so I'm piping away and things are going fairly smoothly, and then all of a sudden my frosting stops coming out evenly and starts to shoot out at an angle and in little spurts. what is wrong? I'm using the buttercream dream
Sounds like you have a little "chunk" of something clogging a bit of the tip. You need to wash out your tip.
Definitely a little chunk. This happens to me when I'm using a #1 or #0 tip, especially with chocolate frosting (sometimes I'm too lazy to sift my cocoa powder)
Do not be afraid to mix your icing for as much as 10 minutes on low speed to eliminate those lumps.
OR: strain thru a knee high stocking
Put the stocking on y9ur hand like a glove; fill palm w/icing; peel the stocking off so it turns inside out enclosing the icing in; push it all the way down and thru.
You will never have another clog again if you strain
What kakeladi said about straining...
An alternative (I sometimes have to use for RI, because the sugar I use can sometimes clog the fine tip, even when sieved several times and mixed well) is to use a coupler and put the piece of stocking between the tip and the coupler - the icing will get strained and is usually not as messy to use as straining it the described way. But you have to use coupler.