Sweater progress

I haven’t been doing anything too exciting other than knitting.  The week was really humid so no being outside more than necessary, or raining.    The humidity is abating with this latest thunderstorm and them temps are suppose in the 70s so there’s hope for improvement.

In the meantime, its a dark, dreary, damp (wet) morning.  A friend gave me some Macs and Cortlands from her trip to the apple orchard yesterday so I may have to bake something apple-y.  I’ve been hungry for cold tuna pasta salad so may need to mix up a bowl of that so I have it for lunches this week.  Otherwise a few loads of laundry between knitting.

The start of the sweater projects I showed last week – well here’s the update – the front piece was finished yesterday.  I need to wind more yarn today so I can cast on the other front.

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That’s the right front.  It has 5 stitches of stockinette which will be along where the button band is added, then 20 stitches of reverse stockinette, and the rest stockinette.  It also has twisted rib ribbing which makes the ribs stand out a bit more distinctly.

I’m glad I alternated hanks every two rows – it blended things overall since one was darker and one lighter.    In a close up you can see all the colors that are really in there compared to this shot a bit farther away.

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The sweater from Denise’s Snowy Day yarn also got about 3″ added to it last night.

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Sweater Starts

Here’s the start of my Primavera sweater

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It is amazing how different this yarn looks outside in  daylight as opposed to indoors.  In doors it reads mostly as gray-brown-gold – very fall pile of leaves – but outside you see the bit of pinks and greens and blues and yellow.  I decided to use twisted 1×1 ribbing.  I need to remember to go write that in on my pattern so I remember when I get to the other pieces to do the same.

The Loopy Ewe announced their Loopy Academy Grad School projects KAL.  You can find the info on their blog.  You don’t have to have finished the other four years of Loopy Ewe School to participate in Academy.   While I’m not “officially” enrolled in Academy because I don’t want complete the required projects for the category I want to knit – I’ll just be “auditing” grad school – knitting along on a sweater from stash yarn – one of my Loopy Legends reward colors – Denise’s Snowy Day.  The yarn was dyed based on a snowy day photo I sent in.

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So swatch was made and I generated a CustomFit pattern for On A Whim  which is a basic A-lined, 3/4 length sleeve scoop neck pullover.   I’m alternating every right side row between two different hanks of yarn in the sweater to break up some of the pooling a bit but I have a small start on that sweater.

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Embossed Cookie Success

20190904_1I mixed up the dough this morning and I couldn’t resist trying the embossing this afternoon.  It was a success and I’ve learned a few things along the way with this first experimental batch.   If you Google embossed cookie recipes you can find many, along with other hints from others.  I came across some gorgeous embossed pie crusts and can’t wait to try that out.   There are three recipes that come with the rolling pin but I decided to try it with my favorite butter cookie recipe – the one I use to make Mexican Wedding Cake cookies.

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The recipe I use is 1/2 c. powdered sugar, 1 c. softened butter, 2 tsp vanilla, 2 c. all purpose flour (you do not want self -rising!), 1/4 tsp salt.  Cream everything except flour until light and fluffy and then add in flour.  Stick in fridge to chill.  Chilled dough is the absolute key to getting embossed cookies and keeping the dough from sticking to all the  little nooks and crannies in the embosser. You bake them at 325° F  until lightly browned.  How long does that take – well that’s the tricky part.   I normally bake all my cookies on a baking stone but I didn’t realize until I was ready to put these cookies on it that is was dirty and you can’t just wash and stick that stone back in a hot oven so I had to use one of my Copper Chef cookie sheets but I haven’t baked cookies on them before and since they a dark pan that can affect them.  I think I baked them about 13-14 minutes but it may have been a bit longer.   The idea is to bake them at a slightly lower temp so that they dry out evenly through the cookie and just start to turn a tinge brown around the edges.  Take them out too soon and they won’t be “dry” and melt in your mouth but too late they may get too dark.  Makes about 2 dozen 2.5″ cookies.

Anyway, I had shaped the dough into a sort of flat disk shape, stuck it in a plastic storage bag and stuck it in the fridge until nicely chilled.  The dough was very stiff when I took it out. But it can get soft really fast once you start working with it so it needs to be very chilled.  I also have a marble rolling pin so stuck that in the fridge to chill as well.

I apologize for the shadowy photos – I forgot to replace the bulb in my ceiling light and one in the breakfast bar before starting so it’s casting shadows when I took these photos.  (But I had cooking making to be doing – not changing light bulbs!)

20190907_7I have several plastic cutting sheets and I use one for baking stuff.  You don’t want to use a lot of extra flour or the dough won’t be the same, but you need it to not stick.   I rolled it out on the plastic sheet without any flour under it the first time – worked fine since the dough was super cold.  Once I rolled it out to the thickness I wanted, I stuck this whole sheet back in the fridge for 5 minutes or slightly longer to rechill it.

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I sprinkled the rolling pin with flour knocking the excess off.  Friend Judy had told me she uses a pastry brush for this type of thing — I need to add that to my shopping list because the only one I have is silicone but that new package of toothbrushes — yes I stole two of them for the kitchen baking.  One to help make sure flour got in the crevices and one to help clean out where little bits of dough stuck — but I was amazed hot little the dough did stick – just when I got to the edges and the dough was rolled thinner.

Next took the dough back out of the fridge and rolled the embosser over it.

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Not bad for a first try.  My dough was about 1/4″ thick and I could have rolled it a bit harder to etch it more but I wanted to make sure I didn’t end up with a gummed up rolling pin if the dough was too soft.  Next cut out with cookie cutters and put on baking sheet.

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They are all the same size – it’s just the angle I took the photo at.  Bake, carefully transfer to cooling rack  and let cool.

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The knit scarf I put the plate on just happens to have the same stitch pattern as the cookies! 🙂  They are just a simple butter cookie that melts in your mouth.  The second pan I put some Sparkling Sugar on so they have a bit of crystal bling on them.  I love that sugar – on muffins, cookies, scones, pie crusts – it looks so pretty and doesn’t melt.

So the things I learned:

  • Chill chill chill that dough before rolling, before embossing  – chilling is what makes it all work.
  • When I rolled the second batch I had to reroll them and let it chill again.  I didn’t use flour under the dough (which I didn’t do the first time) but I rolled the dough thinner and when I tried to transfer the cookies after embossing to the cookie sheet, they distorted or tore.  So don’t roll your cookies too thin.  I did add just a bit of flour under the dough after rechilling which worked fine.   If you roll the cookies to thin, after embossing when you try to get them transferred to the baking sheet they may lose their shape or tear.  You just don’t want to add too much add’l flour or your cookies will be tough.
  • When I cut the cookies out I used both a round cutter and a scalloped edge cutter.  The scalloped edge cutter held it’s shape better.  The round cutter let the edges sort of puff/rise.  Not a big deal – the scalloped cookies just look prettier.
  • You want a recipe with no baking powder in it since that’s what makes things rise.  Also do not use a self-rising flour.  The embossed design will disappear if the cookies rise.

As I was searching for info on embossed cookies, I came across recipes for lemon rosemary shortbread, coconut shortbread, orange, chocolate – I will have to try a new flavor next time.

Now excuse me while I go refill my coffee cup and have a cookie!

 

 

Primavera…. pasta or….

Well I learned something new today when I looked up the definition of Primavera.   When I see that word my mind automatically goes to

pas

 

Yum pasta primavera looks delicious.   Or recently my mind would go to

primavera  Yep – that’s yarn (Rios) and the colorway is called Primavera. That’s why I was curious as to what the definition was of Primavera – and it means Spring.    That image is from the shop website and I thought – a bit outside of my normal colors but it would be pretty in a sweater and it does look spring-like  But with all hand dyed yarns – not all hanks are exactly the same since there are no dye lots.

20190817_4Here is the photo I took of all the yarn in the box taken outside in bright sunlight – you can see many shades in this yarn.  Inside in the light it looks totally different.  I pulled out one hank to do some swatching.  I do believe I pulled out the one with the darkest shades in it to swatch with because these look much darker in tone.

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The above swatch is the same stitch pattern from a scarf I recently finished.  I do plan to use it in a sweater – like with the same brand of yarn – but in a more solid color so the pattern shows up more.

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This swatch will be the one I use to generate the pattern for my CustomFit cardigan I will generate the pattern for.  It will be a basic cardigan – I haven’t decided if it will be vee, scoop or crew neck yet, with a section of reverse stockinette (the center of the swatch) running up the fronts (and made on the sleeves too).  The back will be plain stockinette and the need to decide between 3/4 length or full length sleeves.   I will definitely need to alternate hanks of yarn as I knit to try to get things to blend from hank to hank.  This is the photo I took today – these hanks all seem to have more color in them – at least in bright sunlight so it will be interesting to see how this sweater knits up.  It will likely look totally different in indoor light than outdoor.

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so now I’m hungry for pasta – good thing the spaghetti sauce is already made for dinner tonight.

 

 

More Ribbons

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Check out all these lovely ribbons.  Troublemaker Judy and I were both buying ribbons  and they came in a precut length that was twice what we really needed so we’ve split our ribbon stashes and shared with each other.  We shall never “need” to buy another ribbon again (which is totally different than if we “want” to buy more ribbon).

Okay – she’s really not a troublemaker and actually I totally admit I led Judy down this ribbon rabbit hole but it was fun.  We both remember those boring ribbons when we were sewing clothes – so little selection – I think we got carried away with all the gorgeous, fun, quirky ribbons you can get now.  I’m already plotting what ribbon I will use with what sweater (or yarn).  The pink donuts will definitely go on this sweater when it’s done

swatch

This is just my swatch from the sweater – it has that vine/leaf pattern running up one side of the front. It’s one of those that’s been waiting to be finished for a while and I think I’ve got part of the one front piece and the sleeves left to do.    And there’s a zigzag ribbon with green in it above that will be perfect for a green sweater I need to finish.  Out of all the ribbons we each bought, there’s only one ribbon that we duplicated so that’s pretty good.  I may have to leave these out on the table to look at for a while before putting them away.  I like Judy’s idea of keeping them in glass jars – you can see them, they look pretty and it keeps the dust off.   I’ve got one around here somewhere but I may need to get a bigger one.

Now to go mix up that cookie dough so I can emboss some cookies later today or tomorrow.  And since I need to straighten up the kitchen anyway, I might as well make a few more dishes before cleaning up rather than after.

It’s had

Knitting Embossed Rolling Pin

It has arrived! The Knitting Pattern Embossed Rolling Pin I ordered from Amazon.  And bonus that it arrived sooner than anticipated so I was pleasantly surprised when I opened my mailbox tonight. It’s made my Sun Craft and has traveled all the way from Lithuania where they are hand made.

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It’s a lovely little work of art – I may have to get some brackets so I can store it on the wall above my stove when not in use because it’s just fun to look at.  I don’t know if I can fit cookie making into my weekend but I’m sure going to try to find time.

 

Finishing all the things

Just look at me go – finishing all the things rather than casting on all the things.  Well at least finishing some of the things.

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Here’s the latest – hot off the needles. Just finished knitting the last couple inches, adding the fringe and twisting it.    This is my go to scarf pattern when I need a gift or just a lovely scarf.  It’s the One Row Handspun Scarf pattern – the designer designed it for her own handspun but so many yarns look fantastic in this simple, reversible, unisex pattern.

Always great to have a spare or two in the gifting pile in case there’s emergency gifting to be done.  I like the feel and look of this stitch so much I’ve been thinking of making a sweater – more like a sweater jacket – using this stitch in a similar style yarn.   Yarn is Malabrigo Worsted and with a US9 needle it makes such a lovely squishable fabric.

More blues and greens

If anyone were looking at the recent blog posts they would think I only knit with yarn in shades of blue and green.  I do love green best but just coincidence that all the projects I’ve been finishing recently have been shades of blue, green or in today’s finished project instance, blue and green together.

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This is the 3S Shawl – it’s the second or third one I’ve made.  I like it because it’s a great scarf to wrap around you neck  -vee in front and ends wrapped around back to front again and it stays in place because it’s not a true triangle shawl.  There are more increases than a true vee so the ends of it are more elongated and the vee is shallower so it isn’t as bulky.

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The yarn is Malabrigo Lace and I love the feel of it.  I originally bought this yarn to make a sweater but wanted to see how the colors looked together so this was sort of my test run.  Also I wanted to see if I would go crazy making a lace weight sweater out of it.  I decided I wanted the sweater to have a bit more body so plan to use two strands together.

20190902_1But that’s a project for a future day – after I get a few more other non-blue/green sweaters off the needles.

I did a bit of baking this morning too.  I haven’t made orange chocolate chip scones in ages and there was this lone orange in the back of the fridge nearing it’s “eat by” date. 🙂 – looking a little towards the starting to shrivel side.  And there just happened to be half a bag of mini chips in the cupboard.   I think I am finally very close to perfecting my scones.  A local, non-chain coffee shop always used to have orange chocolate chip scones which I loved but they stopped making them.

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They finally taste orangey enough and are delicious but the texture inside is not “dried out” enough.  I think I need to turn down the oven temp so they cool longer, drying out, before getting too brown.  The temp change will be an experiment for net time – but I may need to have a second one to make sure they really do taste good……..

Citrine Sweater – The end

Another sweater completely finished.  Added ribbon and buttons last night.  The color of this sweater is really hard to capture.  The color is called Citrine and it’s a limey green with sort of brown mustard undertones  (how’s that for a description – I must be hungry).  The color shows the truest in the photo with the close up of the ribbon/buttons.  And because it’s such an odd shade, it was difficult to find buttons the right color.  I must have 3 or 4 sets of green buttons that were not right for it.  Good thing green is my favorite color because I know I’ll find other things to use those buttons on (I think there’s at least one green sweater, maybe two currently in the knits in progress pile.)

 

This was my CustomFit Cardipalooza KAL Sweater for 2016 (I’m slowing getting caught up – 2015 and 2016 Cardipaloozas finished during the same week).

Now I need to go dig through the pile of other sweaters to be completed to keep me from swatching for a new one to start.     Plus I’m hoping today to get the bottom ribbing done on my Rose fade cardigan.  I need to make a decision soon as to what type of band I want to put on that – the cabled one or just a plain ribbing since that will be the last thing I need to do after I finish the bottom ribbing.

Button/Ribbon Nirvana

I knew when I ordered one particular ribbon, it looked familiar but I couldn’t figure out why.  But it was gorgeous colors so I ordered some.

In getting out my buttons last night to finish off another sweater, I discovered why the ribbon looked familiar.  I had bought these buttons last November just because I thought they were so pretty and there were only a couple left in stock.

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What a prefect match and such pretty colors.  I know the style of sweater I want to make to use these on – cardigan with just 3 or four buttons at the top and the bottom hangs open – but will have to see if there’s any colors in the stash that will work.