Yes, it took me four days to do four ruffles. But the sweater is done and I’m very pleased with it!
I did several modifications to the pattern. I used Regia Silk 6-ply (colour #0010 mocha) and 3 mm needles for the body and 2.75 mm for the hem. I made the 34″ size. My gauge was close to 24 st/36 rows = 4″.
I did the waist shaping 5x total (dec 20 st) then knit for 9 rows even, then reversed the waist shaping in the same manner back up to my original stitch count. I lengthened the body and started the purl row for the folded hem at 15″ from the underarm.
I decided to lengthen the sleeves to 13″ from the underarm. I worked the decrease rounds every 6th round for 8x total, then I continued even until the sleeves were my desired length.
I decided to modify the neck band and do it at the same time as the button bands. On Ande’s sweater, I did the neck band separately, as the pattern directed. This time I picked up all the stitches for the right front, then I continued to pick up the neckband stitches. I made sure to pick up two stitches at the right angle where the top front of the sweater would meet the neck band. I did the same going around down to the left front button band. I doubted it was going to work and couldn’t tell for sure until I cast off the button bands. It worked perfectly! It doesn’t pucker or stick out oddly, it just has a nice gentle roll.
I used 11 mm buttons and a one-stitch button hole. I placed 11 buttons on the button band (roughly making the button holes 9 stitches apart).
After browsing online and on the Rav, I decided to try knitting the ruffles on this time. I combined a couple of different methods I found in project notes on the Rav and did this:
I picked up stitches on a 3/4 ratio, working from the left bottom up. Then I kept the first three and last three stitches as knit (or purl if working on the wrong side) with no increases so the ruffle didn’t extend past the button bands and drag the edges down.
Row 1) p3, (p1, YO) across to last 3 st, p3
Row 2)k3, (k1, kfb) across to last 3 st, k3
Row 3) purl across
Row 4) cast off knitwise
For the right side button bands, I started at the neck edge and picked up stitches working down to the hem.
The number of stitches I picked up were 106 and 109 for the first pair of ruffles; then 135 and 128 for the second set. On the second set I used a 4/5 ratio and there were a few stretches where I picked up a couple more here and there.
So it’s finished and I can see it will become a favourite. I don’t think I’d wear it buttoned up all the way, but the option is there.
Yesterday was my sister’s birthday, so we invited her and her boyfriend over for supper. If you’re coming to my house for supper, it’s a good probability that you’re going to have steak. Last night was no exception. I was torn between making my usual mascarpone cheesecake or trying this chocolate peanut butter cake recipe. Well.
Not the best photo, but it took me all evening to decorate/frost it. The time stamp on that photo was 10:02 p.m.
The recipe recommends that you chill the cake layers before assembly (check); that you mix up the peanut butter cream cheese frosting and apply a crumb coat, then chill again (check); apply the ‘proper’ coat of frosting and chill again (check); and lastly apply the chocolate ganache/glaze (check). And then chill until you’re serving.
The method for mixing the cake was a little unorthodox, but the resulting layers were very nice. I would use it again for a layer cake. It took 37 minutes in my oven and the layers didn’t rise up in the middle like some recipes I’ve tried, so it made it quite easy to assemble the cake. Of course it still had a little bit of a list, but I disguised that with some chocolate ganache.
While I followed the recipe exactly for the cake layers, I reduced the icing recipe to 4/5 (because that’s how much cream cheese I had) but I still had a good portion left over, about a cup. Enough to thrown on some brownies at a later date. I was worried that the icing might be too sweet – I hate a really sweet icing. I used 4 c of icing sugar and with the peanut butter in there, it was just pleasantly sweet.
I omitted the peanut butter in the ganache. I got a little worried when melting the chocolate and corn syrup together – it wasn’t melting into a smooth glossy liquid. I pulled it off the double boiler, then finished it in the microwave for a few seconds. Once I added the half & half cream it emulsified and became glossy and smooth. It was a little sweet, but then I use bittersweet in my usual ganache, so that’s what I’m used to.
There were a couple of other recipes I wanted to try that I saw on The Pioneer Woman’s blog: potato bundles and the “best beans” ever. I made the potatoes exactly as the recipe called for and they were so delicious. I will definitely make these again. And again! I checked them for doneness at the 45 minute mark, but they weren’t as soft as I’d like, so I left them in the oven probably another 15 minutes while the steaks were finishing on the grill. Tasty.
The beans were more of an inspiration than following the recipe. I had made the Memphis Blues pit beans a while back and they were delicious. I fried up 8 strips of bacon, drained off most of the fat, then sauted 1 diced onion and half a green pepper, diced. Then I put two 28 oz cans of pork and beans in the crock pot, added the onions and pepper, then stirred in one cup of bbq sauce (I used the Memphis Blues recipe). I didn’t add the brown sugar, vinegar or mustard because all that was in the homemade bbq sauce already. I stirred it all up and then laid the bacon strips on top. I set the crock pot to low and only stirred it a couple of times. It was on low for about 5 hours, then I switched it to high for the last 1.5 hours. They were SO good. Two thumbs up.
So to recap, we had steaks, potato bundles, Memphis Blues pit beans, Memphis Blues cole slaw, sauted mushrooms and onions and dinner rolls. Followed by that fabulous cake. After that, I think we all felt like this: