Thursday, June 17, 2010

TeaCake Knitters... promised, but a bit late! Chocolate cake is always better late than never if you ask me!
My plan is to make a colorway from the tea we drink each month (see photo below) and have a sock yarn club,  and include the tea with the yarn. I'm not sure about the market for this yet. I have a colorway from this tea already, a photo below as well.
Best Ever Chocolate Cake
2 Cups flour
2 Cups sugar
2/3 Cup baking cocoa
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 Cup milk
1/3 Cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 Cup brewed coffee, room temperature (I stick an ice cube in to help it cool down) Igor makes coffee for me from freshly ground beans. Way better than instant!

Combine the dry ingredients. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla and beat for 2 minutes. Stir in coffee (batter will be thin). Pour into greased baking pans. 9x13 or 2 9 inch rounds. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes.

Ganache Frosting
5 oz dark chocolate (Lindt is the best!)
5 oz milk chocolate
1 1/4 Cup heavy cream
2 Tbls corn syrup
2 Tbls butter
Bring the cream and corn syrup to a simmer and pour over chopped chocolate, let sit for 2 minutes. Add butter and whisk. Cool to room temperature and frost the cake.

We drank fantastic tea, one of my personal favorites; Swiss Vervaine from Teavana.

It was so much fun to use my tea set that I purchased in Russia on my first trip. I haven't had many opportunities to use it, especially with company and everyone loved it! It really makes drinking tea a delight!

We started the evening off with of course the tea and cake, then I gave a short education on yarn weights. Everyone thought it was very informative and can't wait to learn more next month. (We'll be learning about yarn types, protein, cellulose, etc)

I chose to do yarn weights because when I was learning how to knit I found it somewhat intimidating going into a yarn shop and not knowing what all the different sized yarn was used for and more so what those sizes were, how do we know what size they are if the label doesn't say what it is? (This is one reason why I label my yarn with the weight.)

Here's what my experience tells me with some help from a few good books; nothing is set in stone!

Used to make lace of course!
Yardage: around 800 yards give or take a few hundred!
Gauge: it varies depending on the lace you make, could be large, could be small.  I recommend following the patterns instructions. 

It is the most common weight to make socks with, but really can be used to make anything, gloves, hats, scarves, baby clothing, lightweight sweaters.
Yardage: around 400 yards in a 4 ounce/100 gram skein.
Gauge: 8-9 sts per inch on US 1-2

Commonly used for heavier socks, but as always it can be used for anything.
Yardage: around 340 yards in a 4 ounce/100 gram skein.
Gauge: 6-7 sts per inch on US 2-4

DK, or Double Knitting
Common for making  baby clothes, medium sweaters, again anything you like! I love this weight, it's not too heavy or not to light, it knits up faster than fingering or sport and you still have a fine yarn.
Yardage: around 280 yards in a 4 ounce/100 gram skein.
Gauge: 5-6 sts per inch on US 5-7

Very common sweater and afghan weight. Sometimes referred to as afghan weight.
Yardage: around  220 yards in a 4 ounce/100 gram skein.
Gauge: 5-6 sts per inch on a US 7-8

Commonly interchanged with worsted weight, but a little heavier, but not as heavy as a chunky weight.
Yardage: around 200 yards in a 4 ounce/100 gram skein.
Gauge: 4-5 sts per inch on a US 8-9

Used for heavier sweaters and outdoor gear, heavier accessories. Knits up quickly!
Yardage: around 170 yards in a 4 ounce/100 gram skein.
Gauge: 3-5 sts per inch on a US 8-10

Any yarn that is heavier than a chunky weight.
Yardage: around 100 yards in a 4 ounce/100 gram skein.
Gauge: 2-4 sts per inch on a US 10 or larger

These are just rough estimates and can be mixed up for any given effect or pattern. We thought it was a helpful little guide when shopping for yarn, for example if this yarn says it has 330 yards and is 100 grams, but doesn't say the weight on the label, it's most likely a  sport weight. I hope it is helpful! 

My wonderful husband took the kids on a bike ride to the lake and a park along the way.  David found a strawberry on one of the ladies plates when he got home! He loved it and kept on going back to look for more after I cleaned him up!

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