January 2008

THERMAL is what happens when you work weeknights at a performance venue.

thermal returns

Back at work, back at school. We’ll see how productivity is affected on all fronts.


You either love pom poms or you hate them… let’s just say I’ll be wearing this scarf pretty much every single day.

anthropologie-inspired scarf

I’ve always wanted to knit one of those “CO 123980567021 stitches but only knit 3 rows” scarves but never got around to it… yet here was a chance to do it with chunky yarn, furthering my streak of knitting chunky/doubled worsted things and also getting an opportunity to make giant pom poms AND wear them too. Hah! The “oh god spring semester has started must knit to destress” frenzy has also kicked in, thereby upping my patience threshold for knitting rows that are 266 stitches long.

Pattern/guide: this craftster thread by tragicheroine
Yarn: Patons Merino, doubled
Needle: size 10
Notes: 266 st cast on, knitted around 20 rows, too lazy to do the sewn bind off–replaced with purl-wise bind off to match the long-tail cast on. Was never really successful with making pom poms with those cardboard rings so Bella Dia’s tutorial to make them with your fingers was a must.

So now that I’ve ventured into the world of lengthwise scarf knitting, is Henry next? Hmmm… maybe not. Yet.

PS. The quilt in the background was a present from my mom when I left for college. I love it!

Today is one of those cold and dreary days that can only be remedied by tea and a warm blanket.

cable comfort throw complete

I finally finished putting the rest of my furniture together, which means that I now have floor space for blocking! Thus, the completed cable comfort throw:

cable comfort throw, thrown

The sun came out for a brief moment for this shot. The red is not so red in person; the deeper shade in the first picture is more accurate.

Pattern: Cable Comfort Throw by Lion Brand (pattern here; free registration required)
Yarn: Lion Brand Thick and Quick in cranberry — about 8 skeins
Needles: size 13 straights
Mods: I really like seaming garter stitch actually so I did in fact knit each panel separately unlike many others who have made this blanket. However, kudos to whoever suggested the crochet edging (as seen in the above close-up) because it alleviates a lot of the curling and crimping problems.

Though the blanket is small it’s a good one for curling up into a little ball while drinking tea and reading on the couch or for a lap-kitty substitute.

millionaire's shortbread

Chocolate and caramel and salt. Basically these little bars are the solution to every PMS craving ever.

Recipe from Bake and Shake, click here for the recipe and if you don’t want the recipe click anyway because I think the blog is a good read.

Here is another photo. It is seemingly random but actually very relevant:

not caramel, obvi

My first attempt at the caramel-making. Lesson of the day: if you’re craving chocolate and caramel and salt all at once, make these and eat them ASAP. However, even if your cravings are really, really intense, don’t go turning the heat on high thinking that caramel will magically appear in 5 minutes instead of 20 or 30. Resist!

Another recipe (link) make a few interesting suggestions. One is to use dulce de leche instead of the condensed milk/sugar/butter, but that feels less exciting than the threat of having a mass of blackened sugar at the bottom of your sauce pan. Another is to beat the melted caramel before you pour it onto the shortbread… which I will try next time since I ended up with some pretty huge lumps in my caramel that wouldn’t budge when I was stirring during the cooking process. The last idea is to cut the bars before the chocolate hardens completely which is worth trying as well.

Final note: during my second caramel attempt (the successful one) I used unsalted butter and also didn’t add salt to the caramel. End results were still incredibly salty! Tasted good with a cup of strong jasmine tea.

Before you guilt trip me on not finishing my overdue thank-you present (see previous post), the cable comfort throw is finished. I need to finish putting furniture together so I have space for blocking, though… oops.

Anyway, to celebrate the fact that my hair is the longest it has ever been, I made a hat.

foliage, profile

Since Ravelry has owned my life for the entire semester break it is only appropriate that I jump on a Ravelry bandwagon. As of 4:26am Saturday there are 888 Foliages going on, yowza. It’s understandable, though–the lace was really easy to memorize but yields really good results (Walker Treasuries, I will own copies of you some day) and it was a fun knit. Plus I liked the slouch trend going on with this project.

Here are more details:

foliage 1

Pattern: Foliage from Knitty fall ’07
Yarn: Patons Classic Merino in deep olive, doubled
Needle: size 10 circ
Notes: several modifications were listed by Foliagers on Ravelry to make a chunky/slouchy beret type hat. I liked the results that skrilla, teamknit, and ampersandgirl had. The mods include knitting the worsted weight crown directions with chunky yarn or adding extra repeats of the leaf lace. Since I was already on my first repeat when I went hunting for modification instructions, I opted to just do a whole extra repeat and then also did a deeper brim in twisted rib. Reeeeeally digging the results so lots of thanks go out to the aforementioned knitters!

PS. This may sound silly or naive, I don’t know. But I wet-blocked this hat and oh my cow it made my bathroom smell like a barn. This is not my first time wet-blocking wool but it is my first time dunking this particular yarn in water (only other time I used this was to make Pasha the Penguin) so is this a common occurrence with this yarn? Anyway I attacked everything with Febreze and all was well with the world.

I really like this hat. Make it.

Some may say I am a glutton for punishment, but I just say that if the to-be recipients of a thank-you present live in Wisconsin, lap-sized blankets seem like a good idea.

At least this time I am using chunky yarn.

CCT 1, first strip

The pattern is a free one from Lion Brand and is called “cable comfort throw.” The yarn and needles are as suggested: Wool-Ease Thick & Quick (in cranberry) and size 13 needles.

EDIT: Make that title “finishing these“… :)

moderne 2 complete

mom's moderne; first completed blanket

Pattern: Moderne baby blanket from Mason-Dixon Knitting
Yarn: Lion Brand Wool-Ease in cranberry, camel, chestnut heather, and fisherman’s white for the top blanket and the same yarn in peacock, seafoam, camel, and light heathered gray for the second
Dimensions: 48″ x 36″
Needles: Size 9 straights and circular for the border
For: Dad and Mom!

These were such huge projects for me because this is the first year I have ever made anything for anyone else, and not one but two projects of this size was pretty tough for my slow and accident-prone knitting self. However, nearly one month after Christmas (… sorry), the lap blankets are complete!

One minor modification was that I only knit 42 garter ridges for the bottom two rectangles for fear of running out of yarn; in the end I believe only two skeins of each color was required (don’t quote me on this, though) while still yielding a decent-sized lap-warming product.

So what’s in my post-garter stitch marathon future? Since I still have over a week of self-imposed apartment confinement/total isolation minus blogging left, I hope to finish two more gift knits (thank-you presents for a very nice family!) before the semester begins.

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