Sunday, April 29, 2007

Got Milk? Part Two


With both versions of cookies, let them sit on the cookie sheets for roughly 5 minutes to cool a bit and avoid falling apart when removing them from the cookie sheet onto the cookie racks.
The Kisses will get warm from the heat of the cookies and cookie sheets and will soften. Don't bump them until after they've cooled, which will take a couple of hours. If they are shinny, they're melted.
Cool cookies on cookie racks before you pack them away in airtight containers.
Need to use your cookie sheets faster than they're cooling off? Pop them into the freezer for 5 minutes. Do not put raw cookie dough on hot cookie sheets, it will change it's temperature and not bake evenly.
Almost finished!
Don't forget to wash the dishes! With a new dishcloth to use, or two, of course...after all, this is a knitting blog...

And the final the milk! and if you sat near my Dad at the dinner table, this is what would happen to your milk!
ENJOY! (and don't forget to turn off your oven! And put away your dishes!!!)

Peanut Butter Cookies/ Peanut Blossoms
Pat, 5/22/58, Mom 10/5/76, Cathy 4/28/07

Preheat oven to 325*F.
Mix together:
1 C Crisco
1 C Sugar
1 C Brown Sugar
1 C Peanut Butter
½ tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Vanilla
2 eggs
Mix and sift together:
2 C flour
1 tsp baking soda
Add to creamy mixture
Drop teaspoon size on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes at 325*F. Be careful to NOT over bake!
(Add Hershey’s Kisses to the cookies straight out of the oven, while still on the cookie sheet.)
Let cookies sit on cookie sheets for ~5 minutes to cool before transferring them to cookie racks to finish cooling. Kisses will take a few hours to cool off and retain their original shape.
~ 4 dozen cookies

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Got Milk? Part One

I am a Midwestern girl.

No matter where I live, or how long it takes me to get back home. I will always be a Midwestern girl!

And if you're a Midwestern girl in my extended KNOW how to cook. And when things can't be explained at times, sometimes the only thing left to to make some cookies!

I love the history of things and the tradition of how a family acquires them. This is a recipe that my mother received back in 1958 from her friend Pat. I received the recipe in written form in 1976. However, I have been making these cookies long before that. (Yes, children of mine, your mother is old. I was here, after all, on the shoreline to greet the dinosaurs!) You see, these were the first cookies that I had baked all by myself way back in the 3rd grade. It's also the first time I got mad after baking them.
Because I have 2 younger brothers who ate them faster than I could get them out of the oven! I couldn't understand it back then that it was a compliment. (It's since been explained to me.) All I knew at the time was my cookies were disappearing very quickly unlike my Mom's which lasted for a couple of days at least to have with lunch and at dinnertime. I didn't get it in my little 8 year old mind, that having brothers eat your hot, fresh cookies faster than you can bake them, and want more, was a very good thing!

I also didn't get 'the payment' like Mom and Grandma did. We all had to pay the baker with kisses for hot, fresh cookies and my brothers were having none of that tradition for their sister! Some days, I guess respect between brothers and their sisters only goes 'just so far.'

So here, my darling adult children, this is how to bake these cookies...step by step in pictures... because someday...I won't be nearby when you have to have your cookie fix!

First of all, get out your recipe and gather ALL of your ingredients and baking tools. (Otherwise you'll be running to the grocery store 12 times before you finish. Ask me how I know. *sigh*)
Preheat the oven to 325*F.
Mix together your eggs, Crisco, vanilla, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until creamy.
Add the peanut butter, and cream in well.
In a separate bowl mix together flour, baking soda and salt with a fork.
Add your dry ingredients slowly into the creamy mixture 1 -2 cups at a time, until well mixed on a slow speed.
The mixture should be rather stiff and clean easily off the sides of bowl when you use a rubber spatula.
Drop by rounded teaspoon size onto an ungreased cookie sheet leaving some space between each cookie. Using a small ice cream scoop will keep each cookie a uniform size.
Roll the cookie dough between both hands to 'smooth' the surface.
There are two ways to finish your cookies. You can make the traditional peanut butter cookie, by using the tines of your fork to press lightly on top of the dough ball in two opposite directions to create the waffle pattern.
Pop into the oven at 325*F for 15 mins and DO NOT OVER BAKE!
Option two would be to make Peanut Blossoms, one of our traditional Christmas cookies in our family, and the favorite of my middle daughter. Bake the cookies without making the waffle design on the top of the cookie.
Unwrap Hershey Milk Chocolate Kisses, and place one in each cookie AFTER baking - straight out of the oven before you take them off the cookie sheet.
Stayed Tuned for Part Two!

Question about HL Sweet Delight Yarn

I had a question about the Hobby Lobby Baby Bee Sweet Delight Prints yarn that I used for the BSJ. Chris couldn't find it in her area, and I guess they don't have the Bubblegum 'flavor' ...errrrr...color available on their web site.
So I thought I'd put up pictures and some information for the rest of you who can't find it either. I, too, don't have a Hobby Lobby in my area. I disagree with their label information. It says that it's for (US) 10 (6mm) needles. I think it's very similar to Bernat's Softee Baby and Lion Brand's Baby Soft.
Bernat's gauge is on the label is 22 s/ 30 r in 4"/10 cm and says it's a Sport weight/DK which would make it a " 3" rating, 5 ozs/ 140 g, 455 yds/416 m. Sweet Delights is 23 s/ 45 r on (US) 9 (5.5mm) for a 6 x 6" square and says's it's a "5" rating, 4 oz, 345 yds.
Bernat Softee Baby......Sweet Delight

Both yarns are washable. While they're a bit different from each other, I think they're pretty close to each other. Just do your gauge swatch to match the pattern you're using and adjust your needle size if need be. I think you could use any DK weight yarn that you could make gauge with, like Wendy Peter Pan, etc...

Friday, April 27, 2007

Lots of Beanies!

I've been knitting beanies for some time now. After reading and working up multiple patterns from many designers, here are my own patterns that work best for me. I wanted to have a basic set of patterns that I would know in my head so if I added colors or textures, I would have a ground zero from which to start.

Gauge matters. If you use the same stitches/rows, counts etc...rather than go by measurements and stitch counts with different needle size, you'll change the size of your hat. If you're knitting for unknown folks in a volunteer knit project, it's going to fit someone along the way. If you want an exact fit, you'll have to measure and do your test swatch.

Again, as I did with Steph's Sparkle hat (pattern in the list to the left), I used the Twisted Rib for my cuffs. If you would rather not use the twisted stitches, just use the regular 2 x 2 rib (K2, P2) for each round. Here again, it's up to you how you make your own, which yarn you use, and how you choose to stripe it.
I have used just about everything from Red Heart Super Saver, Lion Brand Wool-ease, Cotton-Ease, Plymouth Encore, Debbie Bliss Cashmerino, Anny Blatt, Paton's Classic Wool, Canadiana, Decor, Lamb's Pride Worsted, and Plymouth Silk Merino. Don't stop yourself with my past choices, and don't limit yourself to worsted weight. You can also double strand a DK or sportweight to make gauge as well.

Basic idea:
Knitted in the round in 4 parts, (Part A) 2 x 2 rib of twisted rib knit cuff, (Part B) Stockinette stitch sections, (Part C)shaping for the crown, (Part D) finishing; cut yarn, thread through stitches, fasten off, and wear.

Cathy’s Beanies
© Cathy Waldie, November 2004, December 15, 2005

Child, Teen/Small Adult, Adult Med, Adult Large sizes:
(US) 5 (3.75mm) 16” circular needle, (US) 7 (4.5mm) 16” circular needle, and (US) 7 (4.5mm) double points or 24” circular needle for crown shaping.
Worsted Weight yarn [Label Gauge of yarn 18 sts/24 rows = 4”/10 cm with (US) 8 (5 mm) needles]

K= Knit
Tbl=through back loop

Part A:
With smaller needles: cast on 64, (72, 80, 88) stitches, Join in the round, being careful not to twist stitches.
Knit 2 x 2 ribbing in twisted rib for 6 (6-9, 9, 9-12) rows.
***twisted rib: row 1: *K1 tbl, K1 tbl, P2*, repeat between **’s around
row 2: *K2, P2*, repeat between **’s around
(Note: for teen/small adult and adult large sizes, the extra rounds are for personal preference to create a deeper crown.)

Part B:
Change to larger needles:
Knit in Stockinette Stitch (knit every round) for 24, (30, 32, 38) rounds.
(Note: this is where I like to stripe the colors)

Part C:
Begin crown shaping:
(Note: when stitches get too tight as you decrease, switch to double point needles, or add a second circular needle to finish the hat.)

Child size:
1: *K6, K2 tog*, repeat between **’s around (56 stitches)
2 and all even rows: Knit around
3: *K5, K2 tog*, repeat between **’s (48)
5: *K4, K2 tog*, repeat between **’s (40)
7: *K3, K2 tog*, repeat between **’s (32)
9: *K2, K2 tog*, repeat between **’s (24)
11: *K1, K2 tog*, repeat between **’s (16)
13: *K2 tog*, repeat between **’s (8)
©Cathy Waldie, November, 2004

Teen/Small Adult size:
1: *K5, K2 tog*, repeat between **’s (63)
2 and all even rows: Knit around
3: *K4, K2 tog*, repeat between **’s (54)
5: *K3, K2 tog*, repeat between **’s (45)
7: *K2, K2 tog*, repeat between **’s (36)
9: *K1, K2 tog*, repeat between **’s (27)
11: *K2 tog*, repeat between **’s (18)
12: *K2 tog*, repeat between **’s (9)
©Cathy Waldie, November, 2004

Adult Medium size:
1: *K6, K2 tog*, repeat between **’s around (70 stitches)
2 and all even rows: Knit around
3: *K5, K2 tog*, repeat between **’s (60)
5: *K4, K2 tog*, repeat between **’s (50)
7: *K3, K2 tog*, repeat between **’s (40)
9: *K2, K2 tog*, repeat between **’s (30)
11: *K1, K2 tog*, repeat between **’s (20)
13: *K2 tog*, repeat between **’s (10)
14: *K2 tog*, repeat between **’s (5)
©Cathy Waldie, December, 2004

Adult Large Size:
1: *K6, K2 tog*, repeat between **’s around (77 stitches)
2 and all even rows: Knit around
3: *K5, K2 tog*, repeat between **’s (66)
5: *K4, K2 tog*, repeat between **’s (55)
7: *K3, K2 tog*, repeat between **’s (44)
9: *K2, K2 tog*, repeat between **’s (33)
11: *K1, K2 tog*, repeat between **’s (22)
13: *K2 tog*, repeat between **’s (11)
14: *K2 tog*, repeat between **’s (6)
©Cathy Waldie, November 15, 2005

Part D:
Cut yarn, thread through remaining stitches left on needle, and pull tight. Fasten off (I personally knot the yarn 3 times to make sure after being washed it won’t pull apart.) Weave in ends (beginning tail and all ends from stripes), and wear!