Monday, March 21, 2011

Cinnamon, sickness, and a present

Last weekend I made cinnamon rolls that were above and beyond delicious. They even rival my grandma's cinnamon rolls, and that's saying something. 

The bread was moist and tender, even after several days.  The ratio of cinnamon goo to bread was great.  The frosting was light and prevalent.  In other words, I would eat these every day for breakfast if my waistline could manage it.

They are, of course, one of Alton Brown's amazing creations.   The recipe can be found here.

I made them last Saturday night/Sunday morning. I wanted to eat all of them, but one was enough to tide me over until Monday.  Unfortunately, I couldn't breathe on Monday, so my second roll had to wait a while to be eaten.

I got hit with a serious head cold and was completely out of it for most of the week. I still went to work, but most of the days were spent drinking cranberry juice cut with water and blowing my nose. Saturday the sinus pressure had built up so badly that I felt like I had been kicked in the head. I had to do something drastic. Then I discovered the joys of a netipot.  Sinus pressure has since reduced from a constant pain to a dull throb that is usually minimized right after I blow my nose.  I'm at day 8 and still not up to 100%. I highly suggest avoiding this cold.

During the multiple hours I spent miserable on my couch last week I finished a present! I made fingerless mitts for my dear brother for his birthday. I tagged the pattern when I found it in a library book to be used at a later date. I so rarely knit for men, for many reasons, just a few of them being: there are fewer men in my life than women, there are few patterns fit for the manly man, and a guy can only use so many hats!

When I first read this pattern, I guffawed when I saw it was knit flat and stitched. I think it's silly to knit something flat when it is perfectly easy to knit in the round, and less work, to boot. But alas, I thought I should follow the pattern, and I went against my best judgment and knit according to the pattern. What a pain in the caboose.  I like the mitts and might knit them again if someone wants a pair, but I will NEVER again knit them flat.

Pattern: Bird's Eye Mitts, by Martin Storey
Yarn: Paton's Classic Wool, Black, Green Heather
Needles: US Size 2, US Size 5

New Cold Sheep Totals:

Yards left = 16,348.3
Grams left = 10,351.2
Skeins left = 120.5
FO = 5

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Missing March

Old Man Winter, Jack Frost, and the Queen of May are running around Seattle playing hide-and-seek. Their target, the March Hare, is MIA.

That's how I feel about this "Sprinter" in Seattle. Warm enough to not necessarily be winter, but dang, it's raining a heck of a lot, not to mention there have been some really cold frosty nights, for spring. Every time I look at a calendar and see it's almost the middle of March I do a double take. Can't be. No way.

The Rhodies are confused. 
The daffodils are confused.

The ornamental cherry tree in my neighbor's yard is very definitely confused.

The only guy who understands the situation...

Is this guy. This teeny tiny little radish in my raised bed. I planted peas, carrots and radishes a couple weeks back when the soil was warm enough to work but it was still pretty chilly out.  Unfortunately it snowed the next day. None of my seeds have hit the germination point except this wee little guy. He's ahead of the game, and will hopefully survive until the March Hare finds his way up north.

Why does it always seem like he's late coming to Seattle? Late for a very important date?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Stash bustin'

Unfortunately my Banana Brim hat didn't use much of my stash. I weighed both of the skeins after and modified my stash count. I think I estimated the percent of each skein when I first put them in my Ravelry stash, so my totals didn't decrease by too much.

Remaining yards: 16,706.7
Remaining ounces: 10,441.2
Skeins: 122.2
FO: 3

But wait! I didn't include my Kaa Hat! That changes things, too.

Remaining yards: 16,549.1
Remaining grams: 10,361.2
Skeins: 121.4
FO: 4

Ahhh, success.

And, to increase my KnitGeek status, I figured out my KnitGeek Code:

KER++ Exp+ SPM+(+) Bam+ Steel- Pl-(-) Syn- !Nov Cot+ Woll++ Lux+(+) Stash+ Scale(+) Fin ?Ent FI(+) Tex+(+) Flat(+) Circ++(+) DPN+ Swatch KIP+ Blog++ SNB(+) ?EX>+ FO+ WIP(+)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


In my effort to decrease my yarn stash, I designed a hat pattern to use up some of my spare skeins of Paton's Classic Wool.  I had two shades of gray left over from something years ago.  I wanted a cabled rib brim in the darker color that folded up and the lighter color in stockinette for the rest of the hat. My plans got a bit skewed, however, when I tried it on halfway through the top and Leda told me she liked it better as a beanie with the reverse stockinette showing. I was shocked! How could my design have been wrong, and this be better? But alas, I looked in the mirror and the dark cabled rib brim looked kind of plain when it was folded up over the stockinette stitch. The reverse stockinette stitch added a bit more pizazz and much more charm. So I followed Leda's advise and finished it as it was. I think it turned out lovely, and gave it to my model as thanks after the photoshoot.

Robyn’s Banana Brimmed Hat.
Yarn: 2 colors Worsted Weight (Paton’s Classic Wool, charcoal and light gray)
Needles:  16” circulars, size US 4
Cast on 111 stitches in Color A (charcoal).  Join in the round, knitting first and last stitch together to eliminate the jag. This leaves 100 stitches.
Row 1, 2, 4, 5: K2, P2, K4, P2 around.
Row 3: K2, P2, C2B, P2 around.
Knit rows 1-5 in pattern for 3 inches. 

Knit around for 1 row in charcoal.  Switch to light gray and knit around for 1 more row.  Continue in stockinette for 3 inches, following option 1 or option 2.
Option 1: Switch from knit to purl and continue in reverse stockinette stitch for 3 inches before beginning the decrease.
Option 2: If you hate purling around, follow this option.  This is what I did.
At start of next row, wrap and turn and knit around the opposite direction.  Turn work inside out and continue knitting in stockinette stitch for 3 inches.
Wrap and turn: bring yarn from back of work to front.  Slip next stitch onto right needle,move yarn to back of work, and slip stitch back to left needle.  Turn work.  Move yarn to back of work and continue in pattern. 

Follow this for Option 2. For Option 1, all Ks should be Ps.
Row 1: (K8, K2tog) repeat around.
Row 2: K around
Row 3: (K7, K2tog) repeat around.
Row 4: K around
Row 5: (K6, K2tog) repeat around.
Row 6: K around
Row 7: (K5, K2tog) repeat around.
Row 8: K around
Row 9: (K4, K2tog) repeat around.
Row 10: K around
Row 11: (K3, K2tog) repeat around.
Row 12: K around
Row 13: (K2, K2tog) repeat around.
Row 14: K around
Row 15: (K1, K2tog) repeat around.
Row 16: K2tog around (Should have 11 sts on needles)

Break yarn and run through remaining stitches.  Pull tight and tie off.  

Why yes, the brim of my hat does look quite a bit like the ribbing on some Banana Republic sweaters. Coincidence? I think not! I've had a sweater with this ribbing for a couple years and have always thought it would look nice on a hat. So here I gone and done it.
Why yes, the brim of my hat does look a lot like my Oscarette sweater socks. Coincidence? Heck yes! I finished this hat moments before I ran out the door to the annual Oscars Pajama Party, where my swag was a pair of these knee high sweater socks. They match! 

I see a theme in my life at the moment. And I like it.