Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Me Made May 2016: The Pledge

I, 47stars77 of Instagram and yarnneedlesandthread.blogspot.com sign up as a participant of Me Made May 2016. I endeavor to wear a minimum of one me-made (sewn, refashioned, or knitted) garment every day during the duration of May. I also endeavor to not wear the same outfit more than two times during the month.

Furthermore I pledge, by month's end, to finish the top I'm knitting, refashion that one men's shirt that's been hanging out at the back of my closet, and sew one garment using fabric from my stash.

The above is my pledge for Me Made May 2016 hosted by 'So, Zo... What do you know?' link to sign-up post is here.

I have managed to wear a me-made item everyday for the month of May in the past, if you include socks and shawls. This year I am challenging myself to wear more of my me-made garments. And not fall into the trap of wearing the same outfit or two three and four times a month, this necessitates that I keep track of my outfits. I also need to update my spring/summer wardrobe so this will be a good time and forum with which to do that.

And now to fabric stash dive...

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

WIPWednesday: Jaywalker Edition

So, Jaywalkers. This is my first pair and it may not be my last. Yarn is Knitpicks Felici in the Time Traveller colorway, purchased during the Cyber Monday sale of 2014.

Size: It's complicated. Thanks to a childhood spent on foot and bike, I have calve muscles. This means my leg is a sock size larger than my foot. This makes knitting socks complicated, but so totally worth it.

For this pair, I decided to knit the 84st size for the leg and the 72st size for the foot. I cast on 72 stitches for the ribbing and increased to 84 during a plain round after the ribbing. Worked in pattern until just shy of seven inches. It worked almost perfectly to use yarn from other end of skein for heel flap- the heel flaps don't quite match, but zero wasted yarn and uninterrupted stripe pattern across top of foot is worth it. Sock on left is finished with gusset decreases, sock on right will follow shortly. The depth of the heel flap is closer to three inches than two and ha half-so there are more stitches to pick up and decrease, plus this is where I get rid of the extra stitches-my foot being narrower than my leg. After continuing gusset decreases stitches down to what is called for on the 72st size, I still had extra stitches in the instep pattern. Solution: On first pattern row do not kfb on left side of instep needles (two sts decreased). On next pattern row do not work kfb on right side of instep needle (additional two sts decreased). Sock now has correct number of stitches to follow pattern for 72st size.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Recipe: Stupid Simple Pecan Bars

A while back my boss lent me his copy of a Cook's Illustrated Magazine. There was information about how to choose and roast a turkey. (It was November) I turned the page and found this recipe for a pecan bar- Nice and simple, no extra sweet custardy or syrupy filling. Just a press in pan crust and glazed pecan topping.

I didn't make the recipe exactly as it was written, here is my version:

1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted- I used unsalted

3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup agave nectar*
2 tbsp water
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter melted and still warm -salted this time
1 tsp vanilla
3-4 cups pecans- toasted

*I used agave nectar because I have it on hand, if you don't have agave, use 1/2 cup corn syrup and omit water. Note to self: try maple syrup here because maple&pecan is a good combo.

Toasting the pecans is essential for the nuttiest pecan flavor. Here is how to toast nuts. This can be done ahead of time,

Preheat oven to 350, Line 9x13 pan with foil so that the foil can be used to lift the whole batch of bars out of the pan. I used two layers- one placed lengthwise and the other layer placed crosswise.

To make crust: whisk dry ingredients together in bowl. pour in melted butter, mix until all flour is incorporated. Press into pan.

To make the topping:combine brown sugar, agave, water and salt in bowl, pour hot butter over ingredients and stir until sugar is dissolved. Stir in vanilla. Fold in pecans. Note: I had three cups of pecans-the recipe called for four. Fewer pecans makes for a more caramel-y topping.

Pour topping over crust. It will not spread evenly and remain clumpy. This is ok. It will even out during baking.

Bake for 23-25 minutes, until topping bubbles.I took mine out of the oven at about 21 minutes because the topping was bubbling, My topping remained rather goooy. Very good but goooy. Cool completely in the pan. Then use foil to lift bars out of pan. I cut mine into 32 pieces for small bites dessert bar servings, but the recipe recommends 24 servings