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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.

 

Friday Roundup: Hey, It’s Still Friday for Two More Hours

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What I’m Knitting

I’m deep in the throes of secret commissioned knit design, which means I don’t have anything I can show you this week. So to distract you from the lack of actual knitting content, please enjoy this cute picture of my son. He grabbed my ChiaoGoos from where I’d left them on the couch, ran up to where I was standing, and shouted, “Knitting!” while clicking the needle tips together delightedly.

FullSizeRenderHeart. Melted.

What I’m Cooking

I’ve made vegan quiches with chickpea flour before, but this week I decided to go traditional with a tofu base. This recipe also used hummus, though, which gave it an awesome savory flavor! I paired it with garlic/almond green beans and salad. Yummy!

FullSizeRender2What I’m Reading

As promised, I finally finished the Zahn Star Wars saga. I picked up The Infinite Sea at the bookstore today. I really liked The 5th Wave, the first book in the series, so I have high hopes for this one!

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New Pattern Release: Mystic Falls Hat!

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What I’m Knitting

I blogged about the hat to match my Mystic Falls colorwork mitts a while back. Now the pattern has been officially released and I can show it off!

IMG_2666Here are the specs:

Pattern: Mystic Falls Hat (Ravelry link—you don’t need to be a member to purchase)

Yarn: Stitch Sprouts Yellowstone, a scrumptious wool/silk sport-weight yarn. I adore this yarn. I think it looks great in colorwork, and it was like knitting with butter. I wanted to cry when my next project used super-scratchy yarn, haha.

Notes: I had a lot of fun with this one! The patterning is very close to my Mystic Falls Mitts, but not exactly the same. Once you get in a rhythm with the colorwork, it actually goes very quickly (as my pattern testers agreed). It’s a good choice for beginner/intermediate colorwork knitters, since there are only two colors and very few places with long floats.

What I’m Cooking

I was really, really craving cookies this week, but I’m trying to keep my refined sugar intake low for the pregnancy’s sake. I compromised and made some oatmeal cookies sweetened with maple syrup and honey, but with the addition of chocolate chips. They were AWESOME.

IMG_2759I also tried out a new method of marinating and broiling chopped veggies, which turned out pretty good. Next time I think I’ll use less marinade. Yummy over rice with vegan “chicken” nuggets, anyway!

IMG_2767What I’m Reading

I’m still working on the last book in Timothy Zahn’s epic Star Wars cycle…

 

 

 

Friday Roundup: Yummmm

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What I’m Knitting

I got another square of the baby blanket done and blocked this week—that’s four down, five more to go! But the yarn for the commissioned designs that I’ve been waiting for arrived today, so the blanket will have to go on hold for a little bit.

My son helped me knit the last few rounds of the square by shoving DPNs into the WIP:

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I can’t tell you much about the designs, but trust me, this yarn is goooorrrgeous. It feels like kittens distilled into yarn. Here’s a teaser pic:

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What I’m Cooking

Some extremely tasty banana muffins with chunks of apple this week:

IMG_2714And pure vegan comfort food, quesadillas with onions, peppers, roasted corn, and olives:

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What I’m Reading

I’m just starting the last book in the Star Wars cycle I’m reading! I don’t want it to end… but at least I have the new Rogue One movie to look forward to in December. (Have you seen the trailer yet? It’s awesome!)

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Friday Roundup: FO Fail

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What I’m Knitting

I wanted to do a quick project this week, so I whipped up this cute little owl hat for my son.

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He loves owls and loves wearing hats, so it should have been a surefire hit, right? But it turns out he HATES it. That picture was taken right before he ripped the hat off his head and refused to put it on ever again. He even went so far as to throw it violently across the room while yelling, “No hat! No hat!”

Toddlers, man.

IMG_2702Anyway, here are the general specs on the FO:

Pattern: Chouette by Ekaterina Blanchard (Ravelry link)

Yarn: This is a lovely rustic wool my sister-in-law bought me as a gift in England a few years back. It’s labeled “Pure Lleyn Lambswool” and says “Knit as Chunky” on the label, although I found that it knit up much better at an Aran gauge (and had to adjust the pattern accordingly).

Notes: A well-written, easy to follow pattern. It’s definitely not the designer’s fault that my son took an immediate dislike to it. :-P

I also got a picture of my current progress on the baby blanket. I have three squares knit up, although only two of them are blocked:

IMG_2711I was happy to find that I was able to get these three squares out of two skeins of Malabrigo Rios. That means I should have enough to do my originally planned nine squares with the six skeins I have. Yay for not having to buy more yarn!

What I’m Cooking

This potato casserole is one of my favorite easy vegan dishes. We ate all the leftovers within two days—yummy!

IMG_2695And I also made a chickpea/veggie curry, served over rice. The sauce for this is SO GOOD. You could almost just eat it with a spoon.

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What I’m Reading

So I was contemplating going back to young adult books after I finished the third book in the Thrawn trilogy… but I couldn’t help myself, so I started the first of the duology that follows those books. I promise, I’ll go back to other things when I’m done with these two books!

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Friday Roundup: Eye Candy

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What I’m Knitting

The yarn I’m waiting for still hasn’t arrived, so I’m plugging away at more squares for my lace/cable baby blanket. I finished and blocked the second square and am nearly done with the third… but it looks pretty much exactly like the crumpled, pre-blocked mess I showed off last week, so I’ll spare you.

I do have some yarny goodness to show off, though! Way back in January, I found out that I’d been randomly selected to win a spectacular prize in the Indie Design Gift-A-Long on Ravelry. Designer Casapinka on Ravelry donated a prize pack for her gorgeous Purpleplexy Shawl that included a gradient skein pack and a single skein base color of luscious Miss Babs Yummy 2-Ply. I picked out the Gemstones gradient and Slate as the base color.

Here’s what it looked like in the package:

IMG_2682And since I couldn’t go another second without seeing the pretty colors properly (despite the fact that I’m pretty sure I’m never getting those little skeins squished back into their package), here they are in all their glory!

IMG_2693I am in looooove. Thanks so much, Casapinka!

What I’m Cooking

I made some oven-baked falafel and homemade vegan tzatziki this week. When I’ve made falafel before, it’s used canned chickpeas, but this recipe called for dried beans, soaked for at least an hour. I soaked them for two hours, but they were still as hard as rocks when I tried to process them together with the rest of the ingredients. I had to soak them for another couple of hours before I could get anywhere with them. The finished product was really tasty, though!

FullSizeRenderI threw together a quick tofu stir fry for dinner one night:

IMG_2671And a quiet morning with the toddler gave me the opportunity to make one of his favorite breakfasts—pancakes!

IMG_2680I attempted a Mickey Mouse pancake, but clearly there’s some class at parent-qualifying school I missed, because it came out pretty sad looking. The toddler scarfed it down anyway. :-)

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What I’m Reading

I’m nearly done with the third book in the Thrawn trilogy and am at the point where I start to read slower/less so it will last longer. Does anyone else do that with really good multi-book series when you’re sorry to see them end?

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Friday Roundup: Mishmash

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What I’m Knitting

While waiting for yarn to arrive for a few secret commissioned designs, I put my time to good use. First, I worked up a couple new swatches for submissions to a yarn company. This pic is a good illustration of gauge at work—size 15 needles with super-bulky compared to size 5 with sport:

IMG_2592And since my yarn still hadn’t arrived when I was finished with those, I started the next square in my cable/lace baby blanket! It doesn’t look like much (or even like a square) yet, but it’ll show its true colors when I block it:

IMG_2596What I’m Cooking

I didn’t get much cooking time in this week, but I did make up some tasty veggie fajitas. The refried beans are canned, but the guacamole, sautéed veggies, and Mexican rice are all homemade. (That’s dairy-free sour cream and cheese—looks pretty real, doesn’t it?)

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What I’m Reading

I’m nearly done with book #2 in the Thrawn trilogy—I love this series so much!

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Friday Roundup: Square Deal

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What I’m Knitting

I finished the blanket square from last week and blocked it! I love, love, love the way it turned out. (Side note: I can’t get an accurate picture of this yarn’s color to save my life, even with post-processing fiddling. It’s actually more blue than green, although it looks the other way around here.)

IMG_2564The pattern was really fun to knit, although I guess I might be singing a different tune after I knit at least five more of them…

I have a couple of commissioned deadline projects coming up, so knitting pics might be thin on the ground here for a while. But I’ll try to get some sneak peeks!

What I’m Cooking

I made some lemon-blueberry muffins this week. My son and his little friend weren’t huge fans (maybe the lemon flavor is more of an acquired taste), but the adults DEVOURED them.

IMG_2463I also finally made homemade fried rice! It was so incredibly easy that I can’t believe I haven’t been doing it this whole time. Just stir fry some veggies, pop in some cooked rice, and pour a little soy sauce on top while you stir it for a few minutes. I served it with some vegetable gyoza from Trader Joes—mmmm.

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What I’m Reading

I’m still working on Heir to the Empire (forgot how much I love this book!), but I should be wrapping it up today or tomorrow. The book I had on hold at the library is in, so I’ll have to decide whether to start that one or book 2 of the Thrawn trilogy next, hmmm.

And just because it’s Friday and we’ve been having such nice warm weather this week, here’s a bonus shot of a little boy who was really, really happy to finally get back out on the swings:

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Friday Roundup: New Beginnings

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What I’m Knitting

I think I’ve finally figured out a cable pattern I like for the Malabrigo Rios blanket I talked about last week! This is most of it, just minus a couple of rounds of cable/lace patterning and a garter stitch border:

IMG_2452I’m a teensy bit worried about how well the superwash yarn is going to hold a block, since I had to pull the square pretty tight to get the pattern to show up well. But oh well, I figure I’ll finish this square off and block it, then manhandle it a bit and see what happens. The nice thing about doing blankets in squares is that you’re not getting unpleasant surprises at the end of knitting a whole huge blanket.

What I’m Cooking

Hey, I’m starting to feel a little better! The morning sickness isn’t quite as bad as before—enough that I actually managed to cook and eat several things this week that I couldn’t have even contemplated a few weeks ago.

First up, my old healthy standby: quinoa, lentil, and kale stew. I’ve made this stew a lot, but it never fails to amaze me that it’s so tasty. I mean, it doesn’t really SOUND that tasty, does it? But it’s delicious, trust me.

IMG_2441I also made some vegan chili from a new recipe. It had several secret ingredients which sounded really odd to put in chili (maple syrup and lime juice???), but it was totally amazing! I also made some really tasty cornbread muffins and a salad to go with:

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What I’m Reading

I have several books I want to read, but they’re all checked out at the library… so while I wait, I’m revisiting one of my old favorites. This is the first book in the Hand of Thrawn series by Timothy Zahn, sequels to Return of the Jedi. I liked the new movie, but I have to say, this will always be my favorite account of what happened after the original trilogy!

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“Friday” Roundup: Big News!

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So as you may have noticed, it’s not actually Friday anymore (oops).

I figured it was time to let you in on the reason I’ve been so flaky about blog posts, cooking, knitting, and other things over the past few months: we’re expecting another baby this August! Morning sickness (which is really inappropriately named, if you ask me, since I’ve had it all day, every day) has been kicking my butt for the past few months. Cooking was completely out of the question for a solid month. I’m just starting to feel a little more like myself, so hopefully I can get back on track!

Now, on to the regularly scheduled roundup post!

What I’m Knitting

While I wait for yarn for a commissioned design, I’ve been doing some swatching. I picked up a blanket’s worth of gorgeous Malabrigo Rios for the new babe, and I’ve been playing with some ideas for modular cable/lace panels. Here’s my current swatch—doesn’t look like much right now, but I’m going to wait until I get a few more inches to make a decision on whether I like it or not.

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What I’m Cooking

Hey, I made something this week! Here’s some tasty tortilla soup. We’re still enjoying the leftovers a few days later:

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What I’m Reading

After finishing the most recent book in The Naturals series, I haven’t picked up anything new yet. A trip to the library is in my immediate future!

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