Sunday, December 19, 2010

Oh, hey guys!

With all of this luxurious time on my hands, I managed to finish a whole hat in only a couple of evenings, instead of a month! Huzzah! I haven't blocked it yet, but I just know that as soon as I do, it's going to get wrapped and then I'd never get a picture. And we all know that what the Internet really needs is a picture of a plain black knitted hat!


It's Turn a Square by the incomparable Jared Flood. I used Mission Falls 1824 Wool in Black. I'm hoping it'll become my brother's favorite hat and I can prove to him that wool is not the devil.

I've been a baking fool this weekend! I went to a party last night, which in itself doesn't sound like much, but guys... I didn't know anyone there! I'd never even met the hosts before! If you know me in real life, you probably understand how incongruous this is with my personality. But when you're in a city where you don't know anyone, you have to start somewhere. I'm learning that I'm not as socially awkward as I've always thought I was. I've been holding actual conversations where the person I'm talking to appears to be engaged and interested in what I'm saying! I'm not mumbling or staring at my feet or looking desperately for a book or a magazine to read! It's pretty incredible. I also met a fellow knitter at this same party. His LYS is the same as mine! Such a small, wonderful, knitterly world.

Anyway, I obviously couldn't show up at this party empty-handed, so I decided to make a gingerbread. I've made a couple of gingerbread loaves in the past and wasn't happy with them. They were both dry and not nearly flavorful enough. I was set on gingerbread though. It's my favorite, and I figured no one else would bring it. Then I remembered that Deb at Smitten Kitchen had posted a gingerbread I wanted to try. Of course it was decadently delicious.


It's the Gramercy Tavern Gingerbread and it's everything she promises: spicy, rich, sticky, and extremely dangerous to get out of the pan! I was pretty sure I had oversprayed my pan and still lost a chunk. Not so bad though. I cut it up for transport anyway, and then I had a built in piece to guiltlessly devour. I mean, I couldn't very well bring an untested recipe to a party without quality control, right?! If you make one thing this Christmas, make this. You won't regret it.

Today I did some serious shopping (just searching for one elusive gift right now), and made some cookies to bring into work and bring home with me on Thursday. I made two kinds. Both unspeakably delicious.
Chewy Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cherry Cookies by Isa Chandra Moskowitz


and Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies by the one, the only, Martha Stewart


Now, I don't like to pick favorites, so let me just say that I wasn't planning to give these away, I'd have the whole tray of the molasses cookies in my lap right now. The chocolate cookies are delicious, but they're very rich. They're a lot like a brownie in cookie form, so one or two will do ya. The molasses ones though are very light, chewy, with a crisp edge, and a buttery, spicy flavor. Must... resist....

I'm deciding right now between casting on for some mittens, or getting some wrapping done. Sigh. I'll be kicking myself Wednesday night if I don't get the wrapping done. Heading home Thursday! I can't wait!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Wow... Really?

Has it really been nearly a month since my last update?! Time sure has flown by, and here I am at the very end of my first semester of graduate school. Tomorrow is my last class, and I have a couple of things to finish for that, but I thought I'd come over and give a shout. And show off my latest FO! But first, some quick catch-up.
Thanksgiving happened, and so did an 11th birthday.


That cake is 100% vegan, and the most delicious chocolate cake I have ever made or eaten. The frosting was amazing too, but the cake! It's accidentally vegan, no egg replacers, no soy. It's a recipe called Wacky Cake, and there are versions all over the Internet. The recipe was created during WWII rationing, when home cooks had to get creative. Try it!

Speaking of food, we had a pretty delicious Thanksgiving breakfast of Vegan Pumpkin French Toast. The kids ate every bite with singular focus, something that never happens.


I squeezed in a visit to Purl Diva for a chat and some stash enhancement.


And Christmas draws nearer and nearer.


I'm making a hat for my brother. Partly because he's always complaining that I've never knit anything for him, and partly to see just how serious is his wool sensitivity. He wants a Cobblestone Pullover, but no way am I embarking on that project without testing out possibilities first. I think Mission Falls 1824 might be the way to go. We shall see.


And I finished something! I somehow managed to pull off a sock in between trips home, fifteen page papers, reading two short story collections, and critiques. No wonder they took a month to finish!


I used J. Knits Superwash Me in Florida. I really like this yarn! It's comfortable to knit, doesn't get too twisty. It's also very comfortable to wear. I haven't taken the socks off since I took these pictures this morning. I used the Hourglass Eyelet Socks pattern by Cindy Putnam. This pattern was formerly available on the defunct MagKnits site, and is now available for download on Ravelry. It was a nice, fun, easy pattern. The stitch pattern is easily memorized, and they go quickly (when you're not a first year grad student). I chose to use this pattern with this yarn because I was concerned about pooling, but I didn't need to be! Check out the soles, no pooling here! I don't regret my choice, but it would be sorta nice to have a pair of plain jane socks in this bright, cheery color, don't you think?


Whew! So that's what happens when you have to play catch up! After tomorrow, I'll have a blissful month reprieve from homework before the Spring semester starts. Let's see how many projects I can churn out during that time!