Vegetables, yarn, and yarns: all of my passions all in one place.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Garter Stitch Land, Population 2

We have finally welcomed a new addition to the household:

That's the baby girl in the afghan my Aunt Donna made for her. She weighed in at 6 lbs 10 oz at 19 inches long with ten fingers, ten toes, and a slight case of jaundice.

She's 12 days old today and I'm wondering if I will ever get sleep again.

Now that I'm on maternity leave, I have big plans for learning to sew, getting a lot of writing done, and most importantly, finishing Art's Dr. Who scarf in time for Halloween. I'm knitting it in various colorways of Lion Brand Wool Ease.

I'm over 75% finished with the knitting, which is entirely done in a never-ending stream of garter stitch.

Once the knitting is done, I still have a countless number of ends to weave in and a crap ton of fringe to add to either end.

Just to add to the garter stitch fun, I'm also working on a baby blanket for the girl using the Elizabeth Zimmerman baby blanket pattern. The construction just seemed fun. It is done up with four squares knit using two triangles. The first you knit one stitch fewer every other row until you are down to about five stitches. Then, the second triangle adds a stitch back every other row until you are back to the full number of stitches. It's small enough to still be portable for the moment.

With all this garter stitch, I have a feeling I'm going to need a more intricate pattern with some stranded colorwork or lace or cables or something and soon. Anything that requires more than the knit stitch and oodles of time.

But it is nice to work in worsted and bulky weight after finishing that dress and hat set for the baby's home coming day. Better still, the whole thing actually fit her:

I believe I will be coming up with a hat pattern for this one in due course. I was worried it would be too small, but with some intense blocking, it all worked out in the end.

In the meantime, it's just me, the baby, and miles of garter stitch. Wish us luck.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Pacman the Ghosthunter Sugar Cookies

There is much news chez Kate, but all in due course. In the meantime, content yourself with a little recipe magic, courteous of the last office potluck.

I wasn't a fan of the potluck theme, which was to make food inspired by your favorite reality tv show. Only I don't watch reality tv. The closest I come is a youtube only show in which knitwear designers face off to see who will be the champion. It's called Fiber Factor. No one else in the office is going to guess that.


But my husband really loves watching Ghost Hunters. Sometimes I watch it with him and make snide comments. He doesn't watch it with me very often anymore. Instead we watch things we can both be snide about. Like William Shatner's Weird or What.

Either way, I needed a food that screamed not only "ghosts" but "I hunt ghosts." Naturally I thought of Pacman and decided to make up a nice batch of sugar cookies.

Pacman Sugar Cookies
What you need:
3/4 cups shortening
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
3 1/2 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup milk

Plus ingredients for frosting
food coloring
metal spatula
circle cookie cutter

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Put the shortening through the milk in a large bowl and mix to form dough. Roll the dough into two equal-sized balls. 

2. On a floured surface, roll out a ball of dough to desired thickness.

3.  With the cookie cutter, cut as many circles in the dough as you can fit.

4. Remove the excess dough from around the circles. Roll it back into a ball and then roll it out again to the desired thickness. Repeat until no dough remains of the ball.

5. Repeat steps 2 through 4 for the second ball.

6. Place the circles on a cookie sheet. For half of them, use a spatula to remove a small pie wedge from the circle, like so:

7. Bake the cookies in batches for 10 minutes each in the oven, set for 400 degrees.

8. Remove cookies after 10 minutes and let cool.

9. While they cool, make frosting. Then, separate the frosting into three bowls. Leave the frosting in the first of the three bowls white. In the second bowl, make the frosting yellow (as you see fit for Pacman). In the third bowl, make the frosting a purple-tinged blue. Do this by adding a good amount of blue and then a drop or two of red. Play with it until you get the right color for the ghosts in a Pacman maze when they are safe for Pacman to eat.

10. Eat the pie wedges immediately. There's no point in frosting so small a cookie and you really really shouldn't have to deprive yourself of cookies for too long. Frost the circles with the missing pie wedges yellow. Voila, you have an army of cookie Pacmen.

11. Put the blue frosting and white forsting in two separate small ziplock bags. Cut the very tip of one corner of the blue bag. Use it to frost small ghost figures onto the center of each completed circle cookie.

12. Once all the ghosts are done, cut the tip of the white bag and add two eyes and a squiggley mouth to each ghost.

No one at the office guessed that my show was ghost hunters, but it's enough that my cookies were adorable.