Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Lactation Cookies...

I decided to make some lactation cookies today. Not that I really need them, but I thought it would be a good excuse to make and eat some cookies. I adapted this recipe to my own liking.

The first batch is out of the oven, and they're good. I'd make them again.


1 cup unsalted butter
3 tbsp almond butter
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups lightly packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

6 tbsp water
3 tbsp ground flax

2 cups all purpose flour  (I usually do 50% white flour and 50% whole wheat when I make cookies - will do this next time)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder 1 tsp salt

4 tablespoons brewers yeast

1 1/2 cups regular rolled oats
1 1/2 cups quick oats
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
1/4 cup milk chocolate chips
1/4 cup white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees (f).  Mix water and flax in separate bowl, set aside.  Using a mixer, cream butter and almond butter with brown sugar, beat in eggs, add vanilla extract.  Add in flax mixture.  Add remaining ingredients. Bake for 15 minutes.  Makes approximately 60 cookies, depending on the size of your scoops.

Friday, June 13, 2014

They See Me Rollin, They Hating...

The Spinning

Two years ago I bought 2 Shetland fleeces from Schoonover Farm in Washington.  I bought Logan's  fleece, which is a lovely moorit, and Jewel's fleece, which is a really nice silvery-gray.

I washed both fleeces when I got them, but haven't done much with either of them since.  I managed to keep most of the fleece with their lock formation intact, and last night, I pulled out Logan's fleece to start preping for spinning. 

Since this is a ram's fleece, it's a little more coarse than Jewel's lady sheep fleece, but still not as coarse as I thought it would be.

Here it is -

clean Shetland fleece

 I have about 2 pounds of this clean fleece, and I've toyed with the idea of sending it out to be pin drafted, but I thought I'd try my hand at carding it first.

I have a set of Schacht 72 pin/inch curved hand cards, and I really like them.  I originally had a set of Ashford hand cards, but I love the finished maple that the Schacht hand cards feature.  I confess, I also have the Schacht mini hand cards...but here are my full-sized cards -


I decided to make punis to spin, which are pretty popular right now.  I wanted to see if I could make them myself, since buying punis is really expensive - although if you factor in how much work they are to make, they're not expensive at all!  This is a very labour intensive way to process fiber, and I'm already sporting a huge blister on my thumb from rolling them.


I used this YouTube tutorial on making punis -

Take my word for it, you want to avoid googling 'punis' if you can.  Most results have nothing to do with punis...

I also used the advice given by Gourmet Stash in this article.  She makes really amazing punis.  She goes into more detail about punis, including how to spin them on her website.

Here are a few of my punis -

I'm just using a 14" long 4.5mm bamboo knitting needle to roll them.  It's a little slippery, but it works.  I've made about 10 now, and the ones that look the best were made when I had the least amount of fiber on the cards.

The Sweater

I'm making fast progress on my Lucky {you} cardigan for Jack.  The size 4 is really quite large and I'm thinking that it will be a couple of years before he can wear it, but that's ok, it's not like he's going to stop needing sweaters.

I'm really pleased with how the sweater is turning out.  I love the big chunky cables!

little sweater progress

I've decided I'm going to omit the pockets, since knit pockets have the tendency to droop at the best of times, especially if they're used, and little boys tend to put things in their pockets.  I figure he'll probably wear this with jeans, so he can use the pockets in his pants if he needs pockets.

I've made really comprehensive notes on my Ravelry page for this project.  You can find it here.  I'm toying with the idea of making a size 2 for him next, just so he has one to wear sooner.  I have 3 hanks of Cascade 220, which provides almost the exact yardage the pattern calls for.  With my progress so far, I think I'll likely only have to use 2 hanks though, so I could pick up one more and make a second one pretty easily.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Apple Crisp

I've been wanting to eat some apple pie for about 2 weeks now, but we seriously lack any good place to get apple pie close to here.  There are a couple of grocery store options, but honestly, if I'm going to consume the calories, I'd like it to be really worth it.

I toyed with the idea of making the pie myself, but I always find pie making to be overly messy and time consuming, and since I don't do it often, I find my pastry is a little hit or miss.

Instead of pie, I made apple crisp!  I wouldn't say this was a compromise, since apple crisp is such a great dessert no matter what you compare it to, and truth-be-told, I don't like pie crust anyway.

I did my own thing recipe-wise, and we liked our result so much, I had to write it down.



1 1/3 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup quick oats
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup softened (room temperature-ish) unsalted butter


8-10 Jonagold apples (or tart-ish, firm apples of your choice)
2 1/2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees (F).  Mix dry ingredients together for topping, then cut in butter using a pastry blender.  Set aside.

Meanwhile, peel, core and slice the apples (I cut mine into 1/2"-1/4" wedges).  Coat with flour and cinnamon.  I just sprinkled the flour and cinnamon over the apples in the pan, then tossed them with a couple of spoons.  I remembered just as I was finishing this, that the easiest way to do this is to put the apples in a ziploc freezer bag with the flour/cinnamon mixture and shake it.

Put the apple mixture in a rectangular pan that measures approximately 8" x 11".

Sprinkle the topping over the apple mixture and bake for approximately 45-55 minutes, or until crisp topping is browned and apples are the firmness you desire in a crisp.

On another note...

Jack is 3 months old today!  He was playing on his play mat while I had my coffee and updated this post (about 5 feet from him) when I noticed things had become a little quiet.  I looked over and there he was sleeping on his side!  He's just started turning on his side consistently and constantly in the last week.

He's been sleeping a little more than usual in the last few days, and it's so neat to watch his new skills emerge when this happens!  Last night he slept from midnight to 6am, then 7am to 8:30am, then he was up for about an hour before falling asleep again.

He seems to nap and lounge until about 1pm on a lot of days and then he's up from then until about midnight with a few mini naps (10-30 minutes) in between.  Not ideal, but at least we're getting a little more sleep at night.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Cast on: Lucky {you}

I cast on for the Lucky {you} cardigan, by Solenn Couix-Loarer, last night.  If you'd like to learn more about the pattern, here is the Ravelry link.  Solenn has designed both a kids' version and adults' version of this sweater (the adults' version is called Lucky {me}), and honestly I'm dying to make a matching one for myself out of the same yarn.

About 9 rows in...
The yarn I'm using is my favorite workhorse yarn, Cascade 220.  Oddly enough, I think this might be my desert island yarn...I could knit with it forever.

Early stats:

The pattern:

 Lucky {you} by Solenn Couix-Loarer, knit from the top down in one piece with raglan shaping.  I'm knitting the size 4 because I have just enough yarn for it.  This means it'll likely be a while before it fits Jack, but I'm trying to knit the size that maximizes the amount of yarn I use instead of having 3/4 of a ball left.

The yarn: 

 Cascade 220 in color number 8400.  I have 3 hanks of this yarn, which is just enough for the size 4.  The color is a lovely salt and peppery gray.

The needles:

 4.5mm Hiya Hiya sharps.  I have a fixed circular in this size as well as an interchangeable in the same size.  For now I'm using the fixed (24" cord), but if I go up to a longer cord, I'll switch over the the interchangeable.  I'll do the ribbing on 4.0mm needles.


I just finished a sweater out of Cascade 220 on 5.0mm needles with a gauge of 17 stitches per 4 inches.  This sweater calls for 18 stitches over 4 inches, so I've just gone down 1 needle size and didn't swatch.  I figure the 4.5mm needle will take me down at least 1/4 of a stitch every inch.  So far, I'm liking how the fabric knits up and I don't think I'd want it any less dense.  

Today's thoughts:

I'm hoping to get through the yoke today during naptime.  Jack is 13 weeks old today (he'll officially be 3 months old tomorrow), and he slept for a full 8 hours last night (11pm-7am) for the first time.  Most nights we get about 2-3 hours of sleep at a time, so this is cause for celebration!  Too bad I was convinced he wasn't going to stay asleep when he went down at 11pm (he usually goes down between 12am-2am), so I couldn't sleep until almost midnight.

We're thinking about making a trip out to 88 Stitches in Langley today to pick up yarn for my next adult sized sweater.  More on this later. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Thoughts on Blogging...

When I started blogging originally, I looked at it as a way to keep track of my knitting projects, and once I started using Ravelry in mid-2007 I stepped away from blogging and just tracked my projects there.

Since stepping away from this blog around that time, I have tracked my projects in a number of different ways, including an audio podcast, videocast, Ravelry, Flickr and Instagram, not to mention my Snappy Stitches blog for a brief period when I was sewing more than knitting (due to a wrist injury). 

Let's just say, I've never stopped tracking. 

A few days ago I was using the neighbour feature in Ravelry, which tells you who you have the most projects and queued projects in common with, and I noticed a few projects I had in common with one person were listed as 'queued' not as actual projects.  It dawned on me that I had a lot of projects from the pre-Ravelry days that I never entered into my Ravelry projects, so I pulled up this old blog with the thought that I'd add some of my older projects into Ravelry finally.

Once I started looking back and reading a few of my older posts (did I really sound like that?!?) it occurred to me that my little knitting blog was about so much more than just tracking my knitting projects and progress - it captured little snippets of my life that likely would have stayed forgotten memories if not for a passing mention couched in that day's (or week's) knitting.

It occurred to me that I liked having this record of the mundane as well as the bigger life events (how much I felt I needed that weekend, that dh had proposed, the first time I magic looped [sometime in 2005 I think], bringing home our kitties).

So I'm back! I'm going to blog again about random life events - the mundane, the spectacular and everything in between!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Noro Striped Scarf...

I'm working on a highly addictive project right now. I mean, can't put it down, knitting instead of eating and sleeping, addictive.

I'm referring to the Noro Striped Scarf made famous by Brooklyn Tweed.

Here is my progress so far ---

I picked up 4 skeins of Noro Silk Garden (original weight) from the Three Bags Full Anniversary Sale last weekend (omygod it was a zoo in there, but that's a story for another day).

I cast on first thing Sunday morning, and couldn't put it down. I can't wait to see what color each new stripe will be, and how it will interact with the next stripe from the other ball.

This scarf may be fairly plain, but it is certainly not boring to knit. I also love that the 1x1 rib looks like stockinette, but without the curling.

At this rate, I'll have it all done by next weekend!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Seedy Slouch Hat!

I test knit this hat for the designer, Christa Giles, a few months ago, but I had to wait until it was released before I could post about it.

So, here it is ---

Of course I've forgotten which colorway I used, but the yarn in Malabrigo Silky Merino, and the pattern only takes 1 skein!

In case you're interested, the pattern can be downloaded from Ravelry here. It's a quick knit, and it looks great on.

And the back---

I know I'll be getting a lot of use out of it this fall. The only annoying thing about this hat is all the increases at the top (it's top down). I found them pretty fiddly on dpns. Seriously though, the finished product is totally worth it.

I'm going to make myself another one out of the Malabrigo Silky Merino I picked up from Three Bags Full yesterday (it's turquoise).

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Saturday, Woo Hoo!

This weekend was another much needed weekend for me, especially after a fairly hectic payroll week!

Proof that I still knit socks -

It's funny - I get a very different feeling when I knit socks compared to any other projects. I think it's serenity. This one is going to be knit in one of the patterns from Sensational Knitted Socks ( the first one). I'm not sure which one, but I'll have to decide soon, because if the ribbing gets any longer, it'll just be a ribbed sock!

Juno Regina is going really well. I'm in the boring middle part, which is pretty much 42" of the same lace row followed by a purl row. I think I need a day of two off from it. I am about 30" into it. I just remembered that I have yet to take a picture of it.

Stu and I just got home from a nice walk down at Kits beach. We grabbed some Starbucks and sat on a bench 10 feet from the water and watched the sunset.

I spent the early half of the day at Three Bags Full on Main Street attending their 2nd Anniversary Sale. There were lots of deals to be had, as well as cupcakes. It was really nice to be surrounded by "my people". It's funny, because I heard at least two other people use that exact phrase today.

This morning I told Stu "I have to go to the yarn store. My people are congregating" . He found that highly amusing.

Here's my haul from all the shopping this morning -

If you go to my Flickr page you can see exactly what everything is.

I had a great time, and I'm looking forward to doing some more knitting!

PS. The Cherry Tree Hill Super Sock was 50% off!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

A Few Realizations....

This particular colorway is my favorite yarn color ever!

The bottoms of Redd's feet are very hairy.

Isn't it great when vacations are productive?  ;)