Monday, November 27, 2017

Christmas Knitting

Every Christmas, V and I give the kids cash for Christmas and I give them something knitted. I get requests for hats a lot but this year, I made a couple of my girls some great mitts. The pattern is from Tin Can Knits, a Canadian company, and the pattern is called The World's Simplest Mitts.  You can download this pattern free on Ravelry or click here. If you can knit in the round, you can make these mitts.  Although the pattern is simple, the yarn speaks volumes here. It's Malabrigo Mecha, 100% wool, gorgeous and plump.  I added a pair of glove liners inside them to make these extra warm and versatile.

The woman's hat pattern I favor is Rikke, a free download on Ravelry.  It is deceptively simple and has a little slouch.  I have made a lot of people happy with these.

For the three men in my family who want knitted toques, I use my favorite Boyfriend Watch Cap by Churchmouse Yarns and Teas, a beautiful yarn store on Bainbridge Island in Washington.  This is a purchased pattern.  I knit these out of Cascade 220 which is a reasonably priced yarn and they turn out really well.

Image via
Image via

When making knitted gifts, I try and make sure that the people I am knitting for are 'Knit Worthy'.  This means that they appreciate the gift as well as the time it took to make it and they will endeavour to take care of the item.  I also make sure that the pattern and color will please the recipient or else the gift will live its life out in the bottom of a basket somewhere at the back of a dark closet... a nightmare for any knitter.

This year, I will include with my knits, a single wash dose of Eucalan with washing instructions.  I am on a mission to educate my family on the care and feeding of their woolly treasures.

Monday, October 30, 2017

What's up with Hygge?

So I'm in the process of reading this little book.  Did I tell you I'm back from France? Well, yes I am, and today, the difference in temps between our little town in France and where I live is a whopping 18 degrees... This gap will only widen in the days to come so I'm getting ready for it!

Hygge (pronounced hooga) about an atmosphere and an experience, rather than about things. It is about being with the people we love.  A feeling of home. A feeling that we are safe, that we are shielded from the world and allow ourselves to let our guard down.  You may be having an endless conversation about the small or big things in life - or just be comfortable i each other's company - or just be by yourself enjoying a cup of tea.
Originally written in Danish, the translation is not the greatest and the author does seem to go for repetition but it has spurred me onto the mission of spending a happier, more contented winter. The hygge manifesto speaks to my soul directly and I want to make it my own. 


I'm ready for  # 4, 6 and 8 - I love the idea that, in the case of a gathering, tasks, as well as airtime, are shared.  Let all the people have a turn to speak - and no drama allowed! Now we're talking hygge.  The idea is to FEEL GOOD!

So in the weeks to come and, hopefully, throughout the winter, I will be adding to my list of hygge possibilities.

 This past week:

1. A neat site I found where our city's best coffee shops are listed.

2. Soup, soup and more soup including Italian Wedding (made for our arrival by M.), Barefoot Contessa's Winter Minestrone and Thai Curried Butternut Squash. Comfort in a bowl, mmm, mmm.

3. I've picked up my knitting needles again...

4. All caught up with GOT and Designated Survivor...

Any other hygge ideas out there? Please share!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Vegetable Fairy Strikes Again!

Yesterday, we went to my sister D.'s farm for a lovely lunch and a little trip to her magnificent vegetable garden for strawberries, raspberries, swiss chard, beets, lettuce, basil, parsley, cilantro and dill.  No pics of these or the farm, so sorry I didn't at least take my phone to the garden...

Last night I made freezer strawberry jam with a product D. sent along made by Club House.  Had the jam this morning on toast and it was beyond delicious and not too sweet. (1 1/2 cups sugar for 4 cups of berries.) I recommend the product, it's got a couple of unpronounceable ingredients but nothing really evil. I'm going to make the freezer raspberry jam today.

image via

D also gave me her garlic scapes and with it, this morning I made garlic scape pesto with this recipe. It's seriously good! Very garlicky tasting and green just like basil pesto. My friends Corey and Yann would love it.
Going to be having it tonight with pasta and swiss chard. I'm roasting the beets on the barbecue now and will make a roasted beet salad with lemon and thyme dressing which I found here.  I love cooking from fresh produce and sometimes regret that I don't have my own vegetable garden.

Next week we are heading to Chicago to meet our son T.'s special girl.  We look forward to hugging our boy and spending quality time with them both.  This year, both our sons have a special girl and we are enjoying having more people at the family dinner table.

My cast has been off for 9 days and I am working every day to make it stronger.  I finished knitting two hats this week and I've never been so happy to do dishes! I am going to cast on my first shawl this week and will have it as my knitting project in Chicago and in France later. Check out the pattern, it's called AGLEAM by Canadian designer Lisa Mutch.  All photos are from her Ravelry page:
All images via

I am making it with the same yarn featured in the pictures, it's called Metallurgy MCN by Northbound Knitting and is hand-dyed by the pattern designer. Check out my Ravelry page (link on the side bar) to see my finished projects.
I have been knitting rather simple patterns and I thought it might be time to do something different.

So glad to be making again.