Povitica, aka swirls of awesome

A few weeks ago, I stumbled across the Great British Bake Off on Netflix and fell in love. Compared to American reality television, everyone’s so nice! Bakers who are kicked off at the end of an episode get hugs and “I’m sorry” and “you’re going to be great!” instead of “pack your whisks and go” or “give me your apron.” It’s the best.

Also: the food looks amazing. Especially the food from this episode, which introduced me to the wonder that is povitica.

Povitica is (apparently) a “Eastern European sweet bread [that] is traditionally served at Christmas, but [that] makes a delicious tea time treat at any time of the year.”

It’s also one of the coolest-looking breads I’ve ever seen. Check this out:


I did some obsessive googling after watching the show and found out that some of the most well-known povitica in America comes from a bakery not too far from where I grew up. The bakery shows off how it’s made in this video:

After waffling a bit over whether I could ever roll dough that thin and how I would possibly find space on my apartment countertops and if I’d be able to spread out the filling and roll up the dough without making a giant mess, I decided last night to give things a shot, using the quarter version of this recipe (the full version makes FOUR LOAVES, so be careful, there).

I don’t think I’ve ever been as proud as when I pulled this out of the oven:


Stegosaurii No. 3 and 4

Four down and one to go! I finished Number 3 under the watchful eyes of its recipient, who saw me working on it and proclaimed, “Is that my dinosaur? I think it’s for me because I love it so much.”

Excellent logic, kid, though the pressure may have gotten to me:

pink dino

I was able to squish the other foot on without too much trouble, so all is well.

pink dino

I wrapped up Number 4 on Wednesday, mere hours too late to make the cut-off for mailing it to my nephew in time for his birthday. (It’s on its way!)

teal dino

teal dino

teal dino

I’m still struggling with the best way to sew on the plates: I’ve experimented with wrapping excess yarn around the base of the plate to add stability (and cover up awkward stitching), but I’m not sure this is best. I’ve read rumors of people on Ravelry who knit the feet and plates directly onto the body, which I haven’t yet had the gumption to try. I’ve already knit everything for Number 5, so experimentation along these lines will have to wait for another round of babies/birthdays (or requests from dinosaur-loving adults).

Pattern: Katie Boyette’s Dinosaur Jr. on Ravelry

My Ravelry notes are here: pink dino, teal dino

A Hat for Greta

My parents own a garden statue named Greta, a replica of one my mom’s parents owned when she was young. It stands near our fireplace, where over the years it’s been an imaginary friend to several young children and a source of mild amusement to the rest of the family.

Last winter, while I was making a long list of 2015 projects in order to atone for my sub-par pre-Christmas creative productivity, I decided I would make Greta a festive hat to spruce her up for the holidays. She hangs out with the Christmas stockings and the fairy lights at my parents’ house every December—the least she can do is dress up a little, no?

A hat for Greta

The pattern is the Scrappy Gnome Hat from Melody Lisa. I made the adult size because I thought Greta’s stone headscarf might make her head too big for the child size, but in retrospect, the smaller size would have been better—even on me, the hat is gigantic. I suspect I’m a looser knitter than the pattern author.

2015-08-31 21.18.13

I used a 13” circular (29” long) instead of DPNs, using the magic loop method. I think I may have preferred DPNs (or a longer cable), but I was buying supplies in a rush, and the Michael’s I was at didn’t have a great selection. I also improvised a stitch marker from a paper clip (bow to my resourcefulness, o readers)!

2015-09-01 07.49.29

The hat came together in a couple of hours: I started working on it around 7:00 last night and finished by 11:00, with a few long-ish breaks in the middle. The instructions claim, “It also knits up extremely quick. Like, need a gift for tomorrow? This is the way to go,” and I found that to be totally 100% accurate.

I now have visions of knitting one for every member of my family (cats included), mostly for the holiday photo LOLS. If this ends up happening, I promise to report back.

A Squad of Stegosauruses

Sweater and leg warmer knitting has fallen by the wayside over the past month—it’s starting to get hot enough here that all I want to do after work is lock myself in the bedroom with the window AC and try not to melt.

In my search for compact, lightweight, not overly complicated knitting projects that didn’t involve sitting under piles of wool, I decided to embark upon a mission: knit a squad of dinosaurs.

Why dinosaurs, you ask? Because they’re awesome. Why a full squad? This summer coincides with the pregnancies of two friends and the birthdays of all three of my niblings, meaning I have five opportunities to make a tiny kid’s day with a squishy, fuzzy, wondrously plated knit stegosaurus.

Dino #1

I had high hopes of cranking all five dinos out and then doing a cute photoshoot with an artfully handcrafted jungle-themed background, but then I realized: a) I’m not that kind of blogger; b) I already gave one away; and c) ain’t nobody got time for that.

Instead, I present you with a handful of iPhone photos of (adorably!) disembodied dino parts:

Dino head

Dino feet

Dino feet

Dino head

Watching these take shape has been so fun. Right now, I’ve finished three of the bodies and am partway through the second set of feet/plates. I’m getting great practice working with double-pointed needles, and they’re so cute that I can’t stop myself from AWWWWWWWWWING every now and then. Which I’m sure thrilled the other knitters at brunch a couple of weeks ago.

Pattern: Katie Boyette’s Dinosaur Jr. on Ravelry

My Ravelry notes are here: Dinosaur Jr. #1

Bonus: a very detailed discussion of appropriate dinosaur terms of venery!

Super bonus: fascinating Wikipedia article on the Bone Wars of dinosaur fossil discovery