Lookie, a sweater I finished early Sunday just in time for my sister's twentieth birthday. Saturday I traveled to Asheville in search of buttons. Found a great many at half off at Asheville Cotton Company, then popped in a storefront or two down to AC Moore (my first time there) and bought more there. It was my third stop where I bought the buttons that blend so well with the sweater's buttery color that you cannot really y see them. Yarn Paradise has great buttons. I bought bunches and bunches of them. It's a lovely shop in Biltmore Village, but I almost always feel a super-negative vibe upon entering the space. I've left the shop once or twice because the wait in line was too much to stand. Nonetheless, I was happy to find the perfect buttons there. Also bought a few skeins of yarn, but won't go into that.
Sunday I cleaned the living room and dining room so that we could entertain my dad, step-mom, and my sister (half-sister) after dinner. We met at Red Lobster. I'm not a fan, but it was Jessica's birthday; her choice, and her first time there. After cleaning I made a chocolate Guinness cake. It cooled while we dined. I invited everyone home to eat cake. The candles really surprised Jessica. I was glad to do it.
So more about the cake. This was the second time I made it. And it's rather fun and different. You mix it together in a wide saucepan. First you pop the lid on a bottle of Guinness and melt butter with the beer. Then you add other stuff like sour cream, eggs, cocoa, sugar, vanilla, flour, and baking soda. It cooks in a spring-form pan. The icing is a package of cream cheese, confectioner's sugar, and whipping/heavy cream. Iced properly and it mimics the head on a great draft of Guinness. The recipe is from Feast or Endless Summer, I can't right recall, one of Nigella's brilliant books.
I think she blew them all out, but am not sure as I was fussing around with the camera. The light! It was too dim. Just before they left (I know, I'm skipping ahead, but there's nowhere else to interject a few words about the accordion), I remembered that I had not played my accordion for my family. Dad was interested in my music book; he's the real musician. Margie, my step-mother, said she always liked accordion music. Jessica was speechless. I'm sure she wondered how her sister went down that path.
She models her birthday sweater. When my dad saw it in the box, he got all grumpy. I jumped in with "You wear a shirt or camisole under it." I didn't love the sweater when it merely flopped there on the hanger. But it looked cute on Jessica. I don't think she minded, or noticed, that there were a few things off about it. Like one side is a hair longer than the other. I don't know how it happened. There wasn't time to block it. You probably think me an irresponsible knitty gift-giver for not properly blocking it. But, I've never blocked anything. Maybe that's my problem. And then when I think about it, I'm usually unhappy with big projects I make, like sweaters. There's always a huge letdown when I finish a sweater because it's never as wonderful as I imagined it to be. Surely I'm not the only one to experience that?
Noah's baby blanket that I'm laboring away on. Ian likes the garter stitch edge. And he asked whether this would wash up easily. I assured him that it would. At this point, I'm possibly a quarter of the way through it. I doubt I'll have enough yarn. Yuck. You work 94 or 96 rows, then the middle initial thing, which is probably 12-24 rows, and then another 94/96 to end. When I cast on for it at my LYS Saturday one woman made ominous remarks about how much work a knitted baby blanket was when there are so many other lovely baby things to make.
Can't keep a good butterfly ATC down, these are almost winging their way to their final destinations. I've worked on for a few days and finished them just in the nick of time. I do try to keep busy, as you can tell.
Pattern: Eloise, Laines du Nord Simple Knits, Book 4
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Merino DK 504
Needles: US 5
Start date: 2 November 2006
Finished: 19 November 2006
Cost: 6 balls X $4.50 (via Destash)= $27 plus $7.50 for buttons= $34.50