First FO of the Year

I have a finished object to talk about. I needed (or wanted) a new winter hat. I had been wearing my Best Beret all through autumn but wanted something to cover my ears. I pulled out a pattern I had my eye on for quite some time. It’s the Elephant Hat from a knit wear book by Tomo Sugiyama that roughly translates as “Preparations for Winter with Handknits”. There was a kanji I was not familiar with so I turned to ravelry for their translation.

Such a sweet pattern. I used some leftover yarn I happened to have in my stash. Some ancient Cascade 220 that I’ve had forever, some KnitPicks. I even have some fingering weight wool that I doubled up. I’m pretty happy with it. The only thing I would have done differently was maybe go up a needle size. I kind of stuck with the recommended and did not gauge. I normally knit a small swatch and I know that when I knit any kind of color working my stitches tend to be tighter. The hat fits and is totally wearable. But it’s a close fit. It could use to be a tad bit bigger. I love it though and I’m happy to have it as my first finished object of 2022. So my next plan is to pull out a projects years past to either finish or frog.

Last Wednesday was The Mr’s bday so I decided to tackle two thing I had never done before. I made him a chocolate cake from scratch… and a layered one at that. I used a recipe from my old Betty Crocker book that I had talked about in a past post. My only disappointment was the icing. I was going for a butter cream and that did not happen. Instead it was almost a shell made of butter protecting the cake. My mom, whose is a way more experienced baker than me talked me through the process to save it as I was making it and realizing that it was not going the way I wanted. She could not find a reason why it was not working out other than it’s an old recipe and I was using modern ingredients.

A friend who is also a more experienced baker sent me some video references to help me in future attempts. While at the time I had felt defeated and was not liking the cake at all (we had also been eating chocolate throughout the day thanks to friends and family sending Brian chocolate gifts). But Brian loved it and after a day I found it to be quite good especially with a cup of afternoon coffee. I actually had fun making it and want to try a layered cake again sometime soon. Just not a chocolate cake. I’m kind of done with chocolate for a while.

I’m going to end this post by letting everyone know that this week I uploaded a new batch of thorn brooches. I was shocked to see that the etsy listing was almost sold completely out. These are the same thorns I use to make the needles in the loom kits. They come from a honey locust tree located on my Uncle’s property in Forest Hill MD. Each one is polished smooth and the sliced ends are coated with 23 carat gold leaf. You can wear them in your hand knits as a brooch or wear them to tack your shawls closed. Here’s a direct link to check them out.