Another Hat

November 28, 2011

Turn a Square

After knitting my husband's Chroma Striped Scarf, I needed a project for my leftover yarn, so I decided to try a hat called Turn a Square. I like the pattern, but it's meant to fit quite snug, and both Matt and I prefer a slouchy hat. We also seem to have abnormally large heads, so it's hard to know just what size to knit my gift hats. I usually try to compromise by making hats larger than the pattern calls for, but smaller than my own personal preference.

I'll be making at least one more of these hats, depending on how far I can stretch my chroma leftovers. I probably have enough for three more just like this one.

Brown Paper Packages

November 25, 2011

Brown Paper Packages

I don't know about you, but around here it's officially Christmas. As soon as we returned home from Thanksgiving dinner last night, we turned on A Christmas Carol, pulled out the tree, and put up the twinkle lights. My husband is very fond of Christmas, and his enthusiasm is contagious.

Truth be told, I've been working on Christmas gifts since July. The upside to this level of preparation being that I don't have to scramble around last minute. The downside, the repression of my excitement to give them away as soon as possible!

Cheers to a warm Thanksgiving (my personal favorite holiday), and a relaxing weekend.

Yarning

November 21, 2011

Reading Mitts

I finished knitting my reading mitts last night, and I'm fairly satisfied with how they turned out. I would use a stretchier bind-off next time, especially for the thumbs, but I'm no longer afraid of making thumb gussets. Hooray!

Chunky Circle Scarf
1x1 Ribbed Scarf

I also made a couple thick scarves to give as birthday gifts over the weekend. The first is a crocheted chunky circle scarf from Lindsi at People Webs. The pattern was really fun to follow, and reminded me why I love crochet so much. I'm really happy with how it turned out.

The second is a simple 1x1 ribbed scarf in thick n' quick. I particularly love the tweedy barley colorway, and might have to make one of these for my husband. So I can steal it. All the time.

If you're in the mood to be amused, check out this video by Tiny Owl Knits. She's so whimsical and cute! I love all of her patterns.

Mulled Wine

November 16, 2011

Mulled Wine

I've been curious about this mulled wine stuff for a long time. Especially since reading about it, over and over, in George R.R. Martin's series, A Song of Ice and Fire. It just seemed like it might be really good, and warm, and full of spice - perfect for the holidays.

While visiting a friend over the weekend, I was given my first glass, and it was everything I thought it'd be. I decided I needed to figure out how to make it at home because the spices are really simple and plentiful in our kitchen pantry.

Spices

After doing a little research (and experimentation), I've found my favorite combination of spices for a bottle of red wine. If anyone has a good recipe for mulled white wine, I'd love to know. Somehow I think cardamom and honey would be perfect.

Mulled Wine
1 bottle of wine
1/4 cup sugar (more or less to taste)
1 tsp orange zest
2 cinnamon sticks, broken in pieces
1 tsp allspice
10-15 cloves

Pour the wine, sugar and the spices into a medium saucepan. Warm over low heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar has dissolved. Make sure the wine does not boil.

Once the wine is warm, strain into mugs and enjoy.

Acorn Squash

November 10, 2011

Acorn Squash

It gets dark so early now that daylight-saving time has come, which means the window of opportunity for taking decent photos in natural light is maybe four hours wide (and shrinking), depending on the weather. We're restricted with sunlight in our apartment because of the direction we're facing, and the surrounding trees, so this might be a good time for me to play with photographing things in artificial light.

Acorn Squash

The whole light thing really isn't a problem except when we make something for dinner that I really want to share with you, like these acorn squash from Matt's grandpa's garden. We've been eating them roasted in halves with butter and a little brown sugar. I know this is one of the most basic recipes on the planet for acorn squash, but it's also one of my most favorite things about fall, so I thought I'd put it up as a reminder. If you're looking for something a little more elaborate, this recipe for stuffed squash is really good too.

Roasted Acorn Squash 
1 acorn squash
1/4 cup (1/2 a stick) salted butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon brown sugar

Preheat your oven to 350°F.

Slice your acorn squash in half, lengthwise, and scrape out the seeds. Place your two halves on a cookie sheet, skin down. Place in the oven on middle rack for 20 minutes.

While the acorn squash is roasting, mix your butter and sugar together to form a paste. Take out the squash once it has been in the oven for 20 minutes. Place the butter-sugar paste in the cavities of the squash, making sure to divide the paste evenly. Place the squash back in the oven for 40-60 minutes, until the flesh is tender.

Remove from oven. Using a pastry brush, spread the melted butter and sugar mixture all over the flesh of the squash. Allow the squash to cool for five minutes. Serve warm and enjoy!

A Project Person

November 8, 2011

I'm finally starting to feel better after being sick for nearly a week, and I'm so glad. I was able to do lots of reading and movie watching, but I was otherwise completely useless.

Hats

Hats

Before I got sick, I went on a huge knitting spree. I made several more Autumns after finishing my first hat. That super bulky stuff gets addictive because you can work through projects so quickly, and although I enjoy the process of knitting (now that I actually sorta know how), I'm definitely a 'project knitter' at heart. In fact, when it comes to making things, I've discovered I'm quite the project-person in general. I like reaching the finish line with my work. Unfinished objects stress me out because they make me feel like I'm not accomplishing anything.

Reading Mitts

Next on my agenda are Suzie's Reading Mitts. These are another project not on my to-do list, but I find my hands get quite cold while reading in bed, even when everything else is bundled up. The name of these mitts immediately attracted my attention for that reason, but I also think they're pretty cute.

Sore Throat Remedy

November 2, 2011

Sore Throat Remedy

I recently found an interesting recipe for a sore throat remedy on HomeLife, and since I was dealing with a sore throat myself, I decided to give it a try. Aside from tasting delicious, it actually did ease my sore throat for awhile. Plus, it's warm and steamy, and I'm currently living off hot beverages to keep from freezing in this cold weather we're having (we finally had to give in and turn on our heater yesterday).

Sore Throat Remedy

Anyway, I decided to make 'get well' gifts out of the idea, which I'll be posting about soon for My Own Labels, but I also wanted to share the recipe here since so many people are getting sick right now and it might be of some use.

Sore Throat Remedy from Homelife

2-4 slices of lemon
2cm piece of ginger, thinly sliced
A handful of mint sprigs
1-2 cinnamon sticks
Freshly boiled water
Teapot or boil-resistant jug
Honey, to taste

Infuse the lemon, mint, ginger, and cinnamon in boiling water for 5 minutes. Pour into mug and add honey to sweeten and soothe the throat.