Wednesday, October 29, 2008

International Cat Hat: Germany, Ein Prosit

The Tilden Park Scarf is an easy ruffled and ruched infinity scarf that adds a feminine touch to any outfit.


Near the end of September (yes, this cat hat is a little tardy), there is this little thing called Oktoberfest that happens in Munich. When I went a few years ago, I have fond, yet hazy, memories of drinking liters and singing the ultimate drinking song for all ages: Ein Prosit. Perhaps this is not the name of the song, but it was the only lyric I could sing convincingly in German. So, anyway, many liters later, I found myself wearing a hat. An Oktoberfest hat. Kind of like this hat that Fifty-Fifty is now sporting.

I believe I was clutching the floor in this exact position, too. Let's just say that drinking a "mass" at 9 in the morning is unnatural for this lady. Seriously, you may all think I'm drunk to post such silly things, but let me assure you that I do not drink and post with reckless abandon.

For those of you just stopping by just for this pattern, rest assured that this hat is not an anomaly. Don't forget to check out my other free patterns listed on the sidebar!


Materials
• 70 yards of Cascade 220 in gray

• 8.5 yards of Sugar 'n Cream in white
• 8.5 yards of Sugar 'n Cream in blue
• 1 US size 7 16 inch circular needles OR needle size needed to achieve gauge.
1 US size 7 circular needles, any length, OR needle size needed to achieve gauge
(US size 7 DPNs may also be used instead of 2 circular needles)

• Row counter
• Tapestry needle

Special Skills Needed
• Knitting in the round using two circular needles
• Picking up stitches

Gauge
• 6 stitches = 1 inch on US size 7 needles in stockinette stitch

Finished Measurements
Finished hat circumference is 10 inches


Abbreviations
[ ] repeat instructions between brackets
bo bind off
co
cast on
k knit
k2tog knit two stitches together

m1 make 1 stitch
sts stitch(es)

Directions
Loosely CO 60 sts on the 16" circular needle (needle A). Slip half of the stitches to the other circular needle (needle B). Join to knit in the round, placing a marker at that point so you know where the round begins.

Main Body
Rounds 1-20: k all sts
Round 21: [k4, k2tog] until end
Rounds 22-24: k all sts
Round 25: [k3, k2tog] until end
Round 26-28: k all sts
Round 29: [k2, k2tog] until end
Round 30-32: k all sts
Round 33: [k1, k2tog] until end (20 sts)
Round 34-36: k all sts
Round 37: [k1, k2tog, k4, k2tog, k1] twice
Round 38-40: k all sts
Round 41: k2tog until end (8 sts)

Cut yarn, leaving a 6 inch tail. Using a tapestry needle, thread yarn tail through remaining 8 sts.

Brim
Pick up 60 sts around the base of the hat using the 16" circular needle. Join to knit in the round, placing a marker at that point so you know where the round begins.

Round 1: k all sts
Round 2: [k3, m1] until end
Rounds 3-5: k all sts
Round 6: [k4, m1] until end
Rounds 7-9: k all sts
Round 10: [k5, m1] until end
Rounds 11-13: k all sts
Round 14: [k6, m1] until end
Round 15: k all sts
Round 16: BO all sts

I-cord Ribbons
CO 4 sts using white yarn
Knit i-cord for 20 inches
BO sts
Repeat for blue yarn.

Finishing
Weave in all ends. Twist blue and white i-cords together, and tack them around the hat. Place the hat on your cat, and guard your booze just in case Fluffy gets a hankering for beer. Oh, yes, and please send me a picture if you make this! Your pictures make this crazy endeavor worth it.

http://spindlesandspices.blogspot.com


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Sprouty McSprouterson

Sprouts are the answer for those of us wanting to grow our own food, but do not want to wait months for the harvest. To put this in knitter's lingo, sprouts are to gardening that dishrags are to knitting.

I scoured my Indian cookbooks, searched the Internet, and picked my friend's brain on how to sprout beans. It seemed easy enough, but some of the instructions were pretty labor intensive and involved expensive gadgets and special beans. My head was hurting from information overload.

My friend's sprouting instructions could not have been easier. She soaks the beans, drains them, and then sticks them in the fridge. That's all! None of this "rinse 6 times a day and put them in a sprouting rack" business.

I procured some dried organic mung beans and lentils from a nearby health food store. I chose not to buy the beans marketed as "sprouting beans" because they were about 3 times as much as the organic beans. I also chose not to buy the $30 sprouting rack.

Here is how to sprout beans, wildtomato style:
  1. Soak 1/2 cup of dried beans in water for 24 hours. This yields around 3 cups of sprouts.
  2. Drain the beans and rinse them.
  3. Put the beans into a bowl and cover with a towel. Place in a cool, dark place.
  4. Once a day, rinse and drain the beans with water.
  5. When the bean sprouts are 1/4-inch long, you're done! Stick them in the fridge if you are not going to use them right away.
I had 1/4-inch tails on my beans in 3 days. The sprouted beans had a nutty, grassy taste. We ate some of them for dinner tonight, mixed into Bhutanese red rice. We'll the rest for salads and stir-fries.

Mung bean sprouts are the type of bean sprouts found in Chinese food. These sprouts tasted miles better than those tasteless, limp things I get at restaurants or buy at the store.


These are my green lentil sprouts. Aren't they pretty?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Back from the BBQ

We're back from Austin, and the BBQ is still on my mind. Like good little solders, we ate BBQ 4 out of the 5 days we were there, sampling a new place each time. Yes, folks, it took discipline to hork down yet another piece of moist brisket, but we did it.

This is the most interesting, and dare I say the best, BBQ joint: City Market in Luling, Texas. The BBQ room (yes, a whole room!) is hidden at the back of the store. As you step through the doors, you wonder if you are in the right place, until you see a sign that erases any doubts.

I guess City Market got tired of people asking for utensils. I was told that the white sandwich bread was supposed to be my fork. I'm kind of a bread snob, and I think that Wonder Bread is the devil, so I just ate the meat straight like a true cave(wo)man.


This is the interior of the secret BBQ place. I could only stay in this oaky, smokey room for a few minutes before excusing myself. I guess I'm not core enough.

And here's our grub! What, you only see Wonder Bread? Well, what lies under the pile of devil's bread is moist brisket, pork ribs, and the best beef sausage.


I washed this meal down with Big Red. I heard it was a Only in Texas drink, so I tried it. It tasted like red gummy bears. Unfortunately, the smoke went to my brain and during my BBQ feeding frenzy, I dumped some of my Big Red onto my moist brisket thinking that it was the BBQ sauce. Oops.

In order to not gain 10 pounds of BBQ gut, we stayed active. This was hard to do since the humidity made me want to stay in the air conditioned house, but images of my last BBQ gut motivated me to earn those calories. This meant that we stuck on our Couch to 5K running program, we kayaked, we canoed, and we disc golfed.

These are pictures from our 6 mile kayak along Town Lake. The undersides of bridges are great motivators to keep paddling.



The tops of clouds are also great motivators to keep flying (as is spending quality time with friends).



So, um, yeah... There be knitting to show off. And some blog awards to pass on. And I have a new International Cat Hat all finished up and ready for its debut. I just need motivation or a swift kick in the arse. Feel free to provide me with either.

Stay tuned...

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Austin Bound!

I'll be in Austin for a few days and I'll have some unscheduled time to explore. So... If anyone knows of any crafty shops or events that are unique to Austin, drop me a comment!

I already know that I'm going to go to Hill Country Weavers...

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

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