Monday, October 31, 2011

More cake, and Denny, and other stuff ...

At the end of last week I've baked a cake, and stuck (almost) strictly to the recipe. I just substituted white chocolate with dark chocolate chips, and added some more flavors.

Cranberries Chocolate Chips Cake

I've cut the first slice when it was still hot, that's why the molten chocolate chips smudged the cake. I used fresh Cranberries, I just love the sour taste combined with the sweetness.

Even with one cup of butter, and fresh fruits, this was a rather dry cake. If I would make this one again though, I would leave out all chocolate, and double the amount of Cranberries.

I did tell the boys to smell the cake, so I could get them into the picture. Of course Denny bullied Happy aside, and got a lick in. Ah well....


This is what Denny does, when he's spending time in my son's room, while Happy is having alone time with me. During his stay there, he whines, and yodels non stop. My son has developed an eye twitch. After he was released, Denny stayed by my side for the rest of the day. Can't get close enough. That's me sitting on the sofa, with Denny's head on my leg.

It doesn't get any closer

And here's what I've spun in October.
October 2011 spinning

I've got my knitting mojo back, and I've cast on with some of my handspun yarn. That's all I needed to get me going again. :o)
Now I have to decide, which sock design will be my November socks. I thought I'd it all worked out, but changed my mind again. I'd like to get the yarn and needles ready, to cast on as soon as the current project is done.
Heat's still OFF. Lovely wooly handknits are unpacked, and pulled on, and keeping me warm. The temperatures in the house hold steady at 13C. Yesterday morning, we had first frost. The grass was white, and the ground on top frozen for a few hours. Not a single snow flake so far though. The trees, and bushes are letting go of their leaves now. It sounds like it's raining, but it's not.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Handspun Friday - Vampire Suicide

Just in time for Halloween, I've finished some FatCatKnits Vampire Suicide on superwash BFL (special Halloween colors Ginny had in her Etsy shop).

FatCatKnits-2x 4oz sw BFL-Vampires Suicide

FCK Vampire Suicide-chain plied-2 skeins-total of 266yds

FCK Vampire Suicide-chain plied-2 skeins-total of 266yds

FCK Vampire Suicide-chain plied-2 skeins-total of 266yds

I've got 2 skeins, chain plied, 266yds total from one braid. The other one will have to wait. I was thinking of knitting fingerless mitts with long cuffs with this yarn.

Wishing you all a lovely weekend!
Maggie and Happy

She's still limping, but the pain killer helps her to get around, and sleep better I think.

On another note, I haven't knit a stitch in three days now. I do have three WIP's but nothing I'd like to work on right now. I do however enjoy spinning very much, so it's not so bad.

Yesterday morning was the first time I thought it was cold enough to wear knit socks again. It's 14C in my studio, quite chilly, but I don't want to turn on the heat just yet. I'm digging out all the handknit items to keep me/us warm. :o)

The boys went out on the deck in the morning, just to discover a thin layer of ice on the boards from the rain the days before. First they slipped around, but soon they licked the ice, and clawed at it. It was funny to watch them.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Andrea's mitts

October is the birthday month of my sister. Her name is Andrea (even though we call her Susi). I thought those mitts would be perfect for her.

Andrea mitts for my sister

pattern: Andrea's mitts by Kirsten Kapur
yarn: KnitPicks Wool of the Andes, colors Coal & Fog, one skein each
size: s/m
needles: 3.25mm

They've arrived, and have been well received.
Andrea mitts for my sister
Then there are some bed socks I've knit in between all of what I've been doing. Knit with 3.75mm for extra loose fit. Request for another pair has been made. :o)

bed socks for David

The last three days we've been worried about Maggie. She's been limping. One of her rear leg seems to bother her. From the time we've notices something wrong, and a day of rest, and easy, which did not bring improvement, we went to the Vet yesterday.
Maggie tensed up like a fruitcake. All muscles, all tense, so it was hard for the Vet to feel her leg, and find out anything. Maggie walked around like nothing was wrong there in the office, when at home she was hoping around on three legs.
For now, we are supposed to give her pain killers, and watch her for the next five days. If there's no improvement we'll have to do x-rays. It's hard to keep her quiet though, and away from the boys too. It's better if she only gets to see them one on one, less horse-playing around.
while I prepare dinner, the dogs a-linger

Oh, yeah, that's Maggie in front, Denny, and Happy in the Dining room. When I'm preparing dinner, they hang around, changing places all around, but basically just waiting for something to fall off the counter, or something to lick like a bowl, or anything else for that matter.


Monday, October 24, 2011

Buttonwillow Warp

This past weekend, I finished the Buttonwillow wrap. It only took me three tries, until the third one was the charm. I like this design for the unusual spine, and the edging, especially the bell shaped big one in the middle.

1. Buttonwillow wrap-done

1. Buttonwillow wrap-done

1. Buttonwillow wrap-done

This wrap is so soft, if hairy. The yarn is a blend of 80% Alpaca 20% Silk. Lovely combination. I liked this yarn much better than what was used in the original design (The Fiber Company Road to China Light, in the colorway Peridot, which I have, and it was my first try).

1. Buttonwillow wrap-done

Even though I really like this colorway, this shawl will go into the gift bin for now. I'd like to make myself one with handspun yarn.

1. Buttonwillow wrap-done

While I was taking these photos, Denny stole a wooden board from the kitchen counter, and munched on it, when I found him like that in my studio.

Denny, oh Denny

pattern: Buttonwillow wrap by Romi Hill

yarn: Wandering Cat Yarns Sophisticat, 1.56 skeins of Spring Fling - 445yds used (once again the WCY girls did a wonderful job with the colorway)

needle size: 3.5mm
size after blocking: 20 inches x 68 inches, I did not block the heck out of it though.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

This is getting serious....

A serious sign of your fiber/yarn addiction is, when you step out of your bubble bath, look back with a smiling face, and think, "No dye bleeding whatsoever." Help me!


Friday, October 21, 2011

Handspun Friday - River Rock

Some time ago, I got this fiber as a gift from Preita. I was able to pick it myself from her Etsy store (doesn't seem to exist anymore).

By Hand Fibers 100% Polwarth 4oz - River  Rock

River Roch - Polwarth - 4oz

I loved all the colors in it, and how it turned out spun up. It was a little hard to work with, pre-drafting was in order, but in the end it all worked out fine.

River Rock-Polwarth-chain plied-330yds

chain plied - ~ 330yds

Thanks, Preita!

River Rock-Polwarth-chain plied-330yds

Yesterday a little box was in my mail box, from Germany. Look what was in it! Lovely 100% Alpaca, dyed and sent by Bea . There was some chocolate and Toffee too, but it never made it to the photo shoot. The colors are lovely, and this is going to go next on my spinning wheel! Thank you so much, Bea!

100% Alpaca, gift from Bea
100% Alpaca

Bea has many wonderful designs on ravely, one is this spinning bag, which I'm supposed to test knit. Bea has graciously given me time as long as I needed to get it done. I really want to have one of those bags, but it's a little daunting.
It's been really rainy and dark here the last few days. The pups do what's best in this situations - sleep.
sleeping Maggie
sleeping Maggie - she's changed position on the towels - she's so sweet when she's sleeping

sleeping Happy
sleeping Happy - my sweet boy, highlighted in a low sun beam (obviously this photo was taken on a sunny day)

snoring Denny
snoring Denny

They all like to sleep in the open crate during the day at some point. Here he's pressed his nose into a weird position, which made him snore like he's afflicted with sleep apnea.

There it is again, the next weekend coming up! Hope you are all having a good one!


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

October socks - Sockstravaganza

I used last weekend to finish up my October socks. I was waiting on Friday for some yarn to arrive for the Buttonwillow wrap, but it didn't. Which was a good thing, because then I decided to finish off this pair. I've had half a sock lying around for some time now, because between casting on, and actually finishing them, I did a couple of other projects.

October socks-Sockstravaganza

These socks were the reason I bought the book "Brave New Knits", because they are on the cover. I liked the orignial colors, but I don't like to copy, so I changed the colors a bit. I added a third color, the natural white, because I thought the red color would pop more.

October socks-Sockstravaganza

I've come to enjoy knitting cables lately. I especially liked the left and right cable bands, flanking the big middle one.

On the back leg there was ribbing, which was very annoying to knit. It looks really good, but I could not memorize it, I could not get into a rythms knitting them, because the ribbing was not the same old (k2, p2) or some such. Anyway, once I reached the foot, it was plain old stockinette stitch on the bottom.

October socks-Sockstravaganza

Can you see the heart shape in the color work. The original had an open heart, I just added one red stitch at the bottom tip, to close the heart, and I like it much better that way.

October socks-Sockstravaganza

They turned out a little too wide around the ankle and foot part. I usually knit my socks with 64 stitches on the leg, and 60 stitches for the foot part. These were knit with 72 stitches throughout. I must say I needed the width with the colorwork, but further down they are loose, and I made them a few rows too long too. So, I might give them away, or hope they'll shrink a little in the washing machine.
October socks-Sockstravaganza

pattern: Sockstravaganza by Kirsten Kapur from the book "Brave New Knits"
yarn: Elann Sock it to me 4-ply (discontinued) and I'm not sad about that. Not the nicest yarn to work with.
needle: 2.25mm


Saturday, October 15, 2011


Everybody and their Aunt is in Rhinebeck this weekend, and I'm getting a new water heater installed on a Saturday afternoon! How lovely.


Friday, October 14, 2011

Ginny is an artist when it comes to dyeing fiber. I love her work. It's so much fun to spin her colorways. One of which is Day's End Dawson. I love browns, and blues together. This one I've got from her Etsy store.

FatCatKnits-Day's End Dawson-BFL-4oz

4oz BFL

FCK Day's Endn Dawson-2-ply-4oz-490yds-BFL

FCK Day's Endn Dawson-2-ply-4oz-490yds-BFL

FCK Day's Endn Dawson-2-ply-4oz-490yds-BFL

I've got 490yds of 2-ply yarn. I spun it from brown to the blueish part, with a little shawl in mind (pattern not yet specified).
Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Happy 1st Birthday, Maggie! (Margret, Mrs. Thatcher for short)


And YES, she listens to all her names. But she knows, when we call her Margret, she's done something bad.

As I'm writing this post, Maggie is sleeping under my desk, bringing tears to my eyes. It's not because I'm sentimental, or moved by time going by so fast. No, it's because she's blowing wind, sounds and smells coming from her belly, after she ate, God knows how many, apples from the ground outside in our backyard. She's putting members of the skunk family to shame, and she's not even trying.
Meanwhile the boys, one on each side of the room, have their noses pressed to the screen, of open windows (Coincidence? I think not!). I feel like getting up, and joining them, if it were not for the hot air coming in, and foul smells, and hot air, don't do it for me either. So lets be brave and move on.

(Last time we saw Happy between her ears, this time ...)

Maggie's one year old, and with us almost as long. She's a petite dog, but well proportioned. She's a weird dog, with lots of personality. I'm glad she's with us, and that she's got her own quirks.

(tired after running like the energizer bunny) (Denny made this bed of towels for her, but why sleep on a sofa, when you get a place like that to sleep on?)


(What? Don't you know there's nothing better than leaning on a chair?)


(She just loves leaning. I Love them both.)


That's her, telling us, "Throw the freaking ball!" Totally obsessed she is.

It's also Thanksgiving Day today, and there's Turkey in the oven, there will be yams, and Apple Pie (made from scratch, no yucky filling from the can).

Hope you are all having a wonderful Monday!


Thursday, October 06, 2011

Happy Birthday!

October is a month with many birthdays in our family! Today it's my DS's birthday. For that occasion I baked a cake, Sacher Torte to be exact.

Sacher Torte for my son's birthday
(this photo cracks me up)

We all like it. I'm not good at baking beautiful cakes, but they taste good.
I cut it in half once and filled it with Apricot jam.

Everybody wants a piece of it!

Sacher Torte for my son's birthday
(I asked Happy to smell the cake. He usually does not jump up on the counter like somebody else we know.)

Some want it more than others...

Sacher Torte for my son's birthday
(I pushed it out of his reach.)

If you don't get it from the one side, try the other ...

Sacher Torte for my son's birthday

That was close!

Wish I could share this with you!

Sacher Torte for my son's birthday

This cake really NEEDS whipped cream.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011


I was lucky to be a test knitter for this scarf. Gyllis a new Stephen West design.

test knit for Stephen West - Gyllis

test knit for Stephen West - Gyllis

test knit for Stephen West - Gyllis

test knit for Stephen West - Gyllis

test knit for Stephen West - Gyllis

I've used Wandering Cat Yarns Jungle Cat in the colorway Vampire's Kiss. One skein, with a little left over. But only because I decided to use a contrasting color for bind off (also some WCY but Twinkle Cat).

That's how much was left over.

Wandering Cat Yarns Jungle Cat

And just because I have so many photos of them, here's Denny soaking up some sunshine.

Denny, hot and bothered