Sunday, January 29, 2012

FO: Gemma capelet

This is the Gemma capelet from Knitting Off the Axis. The yarn is di.Ve Autumno, which is a merino yarn. I'm not really a capelet person, but I love how this particular one looks and I love how it's constructed. The bottom part is knitted cross-wise. My row gauge was a little finer and I didn't really know exactly what size to make, but I could wrap it around myself as I went along and stop when it felt about the right amount of ease. The top yoke is picked up and knitted upward to the neck, so you can easily adjust the number of stitches and rows to get a good fit. I really like the shoulder shaping because it results in a very crisp and squared look. The collar is nice and fluffy because it is double layered.

I decided to use a seed stitch for the button band instead of the double garter pattern because I wanted a tighter band and one in which I could center the button holes. I used needles 2 sizes smaller for the band to help make it denser. Since I did a seed stitch button band, I went with seed stitches on the collar also instead of ribbing. I also did some increases on the collar at the shoulder lines to make it a bit wider at the bottom. I skipped the cable pattern on the underside and just used stockinette.

I'm hoping I won't feel silly wearing this. I think it looks a bit like something out of Dickens and I should be using a hand muff to go with it. The Other Half thinks it looks like a cross between Sherlock Holmes and something out of Dr. Who.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Chocolate covered bacon

Gay over at tu tu knits inspired me to make some chocolate covered bacon. I don't really eat that much chocolate or bacon. They are, after all, full of saturated fat, and I'm all about limiting my intake of saturated fat. However, this doesn't mean that I can't enjoy a small treat now and again.
I baked my bacon at 350 degrees in a convection oven. That's probably about 375 degrees in a conventional oven. I used a broiler pan so that they would not be swimming in grease as they cooked. I baked them until they were browned, and it took longer than I expected -- probably at least 25 minutes. Here they are after being baked and cut into smaller pieces.

For chocolate, I used Ghirardelli 70% cacao baking chocolate. I melted it in a double boiler and dipped the bacon and placed them on wax paper. Here they are after dipping before going into the fridge for cooling.

It didn't take long for the chocolate to harden. Here they are in their finished state. They were delicious!

One taster suggested a 60% cacao. Another suggested perhaps a thicker cut bacon would be nice. I used a smoked bacon, and I'm thinking that a peppered bacon might interesting.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

FO: modified cropped topper

This is a highly modified version of the #28 cropped topper from Vogue Knitting Fall 2011. The yarn is called "RichMore Stame", which is a Japanese brand of yarn that I purchased in Tokyo on my 2010 vacation. I really like the yarn -- it's very lofty and very warm and very lightweight.
Here's all that went down with my knitting of the pattern and how my sweater ended up so different:

  • I liked the pattern for its broken rib stitch pattern and I don't mind the boxy shape if there is ribbing because ribbing will naturally shape the garment a bit. I had to re-do the stitch counts because my yarn is worsted weight instead of the recommended bulky weight

  • I decided to make it a little longer than the cropped length

  • After kniting the back and one of the fronts, I decided that I did not want to do the wide ribbed front band because I wanted something different, so I decided to knit a 6" wide scarf to be sewn on for the fronts and collar. I like the way a scarf-type collar sits on the back of the neck.

  • After finishing the body and the scarf, I had two skeins left over so I decided to just pick up stitches and add some 3/4 length sleeves. Each sleeve used up most of one skein.

  • When I was all done, the 6" wide scarf looked odd just sitting on the front, and it was also stretching in length. I folded it inward and held the fronts together with a big pin and I'm quite happy with the end result.