Monday, February 15, 2010

Ravelympics 2010

I signed up to participate in the Ravelympics this year.

What, you ask, is the Ravelympics? Basically, you set a knitting goal for yourself. You cast on during the opening ceremonies of the Olympics and must be completely finished by the end of the closing ceremonies. Most local yarn stores have teams. I am on my LYS's team.

I am competing in two events: eventhathalfpipe:

This will be a hat for Nora.

And eventwipdancing.

Eventwipdancing is where you complete a WIP, also known as a work in progress. I plan to complete my Central Park Hoodie.

That photo is what I have completed as of this morning. The back and the right front are done, and I have about an inch more of ribbing to do, plus the rest of the left front. And then I have the sleeves and the hood, plus the border thingy on the whole front of the sweater. I spent the opening ceremonies working on the right front and got almost all of it done then. Very gratifying.

The whole point of Ravelympics is to challenge yourself. I am not sure I can finish these projects in 17 days, but I am sure going to try! I sure would like to wear my hoodie before it gets too warm, around about July.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Another Knitting Bag

I sewed another knitting bag. This one is for my mother in law, the woman who taught me how to knit.

I liked the Amy Butler home decor weight fabric so much for my own knitting bag that I chose it again for this one. Dana helped select the fabric. Notice the pink.

So you can get an idea of the size, here's Dana modeling it. Keep in mind that she is a petite 4 year-old.

A shot of the interior. I am not even sure you can see the pockets in this photo.

I am really loving my own knitting bag, so I kept this one almost identical. I think the only change I made was to the zipper panel. I figured out a way to sew the zipper in uniformly and neatly. If you click on the photo to enlarge it, maybe you can see the zipper.

I gave this to my mother in law a few days ago and she is pretty excited about it. This makes me so happy!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

White Chocolate Raspberry Birthday Cake

This week at Sunday dinner, we celebrated my big sister's birthday. I baked a white chocolate cake with white chocolate frosting and raspberry filling.

I wish I would have had time to throw some white chocolate curls and fresh raspberries on top. Or maybe some fresh flowers. That would have been pretty. Unfortunately, I started baking at 8:30am and didn't finish until 1pm. So let's just say it was a time consuming recipe, and I was glad to be done.

See how pretty though?

This is a very heavy cake, with very heavy frosting. It is lovely and delicious, but not for the faint of heart.

The recipe is here and I didn't make any real changes, other than adding the raspberry filling.

And now I am going to go run 18 miles to work off this cake, plus the red velvet cupcakes.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Really, doesn't the title say it all?

Well, maybe a photo or two will help illustrate the point.

Last week I bought a mini muffin tin. I had it in my head that, if I am going to insist on baking cupcakes constantly, it would be better to have minis. Because then the kids get the joy of eating two cupcakes, and I get the joy of knowing that 2 mini cupcakes are actually smaller than one regular cupcake. Don't you love that logic?

With Valentine's Day coming, I thought red velvet cupcakes were in order. The girls both adore Valentine's Day, what with the pink, the purple, the hearts, the sweets...

Nobody wanted to help bake them. They were too busy practicing cartwheels. Nora did come in to check on me at one point. Her comment? "Why are you filling those little cups with ketchup?" You see it too, don't you?

While the ketchup cakes were baking, I mixed up the cream cheese frosting. I used 1 1/2 bricks of Neufchatel. It was all I had in the fridge, I swear. But look at those flecks! Those are not poppy seeds. Those are specks of vanilla bean. I am slowly using up the vanilla I made last year.

Here's one rack of minis cooling. Yes, there's another rack cooling, too.

Dana sampled one by stuffing the entire thing into her mouth in one bite.

One rack of frosted mini cupcakes. Final cupcake count: 88. Not a typo- I ended up with eighty-eight teeny tinies. I know.

But aren't they so cute? Nora said, "Mom, the frosting is good, but the cupcakes are great!" Coming from a girl who normally licks off the frosting and throws the cake away, that was pretty awesome to hear.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

New Nightie for Dana

Way back in August, I went to the fabric store for a specific project. Dana was with me, and she saw this soft flannel and went nuts! I was completely taken by this reaction to fabric by my wee 4 year-old. And so we bought it up, along with fabric for my original project. I went home and prewashed it immediately. And then I folded it up, put it on top of my dresser, and got busy with other stuff. For 6 months. Ahem.

I finally had a few hours to dedicate to Dana's new nightie!

Orange and yellow are such a welcome break from purple and pink.

Though the trim has both purple and pink in it. It's a coordinating flannel that also has the yellow and orange in it.

I debated putting the trim around the sleeve cuffs, but finally decided against it.

The fabric is Valori Wells. Like I said, softest flannel ever!

I finished it up this morning and surprised Dana with it. She told me she's going to wear it all day long, plus tonight. And then we had this photo shoot. I think she enjoyed it.