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Sahara! September 8, 2007

Posted by merp in FOs, Knitting.

I have actually completed a sweater while it’s still seasonal!

(In fact, I wore it on Thursday and was a bit over-warm.)


Pattern: Sahara, by Wendy Bernard

Yarn: Goshen (48% cotton, 46% modal, 6% silk), in periwinkle

Needles: #7 circs, Addi Turbos (woh – look at that, I remembered! Well, Addi Turbos are memorable needles, it turns out) – and probably #5 circs for the lace and ribbing at the hem.



  • Did not use the recommended yarn, of course (being stratospherically expensive), but Goshen did not require any mods to the pattern and worked wonderfully. I really love this (very affordable!) yarn – I hope it wears well.
  • Changed the shaping quite a bit, of course, as one must, unless one happens to be exactly average shaped. Worked out fine, no difficulties.
  • Made it a little long – at least, longer than most other knitters’ results. Not sure if I did this on purpose or not. I like it long, but kind of wish the hemline did not fall precisely where I am widest. Oh, well.
  • Didn’t bother with beads or sequins. Not interested.
  • My biggest change was the lace, as I discussed earlier, with much helpful input from readers and on craftster. I ended up using #78: Tiny Eyelet Ribbing from the Vogue Stitchionary Vol. 1 (Knit & Purl), and like it so much better than the kinda poofy diamond lace in the pattern.
  • Left the lace off of the hem entirely and used a bit of simple ribbing instead.


(Sorry if this photo is a little personal – I just wanted to show you the lace detail :))


It’s very comfy. Carefully fitted, but not body-hugging, breathes nicely.

And it’s a beautiful pattern – so easy to read, so easy to knit. I’m tempted to make another one…long-sleeved, in a wool-silk blend….


Sahara Solved August 20, 2007

Posted by merp in Knitting.

So here’s my solution: different lace!


At top you see the diamond lace dictated in the patten. Below is #78: Tiny Eyelet Ribbing from the Vogue Stitchionary Vol. 1 (Knit & Purl). It’s actually quite similar to the diamond lace (number of stitches and rows), but it lies flat and, as a ribbing, will tend to scrunch up neatly rather than flutter and ruffle if there’s too much of it.

Anyhow, it’s very successful around the neckline, and not spectacular but good enough at the sleeves. Here she is pre-blocking and with front still unsewn:


Meanwhile, because I’ve been so sick and unable to do much besides knit (and sometimes not even that), I’ve cast on for the 3-hour sweater:


The ribbing alone took more than 3 hours, of course, but it is a really fast knit, even at my current, unenergetic pace. The yarn is Cascade 220 in garnet heather.

Sahara Stalled August 4, 2007

Posted by merp in Knitting.


Here it is so far! The body is done, and satisfactory. Fitted, but not tight.

I’m stumped with the lace, though. There was supposed to be an inch or two along the bottom hem, which I executed at least twice, I think – but it came out looking frilly, and I do not need frills around my hips. It seems that the lace will not lie flat if I use the same yarn as the rest of the sweater, even using smaller needles. So I’ve put in a plea for help at the craftster knitalong. Not quite sure what the best solution is. (Here’s what it’s supposed to look like.)

Red, blue and donuts July 4, 2007

Posted by merp in Food, Knitting.

Still no Rusted Root – it’s drying. Meanwhile, my next sweater project: Sahara.


So, so easy, just like everyone’s said. I’m loving the yarn, too: Valley Yarns Goshen in periwinkle.

And because the last picture of Clementine was so crappy, here’s a better one. This is probably about as long as the first half needs to be. Then a second half (but the thrill is gone, so could be months), and finally the very much non-brainless part of the project: grafting the two halves together. The yarn is Valley Yarns Deerfield in burgundy – the color in the June 29 picture is closer.


And, finally, donuts.


I made these this morning with the Donut Factory donut maker I bought at a yard sale last year. The Donut Factory donut maker I will be selling at our yard sale this weekend, God willing. I have fond memories of the thing from childhood, but that’s because I didn’t have to make them. Now I understand – deeply – why my mom just didn’t think donut Sundays were all that fun.

The Dazey Donut Factory was a thing of the ’70s – at least, that’s when it came into our home. An appliance in the waffle iron family, it has two donut-shaped, teflon-lined molds, into which you pour the batter. You close the lid, pour just a 1/2 tsp of oil into 2 wells in the top, and then the oil seeps down through little holes to “fry” the donut (hence, much healthier than real donuts – but that’s not saying much – we had gazpacho for supper to counterbalance). It makes a tasty donut (cakey, but fluffier than the cake donuts you get at the bakery).

But the donuts fall apart if your batter isn’t right (trick: add more flour to the chocolate donut recipe, and in all cases beat the batter a lot to get it good and gluteny) and because there’s no timer on the machine, it’s your best guess when their done. The extra-dark above is, sadly, not dark chocolate, but extra carbon crunch. It seems to take something like 10-15 minutes for each pair of donuts.

That adds up to a long time. I mowed the lawn and did my laundry while making these donuts.

Those of you who have ended up here by Googling “Dazey Donut Factory” probably just want the recipes. They can be found here or here. Make a batch to say you did, then sell the thing at your next yard sale.

The recipes I used, btw, are the same ones we always, always had in my family: one recipe of chocolate and one recipe of peanut butter, yinned and yanged together in the donut maker. That, of course, is the reason to make them yourself , because where else are you going to get swirly-stripey chocolate peanut butter donuts?