Friday, February 7, 2014

FO Friday - A little hat

As some of you may know, I often feel compelled to knit all the things.  2014 seems to be emerging as the year of knitting all the Tin Can Knits things.  All of them. Right away.

Last year, I knit a Barley, a second, a third with matching Maize mitts and Oats cowl.  Already this year, I've knit another Barley, as a gift, and a Rosewater.  We won't go into the other 12 patterns in my Ravelry queue and the Antler Cardigan I'm waiting to cast on until Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics...

Today, I give you my newest Tin Can Knits FO: The Sitka Spruce hat.

This hat was quick.  It was interesting & it looks super cool when you're done.  I love the way the decreases are written into the pattern - it just flows so organically!  I used my well-marinated Malabrigo Rios in Glazed Carrots for this one & it's so soft!  It's practically perfect.

The only imperfection in this hat is mine.  Usually, I cannot knit things at the recommended gauge with the recommended needle size.  I always have to go down one, if not two needle sizes to get in the neighborhood of the gauge needed.  So I cast on with a 6, and worked the body of the hat with a 7 (when a 7 & an 8 were recommended).  I should mention here that, in the round, the other TCK patterns that I have worked have been /perfect/ with the recommended needle.  Why I felt I could outsmart these intelligent ladies is beyond me.  Oy.  I churned this hat out in no time & when it came time to work the decreases, I looked at the depth of the hat and thought, 'That seems a little short... and a little small... Oh, I'm sure it will be fine.' And kept knitting, of course.  I am now the proud owner of an adorable, orange, super-geometrically patterned child size hat.  Awesome, right?

Actually, it is awesome, because the Rios yarn is superwash Merino & Halos of Hope needs child sized hats, too.  This one goes in the pile to be shipped off to Purlescence for the #podcasterthrowdown.  It's a win-win.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Olympic Knitting

There's this thing we yarny folks do during the Olympics, starting several years ago, where we challenge ourselves to a fibery goal during the same time period as the Olympics.  Most people watch the Olympics while they are knitting/crocheting/spinning/weaving, but it's not required.

The event became the Ravellenic Games (first is was The Ravelympics, but the IOC got their panties in a bunch and apparently the suffix -ympics is their property.  Needless to say, they weren't very nice about it).  The whole idea was to set an ambitious, but achievable, goal, start the project during the opening ceremonies of the Olympics and complete your project before/during closing ceremonies.  Somewhere along the way, lots of rules came about.  And with rules, you tend to exclude some people and confuse others.

This was the first year I was excited about being a part of the Ravellenic Games.  I had yarn and a pattern in mind, my swatch was knitted, washed & blocked, I was ready to go.  Then there was a controversy among the leaders of the Ravellenic Games group.  And then the group disbanded & reformed under new moderators.  The various podcasts I listen to were alluding to the drama going on in that group & it didn't take me long to decide that I'm not going to get wrapped up in any drama in an online forum for a made-up knitting challenge that should be JUST FOR FUN and PERSONAL FULFILLMENT.

So, I'm knitting a sweater.  The Antler Cardigan by Tin Can Knits.  I'd worked and reworked all the math to make the finished garment fit my proportions.  I cast on when I heard the Olympic theme coming from my TV - sleeves first, two-at-a-time, magic loop.  Somewhere about 8:15 pm, because that's when I finished an episode of Torchwood on Netflix and remembered there was figure skating to be seen.  After all, what would Brian Boitano do?

Obviously, he would knit a cardigan while watching figure skating. If he knitted.
When he's not renovating a villa or cooking on Food Network.

I'm not doing any special tagging.  I'm not stressing about what category my project falls into.   I'm not submitting it for a prize (or a badge to put on my profile - wooo!).  You know what my prize will be?  A sweater.  A cozy, warm, wool & alpaca sweater that will keep me warm in this winter that never ends.  And that's prize enough for me.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

3 things I really like - SMOOTHIES

3 Things I really like:

  • My Kitchen-aid immersion blender
    • specifically for making smoothies
  • This OXO water-bottle washing set
    • specifically the straw brush, it gets all those pesky berry seeds out in NO time
  • My new smoothie recipe below - it was fantastic! 
I thought this up early one morning as I was ready to run out the door.  While it's not a low-calorie smoothie, it has lots of good protein, plus servings of dairy & fruit, all while it tastes like dessert.  My favorite way to start the day!

Also, I have to say that I love the doTerra Trim Shake powder.  It actually does mix into liquid.  It doesn't taste like garbage & it's designed to fight cortisol (the stress hormone can causes you to store fat).  It's a winner & we add it to almost all of our smoothies.

Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Smoothie

  • 1c - 1 1/4c strawberries & bananas (we use frozen, but fresh will work, too)
  • 1/4c peanut butter
  • 1/4c Nutella
  • 1 1/2c milk
  • 2 tbsp yogurt
  • 1 scoop of doTerra's Chocolate Trim Shake powder 
Blend all ingredients well.  Add ice cubes & blend for a thinner smoothie.  

If you try it & like it, let me know in the comments below!