Playing with fondant

In December 2008, my brother, my sister and I took a private cake decorating class.  It was my first foray into the world of fondant (at least my first foray other than eating it).  For a few hours, we rolled fondant, dyed it with coloring gel, and decorated square cakes to look like presents.

Recently, I was gifted a variety of Fondarific fondant samples.  It was a range of colors and flavors, each one was maybe 2 or 3 ounces.  Not a ton, but enough to play with and make some tiny cakes.  So that’s clearly what I had to do!

To start, I made a mini present cake, covered in white fondant, wrapped with an orange buttercream fondant bow, and I used some strawberry fondant and my Ateco mini shape cutters to cut out diamonds.  The bow didn’t come out quite as well as in our cake class but I plead tiny-is-harder-to-make.  Plus it’s been a few years…

The next attempt was a fondant flower cake, using alternating thin rolls of melon green fondant and buttercream green fondant and cherry red and strawberry pink fondant for the flowers. I also used Wilton sugar pearls to adorn the inside of the flowers.  It was my second flower attempt, after trying hydrangeas about a year prior.

All in all, they were fun (and tasty) experiments in cake decorating!

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Hooded bunting bag

In May 2012, I decided I wanted to learn how to knit.  The driving force was because I wanted to make this particular cable knit bunting bag for my yet-to-be-born niece.  At the time, it was about 6 months before her due date and I knew I would have to ramp up to that project.  I took a basic knitting class at Workshop SF and started experimenting with scarves.

I quickly moved on to hooded blankets (kind of like a big scarf and the hood got me closer to the hooded bunting bag) and hooded scarves.  Finally, I decided to take the bunting bag plunge – but not quite all the way.  I wanted to understand the construction first before I took on cabling.  So I decided to make a slightly easier bunting bag, also by DROPS.  I chose a washable alpaca, milk fiber and microfiber blend.  I ended up finishing it about 3 weeks before my niece was born and then had to wait patiently until she was big enough to wear it.  But finally the big day came.  And it was worth it.

Pattern: BabyDROPS 18-2 Knitted Bunting Bag by Drops Design
Yarn: Ella Rae Latte (12 ply) in Rust

Baby’s velveteen rabbit

For my niece’s first Christmas, I decided to give her The Velveteen Rabbit.  And of course, I couldn’t give her the beautiful book without her own rabbit to go with it.

Pattern: Vintage Rabbit by Sarah Elizabeth Kellner (Ravelry)
Yarn: Valley Yarns Goshen (10 ply) in Fawn and Natural

In the pattern, Sarah aptly notes that no two bunnies will look the same.  Depending on how you attach the arms and ears, what kind of stuffing you use, the stretch in your yarn, the nose, eyes and tail you give your bunny…all that will determine it’s character.  For that reason, I highly recommend this pattern because each rabbit you make will have a different spark and is truly one of a kind – just like the little one (or big one) who gets to play with it.

Hooded blanket, now with baby!

Back in October, my niece was born.  She is the apple of my eye and I’ve been knitting for her since well before she was out in the world.  When she was three weeks old, I posted some initial photos to a hooded blanket I made for her.  At the time, she was too small to actually be wrapped up in the blanket.

But now, at five months, she can be kept warm in the olive alpaca.  So because it’s way more fun to look at a baby wrapped up in a blanket than a teddy bear (no disrespect, A.G. Bear), here are some photos.

As a note for anyone who knits this project, it’s also a great way to entertain a baby.  In the last three photos above, you’ll see my brother bent over as he (gently) spun his little girl on the floor, swaddled in the blanket.  The hood kept her safely tucked in and she squealed with delight as she swished around on the floor.  Maybe don’t go with alpaca if you’re going to use it as a toy….but definitely get ready for lots of baby laughter.

Stepping up from hoodies with a hooded scarf

My sister lives in sweatshirts because she loves the hood, but of course, she has way more clothes that don’t have hoods.  She needed a way to hood-ify any outfit.  Enter hooded scarf.

This is a super easy pattern and a fairly quick knit.  In fact, I knit it almost in entirety while my family waited at the hospital for my niece to be born (only took her about 6 hours to decide she was ready to make her entrance).  I used the DROPS hooded scarf  in garter pattern with Studio Tricot Cedrone yarn in Taupe.  I highly recommend it.  And I think she would too since she wears it almost every day.

Hooded Baby Blanket

My niece was born on October 3rd.  She is officially 3 weeks old.

And she is in fact the entire reason I decided to learn to knit.  There are just so many cute knit things out there for little ones, I could resist trying my hand at them.

One of her first gifts is a hooded baby blanket made from Misti Alpaca chunky yarn.  I found a pattern on Stitch Me Softly which wasn’t only pretty, it looked like a reasonable project for someone who had just barely learned to knit.

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