On a grey and rainy Monday

On a grey and rainy Monday

After a warp-speed weekend, Monday dawns dull and grey with rain showers and milder temperatures. It is hard to feel excited about the week when it starts off like this! We did have a dusting of snow when I woke and Saturday – it looked so beautiful outside. However, the rain has washed every bit of snow away. Boo!

However, the weekend was nice – happy hour on Friday was particularly wonderful. Good eats, good companionship, and great cocktails. Ones that were so good you needed a second to confirm that you loved it so much! I am sharing the recipe with you all – it was that good.

I really love classic cocktails, and a Sidecar with Remy Martin V.S.O.P. is one of my favorites this time of the year. But, I like to tweak things – improve them a bit, and especially take advantage of what I have on hand. Oranges are so lovely at the market right now – sweet, juicy and packed full of goodness add to that – my thyme is still growing like mad, despite the cold frosty days we have had. So how could I improve on the classic Sidecar with a bit of thyme and the fresh oranges. Here is my recipe:

Orange-Thyme Sidecars

Makes 2

  • 5 ounces Remy Martin VSOP
  • 1 ounce Cointreau or Triple Sec (I used Triple Sec, which is what I had on hand)
  • 1 ounce Thyme simple syrup*
  • The juice from 1.5 oranges **
  • The juice from half a lemon **
  • 2-4 drops of Orange Bitters
  • Sprig of Thyme for garnish
  • Orange zest for garnish

Combine all liquid ingredients in a shaker filled with ice. Shake briskly. Pour into chilled martini or coupe glasses and garnish with an orange zest and a thyme sprig. Enjoy!

*To make the thyme simple syrup – combine equal parts water and sugar and heat on stove top until sugar has melted completely. Remove from heat and add 8-10 sprigs of fresh thyme. Cover and let steep 10 minutes. Remove thyme and cool to room temperature and then refrigerate. Syrup will keep in the refrigerator for 2 weeks.

** I juiced 3 oranges and 1 lemon and made 4 cocktails

I completed the final bits of Christmas decorating and I did some reading and a wee bit of knitting. I finally finished Burial Rites and was not impressed – it was a story with so many questions and many of them unanswered. I started reading The Mysteries of Pittsburgh and so far, so good!

On the schedule for this abbreviated week (Steve is taking his last vacation day on Friday!!) is to finish the last bit of Christmas shopping and get wrapped and in the mail.

How was your weekend?


Peaceful Fiber Friday

Peaceful Fiber Friday

The start of peaceful knitting began yesterday at Casa del KatKnits – and it feels so, well, peaceful and meditative! While knitting yesterday I was thinking of other knitters who are joining me in this journey – there are 2,192 projects currently listed on Ravelry (however as of 11/29 there were over 14k participating!!) but I am especially thinking about those I know who are knitting along with me.

I hope you all managed to get 318 stitches cast on and began knitting yesterday. I completed the cast on and the first 4 rounds yesterday. I will continue today with the second repeat of the pattern. I am happy to say that the pattern is easy to memorize.

I am looking forward to 20 more days of knitting and meditating on peace for this world.


I am fortunate Steve loves me so much, he surprised me yesterday with a pre-holiday package from Miss Babs and Jenny the Potter! A mug for me and some yarn from which I will make a hat for him. Thank you Steve!! And, thank you Miss Babs for the sample of Tarte! This will be the perfect accent for my next pair of Squad Mitts!

Now, how about some links?

That is all I have for this week! Have a fantastic weekend and I will see you back here on Monday!!

November Knitting

November Knitting

November has just flown by at warp speed. If it were possible, I’d ask Scotty to beam me back! Perhaps he has and I don’t know it – yesterday it was well into the 60’s here with the same today. This weather does not seem at all Novemberish!

But, December is knocking at the door and despite my gift knitting through the year, I always have a few last-minute things that seem like a good idea to try to cast on to get finished for Christmas gifting.

I finished slippers for Steve’s mom – I knit them with Lamb’s Pride Worsted and at a tighter gauge than the pattern calls for. I really love the fabric I got and I think these will be a sturdy, long-wearing slipper! All that is left to do is seam up the slipper backs and wash them. I have a few more skeins of the Lamb’s Pride and I think I will make a couple more pairs to send out with holiday packages.

I am anticipating some Project Peace knitting starting tomorrow – one very good thing about the arrival of December! I am all ready to cast on tomorrow! I will be using the knitting time to do some meditation for the season.

My reading slowed down over the holiday weekend, but I finished The Underground Railroad today. The narration is incredibly wonderful on this audiobook and the story is so compelling and powerful and it will be a story that will stay with me a long time. I am struck by how things have not changed in some aspects and that is incredibly sad. I give this book 5 stars and if you have not read it, I highly recommend it.

I have about 100 pages left of Burial Rites – and I am glad I stayed with this book – Agnes has tucked herself into my heart and I am holding out hope that things take a good turn for her.

Up next in my reading, Michael Chabon’s The Mysteries of Pittsburgh. This was an Overdrive “recommendation” – which I look forward to each week!

I better get back to my holiday knitting, are you doing any gift knitting this year?

Joining up with Ginny’s Yarn Along as usual today.

Houston, We Have a Mitt!

Houston, We Have a Mitt!

Well, the gauge issues with the Squad Mitts has been solved!

One mitt down, one to go!

I am so happy with how they are turning out – and I am even happier they are 100% handspun yarn, most of which has been spun on a spindle!

And it is Friday!! Bring on the weekend, I am so ready for it! I am starting it off by having tea and some knitting with a friend.

I have nothing else for you except for some links:

Lots of gift knitting ideas here, it is not too late!

Have a fantastic Friday – see you back here tomorrow!!

Frosty Monday

Frosty Monday

The first really hard frosts happened here over the weekend, which was the abrupt end to all that was green in the yard.

Other than that, it was a non-weekend – you know, the kind that was over before it began.

There was some football, but it was not great football – Michigan lost.

Up next were my gauge issues that hounded me Saturday and Sunday – talk about fun times at Casa del KatKnits!

But, my inquiring mind wants to know — do you knit a gauge swatch when knitting mitts?

Yeah, me either.

Which led to frogging my Squad Mitt – not once, but four times thus far.

Of course, not having a 2.75mm needle is perhaps part of my problem. I have a 3mm or a 2.5 mm, but no 2.75mm needles could be found in my house! 3mm – WAY too big (even knitting the small mitt!), 2.5 – way too small (knitting the small mitt) and 2.5 mm in the larger mitt – also too big! Gah!

Okay, next step – remove stitches. 2.5mm + 44 stitches and I am hoping this will be the right combination. Yeah. It is a fingerless mitt, for heaven’s sake! But, it felt at times like rocket science! Way beyond my abilities however, I knit on in hope!

I did get to Indie Knit and Spin on Saturday – and I got a skein of Vesper Sock Yarn! (And a mitten kit!) Perhaps I need to just put the mitts down and give them a bit of a time out and knit some socks! These colors sure make me happy!


And, here it is Monday, and I am hoping the weekend was not a preview of what the week is to be… (at least the ripping out and redoing portion – if it wants to be over and done with before I know it, that is fine by me!)

How was your weekend?

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