a wednesday problem

Work work work. The problem with freelance-type work is, it’s really hard to separate out work time and play time! It’s easy to just keep working and working. Well, for me, anyway. Mostly because I feel guilty if I have time to work and am not doing it. Does that make any sense?

Thanks to everyone who helped me destash – I had so many packages to take to the post office that when the woman there saw me, she took out a whole mailbag for my packages! A few more are going out today.

So. How about some knitting talk? I finally finished the sleeves of the Manos silk cardigan –

manos sleeves

I did them both at the same time – which was kind of a drag when I was actually doing it, because it seemed so slow! But then I got up to the cap and then, behold! Not one but two sleeves! It was pretty exciting to finish them both together.

Now I just have to do the button bands and collar. I think the sweater’s going to take a little more yarn then I’d hoped, eight skeins rather than seven. Ah, well. I can make the collar nice and long.

Now here’s my Wednesday problem – I don’t know what to take to Knit Night tonight! The Manos cardigan is sort of at a tricksy point to take to a place where much talking and probably drinking will take place. Maybe it’s time to bust out some plain sock knitting? But what I really want to do is cast on for another sweater! What sweater, what yarn? Do I have the supplies? Do I have the brain power to start something new?

This is often my dilemma.

I do think I’ve solved what to take, though – the Manos sweater (the button bands won’t be too hard to figure out) and maybe needles and yarn for new socks. I could really use some new plain socks. Yeah, that sounds okay.

(Although I do still really want to cast on for a new sweater.)

Back to my lunch!

lunch, take II

Chickpea salad: chickpeas, cucumber, tomato, chunks of haloumi cheese, lots of parsley, good olive oil, lemon, and a sprinkle of cumin. Pita wedges are obligatory for soaking up the dressing!

take it off my hands, part V – handspun edition

It’s also the final edition, at least for now! I put a couple more things up on my destash page, including a bunch of handspun skeins. All things must go! Make me an offer!

I don’t have much to show with the knitting (although that’s coming up shortly! just need some photos), but I do have cinnamon rolls!

swirl

Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting
adapted from Bon Appetit magazine

This is a lovely, easy dough recipe. It’s been while since I last made a yeasted dough (probably not since last summer?) but it rose well and really turned out great. Best eaten warm!

Dough
1 cup milk
3 tbsp butter
1 envelope instant (rapid-rise) yeast – 8g
3 1/2 cups flour, divided
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp salt

Filling
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar (packed)
2 tbsp cinnamon

Frosting
125 g cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup icing (powdered) sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Making the Dough:
Heat 3 tbsp butter and milk together in microwave (or on the stove) until the butter is melted and the milk is warm, about 60 seconds (longer if your microwave is old like mine). Place in bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment and add yeast, sugar, salt, and 1 cup flour. Mix on low speed for 3 minutes, scraping down sides.

Add 2 1/2 cups flour and mix until the dough forms a ball and comes away from the side of the bowl. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead, adding more flour if sticky, for 8-10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Place in lightly oiled bowl and cover with kitchen towel. Let rise for 2 hours.

Once the dough has doubled, turn out onto a floured surface and roll out to a rectangle approximately 15 x 11 inches.

buttah

Dot surface with 1/4 cup softened butter, then spread to cover dough, leaving a 1/2 inch border. Mix together brown sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle evenly over butter.

Starting with one long edge, roll up the dough, pinching ends to close. Slice the roll in half, then each half into about 9 equal pieces (about 1/2″ or a little wider).

pretty!

Lightly oil two 9″ square pans and place 9 rolls in each pan. Cover pans and let rise for 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 F. Once the rolls have doubled in size, bake for 20 minutes or until the tops are golden. Turn the rolls out onto a rack and let cool 10 minutes before frosting.

Make the Frosting:
Mix cream cheese, butter, icing sugar and vanilla in stand mixer until smooth. Spread over warm rolls.

Devour.

plate o' goodness

take it off my hands, part IV – the yarn one

Holy comments, Batman! Awesome. I knew that’d bring out the lurkers ;)

So, without further ado, the winners:

Twinkle’s Weekend Knits – Jeanine
Classic Knits at Home – Michelle

Winners have been emailed. I felt bad I couldn’t give books to everyone!

So up next… a rather large yarn destash. Prices are in USD or CDN (they’re close enough anyway) and include shipping to Canada and the US. If you’re international, let me know and I’ll amend the price. Payment by Paypal, balance transfer or credit cards – and please don’t send money until I’ve confirmed. Please, help me make room!

Visit my destashing page!

Finally, since every blog entry needs a photo (well, not really, but whatever), my finished Manos Silk cardigan body. Any ideas for names?

manos silk body

This took a bit under four skeins, so I think I’m on track to use just 7 skeins for the whole sweater!

P.S. Insidious spammers have somehow hacked in and may be putting in horrible filthy links at the bottom of my posts, as read in blog readers (but not on the blog page itself, weirdly). Any ideas on how to stop them? Please let me know if you see anything off! I’ve deleted some stuff already, and it doesn’t show up in the RSS feed anymore, but Bloglines may not have updated yet. Argh.