We’re calling today Christmas

I wanted to get my little tree into the picture, so make sure you admire the little guy.

Because I usually work over Christmas, the actual day has to move.  So this year I’m working and today is Christmas.  I will cook ham, potatoes savoyard, corn casserole (corrections:  1/4 cup melted butter and bake in an 8″ square glass pan), green beans and a hint of green salad.  Kind of more work than I’d like but it’s the only way I’m getting any Christmas dinner.

Before I begin peeling potatoes, let me finally show you my completed top.  This is a super easy batwing top with extra long sleeves that are meant to be pushed up (Burda 12-2013-128B).  I used some black cotton jersey with a foiled tiny dot thing happening.  A bit of shine, but not bling-y.  I’m not blingy. Pattern Review here.

What can I say about this top?  It’s a super easy top, comfortable to wear and took less than 2 hours start to finish.  I made most of the top on my overlocker.  I added 3/8″ seam allowances to the pattern in anticipation of overlocking the whole project.  Easy.  I twin needled the neck and cuff seams to the body to keep them flat and twin needled the hem at 1″.  Done and dusted!

I may make a few more of these, probably changing the cuff to not have it be extra long or even make elbow sleeves for a warmer weather top.  If I make as many of these as I did/do of the Renfew top, and that’s saying something.

Merry Christmas friends!  I hope you all enjoy yourselves on the day and in the manner of your choosing.

Long sleeve demonstration. Or I was secretly planning to hula.

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Sweeties

Candyman!

Look at them all smooth and silky and waiting to be eaten!

You know it’s Christmas when I bust out the caramels!

Yes, the caramels have been make for 2013.  In fact this year I had to make them twice.  The first batch could have been used to patch up potholes, it was that hard.  I know it’s a poor worker than blames her tools, but my dodgy candy thermometer went bat shit crazy on the first batch and it got cooked to the hard crack stage.  If your unfamiliar with candy making stages, the hard crack stage is the one that shatters the teeth of anyone trying to enjoy your handiwork.  That batch went into the trash.

A trip to the store and a new candy thermometer was purchased, batch number two was made.  I was curious to see how wrong my old thermometer was and it was 5 to 10 degrees off during the process.  Hence the tarmac I produced in round one.

Luckily round two in candy land was perfect.  I make the caramels soft and chewy because that is how I like them.  And I’m in charge here.  For those who want to make their own, the recipe is the from the lovely Spindlerose and I cook my caramel to 242 degrees – just past soft ball but before firm ball.  Seriously, these are real candy making terms.

 

The elusive hat in it’s natural habitat

No, I didn’t just do something wrong. Yes, I know it looks like it.

Hat photography is a skill that eludes me.  The best I could do is this shot, where I look decidedly furtive.  I assure you I have not just been naughty and in fact I am authorized to be in the area.  I was attempting to capture a picture of my newly finished hat upon my head in natural sunlight.  Sunlight has been in short supply of late due to some freezing winter weather, but here I found myself in sunny Arizona with time on my hands and a hat upon my head.  Some of my shots didn’t even have a furtive hat wearer in them, some were blurry beyond belief and some were the precursors to deconstructionist art.

More hat, less furtiveness.

In this shot I hope one can get a sense of the hat. It is slightly slouchy knit in mistake rib. The pattern is a free one called Graham by Jennifer Adams and is a good, easy pattern. The yarn is Miss Babs Heartland Worsted in the blackwatch heartland colorway.

I had a time finding a pattern that I liked with this yarn and finally came upon the Graham pattern after several failed half hats.  The yarn is super soft and great for a comfortable, non-itchy hat.  You knit the hat in the round and the public side of the hat you see in the photo is actually the inside of the round knitting.  Clever way to get the ribbed pattern while minimizing purling.

I now understand some of the hoopla surrounding the Miss Babs booth at Rhinebeck this year.  This yarn is nice, so I can assume the other yarns are nice too.  I will not stand in half hour queue for it (or anything really), but nice yarn.

Not much else to say about a hat.  It’s warm and does it’s job since everywhere I went was cold.  In fact now I have a cold and am hunkered down in bed with yet more knitting.  Perhaps I will bore you with a progress shot soon.  And luckily I’m not knitting another hat so there is a chance I can actually take non blurry photo of it.