Thursday, January 9, 2020

Why Bottom-Up?

As I finish preparing the first draft of "Hedgewood", some of you may wonder if this is a top-down or bottom-up design. Well, it's the latter. Why? It's simple--cable patterns are much, much easier to decrease as opposed to increase. (For some discussion of how to decrease in cables, see this tutorial.) I know it's more difficult to get body and sleeve lengths just right when working bottom-up, but trust me that it's worth it for this type of sweater. To make your sizing more predictable, use an existing sweater you like (can be RTW) as a template, and make sure to take time to wet block both body and sleeves before the big join for the upper body. Cable patterns are essentially ribbing and will grow horizontally and possibly vertically when blocked. Using a non-superwash treated wool will also add some additional predictability protection.
Still no snow to speak of on the ground in this neck of the woods. All that wintry weather back in early November was a false alarm. The lake is still open. I'm still not complaining. Any day in January when you can walk out the door in shoes, not boots, is a good day.
Finally, here are a couple of my holiday makes in the cooking department. First, mincemeat pie (vegetarion filling, from an old, old edition of Laurel's Kitchen). I make this every year for Xmas dinner dessert, and my family might disown me if I didn't. The pastry is my usual oil version.

Second, shortbread. Mary Berry's as the recipe appeared last month in the Washington Post.

 Perfect for when you have two sticks of butter that need to get used up.