Finished Nachtfalter and Misadventures

Behind, behind, behind…

Due to work vamping up right before my dissertation defense, I got way behind on my summer knit-a-long project. The website said I had until Monday, July 22 to post my finished picture. I took that to mean that I could post a picture on July 22, but I wasn’t sure. I knitted all day on Sunday, July 21, but at 11 pm I was worn out. I had all but three rows of knitting finished, but I still needed to bind off, sew up the sides, and tuck in all of my ends. On July 22 I was disappointed to find out that I had to submit my picture before July 22 to be eligible for prizes. I was still planning to finish my sweater on July 22; however…

The cat peed on my wedding dress

I picked up my dress about two weeks ago. My fiance has two extra closets with basically no clothing in them. I chose the taller closet, hung my plastic enclosed dress in it, and shut the stiff-hinged accordion-style doors. My fiance has a cat. Somehow she managed to get the door open and pee on the dress. I don’t have a clue how she got the door open. It’s difficult for me to open. Most of the pee was caught by the plastic bag, but some of it seeped through. There were only a couple of spots of yellow, but the dress reeked of cat pee. I spent all of Monday evening trying to get the smell and yellow out. I did both successfully. Yay! Needless to say, the cat is in trouble.

Kittyface and Kittyface

Finishing the sweater

I didn’t finish the sweater until Tuesday night. I wore it to work today (Wednesday). It turned out really cute! My colleagues couldn’t believe that I actually made it.

Nachtfalter Front

Nachtfalter Back

Pattern Tips

The pattern can be purchased at Holla Knits (the store/blog that hosted the knit-a-long).

Usually I post tips and hints for things that I make, but I basically made this pattern as written. I lot of other people were making this sweater at the same time, so they posted tips about what they were doing. You may find these resources helpful.

  • Stefanie (the pattern author) gave some helpful tips for the butterfly lace on her blog
  • I used a crocheted seam on the sides of the sweater, already described here
  • There is a Ravelry discussion that talks all about the project here
  • A lot of people ran out of yarn because the quantities in the pattern were a little off. I think that the pattern has been remedied, but I’m not sure.

Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult

The lace was difficult if you have never knitted lace before.

Time Required: ~50 movies

Overall Experience: Good

This was really fun to knit, and I love how it turned out!

Crossroads Wall Art

For my boyfriend’s (now fiance’s) birthday in 2012, our friend Cassie had the idea to try to recreate a piece of wall art he had been admiring at Crate and Barrel that was no longer available for purchase.  She knew that I liked crafting, so she invited me over to help.  The original piece was made of welded steel.  Our idea was to recreate it using dowel rods.  The lighting in the picture isn’t great, but I loved the end product!

wallart

Here is the inspiration piece:

CrossroadsWallArtHorzS8

Materials:

  • About 20 1/4 inch dowel rods
  • Hot glue gun and glue
  • Saw, Dremel, etc. (Anything that can cut the dowel rods)
  • Spray paint

Instructions:

  • Leaving about eight of the dowel rods their original length, cut the others into pieces of varying sizes
  • Arrange half of the full-length rods horizontally parallel to one another.  These full-length rods will provide stability to your art.

wallart1

  • Arrange some of the shorter pieces parallel to the full-length pieces.

wallart2

  • Arrange the rest of the full-length pieces perpendicular to the horizontal pieces.  Make sure that the full-length pieces extend from the top to the bottom of your art.  These vertical pieces will provide stability to your art.

wallart3

  • Place the remaining pieces vertically parallel to the other vertical pieces.  Each individual rod should be supported perpendicularly in at least two places near that rod’s end.  Adjust placement as required.

wallart4

  • Hot glue each location where two rods cross one another.
  • Spray paint in the color of your choice.  We chose a dark gold-like color.

wallart

 

Difficulty:  Easy

Time Required:  Two Movies

Overall Experience:  Excellent

 

Nachtfalter Summer Knit-a-Long Week 6 Progress

Well… I should have had the sweater finished by today, but we were all graciously given another week.  I’ve knit 5/16 of the back lace repeats in the last two days.  Hopefully I can finish by next Sunday!  I love how it is turning out.

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Nachtfalter Front

World’s Best Cinnamon Raisin Bread

As I posted last week, I got a KitchenAid stand mixer for my birthday!  I was working like crazy to finish my dissertation and didn’t really have time to play with it until this weekend.  I decided to using the kneading tool and attempt to make bread.  I had never made yeast bread by myself.  The last time I “made” any type of yeast bread, I think I was in second grade and “helping” my great-grandmother.  Spending that whole day baking is one of the best memories I have of her.

I’ve been slightly addicted to the Sun-Maid raisin bread lately, so I decided to try to find a homemade version online.  A quick Google search led me to a recipe titled “World’s Best Cinnamon Raisin Bread.”  That sounded promising.  Since I am not an experienced bread maker, I left the bread part of the recipe mostly alone, but I played with the filling that creates the cinnamon swirl.  I really felt like the bread needed some brown sugar and more raisins.

The bread turned out delicious.  I had one mishap in the baking process.  Several of the reviewers said that they used less flour than was specified to create a slightly sticky dough that made the bread more moist in the end.  I put all of recommended flour in and my dough was still quite sticky.  The sticky dough was OK until the point that I needed to roll the dough into a cylinder.  It was very difficult to roll.  My roll wasn’t symmetric, so my loaf ended up asymmetric.  I would suggest adding more flour initially, so I added some flour in the recipe below.

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Time Required:  About 3 hours

Yields:  1 loaf

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup and 1/2 tablespoon of milk
  • 1/3 cup of warm water (must be between 110-115 F)
  • 1 (1/4 oz) package of yeast
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/3 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 cup and 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 2/3 cups of raisins
  • 2-2/3 cups of flour

Directions:

  1. Warm 1/2 cup of  milk in a small saucepan until it starts to bubble, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat.  Let cool until approximately 120 F.
  2. Dissolve yeast in warm water.  Set aside until yeast is frothy, about 10 minutes.
  3. Mix together yeast/water mixture, 1/4 cup white sugar, egg, salt, 1/4 cup softened butter, 1/3 cup of raisins.
  4. Knead dough on lightly floured surface until smooth.  (Or use your KitchanAid mixer!)
  5. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter and coat the bottom of a large mixing bowl.  Place the dough inside the bowl.  Tilt the bowl so that the access butter coats the dough.  Put a warm, damp cloth over the bowl and place in oven with the light on.  Allow to rise until the dough doubles in size (about one hour).
  6. Roll the dough to 1/2 inch thickness on lightly floured surface.  Moisten the dough with about 1 tablespoon of milk using your hands.
  7. Mix the 1/4 cup white sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and 1/4 cup raisins in a small bowl.  Sprinkle over rolled dough.
  8. Grease a 9 in by 5 in loaf pan with 1/2 tablespoon of melted butter.
  9. Roll the dough tightly.  Pinch ends together.  Place dough in loaf pan.  Coat the top of the dough with 1/2 tablespoon of melted butter.
  10. Let rise uncovered in oven with light on for one hour.
  11. Bake at 350 F for 45 minutes or loaves are lightly browned and sound hollow when tapped.
  12. Remove from oven.  Pour 1 tablespoon of melted butter on top of loaf.
  13. Allow to cool for 20 minutes in pan.  After 20 minutes put loaf on wire rack.

Here are some pictures of my process:

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Nachtfalter Summer Knit-a-Long–Finished Front

I have been furiously finishing my dissertation this week, which resulted in no knitting from Sunday through Thursday.  I finally finished the front of my summer sweater this morning, almost two weeks late.  I’m really pleased with the way that it looks.  I wanted to post a quick picture of it pinned to my form.  Now I need to address those wedding invitations.  I picked up my wedding dress this morning.  Exciting!  Only 85 days until I walk down the aisle!

Nachtfalter Front

Nachtfalter Summer Knit-a-Long Week 5 Progress

So…  I’m pretty much behind on everything.  I’m behind on my dissertation writing goal.  The wedding invitations should have gone out on July 5 and won’t be going out until after I get my dissertation done.  I’m way behind on my summer knit-a-long project.  At this point I should have 16 lace repeats finished for the front of the sweater and 8 on the back.  I have 15 total.  The good news is that Katie and Allison, who are in charge of the knit-a-long, have decided to give us an extra week to finish.  That should be perfect.  I’m almost exactly one week behind at this point.  See my progress below.

Week 5

nachtfalterstargreen

Heart Cable Koozie

Knit koozies have become quite popular in Houston in the last few months.  After seeing some quite boring koozies at various local hotspots, I decided I should come up with some jazzier varieties.  Since then I’ve made koozies with cables, lace, camo, school logos, and super hero logos.  I’ve already posted the pattern for my most popular koozie, Batman.  The koozie that was most fun to knit had an interlocking heart cable.  I included the pattern below.

Heart Koozie 1

The pattern is slightly different from the koozie shown in the picture above.  I redid the “pointy” part of the heart cable so that it was more symmetric.  I haven’t made a complete koozie with the adjusted pointy part, but you can see what it will look like in the picture below.  (This is what your koozie should look like at Row 15.)

Heart Koozie 2

Difficulty:  Moderate

The heart cable is challenging.

Time Required:  2 Movies

Overall Experience:  Excellent

This is a quick project.  I carry one around in my purse to put on my glass when I go places.  I think someone has asked me about it every time I’ve used it.

Disclaimer:  Feel free to make this pattern for your personal use, for your platypus, for charity, or to sell.  The only thing I ask is that you please do not sell it on Etsy.  If you are interested in purchasing a koozie from my Etsy store, you may do so here.

Materials:

  • A small amount of worsted weight yarn in your color of choice
  • 4 US size 8 double pointed needles (DPN)
  • An appropriately sized cable needle (CN)

Directions:

All of the stitches are basic except for I2 (see below).  I tried to add links to anything besides a basic knit or purl.

I2 Stitch:  Increase 2 stitches by working (Knit 1 Through Back Loop (K1 tbl), Knit (K) 1) insert left needle behind the vertical strand running downwards between the 2 stitches just worked and work this strand K1 tbl.  Please leave me a comment if you need more details on this stitch.

Cast on 6 stitches using a cable cast on.  Distribute  the stitches evenly on three DPN

R1:  Purl (P) 6 (6 stitches)

R2:  Purl Front and Back (PFB) 6 times (12)

R3:  P12 (12)

R4:  *P1, PFB1, Repeat from * 6 times (18)

R5:  P18 (18)

R6:  *P2, PFB1, Repeat from * 6 times (24)

R7:  P24

R8:  *P2, PFB1, Repeat from * 8 times (32)

R9:  P32

R10:  *P3, PFB1, Repeat from * 3 times, P1, PFB1, P1, PFB1, *P3, PFB1, Repeat from * 3 times, P1, PFB1, P1, PFB1 (42)

R11:  *P1, K2, P7, K1, P7, K2, P1, Repeat from * 1 time (42)

R12:  *P1, K2, P5, Purl 2 Together (P2tog), I2, P2 tog through back loops (P2tog tbl), P5, K2, P1, Repeat from * 1 time (42)

R13:  *P1, K2, P6, K3, P6, K2, P1, Repeat from * 1 time (42)

R14:  *P1, Slip (Sl) 2 stitches to CN and hold in front, P1 from left hand needle (LHN), K2 from CN, P3, P2tog, K1, I2, K1, P2tog tbl, P3, Sl 1 stitch to CN and hold in back, K2 from LHN, P1 from CN, P1, Repeat from * 1 time (42)

R15:  *P2, K2, P4, K2, P1, K2, P4, K2, P2, Repeat from * 1 time (42)

R16:  *P2, Sl 2 stitches to CN and hold in front, P2 from LHN, K2 from CN, Sl 2 stitches to CN and hold in back, K2 from LHN, P2 from CN, P1, Sl 2 stitches to CN and hold in front, P2 from LHN, K2 from CN, Sl 2 stitches to CN and hold in back, K2 from LHN, P2 from CN, P2, Repeat from * 1 time (42)

R17:  *P4, K4, P5, K4, P4, Repeat from * 1 time (42)

R18:  *P4, Sl 2 stitches to CN and hold in back, K2 from LHN, P2 from CN, P5, Sl 2 stitches to CN and hold in front, P2 from LHN, K2 from CN, P4, Repeat from * 1 time (42)

R19:  *P4, K2, P9, K2, P4, Repeat from * 1 time (42)

R20:  *P2, Sl 2 stitches to CN and hold in back, K2 from LHN, P2 from CN, P9, Sl 2 stitches to CN and hold in front, P2 from LHN, K2 from CN, P2, Repeat from * 1 time (42)

R21:  *P2, K2, P13, K2, P2, Repeat from * 1 time (42)

R22:  *P1, Sl 1 stitch to CN and hold in back, K2 from LHN, P1 from CN, P13, Sl 2 stitches to CN and hold in front, P1 from LHN, K2 from CN, P1, Repeat from * 1 time (42)

R23-46:  Repeat R11-R22 twice

Bind Off and Work in Ends