Sunday, May 28, 2006

Change of venue

The Sit 'n Knit finale at the current digs was this weekend...Chez Arrow is moving! There were strawberry cupcakes for noshing...

Strawberry cupcakes
Made with strawberries from the weekly box

And finished knits were brought out for show and tell...I made some more tissue holders for prizes...

Tissue holders
Everybody gets a prize

Dana surprised us all with her angora bunny, Bun Bun...he is so big and fluffy!

Bun Bun eating carrot tops
Bun Bun eating carrot tops

And I even made some progress on the capelet...still unsure about the thick/thin yarn, but I continue to knit, in the hopes that the finished result will still be pretty, though different...after all, there is a deadline for this gift!

Capelet progress
Almost ready to split the sleeves

Also, need to start packing for the move...

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Snail's pace

Slow progress on the second attempt at Green Gable...I am halfway through the lace portion. I had to unknit several rounds...twice...which probably took longer than all the actual knitting. There is still at least one mistake in the lace so far, but since I cannot figure out how to fix it, I will try to live with it.

Green gable attempt #2
Celadon lace beginnings

And since the cotton yarn is so thin and slow, I decided to cast on for another project...thick wool and big needles will lead to faster progress, perhaps? I seem unable to focus on just one project. Here is the start of the Anthrogologie-inspired capelet, which Joanne saw on Craftster awhile back.

Capelet
Just a ribbed neckline so far

After the first row of raglan increases, I already need a longer circular needle. I am not sure how the capelet will turn out, since the yarn thickness varies...if successfull, it will be a handknit gift!

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Shruggy

Behold...the finished two skein wonder!

Two skein wonder
Front view

I love the colors of this yarn...it was fun to see the subtle changes in greens, pinks, and silvery grays while knitting...but I'm not sure how I feel about the striping effect in the back, especially the browns and near-black.


Back of two skein wonder
Back view

Pattern: One Skein Wonder
Yarn: Noro Silk Garden, color 73, 2 skeins
Needles: US9 & US6 bamboo circulars

I knit the 14" size, which seems to be the right fit. It is a great little pattern, the perfect prelude to my first sweater...

Two skein wonder
Just hanging

Friday, May 19, 2006

Tea treat

My Knitters Tea Swap pal sent a lovely card and a few bags of tea, including white tangerine and Earl Grey with lavender...don't they sound yummy?

Tea swap treat
Beautiful tea pots

The note inside said the tea is traveling to my pal, and then it will be sent to me...of course I am intrigued...

Thank you, tea pal!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Do-over

Swatching was complete, so yesterday evening I cast on for Green Gable...the backward loop cast on is recommended, for a nice stretchy boatneck....after reading several posts about it on the knitalong, I surmised that backward loop is just another name for the single cast on. It was not fun purling into all those inelastic, splitty loops of cotton, lovely as the yarn is...but I managed, and was working merrily through part A, when I discovered this.

Green gable attempt #1
Yikes! Big mess up front (and Arrow hairs on the couch)

Please excuse the dark photo, but what is that big loopy mess up front? And how did it happen? Yech! So alas, I will have to rip it out and do that backward loop thing again with the unforgiving cotton. *Sigh*

At least there are pretty flowers to look at...more fragrant freesia planted by Dan...

Freesia
Sweet smelling freesia, this time in yellow and red

and a beautiful centerpiece from Jess and Tony's wedding!

Wedding flowers
So lovely

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Wedding cupcakery

This weekend Chez Arrow became cupcake central as I baked several dozen cupcakes and mini cupcakes for Jess and Tony's wedding. The flavor combinations were Meyer lemon cupcakes topped with lemon buttercream and candied lemon peel, chocolate-coffee cupcakes with mocha ganache, marscapone cream and cacao nibs, and vanilla cupcakes with chocolate ganache and toasted coconut.

Cupcake tower
Mini cupcakes on the top two tiers

The vanilla mini cupcakes were topped with chocolate ganache or Meyer lemon buttercream and lemon zest. This was my first time piping frosting, which worked nicely with the ganache and marscapone cream...but not the lemon buttercream...it just collapsed after piping...after a brief panic, I just spread it on the cupcakes....perhaps the lemon juice gave it more of an icing texture.

Wedding cupcakes
Brown liners for chocolate-coffee cupcakes

The pink, yellow and brown cupcake liners were from Confectionery House, and we transported the cupcakes in plastic cupcake trays, which I read about on not martha. Despite a bumpy ride through the Berkeley hills, they all arrived safely. The photos are dark as they were taken inside the Brazilian Room, but Tilden Park was gorgeous and sunny outside for the ceremony.

The cake table
The cake table

Jess' friend Holly made the blue cakes with green ribbon, which matched their invitations, and the pretty iced sugar cookies. Most guests seemed to enjoy the cupcakes, though I witnessed a puckered face after trying the Meyer lemon...too tart for some, perhaps....

I also made a set of origami coasters and wine charms...a little crafty break from cupcake baking.

Origami coasters and wine charms
Crafty wedding gifties

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Celadon swatching

Since I finally finished knitting something, I joined the Green Gable Knit Along, in the hopes of knitting my first sweater...though it may take me awhile...a long while. The celadon yarn is Classic Elite Premiere, color 5272...it was on sale!

Green gable swatch
Hmm, might need to borrow a skein winder...

The latest on the rascally beagle's antics...she's been eating the new issue of Cooking Light....maybe she couldn't resist the salmon on the cover.

Scene of the tasting
Fallen Easter beagle was also a victim

Monday, May 08, 2006

Yarnivorous beagle strikes again

Dan and I returned home from the farmers market on Saturday to find unraveled yarn all over the living room floor...the beagle also chewed up a set of needles....somewhat miraculously, the knitting was left unharmed. So I scooted on over to Imagiknit for a new set of needles, and finally got some help on the crochet edging of my second Sweet Mary Jane. Six months after the first slipper was completed, here is a finished pair!

A finished pair

The crochet edging does not quite match...still not sure how I did it on the first slipper, so was unable to replicate it...and the straps are kind of messy, but I am happy that I can finally wear them! These will keep my feet warm during the foggy summer days...

Pattern: Sweet Mary Jane, available here
Yarn: Lamb's Pride Worsted in Old Sage and Manos del Uruguay for edging and strap
Needles: US7 bamboo DPNs
Modifications: I left the button off the straps and only did one row of crochet edging.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Wee bit o' progress

Spring has sprung in San Francisco. This weekend I cut some freesia flowers that Dan had planted on the deck a little while back. I love their sweet fragrance.

Fragrant freesia
Fragrant freesia

No crochet attempts over the weekend, but I did make some progress on the One Skein Wonder...or in this case, Two Skein Wonder...knit with Noro Silk Garden. I am itching to finish, but need to give my hands a rest before resuming.

Two skein wonder
Two skein wonder in progress

I hope it is not too small!