.  It’s a bit of pain to do, but really not much more work than a tubular bind off.  I really want to start the sleeves.  Perhaps I’ll try a row here and there just to test the tendons?

Does anyone have great tennis elbow cure-alls?  I’ve got stretches from my PT and ice the offending elbows.  Any miracle cures?  If not, I’ll have to get going on the sewing since that doesn’t seem to hurt.  Argh!  Such a cute sweater to finish and I can’t work on it (much)…

No knitting

I’ve sadly got no knitting to show.  I’ve got tennis elbow in both elbows that is exacerbated by repetative work motion.  Well I’ve got to work, so knitting has slowed.  Luckily I’m feeling much better already but I didn’t bring any knitting along with me on this weekend pleasure trip.

Where am I?  Well you know it can’t be far because I’m all traveled out by work, so long plane rides just aren’t happening on my off time.

Tired of guessing?  Too obvious?  Yes, it’s Los Angeles where it’s 81 degrees and the palm trees are swaying in the breeze.  The neighbor’s tree is jammed with grapefruit and it took me an hour to drive 20 miles yesterday, just in case you needed more proof.  Having a fab time though!

If you’re wondering about the pic on the right of the mosaic, it’s a farro dish I made a few days ago that is fan-freaking-tastic.  Recipe is here and I simplified it by cooking the kale in the microwave for one minute.  I also used 6 cups of liquid rather than the 4 in the recipe.  It’s really delish so try it (farro from Whole Foods btw).  Later!

We all scream

Today’s layover eye candy is brought to us by Jeni’s Ice Cream.  Yes, Columbus, Ohio is today’s layover.  It’s 34 degrees, light snow and I thought it’d be an excellent idea to walk one mile to get some Jeni’s and then walk back a mile eating it in the cold.  I hate the cold, so you know I like this ice cream.  I’m not even an ice cream person, but this stuff is yummy.  My choices today are Buckeye and Salted Caramel.  Lovely.  Now I’ve got the heater in my hotel room on 76 degrees trying to warm up.  So worth it.

Body wave

The Paulie Cardie has a body!  Yay!  That took rather an age knitting all that stockinette flat.  The fabric itself has little rows of wonkiness because of my uneven tension, but for the most part it’s fine.  I hope a good blocking will take care of some of the weirdness.

Up next are sleeves…I shall do those in the round because stockinette is so much more fun in the round.  EZ knew what she was talking about there.  I shall have to refresh my mind of the jogless jog technique, but the internet is full of knowledge.

I have one more skein of gray yarn left (420 yds) so I should have enough yarn for sleeves and placket/collar.  Perhaps I should start with the placket and collar?  I need plackets and a neck edge but with possibly insufficient yarn supply, 3/4 length sleeves may be necessary.  I don’t think so, but I’ve just talked myself into placket knitting.  Oh yay!  Picking up and knitting hundreds of stitches…AND an i-cord bind off for dessert.

Oh well, it needs to be done so I might as well get the hard bit over with first.