still hat weather

so I’ve started knitting another one:

Smaller Turn-a-Square Hat

I’m using some Cascade 220 Heathers in #4011 “sparrow”, and Noro Silk Garden #244.  I should have enough to make a pair of matching mittens.  The colourway of the Noro is quite enticing:

aqua, turquoise, gold, tan, purple

It rained a lot yesterday and in the night.  We spotted a break in the rain after supper (oh, that reminds me – comment about supper …) last night and whisked them out for a stretch.

Is this the greyhound equivalent of head:desk?

I had a blade roast I was going to do in the crock pot.  I found this recipe a few weeks ago: 3 Packet Pot Roast & Gravy. Look at the photos – doesn’t it look yummy? It uses a ranch dressing packet, and Italian dressing packet and a gravy packet as the seasoning blend for the roast. I don’t mind ranch dressing, I can take it or leave it. The big fella, however, abhors it.  I thought with the gravy flavouring and the Italian, the ranch wouldn’t be so noticeable.  After an hour or so of cooking, though, blech!  The aroma was overpowering and disgusting me.  So I took the roast out, rinsed all the seasoning off, cleaned out the crock pot, then cooked it with a sprinkle of salt and pepper and a bit of water.  It was very, very good!  And I made just regular gravy with it.  Yum.  But if you dig ranch dressing, give that recipe up there a try!

so much for “summer”

We had a week or so of really nice (actually grossly hot) weather, but since then it’s been cold and it sucks.

zombie eyes

We had the furnace on last night.  We had to wear toques and gloves (and Sabrina needed her coat) when we took the dogs out.

cold and miserable outside?

.

resigned to snuggling on the couch with her daddy

That Turn a Square hat actually stretched with washing, so now it’s the big fella’s.  I’ll have to give that pattern another try with fewer stitches.

In other knitting excellence, the socks I had cast on and been working the cuff – for some unknown reason, I cast on 70 stitches.  ??  Not my usual 68 or 64 or even 72.  It wasn’t until I’d finished the cuff and went into the leg that I realized my stitch count was off.  Both socks.  I have no idea what I was thinking.  So I’ll be ripping them out and starting over with the proper stitch count.

Turn a Square, mess your hair

Not really.  It turned out quite loose.

it's a little big

I followed the pattern as written.  I used 3.5 mm for the ribbing and 4 mm for the body.  It’s looser than I prefer for a hat.  I could pull it down more, too, but my eyebrows are already missing!  I gave it a little bath in some hot water and treated it to some agitation.  I think the silk and mohair content in the two yarns will prevent it from felting or shrinking too much.  It’s drying right now.

Raglan decreases on crown

I like how the crown decreases are done.  Different than the usual swirly top hat decreases.

the yarn colours are true in this photo

I like the pattern and will make it again.  I would probably make the body a little shorter before doing the crown decreases.  And might try it with fewer stitches.  Because the decreases are at four points, you could cast on as many stitches as you want, as long as it was divisable by four.

I had a tiny little amount of both yarns left over.

Mitten Mania

supermodel and the super mittens

I just finished these off.  I did the round top shaping as the pattern directed and it turned out very nice.  I also did the thumb shaping a little different than the other pair; very nice as well.

nice fuzzy mohair halo

.

cute and warm!

I have enough yarn left over to probably make a hat.  I was thinking of the Turn a Square Hat. It will do nicely with the Noro colourway.  I have plenty of the brown mountain mohair, but might run short on the Noro.  Which would be okay, because it would be just the center part of the hat that was striped.  So I’m not worried.

Just cast on and started the ribbing.

Good Eats!

Ugh – so stuffed!  But it was sooooo good!

Red Chili Chicken with Rice and Beans

I’d had my eye on this recipe for a while and tonight I finally had the opportunity to make it. It’s all made in one skillet, so easy peasey.  I used 3 chicken breasts, probably a little more than the recipe called for, and I added in a cup or so of corn.  Really tasty.  It wasn’t overly spicy, just nice flavour.

In between helping my sister this afternoon with her computer, I made this:

The FrankenCake!

It ain’t purty, but damn tasty!

I had made this recipe before (and if I recall correctly it was just as homely). Edit – just checked my records and in fact the last time I made this was for my sister’s birthday, and it looked WAY better than this.

I baked it in a 9×13 pan then cut it in half to layer.  I keep forgetting that this pan always makes the center of the cake fall in a little (probably should have left it in the oven an extra 2 or 3 minutes).  The cake itself is quite soft and the corner kept collapsing on me when I was doing the crumb coat with the icing and then adding the ganache.  Instead of using the chocolate glaze in the recipe, I used just a simple ganache:

1/4 c + 1Tbs heavy cream
3 oz bittersweet chocolate
1 Tbs room temp butter

Chop chocolate and place in bowl. In small saucepan, heat cream until boiling. Pour over chocolate; let sit about 1 minute. Beginning in the center, stir with a spatula until an emulsion is formed. Slowly stir until all chocolate is melted and is silky smooth. Stir in butter at end. Should be glossy and smooth. Use immediately.

I cut off the problematic corner.

I am pretty hamfisted when it comes to the dainty intricacies of “cake decorating”.  I followed the instructions to keep chilling the cake in between all the different steps and that worked well.

the payoff!

It tastes soo good – but you definitely need a glass of milk to go with it.  Oh, I also only made a half-recipe of the icing and it was plenty enough.  I think if I did a 3 layer (or did this cake but split the layers to make it a 4 layer) I’d need the full recipe.  Two thumbs  up here!

I need one of these

I had a really busy day today – I could have used a nap!  Going to turn this computer off and work on my mitten.  (It actually was snowing at one point late this afternoon!)

Sabrina has the right idea

Look Ma – no thumbs!

Mitten #1 done (except for thumb)

I finished off the first mitten.  I did the top like the pattern directs (swirly shaping) but this time I decreased only to 12 stitches (first mitten of last pair I decreased to 8 st) and I didn’t graft the stitches (as I did on #1 of last pair); instead I looped the yarn through the remaining 12 st and pulled tight.  I like this result much better!  It’s not too pointy at all.  WTF?!  I typed “8 )” up there and it made a sunglass smiley: 8)

close up of top shaping

I will use this method from now on, I believe.

I started mitten #2 of this pair last night:

Same ball of Noro, different part of the colourway

I just noticed when I was posting these pics on flickr that I have inadvertently done 3 rounds of the last purple stripe there.  Hmm, I don’t know if I’ll rip it back or not.  I’ve already started the thumb gusset.  I’m doing two rounds per colour on the body of the mitten.

I was away most of the day yesterday for work.  The poopers were under the big fella’s supervision.  I came home to find Apollo had an abrasion on his tail (he already has a bald patch on it, but this was something more) and a big scrapey wound on his paw.  They went out in the car with the big fella for the morning.

Mommy, he made me ride in the FrankenBuick! It was horrible!

The FrankenBuick is a 30-year-old green sedan that the big fella refuses to part with.  My car sits out on the driveway because -it- is taking the second spot in the garage.  I hate it.

Look at him:

traumatized for life

However, this morning, all is well:

all better now

We had the poopers out for a brisk walk at 7 this a.m.

settled in for the day

I’m hoping to get out for a bike ride if the wind diminshes somewhat.  It was pretty brisk and cold on our walk.

good thing I made those mittens

because the forecast high for tomorrow in Waskesiu is +4° C.  That’s May long weekend in Saskatchewan!  I have a meeting up there tomorrow morning.  Guess I won’t wear my cute little skirt.  Unless I put long johns on underneath!

It's the weekend!

It was sunny and warm this morning; Sabrina figured she and the big fella would spend the day like this.  The big fella got out from under her and did some yard work before the weather got nasty.  It’s raining now.

I’ve been working on the new mittens:

Stripey Stripes

I was a little worried on the cuff and first part of the hand.  I didn’t think there was enough contrast between the two colours of yarn, but once I put the thumb gusset on hold, the red came out of the Noro skein, so it’s looking better.  The Mountain Mohair is a good match for the Noro Silk Garden.  Its fibre content is 70% wool, 30% yearling mohair and the texture and fuzz matches the Silk Garden.  These should be pretty warm mittens when done.

Oh, and totally unrelated to cold weather – to that 30ish woman I saw at the grocery store yesterday:  No, being tanned that dark doesn’t make you look healthy.  You look like a dried up old leather boot and twice your actual age.  Sunscreen, already!  (I use SPF 50)

just in time for a heat/humidity induced thunderstorm

The Sockhead Hat:

is this thing working?

Beacuse I’m not above putting a pic with me wearing pepto bismal pink and looking confused on the interwebs.

This is the Sockhead Hat which is a free pattern on Ravelry (non-Rav link). I used Fibranatura “Yummy” sock yarn, colour 41358 ‘navajo’.

great colour saturation!

I followed the pattern as written.  I like how it turned out and will probably make more of these.

It will keep me warm next winter

I am thinking how this would look with some of the striping/patterning sock yarns I have …