Saturday, September 20, 2008

Hansel and Gretel

Well, just Gretel, actually.

A hat pattern named Gretel.

I'm probably 2/3 of the way through with this, and it's really a pleasure to knit. Interesting cables, but not too complicated. (meaning I haven't royally screwed it up yet, knock wood!) What is a little disconcerting is that 96 stitches have been increased to 192 stitches, which is more like a sweater in circumference than a simple little hat. I just tumbled to the fact that I can do it simply in the round on 24" circs instead of magic looping it. That makes it a bit less fiddley.

I sincerely hope that this will be a hat that looks sensible on me. Close-fitting hats look dorky on me. I'm doing this in the slouchiest size, using yarn left over from the Minimalist sweater. And there should be enough left to also make a pair of matching hand-warmers.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Portable Pocket Pattern

1 skein chunky wool yarn (shown with Araucania Nature Wool Chunky. (131 yards to 100 grams. Used 80-100 yards.)
Size 9 dpns (double-pointed needles. Size 9, 16" circular needle, optional.)

CO 56 stitches on 16" size 9 needle (or dpns)

Join, being careful not to twist stitches.
Knit all stitches until bag measures 6" from cast on edge. (If you want a garter stitch border at the bottom, purl first row after long-tail cast on, then knit 1 row, and repeat this pattern for 6 rows.)
When bag is 6" long, Knit 28, Purl 28 , placing marker at beginning and end of purl section.
On the following round, Knit 56.
Repeat these two rounds 2 more times (total of 3 rows of purls and 3 rows of knits, making 3 garter ridges.
On the following round, Knit 28 stitches. Bind Off the 28 stitches in the garter section, using a K1 P1 bind off for a neater edge. (K 1 P 1, pass 1st stitch over, K 1 pass over, P1 pass over, etc.)

Continue knitting the flap as flat knitting. Decrease as follows:

On Right Side rows, ssk, knit to last 2 stitches, k2tog. (A neater ssk is to slip 1 st knitwise, slip 2nd stitch purlwise, then knit them together.)

On Wrong Side rows knit all stitches, no decrease. (Flap is done in garter stitch, which will lie flat.)

Continue the two rows above until 2 stitches remain. K2tog and end off, leaving a long tail.
Sew Button on. Use the long tail at the end of the flap to crochet a single crochet loop to fit button. Stitch bottom of bag closed.


On size 9 dpn, CO 3 stitches. Work i-cord for approximately 38", or to desired length, and bind off. Keep in mind that i-cord is stretchy and may get longer in use. You may want to pin it in place and try using the bag a few times before deciding on the length. If i-cord becomes too long, you can felt it or simply remove some of the stitches. Sew handle in place.

(How to knit I-cord: Knit 3, slide stitches to opposite end of dpn without turning, and knit 3. Repeat till i-cord is desired length.)

Good Times

Kristen has only one more week of work, and after that she has 10 days off before she leaves for Italy. So our time together is starting to seem short. And in honor of that, we are trying to make sure that we eat all her favorites, things that she will miss when she's gone.

Tonight, that meant:

Spinach-Feta Crostini

1 16 oz. package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
1/2 cup (4 oz.) crumbled feta cheese
1 plum tomato, chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1 clove garlic, minced
3 Tbsp. mayonnaise
3 Tbsp. sour cream
1/2 tsp. salt
2 french baguettes (loaves of French bread)

Combine all ingredients except bread and mix together in a large bowl.
Slice bread on the diagonal. Spread slices of bread on cookie sheets and turn oven on to broil. While broiler heats, place bread in the oven to warm. Spoon heaping Tablespoon of mixture on each slice of bread. Toast under broiler, watching carefully, just till lightly browned.

This is a great party food, but we like it as a meal on special occasions, with Buffalo chicken wings on the side. Today, we got those at Little Caesar's, and it was a yummy combination.

This morning we went to the Torrance Farmers Market and split a tamale and a Thai chicken stick. We brought home fresh plums and figs as well as our favorite Shepherd's bread. Then we went to Kohl's and Kristen got 2 new tops (size medium!) and we looked at digital cameras at Circuit City. After we got home Kristen ordered the camera and accessories online. Her big camera is great, but not really suited to quick snapshots while traveling.

This afternoon, I worked on the green wool shoulder bag I'm making. This is so simple, but I still had to rip back a couple of times. But it should be done soon.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Kristen's owl

So Kristen's good friend in Chicago loves owls, and Kristen came across a pattern for a knit one here:

We had 3 shades of wool yarn in the stash and in 2 days of steady work, she produced this little cutie: