December 8, 2007

It’s raining men!

Filed under:Cooking,News! — Aileen @ 16:36

… Gingerbread men, that is.

I made double the quantity and rolled the dough out thinner so I ended up with nearly 50 men. I’ve popped them in the freezer in little bags of 6 until they are needed – the icing I use dries pretty quickly so all I need to do is remember to take them out the night before!

I set out only to make some more gingerbreadmen, but once I got going I figured I should bake up a large batch to cover all those extraneous gifts one always ends up needing. So, I made some almond and lemon biscotti…

…some coconut puffs…

…and some proper ginger bread.

Now I’m going to put my feet up in front of whatever ridiculous children’s movie is on tv and relax!


December 7, 2007

Got my toes, got my hats, got my wool, got my liver

Filed under:Finished Objects,News!,Works In Progress — Aileen @ 11:13

I always find it funny how Nina Simone throws her liver into that song (I think it’s being used as on a Ballygowan or Flora advert right now). Anyway, I do have toes.

Ain’t got no feet though… yet

After all the drama this sock has been through, finishing up the toes was a total anti-climax. Now I get to start the other one. Be still, my wildly beating heart…

I think I mentioned starting a brioche rib hat for my brother in law but didn’t have anything to show at the time. Well, here’s my progress so far.

I started off with 76 stitches but it was turning out gigantic so I ripped it up before I went too far, and re-cast on 50 stitches instead. It seems to have done the trick. I have no idea why I was so apprehensive about trying the brioche. It’s super easy and works up into the fluffiest, spongiest ribbing I have ever seen. I suppose what makes it scary looking are those diagrams you see for it. I think books should omit the diagram and just put in the written instructions: it makes far more sense when you work it for yourself (like a lot of things).

My picot-edged sweater is now dry. You can still see the change in dyelot. The angora has felted and taken the picot edging with it. Words cannot express my frustration. I’m going to get someone to take photos of me in it, I’m going to write up the pattern and hopefully someone else will produce one that matches the idea in my head a bit better. I’m just a bit disappointed because time-wise, I had one shot at this sweater and I made a mess of it.


December 5, 2007

Some ups and downs

Filed under:Finished Objects,News!,Works In Progress — Aileen @ 11:38

After the downer of breaking some of my sock needles, I have finally made it to the toe of my first sock.

These Opal bamboos are holding up pretty well but there’s no denying that 2mm is really tiny. I hope I get the second one finished up in time!

I finished the lace wrap on Monday night and got it blocked out yesterday. It was so mild yesterday that it was already dry this morning!

Much to my delight, some shawl pins I ordered the weekend before last arrived in the post on Monday morning. This is the one I picked out for the wrap. It’s hammered bronze (not the same as drunk bronze).

I think it will really suit the recipient. I’m so excited about giving this to her now!

The two other pins that I ordered are equally as nice. I got this one for my mum as a closure for her cardigan. I’m about halfway with the cardigan – 4″ more for the body, the sleeves and the steeking to do.

It’s funny because she was here when the post came so I gave her first pick of the three that I had ordered – she picked the same one I had! The last pin I got is for me. It’s quite small but should do the trick.

It also came with a silver pin too, but it didn’t show up very well against the white lace. I’m planning on using this to fasten my Icarus Shawl whenever I get it finished. All pins were ordered from Ruby Vegas through Etsy – find her here. Shipping was very reasonable and prompt. Check out her stuff!

Speaking of finishing up, I totally finished off the picot edged sweater yesterday. I sewed up the hems (much quicker and easier than anticipated). Last night, I gave it a good wash. By a good wash, I mean I rinsed it out about twenty times to get all the dye out. I ran out of yarn about half way through this sweater and used another dyelot that hadn’t been rinsed fully. I was hoping that by rinsing it out thoroughly it would tone down the difference in dyelot. It didn’t really. And it semi-felted the angora trim. I’m not entirely sure how it happened because I used lukewarm water and just a lot of squeezing. Maybe it’s just how angora goes when you wash it and by the time it is dry, it will be back to its light’n’fluffy glory. Too much to hope?


December 1, 2007

Christmas Baking

Filed under:News! — Aileen @ 17:58

I figured since it’s already December 1st, I should get some Christmas baking done. I can’t explain it, but baking up stuff that I can’t eat is really fun to me. So what do you make when you get everything out and discover you’ve only one egg?

gingerbread men
Why, gingerbread men of course!

They tried to run away so I had to dunk them in chocolate to stick them down. They seem pretty happy about it though. I had some pears that were going off so I made up some pastry, lined some small pie tins I have and chopped them in. Drop of almond essence, top off the pie with a pastry lid and into the oven for half an hour. They smell wonderful. I have yet to buy a basting brush so I couldn’t glaze them but they look ok – the brown bits are where the pear juice bubbled over.

Now that I’ve sat down with a cup of tea, I’m not really sure what to do with them all. I should probably freeze the pies and give them later in the month as little presents. Icing doesn’t freeze very well so I’m not sure what to do with the little men. I might just set them free.


Beyond the Beyonds

Filed under:News!,Works In Progress — Aileen @ 12:30

Ok. One broken needle justly deserved some screams. But another?

This is beyond the beyonds

I can’t work in such conditions! This one just snapped in my hand last night. I think I should bin the remaining three and spare myself the torture (coincidentally, my examining work brings me eerily close to an unbrittle needle supplier tomorrow, hence the relative lack of freak-out).

As a result, the red cardigan has been getting far more attention than it deserves.

My version of Miracle-Gro has to be standing in the queue at the bank on a Friday afternoon. Seriously. 40 minutes of knitting right there. I enjoy watching peoples’ expressions when I dig out the knitting in such a situation. Some people make it obvious that they think I’m crazy. But a lot of other people make that, ah nuts… why didn’t I bring my book/knitting/crossword/paper face.

Today, there’s going to be another repeat added to the wrap, a bit more added to the red cardigan and I’m going to make a start on a brioche hat. You can’t beat a quick hat to take the sting out of a broken needle.