Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Fall = Food

Every single fall, I get this sudden urge to cook all the things. I want to read about food, make food, eat food. Most importantly, I want to share food, with my family and with you. I've already made 2 apple pies this month, which was a first for me, and definitely a keeper.

There may be a little squirrel inside of me, happy to see the year's bounty, although limited due to the fact that we live in a tiny flat, neatly put up and stored for later. 

A large tree outside our flat is home to one such squirrel and I enjoy watching it from time to time, run up and down the tree storing away goods for the winter. 

I've been doing the same and we are now enjoying apple crumbles and jelly with our meats and my herbs are doing alright.  

Here's the thing, I'm looking for some new reading material on food. I'm considering getting The Art of Fermentation by Sandor Ellix Katz

If you love reading about food as much as I do, then please let me in on your favourite cookbooks to read and learn from. I prefer books with much more than recipes and some of my favourites are Sally Fallon's Nourishing TraditionsHugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's The Original River Cottage Cookbook, as well as pretty much anything my the Danish chef Claus Meyer (I currently own 3 books by him).

Do you know of any books in this traditional, seasonal and nose-to-tail eating vein? Let me and everyone else know in the comments and then please, head straight to the kitchen and cook up something amazing!

Monday, 27 October 2014

#NUCRAL - Lesson 5, Bust Shaping

Carol Feller's class on short rows is the first class of the #NUCRAL. The idea behind the a-long is to share progress, swatches, questions and idea. Basically, I needed an accountability partner and figured you might too.

We've made it to lesson 5, if you've just joined us, then please check out lesson 1, 23 and 4.

Chapter 1: Creating shape

Today's lesson is the final lesson of this mini class and I wasn't sure how useful I would find it for my personal knitting. Why? Because as Carol points out if your cup size is less than a c-cup, you most likely won't need to use short rows for bust shaping.

Chapter 2: Calculating Short Rows

The second chapter proved to be much ore useful to me. The explanations of measurements and calculations are clear and easy to follow. Even though I may not need to do bust calculations, the explanations showcased what needs to be taken into consideration when calculating short rows in general and that is always useful.

What did you think of the way Carol had used short rows in the cardigan and the shawl?

Friday, 24 October 2014

Is it time to prepare for Christmas yet? - Honning hjerter recipe

Let me be frank, my birthday is tomorrow. This is why I hate it when the store and the interwebs explode with all things Christmas before my birthday. You see my birthday marks exactly two months till Christmas.

Please don't get me wrong, I love Christmas, Advent is a very special time for me and who doesn't love the food... But Christmas-shennanigans shouldn't start until the first sunday in Advent. That's my  rule and I'm sticking to it... except... for food.

Food, glorious food. So much food is only made and available in the Christmas season. I'm having my first black pudding of the season later today. I love me some good blood sausage! Another Christmas stable is honing hjerter and it just so happens, that you have to prepare those around my birthday if you want them to be ready in time for Advent.

Honning hjerter - pre-dough

Making honing hjerter (honey hearts) is easy, but time consuming. It won't take up a lot of your time per se, but it does take a lot of time before they are ready to munch on. I figured I'd share the process with you in real time so you can join me if you'd like to. 

For the pre-dough you'll need:
500g Honey
500g Flour

I go all out when I make these and only use the best of the best ingredients, local honey and local flour!
If your familiar with making pasta, the process is somewhat similar to being with.
Place your flour on your counter top, and put the honey on top.

Fold the flour into the honey, you'll get to a point where it seems like it will never make a dough but just keep working.

It may help to do a handful or so at a time, above you can see the difference. Gathering this dough is a workout for your hands, so enrol any and all family members to help you. When you have a consistent dough, work it a little more until it becomes very sticky, then put it in a container (I prefer glass) and place it in your fridge. 

 If you are finding it very difficult to gather the dough and are lucky enough to have a stand mixer then just pop it in with a dough hook and leave it to do its magic. It will likely take a while, but so will making it by hand.

That's all for now. The dough needs to sit in the fridge for about a month, the longer the better.

What is your favourite Christmas food?

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Debating centimetres

Centimetres, they give me a good deal of trouble in pattern writing! If I was queen of the world everyone would work in cm. They make much more sense to me and are easier to work with in knitting as they give a smaller unit of measurement without having to be broken up. Sadly I'm not the queen of the world and a good deal of the world, at least in the knitting market, is used to operating in inches.

Inches, they give me a good deal of trouble in pattern writing! I want a piece to be x cm long and it always converts to x,something-odd inches. Could we please just all become part of the Knitmoregirls' metric revolution??!! Pretty please...

Now I'm debating going strictly centimetres or strictly inches in my patterns, because including both, which I have thus far to make it easy for you no matter what you are used to, is simple proving to be a looooot of work.

One of the patterns I'm currently writing up has 10 sizes (see I'm all about making it easy for you), which translates to 20, TWENTY, different measurements every. single. time. That isn't easy for me and certainly not for you either!

What do you think? Should I stick to my roots and go cm only? Maybe go international with only inches?  Or should I just stop wining and keep giving both?

Monday, 20 October 2014

#NUCRAL - Lesson 4, Sleeves and Shoulders

Carol Feller's class on short rows is the first class of the #NUCRAL. The idea behind the a-long is to share progress, swatches, questions and idea. Basically, I needed an accountability partner and figured you might too.

We've made it to lesson 4, if you've just joined us, then please check out lesson 1, 2 and 3.

Are you ready for a confession? Alright then, here we go: I didn't actually swatch for this lesson. This means I don't really have any pictures to show you, but don't fret I still have a lot to say about the lesson.

First, lets get to why I didn't swatch this time around. There are several reasons:
1) I was busy sewing in ends on a design while watching.
2) I had just worked short rows as a part of the shoulders on said design.
3) I had also just used a 3-needle-bind-off on said design.

Enough with my excuses already, lets get to the chapters.

Chapter 1 - Shoulder slopes

The short row method makes for a much cleaner finish than the stair step effect of the bind-off method. It makes the piece seem more coherent in my eyes, whereas the bind-off can at times look like you just cut off a part of your knitting. On a design I'm working on at the moment, I used short rows to shape the back of the shoulders only and it made for a really nice finish. I'm  so pleased I've learned the Japanese method in time for those short rows. The wraps became much smaller and aren't really visible, even on the wrong side, at all. 

Chapter 2 - Three needle bind-off

If you aren't familiar with this method then be ready to be amazed. This technique is so simple, yet elegant. I tend to use it all the time because I'm to lazy I prefer knitting to sewing any day. As I mentioned, I used it to join some cables on the design I'm plucking away at.

Chapter 3 - The set in sleeve

The only concept in this lesson I haven't used before was the actual short row, set in sleeve, but when you've worked short rows before, then there really isn't anything to it. Just watching Carol  do it made me confident I could too and the little detail she includes (you'll have to watch to know what I'm talking about here) makes it look very stylish. I'm determined to try it out on a sweater soon.

Now, let me know what you think.. Have you done short row shoulders or set in sleeves before?

Friday, 17 October 2014

Purple Knight Baby sweater - Pattern now available!

It is with great pleasure that I'm releasing the pattern for the Purple Knight baby sweater today. This pattern was one of those that just had to be knit. The pattern, if you recall is inspired by my parents' bedspread and I have to say the mix of colours will make this pattern work for any little knight or princess in your life.

Baby Erik was by far the cutest model I've used so far and I might cast on more designs for children, just to have him model them. I know his parents wouldn't mind getting more knits either.

Purple Knight is a bottom up raglan sweater with all the colour work inclosed, so no tiny fingers will get stuck. The pattern is wonderful for using up leftovers and different colours will create very different expressions, just take a look at Mimi's stunning sweater:

When knitting for babies, I recommend taking both the season and their size into consideration. It is always better to knit something larger than expected, so the child can grow into it. Baby Erik is 6,5 mo in the photos and modelling a size 12 mo, which should fit him perfectly this winter. 

All the stats are on the Ravelry page and the pattern can be yours for 30 DKK. 

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

The True Cost

Money. We all need it, but it's a subject most avoid talking about like the plague. This post is partly spurred by Woolly Wormhead's brilliant post on The true costs of a pattern and her follow up post. Please go read them both. I think they should be mandatory reading for any knitter/crocheter/craftsperson.

Making it in the pattern design world is tough folks. Making a living, whew... that is almost impossible. Before I got into the world of designing, I had no idea and while I now have some inkling of what there is to it, I'm still a far cry from the insight Woolly Wormhead can provide you with.

What I can chime in with are my own two cents. Oh wait, that's right, I don't have two cents to rub together. I do of course have some money, what I'm talking about is money made on patterns.

Recently, I gathered up my courage and made a big scary spreadsheet of income and expenses. My expenses so far have been limited. No yarn, no needles, no fees for anything really. What I have spent money on is a few Craftsy classes, hoping to improve my skills and thus the final patterns I can present to you guys.

The following should be prefaced by telling you, that I have made twice what I hoped to this year. You should also know i had very low expectations. Nonetheless: I'm severely in the red and thankful this is not what has to pay my bills.

Hopefully, the income will grow as I publish more patterns. I mean, how much can you expect to earn off of two patterns, right?! What is important here is not wether or not I make it in this business. This post has a greater good in view.

As mentioned, it takes a lot to make a living and you should know, that more or less no matter how much a designer is charging for a pattern, you are getting it way cheaper than it should be. I love free just as much as the next guy, but I'm also beginning to understand, how spending just a few dollars for something you'll really value, will make a big difference in a designer's life.  

Please take every opportunity you have to buy from independent designers, yarnies and crafters alike. Like Nadia of Abso-knitting-lutely, Marie of Frogged Designs or me:

DKK 15,00