If you're not knitting, the terrorists win

(My mostly on-topic ramblings about knitting. And life in general. My life in specific.)

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Location: Indiana, United States

I'm a middle aged mother of 2 grown children and wife to a man who doesn't seem to mind my almost heroin-like yarn addiction. I spend my time writing, knitting, and generally stressing out.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter!

It was a relaxing holiday for us at the Patwoman household. M had to work until 3, so we planned to have Easter dinner once she had a chance to get home and change out of her work clothes before coming over. Her bf was still working. And Bre was out of town with her folks, so it was just the four of us.

Just like old times.

All that time gave me some time to get fancy with dessert.

This is sloppier than I planned, but I had used a couple teaspoons of orange jello powder to flavor the frosting. It worked really well, flavor-wise (the rest of it, I put in the cake batter to make the cake moist) but my frosting tips kept clogging up. Eventually, I just switched to a medium star tip and just starred concentric circles around the top.

Oh well. It was really good. And really simple to make. I'm going to give you my personal recipe here:

Orange Dreamsicle Cake

One white cake mix (any brand, really)
4 egg whites
1 Cup water
1/2 Cup vegetable oil (I used Canola)
1 small (4 serving) pckg of orange Jello (minus about 2 teaspoons)
1 teaspoon orange extract

Mix all that together and bake in one round layer pan. If you have them, use those baking strips that you soak in water and wrap around the sides of the pan. That makes it bake evenly. But, even if you don't have those, it doesn't matter. We can trim the cake flat. (The bonus to doing that is that you'll have a chunk of cake that somebody will have to eat.)

So bake that cake at 350 until a toothpick comes out clean. You know the drill. Let it cool about 10 minutes and then turn it out to cool all the way on a rack.

Meanwhile, make the frosting. I make it this way.

One stick of not-flavored Crisco (or one cup, whichever you prefer)
About 4 Cups of Powdered sugar
The reserved 2 teaspoons of Jello
1 teaspoon orange extract
1 teaspoon powdered egg whites
Almost 1/4 Cup water (whatever it takes to get a really fluffy frostign)

Now beat those ingredients until they are fluffier than fluffy. You won't need any coloring because the Jello will do that for you. Once you have a cloud-like consistency, fill your frosting bag. I used a speed coupler so I can change tips often.

Once it's cool--and this is very important, if you don't want your cake to crumble, let it cool--use your torte saw or a sharp knife if you're skillful and cut this cake into two layers. You may notice mine are not perfectly even. And my top is not perfectly flat, either. My method is to just cover it up with a ton of frosting. It ain't according to Martha, but you know, Martha Stewart ain't wrecking this train. I am.

Now set aside that top layer for a minute. Put some kind of large opening tip on your bag--a round or a star, whatever, something the thickness of a pencil. Now pipe around the inside edge of that bottom layer. You are making a "dam" so the filling doesn't squish out the sides.

The filling is a small jar of orange marmalade. Use your favorite. Just spread it over that layer, inside the dam. Then put the top layer back on.

Then frost and decorate your cake with the rest of the frosting.

This cake is awesome. It tastes like a Dreamsicle. Or maybe like a Dreamsicle that you are eating at the same time you're eating those Orange Slice Jellies.

Yeah. Exactly like that.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

You Had One Job, Frank

Yes, well I waited until the last minute to grocery shop for Easter again this year. It's not that I wanted more of challenge, I just ran out of time and had to shop on the day before the holiday.

But, at least it was worth a laugh.

In case you can't read them, these signs say "Artichokes" and "Mangoes."

Friday, April 18, 2014

Foot Seams

So, I've seamed the bottoms of the Red Riding Slippers. This is a bit of a trick, since I don't want the seam to be lumpy right on the bottom and I yet I still want it to look good. (Even though it's on the bottom of the foot.) So I grabbed the very outer edge of the stitch and seamed it up that way.

It looks ok, I think. Not bad looking at all. And you can't feel this seam at all when you're wearing the slipper. I tried it, and believe me I was really trying to feel it.

I seamed the other one up the same way.

Now they're looking more like slippers, right? Next I needed six buttons for the upper. Basically you make a tube of the leg and then sew it onto the bottom. So I searched my button stash.

Can you believe I don't have six matching red buttons? WTF? How is that even possible? Oh well. I guess I will have to make a trip to Joann's.

Darn it.

Thursday, April 17, 2014


And I don't want to hear about from you, okay? I know I still need to finish Red Riding Slippers. But I have all the knitting done. And I still have yarn. And I still want to knit.

Not seam.

So, I've cast on for a different pair of slippers. These are the Moscow Slippers, also from Drops. They are for Bre. Same yarn on the bottom, because I love this color. And because I have enough of this to do another pair of slippers. And because this color matches a ball of Symphony that I have for the upper part of this slipper.

Here's what I've done so far. Pretty straight forward, huh?

Well, not really. This pattern has more of the "do this and at the same time do this," just like the other one, so you've got to watch it. But if you read the pattern carefully before you start, you'll be fine. It's all garter stitch and the toe is made using short rows. Like simple short rows. Nothing fancy. The pattern even links to an instructional video, if you feel uncomfortable with it.

I didn't, so I trudged ahead and knit away at this while watching some crap on late-night tv. The thing is, as it is with any pattern, you need to pay attention to what row you are on. Like, if you just glance down at the pattern every now and then and you aren't really watching what you're doing, you might skip the part that says "Knit until 3/4 inch long" and jump ahead to a different part that says "Knit until 3 1/2 inches long."

You can see how that would cause a problem, right? Ask me how I know.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Is This Wrong?

My cats and dog are so spoiled. Whenever I get something to eat, they're always right there... Whatcha eatin', Humom?

I really have no one but myself to blame. It's because I "treat" them so much with people food. Yes, I know that's bad. And I know it's probably why Gabby is so pudgy and GenGen farts like a diesel truck. But they love it and I can't resist when they are being cute.

So today, I got this Tootsie Pop from the candy dish on top of the fridge. That's where I keep it. Out of sight, out of mind, right? Except I know where it is. So it's not really out of mind. It's just up high. But that's okay. I can always get a chair.

So I got this Tootsie Pop and by the time I got down from the chair and got it unwrapped, GenGen was jumping up and down like a dog much younger than she is. Me! Me! Me! And that, of course, got Achilles' attention. Because nobody gets anything unless he inspects it first, right? So I decided to share.

"Raspberry. Gross. No thanks."

"What is that? Smells terrible! No thanks."

"Me! I love raspberry! I don't even know what that is, but I'll eat it! Gimme!"

"We're sharing this, right?"

No, GenGen. That's all yours, now.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

More Feets!

What an amazing feat that is, too!

Ha. I'm so witty. Feat. Sounds like feet. Get it? Yeah? Well then, why aren't you laughing, you humorless stone?!

Oh well. Here are the two bottom parts of the Red Riding Slippers. I still have not seamed the bottoms. You know I hate to do the finish work. Sigh. Okay. I will get to it.


Monday, April 14, 2014

The Top Of The Slipper

I finished knitting the top of the first Red Riding Slipper.

It's a nice deep double cable, bordered on each side by garter stitch. But, keep in mind, this will be sideways, once it's stitched to the slipper. So I think just that change in perspective is going to give it a completely different look.

I need to find some buttons for these.

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