Wednesday, March 26, 2008

dry cookies going to dry air

We are headed west tomorrow to go skiing.  I know it seems a little crazy this time of year, but it seemed like a fabulous idea back in December, when we booked it.  Actually, we are all really looking forward to it.  Sort of like our last hoorah to winter.
I wanted to make some sort of hearty cookie to take along with us.  Something healthy too.  I found a recipe for peanut butter trail mix cookies in one of my old books.  I thought they sounded pretty good.  Thought that I could use the goji berry trail mix that I have been loving.  I have been trying to get my family to love the goji berries.  Read a lot about their benefits, plus the cute guy at Whole Foods told me they were great for you.  All righty then.  I will put them in everything.
These were voted the worst cookie that I ever made by my family.  I actually love them.  I promise!  Everyone thinks they are a little dry.  Dry is good with my coffee.
So, if you are at all interested in making a dry, hearty, semi- healthy cookie, here you go:
2 cups uncooked old-fashioned rolled oats:: 1/2 cup packed brown sugar :: 3/4 cup butter, softened :: 1/2 cup chunky peanut butter :: 1 1/2 tsp vanilla :: 3/4 cup flour :: 1/2 cup mashed bananas :: 1 1/2 tsp baking powder :: 1/2 tsp salt :: 1 cup trail mix :: 1 cup chocolate chips
In a food processor or blender, process oats until finely ground.  In large mixing bowl, combine sugar, butter, peanut butter and vanilla.  Beat until light and fluffy.  Add oats, flour, banana, baking powder and salt.  Stir in trail mix.  Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes.
The cookies are packed in the carry-on, along with my socks.  Can a sock and a half be knit over a long weekend? 
 
Until sometime next week, happy knitting, happy sewing, happy baking, happy hands!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

a ruffle and a how to

For some reason, Easter weekend did not provide much knitting time for me.  And, can you believe that I forgot to put the birds in their baskets?  Yep.  I ended up putting them out on the kitchen table for the kids the day after.  A little anti-climactic if you ask me, but they did seem to love them.  
I finished the ruffle scarf.  It is probably a project that can be completed in a couple of hours.  I worked on it here and there, so not really sure exactly, but I do know it went fast.
Since it took me FOREVER to try to figure this out, I thought that I would  (try to) show you how it is made.
my assistant, andrew, working the remote 
The yarn is more like ribbon, than yarn.  When you cast on, you place your right finger under the needle held in your right hand, and insert the needle into the top few threads of the yarn.  I cast on 7 stitches.
This is where the directions became very confusing for me.  The directions have you holding your finger under the needle wrapping yarn, blah blah blah.  (They lost me there).  What I did was, insert the tip of the right hand needle into the stitches on the left as if to knit normally.
Insert the tip of the needle into the threads on the top of the yarn about an 1 1/4 down.  
Move it down your needle and knit the stitch normally.  
Those few threads on the top of the needle become the yarn.
Slide it down,
and off.  If you knit into the same color on every row then your scarf will be the same color on both sides.
If you reverse the color, that you knit into, every row, then your scarf will be reversible. (confused?)  I knit one row into the light pink.  Then at the end of that row, flipped the yarn and went into the dark pink.  This made it light pink on one side, dark pink on the other.
My yarn store suggested one ball for a shorter scarf and two for a longer scarf.
Yarn:  ONline Linie 194 Solo, 1 ball
Pattern: I can't believe that I just found this pattern!!!!!  This would have been easy to follow! 
Needles: size 6, cast on 7 stitches
For: Libby
Notes:: Although those hands appear to be about 104 years old, I promise I am not.  However, I will make a note to myself to manicure my nails and moisturize my hands before I attempt another tutorial such as this.

Friday, March 21, 2008

project spectrum

I started a couple of new projects last week being inspired and motivated by project spectrum.
I was lucky enough to receive yarn for both projects from a couple of dear friends.  Above is Sundara Yarn in dahlia, that I received from Melana back in December.  This yarn has been calling my name ever since.  I had never knit with sundara yarns, and wow is it ever lovely.  A basic cast on of 64 stitches with a baby cable pattern.   
Kim sent the ONline Linie 194 Solo yarn for a sweet scarf for Libby.  Oodles, and oodles of soft little ruffles.  
I had the hardest time getting started.  I still am not positive that I am doing it correctly, but there really is no more time to waste. The end of this month marks the end of  this triad of project spectrum.  The scarf should be easy to complete, but the socks?  I am going to give it my best shot.
The eggs are dyed, the chocolate bought, and we are expecting snow.  Now that  just doesn't seem right.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

won't you be my neighbor?

In honor of what would have been Mister Rogers' 80th Birthday, today is "wear your favorite sweater day".  I am sure we all have a few sweaters to choose from.  
Go ahead, make the most of this beautiful day!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

finally

Boxes of girl scout cookes meant time off from our Cookie of the Week.  We have a few thin mints hidden in the back of the freezer for a summer day, but for the most part they are gone.
It was a nice little break, but I really miss baking when I don't do it.  There is so much satisfaction for me in seeing a full cookie jar.  And then joy, in seeing it empty, knowing everyone enjoyed them, and I get to fill it again.
I was sort of burnt out on the whole Girl Scout Cookie flavor, so didn't try any of the recipes for the Homemade Girl Scout Cookies.  I still plan to, one day.
Sherri e-mailed me with a link to this recipe, and  I have been thinking about them ever since.  I decided not to tell the kids the name of them to see if they liked the flavor.
They are espresso-chocolate shortbread cookies.  I love the whole process of these.  Again, another slice and bake where the dough can be made ahead of time.  All three of my kids loved them.  My eight year old knew instantly that they were coffee flavored.  My twelve year old said he never tasted that flavor, but loved it.  Hmm. 
The recipe calls for instant espresso.  I didn't buy anything fancy, just Folgers, decaf.  It actually smelled so good I had to make myself a cup.  Really.  I used to drink Folgers instant coffee in my dorm my freshman year of college.  It tasted really great.  I don't know if it was the coffee or the memories.
Without a doubt, this was one of the best cookies.  The only problem is that it didn't make enough.  Next time I will definitely double the recipe.

Monday, March 17, 2008

for their baskets

First of all, I want to thank you for all the nice words on my sewing skills!  You sure know how to make a girl feel good, and I like how you let me know not to be so hard on myself.  Imperfections can be part of the handmade charm.  I know I need to work on that.  
I wanted to make something for my kids easter baskets and originally thought I might knit these.  However, I thought they may require too much time.  Precious time that should be spent working on Ruby.
Kim also made some of these cute little birds and mentioned they took an hour each.  Perfect.
The pattern is here, designed by curlypurly.
I used scraps of cotton yarn with the same gauge.  They are easy, quick and fun.  And,  guess what?  You still have time to make some before easter!  

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

sort of, kind of but not really

Last fall I picked up a very large stack of wool at the church fair.  I had thoughts of wool jumpers and tights with boots.  Lots of them.  I wanted a closet full of jumpers.  Plaids, black, brown and grey.  I would wear them everyday.  Don't exactly know where I was going, but by golly, I would be in my jumper.
Fast forward to Monday, March 10th.  No jumpers hanging in my closet.  Nope, not a single one.  And then I saw this.  (And this is where the internet makes me crazy).  I stopped everything I was doing, (I guess I was probably reading blogs and doing laundry, maybe a little knitting) grabbed my pattern, the wool, pins and scissors, and became a person with a mission.
I actually wore it to work today.  Probably the only time I will ever wear it.
You see, even though I took my time matching the top to the bottom, trying to line up the plaids, this still happened.
Whoops!  Thank goodness for slouchy cardigans and longish hair.  It actually felt good to wear it once.  I think I got the jumper craze out of my system.  This plaid wool won't go to waste.  I still want to make one of these.

Friday, March 07, 2008

more shades of green... and a little ruby

Things were grey all day. So, my photos of Ruby managed to change from one shade of green to another.  And I actually don't think that either photo depicts the true shade.  The photos also stink, so bear with me.  They were the only thing I had in mind for the last day of green week.
I am plugging along.  Not necessarily at a fast pace, but still moving forward, which is a good thing.
I really wanted to show how this sweater is constructed.  It is worked from right to left, instead of from bottom to top, or top to bottom.  And for that reason, I am so enjoying this pattern.  The body is one piece.  You bind off in two places, and then cast back on, for the armholes.  
Can you see where it is going?  I will just continue around the back, bind off, then back on, for another armhole, and continue to the end.  Then knit the sleeves.  Doesn't seem like much, huh?  The cable pattern is easy to follow, again if your mind doesn't wander.  However, unlike the tangled yolk, it is very easy to see exactly where you are in the pattern, and to catch your (my) mistakes early.
(green week, day 5)
Thanks so much Emily, for green week!  I loved having an assignment! :)
Happy Weekend Everyone.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

shades

I loved digging through our crayons and finding so many shades of green.
I am sure you have seen the crayon roll floating all around blogland. I have seen them numerous places, but knew I had to make one (or many) when I saw this one over at cloth.paper.string.  I found the tutorial through sew mama sew.  I can't believe that we have gone so long without one.  I have been carrying our crayons around in my purse in a plastic ziplock bag.  For years!! What was I doing?
Doesn't this look so much cuter?
For Libby, (she will have to share the crayons with her brothers when we are out and they are in need of a crayon),  fabric from good-ness etsy shop.
(green week, day 4)

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

window to the soul

Funny how the brain works.  I seem to be seeing green everywhere.
The only green eyes in the family belong to Charlie.  And actually they are hazel.  I think it is the most interesting eye color of all.
(green week, day 3)

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

enough

Enough said.
(My only green necklace, for Green week, day 2).

Enough..... except that the green mug, from the previous post, was from Pottery Barn, years ago.
Sorry.

Monday, March 03, 2008

greens

In January, I participated in Shari's winter whites and enjoyed doing it so much, I decided to jump on board with Emily's green week. The problem is, not much spring is happening around here, so I will be a little challenged with this theme.
One thing is for sure, I love green tea.  Tazo, Lotus, and usually have a cup every evening, about the same time. (Gosh, I am so predictable). Ruby is green, so that will take care of another day.  The other three?  Who knows.  
So excuse me again, knitter friends, as I post a little green.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

lounging

This is one of those projects that is so darn easy with such pleasing results.  Even if you are a new sewer, you can make these.  The directions are super easy and super detailed.  The biggest problem I had with these is showing them to you.  Because really, am I putting my photo on the internet in my jammies?  No, I'm not sleeping in these.  No way.  Ahem.
Lounge Pants from Amy Butler's In Stitches book. I used a thrifted sheet out of my sheet stash. (Idea prompted by Soulemama)  I think I paid $2.00 for it.  I am so tempted to use every sheet I have to make more.  Although, I will restrain from doing that, I will make more.  A few more.
I omitted the trim from the bottom, because, well I just didn't feel like doing it. This pair is a little long.  Just a tad.  However, with the fit and the comfort level, these have fast become my favorite lounge pant. 
Enjoy your weekend.