Sunday, March 13, 2011

Frozen Blueberries and Creatively Dyed

I've been working off and on with 2lbs of a 75% Coopworth wool, 25% Bombyx silk roving, and it was dragging on and on. I finally got over my motivation issues with it and finished up the lot, yielding an estimated 1200 yards of worsted to heavy worsted, 2 ply yarn. It was spun in the supported long draw style, which worked well with the fiber. I think I'll knit a nice beefy and heavily textured coat style cardigan with it, perhaps cables, but we'll see what actually happens when I actually start working with it.

Almost as soon as the wool/silk was off the wheel, I started working on this Creatively Dyed 50% Merino, 50% Bamboo braid (4oz) that I bought a few years ago at a fiber festival. I've shown here for you photos of the fiber, the singles on the wheel, and the finished and washed yarn. I chose to spin at a higher ratio with the single looped across the flier arm to reduce draw in rate and increase twist in order to reduce the grist of the single. The fiber was split in half-ish, spun on seperate bobbins, and the two plied together. I obviously either didn't split it right or the singles overall were not the same and also seems some of the color blocks do not go all the way through the roving section, so there was variation in the plied yarn and the colors did not match up perfectly. However, I am very pleased with the overall result. There is a large section of green, and the rest of the yardage is varying shades of copper, warm yellows, peach and a touch of purple. It is approximately fingerling weight.

At the moment, I'm planning to knit the Ginkgo Shoulderette Shawl by Fragrant Heart Creations.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

More Gluten Free Cupcakes

I don't know what to call these muffins, but just like the last recipe I shared, they're going to indulge the lazy side of the gluten free chef as they're based on a cake mix. But that makes them no less awesome, I assure you. These disappear at record speed. Here's what you'll need:

* 1 bag Namaste Foods, Gluten Free Vanilla Cake Mix
* 1/2c oil - I used about 3tbs butter and filled in the balance of the measuring cup with coconut oil
* 2oz (Approx.) cream cheese
* 3 large eggs
* 1/2c (Approx.) Pecans
* 4 - 5oz (Approx.) Chocolate chips
* Dried cranberries (I get these from the co-op, but "Craisins" might work as well)
* Macaroon coconut for topping

Heat oven to 350*F, as directed by the mix package. Put paper liners into muffin pan (I prefer a stoneware pan for nice, even baking).

Chop or grind pecans to taste. I usually pound them into powder, but if you prefer chunks, that's fine too. Set aside.

Soften cream cheese, butter, and coconut oil briefly in microwave, but be careful to not overheat them or they'll cook your eggs. Mash up then whip with the eggs. Add cake mix and pecans gradually, mixing after each addition.

Add chocolate chips and/or dried cranberries, as desired, and mix.

Portion into miffin/cupcake tins. I usually fill about 3/4 full or so. Sprinkle coconut on top. Bake 20-25 min until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from pans and cool muffins until cool enough to eat without burning your tongue. Enjoy.

Makes 24+ muffins.