Friday Roundup: On the Road Edition


What I’m Knitting

By the time this gets posted, I’ll be on the road (yay for post scheduling!). We’re going on a weekend trip to the Washington, DC area—we’re planning to go to the National Zoo, spend some quality time with family, and lots of other fun stuff. And the 9+ hour drive means lots and lots of uninterrupted knitting time, hooray!

This is the current project on my needles:



This pic shows the strong wavy lines better—love!

It’s a hat (hopefully that’s obvious) that features a heavily modified version of a cable and lace pattern I found in one of my stitch dictionaries. I’m having fun knitting it, but it should only take me a few more hours to work out and knit the crown decreases… which means I need much more knitting for the trip!

I’m in mini-panic mode already, trying to figure out what to take with me. I might end up defaulting to a whole bunch of trial swatches… but then I have to take a whole load of stitch dictionaries. Hrm. Maybe I’ll figure out a quick toddler hat. My son’s hats from last year are all too small now, so he needs some new accessories before the serious cold weather hits. (Side note: am I the only one who would be completely mortified to let my son wander around in store-bought winter accessories? I mean, little hats only take like two hours!)

What I’m Cooking

This is actually from last week, but it turned out really well and I forgot to post a picture. Baked falafel in a pita with hummus and grain-free tabbouleh on the side. The tabbouleh recipe I found used bits of cauliflower instead of the traditional bulgur wheat, which I thought was pretty clever!

FullSizeRenderThis red Thai tofu and pineapple rice was my lone entry for my cookbook challenge this week:

IMG_9843And for my meal-for-a-crowd yesterday, I made a Mexican lasagna (also known as an enchilada casserole) with homemade guacamole on the side. I used my husband’s killer guac recipe—people were very impressed!


What I’m Reading

I’m still working on The Shepherd’s Crown. I’m dragging my feet a bit on finishing this one, to be honest. The author, Terry Pratchett, passed away earlier this year. I’m still coming to terms with the fact that this will be the last new book I’ll ever read from him, sniff.

Friday Roundup: A Finished Vest and a Ridiculously Cute Model


What I’m Knitting

I finished the vest, woohoo! I conscripted my son for a photoshoot and actually had a really hard time choosing which of these photos to use to show it off. Sometimes I can’t believe this adorable guy is actually my son and not a retouched Gerber baby, seriously.


IMG_9739 I’m really pleased with the way the vest came out! Sizing it will be a little bit of a challenge, since the cable pattern I used on the chest has about a 3.5″ vertical repeat, but I should still be able to offer it in at least 4-5 different baby/child sizes.


Here are the specs on the FO:

Pattern: My own, to be released in the (hopefully) near future!

Yarn: Good for Ewe Claddagh in Leprechaun Green, about 1.5 skeins. I was worried about running out of yarn, because most of the sport-weight vests I found on Ravelry called for 350 yds and up and I only had 328 yds. But somehow I still have a half-skein left. No idea how that happened.

Notes: I’m really in love with this construction. Knitting the cable strip is fun and easy, and it was so portable at this stage that I could just throw it in my purse and go. And since a third of the knitting had been finished, knitting down from the strip and then up for the top felt like they went ridiculously quickly.

What I’m Cooking

I started with some yummy oatmeal raisin muffins for Saturday morning breakfast:

IMG_9668And then some banana french toast, made vegan by using a flaxseed mixture instead of eggs since we don’t usually have eggs in the house. It was  delicious! I used this recipe. Totally making this again—I really like that it didn’t have any added sugar but was still nice and sweet from the bananas. We didn’t even need syrup.

IMG_9669On the cookbook challenge, I knocked out another two recipes this week. First up, lentil chipotle burgers! I had never made my own veggie burgers before, so this was kind of a challenge for me. But beyond them being a little crumbly, I did a pretty good job. And even the crumbly ones tasted delicious.

IMG_9674And finally, pasta with mushrooms, red onions, and edamame pesto. Very tasty. The addition of the edamame to the pesto means you don’t have to use much oil at all. Brilliant!


What I’m Reading

I’m on to the last book in the Tiffany Aching series, The Shepherd’s Crown. I have to hurry, because my husband is reading the series too and he’s only one book behind me!


Friday Roundup: Vest in Progress, Lots of Cooking


What I’m Knitting

Remember the mystery cabled strip from last week? Here’s the big reveal:

IMG_9663I loved the sideways, pick up stitches construction of my Keelback Hat, so I wanted to try a garment this way. I like it so far! The band is sticking out from the stockinette fabric a bit too far for my taste, but blocking will almost certainly solve that. Just the armhole edgings to go, so I should have an FO to show off next week!

What I’m Cooking

I was busy this week! We went to a Talk Like a Pirate Day party on Saturday (so fun! And if you ever want to see a roomful of grown people squeal, bring a one-year-old to a party in full pirate costume). I made potato boats to fit the theme (vegan, of course) and even managed to make up a few sails. They were a hit!

IMG_7718I plowed through three more recipes on the cookbook challenge, too!

Chana Saag over rice (yummy!):


Sushi roll salad (not so yummy… actually, I’m counting this as my first real fail from this cookbook. The hubby and I didn’t really like it, and it was SUPER fiddly to make. Think I’ll just stick with real sushi rolls in the future. But hey, at least it’s pretty…)



And roasted red pepper/tomato soup with sweet potato biscuits. My son LOVED the biscuits—I think they’re his new favorite food.

IMG_9651For my Wednesday dinner-for-a-crowd meal, I made quinoa-stuffed peppers. OMG, these were amazing. Somehow the quinoa, black bean, and corn filling with Mexican spices managed to be almost ground-beef like. I’d make these all the time, but it gets a little expensive with the peppers. I’ll have to keep an eye out for sales!


What I’m Reading

I finished the next two books in the Tiffany Aching series, Wintersmith and I Shall Wear Midnight. They were so good! This series, unlike so many others, gets better and better with each book. I can’t wait to read the new one, the last in the series.


Friday Roundup: Mystery and Tempeh


What I’m Knitting

After finishing the nautical baby sweater (still working on the pattern—and a good name that isn’t already taken!), I wanted to cast on for another baby/child garment. I have enough of this lovely yarn from a local Indiana company (Good for Ewe Yarns) for a vest if I’m frugal with the yarn. After several swatches, I finally hit upon something I like:

IMG_9627This is actually part of the garment itself, not a swatch! You’ll have to guess how this will turn into a vest. I just might spoil it next week, depending on how much progress I make.

What I’m Cooking

The next few recipes up on deck in my cookbook challenge were, again, ones I probably wouldn’t have made without this challenge. First up, blackened tofu (served with cauliflower/potato mash ):

IMG_9605It was really good! I’m not generally a fan of tofu unless it’s chopped up small or doused in savory sauce, but the Cajun spices worked so well here. Definitely making this one again.

The next recipe was Isa’s veganized, healthified version of her childhood favorite, Hamburger Helper. I think I only had it once or twice at friends’ houses, but I have to say, this tempeh helper did sort of remind me of it!

IMG_9612I also made a fabulous Arabian lentil soup from the cookbook this week, but I  forgot to get a picture. Gotta get better about that.

What I’m Reading

Due to an unpleasant lack of time to read (grrr…), I’m still working on Wintersmith. But I should be done by the end of the weekend!

New Pattern Release: Glenwood


I have another new pattern release this week! This is Glenwood, part of the SweetGeorgia Yarns Fall 2015 collection:



I’m so excited that this one is finally out in the world! I’ve always wanted a snuggly, cushy, long cardigan—the kind you never want to take off. The shawl collar can be folded if desired, but I also like it the way they’ve styled it in these photos.

I usually like a seamless construction, but for a garment like this, seams are essential to give the sweater structure and prevent sagging. Seaming is SO EASY on this one, though! The waffle stitch pattern makes it incredibly simple to line up the pieces and keep track of where you are.
039_SGY-FW15_medium2Here are the pattern specs:

Name: Glenwood, available to purchase here on Ravelry or on the SweetGeorgia Yarns website here. The price is $7 CAD (a steal for US buyers with the current exchange rate!).

Yarn: 7 (8, 9, 9, 10, 11, 12, 12) skeins SweetGeorgia Yarns Superwash Worsted in Magpie (200 yd / 183 m per 4.06 oz / 115 g skein; 100% Merino)

Side note: Ohmygoodness, this yarn. I used SweetGeorgia Superwash Worsted for this sweater, in what is possibly the most beautiful shade EVAR, Magpie. It’s a greeny-blacky-bluey color that looks completely different under different lights and one that I find absolutely irresistible. It’s aptly named, trust me.

Needles: Size 6 US / 4.0 mm straight or circular needle; Size 7 US / 4.5 mm straight or circular needle; Size 6 US / 4.0 mm circular needle, 32” / 81.5 cm or longer (longer needle recommended for larger sizes)

20 sts and 28 rows = 4” / 10 cm in Waffle Stitch using larger needles
20 sts and 32 rows = 4” / 10 cm in garter stitch using smaller needles, stretched lightly
21 sts and 28 rows = 4” / 10 cm in Stockinette stitch using larger needles
(Note: Stockinette stitch is not used in this cardigan.)

Finished measurements:
Chest circumference: 30 ¼ (35 ½, 39 ¼, 42 ¼, 45 ½, 48 ½, 51 ½, 55 ¼)” / 77 (90, 99.5, 107.5, 115.5, 123, 131, 140.5) cm
Length: 22” / 56 cm from underarm to hem (all sizes)
Sample shown is size 35 ½” / 90 cm
Intended to be worn with 1-3” / 2.5-7.5 cm positive ease

Pattern includes a 6-page PDF (both written directions and charts)

Notes: I was actually astonished at how quick it was to make this sample. The fact that it’s constructed in pieces means it’s easy to bring around with you, and the waffle pattern is so simple that it’s memorized in a flash.

And this made me very happy… check out Glenwood in the top 5 patterns on Ravelry’s Hot Right Now list last week, yay!


Friday Roundup: An FO and Spring Rolls!


What I’m Knitting

I finished all the knitting on the little nautical sweater (mark 2)! Here’s my son testing the fit. This is pre-blocking, so the white stripe won’t pull up as much in the center as it does here.

IMG_7599 IMG_7614So I know I’m biased, but how freaking adorable is he???

I’m going to be blocking the sweater this weekend and then whipping the pattern into shape for testing next week. (PSA: If you’d be interested in testing one of the sizes, join my Ravelry group where I post all my tests! You can even sign up to be notified when I have a new test up so you get first dibs.)

What I’m Cooking

Thanks to a dreadful cold that knocked me out for several days, I didn’t get much cooking done this week. I did manage some rice, lentil, and kale soup:

IMG_9470And the second thing I cooked was actually really cool! I made spring rolls for the first time, using rice papers (so weird!), crispy tofu, rice noodles, and veggies:


My setup…


With vegetable fried rice and homemade peanut dipping sauce


What I’m Reading

I just started the third in the Tiffany Aching series, Wintersmith!


New Pattern Release: Transposition Hat


I have a new pattern out this week! This is the Transposition Hat:

IMG_5992If it seems familiar, it’s probably because it’s the adult version of the baby/child hat from my Babe in the Woods collection, released last winter. Here it is, modeled by my son (he looks so tiny to me!):

transposedThe adult version required some fancy footwork with the decreases, since the ones I did on the baby hat didn’t work well over a larger vertical space. I ended up going with a single spot of the contrasting color on the top, rather than the concentric circles of the baby version. But I like the way it turned out. Here’s a pic of the top of the adult hat, with the baby hat for comparison:


transposed crownHere are the pattern specs:

Name: Transposition Hat (the baby hat’s called Transposed Hat. See what I did there?)

Yarn: Malabrigo Rios, about half a skein  in Natural and a little less than that in Pocion for the contrasting color. I picked out the most crazy variegated skein I could find at my LYS, since the whole point of this hat is to break up pooling and give you something neat to do with variegated skeins.

Rios is kind of on the thin side for worsted-weight yarn, so for substituting, I’d recommend a light worsted or even a DK. If fit is vital, make sure to check your gauge in the colorwork pattern! It pulls in a LOT.

Sizes: Small (Medium, Large). Shown in Medium.

Actual finished circumference: 19.5 (21.25, 23)” or 49.5 [54, 58.5] cm
Length from CO edge to top: 8 (8.25, 8.75)” or 20 [21, 22] cm

Recommended needles (make sure to check gauge and change sizes if needed):
US #5 [3.75 mm] circular needle, 16” long
US #6 [4.0 mm] circular needle, 16” long
US #6 [4.0 mm] double-pointed needles, set of 4 or 5

Stitch marker, yarn needle

Gauge: 27 sts/ 30 rows = 4 in/10 cm in Colorwork Chevron stranded pattern on larger needles

You can purchase the pattern for $4.00 on Ravelry, right here!




Friday Roundup: Uh oh…


What I’m Knitting

So I was pretty happy with the progress I made on the nautical-themed toddler sweater this week… until I took a good look at my WIP after binding off the cuff on the first sleeve.

IMG_9376It looks cute, but also out of proportion to me—that’s a long sleeve for such a short body! I went pattern diving on Ravelry last night and came up with every number imaginable for toddler sweater body and sleeve lengths. There’s clearly no standard. So what I’m planning to do is try it on my son when he wakes up from his nap and adjust accordingly. I’m thinking I’ll need to add some rows to the body (which will work out okay since I think I’d like more blue before the ribbing anyway).

This is one of those times when I’m soooo happy I knit this sweater top down!

What I’m Cooking

Still going strong on my cookbook challenge, but I only managed two recipes from it this week. First, a spicy blue potato and corn salad. Something I’d never make normally (blue potatoes were not exactly on my regular shopping list), but it was really good! I also used canned chipotles for the spicy part—another first!



The second one from the cookbook was a vegetable korma. It called for garam masala, which I couldn’t find pre-made at my grocery store, so I made my own with cumin, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, coriander, and a few other spices. Indian food purists would scoff, I’m sure, but I thought it was pretty good!

I liked the korma, but I’m a little spoiled by full-fat curries, so it did feel like it was lacking something. Next time I make it, I think I’ll use full-fat coconut milk instead of light.

IMG_9370I went off cookbook for my Wednesday meal for a crowd. Sometimes I absolutely crave comfort food, so I tried a new-to-me green chile mac and “cheese” recipe from Minimalist Baker. It was amazing (maybe because I’ve been eating all this low-fat stuff, haha). I served it up with some simple roasted broccoli and some toasted crumbled tortilla chips on top for crunch:


What I’m Reading

I’m well into my friend’s manuscript and loving it so far! It’s fun to read things well ahead of publication, but it’s tough when you want to share it with everyone you know and can’t….



Friday Roundup: Birthday Edition


What I’m Knitting:

I still need to block the colorwork mitt from last week, but I started another project! Remember the little nautical sweater that I blogged about last month? I was really unhappy with the way the topmost white stripe on the body was pulling up, and there were a few other things I didn’t like about it, like the way the bottom flared out a bit and the bordering-on-too-tight neck opening.

Here’s the pic—see what I mean?

IMG_8855So when I heard Knit Picks had a new easy-care yarn out, I figured I could kill two birds with one stone—try out the yarn and reknit the sample with some changes. I’m through the yoke and rolling along on the stripes for the body:

IMG_9359It’s the same general concept, as you can see, but there will be some other changes (more stripes on the sleeves, for one). Hopefully I’ll have some decent progress to show off next week.

What I’m Cooking

My birthday was this week, and a good friend had a birthday a few days later. I made a dinner of shepherd’s pie (with lentils standing in for the meat) for our little party and baked a chocolate cake for afterwards! It was delicious. I actually think vegan cakes taste better. You don’t get that eggy taste, and they’re not so rich that you can’t finish a piece. Even the omni guests said it was one of the better cakes they’d had.


We were low on birthday candles, so there’s one for each of us!

FullSizeRenderI’m still working on my Appetite for Reduction cookbook challenge! This week, the recipes on deck were fusilli with roasted veggies:

IMG_9342Lentil soup with lots of veggies (so good!):

IMG_9351And two things I never would have made without this challenge, shaved Brussels sprouts and oven-baked onion rings! The onion rings in particular were an experience, what with the battering and breading. But they were really good! Not greasy like fried ones, just crunchy and salty. I’ll definitely be making them again. We had them with some pre-marinated tofu:


What I’m Reading:

Although I managed to get a decent amount of cooking and knitting in this week, my reading time suffered. So I’m still working on A Hat Full of Sky, although I’m hurrying to get through so I can read a writer friend’s manuscript!



Friday Roundup: Why You Should Block Colorwork, and Challenge Accepted!


What I’m Knitting

The second colorwork mitt is alllmost done—just the thumb ribbing and weaving in ends to go!

IMG_9341 (1)


I sometimes get comments about how even my colorwork is on my FOs… to which I always respond, “Nope, it’s just blocking.” Here’s an illustration of what I mean: the unblocked mitt next to the blocked one (they are, of course, the exact same stitch count, needle size, etc.).

IMG_9337 (1)I think the difference is even more obvious on the reverse side:

IMG_9340 (1)So anyway, there’s my PSA for the day: block your colorwork!

What I’m Cooking

Remember I said I was considering cooking every single recipe in my new Appetite for Reduction cookbook in order? Well, I accepted my own challenge and started in on it this week! I’m aiming for 2-3 recipes a week, since most of them make enough for leftovers for another meal the next day.

I’ve already cooked several things I wouldn’t have otherwise, and they were all delicious! I missed getting a picture of the baked falafel, which was a bit time-consuming, but amazing. I love falafel, but it’s usually fried in oil—not exactly health food. The baked ones came out moist and delicious. Next time I’ll double the recipe.

Here’s what I did manage to photograph. First, a quinoa-chickpea dinner salad with homemade balsamic dressing. We don’t usually eat dinner salads (hence the need for reduction, ahem), but this one was really filling and just enough with a few pieces of crusty bread. This was my first time making my own salad dressing—it was yummy!

IMG_9322 (1)Next up is a chickpea piccata, served over spinach and what Isa (the cookbook author) calls “caulipots”: a steamed potatoes/cauliflower mix mashed with a little olive oil. The whole thing was amazing! We gobbled it up and didn’t have any leftovers that day.

IMG_9329 (1)And finally, another dinner salad, this one from another cookbook (we had leftover quinoa that I wanted to use up, so I went looking for a recipe). This is a mock Caesar with homemade dressing and tempeh “croutons.” Another winner (especially the croutons! I usually find tempeh pretty bitter, but this method of cooking them was great).

IMG_9334 (1)


Stay tuned for next week’s challenge recipes!

What I’m Reading

I finished The Wee Free Men and started in on book #2 in the series, A Hat Full of Sky. I love these books so much!






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