I made this with an Alpaca/Wool blend that I picked up at the craft store... It was a super quick project, and it doesn't require a pattern. Just go with the flow I say! For this one, I cast on a solid 28 - 32 stitches on my 19mm straight needles (MASSIVE NEEDLES), using 2 strands of chunky weight yarn held together. I just knit back and forth in garter stitch until I ran close to being out of yarn, then bound off and seamed together (without a twist of course. A twist would make it an infinity cowl, not a snood!!). It's fun to just forget the pattern sometimes, and just knit. If you want to make a bulky weight project (like this one) but only have worsted weight yarn, just hold multiple strands of yarn together! Bulky weight yarn tends to be pretty expensive. Worsted weight yarn is not only cheaper, but there are often discounts for buying multiple balls of the same kind, and you get way more yardage per ball!
The Alberta-Tillamook Cabled Hat
I know I write a lot about sourcing local products... but here I go again anyway! I found a wonderful little mill located in Carstairs, Alberta, who spins and dyes local fibres into beautiful yarn, at a really great price! I bought 3 skeins of different kinds of yarn from them, and finally completed my first project made with their yarn! This one is the Prairie Wool Lopi Softspun, and it comes in 33 beautiful colours. This one is called Jade Heather, and is a stunning turquoise with flecks of pink and purple. It's 100% Dorset sheep wool, and it's not the slightest bit itchy and very warm (but will bother someone with sheep-wool sensitive skin). I encourage all of my friends to check out their website, customwoolenmills.com, and browse all of their lovely yarns. I'm very happy with how this hat knitted up (natural wool is the BEST for cabled knitting). The pattern is free on Ravelry, and is called the Tillamook Cabled Hat. I made it a bit slouchier than the pattern called for, so you can wear it with the ribbed brim folded up or left as is for a slouchier look.
Gluten Free, Dairy Free Maple Banana Bread
I love home-baked banana bread. It's so warm and comforting when its -30 outside. Unfortunately my go-to banana bread recipe is loaded with refined sugar and white flour. So this month I'm on a mission to explore other options for my baking. The whole gluten-free trend is interesting to me... it's logical to try and reduce the amount of fluffy white carbs in your life, isn't it? So I found some gluten free flour blend at the grocery store, and decided to make their box recipe a little better... better tasting and a little healthier. This is by no means health food, but it's heads above my standard banana bread recipe. And for all of my celiac friends out there... This one's a MUST try! Here it is:
Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Maple Banana Bread
1/2 cup coconut oil
3/4 cup maple syrup
2 tbsp maple sugar
2 free range organic eggs
1 tsp vanilla
11/2cups mashed overripe bananas (4 medium ones)
11/2 cups all purpose gluten free flour blend (I used presidents choice)
1tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350
With a hand-mixer, whip coconut oil. then add maple syrup and maple sugar. Mix on medium speed. It will be a bit lumpy. Add your 2 eggs and mix on high until well blended. If your eggs and maple syrup were cold, it will still be a bit lumpy. Lastly blend in your vanilla and the mashed bananas. Mix until smooth(ish).
In another bowl, combine your gluten free flour blend, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
Add your flour mixture to your banana mixture and mix gently just until combined. Pour into a greased (I used coconut oil spray) loaf pan. Bake at 350 for 55 to 60 mins. Allow to cool 10 min before slicing.