Friday, October 30, 2015

World's Best Dachshund!

Exactly eight years ago we said goodbye to our family dachshund - Dino.

Just let me tell you: he was an exceptional dog! Smart, independent, always hungry and even more independent. Despite being pretty much earthbound, Dino had no problems with getting on a table top and eating WHOLE cup of sugar. Or levitating to get some leftovers:

Some say that dog lovers can be divided into two groups: dachshund fans and others.
That's probably the main reason why dachsie patterns are so popular on Ravelry.
I run into several, but none of them included any chest-shaping and they reminded me of walking sausages :)

This particular plushie was designed for my flatmate, to resemble her neurotic dachshund "Claw".

Dachshund "Claw"

Gauge: is not important.
Size: using 3,25mm hook gave me about 4inch long dachshund
Abbreviations (in US crochet terms):
sc - single crochet
hdc - half-double crochet
dc - double crochet
sl st - slip stitch
ch - chain
Numbers in  brackets () indicate the number of stitches you should have after finishing each round.


Rnd1: sc 6 into a Magic Loop, (6)
Rnd2: 2sc in each sc, (12)
Rnd3:  hdc, 2hdc in next 2sc, hdc, sc till end (14)
Rnd4-5: sc even (14)
Rnd6: sc, sc2tog, sc2tog, sc till end (12)
Rnd7-13: work sc  (12)          you can adjust your dog length by adding or subtracting rows
Rnd14: *sc in next 3 sc, 2sc in next sc* repeat 3 times (15)
Rnd15: sc even
Rnd16: *sc in next sc, sc2tog* repeat 5 times (10)
Rnd17: sc even (10) Stuff your toy:)
Rnd18: sc2tog around (5)
Rnd19: fold and sc 2 across remaining sts to close the hole (2)


continue work ch9, slst into every ch. and into sts from Rnd19, fasten off,


*Rnd1: sc 6 into a Magic Loop, (6)
Rnd2: *sc in next 2 sc, 2sc in next sc* repeat twice (8)
Rnd3-4: sc even (8) -  if you want a longer snout, add rows here:)
Rnd5: sc and hdc into next sc, hdc and dc into next sc, dc and hdc into next sc, hdc and sc into next sc, sc into last 4 sc (12)
Rnd6-7: sc even (12)
Rnd8: *sc, sc2tog* repeat four times (8)
Stuff now!
Rnd9: sc2tog around (4) Fasten off, sew remaining hole.

Ears - make 2: 

Rnd1: sc4 into Magic Loop
Rnd2: 2sc in each sc (8)
Rnd3: sc even (8)
Rnd4: *sc into next 2 sc, sc2tog* twice (6)
Rnd5: sc even (6) Slst into first st. Fasten off.
Do not stuff, just flatten and sew them on.

Legs - make 4: 

*Rnd1: sc6 into Magic Loop
Rnd2-3: sc even (6) - again length adjustment can be made here:)
Fasten off leaving long tail for sewing.

Sew parts together, make sure that the chest part (shaped with hdcs ind rnd 3 of body) is facing down! Unless you wish to have a hump-backed dachshund:)

If you wish to make a "black-and-tan" version of a dog you should make those rounds with tan yarn. You can also embroider eyebrows, chest-markings and ear edges:) Enjoy!

© Copyright remains with the designer. All rights reserved. Intended for personal use only. Not for commercial use. Selling items made from this pattern is not permitted.
© Copyright M. Machowska - Escherichia, October 2012

PDF for the pattern is available here. Check out other ravelers creations - they are so cute!
I hope you'll enjoy it! 

Have a nice afternoon!


Saturday, October 24, 2015

5:38 AM train.

Two weeks ago I needed to attend a course outside my home town. Lectures started at 8AM so I had to hop out of my bed at 4:45 and catch the 5:38 train.
Since I am unable to sleep while traveling I geared up and was ready for my new project!
The Ten Stitch Corner Blanket by Frankie Brown.

In 2014 I made a classic Ten Stitch Blanket (from Frankie Brown as well).

I loved working 10 stitch rounds! But to be honest, long knitting needles were hard to handle with constant turning and turning... so I decided to make myself a set of short knitting needles.   I didn't want to ruin my only set of 4mm DPNs by gluing beads to one end permanently, so I listened to my Mom's advice and.. tadaaaah:

It says "Prestige"!

Yarn I used is called Merino Gold Batik by Madame Tricote, colorway 802. Package arrived just in time for me to start the first corner during weekend. I got through the hardest part of my work and got to a point where I could safely work without making intellectual effort.

I had troubles with joining rounds and decided to go for a different join. I found it in one of original Ten Stitch projects: this one. It goes like this: slip, pick up, knit picked up and slipped st together. I also slipped 1st stitch knitwise after turning.
It produces a bit bumpy, but nice enough edge:

After a week of traveling back and forth I have one complete corner, and started another:

It turned out to be very autumnal! :)
Speaking of autumn, sadly season for garden-grown tomatoes has come to an end.

But we can enjoy our own quince! Nothing tastes quite like a big cup of tea with quince marmalade.

Now I'm off to enjoy my weekend, and my one extra hour of sleep tonight (we're having daylight saving time). 

Have a nice afternoon!

Saturday, October 17, 2015


And now for something completely different...

I never planned writing food-related posts. But then I thought... cooking is a craft. And it is a vital part of any culture!
I shared my idea with my Sockalong friend - Betina from Tina's Crochet and she got really enthusiastic about it.

Recipe for Polish Pierogi (cheese&potato):

It's a traditional recipe for cheese-potato filled dumplings or as we call it "pierogi ruskie". It can be translated as Russian pierogi.. but it's a bit complicated, since they are not common in Russia. 

NOTE: I did my best to convert it to imperial measures, however remember that proportions are more important than getting the exact weight.
Here's how I do it - this amount was enough to get 72 pierogies:
(and how my Grandma taught me to)


1kg  (2.2lb) of peeled and cooked potatoes, mashed.
500g (1,1lb) of curd cheese (it's also called quark), the one I use looks like this:

2-3 onions chopped and fried on a
~1,5 tablespoon of butter - seriously, use butter, if you don't want to use 100% of it just add a little. It changes the taste entirely!
slat and pepper - don't be afraid of using a bit more slat than usual. It tends to be lost during cooking

Mix ingredients to form a homogeneous mass, I recommend using your own hands to do this.


750g (1,6lb) of flour
~1cup of warm water (I add just a little milk to it) - if dough is too hard add more.
1 egg
salt - just a pinch

Knead until you get a soft, not sticky dough. 
If you're not in a rush, leave it for a couple of minutes wrapped in plastic - it will rest and be easier to handle later. Also keep the part of dough you're not currently using wrapped! 

Now it's time to make yourself some nice pierogies!

Roll the dough - the thinner the better, but bare in mind it has to hold the filling inside, so don't take it too far. It's not worth breaking your rolling pin over it - trust me:

When you're happy with thickness it's time to cut out the sachets. Most people use a glass, and cut out circles. That's the traditional way to do it. But I prefer cutting my pastry into squares - I have less leftovers and my pierogies are triangle :)

If you're using a silicone mat - careful with knives, you might ruin it (like I did a couple years ago)
You can re-knead the leftovers and roll it again!

Then you do this:

Put a piece of filling in the center, fold in half, secure edges by squeezing them together, and add a little frill by pinching edge with your thumb and index finger. 
Be careful not to make holes in your dough. It is also important that edges are not contaminated with filling! This may cause your pierogies to open.

THIS IS CRUCIAL! Always put your finished pierogies on a tray that has a layer of flour on it! Otherwise they will stick and all your hard work will go to waste.

When your done put your pierogies in a boiling slated water. You want to do it carefully! You can also add few drops of oil to the water - so they won't stick. 
When they start floating cook them for about 3-5 minutes,  stirring gently from time to time. Don't let the water boil too hard! 
Try one, and if the edge is good (doesn't taste like raw flour) - you are done! 

You can serve pierogies with sour creme, fried onion, bacon bits and fried onion - pick your favourite. You can also place a tray with pierogies in a freezer, and when they are well frozen, store them in a bag. You then cook them a bit longer!

That's it! 

I hope you enjoyed it. If I managed to spread knowledge about this incredible dish to even one person - I'll be sooo glad!

Have a nice afternoon! 


Thursday, October 8, 2015

Cream Cardi Struggle.

Now I know... I hate knitting garments in pieces. To be more precise: I hate knitting garments that have more than 2 pieces. 
Like my Cream Cardi:

I like where this is going but I will have to frog the top of the left front AGAIN, so that length matches. I am too close to completing the project to just give up, but I lost most of my enthusiasm.
Maybe I need to take a break? I just hope it won't turn into one of my eternal WIPs

My neighborhood got overrun by hedgehogs lately. Since my dog hates them, we often have to evict them from our premises. Last Tuesday I stopped on my way to work and helped one spiky kiddo get across our street, Young hedgehogs are not as half smart as they are cute!

Next week I will have to travel to Katowice by train every day... which raised a need for a new traveler-friendly project!
I'm still waiting for yarn delivery. What worries me a bit is the fact that my parcel got labeled as XXL by the courier. Huh, maybe they sent 40 instead of 4 skeins? I wouldn't mind, really.

I will share with you my traveler friendly project as soon as I lay my hands on those squishy skeins! :3
Until then, here, feast your eyes on my gorgeous sunflower! Yes, that is a single plant. With over 30 flowers.

Have a nice evening!