Today's Sunday Supper recipe is a great way to use up all those hard boiled eggs you found on your Easter egg hunt.
Today's Sunday Supper recipe is a great way to use up all those hard boiled eggs you found on your Easter egg hunt.
I think I've made a decision. And I am both excited and terrified.
As of today, my Etsy shop is closed and I no longer plan to blog on any kind of a routine schedule. For that matter, I don't really even intend to blog anymore. But you know me, I like to blather on about what I'm knitting so I may be back here sooner than expected.
And just in case I am making a HUGE mistake and instantly regret my decision, I'm going to put my Etsy shop on vacation rather than actually closing it. I'll still be on Facebook (my personal page) and maybe I'll even post more on Instagram. Maybe I'll even learn to TikTok, but I doubt it.
Maybe I'll be back here sooner than expected. But I'll no longer be thinking of Jeannie Gray Knits as a business. Rather than a thing, Jeannie Gray Knits will simply be me knitting what I want, when I want, with the yarn I want. I won't be worrying about what customers want and what they are willing to pay for.
I've been thinking about this for a couple of months now. Actually, that's not true. I've been trying Not to think about it for a couple of months. You see, back in January, I signed up for a class to help me take Jeannie Gray Knits to a level that fully finanically supports me. And the class did what no other has done for me. It finally made me face the fact that Jeannie Gray Knits is not profitable, nor sustainable. At least not the way I've been doing it.
So, I'm retiring. I'm not quiting, I'm retiring. I'm going to go knit what I want, when I want and with what yarns I want. Instead of knitting for my Etsy shop, I'm going to knit for me, for my friends and family, and for the mutlitude of causes I've always wanted to knit for but never had time. I'm going to learn to garden, maybe learn a new craft, and maybe, just maybe, even clean the house!
I'm pretty excited about the idea. I'm also terrified I'm making a huge mistake. What on earth will I do with all the time I was spending on my business? I may actually have to clean the house just to fill the hours.
But if I am making a huge mistake, it's fixable. I'm not burning any bridges. I'm just going on (semi ??) permanent vacation. Thank you for sticking with me all these years. I'm sure I'll see you around the web... and maybe at a fiber festival or two. And maybe even back here in a few days when I panic because I suddenly have nothing to do but clean the house. Yikes!
I hope you're a pork eater because we're going to be eating a LOT of pork over the next 800 years. LOL My grocery store keeps having Boston Butts on sale for half price and I keep buying them in multiples and tossing them in the freezer. Then because they are frozen, we never cook them. And this past week, they had pork roasts on sale. It was a big sale so I bought a ton of those too. Our freezer is now overflowing with pork. So...
Slow Cooker Mississippi Pork Roast. This recipe, from therecipecritic.com sounds really good and is super simple. It doesn't get much easier than dumping a few things into the slow cooker. The only difficult part is waiting for dinner time.
Now, if I can just remember to take one of those pork roasts out of the freezer...
I couldn't help myself.
I had to start the Hue Shift afghan. I just couldn't stand to wait any longer.
Hue Shift is a mitered square blanket knit with Brava from Knit Picks. Or at least, mine is. The pattern also includes instructions for using Mighty Stitch yarn. Knit Picks sells kits with several different color combinations and there's even a crochet kit.
The blanket is knit in four sections that you can arrange in different ways before sewing them together to get completely different looks. I'm a little concerned about my ability to power through this blanket without putting it aside to knit something else but, the frequent color changes will keep it interesting and as luck would have it, the last section contains my favorite colors. I'm hoping that motivates me to keep knitting.
Meanwhile, Hayden keeps me in stitches by making funny faces.
This recipe not only sounds delicious but also quick and simple.
I probably should have titled this post Everything But Knitting. Oh well.
I spent most of my time off from work this past week doing yard work. Last summer we thought we were moving and so we didn't exactly keep the flower beds in tip top shape. But since we've decided to stay here (Have I mentioned that? Yes, we decided to buy out my brother-in-law's half of my MIL's house and stay put. I'm very happy not to have to move.)... Anyway... Since we've decided to stay and take ownership, Sarah and I are doing our best to take back control of the yard. It's going to take us 100 years I fear.
The point of that story was, I haven't gotten much knitting done. I haven't even touched the Winterfest sweater but the first Northern Lights Patons Kroy Sock sock is almost finished. I've knit a little more than pictured and have started the toe decreases. I'm 99.99999% sure I will run out of yarn before the toe is long enough but I have some coordinating yarn and it will just have to have a weird looking toe. I'm okay with weird toes.
Yesterday was GORGEOUS and a perfect day to spend parked on the deck with my knititng and a book. Books actually. I'm also reading Stephen King's Fairytail but that one's on my Kindle and I read until the battery died. The day was so beautiful my bee friend stopped by for a visit. I was surprised how interested in my non-sweetened black coffee he was.
I can't wait until the danger of frost has past. I bought this weeping pussy willow tree from the grocery store and expected to kill it the first week I owned it, but it's producing leaves like crazy. I think it just might survive. I'm pretty excited about this little tree. It's supposed to grow to seven feet tall and eight feet in diameter. I've always loved weeping willows and my mom loved pussy willows so... And since we live on the edge of a swamp, it shouldn't be a problem that this plant's roots search out water sources. It should be very happy here.
The poor dog has taken up a bit of time this week too. He hurt his paw and he's been having some tummy problems so he's stuck wearing the cone of shame and he's enjoying a diet of nothing but chicken and rice. The problem comes in that he struggles to eat with the cone on and gets rice EVERYWHERE! He's one of those dogs who likes to take their food out of the bowl, put it on the floor, then eat it. Except now, the cone knocks the rice every which way and if we take the cone off, he eats his foot instead of his food. We are now having to sweep the entire downstairs about 8 times a day.
And most exciting, Hayden turned three recently. My husband and I weren't able to attend her actual birthday party so we threw her a simple dinner and cake party. She was pretty excited about the cake.
And now, I'm off to finish that sock before I have to go to work this afternoon.
Today's Sunday Supper is for the vegetarians.
While I'm not ready to go full vegetarian, I have been making a huge effort to eat many, many more vegetables than I used to. And so, I bring you Pear Halloumi Skewers in Chili Sauce. The recipe comes from fruitsandveggies.org and sounds delicious.
I'll admit, I had to Google Halloumi. I'd never heard of it and according to Google, my American friends probably know it as "grilling cheese." I'm glad the recipe didn't call it by the American name because I would have assumed they meant Kraft American cheese. I obviously don't have exotic tastes.
Thank you for all the picot sympathy and support. Day four was the magic number. I pretty much did nothing but picot bindoff all day long and got the shawl finished. I still haven't blocked it, but I will - soon. And then I'll show it off.
The Winterfest sweater sleeve-fest continues. And continues and continues. I'm still on the first half of the first sleeve. It's a bit of a slog. My sized sleeves in fingering weight, on US 1 needles, in dark gray makes for some mighty slow knitting. But I am making progress. I imagine my need for a wool sweater is probably over for the season so I'm not stressing over it.
When I get too bored with the Winterfest sleeve knitting, I switch to Northern Lights socks. The yarn is Patons Kroy Socks, which, as cheap sock yarn goes, I love. The color in the photo is fairly accurate except that the really dark stripe that looks black on my screen is actually a deep purply maroon. I'm totally in love with it.
But what I'm in love with most is my new light-up birdfeeder. It's solar powered and lights up in the dark. I absolutely love it! If you love it too and want one of your own, you can find it here on Amazon. (And no, I'm not affiliated. Just really, really happy with mine.)
Happy St. Patrick's Day!
Did I ever mention that I got a new Instant Pot for Christmas to replace the one that got cooked in the oven? Yeah, I know. If you are new here and didn't hear that original story.... my first Instant Pot suffered a horrible, horrible death and I'm still, three years later, a little angry about it. But I finally have a replacement and I'm over the moon happy about it.
So... That was a long way of saying today's Sunday Supper recipe is geared towards using the Instant Pot.
Why did I ever think a picot bindoff on this shawl was a good idea?
I'm on day four of binding off this shawl and I have just gotten to the midpoint. Good grief! Granted, I've had work and our washing machine broke so I spent yesterday doing my laundry at a friend's house instead of knitting but still.... Four days to reach the halfway point!
Despite my poor choice of bindoff... I'm loving this shawl. I love the color combo and the yarn... The yarn is Knit Pick's Capretta which is a merino and cashmere blend. It's incredibly soft and wonderful to knit with. I can't say enough good things about this yarn. I'm totally smitten with it. As much as I want to be done with that picot bindoff, I will be sad to stop knitting with this yarn.
And as much as I'm complaining about the picot bindoff, I really do like the look of it. I can't wait to finish the shawl and get it blocked.
...And then you can hear me complain about pinning all those little picot points. 😊
Meanwhile, my granddaughter likes to help me feed the birds.
While I fill the hanging feeders, she feeds the big birds on the ground.
I can't belive Hayden is about to turn three. Where does the time go?
So, we're on a diet. I don't think I've mentioned it before but my A1C levels hit full blown diabetes in early February. And my doctor, being the meany that he is, is making me 'fix' it with diet rather than pills. And yes, I know that that's best. I know if he gave me pills, I'd continue to eat the cake and cookies and just keep taking more and more pills.
I know this way is best. In fact, it's already working. I'm sticking to the diabetic diet and have already lost 7 pounds in 15 days. But I'm also still seriously jonesing for cookies and cake and I'm mean. I mean, I am MEAN! Sugar/carb withdrawl is not for the faint of heart and it doesn't help that I'm working at a grocery store and surrounded by carts full of cookies, cakes and Little Debbie products. So yeah, I'm a little mean at the moment. And I'm blaming my poor doctor instead of blaming myself for allowing myself to get to this point.
The point is, Sunday Suppers are about to get slightly more healthy.
And yes, I realize I'm struggling with a bit of an attitude. I really don't know why. I've eaten within my carb limits every day since I started the diabetic diet (15 days ago) and I have enjoyed every single thing I've eaten so far. I like zucchini 'noodles' and I'm enjoying all the vegetables I've been eating. I'm actually a little bit proud of myself and the way I've been eating for the last 15 days. Heck, the diet is even helping my finances. According to my credit card statement, my grocery bill for February was $190 less than normal. My body feels better. I already have more energy and just feel better in general. Or at least my physical body does. But mentally, I really do miss plates full of mounded up mashed potatoes and mac and cheese, not to mention all those cookies and cakes.
If any of you are on diabetic diets and have cookbooks or websites you recommend, please send them my way.
As promised, I present...
The Pumpkin Sweater.
The pattern was great. Well written and fun to knit.
Whoever invented the saying, "That'll block right out." should be shot. Botched increase rows and major gauge issues rarely block out.
I ended up with a slight 'ruffle' running down the back due to the botched increase rows. I kept being a stitch short when I got to the end of the increase rows so I'd just throw an extra one in... and it caused a ruffle effect. My solution is to never cut my hair and always wear it down whenever I wear the sweater. Problem solved.
The other issue is the sleeves. They feel like I'm wearing compression sleeves. Very, very tight compression sleeves.
I used the same size dpn on the sleeves as the circular needle I used for the body. Same manufacturer, needles made from the same material. But for some reason, the sleeve gauge is WAY tighter than the body's gauge. I noticed the gauge difference after only knitting an inch or two of the first sleeve but rather than do something about it, I decided it would block right out.
But that's okay because I get to try again. This sweater was for my daughter but after this one had so many problems, I promised I'd knit her another one and keep this one for myself. So lucky you! You get to watch Pumpkin Sweater #2 being knit sometime in the (hopefully) not too distant future.
I bet even the kids will like these baked parmesean spinach balls since they can eat them with their fingers. I'm also thinking that if I get really lazy, I could probably bake the ingredients in a baking dish rather than taking the time to make the balls. But spinach balls would be much more fun to eat than spinach casserole.
Why am I talking about Winterfest on the day we break a February heat record? I'd planned to show off/laugh at the completed pumpkin sweater this week but I never got around to taking photos. The weather has just been so spring-like and beautiful on my days off, I haven't been able to force myself into a worsted weight sweater. So...
Instead of modeling the pumpkin sweater, I've been knitting on my Winterfest sweater. If you don't remember (and why would you??,) I started the Winterfest sweater in November, 2021. I was a vendor at Kings Dominion's Winterfest that year and decided to knit a sweater with the help of the kids who came through the booth. I'd ask them their age and pull that many yards off the skein of their choice and then I did my very best to knit them in the order they were chosen. It was a fun way of entertaining and including the kids while the parents shopped and it made for a, let's call it, exciting sweater.
It's definitely colorful!
The sweater is a simple ragland, knit with a zillion different colors of Palette on US 1 (2.50) needles. The sweater was pretty loose on me in 2021 and I pray it still is. I haven't tried it on since pulling it out of the UFO pile. At this point, the goal is to finish it, not necessarily wear it. Part of me thinks the sweater is too colorful and hideous while another part of me is hopeful that the asphalt gray waist ribbing and sleeves will calm down the wild colors. Winterfest ended and I ran out of kids to choose the next color so I decided to go wih a neutral dark gray, again, hoping the gray will calm the sweater down a bit. The third part of me just wants this beast finished. off the needles and off my To Knit list.
Whether the sweater fits or not, I just want it done. I've knit on it too much to quit now. I can't fathom how many stitches this giant, beast of a sweater already has in it nor do I even want to think about how many more stitches I still have to go. Once that waist hem is completed, I still have the sleeves to knit. I'll probably still be knitting this thing in 2024.
I hope that wherever you are, you are also experiencing beautiful spring weather, although maybe not as warm as it is here today. We hit 81 degrees, beating the previos record by six degrees! Of course tomorrow will bring normal temperatures and it will be back down below freezing by tomorrow night. Nothing like spring in Virginia!
Anyway, hope you are having nice weather and your knitting is going faster than mine.
Today's my son's birthday and since he loves chicken alfredo I thought it would be fun to try this chicken alfredo lasagna recipe. Actually, he loves shrimp alfredo and likes chicken alfredo, but I'm allergic to seafood so.... But hmmm, I wonder if I could make two lasagnas - one with chicken and one with shrimp. And, since I know nothing about cooking seafood (it's a Bad allergy!) perhaps I could talk my girl child into doing the baking. Now, that sounds like a plan!