February 28, 2010

Baby Hat

I took a 2-day break from my Olympic Cross Stitching to knit this little hat for my employer's newborn daughter. Doesn't my penguin make a great model?

The hat is from the 2009 Knitting Pattern-A-Day Calendar. The pattern date is April 1, 2009. I'm going to copy my Ravelry Notes here, rather than type them out again:
Things went pretty well until I got to the Herringbone stitch. It took a few minutes for me to figure out how to do it, and required a lot of concentration. I also wished that I had larger needles, as the stitch is very tight. Most of the other people who made this hat complained about it being too tight. I made the hat as instructed, and it is almost too tight for Meadow. (She was 3 days old when I gave it to her.) I would recommend doing the eyelet row an extra time before starting the herringbone stitch, and/or going up a needle size for the herringbone stitch.
At the end, I purled a row, then bound off in purl, as was suggested in one of the other projects.

Tonight will is the last night of the Olympics; I'm hoping to meet my cross stitch goal. Apparently I didn't mention it on here. My goal was to finish the blue and white part of the Lady's skirt. I've nearly finished, and have tentatively extended my goal to finishing all the blue/white parts of her dress by the end of the Olympics tonight.

February 22, 2010

Ugliest, Yummiest Chocolate Cake

After driving home from my Grandpa's funeral yesterday, I decided to bake. For some reason I've been craving chocolate cake lately. I decided to use the recipe on the back of the Hershey's Cocoa Powder container. I figured it had to taste good, or it wouldn't be on the back (or would it?) and it must be fairly easy, too. Everything was going smoothly; until I tried to get the cakes out of the pans to finish cooling. Apparently "Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans" means "get out the Crisco, girl, and don't hold back." The cakes finally came out, one broke, and the other threatened to crumble every time I touched it. I stuck the broken one back together, frosted the top of it, hoping that the frosting would hold it together, and quickly put the other one on top. At this point I was getting frustrated, so I took a break and ate dinner.
Frosting the cake was something of a nightmare - it just kept crumbling. Then I ran out of frosting and had to make up some more. Other than that, it was an easy cake to make. So there you have it: the worst-looking best-tasting cake I ever made. Do I get a prize for that? No? Oh well. At least it looks better in the picture. If you decide to give the cake a try, do make certain that you grease your cake pans within an inch of their lives.

February 18, 2010

Stitches in my Life

This has been a rough week. My Grandpa died, somewhat unexpectedly. On Saturday my Dad and I will be driving down to Penn Yan for the viewing. The rest of my family will drive down Sunday for the funeral.
I didn't really know my Grandpa very well. We only visited a few times a year (Thanksgiving, Christmas, July 4, family bbq's). However, I do have many special memories of him. He built me this lovely doll house, and most of the pieces from a furniture kit. I still have it, and someday will get back to decorating it. My Mom has a book titled Doll's House Needlecrafts; I have a long list of things I want to make from it.
I remember going for walks with Grandpa, riding in his motorboat, him teaching me to row, and to paddle a canoe. We built a model car together, and we shared a love of puzzles. It seems as though I knew him better when I was younger. The last time I saw him was New Year's Day, when I went down for the Ingram Christmas celebration. He had been struggling with dementia for quite some time, and he didn't recognize me. Even when Grandma told him I was Phil's Daughter, I could tell that he didn't really recognize me. As a child, I saw my Grandpa as one of three men in my life who knew everything, could do everything, and was never wrong. The other two men are my Dad, and my other Grandpa.
I will miss my Grandpa, and pray that I will one day meet him again in Heaven.


February 14, 2010

The Knit Princess Comic

The Knit Princess is an online comic that I discovered last week. The story is by Allison Sarnoff, and the pictures are by Melody Moore. They know knitters, and they know cats. I can sympathize with many of the situations the characters find themselves in, and I have seen certain cats (who shall remain nameless) doing the same things with my yarn and some of my friends' projects.
I read several online comics, and this is the only one I've liked enough to buy. You can purchase the comic here, or read it online, here. Check it out, even if you're not a knitter.

February 10, 2010

LOTT Update

I feel like I have nothing to blog about. I haven't finished anything lately. I've thought about but avoided sewing and tatting. Sunday night was crochet night, but due to a migraine I stayed home. My knitting needles are empty. I finally decided (well, narrowed it down to 3 patterns) to use the yarn I bought on Etsy a couple of years ago. Since I was having a difficult time deciding between 3 patterns, I thought I should see if I had the needles for any of the projects. I don't have the right needles for any of them. So, until I decide on one of the three patterns, the yarn will be waiting in my yarn basket.

I did put a few stitches in Lady of the Thread last Thursday at the monthly craft night.

I'm planning to work on her (or my pillowcase) during the upcoming Olympics, since I'm sure we'll be watching quite a bit of them.