Showing posts from March, 2014

Weekending: 03/31/2014

Monday came too early again this week.

I did a few food preparation things over the weekend - including making myself a really delicious berry crisp thing for either breakfast or snacks this week.  It needed a little bit of sweetener for the berries (I used frozen since there isn't much in season right now), but I think for summer fruits it'll be perfect.  A no-flour topping with toasted pecans and unsweetened coconut, and a bit of almond flour and butter to bind it together.  I also made a batch of yogurt for the week, and threw a chicken in the crockpot for broth and some extra to use for lunches.

I put in a lot of hours on my knitting pattern writing this weekend.  I got 3 smaller pieces ready to go to the book editor at the end of next month, and wrote up the pattern for the next small shawl release in my shop's Heroines clubs.  I also put in quite a bit of time working on samples - I've got a project for Jane Austen Knits 2014 that I'm working on that's j…

Signs of Spring

I know folks in the northeast United States don't want to hear me say this, but we've actually had some pretty nice weather here to herald in spring over the last week. Sunny, 60s, (mostly) light breezes.  It's that pleasant time before the windy season really cranks up here.

I top-dressed my garden beds this weekend with a bit of composted manure and got things ready to go when I put veggies in.  I'm going to give peas and spinach a go here fairly shortly - it's been at or just above freezing most nights and I have a set of row covers I can use if we get colder weather.  On tap for other warmer weather planting will be pumpkin, zucchini and cukes.  I'll put a bunch of basil in as well eventually, and some scallions.  I'm on the fence about tomato plants.  They did really well here last year - I got quite a bit of sauce - but I'm also trying to avoid nightshade plants on my diet for a while, since I think they are something I've got a bit of allergy…

Ten on Tuesday: Last 10 Books I've Read

This week's topic is the last 10 books I've read:

1. I'm going to include The Bloodletter's Daughter here since I'm almost finished it.  Set in the early 1600s, this tale intertwines the lives of a local girl (who happens to be the local bloodletter's daughter) and the mad Prince Julio, the illegitamate heir to the Hapsburg throne).  I was interested in reading this because it seemed like an interesting story line and it's also set in Bohemia, which is where some of my DH's ancestors came from.  I've been enjoying this one - it does drag a little bit in places, but the story is interesting enough I'll finish it up. I very much like the opportunity to be exposed to some historical fiction that's NOT US or UK-related.
2. Beautiful Wreck.  I can't say enough good things about this book.  I didn't think it was going to be something I would enjoy, but I have to admit that I rationed out pages so I wouldn't finish it too fast because I…


We had a lovely spring weekend here - so D and I took advantage of that to get some early landscaping and planting done.

We had several clumps of large, overgrown and frankly, not very attractive, shrubs of some kind in an L-shape that ran next to the deck and along where we had pasture panels by the barn.  I'm not sure what they actually were, but they were filled with dead scrappy bits and basically looked half-dead about 9 months out of the year.  D's been working on getting these cut out (several of which took being pulled out with a chain around the stump and the heavy duty 3/4-ton pickup).  We took the last load of those up to the dump this weekend, and spent the better part of a morning cleaning up and leveling the beds we now have.

The shorter end of the L, which is at my feet in the above photo, is eventually going to have a couple of blueberry bushes put in.  (There's also another short bed not seen in this photo just to my right that's slightly raised.  We a…

Spicing it up

I've been on the lookout for a good source of spice mixes that don't have any added starch.  (Most of the ones you can find at the grocery do contain a bit of a starch powder to prevent clumping).  I stumbled onto The Kitchen Imp's shop at Etsy.

She has some lovely mixes of various herbs and seasoning salt, curries and even some teas.  I picked up an Herbes de Provence, as well as a curry-spice taster set, and an herby sage-rosemary seasoning/rub.  The spices all come packed in cute little metal tins, and Melissa included a generous baker's half-dozen of recipe cards to use with the spices.

Last night for dinner, I used the Herbes de Provence sea salt and the Sage/Rosemary seasoning on some boneless chicken thighs and veggies I sauted and wow! These were fantastically good.  The herbs were nice and fresh and the mixes were balanced to give a lovely blended taste of the herbs with just enough salt to make it pop.

I'm anxious to give the curry mixes a try as well. …


Like most of them around here, a busy weekend, but I did find time to do some food prep for the upcoming week.  I made a small batch of tomato sauce, baked some pumpkin spice muffins, made yogurt.

About 10 days or so ago, I decided to start this autoimmune-focus diet.  I'll just hit the highlights here and not delve too heavily into the details, but basically, it cuts out any grains (or starch-based foods like potatoes), any refined sugar, a lot of dairy products, and for me, based on what I already know my body isn't fond of, I am using really limited amounts of eggs.  If you've taken the time to ever read the ingredient list on the back of a bottle of salad dressing, you'll realize that there are basically no prepared foods available since almost everything contains either some form of sugar (like corn syrup) and/or some form of starch (as a thickener or non-caking agent).

I don't think not eating extra stuff is a bad thing at all, but it has changed how I thin…

Yarnie Goodness

I realized the other day I haven't touched things in my stash in eons.  One of the nice things about having designs go off for publication is the publishers usually provide yarn for the project, which gives me an opportunity to sample things I might not otherwise try.

I had been a fan of Brooklyn Tweed's two yarn lines - Loft and Shelter - but I've been completely enthralled with the Loft fingering weight.  It seems a bit pricey up front, but it's actually got really nice yardage per skein (275 yards) and it's US-sourced, AND you just cannot beat the colors.  They are absolutely gorgeous together.

Granted, this is not the yarn to pick if you want something in neon lime green, but if you are sucker for heathery/tweedy subtly done colors, like me, then I'd recommend it for a lot of different uses.  I just finished up a lacey sweater design from it which came out beautifully. It's light and airy and the perfect extra layer for changeable weather seasons (which…
Since I've moved all my design and shop-related chatting from Wooly Wonka Fibers over to the shop and its new blog capabilities, I'm finding I'm missing having a place to talk about other things going on in my life, so I thought a quick and easy, free blog version wouldn't be a bad thing.  Here 'tis.

If you follow me at all on Facebook or on Ravelry, you'll know I'm currently up to my eyeballs working on a book for Interweave Press, due out in the fall of 2015.  I can't say too much about the details of it yet, but it'll be a knitting book (of course, right?) and it's a mix of men's and women's garments, plus accessories. Unfortunately, that doesn't leave me a lot of things to actually blog about on the crafty front, so I'll have to mention a few other things.

My DH has been busy clearing some very overgrown and not very attractive shrubbery from around the side deck.  I've ordered a few fruit trees and we're going to put…
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