January 17, 2010

Too Good

I knew this sweater was flying along too easily to not have some type of issue. I finished the cable, split for the two front pieces and the back, and finally tried the thing on. Does anyone else knit truly tight swatches? As in death-grip tight? Apparently I do.

Luckily for my fingers, I loosen up while knitting. Unfortunately for my Gathered Pullover, I loosened up to the effect of an additional 6 inches. Even Craig admitted it looked completely ridiculous and, as he did not want a pale blue feminine fitted sweater, this


now is pretty much back to this.


minus 30 stiches or so. Ugh.... Honestly, i didn't have the heart to take another picture and just reused the first one.

However, once I realized this would have to be restarted (f@*#!) I decided to take a break. And to make something fun, fortifying, instantly gratifying, and pretty. I made peppermint ice cream.

It's not exactly a recipe, it's more a super quick, super easy adapted blend of The Joy of Cooking and one of the New York Times cookbooks that excludes or lessens ingredients I don't want. So heavy cream is out, egg yolks are out, sugar is low, and I don't add peppermint oil. It's also a great way to use up leftover candy canes after the holiday!

We enjoyed ours with some bittersweet chocolate cookies. I was planning on ice cream sandwiches, but with an entire sweater body to frog and restart my plans changed... Still, this made the whole thing a bit more enjoyable - it's hard to groan around a mouthful of ice cream!


Simple Peppermint Ice Cream

2 cups half + half
1 cup milk (any kind is fine, but I usually use 2%)
1/2 cup white sugar
dash of salt
5 or more candy canes; crushed

In a microwave-safe dish (I usually use my Pyrex measuring cup) , heat 1 cup half + half until steaming (don't boil the milk, it's a total mess to clean up if it boils over). Remove and add 1/2 cup sugar and dash of salt, stirring to melt crystals. Add the other 1 cup of half + half (if you have the room, if not add just enough to cool the mix and pour into your ice cream maker reservoir). Add crushed candy canes and mix in. Add final cup of milk and stir to incorporate. Let sit at least a 1/2 to let the peppermint soak into the milk before proceeding according to your machine's instructions.

The ice cream is fantastic. Just creamy and pepperminty and sweet enough without being cloying or overpowering. Since we started making out own ice cream a year ago, I can't really stomach the commercial stuff. It's a bit of a bummer really, but our homemade ice creams are really good.

Quick tip; if you stick the canister in the freezer for an hour or two before placing it in the ice cream maker, it really speeds up the process!

January 10, 2010

Simple Knits

I'm enjoying this knit, this Gathered Pullover. It's moving along quickly. I should be finished with the cable and have the fronts done by next weekend.


I've become a fan of the Hana Jason patterns published in Interweave knits these past few years. I loved the everyday simplicity of the Woven Bands Pullover and, obviously, the Gathered Pullover. However, what really caught my attention, was her Estes Vest. I'm waiting on that one though. First, I think most folks have some issues with the pattern and the finished pieces look a bit on the saggy or bulgy side. Second, if I can't wear my Estes Vest while romping around an old shingled farmhouse, like the model pictured, I don't know if I want it. I may change my mind. The Berkshires are cold and vests can be worn pretty much year round.

January 3, 2010

New Beginnings

A Gathered Pullover. My first project of 2010, which I plan (hopefully now, fingers crossed!) to have completed in the next 2-3 weeks. It seems simple enough; knit in the round, simple stockinette (which I can easily do while reading or watching a show), one section of cabled detail for interest... I feel like I'm setting myself up here, but we'll see.


I started this New Year's Day. Late in the day obviously as it's hard to motive after late night of champagne and a bit of whiskey. Also, a 3 a.m. bedtime is not conducive to swatching or the math needed to adjust gauge. It's going pretty quickly though.

The yarn is a pretty pale gray-blue I recycled from a thrifted sweater. The yarn itself is a bit loose, but should tighten back up with a good soak. The original sweater was massive; an extra-large with an all-around cable motif. Craig helped me rip it out one night last year and it made 6 nice-sized yarn cakes. Thinking back, this may have been the first time I used the ball-winder he gave me for Christmas and I can safely say that it proved it's worth in one go. The yarn was originally intended for a February Lady Sweater, but I quickly grew bored with that pattern, and the yarn returned to a pretty, wound, cake-state. Needless to say, this yarn is due to be used!

January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

So, to welcome in the new year (and decade!) and celebrate the fresh start that each January 1st ushers in, I've decided to join the ranks of bloggers out there and finally start my own online space.

I've been meaning to take this up for quite a while now and yet have never seemed to find the time. So this will be both an online journal and a way to archive and account for my creating. I'm starting off slowly and giving myself a once-a-week deadline. I should be able to come up with something to write about each week and show progress on the projects I'm working on. Hopefully, this will keep me a bit more on task! It's a bit intimidating really; this public, public sphere!


here's to 2010!