Tuesday, February 21, 2012

the results

The first batch came out like this:

Too sticky, too much in the pan. They stuck to the pan, and the tops pulled right off and the cake fell apart.
So I added a half-cup of flour. The next batch turned out better.

And then I decorated them with cream cheese frosting and a chocolate-covered espresso bean.

Personally, I've never had a chocolate-covered espresso bean, and I'm not sure how I feel about them, but on top of a coffee-spice cupcake? Perfect.

In the midst of an experiment...

Hello all.

I am currently attempting a coffee-spice cupcake, and trying to alter a recipe I found online. Mostly I cook by intuition; I look at multiple recipes of the thing I'm trying to make, check ratios, and compile my own. You'd be surprised how hard it is to find a recipe for plain spice cake. You can buy it in a box, for sure, and there are recipes for molasses cake, but I've been having a devil of a time locating just plain ol' spice cake recipes. I finally found a few, but the one I ended up altering called for 4 teaspoons of baking powder. That seems like a lot to me.

Basically I'm working a cake recipe with ginger, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, clove, and instant coffee, and some molasses and two eggs in place of three eggs (one of the recipes had one cup of molasses and no eggs, and the other recipe called for three eggs, so I made a guess of it).

Currently I have a minute left on the timer, and it smells great, looks good....

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

No Longer

That mess of knitting on the needles is no longer the hat of incomparable doom.

I introduce to you: the Trellis Hat (name still in negotiation).

(I really like the way the decreases turned out)

I know it looks short, but one of the advantages of this particular lace pattern is that it is very stretchy. So, you can wear it comfortably pulled down over the ears, or further back like a slouch hat. The pictures shown here are unblocked, yarn Lion Brand Amazing, size US8 (5.0mm) needles. I'm keeping the rest of the details to myself for now.

Next project? Yeah, another hat. I know, I know. I'm thinking about writing a book I have so many. Here's a hint.

Got it yet? How about another hint.

Oh yeah, matching set.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

the hat of incomparable doom

I'm writing today more like I feel like I should be instead of actually having something concrete to write about.

The owl hat is finished...

and, no, this one is not the hat of incomparable doom. The pattern is Wise Old Owl Hats, and you can find it on ravelry or on this website here. The pattern calls for bulky weight, and I used one strand of Vanna's Choice solids with one strand of Encore DK. I think it made it more of a super bulky though, because I cast on the recommended stitches for the pattern and it was HUGE. So, I cut out a repetition and cast on 76, then increased by one stitch before beginning the owl motif. I'm not sure I'm happy with it, though. It's a well written pattern, easy to follow and everything, but the hat still seems, if not big, then tall. I stopped about an inch before the recommended 6"-from-cast-on-edge and then started the decreases like I was supposed to and it's just a big hat. Eh, it keeps you warm. 

No, the hat of incomparable doom is this one.

(and, yes, I knit a lot of hats. They take single skeins, are relatively quick, and if your friends want you to knit for them it's about the right amount of investment into a project).

This hat has been kicking my bum. I don't know what it is about it... I adapted the pattern from flat knitting from a very old stitch dictionary, and that all worked fine, but I tell you, I have to pay SO much attention to this hat while I'm knitting I can't do anything else. I seem to be incapable of following the pattern, so I made countless mistakes and realized it rows too late, then tried to rip it out while the fuzzy nature of the yarn (akin to mohair, it's that sticky) made it almost impossible to rip out and start over. I started with 91, and that was too big, so I cast on 84 then figured I would add creative little yarn-overs to match up with the existing pattern and increase up to 91 for the body. Yeah... I had to rip it back three more times. And the yarn is splitty. Very, very splitty. If it wasn't for the fact that the yarn was a gift to me and the hat is a gift for someone else and the colors are so very, very pretty, I would throw this in a garbage can and light it on fire.

Stupid hat.