Friday, February 28, 2014

Finished Object Friday - Minecraft hat

Boy I'm on a roll - two finished projects in as many weeks! This week I finished a hat for my son. His birthday is about a month away and he is crazy about Minecraft. A few months ago I was browsing Ravelry and I came across a pattern for a Creeper hat (Creepers are characters in the game) and thought it was just perfect for him. So rather than wait until the last minute I actually started working on it a few weeks ago.

(I'll get a better picture when I give it to him - trying to be a little stealth here)

To make the hat I used Cascade 220 Superwash in a Christmas green and Black. This was my first time using Cascade and I think I like it. I used size 6 needles for the hat and tried to be very careful on the color work so I didn't pull the yarn too tight. Looking through other's pattern notes on Ravelry provided me with two very helpful hints about the hat. 1 - the pattern runs a little small so rather than knitting the child's size I went with the small adult size. I was glad I did. I tried it on me and it was quite snug and a little short so I'm pretty sure it will work perfectly on a seven year old. 2 - I followed a different decrease method used by quite a few people that I think worked out very well for shape of the hat.

Can't wait for my son's birthday so I can give this to him!

For more finished objects, check out Tami's Amis.


Friday, February 21, 2014

Finished Object Friday - Tardis Socks

I'm so excited about my most recent finished knitting project! E and I are both big Dr. Who fans so I made a pair of Tardis socks for Him for Valentines day.

I based the socks off of the Tardis Socks pattern but modified it so they were ankle socks and the pattern was on the foot. E prefers ankle socks, which means the pattern isn't showing when he wears shoes, but it's kind of fun because it's a hidden surprise. You might even say that his shoes are now "bigger on the inside". (Sorry fellow Whovians for the lame joke).
The socks are knitted top down with a heel flap and gusset but unlike standard socks I did half an inch of ribbing (as opposed to 1.5 inches) and then knitted three rows of stockingnette before moving onto the heel flap. And thank goodness they were ankle socks because I had to knit an 11" inch foot!
E was pretty thrilled with the socks - he's already worn them a few times. Definitely a knit worthy guy!
For more finished objects, check out Tami's Amis!


Sunday, February 16, 2014

Garden Update

The indoor gardening set E gave me for Christmas is working really well. It came with a variety of herbs so that's what I started growing. I've got Thai basil, Italian basil, dill, mint, chives, parsley and cilantro.

This is what it looked like about a week after I planted it. The two basils, dill and chives had begun to sprout

Here's the garden about weeks after I started it. The chives took off first (which is funny because they were supposed to be the shortest.) The dill went crazy right away too. Now a few weeks more and I've had to raise the lamp up a few notches because almost everything has grown so tall. The only one lagging behind is the mint. After six weeks, it's barely peeking above the surface. I thought I took a picture of it more recently but I guess I haven't.

I needed to prune the plants so I've been looking for different ways to use them. For the basil, I went with my old standby, pesto. The dill and chives have been used in roasted potatoes and carrots. l love roasting vegetables. Just cut up he veggies, throw in a gallon size bag with some olive oil, salt, pepper and the herbs, shake it up, dump it out onto a pan and bake. Easy peasy!

The parsley was used with basil in a manicotti filling. And the cilantro was used in salsa. I used Roma tomatoes, a Serrano pepper (I like spicy salsa), lime juice, onions, a little bit of sugar, cumin and of course the cilantro. This salsa turned out better than my first attempt but is still not quite right. I'll have to keep practicing.

I've also worked preserving some of the herbs. I've got dill outside drying and some chives and dill in olive oil in a ice cube tray in my freezer. Hopefully this works for long term preservation.