Friday, May 20, 2011

Making Music

I've intended to start weaving that wooly plaid blanket for ages, but then the weather started warming up, and I started to think about this towel kit I had, and the next thing I knew, I had wound the warp for them, instead.

After a few days of meditatively and carefully sleying the reed and threading the heddles (566 little threads worth) I finally got to start the actual weaving today, and it's totally worth all the work. Just look at the spectacular colours.

This particular towel is based on a Mozart symphony: the colours of the warp stripes indicate particular musical notes, and the width of the stripes indicate what type of notes they are (i.e. eighth, quarter, half, etc.) If you could decode the stripes, you could actually play this on the piano like a musical score. I have to admit that I made one error in there, though, so don't try to play it. It won't come out right. I take solace in the fact that you probably can't spot the error.

The weaving itself is a waffle weave, which doesn't look as impressive while it's under tension on the loom, but hopefully will look great once it's off the loom and laundered.

I'm loving this project.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

I Also Eat

I realize I've mostly been showing off my finished knits and not much else, for a while. I've been doing lots of baking and cooking, as well, but just haven't put up photos. Here are a few beauty shots for you to enjoy.

Scones I made ages ago, when I was in search of the perfect scone recipe. These were truly delectable. In fact, I think I should make these again soon.

One day I had a craving for a grilled cheese sandwich with smoked gouda and caramelized onions. Then I made it a reality.

Lastly, what self-respecting foodie hasn't yet made Prince William's Groom's cake? I altered the recipe by using a ganache for "icing", rather than just plain melted chocolate, which seemed to me like more than a little bit of a cop out. The ganache includes a bit of my tequila vanilla, and in my opinion is the best part of what is, ultimately, a really yummy chocolate cake.

Superb straight out of the fridge, but even better if it comes back up to room temperature, which softens the ganache a bit and really brings out the flavour and texture.


Friday, May 13, 2011

Felix socks

I mentioned, a while ago, that I stocked up on self-striping yarn, so I could quickly make a bunch of stockingette socks. This is the second pair from that group, from a Canadian yarn dyer in Quebec: Biscotte & Cie. It was their little kitty logo that caught my attention, the fantastic self-striping colourways that caught my eye, and the experience of knitting with the yarn that caught my heart. This particular one is Felix, 80% superwash merino, 20% nylon: it is soft and fluffy and makes a really nice fabric for socks. The colours are really spectacular, too, as you can see.

Another simple toe-up stockingette sock, using Judy's Magic cast on and a standard toe, and another afterthought heel - this time, I changed the shape a little, by making it curvier and less pointy, which I think gives it a much better fit to my actual heel, which is not terribly pointy.

I know it looks like all I'm doing is socks, lately, but I assure you that isn't the case. Other projects are on the horizon.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Elementary Watson Socks

These socks are part of the blog-post backlog (backblog?) that I need to catch up on. A while back my dad started hinting about socks. Of course I have a long-standing selfish knitter reputation to keep up, but even I couldn't say no. I rarely get asked to make something by the men I love, so when given the chance, I do it.

Coincidentally, I had found a nice men's sock pattern that I was eager to try out. These socks are inspired by a sweater worn by Mr. Watson (aka my beloved Martin Freeman) in the new Sherlock tv series from the UK. There have been some amazing knockoff sweaters knit by some awesome bloggers I have serious girl crushes on, but I didn't really want the full-sized sweater, myself. Socks seemed like a more reasonable tribute, to me, and with my Dad wanting socks, it was the perfect match. I ordered some Tough Love Sock yarn from Vancouver's Sweet Georgia Yarns in the Nightshade colourway and cast on.

I did use the opportunity to learn something new from this pattern - the Fleegle heel for toe-up socks - but after that, I made a couple of changes to the pattern (which you can't see because I'm not showing the leg, here.) After the heel, I didn't do the design on the back leg, but did k2p2 ribbing, instead. I wanted to ensure that the leg was comfortably fitted, and I decided that ribbing would do that better (plus the bonus of it being easier than adding more cables and stuff.) When it came time for the cuff, I carried on in the same ribbing in the back and changed the space above the flying geese motif to ribbing in the front. I carried on doing the cables just the same. It looks good (you'll have to trust me on that) and they fit my Dad really well. Success!