Monthly Archives: February 2014

It’s Coming

For many, this winter has seemed interminable and never ending. We have had more than the usual number of winter storms and some unusually cold days for our area. Many of my friends and acquaintances and even random people at the store have expressed some despair over this cold, wet winter we have been having. For me, this winter has been one of the most pleasant in recent memory. I always feel that cold weather without snow is a waste and I have not been disappointed in that respect this year.

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We’ve had multiple snowfalls and a couple of ice storms, which turn the world into some sort of glassy wonderland. If I am going to be stuck in the house because of the temperature, I like to be able to look at some beauty outside as well.

Despite all of this, I can sense that Spring is coming. The days are getting longer and the sun seems a tad more intense. I am thinking more about spring colors than deep, rich tones or grey shades.

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The other day, I made these cute little pin cushions using this tutorial (oops looks like their server is down. I will add the linky later). Isn’t this a fun little project to get into the mood of spring?

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In the process of making these, I used these little clover clips for the first time. Where have these been all my life? I love them! So much easier to use and lays flatter than pins. I think I need about a hundred more! Seriously, if you sew or knit, you need some of these. They come in different sizes and I plan to get them all.

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I’m also finished with my hoegaarden cowl, which goes with the hoegaarden mitts and hat that I made last year. Whoa.

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This is my first ever completed set of accessories that all match. Usually, I look a bit like that lady who can’t find matching sets of anything, so she goes out with five accessory items that all clash, but at least she is warm.

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Now, I will look like I have it all together, which I SO totally don’t, but that’s ok, because we all know that looks are deceiving, right?

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And now, it looks like I will have to cast on something new. And pink. Because spring, it’s coming.

A Good Finish

Saturday, I finished my shawl.

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I had no yarn left. None! I was anxious at the end that I would run out, but the tail was about 8 inches, which was plenty to weave in the end. That has never happened to me and it came with a great sense of accomplishment. Not only was it beautiful, but it was guilt free!

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Sunday, I finished my sweater.

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So, I am really, really happy with both projects. The sweater fits perfectly. It is the September Morn sweater by Baby Cocktails and I love it. I already have plans to make three or four more Baby Cocktails sweaters, so stay tuned for those.

I thought I would have all kinds of time now that the olympic games are done, but it turns out that life rolls on, dinners have to be made, and children taught. I do have some fun stuff to show you that has been waiting in the wings, so hopefully I can get to that soon. In the meantime, I am super excited about the first shipment of the Bare Naked Knitspot club.

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As soon as I can finish one or two things, I am going to wind these and knit them up. There might be a few spots left. If you are interested in undyed, sustainably sourced and milled (mostly in the USA), unique yarns, with fabulous patterns, go sign up! You won’t regret it.

Approaching the Finish

Saturday.

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Sunday.

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Tuesday.

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Today.

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Only four more days of knitting left. Yikes!

Chocolate Mascarpone Cheesecake

Normally, I do not make cheesecakes, mostly because I cannot eat them, being lactose intolerant. However, I was a little curious about this one and I needed something to take to share with some friends, so I thought I would give this week’s TwD recipe a try.

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Cheesecakes don’t have a ton of ingredients and the method to making them is not too difficult, but there are some things that can go wrong. As cheesecake recipes go, this one is pretty easy and straightforward.

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I was thrown off at first because there is no crust that is baked with it. I used a 9 inch springform pan and lined it parchment, even though the recipe did not say to do so. I think that it made it easier to get out of the pan.

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There is a crust that gets sort of added at the end after you take it out of the pan. Personally, I don’t think this was necessary. The cake would have been fine without it.

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The water bath helps to prevent cracks in the final product, which I often get, but happily, my cake was crackless this time.

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The hardest part is making sure your cheese mixture is not lumpy. I was not 100% successful in this endeavor, but only I noticed the little white spots, so that’s not too bad.

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The final cake was really smooth and tangy and creamy. I took the cake to a meeting and I think everyone liked it because I only came home with one piece left.

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I served it with some hazelnut caramel sauce that I had leftover from making chocolate caramel cups last week. It was a good compliment to the cake. I have to say that the cake was not as chocolatey as I was expecting. Even though it was good, it did not seem extraordinary, so I am not sure I will ever make it again, but I am glad I made it. It’s always good to keep your skills up, you know?

Knitting Games

Can’t talk much now. The olympics have started and so have two projects that I have challenged myself to finish during the games.

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First, a hazeline shawl that I have been wanting to make for years.

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Secondly, a September Morn sweater in a pretty springy green color given to me by the husband for my birthday.

After the first day of knitting, they looked like this:

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The sweater is good tv knitting, so it’s getting a lot of attention while I watch the games. Sunday, my projects looked like this.

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Monday, this is what they looked like:

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It’s difficult to tell the progress on the shawl. Maybe it’s because I stopped working on it for a day or two. I was really anxious to get the sweater past the upper body part. That was Tuesday’s accomplishment and so they looked like this yesterday.

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Today, thanks to a rather sleepless night, I have some extra progress on the shawl, too. Just a few more rows there and I will be on to the next lace chart. The sweater is also coming along with waist decreases commencing now.

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Usually, there is not this much visual progress in my knitting, but this super focused and concentrated knitting time is a great change from my usual bouncing back and forth between 12 projects routine. There are just about 10 days of olympic knitting left. I will try to post my progress regularly, but you’ll understand if I don’t do a lot of talking, right? You see, I have a deadline to meet.