Cream Cheese & Lox

This year seems to be all about change. My friend Ali has retrained as a horticulturist, Pippa an engineer is going back to college and retraining as a jeweler, and there are plans afoot for another friend to possibly head off to the chocolate and seafood of Belgium! And they aren’t the only ones. Hubby has been asked to move to Hong Kong, and in fact, is there already now. It’s just me and puggy for the time being, until he’s back in August.

And it seems that we will be over there before the year is out. I’m in two minds about the move – it is rather exciting and HK is quite an energetic place. The economy there is booming, I’m sure helped in no small way by the booming taking place all over China. The food there is awesome.  It’s close to Thailand, Laos, Japan, and Taiwan – places dear to my heart but quite far to visit from old Blighty. Tax is low, the transport system works. But of course, being over there means that I’m there, and my friends (who are basically my family too) are not. Which sucks. Super sucks. And let’s not even talk about the fact that Deuce can only get over there in cargo. 😦 Totally alone in a loud scary unfamiliar environment for over 13 hours.  Just thinking about it makes me feel sad.

But, I’ve been keeping my mind off things, what with Knit Nation around the corner, and dye orders to dye up.  I’ve also had a yen for bagels recently, and since I don’t live in a neighbourhood where I can just nip out to a Jewish bakers to pick up a dozen bagels (there is one place I can get proper bagels in my neighbourhood, but they are totally unreliable and frankly really airheaded about getting their deliveries) I figured, well, I better just make some myself!  So I assembled my ingredients, and got to work.  My first batch were cinnamon raisin.


After proving the sponge, then working the dough, making the bagels then retarding them in the fridge, I got to boiling them, then finishing them off in the oven.

They were pretty good, but I think they can be improved upon (J, I think you are right that baking/making food obsessively tends to run in the family!).

I made another batch of plain sesame bagels, because after the cinnamon raisin bagels, I really really wanted smoked salmon cream cheese bagels.  So off I went on round 2.

I overcooked these guys a little (should have adjusted for our fan oven) but they were tastier than my first batch. I left the sponge overnight, and the bagels retarded overnight in the fridge too (the cinnamon raisin ones only got 3 hours – I was impatient!)

Num num!

Squeee!

Well, this week has been full of excitement! On Monday Loopy Ewe put up Sokkusu Original in her update – 3 of the 20 colours have sold out (2 are my favourite Siffie & Lorelai) – you can see the yarn here. Fly Eye and Wooing Ruby were really hard to photograph – so they don’t look quite true on the Loopy site.  Fly Eye looks solid on the Loopy site, but it has subtle varigation. And Wooing Ruby is bright deep red!

The other thing is that a friend sent me a link to a book on Amazon – my book! Socktopus is available for pre-order on Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com, though the US and UK editions have different covers.

This is the UK edition, with my Shur’tugals on the front.

And I think this is the US version (not sure if it is official or not)

I’m hoping not because I need them to change the title.  The book isn’t a guide to designing socks, in fact I’m not even sure where they got that idea.  The US editorial review description and author description are also factually incorrect…so take it with a pinch of salt until I can get it amended.  BUT despite the tiny niggles, it’s my book it’s my book it’s my book! So exciting!  I sent off a pile of amends to my editor Judith last night – the last lot of amends.  It’s finally happening…. haha this week is all about fruits of labour! 🙂

 

Knit Nation: More Carol Feller Classes

Due to popular demand, we have added two new classes for Carol Feller’s popular classes – “Short Rows Demystified” and “Seamless Knitting – Moving Beyond the Raglan” to the class roster at Knit Nation 2011! You can sign up at here.

Fisherman Twist

Carol Feller is an internationally published knitwear designer who has a great love of seamless designs and intuitive knitting.  She has been published in magazines such as Interweave Knits and The Twist Collective and her first book ‘Contemporary Irish Knits’ is being published with Wiley in August 2011.  You can see more of her work, as well as her blog, at www.stolenstitches.com.

Eilonwy

Carol’s popular class on Short Rows works students through several different ways of creating short rows until they find the method that perfectly suits them.  Once the short rows have been perfected students will learn all the wonderful uses for them; short row set-in sleeve shaping, bust shaping and shoulder shaping.  Learn how to use short rows to create the perfect garment for you.

Leitmotif Cardigan

Carol’s second class ‘“Seamless Knitting – Moving Beyond the Raglan” is an exciting class that explores the basics of seamless knitting and beyond.  Different construction types will be examined such as bottom up, top down and set-in sleeves. Students will learn the tools to create their own perfect fitting garments and even get started on their own choice of design in this class.  Tips on choosing the right sweater shape for you as well as how to adjust shaping to suit your own body.

Sunday Morning Waffles Scarf

I‘m sorry for the long silence. Work has been hectic but things have settled and I finally have my weekends, and blogging time, back again. Boy I’ve missed them!  I have a peace offering, in the hopes you forgive my long silence! A free scarf pattern, called Sunday Morning Waffles… but first…

So what has been keeping me crazy busy? The book has been very demanding, but I can happily report that book has been sent off to repro, and I should be getting a colour proof this week. It looks pretty cool. I’ve also been at the dye pots like woman possesed – over six hundred skeins have been sent out to their new homes….one a secret project, an order to L’Oisivethe in Paris, Holland Road Yarn Company in New Zealand, and finally Loopy Ewe’s huge order, which Sheri has hinted might be in their update on the 13th. Fingers crossed!

Ayame

I love the fun activities that Sheri dreams up for The Loopy Ewe – the next one is Camp Loopy – all the fun of a knitting camp without the bugs and ache of sleeping on the hard lumpy ground! Their first Camping Project – “Campfire Nights” is to knit a two-color cape, shawl, or scarf between June 15 and July 15. The Loopy Ewe is offering 20% off of the yarn for this project if you add “Camp Loopy” to the order notes and let them know which yarn in that order to be used for the Camp Project. And is it bad of me to show you what might come up in their update? Tee hee…

Lime & Basil

Queenie

Jammy Dodger

Paradise Lost

Lorelai

Summer Crush

Wooing Ruby

Chestnut Cream

Fly Eye

Pinkly

Poseidon

Slice of Orange

Prairie Dusk

I thought I’d join in on the Campfire Nights – but couldn’t find a two colour project that was feeling the love. So I decided to do a little make up your own – and came up with this:

I’m calling the two colour brioche stitch scarf Sunday Morning Waffles.  I had some fun pairing up colours before deciding. Prairie Dusk & HB2 were my first choice…  but then, what about Prairie Dusk & Lorelai?

Or Slice of Orange (sheesh I really should have called it Glow cause it does just that) with HB2, Fly Eye, Summer Crush, or Lorelai?

Or maybe classic Ysolda HB2 & Wooing Ruby? Or Fly Eye and Lime & Basil? Oh decisions decisions….

I gave in to the call of my glow baby – and paired it with my second favourite Lorelai. I think it looks pretty, don’t you?  And the brioche is a nice cushy stitch, great to keep warm.  Would you like to join the Campfire Nights Camp Loopy Project? Head on over to Loopy Ewe and get yourself some yarn!

Pattern: Sunday Morning Waffles

Needle size: Approx 2.5mm circulars or two long DPNs

Yarn: 2 skein of Sokkusu Original (or other fingering weight yarn) in contrasting colours.

LC: Slice of Orange

DC: Lorelai

Gauge: In pattern: 5.5 sts/inch

Finished size: Blocked width approx 10″, length as long as you want it, but for a good length scarf at least 60″

Notes: Each row is worked twice in each direction – once with the LC, and again with the DC.  Using one colour, you’ll work across the row, then sliding the work back to the start position, you’ll work across the row again in the same direction with the second colour.  Turn the work, then work the RS twice, first with the LC, then again with the DC.  There is a selvedge of 3 sts either side of the work which are only worked when working the DC rows.

With DC, loosely cast-on 50 sts. Knit 8 rows, slipping the first st of every row purlwise and bringing the yarn to the back between the needles before knitting to the end.

Set-up row 1 A (WS LC): Sl first three sts purlwise.  With LC, * yf, sl1, yo, k1; repeat from * to 3 sts from end. Bring LC yarn to back between needles, slip last three sts purlwise. Do not turn.

Set-up row 1 B (WS DC): Slide work to other side of needle, and using DC, sl1 purlwise, bring yarn to back between needles, k2, *slip yo from Set-up row 1A purlwise wyif, p2; repeat from * to last three sts, k3, turn.

Row 1 A (RS LC): Sl first three sts purlwise.  With LC,* sl1 yo p2tog (the yarn over and next st); repeat from * to last three sts, bring yarn to back, slip last three sts purlwise. Do not turn.

Row 1 B (RS DC): Slide work to other side of needle, and using DC, sl1 purlwise, bring yarn to back between needles, k2, k1 (the st that is partially behind a yarn over, just move the yarn over slightly to the left to be able to knit this st), *sl yo purlwise wyib, k2 (the second st will be partially behind a yarn over, do as you did before to knit this); repeat from * to last 5 sts, sl yo purlwise wyib, k4, turn.

Row 2 A (WS LC):  Sl first three sts purlwise.  With LC,*with yarn in front, sl1, yo, k2tog (the yarn over and next st); repeat from * to last three sts, slip last three sts purlwise. Do not turn.

Row 2 B (WS DC): Slide work to other side of needle, and using DC, sl1 purlwise, bring yarn to back between needles, k2, *sl yo purlwise wyif, p2; repeat from * to last 3 sts, k3, turn.

Continue working four steps of Rows 1-2 as set til work is about as 50 inches long, ending with Row 2B.

Using DC, knit 8 rows, slipping the first st of every row purlwise and bringing the yarn between the needles before knitting to the end.

Bind off. Weave in ends.

Block, and then wear to keep you toasty warm!

 

Helpful abbreviations:

wyib – with yarn in back

wyif – with yarn in front

yf – yarn to front

yo – yarn over