Sunday, August 25, 2019

Sunday Supper - Grilled Chicken with Blueberry Salsa

I'm hoping my husband will go for today's Sunday Supper plan.

Without using the word 'healthy' in any form, I've been slowly trying to get my husband to eat better.  He's a red meat and potatoes kind of guy.  And a pie guy.  He likes his pie.  We both need to eat healthier.  Healthier and less. I just can't use the word 'healthy' in front of him.  But we've got a grandbaby on the way.  We've got to get in better shape!

https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/110083/maine-wild-blueberry-salsa/?internalSource=staff%20pick&referringId=17231&referringContentType=Recipe%20Hub
Blueberry Salsa, courtesy of allrecipes.com

So, today's recipe is for blueberry salsa served over simple grilled chicken.  The recipe is from AllRecipes and in his eyes, I think the jalapeno pepper spiciness will makeup for the fact that it has blueberries in it. 

We're going to get healthy if it kills me.  Plus, we get to use up a few more of those blueberries we have stockpiled in the fridge.  It's a win/win meal plan.

Friday, August 23, 2019

Knit Night Knitting

This post contains affiliate links.

I feel like a bad grandma, but I put down the newborn sweater and have been focusing on my Out of Winter shawl.  It's amazing how much more you can accomplish when you knit monogamously.

http://shrsl.com/1rpok
Knit Night Knitting - Out of Winter Shawl, Sock Labs Stroll yarns

A couple of hours spent knitting rather than eating and drinking at Knit Night and I'm ready to start the lace border.  My goal is to finish it before Labor Day. 

I'm excited to be done with the shawl so that I can move on to knitting All the baby things, but at the same time, I'll be sad to put this yarn away.  But that's okay - I have more!

Assuming the lace border doesn't take a full skein, I should have enough of each color left over to knit either two very tiny baby sweaters or a larger striped one.  And, I've enjoyed knitting with this Sock Labs Stroll yarn so much, I ordered more.  

https://shareasale.com/r.cfm?b=1398420&u=1446317&m=59159&urllink=&afftrack=
Sock Labs Stroll

I'm pretty sure there will be a baby blanket using the green set on the needles soon.

And while I was ordering the green Sock Labs set, I may have ordered a few skeins of plain Stroll sock yarn and perhaps a skein or two of Stroll Tweed sock yarn too.  I'm all things Stroll these days and currently on a mission to ensure my grandbaby stays toasty warm during his/her first spring.  I also want to make it easy for the new mama and papa and want everything I knit to be easily washed.  I may not have the best memory these days but I do remember how much laundry a newborn creates.

But what I really wanted to talk about today was why I love the Sock Labs so much.  First of all, it's machine wash and dryable.  Who doesn't love that??  

It's unbelievably soft.  Even my daughter who has become THE world's most picky person regarding wool around her neck, says it's soft and she'd be happy if Mom would knit her a speckled cowl.  

And the colors!  Oh, the colors!  The colors are so bright and cheerful and slightly less harsh in real life than they are on my screen.  

The yarn glides through my fingers and across my needles, even when it's 98 degrees outside and I'm hot and sweaty.  

The yarn isn't the least bit splitty and while it's hard to tell from my loose gauge and stockinette shawl, I have knit when I should have purled a few thousand times and based the appearance of those accidental stitches, the yarn has fantastic stitch definition.  

And best of all, or worst of all depending on how you look at it, the Sock Lab yarns are limited editions so not everyone in your knitting circle will be knitting with the exact same yarn.  I like that.  But I do feel the pressure to grab some more while it's available.  The purple set has already sold out.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Cascade Heritage Wave Hat

Wow!  This post is way over due.  WAY, way over due!

Cascade Heritage Wave Hat

I finished this hat back in the middle of July.  I immediately got a bad case of startitis, then got so excited about a few of those newer projects that I forgot all about the hat.

Cascade Heritage Wave Hat

I didn't follow a formal pattern.  It was one of those 'cast on enough stitches that I can just barely knit comfortably in the round' then knit, knit, knit.  I did create a very short hemmed brim.  It's weirdly short, just barely an inch, because I was worried about running out of yarn.  I'm not worried about it's weirdness because the hat is for me and I'm okay with weird.  I also had plenty of yarn.  Actually, there was so much yarn left from the skein that I'm thinking of knitting matching fingerless mitts. 

Or maybe a little baby sweater.  Only time will tell.

The hat is knit from Cascade Heritage Wave on US2 needles.  If I was to knit it again, I'd probably use a US1.  The knitted fabric is a little on the light and airy side, but our winters are generally not that cold so I'm okay with it.

I'm also loving that snow white pompom on the very slightly striped gray hat.  The stripes are so subtle they barely show up in the photo.  I was planning to use a black or silver pompom but I'm SO glad I went with the white.  I love this hat so much, I may actually wear it!  

Have I ever mentioned my dislike of wearing hats?  My head is just too big and my hair is too thick and .....  Well, I've just never enjoyed wearing a hat.  But this one....

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Sunday Supper - Slow Cooker Corn Chowder

It's that time of year.  That time of year when I'm dreaming of fall and sweaters and campfires and thick, hearty soups simmering on the stove top.  And while I may be dreaming of all that, my reality is that it's 95 degrees and 98% humidity and THE last thing I want is soup simmering for hours on the stove top making the kitchen even more humid.

A slow cooker, or in my case, Instant Pot, to the rescue!  

https://damndelicious.net/2019/05/28/slow-cooker-corn-chowder/
Slow Cooker Corn Chowder from damndelicious.net

Today's Sunday Supper recipe is for Slow Cooker Corn Chowder from Chungah at Damn Delicious.  It's the perfect recipe for this time of year.  First of all, it's super simple.  Second, it cooks in the slow cooker so it's not heating up the house and making your kitchen feel like a tropical rain forest.  Third, it uses fresh ingredients and is relatively healthy.  Fourth, it uses up some of that over abundance of summer corn you have hanging around.  And fifth, it feels like fall but tastes like summer.

Does it get any better than that?

Actually, it does get better.  Walmart has candy corn on the shelves now!  But the candy corn is for desert.  We're talking supper here.  You can find the recipe here.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Newborn Vertebrae Cardigan


https://www.ravelry.com/projects/jeanniegrayknits/newborn-vertebrae
Newborn Vertebrae Cardigan

Wow!  That photo looks so much better on my phone than it does here on the blog.

I'm still awaiting the baby-appropriate yarn shipment.  According to the tracking, it's caught up somewhere at the post office.  Damned postal service!

Meanwhile, I'm using some scrap yarn to knit a Newborn Vertebrae cardigan.  The green may not be 'pastel' exactly, but it was available and the baby is due in March.  He/she will need to celebrate his/her Irish heritage with a St. Patrick's Day sweater.  

The pattern is super simple and I can't wait to find out the baby's sex so I can knit a few more in the appropriate colorway.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Three on Thursday - An Oops Trifecta

This post contains affiliate links.

I'm experiencing a trifecta of oops's this week.

First, and most exciting,

Knit Picks Hawthorne yarn http://shrsl.com/1r6im
Reyna knit with Hawthorne's The Pearl

My Reyna is on the blocking mats.  Yay!!  But good grief!  Look at that squiggly edge I have pinned.  Good thing this one's for me and it will be casually worn because it's almost completely dry and I'm not going to the trouble to re-wet and re-pin it.  Despite the squiggly edge, I'm going to love this shawl.  While the yarn is called The Pearl, and it does look like the inside of an oyster shell, it also looks like denim and you know how I have a thing for denim.  Now, let's just hope my daughter allows me to wear it with my jeans without accusing me of wearing a Canadian tuxedo.

https://www.knitpicks.com/yarn/hawthorne-fingering-kettle-dye-yarn/c/5420271
Oops! 

Yes, there is a baby sweater on the needles.  That's a sleeve with a pen for size reference.  The pattern says it's for newborns up to three months but my gauge is off (imagine that!) and it may fit a three year old, not a three month old.   Oh well.  It's scrap  yarn, good practice, and babies come in all sizes.  Besides, both my kids were huge at birth and neither of them were able to wear newborn clothing.  Is size hereditary?  If it is, sorry Megan!

Sock Labs Stroll yarn, https://www.knitpicks.com/yarn/sock-lab-stroll/c/5420341
Oops

And easiest to fix but the most disappointing....  I must have knit on the purl side of my Out of Winter shawl.  There's also something funky about a row's worth of stitches a bit above those knitted purls.  

Or are they purled knits?  Who knows.  Either way, they'll have to be redone.  I'm frustrated about it because I didn't begin to make as much progress as expected while traveling to this past weekend's family reunion.  I ended up riding in the back seat of a minivan and got horribly car sick every time I tried to knit.  I've never had that problem before and hope it was a minivan back seat issue and not a general riding in the car issue.  If I can no longer knit and ride, my life may as well be over.  

But while I'm frustrated about having to fix those stitches, I'm happy to spend more time with this yarn.  This Sock Labs Stroll is unbelievably soft and a delight to knit with.  

Join me over at Carole's for today's Three on Thursday link up.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

I'm so excited!

News Flash!

I'm about to become unbelievably obnoxious because....


I'm SO excited!

I've only known for a few days but people at work have already told me I'm starting to annoy them.

Can you guess why?

knitting for babies
photo courtesy of barnesandnoble.com

A grandma!  I'm going to be a grandma!!  My precious baby boy is going to have his own baby!

Knitting for a newborn
photo courtesy of 123rf.com

I don't know how I can ever stand to wait until March to meet the little blueberry. (That's how big he/she is right now.)  While I plan to be the favorite, cool grandma, 

I plan to knit All the baby things.
photo courtesy of 123rf.com

I know I will also be the knitting obsessed grandma.  I've already got three notebook pages filled with patterns I want to knit. 

What to knit for baby when you don't know the sex.
photo courtesy of freep.com

But at the moment, I'm feeling like cranky, mean grandma.  They don't know the baby's sex yet and they want pastel baby stuff, not brights.  And "their girl baby won't wear blue and their boy baby won't be wearing pink."  Between the parent's rules and my dislike of and thus lack of pastels in my stash, I'm having a Very difficult time choosing what to knit first.  


UPS truck delivering yarn.
photo courtesy of 123rf.com

But you can bet, a yarn order has been placed.

Meanwhile, I seem to have an abundance of brown baby weight yarn.  I guess I  can always add a pink flower to it if the little blueberry turns out to be a girl.


This post includes an affiliate link.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Sunday Supper - Loaded Cauliflower Salad


Loaded Cauliflower Salad from delish.com

I'm trying to eat healthier these days and this Loaded Cauliflower Salad looks like it could become a family favorite.  The recipe sure sounds easy enough and anything 'loaded' is bound to taste great.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Out of Winter

This post contains affiliate links.

Another super short update....

http://shrsl.com/1qr9f
Out of Winter knit with Sock Labs speckled Stroll

I didn't get a day from work this week so not much knitting has been happening, but I have made enough progress on my Out of Winter shawl to know that I LOVE this Sock Labs yarn.  I love it so much I just ordered a bunch more even though I already had the rest of 2019's knitting planned out.

You know what they say about plans...



Stay tuned.  I'll share what I plan to use all the speckled yarn for next week.  I have some pretty exciting news that deserves it's own post.  A post that I spend more than three minutes writing.

Meanwhile, happy knitting!

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

On the Needles

A very brief post because I have no days off from work this week.  Yikes.

Eclipse shawl, pattern and yarn from Unplanned Peacock https://www.ravelry.com/projects/jeanniegrayknits/eclipse-2
Eclipse

My Eclipse shawl/scarf is slowly growing.  It remains my 'knit while I read my email' project and I'm so excited to have made it to the second green stripe.  The wedge shaping has become obvious now.

And now, I must go throw on the uniform and go to work.  Grab your needles and knit a row for me.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Sunday Supper - Blueberry Breakfast Cake

Okay, okay.  Today's Sunday Supper recipe is actually going to be for breakfast.  Although, if it tastes as good as it looks, it might end up being dinner too.

Blueberry Breafast Cake from Alexandra's Kitchen
The Pinterest link can be found here and the full recipe is on her blog post here.  Yum!

Friday, August 2, 2019

Out of Winter

This post contains affiliate links.

My plan for today was to show you a photo of my finished Reyna.  I finished it on July 31st and planned to at least have it on the blocking mats if not already blocked and dried.  But something got in the way.

simple crescent shawl knit with Knit Pick's speckled Stroll yarn http://shrsl.com/1qe26
Out of Winter knit with Sock Labs Stroll

I mentioned yesterday that Knit Picks had sent me a two skeins of their new Sock Labs speckled yarn to play with.  Knit Pick's timing couldn't have been better.  Mr. Mailman was leaving the yarn on my porch as I sat in the dentist's chair across town, frantically binding off Reyna.

As soon as I got home from the dentist, I tore into the package, photographed the yarn and began searching  Ravelry for the perfect pattern.  I couldn't decide.  I started with a list of eight designs which I narrowed down for yesterday's Three on Thursday post.  I asked for your opinion...

And then couldn't stand to wait.  I chose Out of Winter, which was odd because it was my least favorite of the three.  But the moment I started knitting it, I was hooked.  I'm loving the pattern, it's super simple.  And the yarn!  I've knit with Stroll before so I knew the yarn would be a joy to work with.  And the speckles!  It's so much fun to watch the speckles appear.

Fingering weight sock yarn for limited time only. https://shareasale.com/r.cfm?b=1398419&u=1446317&m=59159&urllink=&afftrack=
Sock Labs Stroll

This gorgeous limited edition yarn is selling fast so if you're interested, go take a look right now.  You won't want to miss the chance to stash some of this gorgeous yarn!

And on a woo-woo note, at the beginning of this post I mentioned I'd bound off my Reyna shawl on July 31st.  Guess what I was doing exactly three years ago.  Yep!  You guessed it.  I bound off my first Reyna on July 31, 2016.  How freaky is that??

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Tangerine Speckle

I'm going to be right up front about it.  Today's Three on Thursday post contains affiliate links.  Knit Picks sent me two coordinating skeins of their new speckled Sock Labs Stroll yarn to play with and I couldn't be more excited.  The colors are Tangerine and Tangerine Speckle.  I normally lean towards much more subdued colorways and most likely would never have chosen these colors for myself but I absolutely LOVE them! 

Now, the question is, what do they want to be?

http://shrsl.com/1qdbr
Sock Labs Stroll Tangerine and Tangerine Speckle

I'm leaning towards the Rayas Cowl.

Rayas Cowl

I feel like the brightness of the Tangerine calls for a simple design.

Stroll Sock Labs Fingering weight http://shrsl.com/1qdbr
Even the 'solid' color is slightly speckled.

But then, with all that speckle, perhaps I should knit a Speckle Tonic shawl.

Speckle Tonic Shawl
I love how the solid and speckles yarns play together in that one.

http://shrsl.com/1qdbr
Fingering weight speckled sock yarn from Knit Picks
Or perhaps an Out of Winter shawl.

Out of Winter shawl
What would you recommend?

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

A new toy

I have a new toy!

New project bag purchased from Etsy.
Shweater Bag from Twisted Yarn and Fiber

My new Shweater bag from Twisted Yarn and Fiber.  Wanda, the shop owner is in my Wednesday night knitting group and when I found out she had jelly fish themed bags in her shop, I immediately went shopping.  

She was sold out of the jelly fish but I fell in love with the whimsical animals on this bag.  Surprisingly, there are no sheep but there are goats, turtles, pink flamingos and several different types of dogs as well as many other critters.


Knitting Eclipse, a wedge shaped garter and lace shawl.
Making progress on the Eclipse shawl

Besides the cutie-patootie animals, the bag features a leather handle and a drawstring closure.  Once you get where you're going, you simple loosen the drawstring, fold the opening down and presto-magic!  You have yourself a fabric yarn bowl.  How cool is that?

twistedyarnfiber.com

If you're in the market for a new knitting bag or needle holder, go check out Wanda's shop, Twisted Yarn and Fiber on Etsy.  You won't be disappointed.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Sunday Supper - Creamy Whipped Feta Dip

We have Family Reunion coming up and I was searching for impressive yet easy to make appetizer recipes when I came across Creamy Whipped Feta Dip from Once Upon a Chef.

Photo and recipe courtesy of onceuponachef.com

I thought I should probably try it out in advance on the off chance I could ruin feta cheese.  Doubtful, but better safe than sorry, right?

One word - Yum!

I may have to make one small adjustment though.  There may be red food coloring added to today's batch.  Today is the first day of Shark Week after all.   ....Ooh!  Ooh!!  I'm just realizing the pita wedges look like sharks' teeth.  Could it get any more perfect??