Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Wednesday Work In Progress: That new cast on feeling

I can't believe I finally got a chance to cast on this pattern. I've only been longing to try it since 4Evah! (as the kids say, do they still say that?) Anyhow, It's the Loro vest. Yes a VEST.

I'm using the Saco Dyehouse Lopi yarn  that I learned about from Knitting in Beantown. I've been hoarding this in my stash for a while, and it seemed like a good pairing.

I have to admit, I cast on after winding around 7:30. I broke for dinner and found myself kinda exhausted and couldn't get past the 2" start on the back. I will shortly suss out the decreases, but I forgot this is a seamed piece project. Wish me luck kids.

It will be interesting to see if this project consumes with monogamous love or do I let a spring fling whisk me away beyond the commuter sock knit?

What's on your needles?

Monday, March 28, 2016

Monday Shares

I received this lovely Spring Clean package (as in I'm going to be super clean now)  from Araignee earlier this month. I wanted to get a picture of the lovely loot before tearing into it's perfect packaging. Her talent and kindness exceed anything I deserve. I did put myself on the list for a lotion bar (Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! and basically just won the jackpot! Love it all. Smells so good ...

Easter Weekend required some baking. Something tried and true.

Action photo!

And something new. Angelettis using the Real Simple recipe. I should mention that these are also done with Anise flavoring but my people prefer vanilla and it's all about crowd pleasing. I packed up a bunch and did a few deliveries for some friends of mine nearby.

Lastly our usual family gathering plans for Easter were reconfigured and we decided to not make any backup plans that would take us out of the city. My husband already got tickets to a rock concert literally walking distance from the apartment. We chaperoned our boy and met up with another family. We came home late with our ears buzzing and ate some Shepard's Pie made with leftover beef stew and crawled into our beds.

And now Spring Break has begun. Well for the student anyways.

I am still knitting. I sat down with some Harry Potter this weekend and weaved in a bunch of wiley ends.  I cried through the leg of a sock with Steel Magnolias and am ready to begin the heel flap.

The sweater definitely needs blocking as I am finding the body bind off rolls on one half of the sweater (?!?) I hate when I follow instructions, "bind off in pattern my sweet a..."

The sock will progress in it's own time. I have dreams of casting on again ...

So a yarn post soon! Meanwhile, hold on to the happy. Tell me, what's making you happy right now?

Friday, March 25, 2016

Fresh Baked Friday: Cookies & Biscuit Breads

Okay these bakes are from earlier in the week, but what can I say? I like alliteration.

First up was a second attempt at the Black and White cookie. I have a friend who was waxing poetic about them and of course I had to look them up. To me they are a deli or cafe cookie. The dough is actually more cake-like (legend has it they were originated from leftover bakery cake batter). The flavor is a a soft lemon/vanilla blend and the glaze is the type of thing that will wreck your kitchen if you don't prep your bake spaces appropriately. The first time I attempted this my kitchen looked like a small black and white war zone after. (I also made sure I purchased a small palette knife before this second attempt.) I found this recipe to be solid. Read through it and plan accordingly.

My son woke up with pukey migraine on Tuesday. It took him a while to get over this one but once he did he ate two of these.

Sausage, cheddar & chive biscuit bread muffins. The original form for this recipe was in a loaf. However reading the comments I saw they could be individual muffin biscuits using a buttered muffin pan for 30 minutes. Tasty. I have individually wrapped the remainder and put in a gallon freezer bag. They can be pulled out and split and toasted as  an individual breakfast item.

Last up, well ... since the oven was going I figured why not try that Martha Stewart oatmeal sandwich cookie? The "cream" is a simple blend of  cream cheese and confectioner's sugar. Still too "tangy" for my son's taste, so I softened some vanilla ice cream and with the same size small cookie scoop made ice cream sandwiches. I wrapped 6 of these individually and put in the freezer. Ready to go dessert during the week :)

Here we are Friday. :)

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Wednesday Work In Progress

I'm okay with admitting my life is a WIP. There are moments I'm trucking along and moments I need a jump start. Thankfully I've been getting a few rows in here and there to keep perspective, because that's what knitting does for me. 

I'm half a (possibly shortish) sleeve away from finishing that cardigan so I'm going to save that for another post and show you some purse sized stripes.

Really calming a pair of stockinette socks on the needles. 

More posts on what I've been up to lately.  Per usual a little this and more baking ...

Monday, March 14, 2016

Weekend Recap: More obsessive cookie baking

There are worse things I could do, then bake another dozen of cookies ... or two ...

I swore up and down I would not spend my weekend in the kitchen. Then I swore I would not spend the Sunday in the kitchen. I vowed I would knit like a woman on fire.

This is why people like me should not go around making any kind of declaration, duh. I'm just a big walking, talking, baking contradiction.

It rained all weekend and honestly it was nice to have a cozy kitchen.

First up were M&M cookies for the soccer team. They had their first spring match in the rain, just like every match I've ever watched of the English Premier League on t.v. hehe. We started off the season with a win! Cookies for all my friends!

Next up were the Nutella stuffed snickerdoodles. I gotta tell you, I was like, "what?" with the things INSIDE the cookie. But people really enjoyed these. The Nutella was a pleasant surprise. I didn't put too much in there, just because.

I meant to get a shot of them while they were still warm, but I was in the throes of everything kitchen. One of The Kids pals came over after homework to play video games and attempted to demonstrate for the cameras ...

sorry that's the best I can do, but I will do these again, and then I will be sure to capture the warm cookie moment for you.

Also on the weekend menu was this Caldo Verde which I am still enjoying immensely.  I like that it uses Cauliflower instead of potato. I admit it is a little more labor intensive than some other versions, but it's not overwhelming. My ratios were off and I could've emulsified the cauliflower longer, but tasty nonetheless.

I rushed Saturday night's dinner of Arctic Char and grease burned my hand which has sort of hampered my knitting moves, but I'm on the path of righteousness again, no worries. (Though my hand is ugly and a little sore. Ugh.)

Now back to our regular schedule of work and trying to shove some knitting somewheres in there.

ps: This whole daylight savings thing is really HARD for me. Please send fake sympathy or at least a hall pass for a nap, maybe an extra alarm clock?

Friday, March 11, 2016

Finished Object Friday: Hats for Big Heads

I took a break from the toil that is called garment knitting and decided to make a hat. It wasn't in my queue (Hmm, I don't think I actually update that thing anymore). It wasn't on any of my index card knitting agendas. It was a local yarn store distraction. Thank goodness for those :)

I added 1.5 - 2 inches more on the length before beginning decreases on the larger size to accommodate my Hot Balloon Head. It was a good purse project. But the best part about it? This yarn. Bloody hell! (in my best Ron Weasley voice -- or Rupert Grint, whichever you prefer) This North Star yarn is super soft and light! 

"Not an itch in sight." 

Two thumbs up. 1) hat that fits 2) no itch

I really need to get some more sleep ...
I've been blocking it on my actual head since it's been rainy here, everyday (This drought state girl is not complaining I promise!). My head is warm, the rain is not, all kinda works out you know what I mean?

This weekend, I'll see if I can minimize my obsessive cookie baking behavior (no promises) and get to town on that damn Cardigan. 

Wishing you all a fabulous weekend, full of the good stuff for you and yours.

Thursday, March 10, 2016


I needed a change of family pace. I read how a lot of people do these excellent jobs of keeping their families grounded and connected. When I read about their lives, there is a pace and appreciation I have some envy for. (I want to be clear I'm not harboring any bad feelings nor do I feel their shares are written to elicit envy intentionally -- you know those shares, I know these shares and I avoid them diligently hence my lack of a Facebook account)

Well our weekends can sometimes be a bit chaotic followed by a bit of flopping. We often arrange ourselves in various silos of activities and get on with it till Monday, rinse & repeat.

I'm all for down time and I mistrust people who require constant engagement, but my people were beginning to smell, growl and snap too quickly when interacting.

Thus a quick getaway to Monterey, a road trip that could be done in one day but would be given the treat of a sleepover with a heated pool was plotted.

We ended up going Sunday/Monday since those were the days my husband and I had off together. We pulled The Kid out of school which we never do, because what can I say? I'm a rule follower, my father was a teacher, my family was/is military, I'm a civil servant -- routine and discipline compel me even when I don't want it to.

Anyhow, where was I? Oh yes, our intention was to leave Sunday morning after my son's final Futsal match. I know we could've left earlier and the team probably had enough to play comfortably with subs, but! He had not missed a match for 2 seasons at this point and you know, we fall back on principle. So we knew we were going to have a bit of a late start, but so what -- company and leisure were the goals!

Unfortunately we woke up to a broken car window. Wet passenger seat from the all night rain before and glass everywhere. Our poor neighbor's car in front of ours also got hit. Our neighborhood is not good for this, we know it, we keep the deductible. But we do not have building parking, and so this is life. One year we were hit 3x in August. So you see, for us, we were focusing on the bright side, "it had been a while since the last time."

Undeterred ... We lost the match by one goal.

My husband missed the match because he was off getting the glass replaced which took us longer to get on the road, but what can you do? Good thing I have knitting with me at all times right?

We got into Monterey late to find someone forgot his swimsuit. One night... I didn't think I had to check his pack. I even asked him ...

Well you gotta stay positive (remember you can't enjoy it if you're bickering the whole time). So we made it an adventure to see if we could find somewhere with a cheapish suit (in a tourist area of a tourist town!) and walked at night around cute Monterey -- which is what we like to do anyways. We eventually found him a suit at the CVS just off the main drag. We had a lovely dinner and a lovely walk back.

The boys went to the pool and I opted to stay in for the last Downton episode. I also had horrible stress stomach catching up with me and making me less than ... amiable. I've been battling that a bit the past few weeks but nothing to worry about really, however that night, I couldn't even knit, I was so uncomfortable!

The next morning we decided instead of going to Aquarium, which we've done and which really I'd do EVERYTIME I went to Monterey if I could, but we'd prefer to use our time and money for a breakfast together and a walk down to lover's point and back (that turned out to be cost effective, ha!). They'd given us an extra hour for check out and that way we could keep our car at the hotel. Well we ran out of time and didn't make it ALL the way, but we ALMOST made it. It was a beautiful day.

The spring showers were in full force and the sky and ocean played together in the best dramatic way without being threatening to the casual walker.

We saw lots of seals!

We took the coastal highway home and enjoyed the view, the pace, the chatter and bad car radio singing. Quick stop for a cup of chowder on the way when the rain was really bad.

It started out a bit rough, but I think our gang did a good job of enjoying our change of pace and scenery. :)

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

The Wednesday Whatknot

The cardigan I've been working on continues to be fiddled with. It's been a pretty monogamous knit for me, but we've reached that point where I'm on the second skein of 465 yards of fisherman wool and this is not something to be hauling around in shared public spaces.

I still have a luxe scarf on the needles buried in a project bag somewhere, but... I'm not feeling it right now.

As much as I want to cast on a pair of socks, I know I need something with less distraction factor and greater instant gratification factor.

So I took a look in my work stash.

What? You don't have a yarn box that you hide from you husband at the office?


This is my travel plan for now.

Some other highlights in the past week or so.

3 cakes for a 13 year old.

Giant Sugar Cookie Science

More baking for the school Talent show. Giant Cookie love. (Giant = Cafe size)

We're almost through the week people. I'm exercising now, so I can play, knit and bake later.

What's on your agenda?