Friday, December 18, 2015

Friday Finishes: Baby hats a study in pink

I'll be honest with you. I didn't really develop an appreciation for pink until I was an adult. In fact being an *adamant tomboy  I probably overcompensated for it quite a bit. I think around the time I became a mother, when commercials began to make me cry, all small animals found sanctuary in my heart and basically I became a big old softie about the entire world I learned to love pink. Do I think you need to have a kid to appreciate pink? No, I'm not THAT ridiculous. However I think for me, I learned to tap into things of hope and comfort more easily after I did. And that is what pink feels  like or represents for me. Hope and comfort. Like the soft light of winter, like an ocean view peering through the fog, like a Jacob's ladder in the middle of a valley.

'Tis the season people, let me get my squishy self on.

'Tis also the season of little people where a lot of happiness and hope is so innocently expressed.

A friend of mine just had her first baby. A much anticipated girl. She has been unapologetic in her love of pink preparations for this little one and so I thought ... how about a pink hat?

I've been wanting to try this pattern since Kepanie wrote about it.

It's baby bear hat and is knit in what I like to call, "brand spanking new baby" size. Sure I could math some gauge out and make a bigger one but why?

Obviously the kid will want a pink hipster baby hat, right? I've done this pattern before, but full human size. This was another hat I saw Kepanie did for a baby recently and thought, YES! Hipster baby. This Mom is too cool for school, so she gets a baby hip hop dancer hat to boot.

I'm pleased.

*where one must verbally, incessantly remind one's parents when any fashion choices were criticized or suggested including the color pink. Yes I was a handful.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Such lovely surprises

I had come home thinking, Now how do I get the rest of it (holiday/work stuff) done? What is the rest of it? I felt disorganized and the self doubt and the "woe is me" chatter started in the background. (pathetic, but true) and then I opened the mail.

I received not one but two lovely surprises from my Knitter friends for the holidays.

From Kathy B., a Shepard and sheep. Aww. So sweet. I love sheep as many knitters do. These two are still in my knitting corner though the boys think I should move them onto the tree. But it's like having a couple friends to knit with right now :)

The other sweet surprise was from Dee. One of her wonderful cross-stitch ornaments! It has joined some of my other favorites on the tree. Look at that Santa! I want to be good and do good just looking at him :) How can you bah humbug looking at that?

I was saying the other day that ornaments really help bring out the spirit in me. When The Kid and I open the decoration box and decide what we are going to put on (our tree gets smaller every year) there is a joy that comes over both of us.

I love that not only do I have some lovely new ornaments but more stories of friendship as well. I feel just ... happier. The holidays feel fun and not just doable. So thank you again, Kathy and Dee.

*My whole family is grateful.

*Because I'm not such a pinched up pain in their apostrophes now.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

What do you mean the weekend is over?

Good thing there is another one coming.

This weekend I felt like I got a little bit of everything in. The family all farted around together on Friday (Family Friday Fart Around Night ... what this isn't a thing where you live?) and watched a bad movie. This was not of my choice but I had my sock knitting to keep me occupied to some degree. Regardless I feel like I deserve that hour and half of my life back. No I will not tell you what it was.

Saturday The Kid went with the cousins and my husband's parents to see a production of The Little Prince. It was revealed that he is the only cousin who has not read the book, and therefore his "Frenchness" has been downgraded for the time being, ha! 

Since I was child free for the greater part of the day instead of staying home and doing important stuff that should get done, I got my exercise on. Cardio class in the morning a cup of coffee and then I made my way to an adult ballet class. It's been years since I went to one, but it was good, in that glutton for punishment kind of way. It forced me to stretch a few things that have not been stretched ... in years.

Don't worry everyone's got clean underwear and whatnot, I came home and managed some chores. I also tried a new to me slow cooker recipe of Beef Ragu. Martha's bien sur! I really enjoyed it. I opted for the 4 hours on high Saturday Night. then I brought it to a cool, stuck in the fridge, scraped off the congealed fat  and then put in on low for an hour and a half the next day. We shredded it with 2 forks and added the red wine vinegar. My parents came over for it for a lovely Sunday supper and we served it with Parpadelle pasta.

I also tried a glazed lemon bundt cake recipe with half Meyer lemons and half regular (this is a printed recipe so no link :(). This was a big hit. I portioned it out and gave some to my parents and a few of our building neighbors. I'll add this one to the repetoire as well.

I had yesterday off and got a temporary crown so now I continue to chew on one side until next year.
(Could be a lot worse)

 Then we had a knit club birthday chockful of queso and guacamole and bean and cheese quesadillas! Unfortunately birthday girl is taking the picture. Boo!

But wait, here she is while I make goofy faces with Tunnocks tea cakes eyeballs, ha! Always fun with that gang.

And that my friends was an action packed weekend. Tonight I bake cookies for 41 (I've been hoarding cookie dough in my freezer in anticipation) and I continue to focus on holiday socks. Even my hat plans have moved to the back burner to exact maximum enjoyment from holiday sock yarn.

Wishing you good things 'cause that's not just holiday spirit, it's just good spirit.

Friday, December 11, 2015

That's Entertainment: Audiobooks

Well if I haven't completely taken hold of the holiday spirit, the sentimental side of me has kicked in.

I'm pensive but not completely restless. I'm busy, but not too busy to find some time for escapism.


From the author of The One and Only Ivan (which The Kid is still upset I haven't read) is a story of about a Cat friend and what it feels like to have homelessness a factor in one's childhood. The pace can be slow, but it works. I enjoyed listening to this and felt like the narrator captured the imaginative quality of the story very well. It is heart warming and sad at the same time. Be prepared to have a case of the feels. Thumbs up.

All the Light We Cannot See

I know a lot of Knitters have been diving into this book and I have to say I enjoyed it far more than I thought I would've. As hopeless as it made me feel at times I thought the story was very beautiful. I really realize how much I want things to be OK from it. I think I am one of those people in the focus group that wants a happy ending without knowing they want a happy ending. This book makes me think, "quiet strength." I could see this story as it was read aloud. Good stuff.

The Son of Neptune

This is the second book in the Heroes of Olympus series. I told you I wasn't that excited about the first book, The Lost Hero. My son assured me it would get better and he was right. He said The Son of Neptune was his favorite and I see why, it was a much more exciting pace than the previous book and the characters were more likable. We listened in the kitchen a bit doing some test kitchen baking. I thought it was good enough that I will continue checking the audiobook series out from the library.

Insert some book here that I stopped in the middle of it, because OMG I could not pay attention. As you can see, it was so memorable I can't even remember the name of the book. Remember there are NOT enough hours in the day to suffer on ... the insufferable.

The Regatta Mystery

I liked this collection of stories. They weren't as flashy as some of the episodes from PBS but still very enjoyable if you like Agatha Christie. If you are a fan of the PBS shows a huge treat is who this audiobook is narrated by. It's narrated by a bunch of different people! The actors that played Hastings, Hercule Poirot and Ms. Marple herself take turns in a reading, along with another I could not place. Very fun, indeed.

I'm currently in the middle of Station Eleven and enjoying it, though I'm at a part that has required a lot of rewinding. The narrative flips in timeline and character. My husband says that it might be easier to follow if reading, but that's a luxury I don't have right now. I have socks to knit.

Lastly, I can't write that line, That's Entertainment without singing in my head ...

Happy knitting, listening, reading and just about everything else to you.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

A Case of Second Sock Syndrome?

I have been knitting small things as I said I would after the big shawl.

Hats and socks.

However it is the holiday season. Work is a little bonkers.

My family is kind of bonkers.

So I'm going from one mode to the next ... which apparently includes my sock knitting.

In progress, 2 different pairs. Mind the Gap and Gingerbread Socks.

I'm currently focusing on finishing the Gingerbread socks because, hello, 'tis the season. Then I'm moving on to more seasonal socks.

You can blame Woolythyme   and Donna over at Knit1Spin2, flashing all her holiday goodness at me. I couldn't resist when I called the LYS and they confirmed, we have only 4 balls left in stock. Come and get it now...

So I did.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Finished Object Friday: Kid Knits in Action

I'll admit it was a lovely long Thanksgiving weekend. I'm sorry I haven't been able to post sooner, but I was ... doing and having a great time with my family. And this week, well ... I've been working. It's been work to work, if you know what I'm saying.

Anyhow, this little man belongs to my friend, W. I was excited when he was having this other Kid, since I am a huge fan of his #1 already. I knit this sweater in anticipation of his arrival and look! His parents actually put him in it!

I think this whole family is pretty cool beans so I thought I'd try for matching troll hats next.I was a little concerned they would be a bit small since it called for Madelinetosh Chunky and I used worsted...

But my friends put them on their kids to show me they fit!

My friends have some cute kids eh?

I'm inspired and am now working on a set of pink hats for a different set of new parents. Ahh baby love!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Friday Finishes: Twinleaf

It is official. The shawl is done.

I am pretty sure I miscounted somewhere along the way during my wrap and turn adventures (this is for the contrast color stripes) and well ... I kept going. Afterall it's 340 stitches wide. That's a lot of tinking. I think it turned out okay considering all the late night knitting this entailed.

I started it in June because it called for light fingering ... (*please someone tell me is this code word for lace weight or am I hallucinating?) and that seemed easier to knit in the warmer months. I picked it back up in the fall, since it seemed like a practical, functional piece, light but warm wearing. Also, it was a lap cozy, while knitting. heh.

This project got me thinking one day, I'd like just to use the dimensions and do another large stripe or colorblock wrap in the same weight yarn. I just don't think I'll do it anytime soon ;) I need a few small projects of instant gratification.

*Really is this lace or fingering what is this light fingering, it's not really sock weight either,  you know?

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Adventures in Weekend Baking

To tell you I remain busy is putting it lightly.

I am making time for everything fairly well, including myself and being true to myself the best that I can.

Suffice it to say, I'm still exhausted.

I'm still, behind.

I did manage to try that Gluten Free Almond Butter cookie recipe I've had on my list, this weekend. The Kid, allergic to peanuts had his first conceptual taste of a nut butter cookie. He said  it was a winner.

It took some ... work getting there.

For the first sheet, I put a dollop of jam on them in the last 2 minutes, attempting to get that peanut butter and jelly feel. It was tasty, but a hot visual mess, and if there was too much jam, I worried the bit of dough underneath was underdone.

Kinda ugly right? Kinda like a cookie casualty.

The "batter" is very crumbly and requires heavy shaping. Second sheet, I used a cookie baller and then with my hands sort of packed the balls more.

Each batch improved with time. Go easy on the sea salt. But the sprinkle definitely elevates the flavor with the dark chocolate. I'd chop some dried cherries in a batch too, cause, why not. Since the batter is so crumbly I would not put too much of anything in these cookies. One batch only calls for 1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips. See what I mean?

Have you baked or cooked anything new to you recently?

Monday, November 9, 2015

Sweater Weather Challenge

So I admit, I saw this first at ChrisKnits and then at Wandering Cat and of course at Ravell'd Sleeve. The list was so much fun to read, I thought I would give it a go. Turns out not only is it fun to come up with, but it really put me in a seasonal weather spirit.

I realize that my answers border on the holiday/winter/Christmas time or season, but perhaps we should chalk it up to the mild weather we have here.

Sweater Weather Challenge

1.  Favorite Candle Scent:  Christmas Pine (for this season)

2.  Coffee, Tea, or Hot Chocolate:  Coffee and Black Tea. Give it to me with the milk and the sugar if you're feeling generous. 

3.  What Is the Best Fall Memory You Have?  Running up and down the street with my friends at twilight trick or treating.

4.  Best Fragrance for Fall:  The smell of rain.

5.  Favorite Thanksgiving Food:  Stuffing and Gravy. Not necessarily in that order. 

6.  Most Worn Sweater:  Gray Target open Cardigan. Not snazzy, but it wears well with anything. I think it may be about to die out of the work rotation.

7.  Football Games or Jumping in Leaves? Does Football called Soccer count? I like American Football when I have some money on it as in the weekly pick em' pool. (lunch money amounts people, I promise, there is no REAL problem here, move along). I am a city girl now. I would be worried about bug things jumping in leaves now -- but I have really fond memories of raking and jumping at my Aunt Millie's as a kid. 

8.  Favorite Fall Accessory:  Boots and hand warmers. My friend HM gave me these beautiful blue malabrigo hand warmers before I started knitting. I still wear them. I still love them and hand warmers remain some of my favorite gifts to give.

9.  Favorite Type of Pie:  Honestly? I know it's not very fall like, but I love chocolate creme pie, but I also like pumpkin pie ... with lots of whipped cream. Like lots. I like pumpkin pie also for breakfast in the fall. Hmm, maybe the real answer is pumpkin pie. 

10. What Is Fall Weather Like Where You Live?  Real fall here, starts literally November 1st. It becomes crispier in the morning and the middle of the night.  The rest of it is the usual high fifties to high sixties. We used to get this thing called rain every now and again. We don't get so many falling leaves.

11. Favorite Fall Makeup Trend:  I think maybe one is, I wear it? I usually don't, because I think I'm worried I will sweat and smear it and become walking tie-dye. (The old tomboy in me has never really ever recovered from this concern). Anyhow, I definitely wear lip stick/gloss and slap some eyeliner on this time of year for functions. Also I start fussing over pretty sparkly things.

12. What Song Really Gets You in the Fall Spirit?  Anything Ella Fitzgerald.

13. Pumpkin Spice - Worth the Hype?  I am going with general consensus and say, I like it in baked goods and that's about it. Trader Joe's has got me a little freaked out with the amount of Pumpkin Spice items they carry right now. Stop it.

14. Favorite Fall TV Show:  Dunno. Bob's Burgers? Is this a fall show? I feel like they just started a new season. I have accidentally learned to like this odd show, thanks to living with the boy child and his man child father. So condescending sounding, but I really do love them and value their presence and intellect even when it devolves into crass or punny humor. Besides, everyone knows I'm the funny one in the family. No, really!

15. Favorite Fall New TV Show:  Great British Bake Off. Hands down. So sad it's over. I will have withdrawal now.

16. Skinny Jeans or Leggings? I like skinny jeans with boots. or the right shoe? Leggings I get concerned. I need to make a statement right now. Leggings are NOT pants. with a tunic or long shirt or something OK. But ... not you know as pants. 

17. Combat Boots or Uggs?  Combat boots, all day,  any day. Uggs are awful to me. They are like slippers in public. They make short stout girls like me look shorter and stouter and maybe that's your thing, but personally it's not the look I would like to enhance for myself. What really gets me, is here in California  when you see the girls with the denim mini skirts and the Uggs. Come on ladies, is this the ski-lounge or are we going pool side, pick a  team theme! ;) 

18. Halloween: Yay or Nay?  Yay, I say!

19. Fall Mornings or Fall Evenings?  Evenings. Mornings are for weirdos. ;)

20. Feelings About Black Friday:  I am American. I am a consumer more than I should be. But no, I do NOT Black Friday. I try to spread out my holiday shopping/spending as much as possible so I'm not spending a huge amount of money in a short period of time, this takes more organization than you'd think I have. GAP coupons have been good to me this season. Matching jammies for all my little people (at 40% off ...) ha!

21. Favorite Fall Traditions:  Thanksgiving.Thanks for giving me good food for my belly and 4 days off in a row. Yee-haw!

22. Any New Traditions to Start?  I'm going to take a page from The Wandering Cat and say I'd like to ensure I had a getaway or an overnight since my anniversary is in the fall as well. I'm just not huge on pomp and circumstance for all things, and I noticed that my husband likes to celebrate with The Kid too. If there is something in particular I really want to do one year. I try to let him know and when he understands it's importance to me, he usually complies. I think we are low motivation this year. 

23. Favorite Alcoholic Beverage for Fall:  A nice red wine. Nothing too heavy since I like to have my wits about me. But we will usually have something nice on the gathering and celebratory days. Also, I like a little Baileys Coffee with whipped cream or Coffee with Bailey's whipped cream sometimes. Maybe that's more of a Christmas thing?

24. When Should the Holiday Season Start?  The week of Thanksgiving. I would like to say after, but who am I fooling. 

25. Who Do You Love to Spend the Fall With?  My famil. That takes on a lot of shapes between us. It's always a pleasant time.

Thursday, October 29, 2015


This is a detail of a striped thing has been one of the two beasts that I have been working on. Don't let the bulky weight yarn with US13 needles fool you. This blanket (Cast On 75 stitches) has not been a quick knit for me.

Life in the way of hobbies ... again.

It's okay, it's a good life. Perplexing and trying at times, but good.

The other beast still in progress is 340 stitches of Twinleaf shawl. I can't photo her right now, she's a big bulky mess. I have some concerns (based on late night stripe stitch counts) but I'm captain of this knit ship and I say, "Full Steam Ahead!" Give me a week. I'm hoping to finish. Hoping, not promising.

I'm knitting both of these as focused finishes for My Sister's Knitter Fall Knit along. I hope to knit a few more things, but eye on the beasts first!

Anyhow, here are a few other food/baking things I've been enjoying:

Thanks to this fun article, Food in Books in the Guardian, I've been enjoying the author's blog. I'm particularly fascinated by this post. It sends me back to reading about this very delicious sounding treat.

I'm thinking I need to do this almond butter flourless cookie recipe.

But I'm distracted by the idea of a Nutella Brownie Tart. Why hello there!

And I'm not sure why I've been looking at more than one gluten-free product at a time, since my household doesn't have a particular issue. But who cares about gluten if they chocolate cookie is chewy? I might project these this weekend.

Lastly, it was really interesting reading everyone's comments on audiobooks. Katherine's comment in particular was cracking me up:
I have a very simple problem with audiobooks--they put me to sleep. Yes, I can fall asleep standing up, cooking, and definitely knitting (sort of a dream state). I don't know what it is that does it, because I never fell asleep in school during lectures, but it is a sure thing that 10 minutes into an exciting book--zzzzzzzz. I have been trying to listen to 13 Hours In Benghazi but I am failing miserably.
Yes, Katherine, I've had a book or two that I had to let go, because it was giving me the sleepies. As if we don't have enough in life that makes us tired!

Some of you mentioned you prefer Podcasts. I admit, I struggle with these more. The only ones I seem to truly enjoy are about soccer. Funny, right?

I've been checking the audiobooks out with an app called Axis 360. It's not the best, but it gets the job done and seems to work well on Wi-fi. I can't really figure out "where" I am in an overall book, just a chapter, which seems to be more of a grouping not necessarily an actual book chapter and though some users have complained about the bookmarking tool, I have good success rate if I pause first then immediately bookmark. I have not yet used the other app my local library uses, but not having to go into a library to do this is magical I can checkout books using my online account on the computer or on my iPhone. But I do love my new library branch. :) Swoon.

Lastly, despite my love of the holiday spirit. I've decided I'm boycotting Halloween this year. No particular motivation, literally. I just don't feel like dressing up and I don't feel social like that, so ha! But this does not mean I don't think others shouldn't enjoy themselves nor am I looking down upon those that are going to be up to their pumpkin guts in candy and costumes. Enjoy the sweet and enjoy the scary!

Pumpkin spice and everything nice to you and yours :)

Friday, October 23, 2015


Okay, I finally did it. I finally got on the audiobook bus. Everyone was talking about how they can knit and cook and do all these fabulous things while listening.

Well, now I am really into the audiobook. Unlike some multi-taskers I can't read and knit at the same time. So by listening to audiobooks, when I have a chance for downtime I am hoping to knit more. I can even audiobook while I work depending on the task -- though I often have to rewind and listen to huge sections at a time, but that's okay.

Wanna know what I've been listening to? Here we go:

This was my gateway book:

I think this falls into the Thriller genre but personally I like to call this sub-genre, "Trainwreck". Pardon the pun, but it was sort of painfully intriguing to see what bad decisions were being made by many of the characters. Unlike Gone Girl, I had a horse in the race and after discussing with my sister and The Manfriend, we all were cheering for that person who really had the potential to better themselves. We really wanted them to find a way back from the depths of their self sabotage and despair. I also found that when I really disliked the way characters would self excuse and righteously explain their behaviors it was an indicator the author had worked some magic on me. The pace of the story was fast and addictive. The audio narration is really fantastic. It's told by 3 different women. Not just one woman representing 3 different characters. The Girl on the Train may not be for everyone, but not only was it for me, it convinced me I am now an audiobooker.

Next up The Mapping of Love and Death, a Maisie Dobbs novel. I was really sucked into Jacqueline Winspear's novels in the beginning of the series. Since then my adoration has waned a bit. I find the books are hit or miss for me. I enjoyed this one, and I enjoyed revisiting the characters and listening to her develop further aspects of their actual character. Also, I felt that towards the end of this book we might get a chance to see Maisie's character develop a little too beyond this, private detective fiercely independent dog with a bone kind of personality. Not my favorite in the series, but definitely has me queuing up for more. :)


I guess I really wanted a mystery, but I barely remember this one honestly. An Old Betrayal  is another in a series I've been trying to keep up with. I'm not sure what it was about this story that lost me. I think the subplot and the promises of what's to come for some main characters was more interesting to me than the actual investigation. So meh. I'll try the next one.

Now this story, Whistling Past the Graveyard I really enjoyed. I feel bad I cannot remember which knitters, but I know at least two of you had said how much you enjoyed it and well, if I will knit big @ss never ending garter stitch shawls under your influence, surely I am suseptible to your book influence as well. Hey at least it doesn't take as L O N G to get through. "Sweet baby Jesus!" as our main character repeatedly says. In fact, I find myself interjecting that into conversation ... unnecessarily ... too much, now. There were times when I found the pace ... a little drawn, but it works. There was a thickness in the tension of the story told from a child's perspective that works. In fact even some of the repetitiveness which would normally make me twitchy really works with a child narrator. There were a lot of themes in this book that worked for me. Warning another book where you will want to shake some characters, but it's a satisfying story and not the shock writing as I've heard described of GG or GotT. 

And here we are something that is not a thriller or a mystery,  Armada by Ernest Cline, author of "Ready Player One", which I still haven't gotten around to reading yet. I like the Sci-fi even though there is always the reminder that humanity is arrogant and we will probably be the cause of our own destruction in every great Sci fi book. Think Dune series or even Ender's Game. Anyways, this is for the video game friendly (even if just in concept) reader as well. I loved the beginning of this book, even when it rabbit holes into some serious geek theory territory. I love the allusions that even the main character's mother makes to things such as Lord of the Rings (movie and book versions) and Star Wars and Star Trek. The ending left me feeling I wanted something else, but what? I do not know. This is often the case for me when it comes to SciFi so you know, let's just blame it on my own issues. For the record the boys at home say Ready Player One is a better read...

In a desire to have something else to discuss with The Kid I just finished listening to The Lost Hero. I need to note that I really enjoyed most of the books int he Percy Jackson series and even The Kane Chronicles by Rick Riordan. However this book so far is my least liked.  Why, Ellen Why? Maybe the whole self involved conflicted poor communicating teenager thing is a little too close to home. Maybe I just found the whole pace too slow for things so ... obvious. Maybe it was just too long. However I now have a baseline for this new series and I also have a talking point with my opinionated son. He along with a few of his friends promise me the books get better and agree it is the weakest in the series. 

I have tried a few more audiobooks, but the reading itself was either so horrible or the quality of the production was too poor that I couldn't invest myself in it. I have been checking these  audiobooks out of the library and it is just one more reason to love the library, non? But we'll talk about my renewed love of the library another day (get it? renewed?!? ha!)

I have a few more things in the works, but we can discuss that later. But please tell me if you have an audiobook you are particularly fond of, or a recent read! 

I will catch up with all of you soon. Wishing you a good story and a happy knit!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Weekend Baking

Cool enough to bake but I still barely needed a light-weight cardigan during the day.

First up are pumpkin acorn cakes adapted from King Arthur's Flour. So pretty and moist but I think I want to try them again substituting the oil with butter. You toss them in a cinnamon sugar while warm for a lovely coat of fall taste.

Next up are cinnamon roll sugar cookies. No icing. I ran out of time. Also I did not use baking spray on this but just floured my rolling surfaces accordingly and used parchment on my cookie sheets. These were surprisingly popular and not too sweet. I used dark brown sugar and just a shake of granulated, because we read the recipe wrong and that's all we had in the pantry 😉

I didn't do the floss cut so they are oval shaped, but tasty.

After some more knitting I think we will continue focusing on cake. Maybe a return to something chocolate ... To be determined.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Undines in Top Cat

It is very important to me that I mention these socks were made in Top Cat from Wandering Cat Yarns, because they are really just so so lovely. So soft, but tough. 

Pink dreams.

I did a stockinette foot and I'm happy with it. 

I'd like to return to this pattern some day and try a purless version and make some lovely gift socks. Maybe even some shorties. I loved the KAL and seeing how it knit up in so many wonderful color ways even stripes!

Friday, October 9, 2015

Take and Replace Swap Treasures & A Quick Follow-up.

"I'm here! I'm here!", says the rather eager, if not irritating girl in the front row to the right. Thankfully, for both our sake she doesn't like the attention enough to feel the need to sit smack-dab, front row middle ...

That's me.

I have been trying to wave at you and get your attention, but I've also been on the go and haven't been able to commit to a full post.

Yes. I have been on the go, but I suppose that's just how I am.

I was so excited the other night when I went to bed and found a flat rate box on my side of the bed! My Take and Replace Swap box arrived from Paula The Quilter. Don't let her name fool you, she knits too and seems to be another very crafty blogger. The swap was set up by the lovely Nancy of Wyoming Breezes. Nancy does a Foreign Friday that is very transporting and informative, she's seen a lot of cool places and things. She's also a master charity knitter and quilter. Swoon!

Well, seeing how it was so late and I hadn't even been in my room until I had to go to bed ... I waited a day till I pulled my hot potato treasures.

This greatness called me, and I well who am I to abandon them?

My love for all things socks is still strong. I'm finishing up Undine, I really am! this weekend. I love that damn yarn. I cast on another pair of stockinette socks that I'm just grateful to have on the needles.

Remember that baby blanket that was going to be too small? Yeah, it's way too small. Remember the extra yarn I was going to order? I did, but I ordered the wrong colorway and the right colorway doesn't exist anymore. Oh well.

Now I'm trying to figure out if I'm going to just go back to baby sweaters and hats or try a blanket one more time... Maybe if I cast on 80 with US10s instead of 138 with US8? I'm crap for baby blanket dimensions, I really am.

I considered the color blocking and the dimensions are still wrong. It's okay team. I like to knit.

On to known things that will happen this winter? I'm going to finish that damn Twinleaf and I'm going to knit a vest. For sure.

The rest? Well let's see how the socks things unfold.

Monday, September 28, 2015


The weekend was full of the usual suspects and the usual routine. But then there were the glitches.

First off, instead of trying any of the recipes that I was very determined to try from the last post ... I decided to make Chewy Sugar Cookies instead. Even though I had bread flour and seven eggs and honey for the Castella cake.

But that's just how things go sometimes. The winds of change ... well, they change, ha!

The cookies are good. I know this, because there are none left. I believe it's the buttermilk that gives them their tenderness. Now, this IS a quick recipe. Remember if you don't have buttermilk, you can just make your own with 1 cup of milk and 1 tablespoon of vinegar :)

That just leaves me with the knitting glitches. I'll make it plural since the first thing I did was misplace my Undine socks. I'm ALMOST done with the first sock! I could feel that momentum pulling me to finish it off and cast on the second! I feel confident despite the baby knitting that I should be doing that I'm not doing I will finish this KAL on time. Whoo to the hoo!

I hope I didn't just jinx myself.

But I did find the project bag, and that in itself my friends deserves a weekend blue ribbon ;)

So the final glitch is that I'm definitely going to run out of yarn for the baby blanket I'm knitting. I could definitely frog it and cast on again, reducing the width. It would definitely provide me enough length for a decent color block design if I still don't have enough yarn ... but I can't.

I like the width. I've come so far. I kept knitting anyways.

I know you're asking. The yarn is discontinued.

Yes, I found a ball on Etsy. I don't know. Is it worth it? I am still knitting. I figure if I must scrap patch it, I can always use it for a charity blanket.

Okay so la-dee-da ... wha'ts the back up plan. I don't know what gender the baby is so I have decided against a sweater. I am not sure why.

I have some wool blend bulky yarn that is my back up plan for a bulky baby blanket in stripes like this. Hope I have enough yarn ...

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Feeling Needy: Recipes and Patterns

I make these little lists of things to do as if I have these copious amounts of time. Andi talked about reclaiming another hour in her day but really I think for the hopes and dreams listed below I need to reclaim a few years, ha!

I need to do these things! I need more time!

To Bake:

Homemade sandwich bread

Maybe wheat bread?

Strawberry cake, cause I have strawberries.

Earl Grey Cupcakes

Liege waffles because I need a reason to buy pearl sugar$$.

This Japanese / Portuguese style sponge cake, Castella

Apparently I'm obsessing about cake. this one is mocha flavored ... oooooo. I blame the Great British Bake Off ... are you watching it too? No spoilers if you're ahead of the game. The family watches it together :)

And to knit:

For Christmas or whatever ... another wreath. This is much more polished than my existing yarn wrapped one. I'm not really a fan of the flowers. It seems holly or even some ornaments might be more appropriate. I was thinking blue and white stripes might be nice as well. Wintery, non?

And remember when we were talking about winter and fall knits? I was obsessing a bit on a vest? I found my pattern... The Loro vest. I knit her Aida as my first cardigan, and I like to bring it out and pet it every now and again. This has to be faster right? Like many of you pointed out, NO SLEEVES. Also thank you everyone for all the lovely suggestions in the comments. You're all so nice, it's really amazing.

I'm intrigued by the design of this, though I doubt it would be wearable for ... me. But it kind of says, just try it.

And yet this is what I would really like to knit for my sister and my son and my stepfather. I saw it first at A Caffeinated Yarn but seeing the photo of the faux tabby in the window made my heart kinda swoon. I will have to try to do at least one, right?

I want to just say socks. No specific pattern because well, I just want to sock knit all the time. Just plain socks. Socks soothe the soul. Sock knitting brings me patience, makes me wanna yell less. So for the pure pleasure that is my personal reverence: A WHOLE LOTTA SOCKS!!

Honestly it seems almost every blog visit is full of a great idea or inspiration. Recipes and patterns to try. Right now, I feel like I need to eat pumpkin pie with whipped cream, because you all keep knitting these amazing socks that look like spiced lattes and decorating and eating tasty fall whatnot. (I'm looking at you Dee and Araignee!)

Tell me, aside from world domination and/or peace what are you plotting? If given more time in your day/week what shiny new thing would you try to do next?

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Where the world seems to get away from you and you try to slow down ...

I admit, I've deleted about 5 different drafts of a new post. I actually liked a few of them or at least their starts, but since they were incomplete they lost their timeliness. Somehow a post is related to it's time relevance. This seems silly, because if the post is truly of good content, when it happened technically shouldn't matter.

But somehow, it does -- at least to me, and well ... now. Ha!

I've just come into the work week off of three days without work. To call them down days or days off seems laughable since they were filled with a fun hustle and a large bustle.

I tried a new recipe for the soccer team that really needed a little something sweet after an ugly loss. No other way to dance around it. It was ugly.

The match was a morning one, so I was thinking something "breakfast-esque" because as much as my mind is a sea of tangents, it is desperately trying to link foods and things and themes at the same time. Also the soccer team make excellent guinea pigs.This is Food52's Cocoa Quick Bread

First off I really think anything that takes 50 - 60 minutes to bake despite the amount of time it takes to put all the stuff in a pan should not be labeled quick. I was literally cooling it off in a shoe box in my lap, on two buses on the way to the pitch Saturday morning.

And yes, I did kinda "Hello Kitty" it with the sprinkles. I really am just a third grader at heart.

Moving on ...

I finished a pair of socks. They aren't blocked and I was desperately trying to get a photo of them in semi natural light (not on my kitchen table) for prosperity so I hung them up on the side of my cubicle.

In my hurry to leave on time and get groceries and dinner on the table on Friday (Get it? FO Friday?) I left the socks hanging. Also, in my haste to make the above mentioned bread the next day, and then taking a few boys to the matinee -- I forgot to post about them anyways. They are wonderful squashy socks for the record.

I was out of the office yesterday and I believe it was frowned upon that my socks were hanging so visibly ... as if I were airing them out... well they weren't in sock blockers. I think only my shameless knitter side is keeping me from being a little too embarrassed by it all.

Wishing you all a good laugh and a good time! Hopefully it won't be too long till the next post as I continue to battle for balance. It's going alright. I've even got some knitting to show for it ;)

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

The Wednesday Whatnot: Fall Knits

I wish I could tell you that this post is about my fall knitting. Alas it is not. Here I am slowly stuck in summer knits and I'm surrounded by fall fashion despite the fact it's 80 something degrees here in San Francisco this week! I secretly think I've been working later so I don't have to leave the air conditioning so quickly to the sad service of my screenless windows and baby square fan.

I went downtown to take two pairs of shoes to be resoled and reheeled. And there despite the heat I felt the knitting inspiration.

First off we have the  knit "cropped jacket" by Zara:

Photo from
Instantly I think, hmm, short sweater with super bulky yarn. I could do this ...

Next up a Fringed Vest from the horribly cute but horribly paycheck sucking Anthropologie store:

Photo from
The fringe is a little too ... frivolous for my personal style. But I love the idea of a knit vest. Imagine at work when you're going through that, "Am I hot or am I cold feeling?" Sigh. Maybe I need to knit a vest?

There were also various dropped shoulder knit cardigans that looked really cute, but the one thing I've wised up about it that it's not a cut that works well for my body. I'm already sort of ... pumpkin oriented as it is. There is no "drape" for me in that style, just "pumpkin clutching" if you know what I'm saying.

I know it's not "technically" fall yet, but when I woke up on Labor Day in a lazy haze the first thing I thought was, "It's September for reals!  How'd that happen?!?"

Well the daydreams are very lovely. Vests will definitely be ... considered. But right now, I'm sticking with the In Progress agenda. It may be a while till you see any knitting progress here, but I'll be around, diving into the schedule of fall, chasing the stitches of summer.

Happy knitting to all!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Work In Progress Wednesday: Show and Tell

I got some knitting done this weekend with the help of a Man City win and some Giants dueling with the Cubs. (Though the Dodgers are really irritating me right now.)

I'm making slow and steady progress with Undine. I've conditioned myself to stop and count during the working row (Yarn Overs and Knit 2 together). Sometimes while I'm watching t.v. I must knit off pattern and then am shocked next working row that I'm off...

I love this yarn though. I've frogged it from another project and tinked this one a few times more than I should admit and it still gives me the happy.

*By the way that knit bowl is from Katiebee. I LOVE IT. The Undine lives there now. She doesn't want to leave the apartment, and really who could blame her? The combo really does pretty up my corner :)

Look at this.

This has sort of become the bane of my existence. I am hoping one day it will grow up to be a proper blanket. It's just miles of garter stitch to be honest. And yet, I've hardly made any progress. I try to do 2 - 4 rows at least every evening. It can't grow fast enough. Baby is due in early November.

And look here are my Hermione's Everyday socks in (the now defunct Sweet Basil Fibre Works') Godric's Hollow colorway -- on magic loop. I knit the first one sans the toe a while ago. Now the first one is completely done, and I'm just finishing up the ribbing on sock #2. I'm now trying to remember what my "recipe" was to make the second one match. Hopefully it will all work out.

Lastly is Banana Leaf, she grows slow. This is the one I want to finish before it gets really cold. It represents summer to me. I just don't know if it's realistic to think I will be knitting it in the winter or if I will finish it. She may need to hibernate ... we will see.

What are you knitting?

Friday, August 28, 2015

FO Friday

I finally finished those mismatched socks. It feels good to have something done.

Stockinette socks bring me such calm I can't even explain. I am buying too much self striping yarn for this very reason. Ah the joy.

Meanwhile I've just cast on some Undines (read it fast, it looks like Undies, right?) and I'm enjoying the knit for sure. I'll post a photo of it in progress when I have more than a thimble full of rows to show for it.

There are other things resting on the needles as well. But I'm so all over the place I'll need to share for another day.

Right now I'm looking forward to the weekend with more knitting and sports, Go Giants, Go Man City, go Socks (stockinette that is, not Red or White!)

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Knitting Friends IRL

"IRL" as the kids say, is "In Real Life".

This week I've already been lucky enough to "hang out" with my Knitting Friends two times this week.

On Sunday I got to hang out with our lady Leslie Suzanne and her beau, Bill who were visiting our fair city. It was so sweet of them to make some time for me during what sounded like a really fun getaway! We didn't get a chance to knit together this time, but we did get a chance to really meet -- which if you can forgive the cheesy rhyme was really ... neat. (why yes, yes I did that.)

Leslie is always trying out different yarns and reporting back on drape and shape, which now working at her cool job is maybe a little too easy sometimes ;) She's a traveler and a weaver and always full of "reveal". Her blog is very candid with her personal and creative journeys. Her desire to improve in all aspects of her life is pretty inspirational to me since I struggle with transition and change more than I like to let on.

We had a really nice walk along the bay from Pier 39 to the Wharf and Ghiradelli Square, where we had sunny day Sunday drinks with some really good chat and laughs. I think she was actually able to follow some of my tangential thinking aloud ! (I call it talking ...)


Crazy fun.

Speaking of crazy fun look who I got silly with last night?!?

My McK Alumni Knit Club gang got together after a summer hiatus. The gang keeps in touch via a group text which has forced most of us to change our notification settings since we chat so much our phones were beeping and dinging like a cuckoo clock driving our families if not ourselves bonkers!

We were very excited to see each other to say the least. DL was hostess with the mostess so we had a gaggle of mini knitters with us as well.

She made an amazing pasta but alas we shoveled it too quickly into our faces to get a proper photo.

Knit Club quickly devolves into food & wine club and the latest is Dance Party. Please don't ask, but they play a throw back dance party show on t.v in the background and then a combination of critiquing and then example dance moves goes on. (Let's just say I've had Lionel Richie stuck in my head ... all night long, since)

Anyhow, somewhere in the pleasant cacophony of it all, we knit a few stitches and show and tell our latest projects and try to help each other out with new techniques or really poorly written patterns.

Do you get a chance to knit with friends? Do you like to knit with people or are you a private dancer? I'm shameless and will knit anywhere in public -- even standing waiting for the bus.