Friday, May 22, 2015

Picture(s) of the Week...

This little Peanut is turning two in 8 days.
A fact that I know is troubling for her Nana and Mom.
This is my hockey date during the season and recently we've started having tuesday night dinner dates when she spends the night at Nana & Papa's. We eat dinner and watch a movie and play.

I'm so sad this one was blurry but you get the picture.
Facts I know about her.

1. she loves frozen blueberries.
2. she loves hockey
3. she loves her Papa. yells for him constantly
4. she loves knit things. Trust me. If I am wearing something knit, or knitting she always wants to touch it.
5. she loves the pom poms I make her, hence she is getting a big box of them for her birthday.

This past Tuesday we had dinner with her, Nana, and Papa. After dinner we went outside and I took about a gazillion (139) pictures of her.

These are my top three faves from Tuesday.

They capture a lot of her personality in one millisecond.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Rock n' Roll

A PomPom making party up here in the PNW... Shark is here as protection.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

For the Love of Swatch!

Swatching is an important tool in the knitters arsenal.
It's not terribly difficult. I mean, you already know how to knit so you're good there.
It gives us a ton of information before we start a project, such as;

1. Gauge: You'll know immediately if your gauge is too loose (project will be way to big), too tight (project will be too small) or spot on (perfect fit = happy knitter)

2. You get a chance to play with the yarn for your project. You know if it feels good to knit with, does it split? Does it glide over the needles or stick like Aunt May's toffee to the roof of your mouth.

3. It takes a minimal amount of yarn from your project to crack out a 4x4 swatch. If you run out of yarn at the end of your project then any number of things happened.
     a. Your swatch is too big.
     b. You thought you were spot on with your gauge but probably shouldn't have checked it after that third glass of wine.
     c. You miscalculated how much yarn you needed for the project. (rookie mistake, always buy an extra skein, it's like extra life insurance on your spouse)

4. If you swatch consistently and do it *correctly. You will eventually end up with quite a rogue collection of knit coasters to pass out at parties.

I hate swatching.
I never swatch before a project.
I'm more of a dive headlong into the project, my **gauge is always perfect kind of girl.
This has burned me in the past.

But I still never swatch.
If the sweater doesn't fit me, it'll fit someone right?

Hat too small? No worries, I know some little ones who wear hats all the time.

I did discover last night though, as I wound up the skein for my next project....

I will swatch if I have to knit sleeves.

Those f'ing sleeves.

Bring me all the swatching!

Happy Hump Day!

*Correct gauge swatch is: Knit the swatch in pattern if specified. Bind off. Weave in the tails. Block and dry it. Then measure. The last step is key, or so I've been told.

**My gauge is rarely perfect.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Progress Report:

Beans birthday sweater is down to just the sleeves and the buttons.
The buttons that I've had in my possession for weeks now and have held off sewing them onto the sweater.

Like I said. I'm on to the sleeves.
Never. Ending. Long. Sleeves.

In garter stitch.
Knit on DPN's


The sweater is so cute.
The buttons are little pieces of perfection.
The color is the color that Beans picked out.
The cowl to go with it is a perfect contrast.
It's possible I'll have enough to make a hat or just more PomPoms with the remaining yarn.

Garter stitch.

You are so wonderful in your simplicity and squishyness. (I'm sure I've blathered about that before)

I actually have a shot of getting this done in time for her birthday party next week.

If the sleeve knitting doesn't throw me into a tantrum fit for 2 year old. Body slamming the ground with a fierceness to knock the wind out of you so you silent cry.

If you hadn't guessed, sleeves are a high form of torture for me, right up there with filing.

I truly hate filing.
If you needed information from me and I was holding out. Put me in a room to file alphabetical alpha numeric.

I'll spill my guts before you step away from me.

Bonus: Yesterday was Monday. I know, I know, no one needs a reminder of the horror of a Monday unless you made something fantastic dinner. Which I did.
Kicked up Jar Marinara and Mini Penne noodles
all you need is
1 box Mini Penne noodles (Barilla are my favorite)
2 jars of regular plain old marinara
Crimini mushrooms I used about 8 ounces (2 big handfuls from the mushroom bin at the store) - chopped
1 zucchini - chopped
1 yellow onion - chopped
1 green bell pepper - chopped

Heat your pot of boiling water for the penne...
Heat a sauce pan till its hot over medium heat
toss in some good olive oil
toss in the onions, bell pepper and mushrooms, cook them up till they are soft and smelling like heaven.
toss in the zucchini
pour the sauce over the whole mess.
cook up the penne.

all youre doing is taking something good and punching it up a bit.
if you have time to make your own marinara by all means
but this working girl is all about taking stuff I have and making it better.

it was delicious.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Operation PomPom: update

I'm at about 35-40, I need to give it a quick count and ultimately think 50 will he the final number.

Questions I get:
1. Why are you making so many PomPoms.
Answer: because my Bean loves them and her birthday is coming.

2. What are you going to do with them when you are done?
Answer: seal the box and wrap it up.

3. But why so many?
Answer: she's turning two. Simple things in excess are mind blowing to two year olds.

4. You know you could make a wreath, a garland, flowers...
Well yeah, I suppose I could and if I ever travel this PomPom road again I might...

(There is a PomPom rug in my future FYI)

5. That's all you're giving her?
Answer: she's two. She'll love it way more than the sweater I'm knitting her.

I once gave a one year a box of Tupperware and lids... Winning gift.

Mr. Brown is showing some concern regarding the pompoms.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

The Birthday Post:

It was my birthday yesterday.
I'd love to tell you that I didn't do my usually birthday post because I was partying all day, and by party I mean knitting and getting pampered all day.

It was much more anticlimactic than that.

I had to work all day long at a coding conference.

All. Day. Long.

Topped off by take out for one from a local thai restaurant and going to bed by 8:30.

Since I had to work all day D went spent the day at the race track.

Plus since I did have to work, we celebrated last Wednesday with my favorite people at my favorite Irish Pub...


How the F' did that happen.

Friday, May 15, 2015

sneak peek

Last weekend I had some photos done of D, myself and the Hoofers.
Ludwigs Photography did an amazing job, if you are in the Western Washington area and need some photos done, this is who I highly recommend.

Happy Friday

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Day Off: I do not think this word means what you think it means...

Day off's in the middle of the week are not like a weekend. It's not even really luxurious unless it's a Monday or Friday.
I slept till 8:30 after a 6:00 a.m. phone call from mom.
That was pretty sweet.
but now...
I have a slew of stuff to do that can only be done during the week because of business hours.

All I want to do is lunch with my dad, knit Beans sweater, and make a ridiculous amount of pompoms

Oh and maybe find the pattern for my Shaken or Stirred Sweater for the KAL I'm running. It had all my increase notes on it and I'm not sure where it's landed in the yarn pile...

In the mean time, mom is getting ready to head back to the Minneapolis Burbs for the summer and I'm dreaming of our planned visit at the end of summer... but first mom and I are meeting up in San Francisco in 3 weeks and I can't wait!

peace out.
I should probably shower for the day but it's in protest.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

WIP Wednesday: Lottie Cardigan

It's coming together people.
All the shoulder, back, and front increases on done.
The sleeves are on their waste yarn holders and I am cruising right along on the body.

Ahhh garter stitch your simplicity and squishiness make for a happy knitter.

This is going to be Bean's birthday sweater, although she's turning 2 and I'm making a size 4.

She picked the color all by herself.
She picked her buttons all by herself. They are at home waiting to be sewn on.
I even ordered a pair of earrings from Buttons By Robin to match the buttons on her sweater.

People, please buy your buttons from Robin. She has an Etsy store chock-a-block full of them and she does special request that are amazing!

Back to Bean's sweater, her 2nd birthday, and oooh... guess who else has a birthday in three days??

hint: its me

Bean's yarn is Wool of the Andes superwash by Knit Picks color Solstice Heather

It's a really beautiful purple and sapphire all blended up together.
Soft to the touch, and light enough to wear all season, and wooly enough to keep her toasty.
I brought the ball to her when it arrived in the mail and she was so excited she had to show run and show her Papa (grandfather)

For her upcoming birthday I'm also making a gagillion chocolate chip and double chocolate chip cookies, my tortellini pesto pasta salad and my macaroni and cheese pasta salad.

ps. Lindsay at Pinch of Yum (food crush) has tips for the perfect chocolate chip cookies and let me tell you, they turn out awesome! you can find the tips here
They have a bouncy house for the event and they say it's for kids.
I'm willing to be by the end of the day I'll be in the bouncy house napping.

Party on Beans

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Food Crushing...

Maybe a little crushing as well but I just can't hold this back from ya'll anymore.

If you aren't following Pinch of Yum then you are missing out.

Missing. OUT!

I've been following POY for about a year now and have to say it's my number 1 favorite food blog followed closely by the Pioneer Woman.

With our move to eating a more healthy, clean, less processed diet this website has been perfect. While we aren't full on vegetarian, I did devour part of a delicious steak Sunday night, more and more of our meals are heading that way. POY has made that transition easy and delicious.

and truth be told, I had a stomachache all night after I ate about a quarter of the steak. 

In the past month I've made some of the Lindsay's recipes and have been over the moon!

My dinner menu for the week is predominantly POY recipes. 

The top faves right now:

1. 5 Minute Magic Green Sauce: Recipe here This sauce is amazing on everything. D doesn't think so but I do. I've used it on black bean tostadas, black bean tacos, arugula salad, quesadilla's, I even spread it on crackers one morning for a quick hit before I walked out the door to work. Make it. Love it. Repeat.

2. Coconut Oil Granola. Recipe here : I am not a huge fan of overly sweet things. Don't get me wrong, if it's a sugar cereal I'll eat that stuff till my head buzzes, but that's more a dessert to me than a breakfast. I love the POY Coconut Oil Granola. It's not overly sweet. I did do a few different things by adding more variety of nuts and instead of raisins I tossed in cherries. Served with ice cold milk or milk substitute of your choice, topped with about 100 fresh blueberries. BAM awesome breakfast.

3. Healthy Fettuccine Alfredo: Recipe here I know what you're thinking. No way can fettuccine alfredo be healthy and if it is, then it's not going to taste delicious like that thick, creamy, comfort food i'm gonna eat this in my sweat pants, type of way... but it is, and it does, and you'll definitely want your thanksgiving stretchy pants for this meal. The secret. Cauliflower. That makes the base of the sauce and it's amazing! Sorry, I never did get a good photo of this. I ate it to fast :)

4. Rainbow Power Salad with Roasted Chickpeas: Recipe here As soon as I get a real vegetable spiralizer this is going to be my favorite favorite thing to make, but since the one I tried first was crap I just ended up chopping everything and tossing it in a bowl with arugula, topped with the 5MMGS and was pretty much in healthy, clean eating, flavor power punch heaven.

Finally number five. Oh this dinner last night was amazing. It was perfect. I'm eating the rest for lunch today and there is enough left of the filling for quesadilla's on Thursday. mmmmm I do love a good quesadilla.

5. Queso Stuffed Poblano's: Recipe hereThese were so delicious. Just enough heat to keep it interesting. Packed with delicious spinach, *mushrooms, rice, chese all simmered together in a fresh spicy salsa sauce, then baked in the oven till the cheese on top becomes all melty and brown. I literally could have eaten all of them, and probably would have been up all night.

I do have one more for you and you should absolutely make these immediately. If you remember correctly I made these last year for D's birthday. I also made them again for mom when we were visiting in Florida. I'm going to be making them AGAIN for my honorary niece's birthday coming up quick...

Thick and Fudgy Double Chocolate Chip Cookies: Recipe here
Don't forget the milk.

vodka not included...

 Happy Tuesday
Go check out POY you won't be disappointed.

*Up until my 40th birthday last year I wouldn't be caught dead eating a mushroom. I can honestly tell you in the past 12 months I've eaten more mushrooms that I have in my entire 39 years. I won't eat them just as they are, but diced, and cooked up with pizza, lasagna, queso stuffed poblanos, oh yeah, I'm all over them.

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