Inspired by Orange

I would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion. ~ Henry David Thoreau

Autumn is one of my favorite seasons. I love watching the fall foliage colors emerge on trees. There are a few trees on my morning run route that are simply stunning. I almost forget I’m working out when I see them in the moonlight (yes, it’s still dark when I run). 004.JPG

The trees inspired my soup choice this week. I tried pumpkin soup from Quick and Easy Low Carb. This was my first time making pumpkin soup. The British Hubby was a little skeptical. I introduced him to pumpkin pie so he was unsure how this dessert staple would make a good soup. I’m happy to report we both think it’s fantastic! I think this is my new favorite fall soup. The pepitas provide a nice crunch. This recipe is going into immediate soup rotation.

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“Hey, where did all these socks come from?”

I know it seems like I hardly have time to knit any more between my day job, weaving classes, hiking and Ulysses. I’ve found small snippets to squeeze in a few rows here and there. I started six pairs of socks during July and August. I still think I’m on track to finish them all yet this year. (I know you’re doubting this statement, but I’m sticking to it.)

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“This photo shoot is going to cost you years of treats!”

Sock Update: 

  • Shark Bait II: I’m working on the foot. About every other day, I measure it to see if it’s long enough to start the toe. It’s not yet.
  • Junkie U: This was an impulse cast on that I’m glad I started. These are so bright and cheerful. I’m going to love wearing them on those gloomy rainy days. I’m on the leg of sock two.
  • TDS 5.2.17: This is sock is interesting. I made few modifications to the pattern that I’m not sure were for the best, but in for a penny in for a pound. I’m on the toe of sock one.
  • Watermelon: These are my socializing-traveling-don’t need to look at a pattern socks. I’m not making steady progress on them yet.
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    “Tucked up with knitting, what could be better?”

    The month is half over. I only have one finished wip so far this month. Just two weeks to finish two more.

 

 

 

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Weekend Tea Tasting & Warping

Sex, drugs and rock n’roll are all very well, but nothing beats a nice cup of tea.

This weekend we did a short hike and rode Ulysses all on the same day. Naturally, we didn’t bring any photographic devices so there are no photos. But we did have a lovely tea tasting with friends at lizzykate tea. We sampled five herbal teas. This was the first time the British Hubby and I have done a tea tasting. I would highly recommend it. I walked out with teas I never would have picked on my own. Naturally, I had to try their pumpkin spice chai. As you know chai and in particular pumpkin spice is my favorite. This blend has just the right hint of ginger and spices. Two from the tasting I couldn’t leave without are Seattle Sunset and Honey-Almond blend. The Seattle Sunset reminds me of rootbeer but in tea form. The first few sips are a little off putting, but by the end of the cup you want to drink the entire pot. It’s oddly invigorating. The Honey-Almond blend reminds me of shortbread biscuits. (Can you tell I’m not eating sugar and carbs?)

Last week, it turned chilly. My first pot of soup this year was creamy asparagus. Asparagus is one of my favorite vegetables. This is a quick soup to make on a work night and provides plenty of leftovers. I paired it with this creamy avacado chicken salad. I also love avocado. (I just noticed our food was rather green last week.) I should have cut back on the onion. Once this had a chance to chill, the red onion took over the dish. It was still lovely. 026.JPG

Today, I had the second part of my weaving birthday gift, Weaving Beyond the Basics. I was very proud of warping my loom for the first time on my own. I’m making a wall hanging trying out some designs other than plain weave. I’ve learned so much in a short amount of time. I wish I could quite the day job and craft full time! The British Hubby has already requested a woven poncho. I’m not sure my skills are ready for that yet, but I did provide Father Christmas with a wish list of weaving supplies. I sure hope I’ve been good this year! 010Burt thinks warping the loom is even more fun than weaving yarn. 006.JPG

Weaving Mishap

A man’s errors are his portals of discovery. ~ James Joyce

Last week, I was working on my second weaving project, Woven Scarf II, when I had a mishap. While advancing my woven cloth, the tension on one strand became too much and it snapped! If I was new to fiber crafts, I would have been somewhat distraught and probably had a bit of a crafting meltdown. Since I’m a seasoned knitter that has fixed numerous mistakes, I knew there had to be a solution. And of course, there was one. I even found a youtube video. 001.JPGA broken warp thread couldn’t hold me back. Guess what’s having a soak. 016.JPGLast weekend, I tried two more recipes from The Complete Low Carb Cookbook. So far, the three recipes I’ve tried from this cookbook have been a success. This was my first time making any type of cheesecake carbs or no carbs. It was fantastic. With a cracked top, I’m not quite ready for the Great British Bake Off, but it tastes fantastic (even Burt thought so). Since the British Hubby and I have been carb free and sugar for several months, I was slightly worried we would find any dessert sickly sweet. We were both pleasantly surprised that was not the case. We have a new favorite dessert.

I also made the zucchini lasagna. The British Hubby felt it should have a stronger tomato flavor. I felt too much tomato would over all my beloved zucchini. Next time, I’ll make some minor adjustments that should make us both happy.

Poor Gracie was upset the vacuum was running. She tried out a few “safe” spots.

I see the first completed wip of October looming on the horizon.

 

Chilly Mornings and Sunny Afternoons

There is no snooze button for a cat that wants breakfast.

Fall in the PNW typically means chilly mornings that turn into fantastic afternoons, but it takes most of the day to be considered warm. This means Ernie follows us around in the mornings demanding to be snuggled so he can warm up. I’m trying to convince him a cat hoodie is the answer, but he seems reluctant to agree. 007.JPG

Maybe he would prefer I make him a scarf like my second completed project for September. Sunset cable scarf would look great on him. The bright color would accent his tiger stripes, and he loves to carry around skeins of alpaca wool blends. I even have enough Dos Tierras leftover to make him one. This is another completed Malabrigo March project and a Christmas gift. I’m down to three Malabrigo March projects left to finish. Maybe this will be the first year I actually finish all my MM projects before the next one starts!

Last weekend, I tried a new low carb breakfast recipe from The Complete Low-Carb Cookbook. Better Cheddar Sausage & Egg cups were easy to make. The recipe called for six ounces of sausage, but the smallest amount I could find was 16. That means I had 16 eggy cups instead of 6. These are fantastic leftover and great for breakfasts on the go. It’s a protein packed muffin! I’m really excited to try the low carb waffles and coconut flapjack recipes. I love a good flap jack! (Let’s hope it’s better than that fake french toast recipe I tried a few months ago.) 002.JPG

Instead of knitwear for the kitties, we’ve been trying to keep them warm and cozy.

Buses, Ferries and Walking in the Rain

Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet. ~ Bob Marley

Over the weekend, there was another Mal Gal visit! This time Chicago Mal Gal was in the PNW. A few of my local Mal Gals were waiting for the bus when we discovered this unusual tree. I’ve never seen fruit like this before. If anyone knows what type of tree this is, please post in the comments. IMG_20170917_0929571.jpg

Next, we took a ferry to Churchmouse. I managed to not buy any yarn, but I did buy a pattern and a fun sheep mug from another local store on Bainbridge Island. 001

The pattern is Half & Half Cowl. It’s written in two gauges, worsted and chunky. I was certain I had yarn in my stash I could use, but it turns out that yarn is an alpaca blend. Sadly, I break out in a rash when I try to wear it around my neck. (Looks like I’m going to be weaving with alpaca for quite some time!) I foresee woven alpaca wool scarves for all my family and friends over the next year. I think I even caught a glimpse of alpaca blends in more than one brand and color! I guess that’s what happens when one hardly ever finishes projects and continues to buy yarn. IMG_20170917_1033480.jpg

I also splurged and had some ice cream. The flavor is Jack-o-lantern. I couldn’t resist a single scoop of pumpkin flavoring and chocolate. I plan to run a couple of extra miles this week to balance out all that sugar. It was worth every bite.IMG_20170917_1430314.jpg

While I was writing this post, an unusual thing occurred. A thunderstorm passed over my house with actual thunder! We don’t often get storms in the PNW and sometimes I miss a good Midwestern thunderstorm. I looked around to see how the kitties were handling the downpour and rumbling. Their reactions are below.

Ernie looks like he’s laughing, but he’s mid yawn.

Factoring for Windchill

Absence weakens mediocre passions and increases great ones, as the wind blows out candles and kindles fires. ~ Francois de la Rochefoucauld 

Saturday morning, we woke up hours before the dawn to travel for Ulysses’s first maintenance. We had several hours to ride before the dealership opened. I had checked the weather forecast. It was going to be a great day. It seemed a bit chilly, but I could dress in layers. I do have plenty of knit wear after all. It was still dark when we started up Ulysses, but I was excited to see the sunrise from the sidecar. We were prepared or so we thought.

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We were prepared for hiking or snow shoeing in cold temperatures. Sitting in an uninstalled metal box at nighttime temperatures while driving at speed in the open air, we were not. We actually had to stop at one point so we could move around and allow feeling to come back into our extremities. It did make us realize we need to invest in a few heated items for riding in colder temperatures. 5045937081138506072-account_id=1.jpg

The dealership had told us it would be several hours to service Ulysses so I had done a little research on fun activities in the area. I didn’t realize our loaner might not be another Ural. Fortunately, the British Hubby knows how to ride two wheels. However, this was my first time riding in the bitch seat. It was exhilarating and terrifying in a completely different way than Ulysses. IMG_20170916_1023341.jpg

We decided breakfast and then the local bookstore was a better way to spend a few hours instead of our planned excursion. I’m pretty sure I shivered the entire way to the dealership so I figured a little bit of carbs was necessary. We’ll see if I regret it on my run Monday morning. The British Hubby and I split a cinnamon roll and some toast (TOAST!). 014.JPG

Ernie was warm and cozy instead of riding around in the cold. Smart kitty.

Crafting Homework

Expect nothing. Appreciate everything.

Several years ago, I casually mentioned I wanted to learn to weave to the British Hubby (I think it was two cross-country moves ago). Naturally, this prompted him to buy me a loom so I could start a new fiber craft. The British Hubby is amazingly supportive of my fiber pursuits. Fast forward several years, we’ve changed states more than once, and I started working a somewhat demanding day job while the loom sat there looking forlorn. One day I brought home a class list from my lys, and this prompted the British Hubby to surprise me with weaving classes for my birthday. (September is my birthday month.)IMG_20170902_1514382

You may remember I bought natural and sparkly yarn in August for an upcoming project. It was Dovestone Natural Aran from baa ram ewe and Tell Tale Yarn in Tidal Twinkle. Last week, I started my first weaving project, Woven Scarf I. We arrived with our looms around warped so we could learn the basics of actually weaving. I left the class with homework. I needed to have my project ready to be bound off. (Okay, I’m pretty sure that’s the wrong term, but I don’t know the proper weaving term.)1976002392261693130-account_id=1

I’ve been slowly making progress on my scarf this week. Okay, not really that slowly since I would never be able to knit an aran weight scarf in a week. Notice how Ernie is acting nonchalant in the photo? He is completely intrigued/enamored by the loom. I suspect he’s really trying to scope it out as a new sleep spot possibility. 006.JPG

I’ve been so busy I forgot to post about a new recipe I tried. We had an asparagus, pepper and goat cheese frittata. I love anything with asparagus. The British Hubby thought it would have been better with toast, but he’s British. He thinks every meal would be better with toast. 008.JPG

I’m off to celebrate the weekend with my new favorite tea, tiger eye, from adagio teas and finish weaving my scarf. It has caramel flavor, cocoa nibs, vanilla flavor and chocolate flavor. It’s almost like drinking a piece of chocolate caramel cake. Yum!