Saturday, November 14, 2009

Take the cake

My good friend celebrated her 27th birthday earlier this month. I'm usually pretty horrible with gift ideas, but this one was easy. I few months ago, I was reading Pioneer Woman's blog, as I'm prone to do, when I came across this recipe. I was blown away by the delicious moistness of the cake, but when I shared the link with Lauren, her first response was, "I want her cake stand!" Good thing my brain was working that day, because I took that as an opportunity to get her a kick ass birthday gift this year. I did some searching around and found that the cake stand is made of milk glass and it comes in several colors. The manufacturer is Mosser and it's made here in Ohio! How cool is that?

Anyway, I was a little worried that she wouldn't remember my inspiration for the gift if I gave her the cake stand by itself (plus, that'd be kind of lame anyway, wouldn't it?), so I of course *had* to make the cake as well. Not to mention, I really wanted to taste it and I figured she'd share.

I don't think I had ever made a cake from scratch before, except for chocolate upside-down cake, which makes up for in taste what it lacks in looks. I have to admit, I was a little nervous that my cake would fall in the center or not rise or crumble to pieces or any of the other nightmares that are associated with baking disasters. But guess what? It didn't! And it was quite tasty. And look! On that cake stand, it almost matches Pioneer Womans!!

November 2009 002

Note: Make this cake if you:
  • Love the taste of coffee
  • Can handle an overdose of caffeine from time to time
  • Like loads of butter cream frosting
Do NOT make this cake if you intend to wash it down with grape juice and vodka. You can ask Lauren if you don't believe me.

But, I'm still not a yarn snob.

Way back when I first started knitting, I don't think I could have told the difference between natural and synthetic fibers by look, nor by feel. I was (and still am) very turned off by those knitters who would ask "What are you knitting with?" and then snear at your Lion or Red Heart yarn. All that aside, there is something to be said for using nice yarn. When I'm working with something that feels good, I find it hard to stop! This is particularly useful when it comes to completing projects. I finished my shawl last night, only three weeks from when I started (I am not counting the two weeks I struggled with this pattern before scrapping it and starting over).

I used Imagination from, which is a wool, alpaca and nylon blend. It feels SO good! And, the colorways are so much fun, I'm trying to choose my next project which can feature it. My only concern is that it does shed a little bit, so I will probably be picking pieces of wool off of my sweaters all winter, as I intend to use this shawl if and when the office gets too chilly!

Pattern: Revontuli Shawl, from Ravelry (which I really need to update, I suppose)

November 2009 008
My lovely new shawl

November 2009 009
No dropped stitches!

November 2009 011

November 2009 014
Goes great with pajamas, don't you think?