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Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Marietta got some new clothes for Christmas from her Aunty, the Sky Goddess.

I'm trying a new method of store my ear pods.  Thank the boys for my Nano 7.  This is one of those plastic bobbins I got for intarsia. I'm wondering how long it will last.  It is a bit fussy to wind and wind.  I'm already trying to imagine a good holder to make for the Nano.  It has no clip or anything. 

Happy Holidays to all of you!  I love having you stop by the blog.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Irish Hiking Mitts, FO

Aran / 10 ply
100% Wool 
Size 6 DPNs
Mods: I started with a 1x1 twisted rib on the palm side, and  also twisted the knit stitches between the cable.  I knew this pattern would be large.  The wrists were still a bit large. 

The yarn is made in Ireland and I purchased it many moons ago at Madrona.  Since I only had one skein the options were limited.  I tried this yarn out on a few other things, but wouldn't you know it wanted to be Irish Hiking Mitts!  The color has a lot of depth to it and the stitch definition is good. 

I am planning to go to Ireland next year on a tour.  I found out while researching various things that some people I thought were Irish are not...Mumford and Sons and MacKenzie Thorpe for two.   

I have homework researching Ireland.  So far I've come to realize what a complicated history it has!  Hopefully it's geology is a little easier to understand. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Bigger on the Inside, FO


Yarn:  1.6 skeins, about 700 yards
Colorway, aqua sol

Needles:  size 3
1.  Made this bigger on the outside by following Damelac's mods on Ravelry.   The resultant shawl was a generous 64 inches across the top edge and about 70 inches along the bottom.  
2.  Casdena on Ravelry is kind enough to share her alternative ending, a knit on lace.  While this lace took forever to finish, it was well worth it.  Like magic it fit perfectly on the 411 picked up stitches.  
Comments.  This pattern is nothing short of brilliant.  In the beginning I thought the variegation would hide the, but in the end I was quite pleased with they way they showed.  

I don't know what I was thinking when I blocked this lace.  Next time around I will thread the wires through the points!  Good thing I own a lot of pins. 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Marietta's Flap Hat, Pattern

Marietta’s Flap Hat (Draft)
Please left me know if you spot any errors.  Thanks!

My first try was done in Red Heart which is more of an aran weight.  I reworked the pattern  in Cascade 220 and Knit Picks Swish.  I also tried out some safety eyes.  I had to cut the backs off the eyes because she said they stuck her in the head and made unsightly bumps.  I also did the band in stockinette stitch instead of 1x1 rib.  The ears were shortened and knit flat.   I used a size G hook, which was a little loose.

I credit Sharuya at Go Dolls for her cute Totoro style hat.  Her dolls are Blythe or smaller, and her hat's are just adorable.  My Marietta's head is quite a bit bigger at 12 inches.  
Knit in the round. 
Increase used interchangeably with Kf&b or Pf&b
Decrease.  K or P 2tog, SSK
Single crochet
Yarn:  worsted, Gauge about 5 stitches/inch and 7 rows/inch.  I tend to knit on the tight side.
Needles size  7
Crochet hook F

Earflaps, knit flat.
With white, CO 4 stitches.  Turn at end of every row.
P one row.
K next row increasing one stitch on each end. (6)
P one row.
K next row increasing one stitch on each end. (8)
P next row increasing one stitch on each end. (10)
K one row. Cut yarn. This end is woven in at the end
Place on holder.
Make second earflap but do not place on holder. 
Backward CO 16 stitches.  With right (knit) side facing, knit the first earflap back on to needle.
Continue back in forth in stockinette stitch starting with purl row for 4 rows.  End on right side.
Backward CO 24 stitches. (60 stitches total)  Join to knit in the round. Place marker to mark beginning.
Continue stockinette stitch for 5 more rows. The front band is a little shy of 1 inch. Cut thread leaving short end to weave in.  Change to gray and stockinette stitch. (Knit every row in the round)
Work 7 rows of knit (one inch)
Begin crown decreases.
(K8, K2tog) around (54)
Knit one row.
(K7, K2tog) around (48)
Knit one row.
(K6, K2tog) around (42)
(K5, K2tog) around (36)
(K4, K2tog) around (30)
(K3, K2tog) around (24)
(K2, K2tog) around (18)
(K1, K2tog) around (12)
(K2tog) around (6)
K1,k2tog,k1,k2tog (4)
Cut thread leaving 6 inch tail.  Thread through stitches and pull up tight.  Push to wrong side and weave in end.
Single crochet around edge, crocheting in tails as you go.  When you go around the botton of the flaps add extra single crochet in corner knit stitches to go around the corners.   Add braids to earflaps and pompoms or dust mites as desired.  (I used 6 strands about 30 inches long for each braid, doubled)

Make two and sew in place.  I knit these flat.  They can as well be knit in the round.  It is fiddly but avoids purling.
CO 8 stitches. 
P1 one row.
K3, Kf&b, K3. Kf&b. (10)
P one row, knit one row, purl one row.
Kf&b, K4, Kf&b, K4 (12)
P one row, knit one row, purl one row.
SSK, K4, SSK, K4 (10)
P2tog, p3, P2tog, p3 (8)
SSK, K2, SSK, K2 (6)
P2tog, p1, P2tog, p1 (4)
K2tog, K2tog.
Break yarn leaving 12 inch tail and thread through.  Pull up and weave in ends.  Stuff lightly if desired.  Sew on ears about 5 stitches from top.  Embroider whiskers, chest markings.  Add eyes of choice.

 Heart in Flight has a nice tutorial on crocheting eyes.

Marietta is also sporting her new jean skirt.  The elastic waistband came out better, and I added the lace and a bit of length.

Friday, December 05, 2014

Nürnberger Lebkuchen Recipe

My coworker turned me on to the packaged variety of these cookes.  I especially liked the chocolate glazed ones shaped like stars.  My first recipe came from Küche Kochen, A cookbook of the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia.  When I bake them with MF, we use her recipe.  The only difference is 1/4 cup of flour  and 1 tsp of soda more, and an 1/2 tsp each allspice and nutmeg, and 1/4 tsp clove, and the addition of cinnamon, 1 tsp.  Also, the glaze was a boiled glaze, cooking to the thread stage.  (okay, I admit I never it tried that glaze, lol)

MF likes a very thin glaze, just to "seal" the cookie.  She always makes these right after Thanksgiving, as these cookies are best "aged" a bit.   

Nürnberger Lebkuchen

1 cup honey
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg beaten
1 T lemon juice
1 tsp. grated lemon zest
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp each allspice, cloves and nutmeg
1/2  tsp salt and baking soda
1/3 cup finely choppped blanched almonds
1/3 cup finely chopped citron
whole blanched almonds for garnish

Heat honey over medium heat until just bubbling.  Remove from heat and cool slightly.  Stir in brown sugar, egg, lemon juice and peel.  Cool to lukewarm.
Stir rest of ingredients together.  Add honey mxture, ground almonds and citron.  Blend well.
Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to two days.
Scoop with small cookie scoop and shape into balls.  Place 2 inch apart on parchment paper lined pans. Press whole almond into top and flatten slightly
Bake 375 for 10-12 minutes.

1 cup powdered sugar
Mix with 3 T water and 1T lemon juice to thin consistency.  Glaze tops and bottoms of cookies, allowed to dry before painting the other sides.  

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Totoro T Shirt For Marietta

I saw a little video on youtube on how to make a no sew jean skirt from a pant leg.  Mom gave up some gardening jeans.  I put elastic in the back half because I can sew.  Reminder to self to leave more space to thread the elastic!  I got some white T-shirts from Emily Rose Doll Clothes.  They are nicely made and I will have fun decorating them.  I'm sewing for a friend who has a tie dye business ( see the headband) and I am going to ask her to throw a couple in.

I hand carved the Totoro stamp and used acrylic paint mixed with fabric medium.  Lucky thing Marietta does not sweat, so I won't have to wash her clothes very often. The paint is heat set but why court danger.

I really want to make a bubble skirt when I find the right scrap of fabric.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Granola Muffins

My recipe card says this recipe is from Prepared Pantry and is called Great Granola Muffins.  I can't locate it on their site, so here it is.

1 1/3 cup unbleached flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups of granola (I use homemade)
2 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup oil
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 400 deg.   (375 deg in my convection oven)
Mix granola with buttermilk and let stand while preparing the pan and muffin mix.  I use paper muffin cup liners since I have them and the clean up is easier, otherwise, grease lightly.
Combine dry ingredients.  Add rest of ingredients including moistened granola.  Optional, add 1/3 cup of chocolate chips.  Mix well.  Scoop into muffin cups.  I used my large cookie scoop to drop the dough into the paper cups.

Bake  15-20 minutes until golden and toothpick comes on dry.  Cool.

Enjoy with a little butter and jelly. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Here's Marietta

Once upon a time I lusted for a Cabbage Patch Doll.  I really wanted a girl to sew and knit for having only sons.  Sensibility set in and that dream passed.  But... after knitting a sweater for Molly and hanging out very briefly in the American Girl Knitter's group on Rav ( also know as Enablers R Us)
I adopted Marietta.  I believe it was fate that brought us together since an American Girl doll trial store opened up at Ala Moan Center, and lunch with mom and the Sky Goddess afforded me a shopping opportunity.  That's my story and I'm sticking too it.

She is a nice sized doll to knit for and I may try and sew something for her as well.

Hooded Cape: 
Yarn:  Cascade Sierra?
Mods:Continued seed stitch around  hoodie.  Ran out of wool so hoodie is a little tight and the ties a little short .
Flouncy Skirt:
Yarn:  Knitpick Swish
Mods:Instead of knitting a casing for elastic, I did a 1x1 rib as seen on Rav.  I ran out of yarn literally on the the bind off row, so bound off with Half Moon medium eyelash yarn.  
Yarn.  Lorna's Laces
Mods:  None.  I did the knee high variation.  These do not fit inside the boots that Marietta came in.  It does not take a rocket scientist to know where this will lead to.
I have two quilts to go to the machine quilter after the holiday rush is over.   I practiced my free motion quilting on the St. Patrick's table topper.  I still suck at free motion quilting.  Sigh.  

I used two different patterns of stash Amy Butler fabric and cut 2.5 inch strips.  I followed the Missouri Quilt youtube for Summer in the Park.  

I was able to make two small quilt tops(largest one is 60 inch square) and have enough left for 3 pillows.

The Sky Goddess AKA Yoga Queen wanted mala beads in purple, so I made this one with a fluorite pendant.  Jason at the Bead Gallery helped me with the tassel.  The knots aren't so good as the beads had larger holes so I may be doing this one over in the future.  

Monday, November 10, 2014

Small Project for Molly

Pattern for Hat and Scarf: 
Pattern for Garter Yoke Sweater:  
DK / 8 ply
70% Acrylic, 30% Merino
260 yards / 100 grams 
I found this yarn splitty and not that much fun to knit.  It was a wonderful pink color.  
Needles:  followed the patterns.  
Mods.  I joined the scarf to knit in the round and converted it to a cowl.  I striped it using stock stitch and reverse stock stitch.  The back side is not too pretty.  
Molly lives in St. Paul, MN and we have never met.  I hope these items fit her.  She is an American Girl doll.  My talented sister sewed these other cute items for her to wear.  

American Girl opened a trial store at Ala Moana Shopping Center but I have not been down there to visit.  There is a ton of construction going on and parking is kind of nuts.

As an aside, I finally hemmed my San Francisco souvenir fabric purchase from Britex Fabrics
I can spend hours in that store.  I was very lazy and did not cut off the selvages.  The 60 inch apple fabric (see first photo) fit my table perfectly.  I hope the fabric world is not phasing out the 60 inch fabric.  They are getting harder to find.  My iron is leaking so I didn't iron it.  Okay, the truth is I probably won't ever iron it, lol.  Now to find a good iron.  The old one was a Rowenta.  They are expensive and I'm not sure they last any longer or iron any better the the cheapos.

Blogless Melody is back in town.  We had our first card date.  Thanksgiving Day theme.  So much to be grateful for!

 We also went to the the Craftsman Fiber Exhibit at the Honolulu Art museum.  There were so many inspirational pieces.  I loved the Sashiko Quilt all hand made and designed by a 94 yo lady.  The "blueberries"  are unwound silk cocoons.  We started the day with a wonderful lunch.  I tried something different, the mahi soba salad and it was yummy.  There was an incredible crochet wire basket and and a sculptural necklace made of nails.  Creative!!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Grace and Bunnies

A couple of FB acquaintances are bunny people.  One raises Angora bunnies and has been posting many pictures of these fuzzy bunnies.  Some look like fluffy bedroom slippers and have so much fur it obscures their faces and tail.  So I got the bug to knit bunnies.

Pattern:  Heartstrings Fiber Arts Knitted Bunny from a square.
by Jackie E-s
Yarn:  re-purposed Baby Alpaca grand.  I also used some polyester medium eyelash yard as I acquired a whole bagful at the last trade show.  What was I thinking?  For the fluffy one I used the baby alpaca and the eyelash yarn held together. 
Needles:  size 8 for the larger bunny and size 5 for the smaller one.  I used the cabled braid from one of Walker's books.

I've also got a new friend, Grace.

She is a Golding all the way from Vermont.  1.4oz, Birdseye maple with walnut shaft.  She spins well.  

My Ewa Beach Cotton on the e-spinner is plugging along.  I had some tension issues but seem to have figured this out.  I just have to relax and let the wheel have it's way.  

BTW, I used the shoe bag pattern from the last post to use up some Amy Butler stash (Amy Butler, Coreopsis in Peach, August Fields Fabric) for my Mixer beaters and made a a matching cover for the mixer.  It's such a happy print.  

The Hawaii International Film Festival is on.  My first film will be a documentary about the animators at Studio Ghibli in Japan, including Hayao Miyazaki, the creator of Totoro, The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness.  The others are samurai pictures or have Asano Tadanobu in them. 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Travel Shoe Bags, and A Giro of Another Color

Loved this video and had almost all the ingredients!  Serger, grommets and a ton of fabric to destash.   The only thing missing were shoe laces and Payless had a 20% off entire store sale going on.  Lucky me.  Using shoelaces was brilliant as they are already finished. I used 36 inch ones for both sizes of the bag since I couldn't find any 27 inch ones. 

I tried to get fancy with some embroidery but I don't quite have the hang of it on my Janome.  The only mod I made was to round the open bottom corners using a CD as a template, to make it easier to serge around.  Also my "safety" 4 stitch serge did not look too good so I re-enforced the seam with a straight stitch on the sewing machine.  These are quite and easy and fun to personalize. 

I used a stopper knot to tie the shoelaces together.

Add.  I forgot to post about another FO
A Giro of Another Color.

My second one.
Pattern:  Giro, by Inês Sousa from Primavera Book
Yarn:  Koromo, by Noro
Needles:  Size 8
The pattern calls for fingering.  Koromo is aran weight and quite rustic I may add.  I used almost all of 3 balls.  I used a croched hook for the picot bind out.  The curved neck edge blocked to 62 inches.  I feels very warm, but it is pretty warm and sunny here today.   The Noro stripes behaved quite nicely.  The colorway was difficult to photograph.  The yellow and mauve actually pop out quite a bit more then in the picture. Love this pattern. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Soft Almond Cookies

Being lactose intolerant I once thought it would be wonderful to make may own almond milk and bought some almond flour.  I found it was not to my liking so the flour sat waiting for the right recipe.  I thought about macaroons, but they sound like way too much work.  After I bought the giant bag of lemons I found the right recipe for both.  Soft Almond Cookies.

Blogless Muffy Multitasker took her second cooking class in Italy and told be about amaretti.  Those are still a possibility as I have a little flour left.   It uses only egg whites, and the Soft Almond Cookies use the whole egg. 

I changed the shape since I put too much egg in and the dough was very moist and I wanted to use my cookie scoop.  They are very moist inside and very lemony.  I will make these again. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

"Might Oaks from little acorns Grow"

Apparently from from the middle of the 19th century. It appeared in A. B. Johnson's The Philosophical Emperor a Political Experiment, 1841  (

There be hat knitting and red scarf knitting and I'm hoping a Patch or two will happen.  I have a pile of fabric calling me from the sewing room too.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

"Tis the Season of the Gnome

I love Alan Dart's pattern Yuletide Gnomes (Jultomtar & Teeny Tomte).

The Teeny one and the Small Jultomtar are my favorite.  I love the way the Noro Kureyon works up for the body.

This one is named Blue Leg, since the Noro color changes are always a surprise and one leg is very blue!  His hat came out very blue too, but has a light purple brim.   I experimented with some other eyelash yarn for beards but in the end the Sirdar Foxy won out.  It is a much thicker eyelash yarn and has some great shading for a beard.  Too bad it is discontinued.    I used Beaverslide for his boots and gloves.  I knit all the pieces in the round.  For this one I forgot to add the beads to weight his okoloe, but he sits okay.  I stuffed the gloves and boots with black roving and used fiberfill for the rest.  There is a pipe cleaner in his hat.

This year made me think about the differences between gnomes and elves.  From what I read, elves have pointed ears and gnomes do not.  Also elves live above ground and gnomes below.  One source said gnomes should always have red hats.  

In a fit of cast-on-itis, I started 3 blankets.   10 stitch blanket in Noro scraps, Round 10 stitch blanket in sock scraps, and  Grannies and Ripples by Stephanie Blaisure in Valley Yarns Goshen.  I ordered more Goshen From Webs and the next day it was the FB special!  Webs was nice enough to apply the code after the fact for me.  That's why I love WEBS! I encourage everyone to shop there.  Haha, like anyone really needs encouragement.   The round blanket may not happen as I'm discouraged by how slow it grows using sock yarn. 

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Denver 2014

I'm a little late getting to this post of the last leg of my summer trip.  The whole adventure was planned around a wedding of a friend's only daughter.  I met Helen years ago while living in Denver.  She had moved from Newark and came to check out a room for rent in the house I was living in.  She didn't take the room but we hit it off and became friends.  She is one of those friends...separated by time and space we can just continue on when we get together.  She was a beautiful mother of the bride!

The wedding was held at Spruce Mountain on a beautiful day!  What a party.  There was general carousing and having fun till the wee hours. The smart bride had arranged buses so no one had to hold back!  She has been to all 50 states and 40 countries in her young life, pretty much all in 10 years since high school.  She is off to Norway for a honeymoon.  Good luck to them!

The sky goddess was flying the friendly skies, so BIL picked me up and barbecued.  I got to meet the twins.  They just turned 3 but were on good behavior while they checked me out.  My nephew brought the famous Jerry Garcia.  He is a two people dog...nephew and sky goddess.

Here he is pouting because the Sky Goddess left him behind with me while she ran errands.  I could not entice him with toys or treats :(    He loves to walk and chase his little softies as long as the Sky Goddess is with him.  While walking him on the golf course we spotted a herd of 7 deer and a heart shaped mushroom.

In Denver the anemone were in full bloom, and there are aspens instead of birch trees.  When they have leaves there is no mistaking aspens for birch trees.  In the winter with no leaves, the birch have more horizontal lines in the bark and triangle shapes where old branches have fallen off.    Just in case you wondered, cuz I did. The Sky Goddess has a green thumb!  Her house plants are huge and her garden full of color. 

I hit one yarn store, Fancy Tiger Crafts.

They had a small wall of Koigu and some nice upscale yarns in addition to other crafts such as fabrics, felting and spinning.

My nephew is a chef at Fruition, a farm to table restaurant in downtown Denver. While everything was most yummy, the Potato-Wrapped Oysters Rockefeller Parmesan-Leek Emulsion, Bacon Lardons, Baby Spinach was very special.

Not your mother's oysters Rockefeller.

Denver has grown so much since I was there last.  The medical school has moved to Boulder and the old haunt is abandoned and waiting for demolition.  Weeds are everywhere.  Aurora where the sky goddess lives has many teen-aged trees, golf courses and huge stores such as Target and JoAnn's.  It is high dessert, for sure.  I had forgotten how impressive the Colorado Rockies are.  I was blessed with great weather.  Not too hot and not too cold, and just brief drama and passing thunderstorm.

The last day we hit the Parker Farmer's market and found some wonderful Palisade peaches and Rocky Ford melons, and even a touch of Wisonsin.

Since coming back I've tried spinning again (some wonderful fawn colored Bond from Stitches Midwest)  .  My neck definitely noticed, so I'm taking it slow.  My f/u visit with the doc was favorable.  I'm still going to PT.

 Outlander inspired me to knit a beret.  In fact two.  Both of them came out ginormous!  I'm not sure they can be recovered, but I have some really nice felt, lol. Don't let the picture fool you.  There is a two inch tuck in the back.  All the indigo in my failed dye job washed out as planned.  At least that part was a success.  Knitting them up, though, I had really blue hands and nails!  I did learn that a proper bonnet needs to be shaved and molded before being ready to wear and the decoration goes over the left eye.  Who knew there would be so many hits about this subject?

 I also practiced some intarsia/Fairisle hybrid on the R2D2 Hat.  Need more practice.  

Teeny Carrot Top Tomte was more successful. Yes gang, Christmas is just around the corner.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Summer Trip 2014 Wisconsin

I'm a lucky girl to have some great sisters.  Number 2 picked me up in Schaumberg and put me up for a whole week in Madison, Wisconsin.  I really enjoyed her forest, gathering pine cones, watching the birds at the feeders.  I even observed the turkey family that has moved into the neighborhood.

It is a beautiful neighborhood to walk around.  Another great place to walk is the Pheasant Branch Nature Reserve.  The paths are well maintained and the walk easy.


We visited the Olbrich Gardens.  Lots of flowers including giant hibiscus and Thai Garden.  I missed the butterfly release but saw some in the garden. 

My sister is a great cook.  A new recipe was chicken with a plum sauce Yummy!  The Illinois peaches were on and awesome.  She baked a cherry pie from cherries her friend grew.  My favorite.  Pie cherries are hard to come by in Hawaii.  In addition we filled up on the Asian foods, Korean at New Seoul Korean  ...soon to be more new as it is moving to a new location.  Also very yummy Laotion food at Lao Laan-Xang Restaurant, Pho at  Saigon-Noodles and Chinese (Wah Kee Wonton Noodle).  For their anniversary, we ate at Lombardino's.  Very nice and totally yummy!

Update:  How could I forget Sushi Muramoto and Gail Abrosios's chocolates.  I know I was not eating non stop!

We drove to Milwaukee one day, past Miller Stadium (Home of the Brewer's, dontcha know) and saw the Kandinsky exhibit at the Milwaukee Museum of Art.  It was very interesting.  I'm glad we got the audio program to go with it.  I had no idea he started off a lawyer and and impressionist before he got to where he got.  
(Screen cap of google image search "Kandinsky")

We also visited the new improved National Mustard Museum, the Wisconsin History Museum. Badger bookstore and got our shopping fun at JoAnns, Hancock Fabrics, Wisconsin Craft Supply, Farmers Market and several thrift stores.  Whew, now that I'm writing it down, we did a lot of things together.  Aren't sisters grand?

This 1886 book was only two dollars at the Friends of the Library.  I loved the cover and the pictures.  It looks like it was never read.  It was printed in a very tiny font so I can understand why.

My sister and her husband drove me back to O'hare for my last leg of the the trip.  I got one last Garrett's popcorn fix, Chicago Mix, before heading to Denver.