Friday, November 30, 2018

Photo Friday

So, I mentioned the other day that I'd had the brilliant idea to knit 18 miniature Christmas stocking ornaments...
yarn spindle

All I can say is, thank goodness for my yarn spindle from Knit Picks.  Okay, so the spindle itself isn't really showing up in that photo, but that's because I have it loaded with three skeins of yarn.  

I'd ordered the spindle a while back when it was on sale and I needed to spend just a little more to get free shipping from Knit Picks.  (I despise having to pay for shipping.)  I received it, thought 'cool,' set it on the shelf and sort of forgot about it.  Forgot about it until I started knitting all these *^*&^&^$^% miniature Christmas stockings, that is.

Ordinarily it doesn't bother me too much when I pull from the center of a new skein of yarn and a big glob of yarn comes out.  Ordinarily, I knit big things that will easily use up the big glob of yarn rather quickly.  But that's not the case when knitting miniature Christmas stockings.  

And when I realized I could put multiple skeins of yarn on the spindle at once without fear of tangling....  Miniature stocking knitting became much, much enjoyable.

Now, if Knit Picks would only make a tool that picks up all the beads I've dropped on the floor....

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Three on Thursday

So, I haven't been blogging much lately but I have been knitting.

knitted F bombs using stashed yarn scraps

1.  I have knit nine of those.  I'm not naming them yet but you can probably figure out what they are by looking back at this post and this one.  They differ in color because I used yarn scraps out of the stash pile.

knitting miniature Christmas stocking ornaments
mini beaded Christmas stocking

2. And I've knit eleven mini stockings, each one slightly different from the next.  Only seven more to go.

Hand knit Christmas ornaments; Christmas sock
miniature Christmas stocking ornament

This is one of those projects that I wish I'd never thought of.  I'm too far into the project to abandon it yet feel like I have oh so far to go before I finish.

Striped Christmas gift knit with Hawthorne from Knit Picks

3.  I've also been knitting stripes.  This is another unnamed 'thing' that you can probably figure out what it is if you look hard enough.  It's also one of those projects that I'm tempted to keep for myself.  Very, very tempted.  

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Sunday Soup - Panera's Copycat Broccoli & Cheddar Soup

I was so excited when I stumbled across this recipe for Panera's Copycat Broccoli & Cheddar Soup.  I mean, who doesn't love Love Panera's broccoli soup?

Easy Panera's copycat Broccoli & Cheddar soup made in the Instant Pot
photo courtesy of

The recipe comes from Adventures of a Nurse  and can be found here.

You're welcome.    :)

Friday, November 23, 2018

Photo Friday

Yes, it's that time of year...

Knitting a striped hat in team colors for a Christmas gift.
Christmas gift knitting

The season of black & white photos.  Hopefully, by removing the color, the intended recipient of this knitted Christmas gift won't recognize it for what it is.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Sunday Soup - White Chicken Chili

Today's soup recipe is for White Chicken Chili from Southern Living.

Southern Living's recipe for white chicken chili.  Yum!
White Chicken Chili, photo courtesy of Southern Living

Naturally, I'll change up the recipe just a bit.  For reasons unknown, seasoning packets weird me out so I make my own.  Instead of the packet called for in Southern Living's recipe, I use:

1 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. ground cloves

And, instead of using soaked beans and cooking it in the slow cooker, I'll use unsoaked, still dry beans and my Instant Pot.  The Instant Pot makes this recipe possible.  I can NEVER remember to soak beans over night plus, not being a morning person, I'm never conscious enough in the morning to start the slow cooker.

So, I will come home late this afternoon after spending the day attending multiple Christmas craft fairs (Yay!) quickly chop the onion, garlic & chicken and toss it into the Instant Pot with a bit of olive oil for a few minutes.  While that's sauteing, I'll dig the rest of the ingredients out of the pantry, dump them into the Instant Pot, set it on high pressure for 30 minutes then do a slow release.

And if I serve avocado with it, the avocado will be in the form of guacamole, not just diced avocado.  As much as I love garlicky, mashed up avocado (guacamole,) I can not tolerate the texture of sliced (or diced) avocado.  Ugh!

But no matter how you like your avocado, you can find the white chicken chili recipe here.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Photo Friday

Our weather took a dip recently and it's starting to feel like winter.  Just to the west of us even had a massive ice storm last night.  Thankfully it was only miserably cold and rainy here.  A perfect day/night to stay tucked safely indoors with my knitting.

Knitting a temperature log weather cowl. Each color indicates a temperature range and each stripe reflects one day in 2018
weather cowl

And speaking of weather and knitting...  I got to add in a new color stripe on my weather cowl.  Well, not new, but the first medium blue stripe of the season.  For some reason, I'm quite excited about it.

I can not believe I've kept up with this weather cowl.  When I started it, I had no real hope of actually knitting a stripe every day indicating the day's temperature.  Thinking that I'd never follow through on the project for more than a week or two, I didn't spend much time choosing the colors.  I simply grabbed skeins from the stash pile, assigned temperature grades to them and started knitting. 

I deeply regret that decision now.  There's not enough contrast between the light green (54 - 66 degrees) and the light blue (44 - 53 degrees.)  Even up close and in person you have to really look to see the difference.  And don't even get me started on how harsh the dark green (67 - 77 degrees,) yellow (78 - 88 degrees) and the orange (89-95) stripes are.

Oh well.  Live and learn, right?

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Three on Thursday

Today's Three on Thursday post is a list of reasons why I'm going to take a short blogging break.  

1.  I'm panicking over Christmas knitting.  I know, I know.  It seems WAY to early to be panicking but I only have two weeks of knitting time.  I'll soon be back at work for those fun filled 12+ hour shifts six or seven days a week.

2.  I have a week and a half to cram in a eleven months' worth of fun and house work.  I guess I'm getting old because this season's schedule kind of killed me.  I only got together with friends outside of work a few times, I was only able to attend my knitting group a handful of times and I don't even want to discuss the disaster my house has become.  

3.  I'm simply in a mood and just don't care about the blog.  And it shows!

So, yeah.  I'm going to take a short break from posting.  For just a week, maybe two.  And I'm going to spend my time cleaning like a mad woman, knitting like crazy and having fun.  Hopefully when I return, I'll have all kinds of fun and exciting things to tell you about.  Meanwhile, happy knitting!

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Sunday Soup - Corn Chowder

We'll be dishing up corn chowder this evening.  I'll be using a recipe from Natasha's Kitchen, with a few modifications. 

Made from scratch, corn chowder recipe.
Corn Chowder from

I'm all about simple recipes, plus I have to go to work this afternoon so I'll be skipping the 'make corn stock' part of the recipe.  I'll also be using canned corn because that's what's available.  You can find Natasha's recipe here.

Even with my modifications, I expect this soup to be the perfect meal for a dark and chilly November evening.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Photo Friday - The Yarniverse

As I mentioned yesterday, there's a new yarn shop in town.

My most recent yarn haul from The Center of the Yarniverse
yarn haul

The Center of the Yarniverse in downtown Ashland, Virginia.  

As you can tell, I stopped in the other day and I was quite pleased with the shop.  Maybe a little too pleased.

The staff was friendly and helpful without being the least bit pushy.  And the yarn...  Oh my goodness, the yarn!  They had yarn for every budget and lots of it.  The shop is small and filled to the brim but it in no way feels overwhelming or claustrophobic.  They've really done a great job with setting up their displays.

The Center of the Yarniverse in Ashland, VA sells yarn for every budget.
yarn fumes

Considering all the shop had to offer, I didn't buy much but I did purchase three Christmas gifts and a pair of socks for myself worth of yarn.

The shop is so new they haven't even had their grand opening yet.  The grand opening celebration is scheduled for November 10th and guess what - I don't have to work that day!  

This new yarn shop is going to be a very, very dangerous place.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Three on Thursday

It's Three on Thursday and so...

Three reasons I'm broke:

A new yarn shop in town, Center of the Yarniverse.
Center of the Yarniverse

1.  There's a new yarn store in town.  The closest 'town' to me is Ashland, other words known as The Center of the Universe.  This new yarn shop, Center of the Yarniverse, is going to be a very, very dangerous place for me.  In order to grocery, book, Target, Walmart or big box craft store shop, visit 90% of my friends and all of my family, take the dog to the vet or visit a doctor, I will have to pass within an eight of a mile of it.  And even worse, the shop shares a parking lot with the library.  Very, very dangerous!

Power Sheets from
Power Sheets

2.  Power Sheets.  I broke down and bought 2019 Power Sheets.  Now the big question - will I use them?

I must stop eating all the Halloween candy.
Candy overload

3.  Halloween candy.  Happy belated Halloween, by the way.  But the candy situation...  I'm actually typing this in broad daylight on Halloween afternoon, long before the trick or treaters will begin making their appearance....  And I've already had to refill the giant candy bowl three times.    And yes, that photo is blurry.  Probably from the diabetic twitch I've developed from eating so much candy. Good grief!