Monday 9 June 2008

A Colourful Weekend

So, I've had this yarn since last year. It's just one skein of Caravan that I got for free. I really liked the colour but I didn't know what to do with it until I saw the Chrysalis wrap pattern. I got the pattern during the week and took it to knitting group on Saturday to get started. Well, that was a mistake. I've never done brioche stitch before, so maybe it was a bit rash to start by doing it in the round. So I ripped as much as I knitted, made several starts and came home with nothing. Sigh. But I've since managed to make some progress, and it's quite easy after the first few rows once you can see where the pattern is going. I'm not quite sure about the increases, as I seem to sometimes make an extra loop somewhere but it does work out ok and I don't think any mistakes will be noticeable. If I'm feeling really picky I may redo it from the start before I go much further...

Sunday was a dyeing workshop at This Is Knit. This is a fairly new addition to their classes and I thought it might be a bit of fun. Well, I was wrong - it was a lot of fun! The class was a full afternoon and included materials - 2 small practice skeins and one full-sized skein of sock yarn; also plastic gloves and aprons. The yarn had been pre-soaked, so we could get straight to work choosing our colours and painting away. Then wrap in clingfilm, a few minutes in the microwave, allow too cool, rinse under the tap until the water runs clear, a quick dip in water with vinegar to set the dye, then under the tap again. It's really interesting to see how the colours develop and how different they can look after the yarn has dried, and it's great fun actually painting the yarn. My creations are now almost dry and ready to use. But what will they become? I think the small skeins are probably too small to do very much, but the sock yarn is about 400m.

Here's something I found through Ravelry, source of a ridiculous amount of knitting temptation. It's a sweater made from paper, silk and stainless steel. How could I possibly resist? I ordered last week and the package arrived this morning. Luckily, the postman came before I left for work as it was slightly too big to go through the letterbox. It's always a bit of a gamble choosing colours online (from K1 Yarns), but this worked out well. I chose Khaki Shosenshi and Brown Silk/Steel (both Habu) - not quite as dark as this picture would suggest. I made one stupid mistake and ordered one skein of Shosenshi instead of two, but I've ordered another so it shouldn't hold me up at all.

And, finally, I made a Red Velvet Cake. I first heard of such a thing about a year ago and the idea really intrigued me. I don't think I've ever seen one in these parts, so I decided to give it a go and make my own. I found several recipes online, and chose this one. It's fairly straightforward, and the only things I needed to buy were buttermilk for the cake and mascarpone, cream cheese, and cream for the icing. The recipe calls for Dutch-processed cocoa powder. I don't even know what that is, so I used regular cocoa and it seemed ok. I think I should done a better job of mixing the dry ingredients together, as the cake was not quite even in colour but it's so RED that it's hard to see anything else. I thought the icing was a bit too sweet, so I added the juice of half a lime and probably could have added more.

It came out looking pretty much like the recipe. I was sure I had taken a photo of the whole cake, but it seems I didn't so here's one of the inside. I'm not sure if I'd make it again, but I'm pleased I did.