Saturday, March 29, 2014

Weekending





Hello Friends!

It's another deary Saturday here in the midwest. Although we do have the promise of better weather to brighten our spirits!

I've been playing at my spinning wheel again. Making rolags using a dowel is quite addictive! I tried out some fiber from KnitPicks and found that I loved it! Eeek! What to do now for they have a bunch of lovely colors! Oh, my! The options are endless!

happy weekend! Hang in there... spring will arrive someday! =)

Christina








Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Yarn Along





Hello Friends!

We had one blast of winter yesterday. I couldn't believe it as I watched the snow fall so quickly . But by the afternoon the sun had melted the delicate covering we had received and things were looking brown again.

This late spring is really getting to us a bit. I keep putting bright cheery things about the house. I bought myself a new mug - very appropriate don't you think? And, I've been knitting with yellow. There is something about wearing yellow and knitting with yellow at this time of year that brightens my spirit. So... on with the yellow.

Arthur turned 6 months this week. Phew time goes so fast!

I'm still reading "Wild Things: the art of nurturing boys." It is wonderful, wonderful wonderful. Boys such amazing little things.

I did another crazy little "podcast" and updated you all on my spinning life. Watch only if you need a good laugh - don't worry I don't mind if you laugh at me.

Well, I had better run and get this posted!



Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Podcast Episode 2: Spinning






While I don't consider myself to be a "real" podcaster, it is a lovely way to catch up with you all. In this episode I catch you up on all the spinning I've been doing lately. Arthur joins me in this episode as a co-host so you'll get to enjoy some big baby grins!

"Show" notes:

1) Kromski Mazurka Spinning Wheel

2) German wool top (sorry no link. my SIL picked this lovely stuff up at a market in Germany)

3) Indiana fiber fairs - Greencastle: The Fiber Event and Hoosier Hills Fiber Fair

4) Breezy Manor Fiber Farm, Mad Hatter Roving. Can be found at either of Indiana's fiber fairs or at Nomad Yarn Shop

5) Spin Monkey semi smooth rolags

6) How to spin thick and thin or lumpy bumpy yarn

7) Blending Boards (what they are if you are curious)

8) How to make your own rolags with a dowel



Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Yarn Along


 It's been one of "those" weeks. I can't believe a week has flown by already. Here we are at Wednesday sharing our progress. Right now everything is slipping by in a foggy, sleepless blur called "babyhood." All of you mothers out there know what I mean. It's just survival mode right now. But that's ok. For my little men are growing strong and I know that this stage shall pass someday.

 Because it was one of "those" weeks I really needed some relaxing knitting. I find lace knitting very rhythmic and relaxing. Not lace that I have to follow by a chart, but lace that I can easily memorize. I knit the neckerchief above for a friend using a lace pattern that I have memorized and found myself so calmed by it... I cast on for another one for myself.

I made a little bow-tie for her son to match --- rather sweet isn't it?



And little booties for her little one yet to be born. Ah, such sweetness...


We've taken walks...

Marveled at the beauty of the still naked trees...



And had our first picnic outside.

But did I get any reading done? no... ah, perhaps in the week to come!

Knit on my dear friends!


Friday, March 14, 2014

Happy Weekend





Hello friends - it's been quite the week. I must say, I'm really glad to be headed into the weekend. Perhaps there will be a chance for catching a breath.

These day of childhood can be enchanting and exhausting. Moments you want to savor and hold on to and yet moments that can be so foggy at times from lack of sleep.

We did a lot of savoring and playing today. I reached for some soothing knitting and managed a few rows today. It's funny how cyclical my knitting life is. When John was a baby I found myself reaching for garter stitch knitting and rhythmic lace knitting. Now, during Arthur's babyhood, I am finding I am craving those same stitches and textures.

have a happy weekend, friends! Savor the moments.


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Knitting


Pattern: my own
Yarn: Madelinetosh DK - colorway Morning Dove
For - Arthur 5 months


I have two small tins that I keep filled with odds and ends of buttons. When I finish a garment I go digging among these vintage buttons to find the perfect set for the garment. Sometimes I don't find a set. Sometimes I find a mismatched set - oh, I do love mismatched buttons. 


Little Arthur is growing by the moment. And we've been enjoying those precious moments.


I finally grew tired of not being able to find a pair of "easy" mittens for John when we would do the preschool run on preschool days. Those gloves that are meant for snow take SOOOO long to put on him and when you are trying to get both boys in the car quickly they are daunting!

And... because spring did seem a long way off last week, I decided to make John some scrap mittens. Why not. He will probably be able to use them next year. If not.. we'll save them for Arthur. I used this pattern and loved it! Yes, I slightly modified it to suite John. But it is fine as is.


He LOVES them and has thanked me several times for making them for him. SOOOOO sweet! What a kid!

It looks like we'll get a bit more use out of them since today's weather forecast is for sleet, rain and snow. Yuck!

On the nightstand:
I have finished "A Spoonful of Sugar" by Barbara Ahsford and savored every last word. This book will be staying on my nightstand for awhile. For some reason I just found Barbara Ashford's little insights so helpful during these years of "littles".

I have "Wild Things: the art of nurturing boys" lined up next and "Longbourn" but we'll see. So far I haven't made any progress in them. Arthur's nights still are quite dreadful leaving me exhausted and wanting to sleep any chance I get. Ah, well, only a season; right?

now I'll have to catch you up on my recent spinning adventures sometime soon...

Joining with ginny

Monday, March 10, 2014

Brownie Bread Pudding




A few weeks ago my sister went to a sale at a local food store and picked up a bunch of really good deals on gluten free items. I couldn't make it to the sale so she graciously picked up enough for me too! What a treat to have some normally "pricey" gluten free items.

However, we both were really disheartened to find out that one of the items - some yummy gluten free brownies - were REALLY stale. I mean, really stale. 

However, since they weren't "bad" I didn't want to throw them out. What a waste, right? Well, after a bit of searching I found Topsy Turvy's recipe for Brownie Bread Pudding and decided to give it a try. 


I modified it slightly....


And I must say... it is REALLY good. So good in fact we are now going to be hunting down stale brownies to make this out of! Goodness, me, you really can make amazing things come out of stuff that normally would be thrown away!


Grease an 8x8 glass pan or small casserole dish and set aside

Preheat oven to 350 F

4 cups stale brownies
1 1/2 cup half & half or milk
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 Tablespoon of vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 t salt
1/2 cup choc chips
1/2 cup pecans (optional)

Crumb the stale brownies and set them aside

Mix together the half/half, cream, vanilla, eggs, sugars and salt. Tip in the brownie crumbs to the milk mixture and fold together. Gently fold in the choc chips and the pecans. Place in greased casserole dish and bake at 350 F for 30 minutes or until top has lost it's wet look but is still soft and sticky in the center.

Let cool 10 to 15 minutes. Serve with ice cream or cream.

It would be delightful with a caramel sauce onto! Can you imagine!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Is it Spring yet?







I think spring is finally on the move. Perhaps not "arrived" so to speak, but on the move. Ahh.... I am breathing a sigh of relief.

It was a long beautiful winter. A perfect winter for snuggling indoors and enjoying lots of crafts and new babies. But my darling bouncy 4 year old has struggled with it.

The last few days have been warm enough for us to venture outside. Oh, did he enjoy those walks and bike rides. He begun to say he is allergic to winter! Ha! What a kid!

I changed over the hutch and the mantle finally for spring. I didn't want to touch it too early because I had a feeling winter was going to linger this year. Sometimes when I change things over too early I become so disappointed because the weather doesn't follow suit! Ha! I know, silly me. This time I began to think I may be jinxing things! Yes, I know, really silly thinking that I don't actually believe. But you, know.

We all had colds this week - I especially succumbed to it. I think the lack of sleep really does a number on me. Little Arthur just is such an eater - he just can't make it through the night without another full course! Silly little man. But.. hopefully I'll be able to do a catch up post - I have missed this little space!

Keep well, friends and keep your eye out for Spring!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Roving Indiana: The Wool Trail

Hi Knitters!

Last Saturday I packed up Arthur and all his equipment and headed out with my sister and our dear friend on Indiana's Wool Trail. Eight different shops in South-Central Indiana held a first-ever Yarn Crawl between February 21 through March 2.

We only had one Saturday to devote to the crawl and a baby in tow so we knew we weren't going to be able to make it to all 8 shops. But we thought we would have fun making it to some.

Earlier in January I headed out and picked up our passports to I was sure to get some before they sold out.

Aren't they cute!

Our first stop was Starstruck Cat Studio in Greenwood, Indiana.









It was a bright store with lots of sunlight - perfect for looking at yarns. They had a lot of fingering weight yarn in beautiful colors by a local yarn dyers. They also had special hand creams for knitters. A selection of rug hooking supplies and a very small corner for spinning supplies.

We all agreed we would love to make it back for a "make it and take it" rug hooking class! At $10 it cannot be beat!

Back in the car....


 We headed to Sheep Street - a beautiful large shop set on a  sheep farm. Of course pictures of sheep couldn't be resisted.






Sheep Street is one of the 'old school' yarn shops that carries EVERYTHING and has sweater quantities of all the good yarns as well as large selections of baby yarns and sock yarn. Very few shops these days carry this large of a selection so it was fun to walk around in.


Heather found a huge selection of Cotton Classic - something she was on the hunt for.


I was shown the delights of the new blending board (for making really cool rolags for spinning). Yes, I was drooling over it! What fun it would be to play with. Instead I bought two batts for spinning - at $5 a piece the price was just too good to be true. I recently paid $20 for a spinning batt that was simliar.

Back in the car.... we headed to In a Yarn Basket in Bloomington, Indiana




We decided that this shop was definitely geared to college students and professors. There were bright neon acrylic blends and expensive mohair angoras - quite a mix. But no sweater quantities. Think small, quick projects. 

We were really hungry by this time and went over to a restaurant that came highly recommended, Feast! Wow! What an experience. It was totally worth the 30 minute wait to be seated. The menu was filled with farm fresh locally grown items. For instance I had a burger made with local beef, topped with roasted tomatoes, pickled zucchini, and a yummy cheese with a apple butter barbecue dipping sauce. The fries were coated with sea salt and rosemary! It was divine! Why don't we have a Feast in Indianapolis? 

It was 3 o'clock by now. We were definately tiring. We had to cut out the Columbus shop because it closed at 3 pm. So we moved on to the Nashville yarn shop - The Clay Purl


The Clay Purl was tiny but totally adorable. We all settled on that shop as our favorite of the trip. It was charming and filled with select beautiful things. A bit of hand dyed yarn, a bit of novelty yarn - really interesting hand spun thick and thins tied with fluff or felted flowers. 

Totally satiated in yarny goodness we grabbed a cup of coffee to perk us up (well, decaf for me) and headed back out on the road for home. A hot meal, a large pot of tea, and a good Miss Marple accompanied by some knitting called my name...