Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Game Day Baseball Sugar Cookies


 I was lucky enough to be San Francisco for a few of the games that inched the Giants into the Championship. What a time for all the stores to be filled with Black and Orange!
I wanted to bring something (other than beer) to a party, so I decided to put together from festive baseball sugar cookies. I used my FAVORITE no-chill sugar cookie recipe (you really don’t have to chill this dough before you roll it out, it’s amazing!) to make some super quick round sugar cookies.

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 cups all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 375°F. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Add baking powder and flour one cup at a time, mixing after each addition. Dough will be stiff. Do not chill dough. Divide dough in half. Roll each half about 1/8 inch thick. Dip cutters into flour before each use. Bake cookies on ungreased cookie sheet on middle rack of oven for 8-12 minutes, or until cookies are lightly browned.
Makes about 36 cookies.



The cookies were white enough (and I was short enough on time) that I just drew on some red stitching and served them. So, depending on how much you love frosting, you can try it either way. Unfortunately all mine got gobbled up before I could snap a photo of them, but here is a little inspiration if you want to whip up a batch. With this awesome no chill dough you could have them done before the first pitch!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Sandoval Panda Hat

In June when my siblings and I took our dad out for our annual Father's Day Giants game I fell in love with the panda hats many of the fans were sporting for Pablo Sandoval (the Panda). After a few beers (okay, maybe more than few beers...) I had sworn to my brother-in-law-to-be that I would knit him one and it would be way better than the one's on sale at the stadium.
Lucky for me, when his birthday rolled around I was in the middle of this hat making kick. I tracked down a pattern online for a men's hat with ear flaps and knit it up in white wool-ease (its warm!). Then with a little creatively used graph-paper I covered some of the stitched with black yarn, attached a pair of ears, and called up my old friendship braid making skills to put a pair of tie-cords on the bottom. When I was visiting family over the weekend I got to see my awesome brother-in-law-be sport it while we drank Big Daddy IPA and watched the Giants take a hit from the braves. I didn't get a picture of him in it, but I'm sure everyone in the bar was jealous.
The good news is that our Giants pulled it off in Atlanta and are making their way towards the series. The better news is that you still have time to make your own Panda Hat to wear before the world series! Below is the pattern I used. I did the whole thing in just a couple of episodes of Project Runway.


Sandoval Panda Hat

Size 6 needles
16” size 9 circular needle

Earflap 1.
On size 6 needles CO 6.
Row 1: Knit.
Row 2: Purl
Row 3: K1, K front and back, K to last 2 stitches, K front and back, K1 (2 sts increased; 8 sts)
Row 4: Purl
Row 5: Knit
Rows 6- 25: repeat last 4 rows 5 times (18 sts)
Row 26: K front and back, purl to last stitch, K front and back (2 sts increased; 20 sts)
Move to stitch holder.

Earflap 2.
On size 6 needles CO 6.
Row 1: Knit.
Row 2: Purl
Row 3: K1, K front and back, K to last 2 stitches, K front and back, K1 (2 sts increased; 8 sts)
Row 4: Purl
Row 5: Knit
Rows 6- 25: repeat last 4 rows 5 times (18 sts)
Row 26: Purl
Row 27: K front and back, knit to last stitch, K front and back (2 sts increased; 20 sts).
Move to circular needle.

Using backwards loop method CO 14 sts. Transfer earflap 1 to circular needle and knit across connecting to cast on sts. Using backwards loop method CO 14 sts on the other side of earflap 1. Place marker. Join new sts to earflap 2 to complete the circle. You should now have 14 sts between each earflap (68 sts on needle).

Knit in the round until hat measures 4.5 inches from newly casted on sts. For next row K 12, place marker, K 11, place marker, K 11, place marker, K 12 place marker, K 11 place marker, K 11 place marker. You should now have 6 evenly spaced markers. Begin decreasing as follows.

Row 1: K2tog, K to marker, K2tog, K to marker, K2tog, K to marker, K2tog, K to marker, K2tog, K to marker, K2tog, K to marker (decreased 6 sts; 62 sts).
Row 2: Knit
Row 3: K2tog, K to marker, K2tog, K to marker, K2tog, K to marker, K2tog, K to marker, K2tog, K to marker, K2tog, K to marker (decreased 6 sts; 56 sts).
Row 4: Knit
Row 5: K2tog, K to marker, K2tog, K to marker, K2tog, K to marker, K2tog, K to marker, K2tog, K to marker, K2tog, K to marker (decreased 6 sts; 50 sts).
Row 6: Knit
Row 7: K2tog, K to marker, K2tog, K to marker, K2tog, K to marker, K2tog, K to marker, K2tog, K to marker, K2tog, K to marker (decreased 6 sts; 44 sts).
Row 8: Knit
Row 9: K2tog, K to marker, K2tog, K to marker, K2tog, K to marker, K2tog, K to marker, K2tog, K to marker, K2tog, K to marker (decreased 6 sts; 38 sts).
Row 10: K2tog, K to marker, K2tog, K to marker, K2tog, K to marker, K2tog, K to marker, K2tog, K to marker, K2tog, K to marker (decreased 6 sts; 32 sts).
Row 11: K2tog, K to marker, K2tog, K to marker, K2tog, K to marker, K2tog, K to marker, K2tog, K to marker, K2tog, K to marker (decreased 6 sts; 26 sts).
Row 12: K2tog, K to marker, K2tog, K to marker, K2tog, K to marker, K2tog, K to marker, K2tog, K to marker, K2tog, K to marker (decreased 6 sts; 20 sts).
Row 13: K2tog, K to marker, K2tog, K to marker, K2tog, K to marker, K2tog, K to marker, K2tog, K to marker, K2tog, K to marker (decreased 6 sts; 14 sts).
Row 14: K2tog, K to marker, K2tog, K to marker, K2tog, K to marker, K2tog, K to marker, K2tog, K to marker, K2tog, K to marker (decreased 6 sts; 8 sts).

Remove markers. Cut yarn leaving tail and tread through remaining stitches. Pull tightly to close hole. Weave in ends.

Ears (make 2)
Using 2 strands worsted weight black yarn CO 10 sts on size 8 needles.
Row 1: k2, p6, k2
Row 2: p2, k6, p2
Row 3: k2, p6, k2
Row 4: p2, K2tog, K2tog, K2tog, p2
Row 5: k2, p3, k2
Row 6: p1, P2tog, k1, P2tog, p1
Row 7: k2, p1, k2
Row 8: P2tog, p1, P2tog
Row 9: Bind off all sts. 

Use this pattern (O is white, X is black) to embroider the panda face on it.  I started the nose 6 rows up from the cast on. 

OOOOXXOOOOOXXOOOO
OOOXXXXOOOXXXXOOO
OXXXXXXOOOXXXXXXO
XXXXXXXOOOXXXXXXX
XXXXXOOOOOOOXXXXX
OXXXOOOOOOOOOXXXO
OOXOOOOOOOOOOOXOO
OOOOOOXXXXXOOOOOO
OOOOOOXXXXXOOOOOO
OOOOOOOXXXOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOXOOOOOOOO


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Pumpkin hats for fall.

I wrapped up all my pre-engagement party crafts just in time to start a new semester and find myself too busy to make many good messes. Luckily, I got in two cupcakes in August because September was a wash! The one thing I did find time to work on during my busy first month of school was my knitting. Inspired by the episode of Project Runway where the designers had to put together a look to complement a designer hat (and inspired by my recent move to try to do something with my yarn stash) I started in on baby hats. 
To get in the fall spirit I made a couple of tiny "pumpkin head" hats. I made one for my adorable little cousin Lilja who is growing so quickly I can't keep up with her, and one for my good friend's brand new nephew Oliver. They were both simple little hats knit on double pointed needles in the round. The newborn size was 63 stitches worked in a knit 8 pearl 1 rib in size 3 needles. The toddler size (yep, toddler size at 8 months, oh my!) was 72 stitches worked in the same 8/1 rib on size 5 needles. The "stems" are easy to make by switching to green with 8 stitches left on your needles and working evenly for 4 rows before decreasing 4 stitches, then 2 stitches, then binding off. I've been anxiously awaiting updates from both so I could get this blog together.
Lilja's mom and grandmother passed along a photo of her in her festive little hat last week. I can hardly believe how big she's gotten!
Yesterday, baby Oliver was born (congrats to Aunt Caroline)! His little hat has to make it all the way to France, so I'm not expecting a picture any time soon, but luckily I snapped a few before I sent it.