Thursday, April 30, 2020

Three on Thursday - Mother's Day Gift Ideas

So, Mother's Day is coming up and I thought it might be fun to look for a few giftable patterns.  My mom is gone and the last few things I knit for the mother-in-law did not go over well so I'm off the hook, but if my daughter was a knitter, I'd love to receive one of these knitted projects.

Hand knit circular seat cushion made from 2 knited circles sewn together
Sneid by Vedis Jonsdottir
Sneid is a round seat cushion knit with bulky weight yarn so it should be a relatively quick to knit project and Mamma can always use a soft cushion to sit on.

Hand knit decorative bag to hold your plastic grocery bags
Feather and Fan Bag Bag
This Feather and Fan Bag Bag by Kristen TenDyke of Caterpillar Knits would be a fun gift to receive.  I realize that plastic grocery bags aren't everybody's 'thing' anymore but I like getting them.  We use them for small trash can liners and if I'm honest, for those monthly refrigerator clean outs that really should happen more frequently but don't.

A simple and free shawl knitting pattern
Onete Shawl by Fairmont Fibers Design Team
Well, you can't have a 'what to knit for Mother's Day' post without mentioning a shawl.  I saw the Onete on Facebook recently and immediately added it to my Must Knit list.  I'm pretty sure that if my mom was still around, she'd love the simplicity of this shawl.

Happy Mother's Day knitting!  Hope you'll join me over at Carole's for today's Three on Thursday link up.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Clara and the swamp witch

The Clara dress for Hayden is coming along.  I was worried about using this variegated tonal yarn but I think it's working out just fine.  This is a fun little design to knit and I'm so thankful for my knitting group friend, Dawn, who gifted it to me.  I hope Hayden will enjoy wearing dresses because I see quite a few of these in her future.

And because I was bored enough to take funny photos of myself in the bathroom and I thought you might also be bored and could use a good laugh, or possibly a good scare...

There's a reason people with curly hair don't brush their hair.

I have no idea what the reason is for the crazy eyes.  I have to say though, this photo does live up to my nickname.  My husband calls me Marie.  It started off Marie Laveau but over the years it's been shortened to simply Marie.  Many of his friends and coworkers think it's my actual name because they hear it so often and when Mike calls me by my real name, it sounds very, very wrong.  

Why Marie Laveau?  Have you ever heard the song, Marie Laveau by Bobby Bare?

Yeah, I'm the swamp witch.  Mike means it as a compliment.  Or at least that's the story he sticks to.  He says I used magic to capture his heart and make him fall in love with me.  Awww, isn't that sweet?  Although.... swamp witch...  But with that photo of my crazy eyes and brushed hair, I'd have to say he might be on to something.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Sunday Supper - Pimiento Cheese Deviled Eggs

We're going deep south with today's Sunday Supper recipe.  It doesn't get much more southern than pimiento cheese deviled eggs.

#cookingfromscratch recipe for pimiento cheese deviled eggs. Easy, southern spring time appetizer.
Pimiento Cheese Deviled Eggs from

The recipe comes from and can be found here.  It sounds super simple and it should take care of that issue of never having quite enough of the filling to refill the eggs.  

Although I should have my southern girl license taken away because I've never been a huge fan of pimiento cheese, this recipe has me drooling.  Maybe I'm finally growing up.

Friday, April 24, 2020

A pool or a pond

It's looking like our pool is going to be more of a pond this summer if we don't hurry up and do something about fixing it.

Infant dress knit with fingering weight washable wool from Knit Picks
Clara knit with Stroll Tonal

Sorry for the scary photo of my legs but I was enjoying the sunshine while we have it.  It's supposed to be rainy for the next four or five days.  

Notice my little red Bug in the background?  I'm so happy.  She's finally driveable again.  I missed Little Red this past winter.

But you want to know about the knitting, not about how much I've missed my car.  I finished the Swoncho and will share a photo once it's blocked.  Unblocked, it's a sorry looking thing!  I was worried about the fair isle section being too tight.  It's not.  It's actually a pretty perfect fit.  But the solid part at the bottom....  Good Lord!  There's enough room for six pregnant me's in there!  My prayer is that when it's blocked, it will hang better.  At the moment, the ribbing is folding up a little even though I knit it a half inch longer than the pattern called for.  On top of that, I can't decide if I should have knit the whole thing a bit longer.  I added several inches to the pattern's recommendation but.....  I'm hoping and praying blocking will fix it because I really, really don't want to have to rip the ribbing and try to pick up 400+ loose stitches.

And with the completion of the swoncho, I immediately cast on Clara for Hayden.  I think this will be a fairly quick knit.  I'm using Seashell Stroll Tonal and am praying it will look okay.  All the examples I've seen have been knit in solid colors and this tonal has a lot of color fluctuation in it.  I think it will be alright though.  And hey, if it's not, well, I'm knitting the three month size.  She can spit up on it a few times and then outgrow it in a week or two.

Hope you are enjoying some warm sunshine where ever you are.  Happy knitting!

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Three on Thursday - Corona Reading List

Since we've been stuck at home, I've been doing a lot of reading.  I thought for today's Three on Thursday, I'd share the three books I've enjoyed most.  In the order I read them, they are:

suspenseful psychological thriller, free on the Kindle

When I was You by Minka Kent.  Billed as a psychological suspense.  Despite knowing who 'done it' half way through the book, the suspense was maintained throughout.

suspense thriller novel free on the Kindle

The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware.   This was another suspense thriller and I did not see the end coming at all.  My daughter had read it awhile back and recommended it.  We had fun discussing what was happening, although I think she may have gotten a little sick of me asking her if certain characters were the 'bad' guy or if the house was really haunted.  She never would tell me.

haunted house suspense thriller horror novel

The Haunting of Ashburn House by Darcy Coates.  This one had me jumping at every single little noise in the house.  It took me a while to read this one because if I had any hope of sleeping, I couldn't read it after dinner.  I'm still not sure why this book freaked me out so much because the scary stuff didn't really start until close to the end but from the second page I was jumpy.  I threw my drink all over the deck when someone opened the sliding door behind me and dropped a pan of french fries when I turned around and my daughter had come into the kitchen.  And that was all before the really scary stuff started happening.  If you like a good scare, this is the one.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Seven inches?

So, who else has knit a Ninilchik Swoncho?  

Fair isle sweater/poncho
Ninlichik Swoncho

Did you have an issue with the sleeves?  I know I'm tall and have long orangutan arms but...  

The way this swoncho is designed, the arm holes hit just above the elbow and the directions say you should make the arms seven inches long.  In other words, the pattern thinks the distance between my elbow and wrist should be seven inches.  Nope!  Mine measures a tad over eleven inches.  

Another oddity about the arms on this sweater/poncho/swoncho...  I'm knitting the size 2 so my arms are 78 stitches.  If I was knitting socks with this same yarn, I'd knit on 48 - 54 stitches for the legs.  And my legs are Much fatter than my wrists and still somewhat fatter than my forearms.  Knowing this and the fact that I don't like my sleeves to be too loose, I went down a couple of needle sizes for the arm ribbing.  After knitting about five inches I tried it on and... I could barely get my arms through the sleeves!  The ribbing was all stretched out funnily.  

I ripped that ribbing out and reknit it with the correct needle size and... It fits perfectly.  How is that possible??


I just measured my forearms and my calves with a tape measure.  It's quite possible that my arms are fat.  My forearms measure a full inch bigger around than my calves. 

In the infamous words of my mother, "Dammit all to Hell!"

Fat arms or not, this sleeve will be done before bedtime and other sleeve should be finished within a day or two.  The end is in sight!

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Sunday Supper - Fake Strawberry Shortcake

So, last Sunday was Easter and as I mentioned, Sarah did all the cooking.  One of the desserts she made was fake strawberry shortcake.  It was really just store-bought pound cake with strawberry sauce and whipped cream on top.  Everyone said it was really good and I'd tasted the strawberry sauce while she was making it, but I never got to eat any of the actual dessert.  I was too busy holding the baby and cooing over her.  It was a pretty fair trade, but I would have liked to try some of that cake - so I'm forcing Sarah make it again today.  That's what mother's are for, right?

recipe for strawberry sauce over pound cake and ice cream #cookingfrom scratch
Strawberry Sauce from Sally's Baking Addiction

Anyway, the recipe for the sauce can be found here if you'd like to give it a try.  Thankfully, while our stores still don't have toilet paper, meat or potato chips, they do have a pretty decent supply of strawberries.  And, if you aren't into pound cake, I think the sauce would be great over ice cream too.  

Or maybe strawberry sauce over ice cream on top of pound cake....  I see a lot of strawberries in my future.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Not what I remembered

So, if you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen my post about my boredom level and an embarrassing Amazon purchase.

Fair isle poncho sweater knit with worsted weight wool
Ninlichik Swoncho knit with Wool of the Andes

Yes, I was so bored I ordered the complete series of The Patridge Family on DVD.  Have I mentioned that we don't have internet here at this house?

Once upon a time, I was going to marry David Cassidy.  I never missed an episode of The Partridge Family on one of the three channels we had back then and I even owned their album.

Today, The Partridge Family is not what I remember.  It is however, giving me something different to watch while I knit the ribbing on my swoncho.  

I should be done with this bad boy within a week and I'm excited to say, it's going to fit.  I was worried that it might be too small.  Unblocked, the fair isle section is slightly tighter than I'd like but I think the post blocking version will be perfect.

I hope you are keeping entertained during this pandemic and haven't been reduced to watching The Partridge Family, but if you are watching - get in touch.  We can laugh about the show's cheese factor and our current pathetic lives.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Three on Thursday - Stash Busting

As much as I love LOVE receiving giant boxes of yarn in the mail, I have to admit, I'm enjoying this whole forced stash busting thing COVID-19 is causing. And thus, three more stash buster project ideas...

stash busting, stash buster sweater vneck, crew neck knitting pattern
Leftovers Sweater by Julie Philip
I love this idea and I especially love how the sweater on the right has been embellished with what I assume is embroidery.

simple hat knit with knits, purls and slipped stitches. Colorful knit hat.
Slip Stitch Stash Hat by Renee Rico
Or how about this beauty?  It always amazes me the effect a simple slipped stitch can have.

striped, pieced stash busting blanket, no-sew blanket or scarf or table runner knit, knitted, knitting
Northeasterly by Skeinanigans
Now, this is my kind of pattern.  I can knit for as long or short as I wish with a color before changing.  I can knit it long enough to be a full sized blanket, a baby sized blanket, a scarf, or even a table runner.  The knitter calls the shots!  A friend from my knitting group is knitting one of these and ever since I saw hers, I've been thinking I need to cast one on.  She's using her Advent kit yarns but I would just used stashed yarns.  Although.... it would be a good excuse to sign up for one of those kits.  Hmmm...

Hope you'll join me for Three on Thursday.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Tornado knitting
Swoncho knit with Wool of the Andes

I spent yesterday knitting a sleeve between trips to the basement.  Thankfully, all those trips were for naught.  The closest tornado to come through was about 15 miles west of us.  My heart goes out to those not so lucky.

I hope everyone had a nice Easter.  I think yesterday’s crazy weather may have been my fault.  I think I may have shocked and confused Mother Nature.  To celebrate Easter, I dusted off the hairbrush and even put on a bra.  First time I’d gotten dressed in sixteen days!

Easter, 2020, April 12th
Hayden's first Easter

Guess what today is - it’s another cause for celebration.  Hayden is one month old today!  She is such a sweet little cutie patootie!

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Happy Easter

No recipes today.  You shouldn't be cooking today anyway.  You should be eating Peeps and Reese's and Cadbury eggs.  Happy Easter!

Friday, April 10, 2020


I'm still Swonchoing.

Sweater/poncho knit with Wool of the Andes
Ninilchik Swoncho

Hey - if "swoncho" is a word now, so is "swonchoing."

Anyway, the swoncho is coming along.  I just hope it grows a lot during the blocking process.  It was supposed to be a me-sized swoncho, not an extra petite sized one.  Either way, it will be okay because by the time I get this beast finished, Hayden will be big enough to wear it!

By the way, if you are interested, I'm knitting it with Wool of the Andes from Knit Picks and, Knit Picks is back to shipping.  Yay!

Stay healthy and home.

Knit on...

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Three on Thursday - Baby Knits

Three baby or toddler patterns for today's Three on Thursday...

Infant and toddler hat, cap or bonnet, hand knit, knitting pattern
Baby Bear Bonnet by Pernille Larsen
Hayden will need a bear hat this coming winter.

Baby Yoda by Arianna Soloway
So, okay, Grandma is loosing her memory.  Hayden's mom is either a Star Wars or a Star Trek fan.  I have a 50/50 chance that this would be a happy addition to Hayden's wardrobe.

baby and toddler cardigan knitting pattern worsted weight
Tiny Tea Leaves Cardigan by Melissa LaBarre
I'm pretty excited about this pattern.  Karen from Pumpkin Sunrise gifted me this Tiny Tea Leaves cardigan pattern and I know it will get lots of use!  The smallest size is a 2T though so it may be a while before I knit the first of what I'm sure will be many.  In the process of 'borrowing' that photo off Ravelry, I noticed there's also a Baby Tea Leaves pattern designed for baby's first year or two.  I just might have to purchase that one myself.

Hope you'll join me for Three on Thursday.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Easter Knitting

hand knit Easter eggs; decorative eggs knit with scrap yarn

Nothing like celebrating the upcoming holiday with a giant martini glass full of Easter eggs.  I took a break from Swoncho knitting to knit up a couple of Easter eggs.  Every year I knit a few more for the collection.  This year, I realized that oddly, I had the eggs here at my MIL's house, but no baskets or any other Eastery type of decor.  So, a giant martini glass full of eggs it is.

If you'd like to knit a few of your own, the pattern I use is here.  It's free, simple, quick to knit, and a great way to use up little bits of scrap yarn.

Hope you are all staying sane, safe and healthy.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Sunday Supper - Southwest Vegetarian Bake

There still no meat in our grocery stores and I'm getting pretty dang sick of frozen chicken patty sandwiches (which I'm pretty sure don't actually contain any chicken) so I think we're going to be forced to go vegetarian.  My husband will loose his mind if I mention it so my plan is to simply make the tastiest, most filling dishes that I can find and hopefully he won't notice.  It's not a great plan, but it's the best I've got.  And if Mike does notice, well, he can eat Spam.  Sadly, the grocery store has plenty of Spam.

vegetarian recipe, what to do with rice

So with that in mind, I introduce, Southwest Vegetarian Bake from Taste of Home.

Wish me luck.

Friday, April 3, 2020

On the Needles

Well, the "stay at home" mandate is tough mentally, but good in other ways.  My 40th high school reunion has been postponed from June until sometime in the fall.  Although I'm very much looking forward to seeing everyone, this is great news.  It gives me a few more months to loose those 50 pounds and excess wrinkles.  (Anyone know how to non-surgically get rid of wrinkles??)  It also means the weather will be cooler which is always good news.  Showing up with three chins is one thing, showing up with three sweaty chins is another.

And of course there's been more time for knitting.

Hitchhiker shawl knit with Knit Picks Special Reserve Stroll in Petal pink.
Petal Hitchhiker

My Hitchhiker now has 35 teeth.  And since the pink wrapper on the Easter Peppermint Patties matches the shawl, I don't feel the least bit guilty about eating them.

part sweater part poncho; poncho with sleeves; sleeved poncho; fair isle knitting, Knit Picks Wool of the Andes yarn
Ninilchik Swoncho

And...  The Hitchhiker has been abandoned while I knit obsessively on my Swoncho.  I've been torn about knitting one of these for a while now.  Several people from my knitting group have knit one and they all seem to love wearing it and I've been wanting to knit some kind of colorwork sweater for a while now but....  I worry that every time I move my arms, my belly will hang out.  Not a good look for me!  I plan to make mine a little longer than the pattern calls for but still...  

Whether the swoncho covers my belly or not, it's a fun knit.  I'm enjoying the colorwork, even the rows with three colors.  Working with three colors really isn't any more difficult than working with two.  The first couple of stitches were iffy, then the process just fell into place.  Easy peasy!  

I hope it's going to look all right.  I'm using stashed yarn so my color scheme was limited.  My daughter tells me the purple and red are hideous together but I like the combination.  What worries me is that there's not much contrast between the purple and the dark gray.  And the more I look at it, there isn't that much contrast between the red and purple either.  I hope it doesn't end up looking like dull stripes of color against the light gray background.  Oh well.  If it doesn't work, it's not like I don't have more yarn.  I can always try again.

What's keeping you busy while you stay home?

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Good Things

I feel like I've been doing a lot of whining lately so I thought for today's Three on Thursday, I'd mention three recent good things.

1.  My brother-in-law came over and hung out with my mother-in-law so that Sarah and I could go run errands together.  It was the first time since Christmas that Sarah and I had gotten to have mother/daughter day and the first time in thirteen days since I'd been in a public place.  It was quite an exciting and exhilarating day spent at Target and Walmart.  I will not mention how much money I spent on snack foods and fancy shampoos.  Worse comes to worse, our plan is to use some of the shampoo as hand soap.

2.  Baby time!  The new granddaughter and family have been in quarantine and I've only gotten to visit once before but... Mike and I picked up dinner and went for a visit the other night.  I got to hold Hayden the entire time we were there.  She was awake and squirmy part of the time and slept in my arms the rest.  My apologies for the crumbs I may have dropped in her freshly washed hair.  I wasn't about to put her down to eat though.

3.  I do not have seasonal allergies.

Join me for today's Three on Thursday link-up, stay healthy and knit on.