Saturday, December 23, 2006

More Vegan Cupcakes

Instead of knitting, this is what I've been up to today. These are more cupcakes from "Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World" which I highly recommend. These are the basic chocolate, basic vanilla slathered in vegan buttercream frostings and I made a dozen Jimmy Carter peanut butter cupcakes with chocolate ganache.

My cupcakes caved in due to my tossing the shortning & margarine in a mixer and waltzing away. Fortunately, frosting covers a multitude of sins.

My slaves hard at work frosting these babies for me.
Knitting content next time, really.
And this is what Buds did today. He's the smart one, if you ask me.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Ruffled Wristlets From Hell Are Done

And just in time for Halloween . . . Ah, better make that Christmas. This was a project which was initially meant to be part of a Halloween costume but after finishing up the first wristlet and fighting with the damn ruffles for hours, I found myself doing everything I could to avoid knitting up the other one.

The pattern can be found over at Lion Brand but you have to register for free patterns first and then backup (a pain, I know). I used 2 skein's of Lion Brand's Black Wool-Ease in worsted weight & 2 skeins of the black "Ruffles" yarn. To get gauge I had to resort to a size 6 needle and they still turned out too big. If I ever get the urge to knit these up again I would not continue to do the increases after the first 9 inches or so because the ruffles tend to flop over. It's an easy rib knit pattern but the ruffles are a real bitch to bind off. I grudgingly admit that the second wristlet was easier and fits better but there's no way I'm knitting up another pair in the near future!

My poinsetta cloth is also done. The pattern can be found at the Monthly Dishcloth KAL blog. I used red 100% cotton yarn purchased at JoAnn Fabrics and #7 needles. The bobbles were a fun new thing to learn and I like the look of this cloth so much I might knit up a few more for myself.

My current WIP are legwarmers which I promised my daughter I'd make about four months back. I'm using Lion Brand Wool-Ease Worsted Weight in white pearl and a pattern that a nice lady on the Monthly Dishcloth KAL shared with the group. It has a knit, purl ribbing and the body is worked up in stockinette by switching up a needle size every 3". So far I haven't managed to screw it up too badly (but I'm not finished yet!)


Healthier cooking is something I've been working on for a few years. But I love sweets and really why eat dinner when you can have guilt-free Vegan Cupcakes ? Cupcakes that are almost good for you and good for the animals, can it be true? I didn't think so either until I tried these. Made with whole wheat pastry flour, soy milk, canola oil and the best transfat free veggie shortening "buttercream" frosting ever, these are the best tasting cholesterol-free cupcakes I've ever tried. This is one impulse cookbook that I don't regret purchasing. You'll have to buy your own copy HERE because I'm not sharing mine.

This is what happens when you leave an 8 and 10 year old with a big bowl of frosting and two dozen cupcakes ;) This here is a basic chocolate cupcake (page 37) slathered and drowned in chocolate buttercream frosting (pg 144).

Knitting Notes:
I've got a few things going which I'll post when I find a little time and Ive decided that the ex-large Heart Cloth would make a perfect burb rag for baby. The cotton yarn absorbs wet "stuff" very nicely and, big bonus, it's also washer/dryer friendly. Fortunately, I have no need for such things anymore (and am I ever thankful for that!) but my sister is expecting in March so she'll be getting this in her new baby package. Mistakes sometimes turn out to have the most surprising of outcomes, eh?

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Helping Pets Without A Home

I'm betting you have a PetSmart nearby. If you find a spare hour this weekend or next, pack up the dog or brave kitty and head out to that local PetSmart and get yourself a cute keepsake of your furry pal with Santa, read details HERE . Honestly, I've never been a fan of photos with the big man in the red suit but this is for a good cause. For each picture purchased, PetSmart donates $5.00 to a local animal rescue league. Even better donate your time for this fun event. The materialism of the upcoming holiday season has been bumming me out more and more as each year passes and I've been feeling all grinch-like and honestly just want to skip the whole holiday spending thing, you know?

So, instead of shopping (which I despise) or cleaning cat boxes (which isn't nearly as unpleasant as shopping), I spent an hour or so last Sunday collecting donations at the door for the local Humane Society and handing out flyers for the event. It was painful because I'm shy but I'm also a people watcher and was fascinated by the differing reactions when I started my meek little plea for cash and people spied my collection basket. I met some very sweet, generous people as well as more than my fair share of rude folks. But the best part of the day was spent helping out (okay, mostly watching) the dogs get photographed with Santa. It was so much fun meeting the dogs (no cats showed during my shift), many in little holiday outfits! One family even brought several changes of clothes for her good natured labrador to try on. Too cute! I very much recommend this event if you have a relatively well behaved pal. I only dared to bring one of my three dogs, the pee-er and the the barker were left at home, but it's a picture we'll enjoy forever.

The Heart Cloth

I found this beautiful Valentine Cloth Heart pattern over at Knitting On the Net and had this fantasy of whipping up a dozen or so for gifts. But alas, I was so underwhelmed with my results and irritated with myself and my dumba*s mistakes that I've put off doing much of anything else.

See, I didn't call this blog Clueless Knittery for nothing. The directions are simple, knits and purls on #7 needles and repeating rows but instead of using one of the many solid color cotton balls of yarn pining away in my dresser(and no, I'm not telling just how many), I decided to use this multicolored ball and this is the less than stellar result. It's supposed to be a dishcloth but I repeated the pattern one or two times too many (or maybe more . . .) and now it's almost a blankie. I'm very disappointed with my idiocy but that won't stop me from giving it away to some poor sucker (ah, lucky recipient) at Christmas time. Christmas is sneaking up on me and I don't have time for a do-over.

Stop your whining, you're exhausting me and it's snack time!