Happy New Year!

The color is not at all accurate

Yet another weird hat picture of me on the internet. Great.

Happy New Year to all my fave cats and kittens!

This may surprise you but I have little patience for New Year and all the retrospective and resolutions.  I’m a “do it now” kind of gal so I just don’t get it.  Move forward please.  That said, it doesn’t mean that I don’t make intentions for the coming year to motivate and focus, so that is done (again with the do it now).

That is my way of saying there are no fancy top/bottom five lists here, just a rather bad picture of a hat that I made for a present.  I still have two more cowls to finish to make the “knitting for others” go AWAY!  Luckily my friends understand that Christmas is a loose timetable.  What you see above is a hat knit per request using Malabrigo Rios using Windschief pattern by Stephen West.  I used two balls of Rios and changed yarn every row to get no pooling and weirdness.  The color in the photo is totally wrong, the actual yarn is deep, rich purple.  The only change I made to the pattern was to make the twisted rib section in a different place.  The pattern has you end the twisted rib section by the join in the round of the yarn, but my joins aren’t pretty enough to be front and center (especially with the  non elastic yarn) so moving that section is necessary and easy.  My brief rav entry is here.

Tomorrow I get up at 3am and go to work, so today I will enjoy the THIRD batch of almond toffee this holiday season.  Yes I said third.  I better hope my uniform still fits.

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.