Wednesday, October 08, 2008

hellboy baby sweater

well, i finally sewed the buttons on my rendition of elizabeth zimmerman's february baby sweater.  it's kind of famous in the knitting world.  the good points are that it's a top-down sweater - you start knitting the collar and work your way down, increasing and decreasing as necessary, and put the "live" sleeve stitches on a holder so that you can pick them up and continue the sleeves. that's good cuz sewing knit pieces together is painstaking, unforgiving, tedious and tiresome work.  the bad thing is that elizabeth zimmerman is notoriously sketchy on the details...her patterns are more like base recipes.  i'm pretty good at intuiting and figuring stuff out, but in this case, i wanted to make a sweater for a 12-18 month old baby and her sweater pattern only went up to 1 year so i had to do a lot of maths and i screwed stuff up and got frustrated but not so frustrated that i would rip it back and start all over and the end result is a pretty cute sweater with a GINORMOUS right sleeve (when you're looking at the sweater).  so i'm calling it the hellboy sweater because hellboy has that giant arm of his.  

it's kind of ugmo and gross and definitely not my standard meticulous work but i really wanted to start working on the thrummed mittens so i finished it, even though it wasn't perfect because my drive to finish one project before starting a new one outweighs my drive for perfection when i've already given up.  in my heart of hearts though, i still think it's kind of cute and i figure once a baby is wearing it, you won't be able to tell the difference!  in fact, i think i'm going to make a big version for myself...and this time, i'll do it right.   the original recipient was my prof's new baby but i've come to my senses and i'm trying to cut down on the whole "knitting for strangers" tip. so i'll save it until i find a baby i really want to give it to or maybe i'll keep it for my own future (theoretical) baby(ies).

as we all know, my FAVORITE HOLIDAY OF THE YEAR is fast approaching and tonight i prepped in earnest.  i made the stuffing (sage, bob evans sausage) and the carrot and brussels sprouts horseradish mayo casserole and i'm pretty much done for that meal.  we're ALSO doing an oktoberfest meal to honour my outlaw bro's kraut heritage (and as an excuse to eat german potato salad and schnitzel and wurst) so i made the filling and cake layers for a inside-out german chocolate cake.  instead of using the cake recipe provided, i'm using my go-to devil's food cake recipe, which makes 8" layers, which will mean a thicker layer of caramelized condensed milk-pecan-coconut filling (that's good!).  cakes enrobed with chocolate ganache are a bit of a pain in the bum but's a special occassion and i rarely make cakes for my family.  

i ALSO found time to make the flammekeuche we were supposed to have a few nights back. other recipes suggest you just dump bacon bits and thinly sliced, raw onion on top of the creme fraiche layer.  i wasn't too keen on that so i cooked off the lardons first and then caramelized the onion in the bacon fat and added chopped thyme.  

alongside i made a romaine salad with caramelized pears, goat's cheese, pine nuts, shallot, and red wine vinaigrette for a crispy, wintery, veggie side.


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