The Happiest of Hours
Corned Beef Cooking
Really delicious baking!
and lots of reading!
Notes on a weekend: I do not consider myself a pie baker, but this recipe intrigued me and 8 cups of frozen raspberries from our garden that I had done absolutely nothing with glaring at me every time I opened the freezer. So, out came the raspberries to thaw a bit while I put mixed the pie crust ingredients together on Sunday morning. My raspberry modifications: 4 C raspberries – slightly thawed. 3 Tbsp corn starch (next time I will only use 2 Tbsp), 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tsp vanilla paste, the juice and zest of one lemon. I needed to bake it about 8 minutes longer than the recipe called for.
Oh, and that corned beef… omgosh, it was hands down the best corned beef I have ever made – or eaten! If you have always felt sort of ho-hum about corned beef… try Andrew Z’s recipe. It will turn you into a corned beef fan!!
My quilt top is almost done! As is the back of Deschain – so you know that means I simply had to cast on a new project, lol. This will be the shawl I am donating to and Close to You won the great pattern debate. I wound the yarn while I watched the NCAA selection show (there were cheers for Michigan pulling a #2 seed despite losing the Big Ten Tournament to Michigan State) and the winding continued while we watched the Circus. But, cast on was achieved before I finally turned off the lights and headed to bed.
And, with that – the weekend is just a warm memory and the mundanity of Monday awaits me! How about you? How was your weekend?
Sometimes the best thing about a Monday morning is an in depth review of what you did over the weekend.
We have been in a bit of a “drink slump” on the Friday Happy Hour™ recently so I pulled up my Pinterest Gin Cocktail board and picked a new drink. Why gin? To me nothing says warm weather quite like gin and we are wishing for some of that here. I made this recipe for an Old Tom – it was okay, but we thought it needed a little something. My easy fix was to juice an orange and split that between the two cocktails (my orange, juiced, was roughly 2 ounces) and that was the perfect addition! This cocktail is bright and refreshing – the perfect slump breaker!
Saturday… oh Saturday!
I learned some lessons about my memory, telling time, and how the heck can a yarn vendor be a yarn vendor if they don’t have a SQ* of yarn. My apparently failing memory tells me that Indie Knit and Spin usually started at 10am in their old location, and I remember seeing something about an 11am start on FB, but actually reading the starting times might have been helpful. Why, even reading the FB alert on my phone might have been helpful! Yes, we arrived at 11am only to discover that 11-12 was the “pay preview.” I will leave Steve’s response to this to your imagination – but, let me just say – it was not pretty.
The biggest shock, however, came with the “yarn vendors.” How do they call themselves that if they only have **ONE OR TWO** skeins of yarn in any color????? I saw plenty of yarn I liked, but my intent was not to buy a skein or two of yarn to enhance my already out of control yarn stash! I was on a mission and the only purchase I was going to make would be to fulfill that mission! Imagine my shock when one vendor said to me and I am quoting: “You knit sweaters?” – as if this was a foreign concept! (also, HELLO!! I was wearing a handknit sweater, thank you very much!!) However, I persevered and tried a different tactic – I asked two different vendors if I could place an order for a SQ of yarn in a colorway. Their responses: “Not in that yarn, I don’t stock that yarn.” (Really? Because THAT IS ALMOST ALL THE YARN YOU HAVE IN YOUR BOOTH!!) And “That is a ‘unicorn’ color which means it was a mistake and it cannot be repeated.” – I almost wanted to stay in her booth for the remainder of the day to see how many “mistakes” she sold versus her “planned” colorways… almost. I did not and I really wish them luck with their “yarn hobby.”
There is, however, a silver lining to this disaster of a day, and it came from Lisa of Fibernymph Dye Works!! She had 3 skeins of yarn that I thought would work but, I needed one more skein. She did not ask me why I needed another skein – she just started looking through some show kits she had and found a fourth skein! Really, this was the most AWESOME customer service!! Lisa… you win the day (and you got the sale!!) Thank you!! And, no – this yarn is not for this sweater… I figured that having just one sweater on my radar might result in disaster, so I had a backup plan! I will combine this gorgeous yarn with an enormous skein Wollmeise Lace yarn that has been in my stash for ages. I have not swatched yet…but, I have thought about it more than once this weekend! If you are in need of a skein or ten of yarn, I highly recommend Lisa!
All this yarn angst triggered a bout of Day Drinking which Church Brew Works happily obliged! It was the perfect combination of good beer and great food!
Sunday had some bright moments but those moments did not include very much time outdoors – thank you Gale Force Winds, but that equated to some excellent knitting time. There was also some meal planning for the week in an effort to reduce the “what’s for dinner” conversation – and if this prolonged discussion eliminates the daily “what’s for dinner” diatribe – I am all for it. Because that conversation is my least favorite one to have, yet it is the most frequent!!
And, there you have it… after unloading all that I am ready for Monday! How about you?
*SQ = Sweater Quantity
I did indeed finish my first Thea Rachelle Raglan on Friday. Sewing time was about 2 hours total. Yes, I like it, but I need to make some pattern adjustments. The neck line needs to be a bit narrower and higher in the back, at least for a cold weather garment! I am not sure how easy those things will be to adjust – what with facings and all. However, this exact pattern would make a truly lovely summer top from linen!! So, yes! I will sew this again!
Saturday, we had the most amazing visitor in the tree in my front yard!! A Pileated Woodpecker!! I know – my heart about stopped. I was not quick enough to get a photo, but oh.my.gosh. A Pileated Woodpecker in my front yard! I am pretty sure it was a female, because I did not see any red stripe on its face.
More BIG excitement here on Sunday when the water main that supplies our housing plan broke leaving us with no water for most of Sunday afternoon and evening. I won’t even go into all the complaining that caused. However, things seem to be back to normal this morning and I have laundry underway to prove it!
I have been entirely enamored with Cara’s 100-day Sashiko Stitching Project. You should especially look at her stories…so.much.fun!
AND!! I started listening to the latest Armand Gamache installment, Kingdom of the Blind – I am limiting my listening time each day to make it last as long as possible.
How is your Monday looking?
The weekend seemed a bit anti-climactic after last weekend’s weather drama, but a quiet winter weekend was truly a lovely thing. There was some snow, some cold, and glory of glories there was even some sunshine!! All this added up to another quiet, stay at home weekend and while I don’t have any finished projects to share, I did do lots of different things!
I spent quite a bit of time laying out the pattern pieces for Thea Rachelle – lots of pages and lots of tape but I am now ready to cut out my flannel muslin. I will sit and do this tomorrow morning with a nice cup of coffee and Marilla of Green Gables to keep me company!
I spent a little time knitting this weekend and happily, my “second choice” yarn for Ysolda’s Follow Your Arrow 2 shawl will be perfect! I am almost done with “clue 2” and can I just say I really appreciate Ysolda not changing the pattern format which is still in clues! I love printing out a clue and working on it – it somehow seems more manageable. The yarn is a heavy laceweight single that I got some years ago at the Michigan Fiber Festival – sorry I do not know the dyer, but I believe the yarn is a non-super wash merino and I love the spring green color – it will be a lovely addition to my wardrobe!
I finished spinning and plying my fourth skein (only two more to go!!) for Brenshevia Boone’s Spin/Knit Along – it needs a good relaxing soak but here is the unfinished skein. I am very happy with my “barber-pole” planning on these skeins. Nightshift was originally knit with Spincycle Yarns which have the loveliest barber-poling effects with subtle color shifts – so when I picked fiber to spin, I looked for fibers that had no more than 3 colors and I looked for fiber that had some similarity in color or hue. I have been dividing each bump of fiber into thirds and just spinning and so far, my “random” method is working out nicely. And, I am managing to spin each fiber to a consistent “worsted-weight” 3-ply yarn which is not the easiest of tasks for me! I started on the fifth bump of fiber today and hope to have the spinning done in the next two weeks and then I will be ready to knit!
I also did some stitching this weekend! The wings of my little bird are done, and I am quite happy with the result. I have to whip-stitch them together yet, but I think my little “red winged blackbird” will be adorable! Suggestions for any of you who have plans to make your own little flock of birds – next time I would trace the pattern onto the fabric and complete the stitching of the wings and tail pieces before I cut them out. This will allow you to use an embroidery hoop which will make for more even stitches.
In all my recent reorganizing, I found a bag containing a cross-stitch pattern, fabric, and floss. I have not cross-stitched in probably more than 20 years, but I got started on it while watching the end of Season 4 of Dr. Who (okay, not really season 4 but that is how it is listed on Amazon Prime.) This is a project that will require lots of daylight to work on because I think the linen fabric is 26-count or something insane like that! I hope to share an “in-progress” photo later this week!
There were also gardening conversations, visit to Michigan conversations, and what next to tackle on the house conversations.
All in all, it was a wonderful weekend! How was your weekend?
Greetings from a sunny but very cold wintry wonderland!
The weekend forecast was the stuff of a weatherperson’s dreams – all the weather in one day so, we braved the crazed “Armageddon” crowds at the grocery store to get a couple of things. Really not the most brilliant thing we’ve ever done, but we did manage to survive.
We thought that trip was a fool’s errand when all the predictions for Saturday just sort of fizzled out. No snow but yes, we got lots of rain and the temperatures stayed well above freezing all day. The rains finally turned to ice and then to snow as our temperatures plummeted to single digits overnight. The arctic blast is indeed upon us!
And, so what do you do with all the weather drama? Well, you make comfort foods (i.e. stuffed acorn squash), drink whiskey, and finish projects!
I did some sewing with really lovely results. I mentioned Fancy Tiger Crafts One-Hour Top a couple of weeks ago and I found some knit fabric on sale at JoAnn’s and in less than an hour I sewed up a muslin from the sale fabric to see how it would fit and what adjustments I might need to make. Yes, less than an hour – including cutting out the pattern in that time! There are just 4 seams and then stitch the neck, sleeves and hem with a double needle, which gives a really lovely and surprisingly easy finish! And, the fit is really wonderful so I have been looking online for more knit fabric to make a couple more shirts!
Steve’s mom loved her Christmas Cowl so much she asked if I could make one for Steve’s dad, which I was happy to do. I finished it on Saturday and delivered it early Sunday morning and just in time for the single digit weather we are going to be having this week!
I blocked Rachel’s Birthday Shawl and got the few ends woven in, and it is all ready to be shipped off to California!
I also finished a pair of handspun socks that were two years in the making! That’s right I bound them off on Sunday morning – I still have ends to weave in but at least they are off the needles!
Inspired by Mary, I cleaned up my Ravelry queue and frogged a few items that just are not going to ever be finished for a variety of reasons. It feels infinitely better looking at my queue now and I even feel energized to get these lingering projects finished! All this work deserved a reward so I cast on a new shawl with a skein of handspun yarn that I found in last weekends organization that I had earmarked for this project!
In the “late to the party” category (and thanks to pneumonia!) I have recently discovered how entirely enjoyable Doctor Who is! I am just starting Season 4 thanks to Sunday’s snow storms and wintry blast! I will just say this; The Doctor is a very good knitting companion!
Steve works tomorrow, no day off for him! But if you do have tomorrow off – I hope you spend a little time thinking about MLK!
What did your weekend hold?