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Meet My Newest FO!

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Less than a day after my last blog post, I finished a very long-term project:

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It’s a boy! (So much for my very girly knit top design, haha. I’m going to have to find another little model, I think.)

Milo Murphy Cahill was born in a wonderful, very peaceful water birth on Saturday morning. He was a very respectable 7 lbs, 11 oz and 20.5″ long despite being over a week before his due date. Big brother has been amazing with him and we’re all completely besotted.

Milo’s having fun testing out all his new facial expressions:

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Friday Roundup: We Have Blocking!

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What I’m Knitting

The baby blanket is blocking, woohoo!

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And let me just say that wet-blocking a blanket at 38.5 weeks pregnant is not for the faint of heart, yo. But I managed. I’m soooo happy to have the knitting and finishing done on this one. I only ended up using about 5.5 skeins of Malabrigo Rios, which is about what I’d use for a sweater, but somehow it seemed like so much more.

My little model should be along within the next few weeks, so expect modeled pictures sometime in the near future. :-)

What I’m Cooking

This week’s meal for a crowd was something I haven’t tried for a while: enchilada casserole (also known as Mexican lasagna). I tried a new recipe that came out really, really well! Pardon the craptastic phone picture, but trust me—it was delicious.

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I also made some banana/oat/blueberry muffins. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of these.

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What I’m Reading

I’m focusing on writing middle grade fiction right now (for roughly ages 8-12), so I’m trying to read some of the more popular MG books I’ve missed over the past few years. I started Princess Academy last night and am enjoying it so far! The setup is great.

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Friday Roundup: Sprague Lake Pullover!

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What I’m Knitting

I’m at the finishing stage for both the cable/lace baby blanket and the little baby top, yay! But instead of showing you those this week, check out my newest pattern release.

This is the Sprague Lake Pullover, my first adult sweater release in a little while:

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This sweater was released in a special preview collection of the Interweave Knits Fall 2016 issue. You can check out the four patterns in the collection here, or purchase this pattern individually for $5.50 here.

My intention with this sweater was to create a traditional Aran-type sweater with some modern updates. You’ll notice it has closer shaping than many of the more boxy cabled pullovers, a flattering scoop neck, and some fun twine-y cables. It was a lot of fun to knit!

What I’m Cooking

Aside from yet another batch of lentil-quinoa-kale stew (can’t get enough of that stuff right now!), I also took another stab at perfecting vegan, gluten-free mac and cheese. This one was enhanced by the addition of GF seasoned breadcrumbs and some toasting time in the oven. I thought it came out pretty well!

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I’m coming into the home stretch on baby incubating (due date is in less than three weeks!). I was hoping to get some meals made and into the freezer. Stay tuned to see if that actually happens….

What I’m Reading

Like virtually everyone I know, I picked up a copy of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child rehearsal script this week. I finished it last night and have to say that I really enjoyed it! I think people expecting a “real” eighth Harry Potter book were sorely disappointed, but I was viewing it more like bonus material, so I wasn’t at all. Two thumbs up from me!

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Friday Roundup: Catching Up

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Apologies for the lack of a Friday Roundup post last week! I attended a three-day writing conference Thursday-Saturday, and I barely had time to feed myself, let alone throw together a blog post. But now I’m back in the swing of things and ready to fill you in on another week.

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Me and writer buddies at the end of the conference—we were all exhausted, but happy!

What I’m Knitting

The lace/cable blanket squares are all done (woohoo!) and blocking commenced this week. Now I need to crochet them together and decide whether another blocking would be advisable. I’m thinking it would be nice to ensure nice straight edges, but that’ll require figuring out where I can block something that big without danger of toddler or cats getting into it.

While the squares were blocking, I also started a new design! It’s a colorwork top for a little girl out of the yummy Swan’s Island yarn I showed off last week. It doesn’t look like much right now, but here’s a shot of my swatch to show you the cute cat silhouettes I came up with:

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The knitting is going really fast on this one, so stay tuned for an update next week!

What I’m Cooking

My big new experiment this week was lentil sloppy joes! I used to love sloppy joes back when I ate meat regularly, so I was hopeful that these would turn out okay. They were really good!

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What I’m Reading

I met the adorable and lovely Julie Murphy at the conference I attended last week, so I picked up her latest release, Dumplin’! It’s really, really good so far. Highly recommended.

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Friday Roundup: Anticipation

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What I’m Knitting

I’m still plugging away on the blanket squares! I’m at the tail end of square #8, so there’s just one more to go and then the joining and finishing.

I’ve enjoyed making this blanket, but as with any larger project, I’m impatient to start something else. I’m eyeing up these beauties that have been in my stash for a while with the idea of making a girl’s top of some sort. We aren’t finding out the gender of the baby arriving in about a month, so there’s a 50/50 chance that I’ll get the right variety of model… hey, I like to live on the edge!

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What I’m Cooking

My main culinary endeavor this week was a new recipe for veggie burgers! These mostly consist of mashed sweet potato, brown rice, and black beans. They turned out really tasty! Because they were oven baked, they were also just the right consistency—much easier than frying burgers like I’ve done before.

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What I’m Reading

On a whim, I grabbed The Face on the Milk Carton off my bookshelf. I hadn’t read the book in probably twenty years, but I devoured it over two days. I forgot how compulsively readable this book is!face-on-the-milk

Friday Roundup: New Pattern and a Birthday!

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What I’m Knitting

More pattern writing than knitting this week, but with a payoff—my Tierney Hat pattern is now released!

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It’s knit in beautiful Madelinetosh DK yarn and can be purchased from Ravelry for $5 here.

Now I’m back to work on the blanket squares! #7 is done and #8 is started… the finish line is in sight!

What I’m Cooking

A couple of surprisingly cold days last week gave me a hankering for chili, so I made a huge pot and happily ate leftovers for several days. Perfect with some (lactose-free) cheese and homemade cornbread muffins:

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For my son’s second birthday last week, I decided to make him a cake. But since he’s dairy-free and mostly sugar-free (and so were many of the friends/family who came to his little party), I challenged myself to make a vegan, refined-sugar free cake. The cake part was made with coconut sugar, and the icing was mostly pureed dates with cocoa and some flavorings. I was surprised (and so was everyone else, ha!) at how good it was!

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Here’s the birthday boy blowing out his candle (with an assist from Daddy):

IMG_3286What I’m Reading

I’m almost done with The Morrigan’s Curse—what a great book!

Friday Roundup: Catching Up

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What I’m Knitting

Whew, it was so busy around here last week that I completely missed the last Friday Roundup post, whoops. Oh well, I’m back at it today! I finished all my commissioned design projects, which means for the first time since December(!), I don’t have anything on a deadline! Let me tell you, it’s a good feeling.

That means I get to go back to my Malabrigo lace and cable blanket—and not too soon, either, since I just hit 32 weeks of pregnancy and really don’t have a ton of time to get this thing done before baby arrives.

Although I only have six squares of the planned nine done, I decided to go ahead and try sewing together the four squares that are blocked. After much trial and error, I decided on a slip-stitch crochet seam:

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I think that’ll work nicely, and as a bonus, it’s not terribly annoying to work. I’ve cast on for the seventh square, so hopefully I can get at least that done by next Friday!

What I’m Cooking

I’ve been trying to incorporate more dark leafy greens into my diet recently, since they’re so good for baby. My go-to quinoa, lentil, and kale soup was extra delicious this week. I’m pretty sure I didn’t do anything differently than usual though—maybe I just really needed the nutrition?

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For my weekly meal-for-a-crowd, I took another stab at a recipe that didn’t come out perfectly the last time I made it, a vegan lasagna with spaghetti squash in place of the noodles. This time I nailed it. I had several people checking to make sure it didn’t have dairy or gluten, because it was that tasty.

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What I’m Reading

I got started on The Morrigan’s Curse… and then realized I’d read the previous book in the series so quickly (and at a time when I had so much going on) that I didn’t remember a lot of what came before! So I’m going back to the previous book and re-reading that one before continuing on.

Friday Roundup: Hoot Sweet Hat and Mitts!

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What I’m Knitting

I had a pattern (actually, two) released in a magazine this week! This is the Hoot Sweet Hat and Mitts, published in Love of Knitting, Fall 2016 issue:

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Photo by Carmel Zucker

The magazine is available for purchase online here.

Since this set is sized to fit toddlers to big kids, it’s worked in an easy-care yarn, Berroco Vintage Chunky. I’ve worked with this yarn before and love how soft it is! I think the owl motifs look so cute in the chunky yarn, and as a bonus, these accessories are really quick to knit.

These were some of the secret projects I was working on at the end of last year. It’s so nice to finally be able to show them off! I still have at least three more waiting in the release queue, so stay tuned…

What I’m Cooking

I missed getting pictures of the yummy curry I made for my weekly meal for a crowd this week, but I did manage a shot of these banana/walnut/oatmeal cookies. I don’t usually make an effort to bake gluten-free treats, but these were quite good! My son liked them a lot, although he refused to believe that they were cookies and insisted on calling them muffins.

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What I’m Reading

I’m about to start The Morrigan’s Curse by Dianne K. Salerni. It’s the third book in a series I’ve really enjoyed so far, so I have high hopes!MorrigansCurse_REV cover

(Not) Friday Roundup

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No Friday Roundup post this week, because I’m currently on the way to the National NeedleArts Association (TNNA)’s annual summer trade show in Washington, DC! I’m going to get to hang out with designer friends, talk to yarnies, and generally enjoy myself.

I got some new business cards for the occasion:

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I’ll try to get some pictures to show off next week!

Friday Roundup: Hat FO!

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What I’m Knitting

I finished the cabled hat and even managed a photoshoot! (It was a bit of a chore to go through and crop out the 6-months preggo belly on all the pictures, though!)

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Here are the specs!

Pattern: My own, currently titled “Tierney Hat,” although that may be subject to change. I have it up for testing now, so hopefully I’ll have the pattern released in about three weeks.

Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh DK in Jade. I looooove this colorway. It’s probably one of my top three desert-island colors. And the Tosh was so nice to work with that I didn’t even mind all that purling!

Notes: My original concept was for a mostly simple and basic hat with a pop of visual interest (and interest for the knitter!). I had to fiddle with the closed-loop cable a bunch to get it to work out the way I wanted, but I’m really happy with the way it came out!

I’m back to working on secret projects next week, but hopefully I’ll have something I can show off by next Friday!

What I’m Cooking

Some overripe bananas inspired me to make these tasty banana-walnut muffins this week (sometimes I think 90% of my baking is inspired by overripe bananas, haha):

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And although the picture is nothing to write home about, the Pad Thai I made for my weekly meal-for-a-crowd came out awesome! I finally got the timing just right so the rice noodles were perfectly done, something I’ve had trouble with in the past.

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What I’m Reading

I finished the second book in the Masterminds series last night. This one ended on a huge cliffhanger just like the first one, grrr! So since I have to wait for the next one to be released, I picked up another Gordon Korman book from the library, one that I’ve seen recommended quite a bit as being a very funny middle grade novel.

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