Samstag, 9. Dezember 2017

Bonus: Tannenbäumchen Christmas Cookies

Don't worry. I promise I won't become a food blogger :) But this recipe went so nicely with the Tannenbäumchen Potholders that I couldn't resist. So here - for the first time - is a recipe for christmas cookies.
These cookies are not too sweet and they have the fine Matcha taste, that I love. Furthermore, the green color makes them look like christmas trees (or Tannenbäumchen in german :).
Depending on the type of margarine and the white chocolate you use, the cookies can even be vegan.





Ingredients
  • 200 grams of flour
  • 10 grams of Matcha powder
  • 70 grams of confectioners' sugar
  • 130 grams of margarine
  • 2 table spoons of cold green tea
  • white chocolate coating (couverture) - plain white chocolate will do as well
The knitting pattern for the potholder is available here

Directions
  • Mix the dry ingredients (flour, Matcha powder & icing sugar together).
  • Add margarine and tea. Knead until it forms a smooth dough.
  • Form into a ball, wrap with clingfilm and let it rest in the fridge for at least one hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  • On a floured surface (or between two sheets of baking paper), roll the dough out to about 5mm thickness. 
  • Cut cookies with tree shaped cookie cutter - or cut your dough into triangles with an acute angle. 
  • Bake about 12 to 14 minutes - but keep an eye on them since they burn easily.
  • When the cookies are cooled, melt the chocolate coating and decorate the your cookies and wait till the chocolate sets.
    As you can see on all photos, my piping skills are non-existent - however, I melted the chocolate in a freezer bag and cut a small hole into one of the corners and decorated with this makeshift piping bag. So, the use of a real piping bag might have helped ... 


Freitag, 8. Dezember 2017

Tannenbäumchen Potholder

I love baking for christmas. Apart from the result - sweet cookies - there is also the experience of making them with your own hands and it makes your home smell lovely. This experience can even be more fun, if you have a bit of christmas themed equipment - like these lovely potholders with a christmas tree motif.
This potholder is knitted in a combination of short rows and intarsia. That way you don't have too many ends to weave in and the WS of the piece looks presentable


As to the name, Tannenbäumchen is the german word for a small christmas tree - or fir tree to be exact.

Creative Commons License
This work by Knitting and so on is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.






Materials
  • a total of about 30 grams of DK weight cotton yarn - about 10 grams of C2 (color of Xmas tree) and 20 grams of C1 (background color)
  • 3.5 mm needles - if you use yarn of a different weight, use a needle that is one size below the size that the yarn calls for
  • scrap yarn for provisional CO
  • a tapestry needle for grafting and to weave in ends


Techniques & Notation
  • Throughout the pattern, the following notation is used:  C1 (k4), C2 (k10, w+t, k10), C1 (k to end) means, knit 4 stitches in C1, change to C2 and knit 10 sts, do a wrap and turn, knit 10 stitches and then change back to C1 and k to end. I.e. color is indicated before the knitting instructions for that yarn and the knitting instructions for that yarn are given in brackets after the color. 
  • Short rows with wrap and turn (w+t) - as shown in this YouTube video by Very Pink Knits.
    Even though this potholder is knit in garter stitch, I picked up the wraps, i.e. two wraps that are on top of each other. Here's a YouTube video that shows how to pick up your wraps (also by Very Pink Knits).
  • Note: in some rows the wrap has to be made just at the color change in the row below, e.g. Ridge B11 where you knit 11 sts in C1 and the 12 stitch that is to be wrapped was knitted in C2. In this case, it's advisable to change the color (as if to knit the next stitch in the new color), wrap and turn in the new color, and then to change back. This gives nicer color edges.
  • Provisional CO: My favorite method for a provisional CO is the crochet provisional CO - it is shown in this Youtube video by New Stitch a Day.
  • Grafting in Garter Stitch: A technique to get an invisible (knitted) seam - this technique is shown in this YouTube Video by knittinghelp.com. 
  • Weaving in (ends) while knitting: as shown in this YouTube video by So, I make stuff. This technique is used here to carry yarn of another color to point further along in your row while avoiding a long float.
  • Weaving in yarn while carrying it back: Draw a long loop of C2 (white in the illustration) to the point closer to the beginning of the rowwhere you want to knit it (picture 1). This gives you a really long float. Knit the first stitch (picture 2). Before knitting the second stitch, catch the float by put the left hand needle under the float (picutre 3) and then knit the stitch with your working yarn as usual. If you catch the float every second stitch, the WS will look as shown in picture 4. (This is a bit like catching floats in stranded knitting as shown in this YouTube video by Knit Purl Hunter.)
    The last two techniques (this and weaving in (ends) while knitting) will are used to avoid a long float that runs parallel to your knitting - and to avoid cutting your yarn. 
  • Click to enlarge
Construction
This potholder is knitted in 5 parts. It starts with a provisional CO. Then each row is a stitch shorter than the last one, One part ends, when the row is only 1 stitch (plus 1 w+t) long - then the next part begins and each row is one stitch longer than the last one until all stitches are knitted and we've sucessfully knitted around a corner. Then the row length is getting shorter again for the next corner. 
After knitting around four corners and the two sides (CO and last row) are grafted in garter stitch.


Size
With DK yarn, the piece measures about 17 cm x 17 cm.


Instructions
With scrap yarn provisionally CO 17 stitches

Part A:
Setup row A0 (WS): C2 (k12), C1 (k5)
Ridge A1: C1 (k6), C2 (k10, w+t, k10), C1 (k6)
Ridge A2: C1 (k7), C2 (k8, w+t, k8), C1 (k7)
Ridge A3: C1 (k8), C2 (k6, w+t, k6), C1 (k8)
Ridge A4: C1 (k9), C2 (k4, w+t, k4), C1 (k9)
Ridge A5: C1 (k10), C2 (k2, w+t, k2), C1 (k10)
Ridge A6: C1 (k11), C2 (w+t), C1 (k10)
Ridge A7: C1 (k10, w+t, k10)
Ridge A8: C1 (k9, w+t, k9)
Ridge A9: C1 (k8, w+t, k8)
Ridge A10: C1 (k7, w+t, k7)
Ridge A11: C1 (k6, w+t, k6)
Ridge A12: C1 (k5, w+t, k5)
Ridge A13: C1 (k4, w+t, k4)
Ridge A14: C1 (k3, w+t, k3)
Ridge A15: C1 (k2, w+t, k2)
Ridge A16: C1 (k1, w+t, k1)

Part B:
Ridge B1: C1 (k1, w+t, k1)
Ridge B2: C1 (k2, w+t, k2)
Ridge B3: C1 (k3, w+t, k3)
Ridge B4: C1 (k4, w+t, k4)
Ridge B5: C1 (k5, w+t, k5)
Ridge B6: C1 (k6, w+t, k6)
Ridge B7: C1 (k7, w+t, k7)
Ridge B8: C1 (k8, w+t, k8)
Ridge B9: C1 (k9, w+t, k9)
Ridge B10: C1 (k10, w+t, k10)
Ridge B11: C1 (k11), C2 (w+t), C1(k11)
Ridge B12: C1 (k11), C2 (k1, w+t, k1), C1 (k11)
Ridge B13: C1 (k10), C2 (k3, w+t, k3), C1 (k11)
Ridge B14: C1 (k14 - over the last 4 sts carry C2 back and weave it in), C2 (w+t), C1 (k14)
Ridge B15: C1 (k13), C2 (k2, w+t, k2), C1 (k13)
Ridge B16: C1 (k12), C2 (k4, w+t, k4), C1 (k12)
Ridge B17: C1 (k11), C2 (k6, w+t, k6), C1 (k11)
Ridge B18: C1 (k10), C2 (k6, w+t, k6), C1 (k10)
Ridge B19: C1 (k9), C2 (k6, w+t, k6), C1 (k9)
Ridge B20: C1 (k8), C2 (k6, w+t, k6), C1 (k8)
Ridge B21: C1 (k7), C2 (k6, w+t, k6), C1 (k7)
Ridge B22: C1 (k11 - over the last 4 sts carry C2 back and weave it in), C2 (k1, w+t, k1), C1 (k11)
Ridge B23: C1 (k10), C2 (k1, w+t, k1), C1 (k10)
Ridge B24: C1 (k9), C2 (k1, w+t, k1), C1 (k9)
Ridge B25: C1 (k8), C2 (k1, w+t, k1), C1 (k8)
Ridge B26: C1 (k7), C2 (k1, w+t, k1), C1 (k7)
Ridge B27: C1 (k6), C2 (k1, w+t, k1), C1 (k6)
Ridge B28: C1 (k5), C2 (k1, w+t, k1), C1 (k5)
Ridge B29: C1 (k4), C2 (k1, w+t, k1), C1 (k4)
Ridge B30: C1 (k4), C2 (w+t), C1 (k4)
Ridge B31: C1 (k3, w+t, k3)
Ridge B32: C1 (k2, w+t, k2)
Ridge B33: C1 (k1, w+t, k1)



Part C:
Ridge C1: C1 (k1, w+t, k1)
Ridge C2: C1 (k2, w+t, k2)
Ridge C3: C1 (k3, w+t, k3)
Ridge C4: C1 (k4), C2 (w+t), C1 (k4)
Ridge C5: C1 (k4), C2 (k1, w+t, k1), C1 (k4)
Ridge C6: C1 (k4), C2 (k2, w+t, k2), C1 (k4)
Ridge C7: C1 (k4), C2 (k3, w+t, k3), C1 (k4)
Ridge C8: C1 (k4), C2 (k4, w+t, k4), C1 (k4)
Ridge C9: C1 (k4), C2 (k5, w+t, k5), C1 (k4)
Ridge C10: C1 (k4), C2 (k6, w+t, k6), C1 (k4)
Ridge C11: C1 (k4), C2 (k7, w+t, k7), C1 (k4)
Ridge C12: C1 (k4), C2 (k8, w+t, k8), C1 (k4)
Ridge C13: C1 (k4), C2 (k9, w+t, k9), C1 (k4)
Ridge C14: C1 (k4), C2 (k10, w+t, k10), C1 (k4)
Ridge C15: C1 (k4), C2 (k11, w+t, k11), C1 (k4)
Ridge C16: C1 (k4), C2 (k12, w+t, k12), C1 (k4)
Ridge C17: C1 (k4), C2 (k13, w+t, k13), C1 (k4)

The middle of ridge C17 is also the middle of the potholder. From this point on, you have to knit the same rows in reverse order

Ridge C18 = Ridge C16
Ridge C19 = Ridge C15
Ridge C20 = Ridge C14
Ridge C21 = Ridge C13
...
Ridge C32 = Ridge C2
Ridge C33 = Ridge C1

Part D: Part B in reverse order
Ridge D1 = Ridge B33
Ridge D2 = Ridge B32
Ridge D3 = Ridge B31
...
D12 = B22, but carry the C2 yarn backwards and weave it in
...
D24 = B14, but carry the C2 yarn backwards and weave it in
...
Ridge D32 = Ridge B2
Ridge D33 = Ridge B1

Part E: Part A in reverse order
Ridge E1 = Ridge A16
Ridge E2 = Ridge A15
...
Ridge E15 = Ridge A2
Ridge E16 = Ridge A1

Take out your scrap yarn of the provisional cast on and put the live stitches on a knitting needle. Cut your yarns but leave tails long enough for grafting.
Graft in garter stitch: 5 sts in C1 and 12 sts in C2.

After grafting there is still a small hole in the middle of the piece - you can sew this closed with your C2 yarn tail. Sew in ends afterwards.

Chart
The chart below shows one half of the potholder. The numbers indicate the number of stitches per color of each ridge. The green number gives the stitches in C2 and the black number the stitches in C1.



Freitag, 1. Dezember 2017

Snowy Xmas Tree

The day after tomorrow is the first sunday of advent. To get in the mood for Christmas, knit yourself a lovely little ornament to decorate your home. This adorable little Christmas tree is available in two sizes. This project is great to use up some scrap yarn you may have leftover from a bigger project. The trees knit up quickly and you may even learn a new techique while knitting them - such as short rows or intarsia. The pattern contains instructions for a smaller and a bigger tree - both written and as a chart.
Further patterns for Christmas ornaments on my blog are the Garter Stitch Christmas Gnomes the Little Christmas Trees I published last year. Or - if you want to knit a pair of christmassy fingerless gloves, there are Zimtstern Mitts or Xmas Stary Mitts.



Creative Commons License
This work by Knitting and so on is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.





Materials
  • leftovers of green and white yarn - I used (really) old DK weight yarn (the bigger tree weighs 12 grams and the smaller one 8 grams)
  • knitting needles that are slightly smaller than what the yarn calls for, I used 2.5 mm dpns
  • a third needle for the three needle BO 
  • scrap yarn for provisional CO
  • a crochet hook for provisional CO

Techniques & Notation
  • Provisional Cast on (pCO): My favorite method for a provision CO is the crochet provisional CO - it is shown in this Youtube video by New Stitch a Day.
  • Intarsia: Changing colors with the intarsia technique - as shown in this YouTube video by knitwithpat; or this YouTube video by Francoise Danoy. That way you don't have to carry long strands on the WS.
    To explain the notation used in this pattern, here's an example of a typical row: "Gr (k14), Wh (k3, w+t, k3), Gr (k14)" means, k14 sts in green, change to white, k3 sts in white, wrap and turn, k3 sts in white, change back to green an k14 sts in green. 
  • Short rows with wrap and turn (w+t): as shown in this YouTube video by Very Pink Knits.
  • Three Needle Bind Offhttps://youtu.be/Ph93jWSzTa0
    The picture below shows how the piece looks before the three-needle BO.



Instructions

Bigger Tree

With scrap yarn pCO 30 stitches, then start with your working yarns
Row 0 (Set-up row): Wh (k15), Gr (k15)
Ridge 1: Gr (k18), Wh (k2, w+t, k2), Gr (k18)
Ridge 2: Gr (k8, w+t, k8)
Ridge 3: Gr (k12), Wh (k10, w+t, k10), Gr (k12)
Ridge 4: Gr (k4, w+t, k4)
Ridge 5: Gr (k10, w+t, k10)
Ridge 6: Gr (k20), Wh (k6, w+t, k6), Gr (k20)
Ridge 7: Gr (k16, w+t, k16)
Ridge 8: Gr (k20, w+t, k20)
Ridge 9: Gr (k17), Wh (k11, w+t, k11), Gr (k17)
Ridge 10: Gr (k12, w+t, k12)
Ridge 11: Gr (k20, w+t, k20)
Ridge 12: Gr (k2, w+t, k2)
Ridge 13: Gr (k12, w+t, k12)
Ridge 14: Gr (k6, w+t, k6)
Ridge 15: Gr (k15), Wh (k15, turn, k15), Gr (k15)

Knit these ridges a total of 3 times. but only knit the RS for the last ridge.

Finishing: Put the stitches from the provisional CO on a knitting needle. Hold the piece rights sides together and do a three needle bind off. Bind off 15 stitches with green yarn, and 15 stitches with white yarn. Afterwards, turn the piece right sides out. Use a pen or something similar to get into the top.

Here's a chart of the bigger tree: each line is one ridge, i.e. two rows of garter stitch. The first number gives the number of stitches in white and the second number the number of stitches in green. The grey dotted vertical lines are included every 10th stitch to make counting easier.

Chart for bigger tree - click to enlarge





Smaller Tree

With scrap yarn pCO 24 stitches, then start with your working yarns
Row 0 (Set-up row): Wh (k12), Gr (k12)
Ridge 1: Gr (k10), Wh (k6, w+t, k6), Gr (k10)
Ridge 2: Gr (k14, w+t, k14)
Ridge 3: Gr (k4, w+t, k4)
Ridge 4: Gr (k15), Wh (k5, w+t, k5), Gr (k15)
Ridge 5: Gr (k8, w+t, k8)
Ridge 6: Gr (k18, w+t, k18)
Ridge 7: Gr (k10, w+t, k10)
Ridge 8: Gr (k13), Wh (k9, w+t, k9), Gr (k13)
Ridge 9: Gr (k6, w+t, k6)
Ridge 10: Gr (k12, w+t, k12)
Ridge 11: Gr (k2, w+t, k2)
Ridge 12: Gr (k12), Wh (k12, turn, k12), Gr (k12)

Knit these ridges a total of 3 times. but only knit the RS for the last ridge.

Below you find a chart of the smaller tree.

Chart for smaller tree - click to enlarge

Finishing: Put the stitches from the provisional CO on a knitting needle. Hold the piece rights sides together and do a three needle bind off. Bind off 12 stitches with green yarn, and 12 stitches with white yarn. Afterwards, turn the piece right sides out. Use a pen or something similar to get into the top.