Monday, January 31, 2011

Finished Ruffles and Ripened

Huzzah! At last, the finished objects!!

After year(s) in the making, I finally took pictures of my Ripened Scarf-turned-moebius.

Pattern: Ripened Scarf by Danielle Chalson (ravelry link)
Yarn: Norwegian wool parents bought on cruise, Dark Red
Needles: Size US 7, 4.5mm

And a project that took much less time, my Ruffles scarf:

Pattern: Just Enough Ruffles, by Laura Chau
Yarn: Paton's Angora Bamboo, Low Tide
Needles: Size US 7, 29 inch circulars

I started this with three skeins of the angora bamboo and did some modifications to make sure I had enough. I used size 7 needles, instead of the size 9 the pattern suggested. I also did a single cast on instead of long tail, which used less yarn and made it a much more pleasant experience to cast on - no running out of the tail when you get to stitch 198 out of 200! The garter stitch boarder was supposed to be a couple rows longer, but I shortened for yarn's sake as well. The sacrifice may allow it to curl up a bit more than intended. In the end, I used about 2.7 skeins of yarn. My first successful cold sheeping project!!

I love this scarf. It's very soft against the skin and doesn't irritate at all when you wear it. It's also pretty light weight, so you don't feel bogged down like with lots of thick wool scarves. It's perfect for Seattle's springtime.

Speaking of springtime, there are bulbs across the street starting to come up! It's sunny and cold today, and should be for the rest of the week. Perfect for flaunting my Ruffles scarf.


Cold Sheeping Tally

Total Yards: 16,868.8
Total Grams: 10,559.2
Number Skeins: 124.4
Finished Objects: 1

Friday, January 28, 2011

Naan for you

There has been a suspicious lack of knitting lately. I'm blaming work for taking up my time and making me drive all over the state.  But I have finished the Ruffles scarf and even wore it yesterday. It's amazingly soft next to the skin and is perfect for the not-so-cold days we've been having. No pictures yet, but soon. I promise.

Instead I wanted to share the recipe for naan I use because it is both delightfully easy and delicious. And I'm chewing on some right now and it sounded like the right thing to do.

It's a bit time consuming, as breads are, due to the rise time. But it's weeknight friendly because it only rises for an hour and a half and you can still eat dinner around 7ish if you start it right when you get home.

My original recipe said to cook them on the grill, and I'm sure you can, but I'm always looking for things I can cook on my electric griddle, and these babies are perfect. You roll them out as flat as you can, then toss them on the hot pan. They puff up as they cook and start to look a bit like pancakes.

And who doesn't like pancakes?

I made plain naan this time, but I usually throw in some garlic when I'm rolling the dough into balls. I'm thinking some compound garlic butter rubbed on them as their cooking would be good, too. Or just allowing diced garlic to sit in melted butter for half an hour before using. I'd suggest using garlic salt, but that's just crazy talk induced by my obsession with the stuff.

I ate my naan last night (and leftovers for lunch - still delish) with chicken and vegetable tikka masala. I coped out here a bit by using a jar of sauce I got at Cost Plus World Market. I added a bit of tomato paste, greek yogurt, and some spices to zip it up a bit and the naan was great to mop up extra sauce.


2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 package)
1 cup very warm, but not hot, water
1/4 cup white sugar, divided
3 Tablespoons milk (or yogurt)
1 egg, beaten
2 teaspoons salt
4 1/4 cup all purpose flour
minced garlic (optional)
2 Tablespoons butter, melted

Add yeast to warm water and allow to "poof."  Add 1 Tablespoon of the sugar and allow to proof for 5 minutes.  Add remaining sugar, milk, egg and salt.  Add flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until a soft dough forms. You may only need 4 cups. Knead dough for 6 to 8 minutes until smooth.

Place dough in oiled bowl and cover with damp towel.  Allow to rise in warm place for 1 hour, or until doubled in volume.

Punch down dough. Knead in garlic, if desired.  Roll dough into small balls, approximately golf ball sized, or according to desired size of cooked naan.  Cover with damp towel and allow to rise for approximately 30 minutes.

Heat griddle to 350 degrees.  Stretch or roll out dough very thin and place on griddle (thin is subjective, but I like mine very thin because they puff up while cooking).  Brush uncooked side with melted butter.  When cooked side is golden brown, flip and cook.  Brush other side with melted butter, if desired.  Remove when both sides are golden brown.

Keeps well in the fridge in ball stage for up to 4 days.


Monday, January 17, 2011

Number Correction

Just found a couple of skeins I had doubled in my stash, so my numbers get to decrease a bit. And I finished my Ruffles scarf on Friday, so my numbers will decrease even more when I get a picture taken of that. Started a felted box yesterday during the Seahawks game. The game was so sad I had to stop watching about halfway through, so I only made 2/3 of the box. I think this will be a quick and easy way to eat up some of my stash. Looking forward to completing a couple more of those as soon as I have time. Which at this point looks like March. Somehow my January and February just got booked.

Updated totals:

Total Yards: 17,084.8
Total Grams: 10,921.2
Number of Skeins: 127.1
FO: 0 (1 without picture or removed from totals)

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Start of the Yarn Diet

Wow, eh? That's a blanket-full of yarn. I didn't even include all my acrylic stuff in the pile. Don't worry, they're included in the total yardage, just not the photo. My cotton was in a bag in my car, so it didn't get included, either.

Total yards: 17,584
Total grams: 10,970
Number of skeins: 132.2
Finished objects from the stash: 0

Here commences the yarn diet. I took pictures of each skein of yarn and added them to my Ravelry stash. I'm hoping this will help me to remember exactly what I have and how I can use it.

To move me along, I'm self-imposing a "knit-of-the-month."  I have several patterns picked out that I plan on printing and ziplock bagging with the yarn needed to complete them. Each month, I will have to complete at least one of the bags.  For each bag I complete, I will create a new one for later. My Just Enough Ruffles was supposed to be my January knit, but I'm hopefully 2/3 done, so I might have to do a small project for the second half of January.

One step closer to more closet space.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Going Cold Sheep

I was recently toodling around on Ravelry, just wasting time, and I came across a thread about going on a Yarn Diet. It sounded like a great idea, so starting right now, I'm going Cold Sheep.

This means I will not buy any yarn for myself. The only yarn I'm allowed to purchase is gift yarn, and I don't see any gift purchases in the near future since it's after Christmas, my big gift-knitting time. The only yarn I am allowed to buy for myself is when I use the last skein of a stashed yarn and need another to complete the project.  This only kicks in when the integrity/usefulness of the object will be compromised by making it smaller. (this may endanger my Ruffles Scarf. maybe that purchase won't count yet...)

I was doing pretty good on using yarns I had on hand until I discovered Smiley's Yarn shop. You have to buy $50 worth in order for them to ship it, and at an average of $2.50 a skein, I have bought a lot of yarn. That means I have a lot of work ahead of me.

Lots of people who go Cold Sheep try to keep it up for a year.  I am limiting myself to six months for two reasons: 1) I'm moving at the end of June and am intimidated by the thought of having to move my many baskets, crates, bags and boxes full of yarn, and 2) I haven't counted my stash yet and am hoping I'm not in the league that these ladies on the Ravelry thread are (I'm afraid I will be right up there.  Damn you and your engagement blanket, Bales! I have so much yarn left over!!)

I hope to count up my stash this weekend and have my totals ready on Monday. YIKES!

Ripened and Ruffles

I blocked my Ripened scarf the other day. Pardon the very brightly colored beach towel. And the dirty floor.

Blocking worked rather nicely and stopped the rolling, at least for now. I haven't gotten around to stitching the ends together, but will soon, and that should keep it in a reasonable shape. It's supposed to get "cold" in Seattle next week, which means all the way down to 30 degrees, so I will attempt to finish it this weekend to get at least one wear out of it next week.

I've been working on Just Enough Ruffles by Laura Chau. I found some delightful Paton's Angora Bamboo in my stash and thought it would be perfect. Light and fluffy and soft. I seem to have a plethora of thick, really warm, scarves, so maybe this can be the beginning of my lightweight spring scarf collection.

I am worried about having enough yarn, so I did a single cast on instead of my normal long tail. Not sure yet if I like it, but boy did I like not having to cast on 6 times because I used all my "long tail"!

This project also has something I've never done before - short rows. You knit this scarf long-ways, and after establishing the top, you knit shorter and shorter rows to make the middle of the scarf wider than the ends. I like the effect. It's almost like a mini-shawl.

Lots of knitting to be done this weekend. Good thing there is both a Husky basketball game and the Seahawks playoff game. I'll be doing a lot of sitting and knitting.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

At It Again

Back in the saddle. If that saddle comes with 50 grams of yarn and a pair of knitting needles.

I just started a new scarf pattern for myself in a light blue/teal color.  The yarn is angora bamboo and so far I enjoy working with it. That doesn't say much as I've only completed seven rows. Not enough to take a picture of, but hopefully it will be soon.

Also picked up the Ripened Scarf that has been hibernating in my craft closet* since maybe March. Now I don't remember why I stopped. It wasn't a difficult pattern. I was close to running out of yarn, so instead of knitting as far as I thought I could, I stopped at a point I knew I would have enough to finish. It's pretty short, so after blocking I think I'll stitch the top and bottom together to make it into an infinity scarf. 

*Yes, the craft closet. In it I keep my sewing machine, fabric, scrapbooking supplies, beading equipment and baskets and baskets of yarn. It may share some space with hiking boots, scuba gear, and an extra set of sheets, but that space is minimal in comparison.

Speaking of beading, I have been negligent in posting my stitch markers. I finished them eons ago, but never put them up.  I finally signed up as a seller on Etsy and they're the only thing on in my shop. We'll see if there is any interest.  Maybe I can scrap up enough money to buy season tickets to the Huskies next year (Did you see the Holiday Bowl?? Let's go Dawgs!). It's a circle - they entertain me while knitting during away games, knitting funds my tickets to home games! Yahoo! Maybe someday I'll actually have knitting to post there, too.

Right now I only have two styles of markers due to limited bead selection.  The first is metal markers, with one purple glass bead to mark the end of your row (above), and the second consists of different purple glass beads (below).

I like them.  The wire is really thin, so you don't get bars in your knitting like you occasionally do with the store-bought plastic markers.

I plan on blocking my Ripened Scarf tonight while taking down the Christmas decorations.  Fingers crossed it works out.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Top 25 of 2010

I returned from my New Years trip to the Oregon Coast yesterday somewhat confused. How could it possibly be 2011? I swear I wrote a check in November and thought it was still 2008. The time has certainly flown by. I have now been a full time employee for Meridian for almost three years. Almost four years since I started as a part time-temporary employee. In that time I have killed two laptops, raised 8 spider plant babies and 7 coffee plants, done field work in seven different regions in Washington state, worn lots of different "hats", and broken countless pieces of field equipment and things around the office. And still they keep me around. What a great bunch of people.

This morning I downloaded my pictures from my trip onto my computer.  There were so many beautiful shots, mostly due to the heavenly lighting at sunset on the beach.

It got me thinking about all of the pictures I took during 2010. I love so many of them, for so many different reasons.  Whether they were beautiful photos, funny photos, or they just remind me of something good, I created a collage of my top 25.

Happy 2011 everyone!