Crafting for the Holidays

The holiest of holidays are those kept by ourselves in silence and apart; The secret anniversaries of the heart.”      – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The holiday season is officially upon us. Many people stress out about getting the perfect gift for the loved ones in their lives. It’s no surprise I like to give everyone I can, knitted items. I attempt to make small items through out the year trying not to frantically craft items in December. Sometimes that can be hard when I don’t know what I want to create for a person. Although, this could be the reason I’ve not posted in a bit. (I’ve been frantically crafting holiday gifts!) Since there are a few items (hats and dishcloths) I love to make all year, I’ve started collecting them in my gift bin. My goal is to have a few gifts completed for when I need something last minute. Ultimately, I would like to be able to pull most of my holiday gifts from the gift bin. (I know that seems unlike given how many new projects I’ve started lately. Everyone needs a dream.) 005.JPGFortunately, the gift bin already contained several completed holiday dishcloths. Years ago, I bought these huge skeins of Christmas themed cotton. A decade later, I’m still making dishcloths with them. Here’s some Holiday Ballband cloths and my Holiday All Washed Up.  010.JPGI’m also a huge fan of illusion knitting. Can you find the hidden Christmas image?

This is Gracie’s idea of holiday crafting. IMG_20171212_1849013.jpg

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The Completed Wips of November

There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will. – Epictetus

It’s hard to believe yesterday was December 1. My goal was to complete four wips last month. I made it half way which is better than none at. Presenting my Bonfire Night Headband and Cashmere Three Color Hat. The cashmere hat is amazingly soft and cozy. I love it. My headband will come in hand once it warms up a little on my morning runs. 002.JPGI may not have finished four projects, but I started at least that many. First, I decided I need more fingerless gloves. Sometimes I wear them around the house, and I was taking them out of my coat pockets. I could never find them when I needed them. This lead me to conclude fingerless gloves would make great holiday gifts for a few people I know. So far, I’ve cast on three new pair (I suspect these won’t be the last)! 007.JPG

Fingerless Mitt Wips:

In the background, you can see a few other holiday knits I have on the go. I’m pretty sure there will be many more to come in future posts. IMG_20171119_2033575.jpg

It’s cold and rainy today. Ernie was wrapped up from the elements.

 

 

Sprouts, Sausages and Sales

Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all. ~ Harriett van Horne

I’m a feeder. I grew up with a large extended family that liked to eat. My grandma cooked everything from scratch. No boxes or mixes in her kitchen. The British Hubby says I learned how to cook for an army. Then I had to relearn how to cook for two people. Okay, it’s debatable if I actually mastered that last one. I always cook more food than we actually need. It’s a good thing we love leftovers. This week I had a chance to try a few new recipes and a new butcher. IMG_20171121_1815148A few years ago, I tried a broccoli casserole that tasted great, but gave us such horrible gas that we didn’t finish the dish. Since then, I’ve been a bit skeptical to try a new cooked vegetable dish. Our no carbs and no sugar quest meant I needed to rethink our traditional holiday foods. (All though our Thanksgiving holiday is anything but traditional, it has been a bit carb heavy in the past.) I came across this brussels sprouts recipe. I made a few adaptations by using salad cream instead of mayo (The British Hubby isn’t a mayo fan) and using cheddar cheese instead of swiss. (That last change was an accident.) The recipe was easy to make and could be prepared ahead if you’re feeding a crowd. IMG_20171121_1856195This was my first attempt at cooking brussels sprouts as well as eating cooked ones. I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. The salad cream gives them a nice tangy flavor. While, this didn’t replace my all time favorite cooked veggie, asparagus, this is a nutritious low carb and high fiber side dish that I would make again. 002.JPG

Next we had sausage taste test. We tried a new to us local butcher. The British Hubby was very excited to see they make Bangers in house. Naturally, our first trip had several of those in our cart. We also tried some chicken curry sausages. The Bangers didn’t live up to the British Hubby’s expectations. Personally, I thought they were quite delicious, but the British Hubby thinks the spices weren’t quite right. The chicken curry ones are fantastic! An exact replica of a proper take out curry in the form of a breakfast sausage. I can’t wait to try more flavors. 009My local Ben Franklin Store has already started holiday sales. I’m constantly impressed with the selection at this local store. I went in for some fabric to start a few holiday gifts and was pleasantly surprised to find all yarn 20% off. To my delight they had several new colors of Malabrigo in stock. I had a difficult time deciding, but I finally chose a Renaissance in Mechita. Check out the neat fabric I found. I’m especially excited about the cats in space. 002.JPGErnie maybe to tired to craft, but stay tuned for plenty of gift giving ideas. I’m a fan of giving small handmade items that can be used through out the year.

Homage to Jimi

With the power of soul, anything is possible. ~ Jimi Hendrix 

The British Hubby and I have always wanted to see the memorial for Jimi Hendrix. This weekend we made the journey on Ulysses to honor one of the greatest musicians of all time. IMG_20171119_1245107.jpgThis will be a photo heavy post. I know some of my followers may never have the chance to visit the PNW and pay tribute to Jimi.

Or contribute to the myriad of lipstick colors on his memorial. IMG_20171119_1241511I think my favorite was the personal tributes from fellow musicians that left their pics. IMG_20171119_1242495

I was rocking one of my first knitted hats. I think the pattern is snail hat from Elizabeth Zimmerman. I know this is Malabrigo Pearl Ten, but I’m not sure what base.

Stay tuned for more, “No workie for the weekie!” adventures.

Hattitude

I myself have 12 hats, and each one represents a different personality. ~ Margaret Atwood

I love hats. I love knitting hats. I love getting hats. (Of course, if you’ve been following my blog for bit you already know this.) It stands to reason, I would be the target audience for a hat stall at the airport. It was sort of an impulse purchase as I already had two or three hats in my checked luggage. I just couldn’t resist. 001.JPGI also finished my first wip for November. Can you guess what it is? It’s a hat! Presenting my Cashmere Three Color hat. I should have made the smaller size, but sometimes it’s nice to have a slouche hat. I’m also excited to finish this project since the British Hubby bought me this kit as a holiday gift last year. Now I can ask for a new kit! 008.JPGI had a few scraps left so I decided to add it to my Neapolitan Blanket. At the rate I’m working on this, it’s going to take me a decade to finish. Now it’s three rows longer. 001.JPGErnie is catching up on snuggle time! 001Just three more projects to go.

Travel Knitting

One’s destination is never a place, but always a new way of seeing things. ~ Henry Miller

It’s been about a week since my last post. I’ve been traveling in the Midwest to attend a family wedding. It was so cold that it makes the rainy windy conditions in the PNW feel balmy. 007.JPGNaturally when traveling, I always bring extra knitting. I want to be prepared for the time I’m stranded for days in an airport. Normally, I think small compact projects, but this trip I went a little wild and brought my Never Gonna Let You Go Wrap with all three skeins. It had no problem going through airport security. I managed to get the next single color section completed. The shawl is currently at 129 stitches. 003I also brought along my Bonfire Headband. I was hoping to get this project completed. I’m using leftover bits of skeins from previously finished projects. Of course, I left the second partial skein sitting in the lounge at home. 003.JPG

Ernie says we have snuggles to catch up on!

P.S. I think the first completed wip for November will be finished very soon.

 

Bonfire Night & The Second Snow

Our integrity sells for so little, but it is all we really have. It is the very last inch of us, but within that last inch, we are free. ~ V for Vendetta

November 5 is Bonfire Night or Guy Fawkes night in Britain. This is one of my favorite British holidays. I love that they celebrate an attempt to blow-up parliament. This mild mannered tea drinking culture wants the people in power to remember the 5th of November. The British Hubby and I watch V for Vendetta every year. Typically, we eat sausage rolls with quality street treats from our favorite British supplier. This year we settled for bangers, veggies and more tomato soup (sans the bread). 010

I also started the first of many Cable KAL projects, Bonfire Headband, using Malabrigo Rios in Niebla. 005.JPG

We also had another round of snow. Since turning on the heat six days ago, we’ve had two days of snow fall and about three inches of snow! I suspect this is going to be a great snow shoe year. I know you’re probably wondering why the British Hubby and I haven’t been hiking or out on Ulysses in a bit. We’re preparing for a family event in the Midwest. I know I’m missing my nature fixes, but sometimes one has to make sacrifices for your loved ones. IMG_20171106_1752284.jpg

Speaking of sacrifices, look at how Ernie instead to sit this evening. Secretly, I think it’s because he wants his own Malabrigo Caracol Cape. I really wasn’t sure when I finished this project if I would wear it. I wear it all the time. It’s perfect for wearing around the house doing chores or cuddling with Ernie trying to knit.