>> Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Thanks for all your fun comments about my little 'procrastination' problem. I know it doesn't seem like procrastination but I find it so funny that when I am putting off something I become super industrious in other areas of my life. Oh well. Hopefully those bears will get finished before Christmas.

I also want to thank you for all the love on the girlfriend swing coat. I don't feel like I thank you enough for the lovely comments from the blog and ravelry. I really appreciate it. I have no local knitting circle I belong to, no group of friends who love to craft or knit. You guys are my peeps :). I get all my inspiration, and boy is there a lot of beautiful projects out there, and encouragement from all of you. So thank you very much for being out there and checking in here when you have a spare moment from your already jam packed lives. I really appreciate it!

Back to the knitting portion of this blog. Here is my new selfish knit. The clasica coat by Interweave Knits.

She is something of a celebrity as she graces the cover of the current Interweave Knits magazine. How do I know that this is the 'one' you might ask. Well I already have the back finished. The long rectangle at the top is the center portion of the hood. I am furiously working away on it because I want it done before the cold weather completely commits to my hometown. Not the best shots but it's black which I always have a tough time photographing and I would go outside for better light and better scenery but it is so windy out there I swear Dorothy just blew by so this will have to do for now.

I can't wait to finish it. I can't wait to wear it. So I am going to sign off so I can get some more knitting in. October is almost here and we are still in an Elizabeth Zimmerman knit-along folks, plus those darn bears, so I've got to get a move on. Hope your week is going well!



>> Friday, September 25, 2009

So I still have to do the seaming for those bears. Procrastination, anyone guilty out there? I remember in college usually the night before my finals would begin I would have the cleanest closet. Because everyone knows that a lack of dust bunnies and clutter in that tippy top shelf in your closet ensures a good grade right?

In honor of my college days from long ago I am participating in a good old procrastination fest. I made this bread. I love quick breads (who doesn't) and this is good morning or night. Toasted with some fruit in the morning. Or a side for a dinner of soup and salad.

Breakfast roll ups to store in the freezer so that no one will be hungry in the morning. I cooked up a mixture of homemade hash browns, a little cheese, eggs, salsa, and diced up turkey bacon. Wrapped them in whole grain tortillas and stored in the freezer. A quick heat in the microwave and we have breakfast for those on the go mornings.

I made a batch of vegetable stock for my freezer. A slow simmer of vegetables from my garden. Onions, carrots, celery (from the store), bell pepper, and lots of herbs and a couple of hours later I have some homemade stock for the next time soup making strikes my fancy.

This is one of a few baskets we have of apples harvested from the backyard. We have made one batch of applesauce that was promptly eaten and I plan on making another batch tonight or tomorrow. Peeled and cored the apples, simmered in a stock pot with a half a cup of water and a few tablespoons of sugar. Thirty minutes later a tasty afternoon snack for the kiddos.
Now the cooking is done and the kitchen is clean what else can I do? Well my daughter has been begging me to learn how to knit.

Unfortunately she doesn't quite have the dexterity yet to master it. I keep trying to teach her but this time it followed the same pattern and tears of frustration entered the scene. So I taught her finger weaving and it was a hit.

Have any of you done that? My sister and I used to finger weave all the time as kids. You weave the yarn back and forth through your fingers and pull the loops over. You end up with a long tube behind your hand and you can keep going until you have the length you want. We now have many different colored scarves that my daughter hand knit for her various puppies and kitties and other 'babies'.

So now the weekend is here. I still need to get those damn bears finished but I think I might have to make some soup because it is fall after all, and if I make soup then we'll need bread, and I don't know if I have any wine to drink with it so maybe a quick dash to the store and I still haven't finished watching season two of The Tudors and.....

What are your plans this weekend?



>> Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Fitting that this is the first day of Autumn and I am showcasing my first autumn knit. A sweater for my daughter.

This is the Girlfriend Swing Coat by Wendy Bernard. A very quick knit with sizing from 2 to 10. I will definitely be making it again when she has outgrown this one. The top is actually hooked together with a hook and eye and a button to cover it up.

I am jumping into this season with both feet as many of you seem to be doing. I hunkered down this last week nursing a cold of my own, two sick children, and a husband also under the weather. We wore sweats and snuggled in blankets with the curtains drawn....you see it was 92 degrees outside, complete with birds chirping and nary a cloud. Not quite hunkering down weather but we're ready so I think we are just going to will it to be colder.

The changes I made were minimal. I did a garter stitch band on the ends of the sleeves and bottom of the coat. To match I made the collar all garter stitch as well. I had originally planned to do an attached i-cord around the coat and collar (my first) but it didn't work out. I kept attaching it too tightly or something and the sweater would pucker. After an embarrassing amount of attempts to get it right I gave up and redid the collar, cuffs, and bottom of the coat with the garter stitch which, now that it is finished, I love.

It definitely swings as the pattern name suggests and is going to be a great addition to her fall sweater collection. I knit it using Knit Picks Swish Superwash which turned really soft after washing it. I washed it on delicate in the washing machine and then laid it out to dry.

And of course now that she's five she really can't sit still for long because she is "much busier now that she's older". Getting her to to sit still for photos was hard because, "doesn't it just look so much better when I'm running?"

And she's off. Happy first day of Autumn to all of you!


Meander Mitts

>> Thursday, September 3, 2009

Another pair of mitts. I kind of thought I made enough earlier this summer but when you get inspired it is usually best to listen and cast on.

I originally thought these mitts might make a good Christmas gift for someone but I'll confess that now that they are finished I love them. They are extremely comfortable and warm. They have a snug fit without being too tight. I love the meandering cables along the palm and back and the twisted rib at the cuff and top keeps the mitt from gaping anywhere.

Here is the ravelry link. They are from the Vogue Knitting magazine fall 2009. This is the first time I have received a knitting magazine and promptly cast on for one of the projects. I used 2 skeins of knit picks andean silk yarn. It is a less expensive alternative to the suggested yarn and I had it on hand. It is really soft and warm and I imagine I'll be wearing these a lot this winter in the carpool line :). I used size 3 needles and managed to get the gauge with no problems.
It seems that almost every blog I read the virtues of autumn are being espoused. Well these mitts were fast, super easy, and I think beautiful so I definitely recommend casting on for either a Christmas gift or to keep in your coat pocket for the ready the minute the weather turns.

Hope your week is going well. I also wanted to do a little shout out for my five year old daughter on today, her usual (as she put it) birthday. The color of these mitts is more like the bottom two photos....the sun wasn't super cooperative this morning. Happy fall knitting to all of you!



>> Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Well hello again. I seem to have fallen off the wagon in my quest for 30 days of balance as far as posting is concerned. I can say I feel a lot better after just saying the words out loud, or in our case writing them down. I think just shifting my attention to the problem helped shine a little light on it and make it not seem so bad. All of your encouraging comments helped a lot. It always makes things easier when you realize you aren't alone. So thank you!

I have been making lists and reading books and trying to carve out a little time for myself. Life seems to be about priorities and I am just shuffling mine around and getting them straight. School is starting for my daughter and my husband, although in his case he never stopped for the summer....I will be so glad when his doctorate is finished up! Anyway I have been in nesting mode. Getting my fall recipe books out and piling up reading books. You know the drill.

The party came off without a hitch. My fantastic sister showed up Friday night and we transformed our downstairs family room into a pixie hollow of sorts. The walls, yes all of them, were covered in green sheets, tablecloths, curtain sheers, and then we hung felt flowers from fishing line all around. White twinkly lights behind the curtains helped finish the effect. We made fairy wings and pirate hats and there was a tinker bell pinata full of loot. The best part? Besides my daughter having a great time, it was knowing that by Saturday afternoon my weekend was in front of me with the party behind me ;)

So now onto September for the knit-a-long. Well Ms. Zimmerman has underclothes for September. Now maybe you wear a lot of woolen, knit, underclothes....but I don't. So I am declaring September a knit what you want month. A knit-a-long free zone if you will. Since I haven't done as much knitting as usual....I have the clean out every last closet before it's cold bug, I am going to finish those dang bears and get started on some fall sweaters for everyone around here. As well as finish up some wips. What are you working on this fall?


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