Friday, December 28, 2018

Photo Friday

I got a couple of pictures for Christmas.

The first,

Original painting of a sassy lama from a local artist
Gay Lama

"Gay Lama" according to the artist.  I'm so excited and amazed to have received this painting.  Our neighborhood had a craft show a month or so ago and I saw the painting there.  I bought a poster of a different lama, got the artist's contact info and promptly came home and gave it to my daughter with instructions to tell Dad I wanted the painting for Christmas.  

Then I promptly forgot about Gay Lama.  Mainly because Dad doesn't believe in giving gifts that were asked for.  He thinks they should be complete surprises.  I wasn't likely to receive Gay Lama so I put thoughts of him out of my mind.

Until Christmas morning that is.  (Luckily, Sarah didn't listen to the instructions and bought Gay Lama for me herself.) Gay or not, I think he's very sassy and I can not wait to hang him on the wall.

And second,

Finally!  A decent photo of my son!
Zack and Megan

My photo-phobic son gave me a framed picture of him and his girlfriend.  You just don't know how exciting it is to have a photo of his face.  Since he turned three, he has acted as though he was in Witness Protection and has avoided photos like the plague.  Every single picture I have of him has his hand, his hat, a dinner plate, a cup, a bowling ball, the dog.... (you get the idea) in front his face.  

Anyway, I'm quite happy to have a photo of Zack's face and if the gift idea was the girlfriend's, then I like her even more than I did before.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Three on Thursday

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas.  We sure did.  My daughter was sick, which was very disappointing (and amazingly, the first time either of the kids were ever too sick to Christmas) but she rebounded, sort of, for Christmas Day.  She had that Dawn of the Dead cast member look to her but we weren't having to poke her to see if she was alive.  Big improvement from Christmas Eve. 

And speaking of Dawn of the Dead... did anyone else happen to notice Shaun of the Dead is currently on Netflix!  I think the camera scene just may be The best bit of cinematography ever!

But I'm digressing.  

It's Three on Thursday and I got a yarn bowl for Christmas!


1.  My awesome sister gave me a new, gorgeous, handmade pottery yarn bowl.  It's much bigger than my small wooden one and is going to make my life SO much better.  No more switching balls of yarn in and out of the bowl when I'm knitting on multi-skeined items.  And look how well the bowl coordinates with my weather cowl.  I am head over heels happy with my new yarn bowl!

2.  The bowl came from Locust Hill Pottery located in Mechanicsville, Virginia if you're tempted to buy one for yourself. 

3.  Wait!  Did my sister tell me she was taking a pottery class from Leslie Messersmith, the artist behind Locust Hill Pottery??  I want to take a pottery class!  I'm so jealous!  But it's okay.  I have a beautiful yarn bowl!  (And hopefully I'll benefit from my sister's future pottery adventures.) 

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Sunday Soup - Mom's Christmas Soup

Okay, so I'm not sure I can count today's soup recipe as an actual recipe.  It's more of a suggestion to grab any and everything from your fridge and freezer that's taking up space and dump it into a big, giant soup pot.

So, let me explain...

Back in the day, our family's Christmas tradition was ... well, there's no other word for it other than insane.  How my parents pulled it off, I will never, ever know.  The weekend before Christmas, we'd go out into the woods (and as an adult, I now realize we were totally trespassing but as a child, it was just a family hike) and chop down a tree.  The tree would sit in our garage in a bucket of water "thawing" and hydrating itself until Christmas Eve morning.  Early, early Christmas Eve morning, my dad would get up and polish the brass and sharpen the knives.  Why he chose to do this on Christmas Eve is a mystery, but he did.  It was tradition.

Once Dad finished with the brass and the knives, it was tree time.  We'd finally bring the tree into the house and my mom, sister and I would put the lights on while Dad sat in the rocker pointing out bare spots.

photo courtesy of gameskinny.com
photo courtesy of gameskinny.com

After the tree was lit, (not decorated, just lit,) we'd get all dressed up and go to my grandparent's for a fancy Christmas dinner and the annual reading of The Night Before Christmas.  Once that was done we'd go home, my sister and I would hang our stocking and pretend to sleep while Santa decorated our tree and set out the presents.  Yes, Santa decorated our tree as well as put together the bikes and doll houses!

photo courtesy of mentalfloss.com
photo courtesy of mentalfloss.com

My poor parents!  I remember multiple years waking up before the sun had even risen and being so excited because Mom was already up and in the bathroom brushing her teeth.  (Little did my childish self realize she was in there brushing her teeth Before bed, not after waking up.)  But Mom was a good sport and Dad was just as excited for Christmas morning as my sister and I so ... we'd all traipse downstairs and open presents.

After presents, we'd have a big, fancy breakfast (admittedly, anything beyond cold cereal was considered a fancy breakfast in our house) then get all dressed up again and go to my cousin's for an all afternoon open house buffet type of affair.

And after the cousin party, we'd come back home and Mom would throw her annual "Thank God it's Over!" party.  And by party, I mean casual gathering.  It was a 'come in your pajama's if you want & if you bother to wear shoes, kick them off at the door' type of thing.  People would drift in and out all evening, until well after I'd gone to bed that night, and the food that was served was ham biscuits, Mom's Christmas Soup and what ever cakes, cookies and goodies my parents had received as gifts.

photo courtesy of dailymail.co.uk
photo courtesy of dailymail.co.uk

Mom always swore that the soup contents were simply frozen leftovers from throughout the year.  And it sort of seemed like she might be telling the truth.  It always contained ground beef, corn, peas, green beans, tomatoes, potatoes, carrots and butter beans. It usually had a few chunks of roast beef, a little onion, and some years had tiny bits of broccoli and/or spinach chopped small enough not to be recognized.  Mom would add a little bit of tomato sauce, a bouillon cube or two and enough water to turn the mix into soup.  And she'd cook it for hours and hours and hours days in advance, until it had a Brunswick stew consistency, then freeze it to be reheated on Christmas night.

Gosh, I miss those childhood Christmases and my mom's Christmas soup.  Mine just never tastes quite the same.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Three on Thursday

I can't believe another Thursday has rolled around already.  Here's my three very random thoughts for the day:

1.  Thank you all for the lovely comments on my Burberry cowl. It was a fantastic project and I've already knit two more!  And now I've discovered a new pattern.


Fingerless gloves with old fashioned Christmas tree lights draped across them.
Yule Mitts

I'm tossing out all my other knitting projects and plan to knit Yule mitts for everyone.  Look at those awesome Christmas tree lights draped across them....  Awesome Christmas lights that will magically look like simple blips of color in January.  I hope.


2018 Snowmagedon.  December 10, 2018 snow storm.
December snow

2.  It snowed!  Snow in December!  Measurable snow in December is rather unheard of here in Virginia.


I added a white stripe to my knitted weather cowl to represent snow.
Snow stripe!


I added a white snow stripe to my weather cowl and went for a walk.


12/10/18 snow storm in Virginia


I didn't realize why my husband was laughing so hard at me when I returned until I looked at my poor attempt at a selfie.  I look like an abominable snowmanwoman!  I also had zero makeup on and was being pelted in the eyes with ice chunks.

via GIPHY

3.  I return to full time work tomorrow through New Year's and I'm in a bit of a panic.  We've been doing some remodeling and the house is a complete disaster zone.  Parts of the disaster area have been decorated, parts have been left alone with their light (some places not so light) coating of sawdust.  

The "must knit or die" gifts have been finished and now I'm left with the "really, really want to knit" gifts.  Oh, and those eight pair of Yule mitts!

The baking... Well, I did make a list of what needs to be baked and by when.  I passed the list to my daughter with a hug and good luck wishes.  Thank God for daughters who like to bake.  

And now, I'm going to go do some relaxing deep breathing exercises, knit a few rows and go to work.  I'll be back in January.



Friday, December 7, 2018

Photo Friday - Burberry Cowl

My new favorite pattern - the Burberry Inspired Cowl.

A cabled cowl hand knit with Berroco Ginkgo silk and wool blend yarn.
Burberry

It may not look like much but... What it is is fantastic!  It's a simple, once around the neck cowl, knit with worsted weight yarn on slightly too large needles with cables spread over 16 stitches and 30 rows.  Because the cables are so large and so spread out, you really don't 'see' them as cables.  They look more like folds than cables.  And the whole thing is knit with a fairly loose gauge so the resulting fabric is soft and drapey.  

And want to talk about soft?  I used Berroco Ginkgo that I picked up recently at my new local yarn shop, The Center of the Yarniverse.  The yarn is a 52% silk and 48% wool blend and is Heaven in a skein.

I loved the pattern so much, I cast on a second cowl the same day I finished this one.  And the whole time I've been knitting the second one, I've been thinking about what yarn I have stashed that would work for a third.  

Or maybe I should just go yarn shopping.  Again.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Three on Thursday

 Christmas is coming down to the wire.  I know it seems far off, or at least most days it does.  It's actually nineteen days away, if you count today.  But for me, because of my crazy work schedule, I need to have everything completed and ready to go by the fourteenth.  Eight days.  Gosh, I wish I hadn't counted.

But the point is, I have eight days to prepare for Christmas.  And that means, if I'm not frantically clicking the Add to Cart button or blindly tossing things into a real shopping cart like a mad woman, I'm knitting.  And what have I been watching while I knit?

1.  Ozark.  My goodness!  Have you watched this show?  I'm completely obsessed!  It's so good,  I'm choosing to binge watch it instead of Hallmark Christmas movies.  I cringe over the characters' behavior while immediately clicking Next Episode.  It's also got some great music tossed into the mix.

2.  Christine.  Netflix has just added the movie adaptation of Stephen King's Christine.  I ended up watching it twice because I missed important parts the first go round due to cables and beads.  Christmas knitting would have gone a Lot faster if I'd left out the beads!

My Christmas cactus is covered in buds that are getting ready to open and bloom.

3.  My Christmas cactus.  I swear, I can see the buds growing!  And I'm so excited to see it actually bloom.  Well, I'm excited to see multiple blooms on it.   Last year was the first year it bloomed and it only had one bud.  This year, it's covered in buds.  I can't wait for them to open!

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

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Sunday Soup - Lasagna Soup

Today's recipe is for lasagna soup from 365 Days of Slow Cooking.

Lasagna soup made in the Instant Pot; recipe from 356 days of slow cooking
Lasagna Soup, recipe and photo courtesy of 365daysofcrockpot.com

The recipe is written for the Instant Pot but I'm sure it could easily be modified to cook on the stove top. 

I've never had lasagna soup before but I've been craving lasagna and this recipe sounds quick, easy and delicious.  It will probably be a bit less fattening too.


Friday, November 30, 2018

Photo Friday

So, I mentioned the other day that I'd had the brilliant idea to knit 18 miniature Christmas stocking ornaments...

http://shrsl.com/1bbds
yarn spindle

All I can say is, thank goodness for my yarn spindle from Knit Picks.  Okay, so the spindle itself isn't really showing up in that photo, but that's because I have it loaded with three skeins of yarn.  

I'd ordered the spindle a while back when it was on sale and I needed to spend just a little more to get free shipping from Knit Picks.  (I despise having to pay for shipping.)  I received it, thought 'cool,' set it on the shelf and sort of forgot about it.  Forgot about it until I started knitting all these *^*&^&^$^% miniature Christmas stockings, that is.

Ordinarily it doesn't bother me too much when I pull from the center of a new skein of yarn and a big glob of yarn comes out.  Ordinarily, I knit big things that will easily use up the big glob of yarn rather quickly.  But that's not the case when knitting miniature Christmas stockings.  

And when I realized I could put multiple skeins of yarn on the spindle at once without fear of tangling....  Miniature stocking knitting became much, much enjoyable.

Now, if Knit Picks would only make a tool that picks up all the beads I've dropped on the floor....


Thursday, November 29, 2018

Three on Thursday

So, I haven't been blogging much lately but I have been knitting.

knitted F bombs using stashed yarn scraps

1.  I have knit nine of those.  I'm not naming them yet but you can probably figure out what they are by looking back at this post and this one.  They differ in color because I used yarn scraps out of the stash pile.

knitting miniature Christmas stocking ornaments
mini beaded Christmas stocking

2. And I've knit eleven mini stockings, each one slightly different from the next.  Only seven more to go.

Hand knit Christmas ornaments; Christmas sock
miniature Christmas stocking ornament

This is one of those projects that I wish I'd never thought of.  I'm too far into the project to abandon it yet feel like I have oh so far to go before I finish.

Striped Christmas gift knit with Hawthorne from Knit Picks

3.  I've also been knitting stripes.  This is another unnamed 'thing' that you can probably figure out what it is if you look hard enough.  It's also one of those projects that I'm tempted to keep for myself.  Very, very tempted.  


Sunday, November 25, 2018

Sunday Soup - Panera's Copycat Broccoli & Cheddar Soup

I was so excited when I stumbled across this recipe for Panera's Copycat Broccoli & Cheddar Soup.  I mean, who doesn't love Love Panera's broccoli soup?

Easy Panera's copycat Broccoli & Cheddar soup made in the Instant Pot
photo courtesy of adventuresofanurse.com

The recipe comes from Adventures of a Nurse  and can be found here.

You're welcome.    :)

Friday, November 23, 2018

Photo Friday

Yes, it's that time of year...

Knitting a striped hat in team colors for a Christmas gift.
Christmas gift knitting

The season of black & white photos.  Hopefully, by removing the color, the intended recipient of this knitted Christmas gift won't recognize it for what it is.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Sunday Soup - White Chicken Chili

Today's soup recipe is for White Chicken Chili from Southern Living.

Southern Living's recipe for white chicken chili.  Yum!
White Chicken Chili, photo courtesy of Southern Living

Naturally, I'll change up the recipe just a bit.  For reasons unknown, seasoning packets weird me out so I make my own.  Instead of the packet called for in Southern Living's recipe, I use:

1 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. ground cloves

And, instead of using soaked beans and cooking it in the slow cooker, I'll use unsoaked, still dry beans and my Instant Pot.  The Instant Pot makes this recipe possible.  I can NEVER remember to soak beans over night plus, not being a morning person, I'm never conscious enough in the morning to start the slow cooker.

So, I will come home late this afternoon after spending the day attending multiple Christmas craft fairs (Yay!) quickly chop the onion, garlic & chicken and toss it into the Instant Pot with a bit of olive oil for a few minutes.  While that's sauteing, I'll dig the rest of the ingredients out of the pantry, dump them into the Instant Pot, set it on high pressure for 30 minutes then do a slow release.

And if I serve avocado with it, the avocado will be in the form of guacamole, not just diced avocado.  As much as I love garlicky, mashed up avocado (guacamole,) I can not tolerate the texture of sliced (or diced) avocado.  Ugh!

But no matter how you like your avocado, you can find the white chicken chili recipe here.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Photo Friday

Our weather took a dip recently and it's starting to feel like winter.  Just to the west of us even had a massive ice storm last night.  Thankfully it was only miserably cold and rainy here.  A perfect day/night to stay tucked safely indoors with my knitting.

Knitting a temperature log weather cowl. Each color indicates a temperature range and each stripe reflects one day in 2018
weather cowl

And speaking of weather and knitting...  I got to add in a new color stripe on my weather cowl.  Well, not new, but the first medium blue stripe of the season.  For some reason, I'm quite excited about it.

I can not believe I've kept up with this weather cowl.  When I started it, I had no real hope of actually knitting a stripe every day indicating the day's temperature.  Thinking that I'd never follow through on the project for more than a week or two, I didn't spend much time choosing the colors.  I simply grabbed skeins from the stash pile, assigned temperature grades to them and started knitting. 

I deeply regret that decision now.  There's not enough contrast between the light green (54 - 66 degrees) and the light blue (44 - 53 degrees.)  Even up close and in person you have to really look to see the difference.  And don't even get me started on how harsh the dark green (67 - 77 degrees,) yellow (78 - 88 degrees) and the orange (89-95) stripes are.

Oh well.  Live and learn, right?

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Three on Thursday

Today's Three on Thursday post is a list of reasons why I'm going to take a short blogging break.  

1.  I'm panicking over Christmas knitting.  I know, I know.  It seems WAY to early to be panicking but I only have two weeks of knitting time.  I'll soon be back at work for those fun filled 12+ hour shifts six or seven days a week.

2.  I have a week and a half to cram in a eleven months' worth of fun and house work.  I guess I'm getting old because this season's schedule kind of killed me.  I only got together with friends outside of work a few times, I was only able to attend my knitting group a handful of times and I don't even want to discuss the disaster my house has become.  

3.  I'm simply in a mood and just don't care about the blog.  And it shows!

So, yeah.  I'm going to take a short break from posting.  For just a week, maybe two.  And I'm going to spend my time cleaning like a mad woman, knitting like crazy and having fun.  Hopefully when I return, I'll have all kinds of fun and exciting things to tell you about.  Meanwhile, happy knitting!


Sunday, November 4, 2018

Sunday Soup - Corn Chowder

We'll be dishing up corn chowder this evening.  I'll be using a recipe from Natasha's Kitchen, with a few modifications. 

Made from scratch, corn chowder recipe.
Corn Chowder from Natashaskitchen.com

I'm all about simple recipes, plus I have to go to work this afternoon so I'll be skipping the 'make corn stock' part of the recipe.  I'll also be using canned corn because that's what's available.  You can find Natasha's recipe here.

Even with my modifications, I expect this soup to be the perfect meal for a dark and chilly November evening.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Photo Friday - The Yarniverse

As I mentioned yesterday, there's a new yarn shop in town.

My most recent yarn haul from The Center of the Yarniverse
yarn haul

The Center of the Yarniverse in downtown Ashland, Virginia.  

As you can tell, I stopped in the other day and I was quite pleased with the shop.  Maybe a little too pleased.

The staff was friendly and helpful without being the least bit pushy.  And the yarn...  Oh my goodness, the yarn!  They had yarn for every budget and lots of it.  The shop is small and filled to the brim but it in no way feels overwhelming or claustrophobic.  They've really done a great job with setting up their displays.

The Center of the Yarniverse in Ashland, VA sells yarn for every budget.
yarn fumes

Considering all the shop had to offer, I didn't buy much but I did purchase three Christmas gifts and a pair of socks for myself worth of yarn.

The shop is so new they haven't even had their grand opening yet.  The grand opening celebration is scheduled for November 10th and guess what - I don't have to work that day!  

This new yarn shop is going to be a very, very dangerous place.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Three on Thursday

It's Three on Thursday and so...

Three reasons I'm broke:

A new yarn shop in town, Center of the Yarniverse.
Center of the Yarniverse

1.  There's a new yarn store in town.  The closest 'town' to me is Ashland, other words known as The Center of the Universe.  This new yarn shop, Center of the Yarniverse, is going to be a very, very dangerous place for me.  In order to grocery, book, Target, Walmart or big box craft store shop, visit 90% of my friends and all of my family, take the dog to the vet or visit a doctor, I will have to pass within an eight of a mile of it.  And even worse, the shop shares a parking lot with the library.  Very, very dangerous!

Power Sheets from https://cultivatewhatmatters.com/
Power Sheets

2.  Power Sheets.  I broke down and bought 2019 Power Sheets.  Now the big question - will I use them?

I must stop eating all the Halloween candy.
Candy overload

3.  Halloween candy.  Happy belated Halloween, by the way.  But the candy situation...  I'm actually typing this in broad daylight on Halloween afternoon, long before the trick or treaters will begin making their appearance....  And I've already had to refill the giant candy bowl three times.    And yes, that photo is blurry.  Probably from the diabetic twitch I've developed from eating so much candy. Good grief!

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Sunday Soup - Pumpkin Soup

I'm not too sure about today's recipe.  Well, not the recipe itself, but the soup in general.

It's cold outside and almost Halloween so Pumpkin Soup seems called for... except....  I'm not sure I'm going to like pumpkin soup.  I love the idea of pumpkin flavored everything, but the reality... not so much.  This soup is either going to be disgusting, or totally awesome.  We'll see.

Cooking from scratch with an easy recipe for pumpkin soup.
photo courtesy of thesaltymarshmallow.com

If you're brave enough to try it, I'm blatantly stealing both the recipe and photo from The Salty Marshmallow.  Just follow the link here.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Three on Thursday

Because my knitting hasn't visibly progressed much over the last few days so I have nothing to show...  and I'm in a massive, unexplained, self-pitying, miserable funk....

My top three third world problems:

1.  I'm under caffeinated.

2.  I didn't microwave the water long enough for my new, on-sale tea and now I'm trying to drink tepid, tasteless tea instead of the nice hot coffee that I really want.

3.  I'm too lazy to make a pot of coffee.  I'm also hungry... and there's a bowl full of Hershey Kisses across the room... but they seem soooo far away.

I think I need to knit.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Sunday Soup - Black Bean Chili

Does chili count as soup?  It's eaten out of a bowl so I'm saying yes.
Because today's 'soup' recipe is for chili.  Black bean chili actually.  

I love my recipe because it's fast, simple, and can easily be made more or less spicy.  It's also simple to double or triple the recipe and it freezes well.  Oh, and it still works when I'm out of one ingredient; I simple add more of another.  I've even made it with jarred spaghetti sauce before. In other words, measurements aren't all that important.


black bean chili, photo courtesy of radcutlery.com

Black Bean Chili

2 TBS - 1/4 cup olive oil
1 lb. ground beef
1 green pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 14.5 oz. cans tomatoes
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
4 oz. can green chilies 
3/4 cup water
1 rounded TBS chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. cinnamon OR cocoa powder
2 16 oz. cans black beans, drained

Heat olive oil in soup/stock pot and add ground beef, onion, green pepper and garlic.  Cook until beef has browned.  Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer 15 - 20 minutes.

Best served with cornbread.


Thursday, October 18, 2018

Three on Thursday

Today's Three on Thursday is three knitting projects in the works.

free cowl or scarf pattern from Stephen West
Alstroemeria yarn from Shirsty Cat Designs

1.  I finished knitting my Stephen West Purl Ridge Scarf.  I'm counting it as 'still in the works' because I haven't woven the ends in yet.  Or blocked it.  It really doesn't need blocking but I might try to stretch it out a tiny bit.  It's not quite as long as I'd hoped it would be.

purl ridge scarf designed by Stephen West
Purl Ridge Scarf

And yes, as you can see from the photos, the home renovations continue.  And yes, I am quickly loosing my my mind, my patience and my cool due to the unorganized mess.

It's a knitted f bomb.
Nope, it's not a black pumpkin.

2.  Secret Santa knitting.  I still need to add a bit of detail.... and I need to knit eight more.  Possibly twelve more, depending on how generous I'm feeling closer to Christmas.

Hawthorne fingering weight yarn from Knit Picks.  Washable wool.
Laurelhurst Hawthorne Yarn

3.  Another Secret Santa project.  Since taking this photo, I've cast on a Hitchhiker and have a whopping 12 stitches on the needles.  Another Christmas gift, 'almost' done.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Sunday Soup

Soup's on!

Sausage, Potato and Kale Soup, photo courtesy of allrecipes.com

Today's soup is Sausage, Potato and Kale Soup. The recipe I'll be using is from Allrecipes.com and can be found here.  I've never met an Allrecipes recipe that I didn't like, although sometimes they're a little bland and need a little more seasoning than called for.

I'm looking forward to a big bowl of this nice, warm soup today.  As the Facebook meme says, "the temperature went from 90 to 55 like it saw a state trooper."

Friday, October 12, 2018

Photo Friday

I hope this post makes it out into the universe.  Hurricane Michael roared into town about 30 minutes ago may I say, my goodness!

Michael isn't even a hurricane anymore, but... good grief!  There were no bands of warning rain.  Michael simply arrived and it began to rain RAIN.  Rain and thunder and the trees are bending over from the wind.  And I'm seriously hoping that noise is the neighbors who work on their (race??) cars 22/7 and not a tornado's freight train roar.

But, knitting....

worsted weight merino wool.  lovely to knit with
Ferrum from Unplanned Peacock Studio

I was too impatient to photograph the yarn while it was in it's original skein form.  It's another fiber festival yarn purchase.  The yarn comes from Unplanned Peacock Studio and is an absolute delight to knit with.

Thanks to Karen's suggestion over at Pumpkin Sunrise, I'm knitting a Purl Ridge Scarf.  The pattern is a very simple, free one from Stephen West.

A simple and free cowl pattern from Stephen West
Purl Ridge Scarf

I'm so happy to be knitting such a simple pattern on such lovely yarn, specially tonight. (I'm typing this Thurs. night.)  At this rate, I don't expect the power to stay on for long.  Heck, I don't know how it's stayed on this long.  Anyway, this cowl pattern will be The perfect project for knitting in the dark while we wait out Michael's departure.

And while we're talking about Michael, my thoughts and prayers go out to those in Florida.  And the Carolina's for that matter.  They certainly did not need any more rain!  I can not imagine what this storm must have felt like in Florida if it's this strong in Virginia. And I imagine a lot of folks rode the storm out in Florida because there wasn't much advance notice of this one.  Anyway, my thoughts and prayers are with those down south.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Three on Thursday

For today's Three on Thursday, I thought I'd show you three of the many yarns I bought this past weekend at the fiber festival.  These three skeins have no intended purpose.  Yet.

I'm in search of single skein projects to knit with this yarn.

Left to right, they are:


1.  Winter's Candy Cane from Puff the Magic Rabbit.  I was thinking socks when I bought this, but now I'm considering a hat and mittens instead.  The yarn is a superwash but it's 100% merino so it may make a better hat than socks.

2.  Another Puff the Magic Rabbit yarn called Christmas Tree Lights.  I am head over heels in love with this yarn!  It really does look a Christmas tree lit up with multicolored lights.  It's gorgeous, it sparkles, and it's what drew me into Puff the Magic Rabbit's booth.  I'd already decided that I was too hot and cranky, and I'd spent too much money and I wasn't buying anything else.  But Sarah pointed out Winter's Candy Cane (she knew I wanted to knit another pair of Christmas socks) and Christmas Tree Lights was next to the Candy Cane.... I have no idea what I'll knit with this but what ever the yarn turns into, it will be for me and I will love it.

3.  Twizzelfoot in the Harmony Moss colorway from Mountain Colors.  Its merino wool & silk fiber content make it incredibly soft and I just love the mossy green color. I'm looking forward to seeing how it knits up. Again, I have no idea what I'll use this yarn for but most likely it will be a shawl or scarf.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Makers' Monday

Join me for Makers' Monday,


Montpelier fall fiber festival

Otherwise known as the day my daughter has to drop out of college...



Because I spent next year's tuition on yarn at the Montpelier Fiber Festival.



Photos of the yarn I bought will be forthcoming... I just need to recover from the heat stroke first.  


good food at the Montpelier fiber festival

But despite the unbelievable heat and humidity, we had a good time.  We watched the sheep dog trials, we ate lamb barbecue and we shopped until we dropped. Almost literally.  It really was that hot!  

We didn't even go into the last two tents because we were so hot.  I was sweating in places I didn't even know could sweat!
But it's probably just as well.... seeing as though I'd already spent the rest of Sarah's college fund.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Sunday Soup

Soup's on in the Wiant household.  Or it will be soon after I get home from the fiber festival this afternoon.

Today's recipe is so quick and simple.  It's perfect for tonight when I'll be getting home late and most likely hungry.  I did all the chopping and prep work last night before I went to bed and as soon as I get home, I can dump everything into the Instant Pot and be ready to eat in about 30 minutes.

So, without further ado,

Chicken and Dumplings in the Instant Pot*

6 chicken breasts, cubed
32 oz. chicken broth
2 - 4 large carrots, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 can corn
10 oz. package frozen peas
1 cup cream or evaporated milk
salt & pepper to taste
2 1/4 cups Bisquick
2/3 cup milk

Place chicken, chopped veggies and broth in the Instant Pot.  Cook on High Pressure for 10 minutes with a Quick Release.
Stir in corn, peas and cream.  Set to Saute.
Mix Bisquick and milk and drop dough by spoonfuls into the pot.  Cook until biscuit mix is cooked and no longer doughy.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

*This could easily be made in the slow cooker, just adjust the cooking time.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Photo Friday

I really should have titled this post something different.  "Photo Friday" implies there will be at least one decent photo.

And  yet...

Noro seed stitch and rib cowl

and

Malibrigo Rios in autumn colors on blocking mats

My Noro Cowl, knit with Malabrigo Rios is blocking.  Blocking in bad lighting in a Very disorganized house.

We are still doing some remodeling/renovations/'sprucing up' to our house.  At the moment, we are (1) painting and (2) tearing up the carpet and replacing it with wood flooring.  85% of our belongings are shoved up against one wall in one room and the other 15% of our belongings are, for reasons unknown, sitting on the dining room table.  And as these things go, my husband is doing the remodeling/renovations/sprucing up himself and every time he gets out a tool or opens a bucket of paint, he gets a call to go do a paying job... and off he goes.  We've been living this way for so long now, I'm starting to not even notice the chaos I call home.

But what does that have to do with bad photography?  Well, first, the natural light in my dining room is nonexistent, except for about twenty minutes in the afternoon when the sun shines a direct and blinding beam in through the french doors.  And then there's the fact that it took me almost a full day to dig out the blocking mats and then the blocking pins from the 85% pile.  By the time I had the Noro Cowl laid out on the pads, the light was gone.  And of course, several of the bulbs in our dining room chandelier have suddenly burned out making the light even dimmer.  There's no telling where the replacement bulbs are....  And there you have it.  Bad photos for Photo Friday.

But bad photos or not, I'm in love with my Noro Cowl.  Or I will be once it's dried and sewn into place.  I'm fascinated how the Malibrigo yarn pooled and how one end is mostly yellow while the other is more red.  And that line you can see in the first photo that looks like the end of one skein butting up against a new skein of a different dye lot... isn't.  The two skeins of yarn meet up in a completely different, and unnoticeable place.  That line is simply the magic of pooling.

Now, if it would just cool off enough to even consider wearing it.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Three on Thursday

As usual, three random things for today's Three on Thursday list:

1.  My Coffee Shop cowl will have a striped interior/back/lining rather than the planned solid color.  I have no idea what I was thinking (obviously, I wasn't!) when I thought one partial skein would knit the entire lining.  So, stripes it will be.  But they'll be much wider stripes than the exterior/front/outside of the cowl.

Striped cowl knit with Knit Picks Palette the Coffee Shop value pack
Coffee Shop Cowl

Okay, so what do you call the sides when an item is knit to be reversible although one side is meant to be seen and one side is meant to be worn against the skin?  Front/back?  Exterior/interior?  'Lining' seems wrong because it implies it isn't meant to be fully visible.  What do you call the sides??

Have I mentioned how much I LOVE the Oregon Coast Heather skein of Palette?
Knit Picks Palette Oregon Coast Heather fingering weight wool yarn
Knit Picks Palette, Oregon Coast Heather

I just love the flecks of gray mixed with the sandy tans. I'm going to have to knit myself a whole sweater with this colorway.

2.  I'm so excited!  The Montpelier Fiber Festival is this weekend and I'm going on Sunday.  Saturday and Sunday are the only days I've requested off this season and everyone at work has been teasing me about using my vacation time to go look at sheep.  Obviously, they are not knitters.  But I am, and I can not wait!

Montpelier Fiber Festival
sheep dog trials

3.  Almost as exciting as the Montpelier Fiber Festival, I've received a visit from the Candy Corn Fairy.  I arrived home from work in the early hours of Sunday morning to find multiple bags of candy corn on my desk.  So far, no one has claimed to have put them there.  Have I mentioned how much I love candy corn? I love candy corn almost as much as I love fiber festivals!