Monday, June 28, 2010

Shawl's Done!

She's done and blocked, and is as lovely as I had hoped.

It's soft and slithery, blocked out to a respectable 60" x 20",  and drapes wonderfully.  Just what I wanted.  What I learned: could have used a larger needle for a more enveloping shawl.  The pattern could open out even more and still be OK.

Handmaiden seasilk is such a wonderful yarn.  The color variation is so subtle it scarcely shows up in the photo.  And I had heard that it smelled of the sea, but had not myself found that it smelled of anything in particular either in the hank or warmed by my hands as it was knit.  But get it wet and WOW!  A beautiful, fresh ocean smell from the kelp fiber, unmistakable. The perfect accessory for a tropical cruise.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

What This Town Needs Is A Vegan Bakery

A brief detour, today, from the knitting to another household craft.  Background: my grandson has food allergies that include eggs and milk.  This makes him, in effect, a meat-eating vegan.  This also makes the bakery a very dangerous place for him.  Enter my heroines, the authors of Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World and Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar.  I've lately become so enamored of the cookies that I've wished somebody would start up a vegan bakery in Anchorage. (I can't do it myself. I just don't have time, energy, or desire for yet another career. Sorry.)

But on to the cookies!  The recipes are so good I probably will make my way through them all eventually.  Right now we're deep into the chocolate ones because the Grandboy adores chocolate, and he adores it so much that he picks chocolate chip cookies apart and only eats the chips.  You can imagine how long that takes and how messy it is, right?  Better to make them chocolate all the way through.

But pass the cookies, please, let's have a taste! 

These are Oreo knockoffs.  Cookie nerds would remind you that Oreos are already vegan, but when you make your own at home--WOWEEE!  And you can play around with the filling and make your own variations. I've tried cherry, mint, and peanut butter so far and all work out great.  Making your own also gives you an insight into what fat bombs these guys are.  An incredible amount of shortening and margarine involved here.  All the better for the Grandboy, however, whose doctor has advised calorie-dense foods.

And here are the cute chocolate pretzels and the Mexican snickerdoodles.

The pretzels are sweet; the "salt" is pearl sugar, although any big-grain sugar would do.  The snickerdoodles are cinnamon chocolate.  For adults you could include the little pinch of cayenne--for the kiddo it seemed better to leave it out.  I don't think preschoolers expect their cookies to bite back!

Ooops. I almost forgot. This is a knitting blog, isn't it?  Let's look at some knitting, then:
Up close and personal with the seasilk shawl.  I've got quite a bit more done, see?
Now it's a race against time because I have a serious chance of getting it done for my trip on the 3rd of July.  Done and blocked, that is.  And by the look of it, it's going to have to be, as they say, severely blocked if it's going to be as wide a shawl as its pattern.  That's it.  I've got to get off this computer and KNIT!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Swimming in the Seasilk

Note to Winter Sunset Cardigan: It's not my fault that the weather turned warm and the thought of a giant lapful of wool is so much less inviting than a hanky of lightweight slippery seasilk in cool marine colors.  You'll just have to wait in your basket for a while.

Here's what I've got so far:

That's a lifeline a couple of repeats down, and the waviness is a demonstration of why it's such a good idea even though it's a hassle to put it in.  No prizes for guessing why it's there or how many times I ripped and redid the first couple of repeats before I caved in to necessity.  If you think it's a hassle to pause and thread the lifeline in, you haven't had to rip 10 rows back and try to pick up live lace stitches.  Part of all this trouble is that the center lace pattern is deceptively complex.  I still haven't been able to memorize it like I have the edges, and have accepted the fact that I probably will have to carry around a little 5"x3" lace chart for the duration.  The great thing about knitting a stole shape is that once you get established, you just repeat and repeat until you run out of yarn. No shaping, no change. And the center being as tricky as it is, one has to be on one's toes all the time, so it's not likely to get boring any time soon despite the repetition.  The hawkeyes among you will discern that there is a mistake in the middle (below the lifeline), but I have judged it too minor to be noticed when the shawl is worn.  As my Scottish friend Molly used to say, "A blind man'd be glad t' see't."