Thursday, October 28, 2010

Cupcake!

It's done!

Perfect timing with school's halloween party tomorrow and my attending a friends baby shower tonight! I would like to send a special thanks to my new glue gun, I wouldn't have been able to do it without you. I will even forgive you for burning my finger that I sliced open with my rotary cutter.
Crafting is dangerous.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Banana muffin, with options

I might not be a cupcake person, but I love muffins. I started to make them more often after EJ was diagnosed with her soy allergy because it is an easy breakfast to send with her to school and they freeze great. Not eating them all before they cool becomes the tricky part for me.
This is a recipe I go to more often than not- and one that I came up with on my own after modifying and combining a few others that I liked to find my perfect muffin formula. I will start with the basic

Banana Oat Muffin
Preheat oven to 350
1 1/2 cup flour
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (I rarely measure, and generally use two)
1/3 cup of milk
1/4 cup of oil (such as vegetable or canola)
1 large egg

Prepare a muffin pan, with either oil or paper liners. Combine the dry ingredients (flour-cinnamon) in a medium sized bowl. Combine the remaining wet ingredients in a separate bowl, mixing them well. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and fold them together until moist. If desired, sprinkle some raw sugar over the tops which gives a nice crunch to the muffin tops. Otherwise, bake at 350 for 20-25 min or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.





Now for some changes, if you want to switch things up. I like to add 1 cup frozen blueberries to the above recipe for blueberry banana muffins. I also frequently use half whole wheat flour and half all purpose flour to increase the healthiness factor a bit. Just today, I made them with half banana and half pumpkin puree for a fall pumpkin muffin (pictured above). Just 1/2 cup of pumpkin and one banana and switching out the cinnamon for pumpkin pie spice did the trick. If you wanted a more pumpkiny muffin, go ahead and put a full cup of pumpkin in for the banana in the original recipe.

What is your favorite muffin or quick bread recipe?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Ingredients!

EJ has been pretty decisive this year when it came to choosing a Halloween costume, and for the first time I was motivated to make one. It was decided she would be a cupcake way back in September. So finally I went to the fabric store and came home with the following

Pink fleece for the icing, felt squares to cut into jimmies, ribbon for shoulder straps and the brown polka-dots for the muffin paper. If time allows, that cheap chunky yarn will find itself playing the role of a cherry on top hat.

Wish me luck!

Monday, September 13, 2010

The incredible shrinking sweater!







Surly it is the sweater getting smaller right? EJ looks exactly the same.

Special thanks to blogless Erin for her ability to knit baby sweaters that fit toddlers as shrugs.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Balance

I think there is a fine line between super mom and crazy. I often feel like I am toeing that line and loosing my balance more than I care to admit. I can ignore chores like no other, but thanks to a very helpful husband we still manage to have clean clothes and dishes. This team work really helps me keep my cool. Nights he works late only make me appreciate it more. Having to cook dinner, entertain the child, do dishes, bath for the child, and the bedtime process all on my own could really wear a woman down pretty quickly.

I have a confession. Those of you who know me shouldn't be surprised by this. I am selfish. And have gotten more so in the past year. Let me explain. I have always taken time to knit, and to get together with my knitting friends. It is very satisfying hobby for me and time away from the child is priceless. However, since April I have been running around 3 times a week. I started with the Couch to 5k program, and once I completed it I kept up with the habit. Long enough to consider myself a runner, and stash running shorts into my vacation suitcase.

I never thought I could run and enjoy it. But something about turning 30, and being a mother made me look more closely at my health and habits. I want to be a good example for my daughter, and being active is one thing I would like her to learn from me. The time was right, and I was up for the challenge. Having friends with a similar goal made the process that much easier. Thanks for your motivation ladies!

When you are not chasing down toddlers, scrubbing toilets, or working towards a deadline for work, or trying to keep up with your wife duties (wink), what do you do for you??? My friend DrBabyMamaDrama is having a Choose You giveaway- go learn more about it and tell her what you do to help maintain balance in your life to enter!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Jacket in Progress

Jacket in progress

Well, there it is. In all of its giant yellow flowery glory. It is sunny, which is what I had wanted. It seemed shockingly so when it was coming together, but I pressed on. It was exciting to try on and I have to admit I think it is pretty much what I envisioned. EJ thinks that it is beautiful. Knowing her current sense of style, this doesn't really give me much confidence in my own taste.

The pattern has been pretty easy to follow so far, for someone who falls into a category between beginner and intermediate seamstress. I have been stumped along the way... like why the front and sides are not the same length. But I figured it out after some thinking and trust in the instructions.

I had some dark green lining, but I think I need something lighter. Back to the fabric store. I just wish I could have a natural fiber lining, that was still slippery enough to act as a lining. The poly linings are kinda meh. Any suggestions to alternatives that are readily available? And while I am asking questions... honest opinions on the bold fabric? hehehe

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Peep show

I have been sewing! Just had to get rid of my husband for the weekend to find the time.
Jacket sneek peak
Close up of the one pocket welt, and front and side panels of my new jacket.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Scarves!

I just love the trend of layering scarves over an outfit. I had been working on my first knit shawl for way too long... almost a year I think, but I am so happy to have it finished!
Fountain pen shawl
It is the Fountain Pen Shawl from an Interweave Knits magazine from 2009. I didn't make it as large as the pattern suggested, because I wanted to wear it as a scarf and not a shawl. It was a lot of fun to watch it change after blocking it!

And speaking of scarves, my friend and fellow blogger is offering a give away on a beautiful scarf! Check out her blog and take a look around! She is a fun girl with a lot of creativity for party planning and putting together outfits!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

2,3,4?

Gauge, is a great mystery at times. This yarn has given me a great many problems along the way with gauge. But this time, I feel like I won. Even if I ended up with a size 4, and a size 2 daughter. She should grow. Right?

It all started with a sweater, for me.
Cables & O's
a sweater that was never more than a too-small sleeve thanks to too tight knitting and a dislike of the pattern.

Then came a little dress.
Easter dress
And after a first attempt being too small, and a second attempt being too big I threw in the towel.

Finally I decided to revisit this yarn one last time. One more pattern. Again, two attempts...
Fast!
And finally. A success. That is not to say I finally found the perfect pattern with the proper gauge to execute perfectly. Oh no. My gauge was way off, and this yarn didn't want to be knit any tighter. Knit on size 5's and with the size 2 directions I ended up with a sweater much closer to the size 4 sweater. So I knit using the size 4 length instructions. So I don't know if it is a size 2, 3 or 4. But I do know it fits her now. And that is enough.

But what do I do with the rest of this yarn!?!?!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Third time...

is a charm!
Flutter

Saturday, April 10, 2010

2010 Salvation Army Fabric Sale

Thanks to some very good friends, I was made aware of a fabric sale that the Salvation Army does every year. I was unable to go last year. My friends reminded me I had cracked a tooth and was desperate to see a dentist. Yuck! But this year my teeth were in tact and I was ready to go! It was great fun! And I think we all left with a bag full of possibilities!
First stop was the notions table, specifically the button boxes.
Fabric Sale
Lots of yellow, and those big buttons might just work on my jacket project! Total cost- $3.
I then started to wander up and down the rows of tables stacked with fabric. Everything was organized by type and my bag got heavy quickly.
Fabric Sale
Navy flowered poly blend, some blue lining, gray suiting material, wool houndstooth plaid, gray wool, blue/white seersucker stripe, flowered cream home decor fabric, and finally some Waverly home dec print (which I thought of using to recover a small chair I have... but there might be enough to recover my dining room chairs which seems like a good use of the fabric!!) Total yardage- 19.5 cost- $27.75
Lastly I took some time to look through a few boxes of patterns. They were only a quarter... so why not?
Fabric Sale
They only charged me for two of them. I pointed out there was one more in the bag and the lady let it go. Cost-$.50.
All and all I had a great time with friends. Spent the morning elbow to elbow with complete strangers digging through piles of fabric. Only cost me $31.25, and who knows what all of these goodies will end up becoming in the coming year!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Taking the plunge!

I can be a very cautious at times. Planning and thinking and worrying. It is part of my personality I guess. But I also have a way of coming up with an idea and running with it. If you are one of my readers who know me in real life, well you know where this is going. As you have been the recipient of many e-mails, and messages filled with sewing questions.
I am tall. Tall enough that I can't buy coats in the store. I have to go online and click the "Tall" button on my favorite retailers sites. Sadly, all the tall coats were gray, tan, or black. Otherwise, BLAH. If it is dull and dreary outside I want to do my part to brighten up the day. Not contribute to the drab. I wanted something and couldn't buy it. Time to pull out all the stops and get crafty. Even if it means pushing my current skills up a notch.
Please join me in welcoming my newest project.
The Perfect Spring Jacket.
The cast of characters:
Simplicity pattern 2508

And while I was thinking of a solid fabric when I started this adventure, this print was not easy to ignore

Del Hi PomPom Sun, found at Fabric.com discounted and applied a coupon code for 25% off! Double Score!
I was also lucky enough to have a friend with a similar fabric from the same designer in her stash, which helped me through all the crazy doubts about the large print on a coat with a lot of smaller pieces. But today, I took the plunge. I ordered the fabric for the coat! Lining is still not decided upon. I might wait until I have the fabric in hand. But I am thinking something unexpected would be lovely. Baby blue? Bright spring green? Should be fun!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Redemption

Sometimes life gives you a second chance. I was surprised yesterday to cross paths with Mr Jude and his blogless mama. And wouldn't you know, he was rocking his sweater. This time I didn't pass up the chance to snag a photo (thank you fancy new cell phone)
IMAG0005
He is so stinking cute! Don't you agree?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Spring

AKA a year ago this month...
Here Mommy
One- I cannot believe how much she has changed in the past year. Seriously, speechless over this one. She would have been about 15 months at the time of the shoot.
Two- That is right, it is the Hey Jude sweater. I was lucky enough to see the almost famous Jude in his namesake sweater last weekend. And I am sure this would be a great place to show off that adorable little boy wrapped in hand knits... but I dropped the ball and forgot my camera. Doh!
Three- this is part of the Fav Foto Friday going on at Becoming Family... And still dominating my blogging, cause it is easy. But look, I used photos with knitting. That is almost like blogging about knitting!

Happy Spring!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Green

Green peppers that is. Part of Favorite Foto Friday
Garden Month 3
This stretch of warm weather really has be itching to do some gardening!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Twins!

Last fall we were surprised with the news that our friends were expecting identical twins! It was such exciting news and I just couldn't wait to pick something to knit for this very knit-worthy couple's growing family. Part of my problem with knitting gifts is I put too much pressure on what to make. So I really procrastinated starting and missed the baby shower deadline. However, I wasn't a complete slacker. The sweet little boys made their way into this world just two days before I finished. Now if only I could get to the post office...
Twins!
The patters are Argyle Pullover [Rav]from Debbie Bliss Special Knits: 22 Gorgeous Handknits for Babies and Toddlers and a free pattern from Petite Purls called Cirrus [Rav]. I love how one is more preppy and the other is a bit more sporty. The boys are identical and the parents expressed an interest in not dressing them in identical clothes. The yarn in both sweaters is Comfort DK and washed up into a very soft cozy fabric. It can be a bit splitty, but I wanted something soft and easy to care for, as these new parents will certainly have their hands full.
I made some Mods in each pattern. In the Argyle Pullover I excluded the two partial diamonds at each edge of the sweater. I didn't want to fuss with two more strands of yarn and didn't like that the partial diamonds from the front and back wouldn't line up perfectly at the seams. I also used more of a fair isle/intarsia combo on the diamonds, carrying and twisting the white along while I knit the diamonds using intarsia. My tension on the back was a bit snug, but the front was perfect. In Cirrus I didn't include the textured cable pattern and also skipped the tabbed bottom, opting for a continuous garter band. Both sweaters are knit to fit around 9-12 months. Hopefully the boys will fit into them this fall!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Sun

Ah, the sun. It seemed at times in February we might not see it again. Which would totally bum out the dogs. See, their favorite shared hobby is sunning at the front door. Even on the coldest days we prop open the door so the sun fills the hallway for them to enjoy. They lay there until they get over heated. So then they stumble to the living rooms shade and plop back down on the rug long enough to catch their breath and return to the heat.
Bella
Sometimes I wonder if I should get them some sunblock...

(this is part of Favorite Foto Friday... apparently the only thing I have been blogging about recently. Oops.)

Friday, March 5, 2010

Favorite Foto Friday

My friend is trying to resurrect Favorite Foto Friday. While I found this weeks theme to be difficult, I decided to participate anyway. I wouldn't want to be accused of hating fun.



There are very few photos of me alone, especially recently. I am the family member who remembers to bring the camera and pulls it out to capture the moment. Which makes being in pictures hard. I managed to find one where I was not modeling knitwear too! This one I took myself at a wedding we attended last fall. The studio had a long white wall washed in this red light and our table was right up against it. It helps that I was having a pretty awesome hair day too.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

One of Three

I may have mentioned I had some baby knitting to do this year. I am terribly behind on it, as I would have much preferred to give them as shower gifts but part of the problem with that is these three babies are all part of the same family. Three baby boys, two mamas, and one due date! The expecting grandparents will be going from zero to three grand-babies in a matter of weeks! The twins will be here first, but decided to knit their gifts second. So for Baby F I knit one of my favorite sweater patterns, the Placket Sweater from Last Minute Knitted Gifts. I really like the simplicity of this sweater, and the touch of seed stitch. I will add some black buttons before sending it off to the new baby after he arrives!
IMG_3436
I used Cascade 220 Superwash in Charcoal and the photo does not reflect the actual shade of the yarn which is much darker than pictured. This is a worsted weight yarn and the pattern called for DK weight. So I just knit a smaller size, and used the length measurements from the larger size that matched up with the size my sweater turned out.

With the leftover yarn and some of the same in black I knit K a new winter hat, which I am proud to say he is actually wearing (thanks to all of this snow!)
IMG_3438
The pattern is Jared Flood's Turn a Square. The second one I have knit, and it only took a couple of days to complete. I knit it at a slightly smaller gauge. Six stitches to an inch, because last time I followed gauge and found it to be a bit looser than we prefer.

Snowmageddon 2010- Lessons Learned:

If you live under a rock, or perhaps in a far warmer climate you probably heard of the big snow storms to hit the north east. We measured 24 inches from the first round that hit over the weekend and I stopped measuring when the second storm came through. The local news station suggests it was about 8 additional inches. I have to admit, I was giddy watching the snow fall over the weekend. It is safe to say I am totally over it right about now. In any case, the storms have taught me some lessons.

1. Having house guests is fun. We took in a refugee who lost his power over the weekend. The distraction made being snowed in a little easier to bear. Especially for the dogs and EJ. And it gave mom and dad a much needed break.

2. Never mock the people on the news buying snow shovels during a storm. It will cause your best snow shovel (yes, we have 3) to break and render itself useless. Second best snow shovel sucks. I hope the news crews are not at the hardware store when I make that walk of shame.

3. Work from home is awesome.

4. I do crazy things when I don't spend enough time out of the house. Like washing dishes, laundry and running the vacuum. The mess is a lot more annoying when I am staring at it all day!

5. A three foot tall person can have fun in two feet of snow.
IMG_3488

6. We have great neighbors.
IMG_3495

Friday, January 22, 2010

2009 in review

I am a bit late on this one... but last night I was looking through my projects on Ravelry and trying to organize them a bit. It was fun to remember what had kept my hands and mind busy through the year. To reflect upon all that I had created.

6 miniature stockings
5 sweaters for me!
5 pieces of fruit :o)
2.5 pairs of socks
3 baby sweaters (two are not pictured)
2 baby hats, one pair of booties
1 adult hat
1 toddler hat

I hope that 2010 brings me as many successful projects!

I wanted to thank all of you who have reached out to me since reading my interview in Natural Stitches Newsletter. It was such a fun opportunity, and I appreciate the feedback!

Wishing you all a happy and healthy 2010!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Fireside, Finished... almost

Hello, and a belated happy new year to you all! Due to some technical problems, paired with some lost of interest in my current project as well as distraction with loads of baking I have been neglecting my blog. However, I have a finished project. Almost.

It is my Fireside Cardi [Rav] which I have been working on since September!!! No wonder it was hard to finish. While it was a consuming project with all of the cables along the way slowing me down, I am so glad I kept on knitting. I love this sweater! It is warm, and cozy, and I think looks great on. Well take a look for yourself...
Fireside2
I knit the smallest size with some modifications. Like usual I added some obscene ammount of length to the arms and body of the sweater to fit my tall frame.
Fireside3
Across the back, I didn't merge the cables together as the pattern suggested for the smallest size. Instead I added some additional stitches and kept the two center cables 2 stitches apart before the increases started.
Fireside1
You may notice there are no photos of the sweater buttoned. Well, that brings me to the almost part of it being finished. I want some buttons, but decided to wait to put button holes in until after I was finished. I am leaning towards afterthought buttonholes of some kind, but have not ruled out an i-cord trim to also act as the buttonband. I also need to find buttons!