Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Best Wishes...

It's getting a little hectic around here. I'm eating a bagel, making a dessert for tonight, and writing a post all at the same time and hoping I'll remember to pick up our dog at the groomer's. How is that for multi-tasking? But I just wanted to take a moment to wish you a wonderful holiday with your family and a healthy, joyous and peaceful new year. I'll be back sometime after the new year.


Friday, December 19, 2008

Man's Best Friend

Wow, where did this week go? I was hit really hard with a chest cold this past week. Our dog was happy to keep me company on the sick bed. She is good that way. When I was feeling a little better (able to get off the sofa, but not able to drive to a crowded store), I decided to make her some Christmas gifts.

First up was a recipe for peanut butter dog treats. These were so easy to make, only four indredients and our dog, who is finicky, did like them. I let her be the taste tester.

Next on the list was a neckerchief. I just cut a 15" square, folded it on the diagonal, right sides together, sewed the two open sides together leaving a four inch opening for turning. I turned it right sides out and top stitched around the edges which secured the opening closed. Seriously, ten minutes start to finish. Now, you can't even find a parking space at the mall in ten minutes time.

Finally, a dog toy was needed. I saw a free pattern at Joanne's for a fleece doll, and I used that for inspiration. I cut strips of fleece (three each) to make braids for the arms and legs and knotted the ends. I made an amoeba shaped body out of cotton. I added some eyes, pinned the legs and arms in place, and with right sides together sewed around the shape leaving an opening at the top for turning. I turned it right side out and stuffed it. I made some hair by cutting fleece into strips, pinned it into the opening and sewed it shut. I think it has all the elements my dog would be looking for - stuffing and braids to pull on.

Now the dog is done, and I didn't even have to leave the house. I wish it was all that easy!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Once upon a time...

in a land far, far away there lived an obsessed knitter. She would knit and knit forgoing any laundry, vacuuming and dusting. When she wasn't knitting she was day dreaming about knitting. When she wasn't day dreaming about knitting she was on the Internet searching for new things to knit. One day she came upon a pattern for bird ornaments. She dropped everything she was doing and began knitting like a mad woman. She knit day and night and even into the wee hours of the morning. Now, she was forgoing sleep, but it was all in the name of knitting which she thought was a good cause. She had knit six of these little birds and her fingers (especially the one she had stitches in) were starting to become weak. Finally, in this moment of weakness, she put down her needles and went to bed.

When she woke up in the morning she went straight to her knitting basket to admire her little birds, but they were gone. It seemed that they had flown away. She looked high and low for her precious birds. Alas, she found them.

They had made a new home for themselves where they lived happily ever after.

The End

Monday, December 8, 2008

It's beginning to look a little like Christmas.

I finally learned how to do a mosaic! I used, and it worked great. I have always wanted to learn how to do this.

We don't have a tree yet. Next weekend we will put it up. I finally got around to putting a few decorations around the house today.

The cookie swap was fun. Lots of laughs. I helped my mother with her cookies on Friday and cut my finger on the blender blade. Silly me. I ended up with seven stitches, but no cookies were harmed in the process. It is slowing my knitting down though.

This is only half of the cookies - I'm sending them into my husbands work.

Friday, December 5, 2008

It's all about the cookie...

Yesterday was all about cookies. 100 cookies! My Aunt is hosting a cookie swap this weekend and I signed up to drink wine, chat and eat some cookies. It all sounded so good until I got the email - each person brings 100 cookies. What!
I used this recipe. The recipe says that it makes 50 and it really does make 50 cookies.

So, I doubled it! It is an easy recipe, and they taste delicious.

Oh yeah, I also bound off on the body of Wisteria. I'm working on the sleeves now. I really love this pattern. I hope I finish in time for Christmas.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Anthro-Inspired Scarflet

There is a very cute scarf available at Anthropologie right now - Le Petite Scarf. Well, Kim from Chronic Ennui worked up a free Ravelry pattern . I can't tell the difference. I love this pattern. You can dress it up or down and totally make it your own. Kim knit several examples and they are all cute. I chose to follow her lead and make a flower pin that I attached, but the scarf can also be worn without it.

Pattern: Anthro-Inspired Scarflet
Designed by: Kim from Chronic Ennui
Yarn: Mission Falls 1824 Wool 100% merino superwash, 2 skeins color 006
Needles: US size 8 straight
To make the flower: Cast on 47 stitches.
Row 1 - *P1, yo, P2tog* repeat to last 2 sts, P2.
Row 2 - Purl
Row 3 - *K2tog* repeat to last stitch K1.
Row 4 - *P3tog* repeat to end
Row 5 - K3tog, K2tog, K3tog (3 sts)
Cut yarn leaving a 10" tail, with tapestry needle run tail through stitches on needle. Coil flower as desired, (Optional: I added a button to the middle using the tail), take a few stitches and fasten with tails to safety pin.

Thanks Kim!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


This is a turkey candle holder that my husband made for his mother many, many years ago. We still use it at Thanksgiving. Amanda from Joli House was looking forward to hearing about our holiday traditions in the upcoming weeks. That got me thinking about some of the Thanksgiving traditions our family has as I was preparing for Thursday. Of course we have the traditional New England Thanksgiving dinner of turkey, stuffing, potatoes, squash, cranberry sauce, and apple pie, but we also carry on a few smaller traditions too.

My mother-in-law always set a beautiful table at the holidays, and she always had a little handmade favor at each place setting, so we carry on that tradition each Thanksgiving with some little favor. Sometimes it's handmade. Sometimes it is store bought chocolate, but it is always there. This year it is pumpkin shaped sugar cookies drizzled with chocolate.

The other tradition we have is using the turkey plates that were handed down to us from my mother-in-law. I love them. They are so special. I only have eight, so sometimes the kids get to use them, and sometimes it is the lucky adults.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and thank you for stopping by and leaving me messages. They always make my day. Thanks also for all the inspiration you have given me from your blogs and websites too!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Fire Starters

It is really cold here in the Northeast. It's below freezing! I wanted to start a fire in the wood stove, but I ran out of fire starters. It's the only way I can get a fire to start. So, being the "Internet savvy" person that I am, I googled "handmade fire starters" and found this recipe.

I had all the supplies on hand - old candles, wood shavings, and paper baking cups. I sprinkled them with pumpkin pie spice to add a scent.

They really work!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Ol' MacDonald had one...

and now my nephew will have one too!

This was another free tutorial posted by the UK Lass in US. I made this one for my little nephew who is very much into animals and what sounds they make right now. This would make a great doll house or even a little dog house with a stuffed dog inside. The possibilities are endless.

It buttons up and has handles so it can be carried with the little animals and book inside, and then opens out for playtime.


I think the sewing is out of my system now. Back to focusing on knitting. Right now I'm knitting Wisteria by Kate Gilbert from the Fall Twist Collective. I really love how the cables look like vines trailing down from the collar. Another genius design! Have a wonderful weekend.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


I saw this Jingle Mouse Ornament tutorial from Pimp Stitch and thought it would make a great package topper or stocking stuffer. It was very easy to make. It's made out of felt and fabric scraps. The only thing I added that wasn't on the tutorial were some whiskers! I added them by using a double thread to make the french knot for the eye and then pushing the needle out through the side of the nose and making a knot then clipping the thread leaving an inch or so for the whiskers.
Then I made an embroidered felted ornament using the tutorial from Sunshine Creations. It was easy and fun. I love those projects that you can make in a half hour with things you already have on hand.

Friday, November 14, 2008

A little of this and a little of that...

This week really flew by for me. I have been knitting, but just don't have much to show, because I've ripped it out several times. I'm having fun with it though. I've seen a lot of long vests lately that I like. I tried looking for patterns, but couldn't find one that exactly matched what was in my little head, so I'm making up my own - hense all the ripping back. I repeat that I am having fun with it!

I bought the Alabama Stitch Book this week, and that has been fun to look through. Lots of inspiration inside those pages if you like to hand stitch.

I've been working on a tee shirt.

Today, I'm off with my mother for the day, so my servants, crock pot and bread machine, are making dinner for us as I write!

They are making beef stew and oatmeal bread! Have a great weekend!

Recipe for Oatmeal Bread (makes a 1 1/2 pound loaf)

1 1/8 cups(9 ounces) warm water
1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 1/4 cups (10-3/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (3-1/2 ounces) whole wheat flour
1/2 cup (1-1/2 ounces) rolled oats
2 tablespoons powdered milk
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast

Put all the ingredients into the bread pan in the order listed. Select basic wheat cycle, light crust setting, on your bread machine. Press start.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Shalom Cardigan

I had this one skein of Ecological Wool that I received as a gift and I wanted to make something with it. The Shalom Cardigan was a perfect use for it, so last week I knit the Shalom Cardigan (Ravelry link) by Meghan McFarlane, It is a beautiful sweater and a really quick knit. I followed Hapichick's modifications. I made covered buttons out of a plaid fabric I had in my stash.

It was really hard to photograph the sweater today. The photographer (Who, by the way, turned sixteen and got his permit last week!) was more interested in other things on his day off. The lighting wasn't very good either. But trust me it is very pretty in person. I think I might wear it on Thanksgiving Day.

Pattern: Shalom Cardigan by Meghan McFarlane using Hapichick's modifications.

Yarn: CascadeYarns Ecological Wool - 1 skein - 478 yards

Needle: Us 10 circular needle

Notes: I cast on the extra 10 stitches at the yoke. I shortened the yoke ribbing by two rows in each section. I added three button holes. I did seven repeats of the leaf pattern for the front. I used the size 10 needle for the sleeves. I did two repeats of the pattern on each sleeve followed by three rows of the twisted rib used on the yoke and then bound off in the pattern. I would have made the sleeves longer, but was afraid I would run out of yarn. I probably could have added a few more rows of ribbing, but I really didn't have much yarn left.

I love it!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Felted Bangles

Kat Coyle, designer of the Burnished Tunic and Indigo Ripples skirt, has a free pattern for Reverse Stockinette Bangles. They are a great project for kids, because they are quick and easy, while teaching knit and purl stitches. It's a great way to learn how to knit. You can stop right here and have a cute little bracelet, but Gay, from Gaysknits, took these cute little bangles one step further and felted them. They look so good, of course everything Gay does looks great. She pays so much attention to detail.
So naturally I felt (ha!) the need to make some. I used scraps of leftover worsted weight wool. Malabrigo and Lambs Pride felted very nicely.

I casted on 40 stitches using size 7 straight needles, but you may need to experiment with this depending on how big you want to make them. The reverse stockinette naturally causes the bracelet to curl up. Then weave in the tails to make a circle. How easy is that? You can stop here.
But I chose to felt them. This was so easy. I put the bracelets in my hands, added some dish soap and warm water, and scrubbed my hands together like I was washing them. I kept checking the bracelets until I liked how they were felted. This process only took a few minutes.
I rinsed them, squeezed them in a paper towel to get out the extra moisture, straightened them out, and then slid them over the espresso maker funnel to dry. It was the perfect size, but you could use a glass.
When they are dry you can wear them or give them as a gift!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Hard work does pay off!

My husband and I did yard work today. We raked leaves. It was a lot of hard work, but we got paid big time. My husband found a golf ball and I found two roses on the rose bush. One last little reminder of summer. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Thursday, October 30, 2008


We made a Haunted Gingerbread House. I wasn't sure if Son would want to make one, but he got right into it!

It is just one of those Wilton Kits that has everything included. I got it at A.C. Moore. It really came out cute!

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Pumpkin Tea Cake

I made this Pumpkin Tea Cake for a family gathering last week and everyone loved it. It is a recipe handed down to me by my mother-in law. Everything she made was always so delicious. This has become a favorite fall classic.

Pumpkin Tea Cake

Preheat oven to 350*F. Grease and flour a tube pan.

Mix and beat together:

3 Cups sugar

1 Cup oil

3 Eggs

Then mix in:

1 can of pumpkin

In another bowl sift together:

3 Cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon each: ground cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg

Stir the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture. Bake 1 hour and 15 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Sprinkle with confectioner's sugar.

I think it is the addition of the ground cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg that sets this recipe apart from others that I have tried. I'm not kidding - this cake will disappear!

Here is some more pumpkin goodness that I acquired over the weekend.
These cakes are String Theory hand painted merino wool in a color called squash. How appropriate! I'm thinking the Tangled Yoke Cardigan would look nice in this color. But I really want to make something out of this book.
Stefanie Japel has done it again. There are several sweaters I'd like to make in this book. I really love this one. You can preview all the sweaters that are in the book on flickr here. So many sweaters, so little time.

Monday, October 27, 2008


I finally finished Kyra. I'm not in love with it. You can tell by the look on my face. I really should not be knitting with a bulky weight yarn. It just doesn't look that good on my body type. It adds about ten pounds, and I don't need to add ten more pounds. Lesson learned.
One thing I tried this time was some short row bust shaping. Which I've been wanting to learn how to do, but have been to nervous to try. This seemed like the perfect sweater to try it with, because there wasn't any pattern to worry about.
It is very warm, so maybe it will get a lot of use on those cold winter days and nights at home.
And this picture is for my comedic friends (you know who you are). This is how the sweater is modeled which actually kept me from knitting it for quite a while. I was afraid there was something they were trying to hide!

Pattern: Kyra (free pattern from
Yarn: Berroco Keltic, color 5870 Haggis
Needles: Size 8 and 10 straight; and size 10 circular
Size: 39 inch bust, 22 inch length
Mods: 3 rows of short row bust shaping. The pattern was very well written and easy to follow.
Finally, I can move onto something else!!!

Friday, October 24, 2008


Here is some evidence, that I'm alive and well, and most importantly knitting. I have spent many hours in waiting rooms this week which has given me time to finish the sleeves, seam, and work on the collar of Kyra. The collar is like a whole project in and of itself. It is 175 stitches long and 10 1/2 inches wide of twisted rib! I hope to finish it up this weekend and get some pictures posted. I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!
Note: Sorry to worry anyone. Everything is fine. That was my lame attempt at sarcasm. Mostly it was my car that kept me in waiting rooms. I spent ten hours total in the last two weeks waiting for my car at the dealership! Good news: I have finished Kyra, and will take pictures later today for a post tomorrow!