Tuesday, August 11, 2015

A Knitter's Lament

I was recently organizing my craft room and thought, What am I going to do with all this yarn?  Years ago I was in a series of mini-skein swaps, and accumulated quite a stash of them.

Some are wound up nicely:

Some are missing labels but still relatively intact:

And many, sadly, are rolled into rapidly unraveling balls.

My original plan was to make a gigantic garter stitch blanket.  Each mini made one triangle.

I decided to go for the gold and make a king-sized blanket.  I got a few rows in (width, of course!) and decided that I hated garter stitch.  I tried to cut out individual triangles to salvage the yarn but was wildly unsuccessful.  Now the blanket is folded to hide the gaping holes and put away.

Next, I decided to make a "hexi-puff" blanket.  I like stockinette stitch.

I didn't knit the ends properly and so they're loose and baggy.  Alas, I can't quite figure out how to unravel them, so they're put away, out of sight, so as to minimize my knitter's guilt:  you wasted yarn!  And now I have to decide what to do with all of these yarn skeins.  Knit a million pairs of wildly-striped crazy-quilt-style socks and hats?   Try the blanket idea again?  Those triangles are growing on me.  I'll have to wait and see!

Meanwhile, although I have, ahem, a generous amount of yarn, I can't resist buying a little bit more. 

This deep blue yarn is for a hat/mitten set for winter.  We'll eventually be in a cooler climate, right?  :)

This is a group of superwash (machine washable) fingering weight yarns.  I wanted to try out the Cascade brand and I love it.  Beautiful colors, machine washable, super soft, and reasonably priced.

I splurged on a luxury skein.  I love how multifaceted the color is.  It's different from every angle, but not so busy that it will detract from cables or lace.

One of my anniversary gifts from Todd was this little ceramic fox bowl.

You'll notice the holes in the side.

It's meant to hold a balled skein of yarn.  The strand feeds through the side...

...or through one of the holes on the other side.

This means that my yarn balls are no longer bouncing around on the floor when I knit, accumulating a fuzzy coat of cat and dog hair.  I love it! 

To assuage my guilt over knitterly issues, I practiced thrift this week.  I gathered up some discarded clippings from the parking lot of my local YMCA and made some beautiful bouquets:

I picked up this large framed oil painting at Salvation Army for four dollars!

See?  It all evens out.  :)

I've been doing some baking as well.  We of a certain age have all probably seen this Seinfeld episode.  I've never made chocolate babka before, but the recipe I found was a little intimidating...two cups of butter?  Almost three pounds of chocolate?  It was a lengthy three-rise process, too.  I felt exhausted just reading it.  Deb of Smitten Kitchen simplified it into chocolate buns, and Annie of Annie's Eats tweaked it again.  I decided to give it a try.

The dough was really wet, but it rose nicely and I didn't have any trouble rolling it out.  And look at that divine chocolate-cinnamon streusel!

Instead of rolling it up and tucking it into a loaf pan, you slice it up like you're making cinnamon rolls.  Each little dough circle goes into a well-greased muffin tin.

I wasn't sure what to expect, but oh, what a rise!  The resulting buns were beautiful, even though I forgot to set the timer again and they got a little too brown for my taste.

Have a look inside.

I didn't think I'd like chocolate and cinnamon together, but the cinnamon is very subtle.  These were really good and you could take it over the top with a simple cream cheese glaze.  YUM.

Have a great week!

1 comment:

  1. Oh Jaime, portion-controlled Babka! I'm verklempt! You know, I live vicariously through your baking. I will definitely give that recipe a go. I have also subscribed to the blog.

    I can understand the mini-skein madness. I was buying mini-skeins like crazy when I was knitting hexipuffs. I made 50 and stopped! I think it's time for me to start the hexipuff craze again.

    Love your new yarn!