Friday, June 8, 2007

Mosaic Turbo Cebulski

a riff by Matt on Mrs. Cebulski's Famous Carrot Cake
(the riff parts are in red)
further refinements of the recipe can be found on Cut-Up Cakes for Grownups

Cake

Cream until fluffy:
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups oil
4 eggs

Sift together and add:
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 - 3/8 tsp black pepper

Mix well and add:
3 cups grated carrots
1 cup chopped nuts
1 1/2 - 2 ounces grated ginger root

Bake in a 13"x9" pan at 350 degrees for 1 hour (I usually spray the pan with cooking
spray).

Or two greased and waxed papered 9" round cake pans for 40 minutes (turn half way through).

Frosting

Beat together:
1 pound box of confectioner's sugar
8 oz. cream cheese
4 Tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla

Filling
Combine in small saucepan:
1 1/2 cups raisins (packed)
zest of 1/2 lemon
2 Tbsp water

Cover and boil 1-2 minutes. Then puree in blender (stop to punch down a few times).

Topping

candied ginger, sliced thin

Assemble

Allow cake to cool. Spread filling between layers. Frost. Decorate top with candied ginger.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Your Baby Here




This sweater is for a draft pick yet to be named. When I made it I wasn't planning that it would be for our baby, but the lovely ladies on the knittyboard gave me the great idea of making socks for the birthmother out of the remaining yarn, so I think it will be a keeper.

Pattern: Pinwheel Sweater by Shelley Mackie. Matt picked the yarn and did the design (in AutoCad, of course - which is really nice for figuring the area of each section so you can translate it into yardage).

Yarn: one skein each of Cascade 220 Superwash in colors 855, 860 and 865 (used virtually all the dark green, a good chunk of the light green and not much of the dark red); also Schoeller Stahl Big Mexico in color 7957 for accent (although worsted weight, this yarn is considerably thicker than the Cascade; but I used it sparingly enough that the different gauge wasn't a problem)

The picture washes the colors out something awful, so you'll have to trust me that they're all beautiful. The color combination is very sophisticated, which is part of the reason I wasn't imagining it on our baby at first. The dark green Cascade (865) is particularly gorgeous, with subtle hints of gold in it.

I used superwash because I wanted an easy-care garment. Washing my swatch didn't shrink it, but drying it did, so I haven't decided whether this sweater will go in the dryer or not. I'm uncertain what would happen since it's a circular sweater and the swatch shrinkage was mostly lengthwise (from 6" to 5 1/4").

Needles: Denise size 8 (I think), and dpns in size 7 and 8; the directions called for size 9 on the body, but I got gauge with 8; I also went down a size on the sleeve ribbing because it looked better.

Notes:

I ripped out a lot more sweater than I ended up with. Not sure why I had so much trouble. Partly knitting while socializing. The pattern is such that mistakes in the increases really show. And trying to match up my color changes with the events in the pattern was a bit challenging.

The pattern doesn't include row numbers, which didn't help either. By my calculations (please don't rely on these), the sleeve goes in at row 35 and the garter stitch starts at row 47.

I switched back to stockinette for the second round of the Big Mexiko, because it just didn't look good in garter stitch.

I experimented with a number of techniques on this sweater, including a more beautiful start to the ribbing (TECHknitter) and a kitchener stitch bindoff of the ribbing (The Knitter's Book of Finishing Techniques)

I am very proud of myself for the kitchener stitch bindoff, but I must have done it backwards somehow on the sleeve on the right of this picture. Still perfectly functional, though.

The loopy edge is pretty ruffly (i.e. girly) at this point. It may improve on blocking. If not, I might go down a needle size next time. Not that there's likely to be a next time for the loopy edge. The drudgery of I-cord hurts my teeth, and it's even worse when you have to stop every six rows to knit it back into the garment.