Friday, June 13, 2014

A New Knit Hat for Ethan, The Pattern + Avacado Mac & Cheese Recipe

Ethan is a sentimental boy who appreciates and loves what people do for him. Over the years I have knit many a hat for him. When he went to live on the tall ship he did not take any of the hats for fear of loosing them. There is a saying in sailing, "If you love it, leave it at home. If you like it, tether it." I told him that I would be happy to make a new hat for him, after all, if he looses it, I would just make another one. So, once we knew Larr would be going out to visit him, Ethan put in a request for a new hat. He wanted something simple, light, warm. He wanted a loop so that he could tether it and he would love for it to have an anchor. So, I set off to fulfill his request. I tried two different ways to include an anchor in the knitting, but neither worked out. So in the end I ended up making a very simple hat knit from Malabrigo's "Chapel Stone," a worsted weight pure Merino wool. I wanted something that would fit the time period and be a bit different from his darker colored hats. I love the Malabrigo yarns and I think it was the right choice. I also sewed on a tab that would fit nicely on a carabiner he he wears.

Ethan called to say that the hat is the best one yet. I am not really sure that it is. I liked the multi-tone one that I knit for him in December better. I think his reaction was as much about the love of having something made specially for you by you mom, who you have not seen in many months, as it is about the hat itself. I was thrilled, of course. (I was worried that it would be too large.)

With that in mind, I am including the pattern specifics.

1 skein Worsted Weight Wool
US 5 Double Pointed Needles
US 5 16" Circular Needles
US 7 Double Pointed Needles
US 7 16" Circular Needles
US 3 Double Pointed Needles
Yarn Needle or Crochet Hook, medium size

Cast on 96 stitches onto the US 5 16" circular needles . Knit the first round, with out making a circle. This will help ensure that you do not twist the loop. Once this is done, begin knitting in the round, K2, P2 to create ribbing. Be sure to place a stitch marker at the end. Continue with K2, P2 until you have about 2" of ribbing.

Knit one or two rounds on US 5 16" circular needles, then shift over to the US 7 size circular needles. Continue until the hat is about 8 3/4" or 9". Now knit another row, placing stitch markers every 8 stitches.

Begin the reduction to create the crown at this point. Once you come to a stitch marker, knit two together (k2tog). Continue this for about 3 more rounds. Then switch to the US 5 double pointed needles and continue the reduction until you have 8-10 stitches left on the needles. Cut of the wool, leaving a very long tail. Thread this yarn threw the remaining stitches on the needles, removing the needles as you go. Pull the yarn to cinch the top.

Next, thread the yarn threw the yarn needle. Pull the yarn to the inside part of the hat and turn the hat inside out. Use the yarn and needle (or crochet hook) to stitch the yarn through the stitches at the very top of the hat. Do this in a circular fashion so that it tightens up the reduction stitches. This will help prevent holes at the top of the hat. Finished length should be about 9 1/2" long.

On Wednesday I went in to have a CAT scan. The doctor thinks that my thyroid might be obstructing my trachea, causing me to loose my voice and create a bit of difficulty breathing. The CAT scan should show us what the problem might be. Based on how I feel, I think he is most likely right. I have not had a CAT scan since before Ellie was born. It was a odd, but quick experience. The aid tapped into a vein in my arm. First she ran some saline and then some iodine, which she called a contrast. She warned me that it would feel like I had peed my pants and my did it. That alarming warm feeling spread quickly, but then went away a few minutes later. I was laid out on a moving table into the machine that told me when to breathe, swallow, hold my breathe, etc. It was over in just a few minutes. I am anxious to get the results. I am somewhat concerned, but trying not to worry. I've tried to stay away from looking thyroid problems up on the internet.

Avocado Mac & Cheese
via: Two Peas and Their Pod

10 ounces dry elbow macaroni
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 avocados, peeled and pitted
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
2 cups shredded Pepper Jack cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste
Fresh avocado chunks, for garnish, if desired

1. Bring water to a boil in a large pot. Salt the water and add in macaroni. Stir and cook until Al Dente, about 8-10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

2. While the pasta is cooking, make the avocado sauce by placing the garlic, avocados, lime juice, cilantro, salt and pepper into a food processor or blender. Process until smooth and creamy. Set aside.

3. To make the cheese sauce, place butter in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat. When butter is melted, whisk in flour to create a paste. Whisk in milk until smooth. Stir with a wooden spoon until the sauce starts to thicken. Add in Pepper Jack cheese and stir until cheese is melted and sauce is creamy.

4. Place macaroni in a large bowl. Pour the avocado sauce over the macaroni and stir until well coated. Add the cheese sauce and stir until macaroni is coated and creamy. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve warm. Garnish with fresh avocado chunks, if desired.

Note-the lime juice keeps the avocado from browning. The mac and cheese is best eaten the first day, but it is still good the second day. The pasta may turn slightly brown, but not bad. If you want a milder flavor, you can use Monterey Jack or White Cheddar Cheese.

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