Monday, September 24, 2018

Makers' Monday

I'm happy to report that Hat #24 is in the bag.  Or more correctly, it's in the mail.  Actually, it's in a bag in the mail.  I only need to knit 28 more hats in 2018.  Yikes!

Knit 52 Hats in a Year challenge.  Hats will be sold at https://www.etsy.com/shop/jeanniegrayknits
Hat #24 out of 52

Although it doesn't photograph well, my Noro Cowl is coming along nicely.


Knitting a seed stitch and ribbed cowl with Malabrigo yarn and a Noro pattern.
Noro Cowl

This photo does not begin to do justice to the yarn or cowl.  Besides the fact that it's at a weird length (too long to lay out and photograph, yet too short to drape over the mannequin) my camera simply refuses to produce an accurate image of the colors.  I think the autumn yellows, reds and greens are confusing my Nikon.  No matter how many adjustments/enhancements I try, the photo comes out either way to yellow or way too blue.  You're just going to have to trust me.  This yarn is a to-die-for autumny blend of colors.


Coffee Shop Cowl knit with The Coffee Shop value pack of Knit Pick's Palette yarn
Coffee Shop Cowl

My Coffee Shop cowl is coming along as well.  I've reached the end of the stripes, knit a purled turning row, and now I'm knitting the solid color lining.  

I'd planned to either list this cowl for sale in the shop or put it in the Christmas gift pile but....  I spent a lot of time reading while knitting those stripes and there are a few wonky stitches that I didn't notice until a row or two later and.....  But no worries.  I'll be happy to have a wonky stitched, coffee colored, striped cowl of my own.

If you have a creative blog of any sort, please join me in celebrating Makers' Monday by using the link below to share one of your recent posts.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Sunday Soup

So, what's on the menu this week?

A hearty, low carb soup recipe, perfect for fall.


Low carb Tuscan Cauliflower Soup.  The recipe comes from Taste of Home and it sounds delicious.  

If you give the recipe a try, let me know what you think.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Photo Friday


There's nothing like an Etsy shop custom hat order to motivate me into knitting hat #24.   Only 28.75 more hats to knit before December 31st.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Three on Thursday

Three random things for Three on Thursday:

1.  Florence.  By the time she moseyed her way across Virginia on Monday she wasn't even a tropical depression anymore, but she still packed a wallop.

Hurricane Florence brought flooding rains and tornadoes to Richmond, VA on September 17, 2018
photo courtesy of klfy.com

She brought flooding rains and multiple tornadoes.

One person died in a tornado in Chesterfield VA
photo courtesy of twitter.com

Sarah and I happened to be at Target when a tornado touched down less than a mile away.  I was pretty impressed with the way Target handled the situation.  They "closed" the store, as in shut down all the registers and pharmacy and had everyone, including the customers, move to the back of the store.  The whole event took about three hours because we'd get the all clear signal and everyone would start making their way up front to the registers and the warning sirens would go off again and everyone would turn around and return to the back of the store.  Over and over and over again.  


I have to say, I really was impressed with both the Target employees and their customers.  No one was complaining, even the moms with small children in tow.  A couple of the employees got a few simple toys off the shelves and played with some of the children to keep them occupied.  Even when our ears began popping from the change in air pressure, everyone stayed nice and calm.  I was amazed.

2.  Speaking of Florence.... The Florence news coverage introduced me to the NC shark cam.  I mentioned how obsessed I am with this underwater view the other day.  But I'm embarrassed to admit that after spending two whole days wondering why there were so many sharks in that area, I finally realized I was watching a highlight reel, not live video because the cameras were damaged in the storm.  I feel pretty silly for not realizing it, but dang! I'm happy to learn that there aren't that many sharks swimming off the coast of NC.  .... Or are they?  Guess I'll have to wait for the cameras to be repaired to find out.

3.  It's funny the tricks our minds play on us.  When creating my Labor Day post, I didn't even notice the grammatical error in the meme until the next day when I was looking at it before my morning coffee had kicked in.  My awake brain glossed over the error and saw what it should have said while my still-asleep brain read the actual words.  I find that interesting.  And a little scary.  Does that mean I should begin doing all my proof reading in the morning before coffee??  Yikes!

Monday, September 17, 2018

Makers' Monday

Once again I'm typing in advance of Monday on the off chance that Florence kills our power.  I'm fairly certain that Florence has finally chosen her path and we won't have any hurricane related issues but it's always best to be prepared.  And I think I've proven that it's even better to be over prepared.

And over prepared I am.  

Enough bottled water to fill Lake Michigan?  Check.

Candles, matches and flashlights?  Check.

Extra gas for the stove, grill, generator and cars?  Check.

Emergency chocolate stash?  Check.

Liquor/wine cabinet filled to capacity?  Check.

Junk food supply too large to fit in pantry?  Check.

yarn shopping at Knitting B's in Richmond, VA in preparation for Hurricane Florence
hurricane yarn haul

Yarn Stash upgraded?  Check.

Hurricane reading materials available?  Check.

seed and rib stitch cowl knit with Malabrigo Rios yarn
Noro Cowl knit with Malabrigo Rios
Special hurricane knitting project?  Check.

NC shark cam is a fascinating view of sea life 35 miles off the coast
NC shark cam

Hurricane knitting, reading and even junk food abandoned? Check!

I've discovered North Carolina's shark cam and can not look away.  I'm fascinated and somewhat lulled into an almost comatose state listening to the water and watching the fish maneuver through the currents.  

How did I not know this shark cam existed?  I am SO excited to have found it.  I've been wanting a large aquarium for years but couldn't face the expense or hassle of maintaining one.  This shark cam is the perfect solution.

(And no one is harmed when I forget to feed the fish!)

For the past week I've been worrying about having enough food, booze and entertainment to get us through a power outage.  It takes a LOT of food and booze to distract me from a lack of Netflix.  But  I've replaced my need for Netflix with the fish.  It's going to take a very special knitting project to distract me from the fish!

But once again, I'm prepared.  While hurricane yarn shopping, I picked up a couple of skeins of Malabrigo Rios and a seed and rib stitch cowl pattern from a Noro magazine.  I'm set!  Between this lovely yarn and the shark cam, I may not even need junk food or booze to get me through the storm.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Sunday Soup

Once again, I'm typing this in advance in anticipation of power outages due to Hurricane Florence.  I chose Chicken Stew for this week because it's easy, can be cooked several different ways, including on the grill, and the recipe is never harmed by a lack of or inclusion of extra ingredients.

photo couresty of tasteofhome.com

The recipe I follow is so basic and flexible, it's not really a recipe.  I generally include whatever I have on hand and in whatever quantity I have on hand until the stew pot (or Instant Pot) is full.  

The ingredients I always use are:

Chicken, white or dark, cut off the bone and cut into large bite sized chunks
Potatoes cubed or shredded*
Carrots cut into 1 inch pieces or shredded or whole baby carrots*
Chicken broth or stock (water and a couple of bouillon cubes will work in a pinch)
Salt
Pepper

Ingredients I usually add:

Celery, including leaves if available
Canned or frozen green beans
Canned or frozen corn
Diced onion
Diced garlic
Red bell pepper flakes
Hot sauce

Ingredients I occasionally use:

Rice** instead of potatoes
Frozen green peas or butter beans instead of green beans
Canned tomatoes and/or tomato sauce
Diced ham or salami
Cream or milk

*If I'm making this soup at the last minute and I'm low on ingredients, I'll shred the carrots and potatoes instead of chopping/cubing them.  Shredding them makes for a less liquidy stew and it cooks quicker.

**When cooking on the stove top or in the oven, I wait to add the rice until the last 20 - 30 minutes of cooking time.

To prepare, I cook the chicken, onion, garlic and celery in a little bit of olive oil until the chicken turns white.  Then I add all the other ingredients and add enough water to cover.  Put a lid on the pot and either simmer on the stove top for 45-60 minutes; put the pot in a 325 degree oven for several hours, or use the Instant Pot for 25 - 30 minutes.  Or in the likely case this week, when we probably don't have power (I'm typing this in advance of the hurricane, remember?) we can set the pot on the grill and cook it outdoors.

Again, I'm praying for those in Florence's path.  With or without power, I hope you are able to enjoy a hot meal today.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Photo Friday

Phew!  'The Season' is over and done with work-wise and I had a full week, Monday through Friday off.  I spent it knitting.

http://shrsl.com/15wd7 the coffee shop, Palette value set from Knit Picks.
The Coffee Shop

Well, knitting and preparing for Hurricane Florence.  Luckily, thankfully, I was able to get lots of knitting done while I waited for giant containers of water to freeze into ice blocks.

I received The Coffee Shop value pack in the mail last week and was excited to start knitting with it rather than try to figure out how and where to store more yarn.  In my excitement, I just grabbed a needle (US2) and cast on enough stitches that I could comfortably begin knitting in the round.  Then I cast on a few more just to be sure...  And I started knitting random width stripes.  It's going to be a cowl.  And I love the warm, understated, earthy browns.  It's been a great, easy project to help calm my pre-hurricane jitters.

Speaking of hurricanes...  I'm writing this in advance in anticipation of power outages.  Obviously I don't know what kind of damage Florence has done as of this morning, but I continue to keep all the east coasters in my thoughts and prayers throughout this storm.  Stay safe!