f.o. | birthday stripes.

33294929604_947fd8ae80_cThe doc loves my hand knit socks. He wears them almost religiously, until its swamp summer climates. And every holiday, birthday, celebration, or just because, I make him a pair.

He’s amassed quite the collection. A lot of them have been phased out of wear because I won’t darn holes in socks. That’s the wear they get.

Here is his 34th birthday socks, gifted to him yesterday. These are a classic after thought heel sock (perfect for self-striping sock yarn), knit up in Quaere Fibre sock in the snips and snails colorway. Aren’t they gorgeous?

I definitely want to know a few more pairs with this yarn–hand dyed by a Rhode Island based fiber artist. Grab some! You won’t be disappointed.

Here are my project notes.

birthday, 9.13

Yesterday was my birthday; I’m not big on them–it’s nice to let them pass quietly. But, this unexpected gift came courtesy of my beloved Mum, who thought this would aid in all the bread baking, tarts, and cookies I tend to whip up on a whim. This is truly one of those gifts you had no idea was coming, which makes it that much sweeter, just like all the things I will mix and make in this here appliance.

Squal with delight. Isn’t she an absolute beaut?!

Nifty Gifties: Painfully Easy Cabled Fingerless Mitts.

As I mentioned in the last post, I’ve been on a birthday gifting frenzy of late and can finally post these brilliant and ridiculously easy cabled fingerless mitts I also gave my friend Lauren for that special day.

I decided to do a really simple pattern that I could easily bang out in a day (who wants something complex when its summer and you’re knitting winter items that won’t be worn for awhile?) and found an excellent wrist warmers pattern over at Wine & Needles, which I highly recommend to anyone who wants high satisfaction with minimal work because these aren’t even knit in the round!

The mitts are worked straight on a set of 8 dpns, and its a six stitch cable crossover. The side and thumb hole are simply seamed at the end and because of the ribbing, you can’t even tell! Amazing.

I knitted up Lauren’s using this excellent Moda Dea Bamboo Wool, which is washable, super soft, is eco-friendly, and holds brilliant color. The blue velvet color just pops insanely in person, and because its not striped or has weird weight, it showcases the cables beautifully and gives off this silky sheen. I’d be hard-pressed to find downsides to Bamboo–its even odor-resistant, which means making these fingerless mitts for smokers (though dropping the ciggies would be a better idea, kittens!) is probably the best thing you could ever do so they don’t have that dirty winter unwashed stale smokey smell that I often get blasted with on public transportation, which is so unfortunate.

When I was knitting them up, a friend kept asking me, “Now how do you wear those? Don’t your fingers get cold? What’s the point?” to which I declare, when you live in the city, fingerless mitts are so irresistible because while if its really cold you must tuck your fingies into pockets, they are perfect for those moments when you have to pull out your train card to get on the subway outside or unlock your door. Sometimes you just need your fingers to be free, and if you’re anti-glove and pro-mitten like myself, fingerless mitts are perfect if you don’t have mittens which turn into fingerless mitts laying around.

What’s more, Lauren emailed me this morning to tell me she unfortunately caught the nasty cold that’s plaguing everyone I know right about now—including myself—and that while home sick today in her freezing apartment, she’s laying about the couch in these mitts while she finishes up homework and odds and ends. Golf claps! Wears for the sickly, too!

File Under: Perfect Expensive Looking Giftage for a city dwelling friend. The rewards are so amazing.

“Nose, Nose, Nose Nose! And who have thee that jolly red nose? Cinnamon and Ginger, Nutmegs and Cloves, And that, gave me my jolly red nose”

Yesterday, my cohort and I had an afternoon of craft-up and flick watching, and while finishing off some cabled fingerless mitts I’ve been neglecting for some time, I also decided to whip up a loaf of my by now famous Cinnamon Toast for Laura’s roommate Ashley, whose birthday is today.

It made my entire apartment smell ooey-gooey, sticky sweet and buttery and would make anyone drool for a bit o’ bread, even if they’re not a fan of the sweet.

This cinnamon toast is pretty much idiot proof–and doesn’t involve any crazy starters, just yeast and butter and milk, salt, cinnamon, sugar, and flour. The bread itself is slightly sweet (cinnamon is in the dough) and the filling will melt when you toast it up. Yumsies!

This is the dough rolled out and smothered in butter after its risen for about an hour and puffed up to double its size.

And the best cinnamon to use, hands down, is this Watkins stuff which comes cased in one of those old school tins, which is delicious in its own right.

Someday soon I’ll share the recipe, but for now, I have a few thousand more loaves of this bread to make for people I know.

A whoopie of a good time…

“Let them eat cake!” is certainly not one of my mantras–and despite the often, you know, actual reference to yummy dessert, I’m glad it’s not my mantra regardless.

Every year, my Mum tries to deliver a birthday dessert that does not involve, yes, you’re right, cake. Last year, it was oatmeal cookie sandwiches; the year before, it was strawberry shortcakes the New England way–with biscuits, not pound cake, for that’s cake, you know.

And for 25? A mound of whoopie pies, filled with marshmallow frosting…and let me tell you, it was a whoopie of a good time.

Thanks Mum! My waistline is…weeping.