Friday, November 29, 2013

A reversible hooded fleece poncho

On the way home today I thought I'd stop at the fabric store and buy some cute fleece to make a poncho for my kiddo.  It's getting cold here and we were running errands, and in and out the car a bunch.  Well, carseats and big fluffy coats don't play nice with each other.  (Seriously, you don't want your kiddo wearing a fluffy coat in their carseat.  Not just because it is difficult to buckle, but not wearing the coat is safer if there were an accident.)  So, I bought a yard each of some cute fabric, thinking I'd make a no sew one like I made for myself last year.  Last night I added a seam and snaps to the neck hole for the baby, since I'd like to be able to wear it and not have my back get cold if I'm not wearing a baby.  I was thinking about that poncho and that it is made with 2 big rectangles.  Surfing on my phone for patterns in the parking lot didn't work, so I just bought the yard of each and called it good.

Then I found this reversible hooded poncho, which is super adorable!  The only problem was that I didn't have enough fabric to make that big, 23 inch radius, circle.  So I made 2, 19 by 30 inch rectangles in each fabric.

I folded my fleece long ways, not the usual way, and that gave me enough space to cut out the hood pieces.  I followed the hood directions as is, including making sure my bird pattern was upright on the hood.

Sew the short end of one rectangle to the long end of the other.

Then, with right sides together, I sewed the short end of one rectangle to the long end of the other, and repeated for the other side of the neck hole.  I did it again for the second layer.  You have to do them separately.  Then I put the rights sides of both body pieces together.  The seams of the rectangles will not line up, but the whole pieces will.  Line up the two corners.  I decided I didn't want fringe, so I sewed the two sides of the bottom edge together, turned it right side out through the neck hole and stitched around the edge again, just like on the hood.

Then I jumped to step 5 and put the hood between the body pieces.

My finished measurements are neck to point: 25 inches, neck to side (along short edge seam) 18 inches.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Yep, still knitting, a sweater this time.

I've been doing some larger projects lately.  My latest project is a stranded colorwork sweater.  It is Kelly's Ski Sweater from Knit Picks.  In this picture you can see the detailed pattern on the chest of the sweater.  It looks funny with live stitches sitting on that cable needle, because that is a steek.  I will (gulp) cut that open and pick up stitches for the collar.  This is my first project with steeks so I'm nervously looking forward to that part.

This is the whole body of the sweater.  It doesn't have arm holes.  More steeks, I will cut those open and attach the sleeves.  It looks like a lot of the same pattern on the body, but it is a simple pattern and went pretty quick.  After the first repeat I didn't need to look at the pattern except to check how many inches further I was supposed to knit.

Here is the three needle I-cord bind off on the shoulders.  The patterns says to knit the sleeves before joining the shoulders, but it also says to join the shoulders before cutting the steeks, so it doesn't matter if I switch that up.  I figured with the toddler and cat around, the fewer live stitches just chilling, waiting for me, the better.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Movement Double Knit Scarf

This is something that has been in the works for a while.  A few of you may have seen me carrying it around and knitting it.  Well, exciting news is here.  Knit Picks published my pattern on their website today, and it is available for purchase and download!

Here it is, my Movement Double Knit Scarf.

It is a fun cozy project to work on this fall/winter.  I've only worn it for the pictures so far, but I'm looking forward to wearing it more as it gets cold.

The double knitting was fun, and I already have a few more double knitting ideas to work on.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Beneath The Tree Starts tomorrow!

You don't want to miss this!  And check out for more information and a map.  It's such a fun event and so many people worked very hard.  I'm at house #6.  I'm working there Friday afternoon and then I'll be touring the other houses.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Beneath The Tree Setup 2013

I am happy to be selling at Beneath The Tree again this year.  Look for my vanilla extract, liquid soap, and bar soap in the kitchen, and a selection of my fiber art in the dining room.

Setup went smoothly and it was great to chat with the designer and hostess.

There are only 3 more days to the big event!  I am volunteering at house #6 as well, so I hope to see you on Friday!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

I Am A Triathlete

I completed my first triathlon on September 7th, 2013, and I'm excited to do more!

Let me tell you how I got here.  After my daughter was born things took a while to go back into place.  I had to hold my belly when I walked for about a week.  I wish someone had told me about some kind of belly support back then.  There are bands sold for just that purpose or a sheet or a wrap baby carrier would work too.

A while later, I was looking for something to do for exercise that I could do with a baby.  I wasn't into running and I wasn't good at running before.  Running sounded like something I could do without too much trouble or added expense: put baby in stroller and go.  I quickly discovered that I needed a jogging stroller as regular strollers have crappy plastic wheels.

When I first started running, I couldn't run to the end of the block.  I set small goals, each time I ran I'd try to run farther than the last, even it was just one driveway farther.  It felt like a long time while I was doing it, but soon I could run a half mile and then a mile.  My brothers in law and husband were talking about a 5K race.  That sounded like something I could do.  I trained for it and felt ready, but that race was hard!  I had horrible blisters on my feet.  I got new shoes right after that, and running socks not long after that.

The next spring I was still running and picked a longer race, a 10K.  I did it and felt better afterwards than after my first 5K.  I signed up for that same 5K again, and beat my time by 2 minutes!

I was looking for more races and saw a triathlon mixed in with the runs.  The distances didn't sound that bad.  Swim .5 miles, I'd swam farther than that before, although not this decade.  Bike 17.2, I'd biked 70 miles in a day before, but again not in a long time, and run 4.9, that was less than the 10K (6.2 miles) I'd done that spring.  I added biking and attempted swimming workouts.  I got one really good swim in.  A boater freaked me out by heading straight for me, turns out, he thought I was drowning.  I know I was going slow, but I'm just going to go with he doesn't see people training for triathlons that often.

Race day: I got up at 5:30 in the morning!  Who schedules races where you have to have your stuff there by 6:30!?  All the athletes were ready, but then there was lightning, so we had to wait an hour.  Then it was time to go.  I was in the second heat (by age group).  I really didn't want to get run over so I started towards the back and outside of my group.  It was great swimming with the women there, they seemed more aware of their surroundings.  Three minutes later the next heat started.  Soon men were passing me.  I did get bumped into and kicked a few times, but it wasn't like I had feared.  My swim time was 24:37!

I had trouble tying my shoes, but soon was on my bike.  People passed me constantly and many said stuff like "keep it up", "nice job on the mountain bike", "last big hill", etc.  My chain fell off 3 times.  Ugh.  I had taken the bike in to get that fixed, but nope, the chain fell off during the race, repeatedly.  My bike time was 1:17:28, which is about what I was doing in practice.  I was starting to think everyone had passed me, and was happy to get to the run.

I got to transition and the people around me had put their bikes too close together.  It took me a long time to get my bike on the rack.

Then I was running.  I was a bit tired and still damp.  My shoes were still damp from the rain.  I was glad I thought ahead to put anti-chafe stuff on my feet, sooo worth the 5 seconds it took.  I actually passed some people in the run!  I averaged just under an 11 minute mile with a time of 53:32.  That was faster running than my 10K earlier that year!

My final time was 2:41:12!  Now to pick out my next race...

Monday, August 5, 2013

Infinity Scarf Fresh Off The Needles

That's me, as artist, model, and photographer.  One has to be a jack of all trades on this budget.

This is a really long garter stitch scarf, using a provisional cast on.  Knit till its about 70 in long, twist one end and then Kitchener stitch the ends together.

It can loop around my neck 2 or 3 times.

Yarn: Knit Picks Suri Dream in Tiramisu
Needles: US 15

Yes, its another mobius.  I think its so cool that they only have one side!

Want to buy this scarf?

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Burnside Tunic is Finished

Detailed cable patterns are not the thing to knit when you have a toddler around, which is why this took me about a year to knit.  It was a fun project to work on, and I definitely enjoy the finished sweater.  More pictures to come!

Want to knit this?

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Avocado Doubled Eggs

These are delicious!

8 eggs, boiled
1 avocado
1/4 cup (4 tbsp) lemon juice
salt to taste
paprika for garnish

1. Peel the eggs, cut in half, and scoop the yolks into a bowl.
2. Add the avocado, lemon juice, and salt to the yolks, and mash it until smooth.
3. Spoon the mixture into the egg whites.
4. Sprinkle the paprika on top.

and enjoy!

This makes a lot of filling, there would probably be enough filling to use 12 eggs with the one avocado.

I know many people call them "deviled eggs".  I don't care.  "Doubled" is better, because it refers to what you are doing, cutting the eggs in half to make twice as many.  Plus, my family has always called them "doubled" eggs.

This is not normally a cooking blog, but I've been looking for healthier foods and thought I'd share some.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Adventures in Baking: Gluten Free Edition

I don't usually do much baking but when it comes to birthdays, I think they deserve more than a store bought sheet cake.  I also like to make things that all my guests can eat which lead me to look for a gluten free cake recipe.

This Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake with Semi-Sweet Chocolate Icing looked like a good place to start.  I work with what I have on hand unless I just have to run to the store for something; I don't like to put so much sugar in my food; and I tend to be adventurous with straying from the recipe so this is what I ended up with.  

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake
For a 9x13 in pan.

1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup rice flour
1 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 tablespoons agar powder
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup butter (I didn't set it out ahead of time, I just melted it)
1/2 cup brown sugar (lessened the sugar here)
1/4 cup white sugar (and here)
1/2 cup stevia powder (I was concerned that guests/husband might want things sweeter than I do)
That's a half cup less sweetener than originally called for, plus not all of it is sugar now.
4 eggs (I had 4 eggs left, not five)
2 tablespoon vanilla extract (I like vanilla)
1 1/2 cups whole milk with 2 tablespoons lemon juice added, let set for 5 min and then add to the other ingredients (I didn't have buttermilk, so used this common substitute.)
I didn't have sorghum flour or xanthan gum, but I did have coconut flour and agar powder from previous adventures in gluten free and vegan baking.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x13 inch pan and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the dry ingredients.
  3. In a large bowl, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Slowly beat in the brown and white sugars and stevia; whip until fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla. Add the milk and dry ingredients. Pour batter into prepared pan. I don't have a stand mixer so just mixed things in with a fork.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool in pan.


I was inspired by the Coconut Honey Frosting found here. I did not have palm shortening and wanted it to be strawberry, so I did this:

1 cup butter
1 can full fat coconut milk
2 tablespoons honey (I was running out, plus less sweetener)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract (yum again)
8 oz frozen strawberries

1. Add all the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.
2. Pour the frosting on the cake and put in refrigerator to cool and set the frosting.  

If I made this again I would probably put some agar powder in my frosting to help it set better.

It turned out delicious and way better than store bought.  If I had more time I would have done another frosting in a different color to add "Happy Birthday" to the cake.

Etsy Mini - See Items in My Shop