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Friday, September 27, 2013

Finished Friday

Does it count as finished if I haven't found the exact right buttons yet?  The ones you see were sewn on right before church last Sunday, and we like them for now.  Maybe they'll stay.

pattern: Sunday Sweater
size: 10
yarn: Cascade 220 in Bluebell
raveled: here
mods: Z wanted 3/4 length sleeves, so I stopped knitting when she told me to.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Book Poor

Have you smurfed at these comic books yet?

We absolutely smurf them, although the little blue men (and woman) are better known as Stroumfakia around here.  We smurfed this anthology at our local library, and since then we've been smurfing all of our smurfs with, well, smurf.  T's favorite is the "pehpull smurfs," and gnap has also become a favorite interjection. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Yarn Along

Once again, linking up...

The sweater is for T, who is checking my daily progress.

"That sweater fur me?" he asks.

I would be much further along, had I not noticed a strange mistake in the yoke increases...when I was finished with the yoke.  I'm glad of the chance to re-knit, though.  I was able to add a few short rows at the back of the neck, which will help the fit, I hope.

T's not sure how he ended up with the color brown, but when I chose the yarn he had yet to show any sort of color preference.  These days he's decidedly in the BLUE camp.  Will he wear the sweater?  I don't know.  I find these color preferences quite perplexing.  Thankfully the older two have their favorite colors (Z likes blue and M will take red, thank you very much.), but realize that getting the yellow cup at lunch won't make the milk taste yellow.

I can't even remember how I came across the book.  It's got some great recipes and clever ideas, like making oatmeal in the rice cooker, but no new suggestions for this budget-conscious mama. What I love about the recipes is that the cuisine is varied, and alongside the Shepherd's Pie there are recipes for Thai Curry and Ethiopian Sloppy Joes.  

Monday, September 23, 2013

Hobbit Stew

It's a well-known fact that Hobbits love mushrooms.  Alas! not all children do.  But children love Hobbits, and anything associated with Hobbits will, at the very least, merit more than a passing grimace.

When I first made this soup, I was trying to tempt the pickiest of my eaters into trying just one bite.  Rather than highlight the word mushroom, I renamed this soup and lamented all of the poor little Hobbits who gave their lives to make our soup tastier.

Hobbit Stew is now the most requested lenten meal in our house, mushrooms are tried in other forms, and Z mourns for the tender Hobbits every time she eats a mushroom.

Hobbit Stew: The Recipe
serves 3 hungry Hobbits and 2 Big People

(The quantities are just guesses.  I typically just throw things into the pot, so please adjust  to your taste.)

Sauté in 2 T olive oil until soft:
2 ribs celery, sliced
1 onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 pound sliced mushrooms (white or baby bella)
1 clove garlic, crushed

Add, and sauté one minute further:
1 1/2 tsp cornstarch

Add, and stir a minute or two further:
enough water to cover the bottom of the pot and keep the cornstarch bits from sticking

4 yellow potatoes, diced
2 quarts vegetable stock
salt and pepper to taste
(Any other vegetable of your choosing.  I added zucchini the last time I made the soup.)
pinch thyme

Boil until potatoes are tender.

Using either an immersion blender or regular blender, blend a portion of the soup, leaving some nice chunks of mushroom and potato.  I serve the soup with crusty bread and a drizzle of olive oil.


Friday, September 20, 2013

Finished Friday

The yarn for this shawl started out as a Featherweight Cardigan, but decided it wanted to grow up and be something else.

Yarn does that sometimes.

pattern: here
yarn: Misti Alpaca Lace in Sea Mist 
(can't find the label, so this is my best guess)
raveled: here

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Yarn Along

Joining Ginny today...

It's funny how the two items in this picture go together.  The sweater is an almost finished Sunday Sweater for my daughter, and the book is a newly begun read for my sons.  I love all dearly (children, sweater, book), and can't wait to finish book and sweater.

The pattern has been uncomplicated, but not boring.  Z and I are excited about how quickly the sweater has knit up; her request for 3/4 length sleeves will help the hurry-up process.  I am almost finished with the last sleeve, and then begins the process of choosing buttons.

The book is also straightforward: this is just how boys are wired.  I have already decided that the author must know my sons personally.  How else could he have described their behavior so precisely?  I had better get used to appliances dismantled and rough-and-tumble play.  At the same time, I had better take note of the ways Rao suggests that I redirect behavior.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Finished Friday

Whew! No sweater directions have ever given me more difficulty.  I couldn't tell what to do when or how, and it was such a simple sweater, too--raglan sleeves with a hood.  No frills.

What's so strange is that the instructions were fairly detailed, completely unlike some of the Elizabeth Zimmermann patterns I love and have knitted quite successfully.  It's not like I'm new to knitting, either.  I guess I'll never know what the problem was.

Despite the many hiccups along the way, it's exactly what M requested.  He picked the yarn and everything.  I love that M promptly threw it on and pulled the hood up over his head.  It was only 85 today.  Definitely sweater weather.

pattern: here
yarn: Cascade 220 in Lichen (I think)
pocket and neck Knit Picks WotA in Bittersweet Heather
needles: size 7
raveled: here

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Book Poor

T loves this story about Billy.
I've been substituting his own name just because it seems appropriate.
He is a BIG boy, after all.

Kevin Henkes is a favorite around here, and although we adore his own illustrations, the ones by Nancy Tafuri in this book are just perfect.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Finished Friday

Not for my own new baby, but as fun to knit as if they had been.

pattern: here
yarn: Dale of Norway Baby Ull
raveled here

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Month 9: Meeting Needs

There are so many needs in our house and so many are immediate--spills and accidents need cleaning, the ringing telephone needs answering, a diaper needs changing, so do a pair of pants, an entire outfit...  Sometimes it feels as though the loudest bird in the nest gets the worm, and all of the birds are shouting at the same time.  That's the challenge of motherhood sometimes, isn't it?  There's a continual triage of events, a hope to meet everyone's needs, including our own.  And we can guess whose needs are the first to be overlooked, can't we?  

It's a blessing, though, this season of our life.  We're all growing, letting go of the unimportant.

B... is adjusting to his new and very early schedule.  In order to reach his job on time he has to be out of the door by 7 am.  In order to be out of the door by 7, he has to begin his day at 5.  

I...am learning as much as I am teaching.  

Z...is just about the best big sister there is.  She's got a gift, I tell you, for caring for her little brothers.

M...is making paper airplanes, hundreds of 'em.  And they're all different.

T...is making our lives that much more jolly.  Lately he has been using nonsense words for everything.  "Gime" (pronounced with a hard "g" and rhyming with "time") is his very favorite.

G...is in the process of learning to fall asleep on his own.  We came to this moment because I had been carrying him all day--even during naps--throughout the summer, and sleeping with him all night.  I was exhausted, and needed a change.  G likes learning this just about as much as I enjoy teaching it: not at all.  We've made an agreement, though.  He'll sleep in his own bed as long as I rub his back until he's asleep.  I think we can both live with that, and I know that we'll all be much happier when I'm better rested.

p.s.  Here are those teeth.  Watch out!  They're very sharp.