Year of Projects: Week 17/18


Oh, my. This has been a busy couple weeks around here. My holiday projects always need to be finished before actual Christmas (since we do our gift exchanges with my family 1-3 weeks before Christmas Day). This year I had a few additional holiday gifts to finish up, making it seem really chaotic!

No fear, I have finishes!!

I finished the Unassuming Kate and Ben hats last week. I blocked them and put the pom-poms on. They were such fun knits! I have made 6 of those hats now. Yes, 6. I’ve only kept one! Here is a link to the Ravelry Pattern, its free! The yarn is Shepherd’s Wool Worsted from Stonehedge Fiber Mill in White. Each hat used less than 1 skein, even with 30 rows of 1×1 ribbing! The pom-poms were purchased from The Flying Needles in Williamsburg, Va.

Unassuming Kate and Ben matchy-matchy hats: Newlywed Holiday Gift.

My son’s bestie asked for a red knit hat with a yarn pom-pom on top, so I couldn’t NOT make him one. I had 6 balls leftover in red from the stocking project, so this was the perfect opportunity to use some up! How can you say no to a 5 year old little boy asking you to make him a hat for Christmas?? You can’t! No pattern. But the color and the fold-up brim make me think of Steve Zissou from the Life Aquatic. I’m likely to make this into an easy free pattern (which I am backlogged in writing currently), who doesn’t need a SUPER STRETCHY, chunky weight ribbed watch cap?? I used less than one skein of Stylecraft Special Chunky, in Lipstick. I’m 100% sure this is big enough, it fits very snugly on my head un-cuffed.

The big finish was my Hexie Blanket for my brother. It is finish #13 of my YOP initial list!! The pattern is Grandmother’s Flower Garden “Quilt” by Jess Coppom. I used 6-7 skeins of Mainstays Basic Acrylic in Medium Gray Heather and 5 skeins of Lion Brand Yarnado in Windstorm and a size K hook. I started the project back in March of 2019, and had all of the full hexagons worked and put together. I had some extra hexagons tacked on that I didn’t like and was unsure of how I wanted to proceed. I also hated the join I used but didn’t want to rip it out. That’s when it went into hibernation, for almost a year and a half. I pulled it out last week, ripped out the extra hexagons, worked the half-hexagons, and put on the border. I turned 2 of the 3 extra pieces into a pillow cover by adding some extra rows and single crocheting the front and back together over a round pillow form I had laying around. I finished up the border and weaving in the (over 100 ends) aon Friday night. I neglected to wash it before wrapping and gifting to my brother. I am un-perturbed that it is imperfect; its checked off the list and given to someone who doesn’t care what it looks like. The pattern is good, I love the idea. My execution is lackluster, my yarn made for weird transitions without a LOT of management. I would make this again with different yarn choices.

Today is also my mom’s birthday. Yesterday we saw my parents and my brother, the ONLY people we will be seeing until after Christmas. I made my mom a birthday cake, as I always do as part of her gift. A homemade birthday cake is something special, and I scratch make it every year. This year was the “Go Shorty, It’s your birthday” Cake from the Snoop Dogg cookbook. I made some modifications, like buttermilk powder and coffee in place of the buttermilk. The batter was really fluid and I was a bit suspicious that the cake wasn’t going to set up. Well, it did. It was really good. Maybe the best chocolate cake I’ve ever made. It didn’t stick to the pan. It was springy, durable (and didn’t break apart easily), that “M” word people hate, and super chocolaty. I topped it with a Chocolate Pudding Frosting and Unicorn Sprinkles (because we had them and they aren’t Christmas).

And thats some of what I’ve been up to the past couple weeks. I’m happy that my crunch time is OVER and I can focus on relaxing for the forthcoming holiday week: AT HOME.


15 responses to “Year of Projects: Week 17/18”

  1. WOW. That blanket is terrific. I’m sure your brother loves it. Agree it’s impossible to not make a requested knit for a kid. You know he will love it and feel special wearing it. Congrats on making a from scratch cake. It’s mixes for our celebrations although we always make homemade icing with butter. I’m not a big icing fan but would never eat the stuff in a can. I always get German Chocolate for my birthday as I do like the caramel nut “icing”.


  2. What is the M word people hate? It can’t be Moist, can it? Love your blanket!! and those pom poms are so run. I love it when children ask me to knit for them. They are so appreciative! The red hat looks great! Merry Christmas!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, it is moist! I don’t mind it, but I have a few friends who get grossed out by it!

      I had hoped to get matching yellow pom-poms, but they only had 1 yellow, so I made the executive decision to get a different color.

      Merry Christmas to you too!


  3. Those hats are awesome and I printed the pattern as I have plans! Your blanket turned out great! What are you talking about? It looks mighty perfect to me! Thank you always for the links and your Mother’s cake turned out so yummy looking….now I want to make a cake and I never make cakes! LOL! What a wonderful daughter you are! I have never had a birthday cake or a birthday party but I’m not giving up hope! LOL! I’m pretty nice to myself so I can’t complain. Merry Christmas and enjoy your time off!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Its only in the last 10 years that I’ve embraced baking a scratch cake. I don’t think I ever had a scratch cake until I made it myself! Box mix cakes or grocery store bakery cakes were my cake experiences for my first 28 years!
      My January birthday in the Northeast USA made for a lot of canceled plans, Ice storms or a blizzard usually. I’m still not big on having birthday parties for that reason. All the plans made, then cancelled at the last minute because of the silly weather!!
      But it need not be someone’s birthday for cake!! Every day can be a reason to celebrate! Not every religion/culture/family celebrates birthdays. One year at Christmas my MIL wanted to make an ice cream cake, and iced “Happy Birthday, Jesus” onto the cake she made. I thought it was clever and everyone got to enjoy ice cream cake!


  4. Lots of lovely finished objects and a delicious cake too! The hats look great and the pale yarn really makes the pom-poms pop! There a two by two rib pattern on Ravelry that I have used 3 times now, but it’s a classic look and great for either gender. Your decreases look different to that so another pattern would be of interest. I already have 362 hats but you always need more haha

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hear you about hats!! After almost 20 years of knitting, I have a ridiculous amount of hats! This doesn’t deter me…. there are still heads uncovered!! Even if it isn’t mine.

      I’ve recently gotten onboard with Pom Poms, I thought they were a waste of time for a long time. But I’ve learned to embrace the weird!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. The hats are fantastic. Lovet those pom poms on them. But that afghan…! It is quite a beauty. Your moist cake looks great. Sure makes me wish I had a piece of it. I am sure your mom was over joked with it too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I kinda wish I brought a piece home!! So my mom loves chocolate cake! I know she would be just as happy with a box mix cake, but I would feel that I cheated her! She is from a large family with a birthday within a week of Christmas. I make it a point every year to give her a separate birthday gift wrapped in different paper. i purchased a roll of iridescent cheetah print wrapping paper a couple years ago and I only use it for her birthday gifts. She loves animal printed stuff so this wrapping paper is very her!

      The pattern I used to make the blanket is good, I really suggest it! Unless you are looking specifically for mistakes in the blanket, they are pretty unnoticeable. I would do pastels or faded colors flanked by navy.


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