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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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Friday Roundup: Winging It

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What I’m Knitting

I hoped to have a finished hat to show off today, but alas, that was not to be. Because the cable motif came out nearly a full inch shorter in the hat than in the swatch (??? I still don’t understand how that happened—same needles and everything!), the top decreases have been giving me fits. Here’s where I am now, after I ripped back to the start of the decreases for the fourth or fifth time:

Screen Shot 2016-05-27 at 1.48.15 PMthink I’ve finally come up with a solution that will work, so stay tuned to see if it does!

What I’m Cooking

Quinoa, black bean, and corn stuffed peppers (adding avocado on the top definitely kicked them up a notch. SO GOOD.):

IMG_9524I had a craving for buttermilk-style biscuits at the beginning of the week. I haven’t had many cravings, despite being nearly 28 weeks pregnant… but when one does strike, LOOK OUT. I began assembling my ingredients to make some yummy vegan biscuits, and then nearly cried when I realized we were completely out of almond milk, soy milk, or any reasonable substitute.

Cranky pregnant woman wanted her dang biscuits, so I improvised with the thin liquid from a can of coconut milk and crossed my fingers. Turns out adding more fatty liquid makes biscuits even more tasty—who knew? (Although I feel like I could have predicted this.)

They weren’t very pretty, though. Well, I take that back. They were gorgeous if all I show you is this shot:

IMG_3003But that was actually the only one that came out looking like someone over the age of 5 made it, haha.

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What I’m Reading

I finished Masterminds, which was great but had a killer cliffhanger ending! So I picked up the next one in the series, which is just as good so far. Hopefully this one doesn’t do the same type of cliffhanger, because the next one isn’t written yet…

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Friday Roundup: Getting Creative

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What I’m Knitting

I finished the secret knitting (yay!), although pattern writing is still happening behind the scenes. But I was itching to get something else on the needles, so I cast on for this trial swatch. It’s a heavily modified version of a closed-loop cable from one of the Barbara Walker treasuries, and it required several false starts. But I really like the final result!

IMG_2960I think this will end up in a hat. This is scrumptious Madelinetosh DK, so if I get it together to knit the hat up before the end of the month, I can participate in the fun activities happening for Madelinetosh May over in the Tosh Lovers Ravelry group, hmm…

What I’m Cooking

I love baking, but I try to keep sugar low. My husband and I certainly don’t need it, and anyone who says toddlers don’t react badly to sugar is lying through their teeth, in my experience! My son loves muffins, but most of them have tons of sugar. I tried out this muffin recipe sweetened with only ripe bananas and raisins this week. It was pretty good!

IMG_2947I was asked to bring a dish to pass to a get together yesterday. Since I was arriving late, I figured cookies would be a good choice. These are vegan, maple syrup-sweetened jam thumbprint cookies—one of my absolute favorite recipes! And they look so pretty, see:

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What I’m Reading

I’m on a middle grade kick after reading my friend’s fabulous book, so I picked up one I’ve wanted to read for a while—Masterminds by Gordon Korman. I’ve been reading his books since I was a preteen, and this one is just as awesome as I remember!

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Friday Roundup: A Friend’s Book!

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What I’m Knitting

There’s been a whole lot more secret knitting this week—but my secret projects are getting closer to completion, so hopefully I’ll be back to things I can show you next week! I did manage to take this pic of my two WIPs at the moment, which explains why my fingers are so confused right now (that’s light fingering on US #2s and super-bulky on US #15s!):

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Oh, and I wanted to mention two other knitting-related things. First, I finally took the plunge and started an Instagram account! I’m @trionadesigns if you want to connect with me there. I’m posting fun pics of what goes on behind the scenes around here (which often involves a lot of toddler wrangling), as well as sneak peeks of upcoming designs and things I find inspiring.

Secondly, I’m planning to raise prices on my patterns slightly on Ravelry next week (after the 15th of the month). Most of my garment and accessory patterns are currently priced below the average, and I’ve been meaning to raise them a little higher for a while now to bring them more in line with current costs of production (which include editing, photography, and so on). I’m proud of the work that goes into my patterns and want the price to reflect that!

So if you’ve been meaning to purchase any patterns from my Ravelry store, you can take advantage of the advance warning and save a few bucks this week. :-)

What I’m Cooking

Well, this is embarrassing… I didn’t cook anything worthy of photographing this week (meaning, nothing entirely from scratch). Thanks to a few late work nights for me and the hubby, we did more than our usual share of picking up food or cobbling together quick dinners from frozen or convenience-type ingredients. I’ll try to be better about it next week!

What I’m Reading

Okay, definitely saved the best for last. One of my very good friends had her debut novel come out this week, The BFF Bucket List! I preordered it, so it arrived a day before the release date and I’ve been happily reading it ever since. It’s so good! She has a knack for writing books for tweens that make me really remember what it was like to be that age. You can pick up this book for yourself or your tween friends/family members from your local big bookstore or Amazon.com. You won’t be disappointed!

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Friday Roundup: Spring!

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What I’m Knitting

It’s really starting to feel like spring around here, and that always makes me want to trade in my big bulky yarns for lightweight ones. Luckily, I finished the first of my secret designs (bulky yarn on US #15 needles!) and got to switch to another in light fingering weight yarn with US #1 & #2 needles. I can’t show you much, but here’s a little sneak peek at the yarn—the most gorgeous tonal gray—and the beginning of the item:

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What I’m Cooking

Spring weather calls for spring rolls, don’t you think? I adore spring rolls, and this new recipe I tried with kale and tofu (from www.minimalistbaker.com) is now one of my favorites:

IMG_2816Peanut butter cookies were also made and summarily devoured.

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What I’m Reading

I’m still working away on The Infinite Sea. While I really like this book series, and I think it’s extremely well written, I also find it a bit intense for long blocks of reading. There are lots of kids in mortal peril, something that didn’t bother me quite as much before I had a kid of my own! But I’m enjoying the read and will hopefully be done with it by next week’s roundup.

 

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