Mojo Here

Yep, I’ve been knitting away! Actually, it looks like more than it is – I just haven’t blogged in a while and these are all pretty small projects, but still, I think they look impressive.

Here’s what I’ve been up to.

First, the wand cozy for my brother’s birthday wand.

wandcozyw

That’s the Alivan’s wand I got him for his birthday.  He still hasn’t received it, so I’m hoping he doesn’t see this before the big combo birthday bash next weekend (I doubt he will though). The cozy is based on one of the Charmed Knits (Amazon link) patterns, but the original knit to gauge comes up about 2″ wide – more of a sword scabbard than a wand cozy in my humble opinion.  So I pretty much cut the pattern in half.  I’m relatively pleased with it. If I were to do it again, I’d work it in the round, since seaming it at the end was a pain in the you know where, and I think seamless would have looked nicer, but live and learn, right?

I also knitted up a quick pirate hat for the boy:

arrrgh2w

Not as pleased with it as I was with Jazzy’s.  I went too fast, so there were some spots where I held my white a little too tightly. But, since he hates the hat anyway, no great loss.  I’m wondering if I’ll be able to get it on his head at all this winter.  In any event, pattern is here. I cut out one repeat and also cut about eight rows of the pattern (another reason why I like Jasmine’s better) in order to make it fit a smaller head.

And, now, my very favorite recent project . . . .

Remember how much I loved Hermione’s new gray hat in Half Blood Prince ?????

Well . . .

Wait for it . . . .

LOOK!!!!

hermhatw

It’s so perfect!!! I can’t even tell you how pleased I am with this hat. I even splurged and used the Rowan Cashsoft that I originally planned for my Rose Gray.  It’s amazing how wonderful it is to knit with quality yarn. And Cashsoft is soooooo soft.  Mmmmmm. Don’t worry, I have other gray yarn for the Rose Gray, so that hasn’t been forgotten. But I’m very, VERY pleased with my choice for this one. YEA!!!

So what’s next on the list? Well, I really HAVE been continuing on with the purple shifting sands.  I’m well over 2/3 of the way done, so that one should be finished definitely before the weather gets cold. AND, although I promised myself a break, I signed up for another Ravelry swap.  I know, I know, don’t say it . . . but hey – it was a Vampire / Halloween swap – I HAD to do it!.  So I’m tatting a very cool red and black lace bookmark to add to the package. I’m thinking I should try to pick up a book to send with it, but I’ve already gone past the swap price, so I’m trying to think of options.  And then, I really, REALLY want to start another pair of socks with my KnitPicks Imagination.  It’s the wicked stepmother colorway – you HAVE to love it, even if it’s only for the name!

Ysolda’s Plum Cake

Just in case you were wondering, Ysolda Teague is my favorite knitting pattern designer. I love pretty much every pattern she has, and, if it weren’t for my budget (or lack thereof) and the fact that I’m already so backed up on the knitting queue, I’d be the proud owner of every one.  If you haven’t seen her stuff, definitely worth checking out!

So, anyway, it only makes sense that Ysolda’s is one of the blogs that I follow regularly. About a month ago, she had a non-knitting entry about an upside down plum cake – with recipe. Well, I don’t know if it was the photos in the post (which were drool-worthy themselves) or the fact that plums are in season and consequently all over my local grocery store, but I broke down and had to try it.

People, this cake was AWESOME!!!  Soooooo good.  Take a look:

plumcakew

I will definitely be making this again, and I already have all kinds of ideas for variations.  The next one will replace the plums with peaches and raspberries.  I’m expecting gastronomic heaven.  The recipe is in Ysolda’s blog post here. Oh – and extra little bonus, it uses a spring-form pan which is always a fun adventure! YEA!!!

Knitting has slowed a bit as we’ve been crazy busy.  It’s one of those – “Oh wow – school is going to start soon and we haven’t done any of the stuff we wanted to do this summer, so let’s squeeze it all in within the next two weeks.”  Plus, some work I’ve been waiting on came in – of course at the same busy time – so it’s been nuts here. I did manage to finish my “Bella Scarf” but I shudder to show it to you, because I’m very disappointed in it.  My fault – I know.  First of all, this was supposed to be just a fun “try-it-out” project, so I didn’t really worry about yarn choice.  In fact, I tried a new brand one, which also just happens to be about the cheapest yarn ever.  And, by cheap, I’m not just talking inexpensive.  It was pretty much horrible, and I will never ever buy it again.  And, no, I’m not going to tell you what it is, but I should have known as soon as I picked it up in the store.  Add to that, the pattern takes major finishing work (bane of my existence), since it’s all little squares and rectangles that have to be sewn together.  I couldn’t figure out a way to sew them together that didn’t look strange, and the poor quality, blocking-is-not-an-option yarn did not help matters.

But, at least it’s finished – because my own UFO’s tend to annoy me.  (Other people can have as many as they want, but having them in my basket makes me tense). So, here it is:

bellascarfw

Maybe I’ll try to give it away if I can find a Twilight fan who’s not too picky about quality. Oh, and here’s the pattern (Rav Link).

So, now I’m making a wand cozy for the magic wand I bought my brother for his birthday.  (I really don’t think he reads my blog, so I should be safe – if not, well, then I just spoiled the surprise.) I’m using one of the patterns from Charmed Knits, but cut it in half, since the gauge works out to a finished product that’s about 2.5″ wide – much too wide for thin little wand in my opinion. Since we’ve been so busy, it’s coming along slowly, but so far I’m pleased.  I used it to teach myself to purl backwards so that I don’t have to turn my work after every row, so I’m also pretty proud of myself right now. Pictures will follow once it’s done.

So I leave you with a vacation picture.

shore09w

Once again we were blessed to be able to use our neighbor’s shore house. That meant I got my El Portal Mexican food, and  my WingIt wings, AND we discovered the best ice cream parlor EVER. It’s called Fleck’s.  I swear all the best restaurants at the shore are in Villas, NJ! OK – Aside from the Lobster House.

By the way, if you hit the Lobster House for lunch you get the same food for a much lower price. This year’s trip was not the best – we mis-timed things and arrived at what should have been nap-time. Needless to say, the boy was a handful! Food was still good though – we just had to wrap some of it up to take home.  Oh well . . .

Can’t believe the summer’s over . . .