Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Knit and Crochet

This was a commissioned project I just finished.  It is a great summer hat and socks for a newborn.  She was looking for a lacy summer hat and booties, but most are just too warm for summer.  And booties usually just don't stay on babies feet. This is what I came up with and I think she really liked the finished product.  I like it so much I will be making some sets to sell this summer at the Farmer's Market.

The hat is crocheted in a small shell pattern, and the socks are knitted with the same shell pattern crocheted around the top. The little pink crocheted flowers and leaves just finish it nicely.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

My Own Birthday Cake

I had such a hard time figuring out what kind of cake to make myself this year. Chocolate is always my first choice, but this spring chocolate just seemed too heavy, besides I had just made my all time favorite German Chocolate Cake for my nieces birthday a couple of weeks before, so I was on the lookout for something light.....

Then I remembered this great cake I had made a few years ago for a friends wedding. White cake with white chocolate mousse filling and sliced fresh strawberries, perfect!
I'm not much of a cake decorator, but I AM all about taste!  I think next time though, I would split my layers so I could get more filling into the cake, it's not a real sweet filling so it would work out great, and I always have leftover filling, so that would be no problem either. 

The cake if from Martha Stewart, Perfect White Cake it takes 9 egg whites, and since we have an over abundance of eggs right now...........................

The filling I adapted from Martha Stewart, but I can't find her recipe to link it too, so I'll just post what I did. When I followed the recipe from her site the first time I made it I had a ton of leftover, so since then I have cut it down by half and now by 1/3. Seems like everytime  I make this recipe I change it up a little:

White Chocolate Mousse Filling:
1/2 C. powdered sugar
2 Cups heavy cream
1 teas. unflavored gelatin
half a package of white chocolate chips
3-4 egg yolks

Whisk yolks and sugar until thick and pale, set aside
Bring 1 cup of cream to boil, temper into yolk mixture, but back in pan, whisk constantly over medium heat, until thick and reaches 185 degrees, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat add gelatin. Pour hot mixture over chocolate, let stand a couple of minutes, then whisk until smooth and shiny. let cool.

Whip remaining cream, then fold into cooled chocolate mixture. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

I used fresh sliced strawberries, but I think raspberries would be good too, to add between the layers.  Then I frosted with Buttercream frosting.  I'm not much on decorating, but I am all about taste! 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

First Felted Purse

I'd been wanting to try felting for a while now, but I've been leery about spending money on wool and then ruining the project.  But I finally indulged myself and knitted a purse using Lions Brand Fisherman's wool, it's made for felting so thought it would be a good place to start.  I learned A LOT from this first project, so that in it self was worth it.  I would use this yarn again, but I wish they had more colors to choose from.  I would take pictures prior to felting too......

This wasn't the shape of the finished project, my sides were too floppy, so I took them in and hand sewed the sides, you can see this on the inside of the purse.  I then used the extra fabric brought inside for pockets. I talked my husband into making me the button from a deer antler, nice.

I would also make the straps shorter, I was thinking that the felting would help with the stretch, but it doesn't seem to make that much of a difference, so eventually these straps will be too long.  I won't make the purse as big next time either, A friend said if I had used bigger knitting needles it would have shrunk up more, that will be something to play around with next time.  I think for a first time it came out pretty good, I'm already thinking about my next bag, I think summer colors...............