Sunday, October 28, 2012

Introducing Logan Boulevard

It's been ages since I've released a pattern, but I hope you haven't forgotten about me!  This one's one of my favorites, and I'm now knitting my fifth one.  (Not pictured because I'm still knitting it.)
 Here's one I knit in Rios, Malabrigo's super-wash worsted-weight yarn.  I am wearing it as I type this!

 Here are a couple hats I knit for my brother and his wife.  I told them to frolic, and boy did they deliver!  Liz's hat is in Malabrigo Rasta, and Galen's is in Malabrigo Chunky.

And here is a Malabrigo Worsted hat for my Mom, looking classy as ever.

If the spirit moves you, please !  It's a pretty fun pattern, keeps you interested, and it's easier than you think!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Mother's Day

For the third Mother's Day in a row I've designed a shawl to give my mom, had a photo-shoot with her, and released the pattern.  It started with Wicker Park, a bottom-edge cast-on, sideways-knit shawl, with which I was very lucky, being incredibly inexperienced and pretty much flying by the seat of my pants as I knit it.  I had to purchase a second, then a third skein of Malabrigo Sock before I finished it, and thank goodness I took some notes (but not enough--trust me!) so I could write the pattern.
Last year's pattern, Sheridan, benefited from an additional year of experience with reading and writing patterns; also my realization that I could write the pattern on my iPhone, if I was on the go.  I got some pretty great pictures of this one with my mom!  Below is my favorite action shot:
This year I had a new benefit; I had made not one, not two, but three prototypes before making one for Mothers' Day.  The first was fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants and didn't warrant notes.  I tried again, months later, making a simple change, and found it to be so much easier.  In fact, this is the Mothers' Day shawl that gave the testers the least grief, which I take as a good sign.  Another change--this year I'm offering it for free!  Here we are, on my parents' roof, enjoying our (not exactly) matching shawls:
Yep!  Year 3 of this tradition brings you Martinmas Shawl, a free Ravelry download--enjoy!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Fat Elvis Chocolate Chip Cookies

We all know the famous sandwich: The Fat Elvis. Peanut butter, banana, and bacon, fried between two generously butter-slathered pieces of bread. They are so sinful, but also quite messy, and not conducive to packing them up in a lunch. Also, there is not enough chocolate. Naturally, I have solved this problem: I have made it into a cookie recipe that is better than the other Fat Elvis cookie recipes out there. Namely because I don't forget the bacon, but also because each of the three main ingredients--bacon, banana, and peanut butter--are used as both a crunchy and a wet ingredient.

These are the ingredients, the bold writing indicates necessary preparation:
1 cup each of brown sugar and white sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup each of butter and bacon fat (whenever you make bacon, save the fat in a bowl or a jar)
1 very ripe banana (if frozen, leave in a bowl on the counter in the morning with the stick of butter to soften)
enough creamy peanut butter to fill one cup, with the ripe banana occupying space in that cup
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon each of baking powder and baking soda
4 slices bacon
a large handful each of salted peanuts and banana chips

First, chop the bacon into small pieces.
Place them evenly in a skillet, over medium-low heat to ensure even cooking.

While the bacon is sizzling, chop up the peanuts and banana chips: these and the bacon pieces will be the crunchy bits in your cookies.
Make sure to check on your bacon!
Place the bacon, when done, over a paper towel on a plate. Put the stick of butter in a measuring cup and pour the hot bacon fat over it.
As that will not be enough fat to fill up to one cup, take out your trusty jar of bacon fat, the one that's been waiting just for today, and fill it the rest of the way up to one cup. Bacon fat in a pyrex cup is not very pretty, but I'm showing it to you anyway. It's for your own good.
Stir this in with the sugar, and mix with your trusty mixer for a few minutes, until creamy.

The only thing prettier than bacon fat and butter in a pyrex cup is a very very ripe banana, sitting inside, coiled and juicy just like something very special man's best friend made:
Now scoop some peanut butter in there until it reaches one cup. The plop it into your mixing bowl and blend until smooth.
When it's smooth, add both eggs and keep mixing. After they are incorporated, add the vanilla extract. Yum! Now for the dry ingredients! Add them and mix at a low power; not too much, just enough to get it velvety.
Now add the crunchy ingredients! Stir this time with a wooden or bamboo spoon.
Make your hand look tiny compared with your large satchel of chocolate chips.
You may think I said a lot of chocolate chips. I said, throw in all the chocolate chips you have.
Mix it up and cover it with plastic wrap. Put it in the fridge. Preheat the oven.
Use this time to do the dishes, you slob!
That wasn't so hard! What were we doing again?
Oh yes! Cookies! Spoon lovely balls of dough on a greased cookie sheet.
And you know what they say about leads to forking.
(Seriously, this is important as it helps distribute the heat while baking.)
Bake for eight minutes. They will not look done, but take them out anyway!
Leave them on the sheets for five minutes, which will let them to continue cooking, just a little. Then transfer them to a wire rack and restrain yourself from eating them until you die on top of a toilet. That's how the King went down.

Oh, you've been warned...