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1  COOKING / Dessert / Christmas Biscotti on: December 21, 2008 09:34:42 AM


I am not a picky eater, but I do not really like nuts and I do not like anise at all. Both are key ingredients in these cranberry-pistachio biscotti that I LOVE so much. I make them every Christmas for gifts and for a cookie to go along side the main dessert at Christmas dinner. (The trick is for me not to eat them between now and then.) Here is a link for the recipe on epicurious. I highly recommend them; the only bother about making them is melting the white chocolate at a low enough temperature so it doesn't seize up. (Oh, and shelling the pistachios, but I find that kind of a mindless task that doesn't bother me.)

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Holiday-Biscotti-with-Cranberries-and-Pistachios-108977

This was a good activity for a snowy morning in New England. Here is a photo outside my back porch, so you can see why more baking and wrapping will happen today.

2  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Holiday Gnome on: December 03, 2008 02:29:38 PM




When I saw these goofy guys on line, I just had to make them. This is my first knitted toy, from Alan Dart. I'm generally happy with the way it turned out, with a few small exceptions:

1) The polyfill is showing through where I didn't sew it well enough (note the left mitten) or knit too loose/stuffed too tight. Not sure which.
2) While his little cap is whimsically crooked in the photo, I'm not sure it will stay that way. I used an excess of hairspray and starch (note him drying on the board), but it still doesn't have the stiffness I hoped for.

Any advice on either of the above is welcome. I'm hoping to do two more between now and Xmas. It was a rewarding project, because each piece knits up quickly, so I felt like I was getting somewhere quickly.

Happy Holidays to all and to all a good night!
3  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Help -- Ideas for Too-Small Felted Purse on: August 30, 2008 12:08:15 PM
I'd like to solicit advice for what I should do with my too-small felted purse. This is the Berroco Dot pattern it was supposed to be.


http://www.berroco.com/247.254/251/251_dot_pv_lg.html

I actually made it last summer, but stuffed it into the bottom of my stash because it came out too skinny after I felted it. The pattern called for 14" high and 25" around. Mine is 13" high, but only 14" around.

I would welcome creative ideas of what to do with it. I haven't been able to find the right leather strap, and I feel that it is too skinny anyway. I guess I could knit and felt an i-cord, but I really liked the contrast of the leather when I started the project. I thought that I could sew some elastic into it and slip my knitting needles in, but I feel that there must be something better out there for salvaging it, as I do like the color scheme.

As you can tell I'm in a rut about what to do with this.  Undecided

As an avid fan of craftster creativity, I'd like to toss it out there for help. Here are two photos -- one standing and one flat.

Thanks for any help.










4  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Ravelympic Boyfriend Socks on: August 24, 2008 09:16:35 AM
I limped to the finish of the Ravelympics with just inches of yarn left and cramped hands. But I made it! Here are my Ravelympic Boyfriend (really "Hubby") Socks. I didn't think I'd make it, because every time I asked my husband to try on the first sock, he kept saying, "If it's not too much trouble, I really like my socks longer."  Shocked This all the while our 14-year-old keeps telling him he looks like "a geek" and needs to wear shorter socks.  Undecided I wanted him to have the socks just right for him, but I was a little nervous about enough yarn. I just squeezed by.  Cheesy

This pattern was well written and easy to follow, even though I had never wrapped to make short rows before. I also was very happy with the colorway on the yarn and how it showed off the cables.

Pattern:
http://slippedstitch.blogspot.com/2006/08/boyfriend-socks-written-up.html

Yarn:
dkKnits Technicolor Dreamtoes purchased on etsy

Here they are and congrats to all you other Ravelympic knitters. I was so impressed with the effort, creativity, and speedy knitting.



Close up of cables:
5  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Painted Girl's Vanity on: August 02, 2008 08:10:14 AM
I bought this set unfinished several years ago and painted it up for my little sweetie. She is now making noises about wanting a more mature room, so it may go in the attic soon. Sad

Since I removed all the trinkets on the surface to do some cleaning this morning, I thought I'd share it for posterity before it is retired. I am not really artistic at all, but I was happiest with the bench and the painting around the mirror. Most important, she used it lots and still uses it when she thinks no one is looking.

Sorry the photos are a little dark and shadowy. The family camera is off on a trip, so I used my cell.










6  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Wool Socks in August -- oh well on: August 01, 2008 10:54:53 AM


After being on the needle (1 circular) for months, I finally finished these socks this morning. (I had to send the family ahead on a visit and I'll catch up in a few days, so I could have some much needed quiet time.)

Here's a close-up of the fun pattern:



These took me so long, because of various non-crafty distractions, that I started to get grouchy  Angry, but I can honestly say this was a fun knit and the pattern (Froot Loop from knitty.com) came out cute  Kiss. I will be saving them for a gift, probably for my daughter's horseback riding teacher. I hope they are long enough.

Next up, a plain sock, but I'm going to try toe up and two on the needle at the same time, both of which are new for me. Then, the Ravelympics!!

Go USA and Team Red Sox Nation.
7  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Monkey Socks and Baby Socks on: May 06, 2008 07:16:53 AM
Posting these together to prevent post-overload. What these have in common is the same yarn -dkKnits Dream Toes in Grafooti, purchased on Etsy.

The Monkey Socks from Knitty worked up like a dream on the magic loop. The only change I made was a slip one, knit one heel construction for strength. I had a little yarn left when I was done, so I knitted up some baby socks for a neighbor's newborn.

Probably too many photos for some basic socks, but here they are anyway.

Both:



Baby Socks:



Monkeys in action (well not really action, because I was sitting and taking the photo):



Monkey close-up:



8  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / Loop problem when grafting sock -- please help on: May 02, 2008 02:54:39 PM
I've been knitting socks on the magic loop with good success. My Monkey Socks went like a dream until the absolute last stitch. When I graft, the last loop doesn't pull in -- it just stays as a big, old loop that I end up weaving in. I've made several pairs of socks in the last six months, and I cannot figure out to solve this; it happens on every pair, so I must be doing something fundamentally wrong to finish the graft, which otherwise looks fine. I'd appreciate it if anyone can offer advice. A photo of the offending loop appears below.



9  COOKING / Dessert / Chocolate Cloud Cake on: April 25, 2008 01:27:34 PM
For a long time, I kept this recipe to myself, even though it is published in Classic Home Desserts by Richard Sax. (A wonderful book that never fails me.) It is Chocolate Cloud Cake; it is so easy to make, but it seems like you've done something really amazing. Since I've now shared the secret many times, I thought I'd post it here.

I made this one for DD's birthday. The sides are a little more crumbly than usual-- I think because it was a very warm day when I sprung it from the pan. It is a flourless cake that puffs and then cracks. It sinks when it is cooling, making a deep well for the fresh whipped cream.

Anyway, it melts in your mouth and has been a favorite recipe for years.


10  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Happy Chairs on: April 05, 2008 02:38:52 PM
I always tell my sister, who is a talented furniture painter/re-conditioner, that she should post on Craftster. But she hasn't. So, being the big sister, I thought I'd give her some PR. She painted these chairs for our playroom as a gift to me for my 40th birthday, which, unfortunately for me, was not exactly yesterday.

These were basic unfinished furniture, but she has also done outstanding work with curbside pickups. Unfortunately, she lives 400 miles away, so I don't have easy access to drop by for a photo shoot.

I hope you like these as much as I do. Maybe some positive reinforcement will convince her to share her other work.


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