Sunday, October 28, 2018

Sunday Soup - Pumpkin Soup

I'm not too sure about today's recipe.  Well, not the recipe itself, but the soup in general.

It's cold outside and almost Halloween so Pumpkin Soup seems called for... except....  I'm not sure I'm going to like pumpkin soup.  I love the idea of pumpkin flavored everything, but the reality... not so much.  This soup is either going to be disgusting, or totally awesome.  We'll see.

Cooking from scratch with an easy recipe for pumpkin soup.
photo courtesy of

If you're brave enough to try it, I'm blatantly stealing both the recipe and photo from The Salty Marshmallow.  Just follow the link here.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Three on Thursday

Because my knitting hasn't visibly progressed much over the last few days so I have nothing to show...  and I'm in a massive, unexplained, self-pitying, miserable funk....

My top three third world problems:

1.  I'm under caffeinated.

2.  I didn't microwave the water long enough for my new, on-sale tea and now I'm trying to drink tepid, tasteless tea instead of the nice hot coffee that I really want.

3.  I'm too lazy to make a pot of coffee.  I'm also hungry... and there's a bowl full of Hershey Kisses across the room... but they seem soooo far away.

I think I need to knit.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Sunday Soup - Black Bean Chili

Does chili count as soup?  It's eaten out of a bowl so I'm saying yes.
Because today's 'soup' recipe is for chili.  Black bean chili actually.  

I love my recipe because it's fast, simple, and can easily be made more or less spicy.  It's also simple to double or triple the recipe and it freezes well.  Oh, and it still works when I'm out of one ingredient; I simple add more of another.  I've even made it with jarred spaghetti sauce before. In other words, measurements aren't all that important.

black bean chili, photo courtesy of

Black Bean Chili

2 TBS - 1/4 cup olive oil
1 lb. ground beef
1 green pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 14.5 oz. cans tomatoes
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
4 oz. can green chilies 
3/4 cup water
1 rounded TBS chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. cinnamon OR cocoa powder
2 16 oz. cans black beans, drained

Heat olive oil in soup/stock pot and add ground beef, onion, green pepper and garlic.  Cook until beef has browned.  Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer 15 - 20 minutes.

Best served with cornbread.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Three on Thursday

Today's Three on Thursday is three knitting projects in the works.

free cowl or scarf pattern from Stephen West
Alstroemeria yarn from Shirsty Cat Designs

1.  I finished knitting my Stephen West Purl Ridge Scarf.  I'm counting it as 'still in the works' because I haven't woven the ends in yet.  Or blocked it.  It really doesn't need blocking but I might try to stretch it out a tiny bit.  It's not quite as long as I'd hoped it would be.

purl ridge scarf designed by Stephen West
Purl Ridge Scarf

And yes, as you can see from the photos, the home renovations continue.  And yes, I am quickly loosing my my mind, my patience and my cool due to the unorganized mess.

It's a knitted f bomb.
Nope, it's not a black pumpkin.

2.  Secret Santa knitting.  I still need to add a bit of detail.... and I need to knit eight more.  Possibly twelve more, depending on how generous I'm feeling closer to Christmas.

Hawthorne fingering weight yarn from Knit Picks.  Washable wool.
Laurelhurst Hawthorne Yarn

3.  Another Secret Santa project.  Since taking this photo, I've cast on a Hitchhiker and have a whopping 12 stitches on the needles.  Another Christmas gift, 'almost' done.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Sunday Soup

Soup's on!

Sausage, Potato and Kale Soup, photo courtesy of

Today's soup is Sausage, Potato and Kale Soup. The recipe I'll be using is from and can be found here.  I've never met an Allrecipes recipe that I didn't like, although sometimes they're a little bland and need a little more seasoning than called for.

I'm looking forward to a big bowl of this nice, warm soup today.  As the Facebook meme says, "the temperature went from 90 to 55 like it saw a state trooper."

Friday, October 12, 2018

Photo Friday

I hope this post makes it out into the universe.  Hurricane Michael roared into town about 30 minutes ago may I say, my goodness!

Michael isn't even a hurricane anymore, but... good grief!  There were no bands of warning rain.  Michael simply arrived and it began to rain RAIN.  Rain and thunder and the trees are bending over from the wind.  And I'm seriously hoping that noise is the neighbors who work on their (race??) cars 22/7 and not a tornado's freight train roar.

But, knitting....

worsted weight merino wool.  lovely to knit with
Ferrum from Unplanned Peacock Studio

I was too impatient to photograph the yarn while it was in it's original skein form.  It's another fiber festival yarn purchase.  The yarn comes from Unplanned Peacock Studio and is an absolute delight to knit with.

Thanks to Karen's suggestion over at Pumpkin Sunrise, I'm knitting a Purl Ridge Scarf.  The pattern is a very simple, free one from Stephen West.

A simple and free cowl pattern from Stephen West
Purl Ridge Scarf

I'm so happy to be knitting such a simple pattern on such lovely yarn, specially tonight. (I'm typing this Thurs. night.)  At this rate, I don't expect the power to stay on for long.  Heck, I don't know how it's stayed on this long.  Anyway, this cowl pattern will be The perfect project for knitting in the dark while we wait out Michael's departure.

And while we're talking about Michael, my thoughts and prayers go out to those in Florida.  And the Carolina's for that matter.  They certainly did not need any more rain!  I can not imagine what this storm must have felt like in Florida if it's this strong in Virginia. And I imagine a lot of folks rode the storm out in Florida because there wasn't much advance notice of this one.  Anyway, my thoughts and prayers are with those down south.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Three on Thursday

For today's Three on Thursday, I thought I'd show you three of the many yarns I bought this past weekend at the fiber festival.  These three skeins have no intended purpose.  Yet.

I'm in search of single skein projects to knit with this yarn.

Left to right, they are:

1.  Winter's Candy Cane from Puff the Magic Rabbit.  I was thinking socks when I bought this, but now I'm considering a hat and mittens instead.  The yarn is a superwash but it's 100% merino so it may make a better hat than socks.

2.  Another Puff the Magic Rabbit yarn called Christmas Tree Lights.  I am head over heels in love with this yarn!  It really does look a Christmas tree lit up with multicolored lights.  It's gorgeous, it sparkles, and it's what drew me into Puff the Magic Rabbit's booth.  I'd already decided that I was too hot and cranky, and I'd spent too much money and I wasn't buying anything else.  But Sarah pointed out Winter's Candy Cane (she knew I wanted to knit another pair of Christmas socks) and Christmas Tree Lights was next to the Candy Cane.... I have no idea what I'll knit with this but what ever the yarn turns into, it will be for me and I will love it.

3.  Twizzelfoot in the Harmony Moss colorway from Mountain Colors.  Its merino wool & silk fiber content make it incredibly soft and I just love the mossy green color. I'm looking forward to seeing how it knits up. Again, I have no idea what I'll use this yarn for but most likely it will be a shawl or scarf.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Makers' Monday

Join me for Makers' Monday,

Montpelier fall fiber festival

Otherwise known as the day my daughter has to drop out of college...

Because I spent next year's tuition on yarn at the Montpelier Fiber Festival.

Photos of the yarn I bought will be forthcoming... I just need to recover from the heat stroke first.  

good food at the Montpelier fiber festival

But despite the unbelievable heat and humidity, we had a good time.  We watched the sheep dog trials, we ate lamb barbecue and we shopped until we dropped. Almost literally.  It really was that hot!  

We didn't even go into the last two tents because we were so hot.  I was sweating in places I didn't even know could sweat!
But it's probably just as well.... seeing as though I'd already spent the rest of Sarah's college fund.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Sunday Soup

Soup's on in the Wiant household.  Or it will be soon after I get home from the fiber festival this afternoon.

Today's recipe is so quick and simple.  It's perfect for tonight when I'll be getting home late and most likely hungry.  I did all the chopping and prep work last night before I went to bed and as soon as I get home, I can dump everything into the Instant Pot and be ready to eat in about 30 minutes.

So, without further ado,

Chicken and Dumplings in the Instant Pot*

6 chicken breasts, cubed
32 oz. chicken broth
2 - 4 large carrots, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 can corn
10 oz. package frozen peas
1 cup cream or evaporated milk
salt & pepper to taste
2 1/4 cups Bisquick
2/3 cup milk

Place chicken, chopped veggies and broth in the Instant Pot.  Cook on High Pressure for 10 minutes with a Quick Release.
Stir in corn, peas and cream.  Set to Saute.
Mix Bisquick and milk and drop dough by spoonfuls into the pot.  Cook until biscuit mix is cooked and no longer doughy.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

*This could easily be made in the slow cooker, just adjust the cooking time.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Photo Friday

I really should have titled this post something different.  "Photo Friday" implies there will be at least one decent photo.

And  yet...

Noro seed stitch and rib cowl


Malibrigo Rios in autumn colors on blocking mats

My Noro Cowl, knit with Malabrigo Rios is blocking.  Blocking in bad lighting in a Very disorganized house.

We are still doing some remodeling/renovations/'sprucing up' to our house.  At the moment, we are (1) painting and (2) tearing up the carpet and replacing it with wood flooring.  85% of our belongings are shoved up against one wall in one room and the other 15% of our belongings are, for reasons unknown, sitting on the dining room table.  And as these things go, my husband is doing the remodeling/renovations/sprucing up himself and every time he gets out a tool or opens a bucket of paint, he gets a call to go do a paying job... and off he goes.  We've been living this way for so long now, I'm starting to not even notice the chaos I call home.

But what does that have to do with bad photography?  Well, first, the natural light in my dining room is nonexistent, except for about twenty minutes in the afternoon when the sun shines a direct and blinding beam in through the french doors.  And then there's the fact that it took me almost a full day to dig out the blocking mats and then the blocking pins from the 85% pile.  By the time I had the Noro Cowl laid out on the pads, the light was gone.  And of course, several of the bulbs in our dining room chandelier have suddenly burned out making the light even dimmer.  There's no telling where the replacement bulbs are....  And there you have it.  Bad photos for Photo Friday.

But bad photos or not, I'm in love with my Noro Cowl.  Or I will be once it's dried and sewn into place.  I'm fascinated how the Malibrigo yarn pooled and how one end is mostly yellow while the other is more red.  And that line you can see in the first photo that looks like the end of one skein butting up against a new skein of a different dye lot... isn't.  The two skeins of yarn meet up in a completely different, and unnoticeable place.  That line is simply the magic of pooling.

Now, if it would just cool off enough to even consider wearing it.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Three on Thursday

As usual, three random things for today's Three on Thursday list:

1.  My Coffee Shop cowl will have a striped interior/back/lining rather than the planned solid color.  I have no idea what I was thinking (obviously, I wasn't!) when I thought one partial skein would knit the entire lining.  So, stripes it will be.  But they'll be much wider stripes than the exterior/front/outside of the cowl.

Striped cowl knit with Knit Picks Palette the Coffee Shop value pack
Coffee Shop Cowl

Okay, so what do you call the sides when an item is knit to be reversible although one side is meant to be seen and one side is meant to be worn against the skin?  Front/back?  Exterior/interior?  'Lining' seems wrong because it implies it isn't meant to be fully visible.  What do you call the sides??

Have I mentioned how much I LOVE the Oregon Coast Heather skein of Palette?
Knit Picks Palette Oregon Coast Heather fingering weight wool yarn
Knit Picks Palette, Oregon Coast Heather

I just love the flecks of gray mixed with the sandy tans. I'm going to have to knit myself a whole sweater with this colorway.

2.  I'm so excited!  The Montpelier Fiber Festival is this weekend and I'm going on Sunday.  Saturday and Sunday are the only days I've requested off this season and everyone at work has been teasing me about using my vacation time to go look at sheep.  Obviously, they are not knitters.  But I am, and I can not wait!

Montpelier Fiber Festival
sheep dog trials

3.  Almost as exciting as the Montpelier Fiber Festival, I've received a visit from the Candy Corn Fairy.  I arrived home from work in the early hours of Sunday morning to find multiple bags of candy corn on my desk.  So far, no one has claimed to have put them there.  Have I mentioned how much I love candy corn? I love candy corn almost as much as I love fiber festivals!

Monday, October 1, 2018

Makers' Monday

I'm excited and kicking myself at the same time.  

knit cowl with Knit Picks Stroll Tweed
Christmas gift #1

I cast on the first Christmas gift project of the season.... and it will probably be 2020 when I cast it off.  It's a 280 stitches cowl on fingering weight yarn and it's taking Forever!  And I'm a little worried that the pattern isn't going to show up well on the tiny little stitches.  The original design used worsted weight yarn.

We will see.  

Of course, it may take a week of knitting to see, but we'll see if it works on fingering weight yarn.  I hope so because that inch of knitting has taken me three days.  Good grief!

I hope your knitting is going faster than mine and that you'll join me for Makers' Monday.